A Fish Called Wanda (15) (Charles Crichton, UK, 1988) John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis. Kevin Kline, Michael Palin, Tom Georgeson. 108 mins. Two distinct generations of British comedy meet at last, with Eating director Charles Crichton (The Lavender Hill Mob) joining forces with Pythons Cleese and Palin for a comedy crime caper that blends the well-oiled plo mechanisms of yesteryear into contact with the black outrages of today's harsh humour.

American box office properties Kline and Curtis are initially unlikely partners with stammering Palin in a diamond robbery masterminded by brash Londoner Georgeson, whom they soon turn in to the police in the hope of taking the swag themselves. But when their ill-gotten gains are not in the agreed hiding place, Wanda must use all her womanly wiles to earn the confidence of delence lawyer Cleese in an attempt to learn the whereabouts of the loot. As usual however, love rears its ugly head.

The Cleese character here is called Archie Leach after Cary Grant's real name, which gives some indication ol the change 01 direction undertaken by his screen persona towards the status of romantic hero. Indeed, he is

overlong anarchic Chicago comedy with the two stars on a mission front God to financially salvage the imperilled fortunes ofan orphanage. Lots ofguest stars. musical numbers and automotive destruction in a typical product of over-emphatic contemporary American humour. Edinburgh: Filrnhouse.

I Blue Velvet ( 18) (David Lynch. US. 1986) Kyle .‘v1ac1.achlan. Dennis Hopper. lsabella Rossellini. 12(lmins. Lumberton.middle-America. Would-be boy detective Jeffrey Beaumont finds a severed car on some waste ground and when the police shoo him away he decides to do some investigating of his own.

A singular fusion of the cosy and the terrifying which blends kitsch and nightmare. B-movie detection and brutal sexual perversion to deconstruct our complacent vision of what passes for normal society. This is filmmakingof remarkable imagination and skill that places its director in the front rank of contemporary American cinema. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I Brigadoon (PG) (Vincente Minelli. US. 1954) Gene Kelly. Cyd Charisse. Van Johnson. 108 mins. Two yanks on vacation in Scotland discover a sleepy village that comes alive once every hundred years. Rather flat and uninvolving Minelli musical. especially in comparison with his other Fifties work. with the unconvincing (and unintentionally hilarious) Scots background the main problem. Glasgow: GFI‘.

I Brimstone And Treacle ( Richard Loncraine. UK. 1982) Denholm Elliott. Sting. Suzanne Hamilton. 93 mins. An oddly charismatic stranger (who may or may not be the Devil ) comes to a conservative rniddle-class household. and eventually ends up having sexual relations with the mentally-handicapped daughter.

Strong stuff from a Dennis Potterscript that was originally filmed then banned by the BBC. Lots ofexquisite dialogue exchanges. and Sting isn’t bad. but it still looks like a TV play. Glasgow: GET.

I Broadcast News ( 15) (James L. Brooks. US. 1987) William Hurt. HollyHunter. Albert Brooks. 132 mins. Hurt isTom grunick. a blandly charismatic presenter



remarkably affecting as the affluent lawyer so smitten by the younger woman that he is willing to throw away tamin and career. Yet, all the same, the set-pieces still centre around the traditional English comic themes of humiliation and lrustration: Cleese being surprised naked, ortrying to extract information from Palin‘s excruciating stuuter are two of the film's most cherishable moments. Elsewhere, the Americans go through their paces capably enough, but best of

whose face is his fortune. Brooks is Aaron Altman. a hard-edged newshound who still retains a belief in the paramouncy ofa story's content rather than its presentation. Hunter is the work-obsessed Jane Craig. a high-flying producer torn between her respect for Aaron and her lust for Tom.

Highlyentertaining romantic comedy set against a convincingly evoked milieu of television network news production and a generation of achievers whose private and professional worlds acknowledge no boundaries. Fast-paced. farcical. brilliantly acted with a sly cameo from Jack Nicholson as a revered network anchorman. Probably the best mainstream American comedy you'll see this year. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Buster(15) (David Green. UK. 1988) Phil Collins. Julie Walters. Larry Lamb. Stephanie Lawrence. 103 mins. Low-budget biography of Great Train Robber Buster Edwards that manages to gloss over the planning. execution and violence of the heist itself to focus on his sentimental love affair with his wife.

A creditable starring debut for Collins and a subdued Walters help to compensate for an inadequate script and some crass moments. creating some of the affection of a working class couple who need each other and their own folk. Overall. the result is the trivialisation ofthe real events into a bland mix of Mills and Boon with Minder. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Rd. Grosvenor. ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon. Central: Cannon. Strathelyde: AMC Clydebank ll). Cannon Kilmarnock. Kelburne.Odeon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton. I Can This Be Love? ( 15) (Yuli Raizman. USSR. 1961 ) 92 mins. The relationship between a teenage boy and girl living in the same tenement block is destroyed by bigotry and a false sense ofmoral

righteousness. Socially aware romance that caused quite a stir in its day but is now perhaps just as notable for its superb monochrome cinemascope. Glasgow: GF'T.

I The Citadel (PG) (King Vidor. UK. 1938) Robert Donat. Rosalind Russell. Ralph Richardson. 113 mins. A young doctor has a difficult time in the mining

all is the running gag where animal-loverPalin quite unwittineg wipes out a series of pet poodles. Quite a lot of laughter about really, and though the climactic chase outstays its welcome, the narrative control and sense of timing imbued by a veteran‘s steady hand applies the sort of discipline a cast like this needs to produce of its best. Rather pleasing stult. (TrevorJohnston)

villages and faces the dilemma ofwhether to move to a lucrative but less rewarding Mayfair practice. Solidly produced adaptation ofthe A.J. Cronin novel. with Donat as sympathetic as ever. Made at MGM's British unit which was unfortunately shut down during the war. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Clermont-Ferrand Shorts Three programmes bringing together the best material from the French film festival dedicated entirely to shorts. many of which reveal a considerable mastery ofthe medium in young film-makers whoought to go on to bigger things. Any one ofthe three selections. which carry an ( 18) certificate. are worth sampling fortheir sheer inventiveness and cinematic verve. See Listings for full schedule. Glasgow: (ii-'1'.

I Coming To America ( 15) (John Landis. US. 1988) Eddie Murphy. ArsenioHall. James Earl Jones. 116 mins. Murphyis Prince Akeem. heir to the throne ofa fabulously wealthy central African state. but dissatisfied with the bride arranged for him by King James Earl Jones. Instead. he travels to New York with sidekick Hall to seek his own choice ofqueen.

()verlong and not terribly hilarious Murphy vehicle. with the star in several roles doing his best to pump life intoa sentimental script. Glasgow: Cannon Sauehiehall St. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank 1(1. ()deon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton.

I The Conversation ( 15) (Francis Ford Coppola. US. 197-1) Gene Hackman.John Cazale. Allen Garfield. 113 mins. Bugging expert Harry Caul (Haekman) is utterly immersed in his work. but possible involvement with a murder sees him developing a conscience over the ramifications of his activities.

Superb Seventies study in urban paranoia and alienation. with Hackman's downbeat protagonist one of his finest characterisations. Glasgow: GF'I‘.

I Cop ( 18) (James B. Harris. US. 1987) James Woods. Lesley Anne Warren. Charles Durning. 11() mins. Detective Sergeant Lloyd Hopkins is obsessed with tracking down the serial sex killer ofa number of women. a quest that leadsto

marital tension and conflict with his superiors.

Former Kubrick associate Harris has produced a fine genre thriller with some excellent setpieces. which is at once alsoa rich investigation of the power of myth in sexual relationships. Worth seeing. and of course Woods is compulsive. edgy viewing as always. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I The Couch Trip ( 15) at (Michael Ritchie. US. 1988) Dan Aykroyd. Walter Matthau. Charles (irodin. 98 mins. Top 1-.A. psychiatrist Grodin. with a popular radio phone-in programme and a thriving practice seeks a replacement for his media activities while he takes a well-earned rest. However dangerous mental patient Aykroyd poses as a shrink to clinch the lucrative pose. and only shyster Matthau. who knows his real identity. stands between him and a fortune.

Smite good jokes in this frenetic farce with a few aspirations towards barbed satire. though Matthau's m'erbcaringand often ineffective co-starring role tends to dim Aykroyd's slew of good moments. Glasgow: Salon.

I ‘Crocodile' Dundee 11 (P( i) (John Cornell. Australia. 1988) Paul Hogan. Linda Kozlowski. John Meillon. lllmins. Not entirely unexpected sequel has Hogan's Dundee retracing his steps from Manhattan to the Aussie bush to protect his girlfriend journalist Kozlowski from the unwanted attentions of a gangof Colombian drug peddlars.

A lame script and Hogan‘s catatonic underplaying mar this antipodean comedy-adventure to the extent that what will undoubtedly be one of the year‘s most profitable releases unfortunately also has to go down as one of the most tedious. Edinburgh: Dominion.

I Cry Freedom (PG) (Richard Attenborough. US. 1987) Dench Washington. Kevin Kline. John Thaw. 158 mins. Although not without its flaws. Attenborough's biographical recreation of the friendship between black civil rights activist Steve biko and white liberal newspaperman Donald Woods is his best film to date; an epic. moving drama that also stands as a vigorous condemnation of the obscenity ofapartheid. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Film Guild.

I The Dead (U) (John 1 fusion. [K W. Germany. 1987) Anjelica Huston. Donal McCann. Helena Carroll. 83mins. Huston's final film is a superbadaptation of the James Joyce [)ublim'rs short story. Set during a traditional festive celebration its skill and mellow perception draw you into another world where the dinner conversation and general merriment reveal universal truths about death and the beauty of true love. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I The Deceivers (15) (Nicholas Meyer. UK, 1988) Pierce Brosnan. SaeedJaffrey. Shashi Kapoor. 103 mins. lndia.1825. Prosnan plays a collector for the British East India Company. who witnesses the nefarious activities of the Thugee cult. also known as the Deceivers because they ingratiate themselves with travellers before strangling them. However. in order to stamp out this practice the foreigner has to go undercover and join the gang‘s murderous assaults.

Handsomer produced period yarn attempting to focus on the flawed hero's attraction to the Thugee way of life.but the element of psychological investigation plays second fiddle to the usual action highlights. Glasgow: Cannon Sauehiehall St.

I Distant Voices. Still Lives ( 15) «a (Terence Davies. UK. 1988) Peter Posthlethwaite. Dean Williams. Freda Dowie. Angela Walsh. 85 mins. See caption review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Doctor Strangelove (Or How [Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb) (PG) (Stanley Kubrick. UK. 1963) Peter Sellers. George C. Scott. Sterling Hayden. 93 mins. Devastatingblack

14 The List 14 27 October 1988