Pleased to report that there are more premieres again this week and the Saturday evening slot, following on from Luzzu a week ago, looks especially promising. Easter is on the horizon, of course, and it looks as though the 1961 King of Kings (Good Friday) is leading out the usual suspects . . . .
SO LONG, MY SON (2019) Saturday 1 April 9.00-11.55pm BBC 4 P
The sort of epic saga that would be a mini-series in the US: 20 years, two families, a tragic accident and a subtle dissection of China’s “one-child policy”.
HERSELF (2020) Monday 3 April 11.15pm-12.50am BBC 2 P
Members have always appreciated a good Irish drama – and here is another one. Clare Dunne plays a mother who flees a violent husband and sets to work building a new home on a patch of land. Perhaps surprisingly, Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia! And The Iron Lady) is the director. Incidentally, Maureen O’Hara titled her memoir ‘Tis Herself.
NOW BARABBAS WAS A ROBBER (1949) Tuesday 4 April 6.35-8.15pm TP (Ch 82)
The rarity for this week has Richard Burton, in only his second film, as an Irish terrorist, and Richard Greene, soon to be Robin Hood for the nascent ITV channel, as a murderer, in a rather compelling prison drama.
THE SPIRITUALIST (1948) Friday 7 April 11.05pm-12.50am TP (Channel 82)
Also known as The Amazing Mr X, this is a B-film with some class – and rather unnerving to boot. The cast is modest – Lynn Bari as the grieving widow and character actor Turhan Bey as the psychic – but director Bernard Vorhaus was always adept at making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
In terms of quality TV, this week is very good for comparing the old and the new. The much anticipated 6-part adaptation of Great Expectations begins on BBC 1 on Sunday; the classic Elizabeth R starring Glenda Jackson begins a repeat run on BBC 4 on Thursday. Ms Jackson also looks back on the series and gives a brief introduction before the first episode.
LUZZU (2021) Saturday 25 March 9.00-10.30pm BBC 4 P
Luzzu is an unusual drama, with non-professional actors, about a Maltese fisherman who has to consider breaking the law in order to make ends meet.
REBECCA (1940) Monday 27 March 3.00-5.35pm TP (Channel 82)
Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar himself, but his Hollywood debut did win the statuette for Best Picture. It remains a classic adaptation of a great novel; we showed it in the 1989-1990 season (our second) and it had an audience reaction of 81%.
I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941) Wednesday 29 March 11.00am-12.35pm TP (Channel 82)
Not as fearsome as the title would suggest – just a very good whodunit with film-noir undertones. The central characters are a sports promoter (Victor Mature); a cop (Laird Cregar); a murdered waitress (Carole Landis) and her sister (Betty Grable). Fox remade it as Vicki in 1953 with Jeanne Crain, Jean Peters and Richard Boone as the cop; that was okay, too, but, to my best recollection, hasn’t been on the terrestrial channels for an awfully long time.
Oh well, I managed to lose my shirt on the Oscars this year – I suppose I will have to re-budget after the £3.00 loss. We are devoid of premieres this week, but you might care to give these a try . . . .
SOLDIER BLUE (1970) Saturday 18 March 9.00-11.10pm Legend (Ch 41)
For sure, this is a rare showing on Freeview primarily because – assuming it is an uncensored print – it retains both its 18 certificate and its ability to shock and appal us. An account of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre (and, indirectly, a tilt at Vietnam), I was too young to see it on initial release, but remember the vivid poster work and caption (“stained with the blood of the innocent”) to this day. If it isn’t your cup of tea, why not just catch the opening credits and Buffy Saint Marie’s evocative rendition of the title song? Also showing, at the same time, Friday the 24th.
THE SNORKEL (1958) Sunday 19 March 7.15-9.00pm TP (Channel 82)
Once upon a time, this clever thriller would have enjoyed a late night slot. Peter Van Eyck thinks he has committed the perfect murder; however, his stepdaughter grows suspicious. The coda is quite ingenious, too.
OFFICIAL SECRETS (2018) Tuesday 21 March 10.40pm-12.25am BBC 1
If you missed Keira Knightley in our most successful evening of recent seasons (audience reaction 96%), here is another opportunity to catch it!
RADIOACTIVE (2019) Wednesday 22 March 11.15pm-1.00am BBC 2
Rosamund Pike has become an actor of stature; one of those you are happy to watch because you can guarantee she will be good; two notable showcases of her talent would be Hostiles and our recent success A Private War (92%). In Radioactive she plays Marie Curie; a further point of interest for members is that the director, Marjane Satrapi, also gave us Persepolis.
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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