There were a couple of tricky moments this week when trying to write about a minimum of two films each day. Primarily this occurs because I aim to select films that we haven’t covered before and it gets a little more difficult each week! This means also that there are some very good films not included below (for example Dark River and the 1950 Broken Arrow) because we have turned the spotlight on them in previous weeks.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940) Saturday 27 February 11.30am-1.25pm BBC 2
Definitely not filmed in Lyme Regis, but it is still recognisably Jane Austen and a welcome opportunity to re-acquaint ourselves with Laurence Olivier’s Mr Darcy and Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet. Garson was MGM’s new star and so they pulled out all the stops (Aldous Huxley co-scripted, sumptuous art direction and costumes) and it received excellent reviews.
ONE GOOD TURN (1954) Saturday 27 February 6.00-8.00pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
First of all, I shall remind you that I am not a fan of Norman Wisdom. Nevertheless, this is reckoned to be one of his better vehicles. Employed by an orphanage, he tries desperately to raise money to save it from closure. The songs include ‘Take a Step in the Right Direction’ and the film was very popular with British audiences. Joan Rice co-stars; she had played Maid Marian opposite Richard Todd in 1952 and had a fairly brief, but interesting, career thereafter.
FRANTZ (2016) Sunday 28 February 1.55-3.40am BBC 2
This proved to be a good film for us in the 2017-18 season – 84% audience reaction and no 1-star ratings! You might recall the lovely use of some b/w cinematography and the gentle way in which the story unfolds.
SORRY ANGEL (2018) Sunday 28 February 10.00pm-12.05am BBC 4 P
Let’s make it a double bill of French films today! Set in the 1990s (as opposed to 1919), Jacques is a gay writer who is HIV positive; he befriends a younger man, Arthur, who is unsure of his sexuality. Whether or not they will have a future together is, of course, questionable.
12 ANGRY MEN (1957) Monday 1 March 2.50-4.45pm Film Four
Originally a TV play, and mostly set in a single room, any doubts that it might not work on a large screen were dispelled very quickly. Henry Fonda is superb as the juror trying to convince the other eleven that a man is innocent. It was director Sidney Lumet’s first film and it remains one of the all-time greats.
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL (2015) Monday 1 March 6.55-9.00pm Film Four
The obvious is a good enough reason to watch – a knowingly deadpan drama about two teens (Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann) who become close friends after she is diagnosed with leukaemia – but there is a bonus for members. How many nods to film greats can we spot as the touching tale unfolds?
SINBAD THE SAILOR (1947) Tuesday 2 March 9.35-11.50am Channel 41
Richard Wallace directed two colour films for RKO in 1947 (Tycoon was the other). They shared some of the same strengths (good Technicolor, strong male leads, Anthony Quinn in support and some good action sequences) and, unfortunately, some of the same weaknesses (artificial-looking sets, routine dialogue – John Twist worked on both – and a lack of chemistry with the lead actresses). The saving grace here is Douglas Fairbanks Jr, who does his father proud and makes the film great fun.
BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015) Tuesday 2 March 6.16-9.00pm Film Four
Steven Spielberg was on good form here and gave us an espionage thriller that is literate, absorbing from the start and enjoyable to the end. Tom Hanks is the lawyer asked to go to Berlin to negotiate an exchange, in a role that reminded me of Gary Cooper in Cloak and Dagger (1946). It was Mark Rylance, though, that won both an Oscar and a Bafta.
BUCHANAN RIDES ALONE (1958) Wednesday 3 March 11.00am-12.40pm Film four
We have covered nearly all the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott westerns now! Here, he rides into Agrytown on the Mexican border; it is named after a family so corrupt that they double-cross each other, and our hero soon falls foul of them. The duo only made two town-based westerns and, whilst they are the weakest of the group, Buchanan has a little more levity, the twists and turns work and the settings are realistic enough to have you brushing off the dust and ordering a shot of tequila.
BREAKING IN (2018) Wednesday 3 March 9.00-10.45pm Film Four
Shades of Panic Room in a film that is probably best viewed as the modern (souped up) equivalent of a RKO B-thriller. A mother and her children have to outwit a criminal gang after some money. The only other option is to have a quiet night, I am afraid!
LASSIE FROM LANCASHIRE (1938) Thursday 4 March 2.30-4.10pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
The bad news first – it does not star Gracie Fields and was filmed in a studio in London. The good news is that it is quite rare and the musical numbers are reasonably diverting. (Or, it might just be that I am feeling homesick.) Marjorie Browne only has four films to her name, but at least she was born in Salford!
A UNITED KINGDOM (2016) Thursday 4 March 9.00-10.45pm BBC 4
Eighty years on and British cinema, and society, had witnessed considerable change. Based on real post-war events, Rosamund Pike is excellent as Ruth Williams, a lowly clerk who fell in love with Prince Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo, also splendid), when he was studying in London. Their decision to marry caused all sorts of ructions, even involving the then Prime Minister, Clement Atlee.
RUN SILENT RUN DEEP (1958) Friday 5 March 5.00-6.50pm Film Four
No matter the director or actor, most submarine pictures tend to run aground pretty quickly. (Operation Pacific, which I watched again a week ago, being one such film.) This one is a cut above, however. Director Robert Wise shows his versatility again and Burt Lancaster was never averse to testing his mettle against an actor of equal (or greater) stature. In this case, Clark Gable who could, of course, draw on his own wartime experience.
ALIEN NATION (1988) Friday 5 March 9.00-10.50pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Alien Nation makes a most welcome debut tonight on Talking Pictures. It is a smart science-fiction movie that steps outside genre boundaries in similar vein to the more recent District 9 (2009). James Caan and Mandy Patinkin are buddy detectives searching for a killer; the difference is that the latter is a member of the alien Tenctonese race, stranded on Earth and struggling to assimilate. The theme of racial tolerance was developed further by Kenneth Johnson (no relation) for a subsequent TV series (and five TV movies) that finally came to the terrestrial channels in 1995, and made good late night viewing.
RANDOM WORDS AND RANDOM MEMORIES
MR LAUREL AND MR HARDY
In a recent Radio Times article, film critic Andrew Collins recounted how, as a child, County Hospital had made him howl with laughter. This mirrored my own experience growing up and is also a cherished memory with regard to my own children during their formative years. I remember showing them The Laurel and Hardy Murder Case (1930) – universally said to be one of the duo’s weakest films – and, yes, they howled with laughter. It saddens me that their films no longer appear on the BBC so as to introduce a new generation to their timeless comedy. With the exception of those few films that are unavailable or lost, I have seen nearly all the films they made together (25 features and 50-plus shorts) many times now and will still put on a DVD if I need to raise a smile. So, here are ten highlights from their two (sometimes three)-reel shorts:
1.WRONG AGAIN (1928). Hearing about the huge reward for “Blue Boy”, Stan and Ollie return it to its rightful owner; the problem is, they take the horse and the grateful owner asks them to put his painting “Blue Boy” on the piano!
2.BIG BUSINESS (1929). The entire film is the highlight – it has often been described as the best ever two reels of pure comedy. On a mission to sell Christmas trees the boys dismantle James Finlayson’s house (dear Fin). In revenge, he targets their car.
3.MEN O’ WAR (1929). Ever the Southern gentleman, Ollie attempts surreptitiously to return a pair of panties he has found in the park; enter young lady looking for the gloves which she had cleaned with gasoline earlier that morning . . .
4.HOG WILD (1930). The one where Stan and Ollie try valiantly to erect a radio aerial!
5.HELPMATES (1931). One of their best shorts (and one which we showed in our 1990-91 season, audience reaction 73%). Stan offers to help his friend clean the house before Mrs Hardy gets home – really, he should not have accepted!
6.THE MUSIC BOX (1932). This, their Oscar-winning short, is the one with a piano and a very long flight of steps.
7.COUNTY HOSPITAL (1932). Ollie is in hospital and hoping for some peace and quiet. Stan visits and brings him some hard-boiled eggs and some nuts!
8.BUSY BODIES (1933). Finally, the boys have proper jobs – in a sawmill. This means, of course, that there are lots of planks, hammers and planes.
9.GOING BYE BYE (1934). As the judge gives villainous Walter Long a life sentence, key witness Stan shouts “Aren’t you going to hang him?” Later, as Ollie answers the phone, he says politely to the caller “Pardon me just a moment, my ear is full of milk!”
10.TIT FOR TAT (1935). The only time they filmed a sequel (to Them Thar Hills) is their last classic exploration of ‘mutually assured destruction’ – this time with Charlie Hall. Charlie redesigns Ollie’s bowler (with a bacon slicer) and his nose (with a pair of electrical pliers).
It wasn’t only Stan and Ollie, of course. We must also thank James Finlayson, Charles Hall, Tiny Langford, Walter Long and all the Mrs Laurels, Mrs Hardys, vamps and ladies in distress.
In March, we welcome back another classic adventure series courtesy of Talking Pictures. Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett (Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo and William Gaunt) were The Champions “of law, order and justice” for one season on ITV, 1968-69. They make their return Sunday 7 March at 9pm. On the film front, there is a mini Hitchcock season on BBC 2 this weekend consisting of The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes and Suspicion.
THE SECRET INVASION (1964) Saturday 20 February 3.00-5.05pm Channel 41
There are several points of interest here: Roger Corman directs, the odd pairing of Stewart Granger and Mickey Rooney heads the cast and the story foretells of The Dirty Dozen albeit with half the personnel. It is low-budget fare, but it does use that budget well.
STRONGER (2017) Saturday 20 February 11.25pm-1.15am BBC 1
A busy Jake Gyllenhaal made this biopic after last week’s Everest and turns in another creditable performance. Here he plays Jeff Bauman, an unfortunate victim of the Boston Marathon (domestic) terrorist attack in 2013.
THE LADY VANISHES (1938) Sunday 21 February 1.35-3.10pm BBC 2
Despite the poor model work in the opening sequence (well, it was 1938 and you did not go to Switzerland for location shooting), this is quintessential Hitchcock and still one of the best films made in Britain. Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave try to discover the whereabouts of dear Dame May Whitty – if she ever existed, of course.
ISLE OF DOGS (2018) Sunday 21 February 6.05-8.00pm Channel 4 P
I enjoyed thoroughly this animated feature on one of my trips to the Radway. Set in a futuristic Japan where there is a serious outbreak of canine flu, all the dogs have been banished to the outlying Trash Island. It is intelligent, entertaining, and satirical in all the right places, and the amazing voice cast includes the late Christopher Plummer.
BRINGING UP BABY (1938) Monday 22 February 1.00-2.40pm BBC 2
Baby is a 5-star comedy masterpiece, as funny now as it was on initial release. Cary Grant is the palaeontologist up to his eyeballs in bones; Katharine Hepburn the scatty heiress with a pet leopard called Baby.
INTO THE STORM (2020) Monday 22 February 9.00-10.25pm BBC 4 P
Another commendable Storyville documentary for us tonight – in this instance, the subject is a Peruvian teenager who hopes that his developing skills as a surfer will enable him to escape his impoverished background. An opportunity to hear some Spanish again, too!
WALK THE PROUD LAND (1956) Tuesday 23 February 2.10-4.00pm Channel 32
A modest western that just passes muster as an afternoon matinee; in part because earnest almost becomes dull. It is a shame because it tries hard, and with sincerity, to tell the story of John P. Clum (1851-1932), one of the few Indian Agents to emerge with credit. Aged barely twenty-three, he took over the San Carlos Reservation on 8 August 1874. The eternally youthful Audie Murphy is, therefore, a good fit and we also have Anne Bancroft and Jay Silverheels as Geronimo; it is just unfortunate that a Hollywood domesticity sub-plot gets in the way.
A SINGLE SHOT (2013) Tuesday 23 February 9.00-11.25pm Channel 33
I am suggesting that we might take a look at this crime thriller on the basis that Sam Rockwell, who was so good in Three Billboards . . ., has the key role. He is a hunter who finds himself in peril after a woman is killed and a criminal gang decides it would like its money returned. Its box office was negligible, so few people are likely to have seen it.
MR BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE (1948) Wednesday 24 February 1.00-2.30pm BBC 2
Classic comedy no. 2 starring Cary Grant; this time, he partners Myrna Loy. They play a pair of city dwellers who decide to relocate to the country and build the home of their dreams. Modern viewers will surely recognise the situations the couple find themselves in, and a particular delight (picked out by several critics) is the scene where Myrna Loy outlines a possible colour scheme . . .
VALKYRIE (2008) Wednesday 24 February 9.00-11.20pm Film Four
Tom Cruise wears an eyepatch in this one, as a German officer who organises a plot to assassinate Hitler. It does not hit many heights, but everyone does a professional job and the events depicted have always made an exciting story.
THE LEGEND OF THE LONE RANGER (1981) Thursday 25 February 1.00-3.05pm Channel 41
If, following my recent ramblings, you would like to check out Klinton Spilsbury’s acting (and lip-synching) now is your chance! As I alluded to in that piece, visually it is quite striking and the film does serve the legend well.
EDUCATING RITA (1983) Thursday 25 February 9.00-10.50pm BBC 4
In the evening slot today is a very popular and successful comedy drama - both on stage and on screen – that gets the best out of Michael Caine and Julie Walters. He is the drunken tutor and she is the hairdresser who enrols as a student; they both won Baftas, as did the film.
THE ANGRY SILENCE (1960) Friday 26 February 6.05-8.05pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Ah, the days of shop stewards and union action – Richard Attenborough plays a strike-breaker who is ostracised by his workmates. Bryan Forbes contributes a tidy script and Pier Angeli is rather good as the wife who also has to suffer. And Oliver Reed props up the cast list again!
NIJINSKY (1980) Friday 26 February 9.00-11.30pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
TP kindly gives us another interesting film, which few of us will have seen. Based, in part, on the dancer’s diaries, George de la Pena takes on the role of Nijinsky and Alan Bates is effective as his impresario, and lover, Sergei Diaghilev. The film also marked the feature debut of Jeremy Irons.
RANDOM WORDS AND RANDOM MEMORIES
We have been under the latest lockdown restrictions for some time now and one of the modest rays of sunshine has been that, courtesy of some enterprising local pubs and businesses, it has still been possible to order a takeaway. A brief scratch of the head brings to mind a few films that might be on a menu, somewhere . . .
Some of you might remember Soursweet (1989-1990 season, reaction 71%), although this well-observed study of a family starting up its own restaurant seems not to be shown at all, these days. Hamburger Hill (1987), the story of the attack on Hill 937 in the Vietnam War, does appear quite regularly, however. Submarine (2010), whilst we did not programme it, is rather a sweet film about a self-obsessed teenager. Despite its title, The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) earned a few laughs and some decent reviews, but it is probably best to avoid KFZ: Kentucky Fried Zombies (2009). Ditto With Six You Get Eggroll (1968), Doris Day’s final film, which had a very poor reception from critics and had audiences wondering where the laughs were meant to be. Actually, thinking about it a little more, comedies plus snacks seem not to match up too well: Canadian Bacon (1995) had a rasher-thin plot about the US invading Canada; The Sandwich Man (1966) had Michael Bentine wandering through London attached to a board and showing – despite a strong cast – that he couldn’t make the transfer from television; as for fellow-Goon Spike Milligan’s TV series Curry and Chips, the less said about it the better and we will not be seeing its six episodes on network television any time soon.
Do not despair, however – if we go back several decades, we can find some really good films from top, or underrated, directors. In 1934, King Vidor (responsible for one of the best silent films, The Crowd, in 1928) gave us Our Daily Bread, an independent drama about a farm collective with a memorable climactic sequence. Stuart Heisler’s The Biscuit Eater (1940) was a touching little film about two boys who train a sickly dog to be a champion and was superior to the 1972 Disney remake. In 1942, Victor Fleming (the director of GWTW) filmed John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flat with Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr and John Garfield; it didn’t measure up to The Grapes of Wrath (1940), but was a decent adaptation, nonetheless. A personal favourite is The Big Combo (1955), a tough, sleazy, scintillating crime drama that made most other genre entries seem positively benign; you might recall that I sang the praises of cult director Joseph H Lewis last year.
We have a good selection of new films this week – five all told – and they should help to sustain us until cinemas re-open again. To think that it is a year since I last went to the Radway to watch Parasite! I am also very pleased to see that more classic TV series are being brought back, hopefully for the younger generation as well as those of us who have seen them before. On Wednesday, BBC 4 is starting a rerun of the 1971 series Elizabeth R with Glenda Jackson. She is superb in the role and it deserved all the awards it received.
BEND OF THE RIVER (1952) Saturday 13 February 6.40-8.30pm Channel 25
This wasn’t the first Anthony Mann/James Stewart western (that was Winchester ’73), but it was the first where they explored their creative partnership and developed character and settings. Filmed in Technicolor, almost entirely on location, Stewart plays a man who has suffered personal wrongs and hardships – and inflicted them on others – who agrees to act as guide to a group of settlers. Arthur Kennedy is good, Rock Hudson has a modest but showy role and the film was good enough to be placed in several Top Ten lists over the years.
THE LITTLE STRANGER (2018) Saturday 13 February 9.00-11.15pm Channel 4 P
Not wholly successful, but it is an interesting supernatural horror film, from the director of Room (2015), that has a strong cast. Set in the 1940s, Dr Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson) makes a house call to a country residence where some very strange things are happening . . .
LOVE, SIMON (2018) Sunday 14 February 9.00-11.15pm Film Four P
There are three premières this evening, and they overlap, so you might need to make use of the catch-up services! First up, is this inspired choice for Valentine’s Day – Hollywood’s first teen- romance drama to feature a prominent, and indispensable, gay character.
BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE (2018) Sunday 14 February 10.00-11.35pm BBC 4 P
Britt-Marie is a sixty-something Swedish housewife who leaves her feckless husband and decides that she will have a go at coaching a youth football team. So, pretend it is Film Society Sunday, sit back and enjoy!
EDIE (2017) Sunday 14 February 10.45pm-12.20am BBC 2 P
See notes for Thursday evening.
THE SILVER FLEET (1943) Monday 15 February 10.30am-12.15pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
The Silver Fleet is typical of its time and place – well made (under restrictions), and acted, with a good storyline that was also effective propaganda, and supported both the war effort at home and those in Europe who were offering resistance. Richardson is a Dutch engineer who risks his life to destroy a U-boat.
A QUIET PLACE (2018) Monday 15 February 9.00-10.45pm Film Four
It is almost unheard of for me to select a film that we have included before, but we need A Quiet Place for a very quiet evening! It is the one where alien invaders rely on their hearing to detect human survivors. It is a memorable effort, although the adverts do dissipate the tension a little.
A TOUCH OF LARCENY (1959) Tuesday 16 February 4.00-6.00pm Talking Pictures (Ch 81)
Comedy wasn’t really James Mason’s forte, but the British press lavished praise on him for this rarely seen offering. He plays an ex-submarine officer who, after falling in love with a friend’s fiancée (Vera Miles), concocts a cunning plan to win her affection.
THE HITCH-HIKER (1953) Tuesday 16 February 12 midnight-1.30am Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Director Ida Lupino treats us to a taut 70 minutes when, on a hunting trip, Edmond O’Brien and Frank Lovejoy pick up a psychotic hitch-hiker. It is the sort of B-thriller that RKO did very well; if its impact on viewers has lessened, it is because there have been so many imitations since.
IKE: COUNTDOWN TO D-DAY (2004) Wednesday 17 February 7.25-9.10am Channel 41
On cue after writing recently about American presidents, here is Tom Selleck as Dwight D. Eisenhower, holding his nerve as the Allies agonise over ‘when to go’ for the invasion of Normandy.
EVEREST (2015) Wednesday 17 February 6.40-9.00pm Film Four
Prior to its release, I was tracking Everest as a potential booking for Lyme and Sidmouth. Based on actual events in 1996, Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin are rival climbers; Baltasar Kormakur directed the excellent Icelandic TV drama Trapped, so must have been used to the cold!
THE KEY (1958) Thursday 18 February 4.45-7.15pm Channel 41
Another coincidence – after writing about film locations in Dorset, The Key is given an airing. With direction by Carol Reed and William Holden, Sophia Loren and Trevor Howard heading the cast, you might expect one of the best films of the 1950s – but it is not, I am afraid. Ms Loren comes off best as the landlady who comforts a succession of naval officers and it does hold the interest, but it is also dull in patches and a little odd. Catch an early glimpse of Michael Caine!
EDIE (2017) Thursday 18 February 9.00-10.35pm BBC 4
Here is another film that we flirted with – which is not too surprising, as there are usually about 35 on the questionnaire. In this case, Sheila Hancock is a British housewife and mother, like Britt-May at the wrong end of a failed marriage, who, rather than coaching football, decides she will climb a mountain in Scotland.
APACHE DRUMS (1951) Friday 19 February 12.50-2.25pm Film Four
Another modest B-film, this time a Technicolor western from Universal-International, that punches above its weight. Producer Val Lewton’s final film (his B-unit had made horror classics such as Cat People at RKO) stars Stephen McNally (usually the villain of the piece) as gambler ‘Sam Slick’, who returns to Spanish Boot to warn the citizens of an impending attack. Sharing some similarities with The Lost Patrol (1934), Lewton’s trademark use of shadow and dark interiors help the tension to build towards an exciting climax.
STAN & OLLIE (2019) Friday 19 February 8.25-10.00pm BBC 1 P
What a lovely way to end the week – we have the Freeview debut of a (largely) gentle, respectful part-biography of comedy giants Laurel and Hardy. Although there is a marvellous opening sequence on the set of Way Out West (1937), the focus is on the twilight of their careers and their 1953 tour of Britain. John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan are both superb, but I think Coogan (as Stan) just edges it. When I saw it at the Radway, I left with just a couple of minor criticisms: to be truly reflective it should be cert. U (not even PG) and (this might sound crazy) funnier, in a laugh-out-loud kind of way.
RANDOM WORDS AND RANDOM MEMORIES
HELLO MR POSTMAN!
The Royal Mail has maintained a wonderful service during the pandemic, especially prior to Christmas, and is now working hard to guarantee those Valentine deliveries. So, it seemed the right moment to think about postmen up there on the big screen . . .
We shouldn’t really include The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946 and 1981) as, although both John Garfield and later Jack Nicholson came knocking, it wasn’t with a delivery. There was also an earlier, Italian version of James M Cain’s celebrated novel, Ossessione (1942), directed by Luchino Visconti, and a French one before that. We have shown Jacques Tati’s Jour de Fête (1949) twice over the years; he had tried out the story and comedy routines two years earlier in the short L’Ecole des Facteurs. In 1930s Britain, post-related shorts were part of the legendary GPO Film Unit’s output; they included Post-Haste (1934), one of two shorts that year that launched the career of Humphrey Jennings. In the US, Walter Brennan played George the mailman in a rather touching 1943 short The Last Will and Testament of Tom Smith. There have been several films, over the years, about the Pony Express, the earliest being in 1907 and the best-known one being Charlton Heston’s in 1953. The myths associated with it far outweigh the reality, of course – the actual Pony Express lasted 18 months, doomed by the invention of the telegraph. A better American film featuring a member of the postal service as action hero was Appointment with Danger (1950), with Alan Ladd, which we reviewed recently.
In Britain, Postman’s Knock (1961) was conceived as a vehicle for Spike Milligan, but it is pretty dire. Much better, although the postmen are, shall we say, unofficial ones are The Go-Between (1971), lovingly shot in Norfolk, and The Lunchbox (2013), lovingly shot in India. Also in Britain – during a Cook’s tour of London, to be precise – ransom money was removed from a postbox via an underground sewer in Brannigan (1975). The dispatch rider used as a decoy – and who ended up in some very uninviting water – was none other than Tony Robinson.
More recently, a most intriguing idea was aired in The Postman (1997). Here, the postman (Kevin Costner) delivered 15-year-old mail in what remains of the United States after a world war has devastated the planet in 2013. It was hugely expensive, long (170 minutes plus) and a huge flop – and since Costner also directed, then it is fair to say the responsibility was his. The best film to feature a postman was a much simpler affair, of course – the delightful Il Postino, released three years earlier. Excluding, to be sure, Postman Pat: the Movie (2013) - the big screen incarnation of the UK’s favourite postal worker!
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