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There are a lot of films in the ‘enjoyably above average category’ in WEEK 4, but few that are bona fide classics. Even so, we can still make it a good week!
2-8 MAY 2020
WILL PENNY (1968) Saturday 2 May 4.05-6.20pm Paramount (Channel 31)
Charlton Heston gives one of his finest performances as the itinerant cowboy who comes up against a villainous Donald Pleasence and Bruce Dern. A very good film that is difficult to fault in any way.
THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY (2018) Saturday 2 May 8.30-10.30pm BBC 2
See introduction! But, this story of a struggling novelist visiting a Guernsey farmer will be an enjoyable watch for many. It is its first showing on a free to view channel.
LEE MILLER: A LIFE ON THE FRONT LINE Saturday 2 May 10.30-11.30pm BBC 2
This is an impressive documentary about the model turned photographer and war reporter – well worth a look, especially if you enjoyed A Private War recently.
KING CREOLE (1958) Sunday 3 May 3.40-6.00pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Elvis Presley’s films were always popular with audiences, but he only had two opportunities to really act (Flaming Star was the other). He’s a singer fighting gangster Walter Matthau in New Orleans.
A ROOM WITH A VIEW (1985) Sunday 3 May 4.40-6.55pm Film Four
This is an excellent adaptation of EM Forster’s novel with Maggie Smith and Helena Bonham Carter on particularly fine form; Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis are also in the cast.
CROSSROADS TO CRIME (1960) Monday 4 May 8.10-9.20am Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
Spare an hour to revisit the good old British B film, where crimes are plotted over a mug of tea in a roadside café? Not even if it’s the only live-action film directed by Gerry (Thunderbirds) Anderson?
MOONRISE (1948) Monday 4 May 11.00am-12.50pm Film Four
Not many will know the director, Frank Borzage, but when on song he could bring a lyricism and ethereal visual quality to his work that few others have matched.
HIDDEN FIGURES (2016) Monday 4 May 9.00-11.35pm Film Four
This is the true story – hidden from the public for decades – of three mathematicians whose work was essential to Nasa in the 1960s. No doubt this was because they were (a) black and (b) women.
THE TURNING POINT (1952) Tuesday 5 May 11.00am-12.45pm Film Four
A rare showing (it must be; I haven’t seen it) for this crime-busting drama starring William Holden. The strong supporting cast includes Edmond O’Brien and Neville Brand.
REACH FOR THE SKY (1956) Tuesday 5 May 1.00-3.10pm BBC 2
Kenneth More stars as war hero Douglas Bader in the best of this week’s war films, showing on BBC 2 as part of its VE Day programming.
LET GEORGE DO IT (1940) Wednesday 6 May 5.30-7.10pm Talking Pictures (Channel 81)
One of George Formby’s better films in which he somehow ends up in Bergen instead of Blackpool! The ‘five doors with a song’ scene is a minor classic of comedic timing.
ROBIN AND MARIAN (1976) Thursday 7 May 12.40-2.50pm Film Four
This is a wonderful extension of the Robin Hood myth as Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn meet again in their twilight years. By the end, you are thinking ‘that’s how it was’ so cleverly is it written.
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (2016) Thursday 7 May 9.00-11.05pm Film Four
This comedy was a great success for us (92%); it’s a chance to enjoy it again, or to tell your friends so that they can cheer themselves up!
WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE? Friday 8 May 9.00-11.15am Channel 32
We finish the week with one of our early successes (1994-95, 92%) as a young Johnny Depp looks after his brother, an even younger Leonardo DiCaprio, in a whimsical and very touching drama.
FINALLY – if you’d like to catch the only Inspector Morse directed by our friend Peter Duffell, Last Bus to Woodstock is on ITV 3 (Channel 10) Tuesday 5 May 11pm-1.15am. It’s a good one!
RANDOM WORDS AND RANDOM MEMORIES
FROM WEEK 3
As I settled down to watch The Atomic City (with a pizza and a glass of wine) and the cast list appeared on screen, I realised that there was a very strong westerns connection running through it. Gene Barry played Bat Masterson; Nancy Gates was in the excellent Randolph Scott western Comanche Station (and several TV series); Lee Aaker’s involvement with The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin I mentioned last week; Milburn Stone was Doc Adams in Gunsmoke for twenty years; Bert Freed played Ryker in the 1966 TV series Shane (and, if memory serves, appeared next to Emile Meyer – who played Ryker in the film Shane – in the cast list of Paths of Glory). Then there is the director, Jerry Hopper, who worked extensively on the TV series Wagon Train. Please don’t worry, it isn’t a family curse – I just can’t approach a vintage film any other way . . . .
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