29 APRIL – 5 MAY 2023
Three popular members of the arts fraternity passed away last week: Harry Belafonte, aged 94, the actor, singer and activist who made a cameo appearance in our film BlacKkKlansman; Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna Everage) and Len Goodman. I had the pleasure of meeting Len Goodman during my time as manager of the Regent. You might recall, in addition to Strictly, he hosted a BBC series called Holidays of My Lifetime. He brought the actor Ian Kelsey back to Lyme Regis and they asked permission to film in the cinema. He was very friendly, affable and came across as quite a modest chap who will be missed by many.
JOHNNY O’CLOCK (1947) Saturday 29 April 9.30-11.25pm TP (Channel 82)
Dick Powell made a very successful conversion from a light leading man in 1930s musicals to a cynical, weary character in film noir and private-eye thrillers in the 1940s (RKO’s Murder My Sweet is a classic), before moving into directing and television. Here, he plays a gambler who becomes a murder suspect; the future U-I star Jeff Chandler has an uncredited role. The director whose debut this was is Robert Rossen, who often wrote the scripts as well. Whilst he only directed 10 films, they included Body and Soul (still one of the great boxing films), All the King’s Men and the tremendous Paul Newman film The Hustler. There is an overlap, too, with our film Trumbo – Rossen was blacklisted and one of his other films was The Brave Bulls (1951) which was referenced in that fascinating drama.
THE ROAD DANCE (2021) Monday 1 May 11.00pm-12.55am BBC 2 P
The Road Dance is a period drama, set in 1916 on the Isle of Lewis. Sensitively directed and well acted, it tells the story of 16-year-old Kirsty (Hermione Corfield), whose life changes radically after a sexual assault. John MacKay wrote the source novel.
I’M YOUR MAN (2021) Wednesday 3 May 11.15pm-1.25am Film Four P
Here is your chance to catch a German comedy that didn’t quite make one of our seasons. Alma (Maren Eggert) agrees to take part in a social/AI experiment where a humanoid robot comes to live with her for three weeks . . . .
22 - 28 APRIL 2023
In the 1999 edition of Quinlan’s Film Directors Michael Bay and William Beaudine sit side-by-side. Whilst The Rock and Armageddon just pass muster . . . . Pearl Harbor and the Transformers franchise are as hollow as an empty tin can. I am unable to convince myself that the likes of Mom and Dad (a 1944 exploitation classic, banned until 1957 as it featured childbirth), Gas House Kids Go West and Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla are more of an insult to the viewer’s intelligence, but I’ll keep watching and comparing notes. Someone has to!
HUMAN DESIRE (1954) Saturday 22 April 9.30-11.20pm TP (Channel 82)
TP produces another welcome drama from Columbia’s vaults; this time it is Hollywood’s version of Emile Zola’s novel La Bête Humaine. Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Broderick Crawford are the leads who make up the three sides of a fatalistic triangle. The great Fritz Lang directs.
NELLY AND NADINE: RAVENSBRÜCK 1944 (2022) Tuesday 25 April 10.00-11.30pm BBC 4 P
Welcome back, Storyville! This is the fascinating story of two women who fell in love under the most arduous of circumstances, separated and then spent the rest of their life together.
JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER (1966) Weds 26 April 2.55-4.30pm Legend (Ch 41)
Ha – thank you again, Legend! The esteemed scientist’s offspring is continuing with the family recycling business; John Lupton is the outlaw this time – his role as Tom Jeffords in the decent 1950s TV series Broken Arrow must have seemed a world way. Work is work, I suppose! If you’d rather watch a 5-star classic, Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is on Legend tomorrow, 3.00-4.30pm.
15 - 21 APRIL 2023
Since the pandemic, I have wondered if cinema as we know it (or would like it) is still viable. Two films were reviewed in my newspaper last Friday: Air, a film about a training shoe, and a Super Mario Brothers movie. Good grief! Mind you, new TV offerings are also in short supply this week – so we’ll focus on golden oldies (or not-so-golden as the case may be).
TIGHT SPOT (1955) Saturday 15 April 9.30-11.25pm TP (Channel 82)
This is quite a rare example of 1950’s film noir: Ginger Rogers is the girlfriend who is reluctant to testify against gangster Lorne Greene (later Ben Cartwright in Bonanza); Brian Keith is her protection and Edward G Robinson the attorney. Director Phil Karlson’s best work was with medium-budget thrillers (although he did make the 1951 Lorna Doone). His The Phenix City Story, released the same year, is a cracker, although neither could match Joseph H. Lewis’s The Big Combo. The 1955 vintage was, truly, a memorable one!
THE SMALLEST SHOW ON EARTH (1957) Sunday 16 April 3.00-4.40pm TP (Ch 82)
Expectations for Empire of Light have been high, but it is light years away from this British classic. Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna inherit a run-down cinema; its staff includes Peter Sellers and Margaret Rutherford. The film is a peerless, and respectful, tribute to the dedication and love of film that, for decades, were the mainstay of so many small-town cinemas.
BILLY THE KID VS DRACULA (1966) Wednesday 19 April 3.00-4.30pm Legend (Channel 41)
Wow – nice one and thank you, Legend! John Carradine essays the role of Dracula one more time; the famous outlaw who bars his path is played by Chuck Courtney who, if memory serves, played Dan Reid, the nephew of the Lone Ranger, in the popular TV series. (If it doesn’t serve, I’ll apologise next week!) It was the penultimate film of William ‘One Shot’ Beaudine. He started his career directing shorts in 1915, and did some good early work with Mary Pickford, W.C. Fields and our own Will Hay. However, of the 120-or-so films he made after 1938, only a couple rose above the Grade Z level (and this wasn’t one of them). Will members please join me in my prayers: ‘Legend, we implore you to show his final “masterpiece” Jesse James meets Frankenstein’s Daughter’ . . . .
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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