The film premieres continue, but can I also draw your attention to two good films from the mid-1960s. They haven’t been around for a while; I first saw them as a teenager and found them to be well-made, a little different from the normal fare and they still hold up today.
SWEETHEART (2021) Sunday 6 November 10.45pm-12.30am BBC 2 P
This spin on a not-so-typical holiday romance ought to be a must-see for members, as it is set in and around a Dorset campsite. . . .
THE LAST CHALLENGE (1967) Monday 7 November 1.55-4.00pm Channel 33
MGM’s house director for 33 years, Richard Thorpe (The Great Caruso, Ivanhoe) ended his career with this satisfying western, whose UK release title was The Pistolero of Red River. Glenn Ford (soon to move into TV work) is the gunman challenged by upstart Chad Everett and Angie Dickinson owns the saloon. The veterans involved all made bigger and better films, but also made this one very watchable.
A HOUSE MADE OF SPLINTERS (2022) Tuesday 8 November 9.30-11.00pm BBC 4 P
This Tuesday, an award-winning Storyville documentary about a Ukrainian orphanage; one of the children featured is Kolya, coincidentally the title of one of our most successful films (from the 1997-1998 season). It is heartbreaking to watch but might allow us to put some of our own troubles into perspective.
36 HOURS (1964) Thursday 10 November 11.45am-2.10pm Channel 33
George Seaton is another director who doesn’t readily spring to mind (although he made Miracle on 34th Street and also Airport). Actually, he wrote the screenplays for more films than he directed including this one and it is, perhaps, his most intriguing script. The Nazis have captured spy James Garner and German intelligence (Rod Taylor) tries to convince him the war is over, so that he will reveal the plans for D-Day.
EAGLE VS SHARK (2006) Friday 11 November 11.00pm-12.45am Film Four P
This oddball romantic comedy was the feature debut of director Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, 2017-2018 season 92%).
The terrestrial channels are again presenting some of the best new British films this week. The downside is that there is a clash, so you might need to use one of the catch-up services.
ROCKS (2019) Sunday 30 October 10.15pm-12.05am Channel 4 P
Bukky Bakray won the Bafta Rising Star for her performance as a teenager left to look after her younger brother, when her mother leaves unexpectedly.
HIS HOUSE (2020) Sunday 30 October 10.45pm-12.15am BBC 2 P
A most intriguing offering we have here: a couple from South Sudan are granted asylum; unfortunately, the council house they have been given might be haunted. . . .
A STORY OF BONES (2022) Tuesday 1 November 9.30-11.05pm BBC 4 P
Another fascinating Storyville documentary – this time about the discovery of human remains on Saint Helena in 2008 and the efforts of Annina Van Neel to have the emancipated slaves who died remembered.
A REFLECTION OF FEAR (1973) Friday 4 November 9.05-10.55pm Talking Pictures (Channel 82)
TP does it again with another rarity. This one has a particularly interesting cast – Robert Shaw, Mary Ure, Sally Kellerman and Sondra Locke – and is the sort of thriller that had to be made in the 70s and not in the 1960s or 1980s. Cinematographer William A Fraker only directed three cinema features and they all have merit.
As Halloween approaches, you won’t be surprised to hear that there are horror films, in abundance, across the Freeview channels. I opted not to focus on them in the notes that follow, but must mention three titles that are on next Friday evening. Who would have thought that the BBC would show an ex-video nasty (The Evil Dead on BBC 3, well done the Beeb) and there are two rare films on Talking Pictures: Brotherhood of Satan (1970) and The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (1964) starring Martin Landau.
LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963) Saturday 22 October 2.00-3.30pm BBC 2
Sensitive, delicate drama directed by Ralph Nelson – especially when considering that his other best-known film was Soldier Blue (1970). Sidney Poitier rightly won an Oscar as the handyman who helps German nuns build a chapel.
AFTER LOVE (2020) Sunday 23 October 10.50pm-12.15am BBC 2 P
Here we have another modest, but winning, drama, from our ‘nearly list’. Joanna Scanlan won a Bafta for Best Actress as the widow who discovers that her husband had a secret family.
THE RIDER (2017) Tuesday 25 October 11.30-1.40am Film 4 P
A pre-Nomadland Chloé Zhao had already garnered critical acclaim for this authentic drama set in the world of US rodeos.
By David Johnson
Chairman of Lyme Regis Film Society
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