On we go to week 2 – thank you for your kind comments. Incidentally, I haven’t included Sony Action (Channel 40) and Sony Classics (Channel 50). The former shows the same films frequently (but there are some good ones!); in the case of the latter, not all areas receive the signal.
18 – 24 APRIL 2020
THE SENSE OF AN ENDING (2017) Saturday 18 April 9.15-11pm BBC 2
The freeview première for this adaptation of Julian Barnes’s Booker-winning novel. Jim Broadbent heads the cast and it is directed by Ritesh Batra (The Lunchbox scored 85% 2015-2016 season).
THE CONVERSATION (1974) Saturday 18 April 11pm-12.50am BBC 2
Brilliant psychological thriller, directed by Francis Ford Coppola; Gene Hackman is a surveillance expert who thinks that a young couple is about to be murdered. Harrison Ford has a small role.
THE SOUND BARRIER (1952) Saturday 18 April 12.50-3.10pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
As in ‘the breaking of’ . . . this has a very good performance from Ralph Richardson, but is not as familiar to most people as David Lean’s great epics.
THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (1965) Saturday 18 April 8.45-11.00pm Channel 81
Richard Burton is in great form as a jaded Cold War spy; adapted from John le Carré’s novel.
COWBOY (1958) Sunday 19 April 5.10-7.05pm Paramount (Channel 31)
Enjoyable western that stars Glenn Ford as the trail boss and Jack Lemmon as the tenderfoot who joins the drive. Followed by the all-time classic HIGH NOON (1952). DOUBLE BILL OF THE WEEK!
THE COURT JESTER (1956) Sunday 19 April 12.35-2.40pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Danny Kaye’s finest hour is a brilliant comedy. And don’t forget: the pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle.
NEXT OF KIN (1942) Monday 20 April 8.50-11am Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
This is a very good wartime propaganda drama in which Mervyn Johns is a Nazi infiltrator looking to take advantage of any careless talk.
TREMORS (1990) Tuesday 21 April 9.00-10.55pm Channel 70
This was the best creature feature seen in years. It has a great use of locations, good pacing, acting and effects, as giant worms menace a small desert town. The Radio Times 5 star rating is justified!
THE ROAD (2009) Tuesday 21 April 9.00-11.15pm Channel 32
Absorbing, very effective (but very bleak), adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel.
ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (1955) Wednesday 22 April 3.00-4.50pm Film Four
It’s time to wallow in a lush Technicolor romance between a widow (Jane Wyman) and her gardener (Rock Hudson). We showed the update, Far from Heaven, in 2003 (73%).
HEAVEN KNOWS, MR ALLISON (1957) Thursday 23 April 11.00am-1.15pm Film Four
John Huston’s superb two-hander, starring Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr as a marine and a nun who are trapped on a Japanese-held island.
CABARET (1972) Thursday 23 April 10.pm-12.30am Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Well known for sure, but it is just so good! What makes the film such a rewarding watch is that its historical detail is just as impressive as the acting and the songs.
ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS (1964) Friday 24 April 11.00am-1.15pm Film Four
Stop sniggering – you’re confusing this film with the same year’s Santa Claus Conquers the Martians! It is a very clever reworking of a classic novel – and rather good. SLEEPER OF THE WEEK
GET OUT (2017) Friday 24 April 9.00-1105pm Film Four
Suburban satire, racial drama, thriller, horror film – take your pick, or conclude that it is all of them. One of the biggest hits (critically and commercially) of its year.
FINALLY this week, it’s worth checking out BBC i player from time to time. Currently, for example, there is Ghost Stories, a very nice resurrection of the classic portmanteau horror films of the early 1970s such as The House That Dripped Blood and Tales From the Crypt. This one stars Martin Freeman.
Presenting our weekly guide to the most interesting films on the freeview channels. For the most part, we will not be highlighting the major successes everyone has seen (Skyfall, Pretty Woman), but a selection of those that are less well known yet make for rewarding viewing.
11 – 17 APRIL 2020
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD (1965) Saturday 11 April 12.00 noon-3.05pm BBC 2
All-star cast led by the late Max von Sydow (The Ox, 1993-94 season, 86%) as Jesus, and a famous cameo in the role of ‘centurion at the foot of the cross’.....
THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951) Saturday 11 April 2.00-3.45pm Channel 70
The original classic with James Arness as the alien thawed from a block of ice. And remember – ‘WATCH THE SKIES!’
THIS ISLAND EARTH (1955) Saturday 11 April 5.20-7.10pm Channel 70
A scientist is whisked away (in Technicolor) to save a dying planet. The film still holds up very well – why not text the grandchildren about it?
FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (1994) Saturday 11 April 9.00-11.20pm Film Four
Okay, it is very well known, but these are troubling times and it might bring a smile to your face.
CARRY ON UP THE KHYBER (1969) Sunday 12 April 3.05-4.50pm ITV 3 (Channel 10)
Most of the Carry On films are shown in rotation at holiday times – and this is the best. The dinner party scene is a priceless bit of British comedy. Let’s hear it for Private Widdle!
BEACH RED (1967) Sunday 12 April 1.55-4.00pm (also Friday) Paramount (Channel 31)
Cornel Wilde directs and stars in a hard-edged war film set in the South Pacific. One of several he made in the 1960s and 70s that have a deserved cult following.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957) Sunday 12 April 3.30-5.10pm Channel 70
Thinking person’s sci-fi that some regard as the best of the decade.
RED RIVER (1948) Monday 13 April 3.10-5.50pm ITV 4 (Channel 24)
This should also be well known, but as it is my no. 2 western . . . . epic in scale, rousing score, fine performances. Shame that Cary Grant declined the role of Cherry Valance (from Valverde way).
HAPPY-GO-LUCKY (2007) Monday 13 April 10.45pm-1.05am Film Four
If you missed it on release at the Regent, catch up with it now. Mike Leigh directs Sally Hawkins in her breakout role as the teacher always looking to spread good cheer.
THE GIRL WITH GREEN EYES (1963) Tuesday 14 April 10.00pm-12am Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
A young farm girl moves to Dublin and falls in love with a writer. Great performances by Rita Tushingham, Peter Finch and Lynn Redgrave.
THE VIKINGS (1958) Wednesday 15 April 3.20-5.15pm BBC 2
Kirk Douglas in his physical prime plus Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine; there is also a fine score and gorgeous colour cinematography (in Technirama) by Jack Cardiff.
THE STRANGER (1946) Wednesday 15 April 7.05-9.00pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Orson Welles directs and stars as a Nazi war criminal hiding in a small American town; Edward G. Robinson is the federal agent trying to catch him. A very atmospheric production.
FARGO (1996) Thursday 16 April 10.40pm-12.45am ITV 4 (Channel 24)
For most people a modern classic from the Coen brothers. Should you ever go to the town’s visitor centre, you can now have your photo taken next to the woodchipper!
THE WITCH (2015) Thursday 16 April 11.20pm-1.15am Film Four
A horror film set in New England in the 1630s, with a promising new talent (Robert Eggers, whose new film is The Lighthouse) at the helm.
CORRIDOR OF MIRRORS (1948) Thursday 16 April 7.00-9.00pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
An early work of director Terence Young (Dr No etc) which Leonard Maltin describes as having “stunning sets, photography and musical score.” SLEEPER OF THE WEEK
THE SAPPHIRES (2012) Friday 17 April 11.55pm-1.35am BBC1
Our final film of the 2013-14 season topped the ratings with 91%. Australia 1968 and four Aboriginal singers hit the road on a tour that is soon heading for Vietnam.
WHEN THE WHALES CAME (1989) Friday 17 April 9.00-11.00am Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Paul Scofield and Helen Mirren star in this delicate drama set in 1914; filmed in the Scilly Isles.
FINALLY this week, whilst not a film, BBC 4 is repeated Wolf Hall over three nights starting Easter Day at 10pm.
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