ciiiiierAs FILMS ON


TrevorJohnston throws seasonal goodwill aside to take a liverish look at movies on televison over the holiday period.


I lt'sA Giff (C4) 931)— lf).45am. Splendid W.(‘. Fields vehicle. probably his best. The great man stars as a grocery shop owner moving west with his family. including infant son Baby Leroy. whose milk Fields allegedly spiked with gin during filming. Director Norman 7.. McLeod copes ably with the eccentric humour on display. The 7. stands for Zenos. by the way. trivia fans. ( 1934).

I Brewster's Millions ( BBC‘Z)

Noon— 1 .Zfipm. Ordinary guy Dennis O'Keefc must spend a million dollars in a month if he's to claim an even more substantial inheritance. Deft I lollywood Forties comedy is a much more amiable affair than the shrill 1985 Richard Pryor remake. (19-15).

I One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing ( BBCI) 1.50-3.25pm. The Dre-Touchstone Disney regime always seemed to have problems with their live action films. and this misfiring effort about a secret microfilm hidden in a British Museum dinosaur skeleton is no exception. Busy but irritating. (1975) I Lord OfThe Rings ((11) 2—4.3iipm. Ambitious ifnot foolhardy attempt todo an animated Tolkien by Ralph Bakshi of Fritz The (’0! notoriety. who uses the technique of live action tracings for sortie of the combat sequences. Needless to say the running time only allows for coverage ofa fraction of the Middle Iiarth trilogy. (1978)

I Bohemian Girl (B B(‘2) 4.20—5.3llpm. Laurel and Hardy join the gypsiesof Ruritania and discover a princess in this full-length feature. Like all theirlonger work the pace does occasionally flag. but the sight of Stan and Ollie in ledcrhosen makes it all worthwhile. ( 1936)

I Metropolis (c4) it).5i)pm—12.25am. I-‘n': Lung Season A series of acclaimed films by the brilliant German director begins with this silent classic. a study ofrebellion in a future totalitarian state that was to prove a profound influence on the science fiction genre in general. and George Orwell in particular. The version screening here is the 91) minute reissue of 1984. which suffers some garish tinting. intrusive music by Giorgio Moroder and others. and a loss ofaround half an hour from the running time. It is a tribute to Lang's genius that the result still impresses. (1926)

I StrokerAce (Scottish) 11.15pm—lam. Godawful Burt bomb. with Reynolds as stock car racing good ole boy in this Smokey And The Bandit rehash. Playing spot the hairpiece is the only way to get through this one. (1983)

I An American In Paris(BB(‘2) 11.25pm-1 .20am. Delicious Vincentc Minelli concoction as ex-pat Yank artist Gene Kelly falls for the Gallic charm of Leslie Caron. Wonderful Gershwin score makes this a classic musical from a highly fruitful period at MGM. Six Oscars including Best Picture. (1951).


I The Seven Year Itch ( B B(‘t )

l 1 .45pm—1.3llam. Movie ( ‘Ius'sies Barry Norman introduces George Axelrod's fine screen transcription of his Broadway comedy success. Tom liw ell is the married man tempted by attractiy e new neighbour Marilyn Monroe. Includes the famous draught up the skirt sequence. ( 1955).

I The Woman In The Window 1 (‘4)

1135—2. 15am. I’m: Lung Season Second instalment ofthisevening'sdouble-bill stars Edward G. Robinson as an academic whose inspection of an alluring portrait painting is to draw him into a morassof intrigue and murder. .loan Bennett co-stars in this tightly -seripted suspenser. (I944)


I Forever And A Day ( ( ‘4) 11l311am~12.311pm. The credits of a lifetime stand behind this contribution to the British war effort. a series of y ignettes charting the history of a l ondon house aiic itsoccuparits. Stars include Laughton. Neagle. Milland etc. w riters anddirectors too numerous to list. Watch the movie and marvel. (1943).

I Solomon And Sheba ( 1313(2) 2.1)5—--l.2()pm. Hollywood Old Testament. with all the spectacle one has come to expect. though a bit more stern-faced than usual. Yul Brynner and Gina l .ollobrigida are the eponymous leads. No pri/es for guessing w ho plays which roles. Director King \'idoi"s final film. i 1959).

I The Ugly Daschund ( Scottish)

2.211 4.115pm. Disney live action comedy about husband and w if'e dog ti‘aine rs. Doesn‘t sound funny. Isn't. And you'ye seen uglier dogs. ( Who)

I Santa Claus: The Movie ( BB( '1)

3. Ill-4.55pm. The ultimate in Yuletide exploitation. this ('hristmas turkey gets an early TV premiere. David 1 liiddleston plays the lad himself. btit we spend more time in the nauseating company of chief elf Dudley Moore and crooked toy magnate John l.ithgow. Moments of magic are few

in this most calculating ofmcga-budget Iiighties blockbusters. but w e‘rc probably going to be stuck with it for('hristmas after (‘hristmas’ from now on. ( 1985), IJagged Edge 1BB(‘1 )9. ii). 111.55pm. Jeff Bridges is accused ofthe murder ofa wealthy publishing magnate. (ilenn('|ose is the attorney so convinced of his innocence that she falls in love as she defends him in court. But did he really do it'.’ Rather ho-lium legal drama. with too many twists and loopholes to grip with arty credibility. though audiences certainly took to it. Robert Loggia got asurprise Oscarnomination as ('lose's shambling leg-man. ( 19S5).

I No Sex Please —We're British 1 Scottish) ltHlS- 1 1.45pm. .-\ pile ofstray' pornographic postcards are the central plot motivation in this double entendre-laden Britcom with Ronnie (’orbet and Beryl Reid. The title alone is enough to make you change your passport. ( W73).

I The Front Page i first ‘3)

111.55pm 13.411aiirjiiek [.t’nlnlnll In .-\greeable l.emmon-Mattliaii remake of the comedy w arhorse also filmed as His- (iirl l-"ridriv and the recent rather lame .S'u'ireliing ( 'liunnels. I’lot concerns the confusion caused when reporter 1.emmon's impending marriage is disrupted by a big news story w hen a condemned man escapes from the chair. Billy Wilde r directs with a sure graspol situation farce. ( 1974 ).

IYanksiH) l 1.115pm-v1.45am. Rather uniny oly ing Second World War melodrama as ( ils stationed in Britain fiiid romance with our local lasses. Richard (iere and Vanessa Redgrave head the cast. but it‘s a subject that telcs ision has done to death and not even director John Schlesinger can bring a spark of y erye to the familiar proceedings. ( 1979).

I The Searchers r BB(‘1)

13.311piii 2. 15am. .llovie ( ‘liis‘sies The John Way ire-John l‘ord at itsabsolute peak in this stirring Western. The Duke plays an embittered loner obsessed with

g7 5/1 171,, f


It can’t be an easy life for a television programmer iorthe art of scheduling is one that almostany viewerthinks they can do better. Take the case of the ‘classic movie‘, for instance, a double-edged sword if ever there was one. This Christmas sees the BBC trying to make the best of their considerable film library by putting together seasons like the Bogart retrospective or the Bazzer Norman-fronted series of all-time greats, which provide an excuse to roll


" Allllf 8M1th PRODllfilOll

iiiiis- iiiiii rrrriiiiiiiii lair


some oi the silver screen's most memorable moments.

Can’t wait, you might think; but yet, there are always going to be those dissenters who carp that they don‘t pay their licence fee to have a lot of flickering black-and-whife crocks foisted upon them iorthe umpteenth time. Some people fail to realise that the ‘Casablanca‘s or ‘Some Like If Hot‘s of this world are, well, priceless. All I ever wanted for Christmas was a pile of Huston/Bogart movies and this year my wish has been granted. Maybe Santa had a hand in the schedules.

kidnapped by Indians as a child. The final shot of Wayne framed in the doorway . the loner w ho can ney er join the tarnin inside. still leaves a lump in the throat es cry time. (195M I Support Your Local Sheriff i .s‘eoirish) 1—3.4(lam. James Garner shines in this i Western parody about a quick-w itted i

l the search for niece Natalie Wood.

law man w ho cleans up the tow n w ithoiit rising his six-shooter. Walter Brennan has great fun sending himself up something rotten. (19W).


I Storm Boy ( BBf‘Z) lll 1.35am. Young .-\u.sti aliaii lad becomes friends with Aborigine beach burn. and together the unlikely duo look after an abandoned baby pelican. lixcellent children's film. with a potent wiiidsw ept atmosphere that totally avoids sentimentality. If the kids are too busy with their new pr'essies \ ltlL‘tl it for them to watch later. 1 19%)

I The Bible. . . In The Beginningi BB1 ‘3) 11.25am 2.111pm. l-‘ilmof the book.with lots of guest stars popping in for cameos and a sterling pe: formance by the fig

leay es. Director .loliii llustoii niakesa good Noah. (‘ampy fun for noii-belieyeis (I‘)(ib).

IShOW PeopletH): .‘sfsllpm Skilled comedienne Marion l)ay ies is a hick from the sticks w ho comes to l lolly wood at the cuspofthe sound era. l‘ascinatiiigpoi trail of the end of an era. w ith a star w litisL' career ney er quite made the transition to the sound era. Restored yei‘sion with new (Hill Day is score. ( I‘BS), IBackTo The FutureiBB('l) 3.11) 5.15pm. Spielberg-produeed mega-hit that made TV performer Michael .I. l‘ox a stat . and Robert Xemeckis the hottest young writer-directorintown Brilliantly conceived plot has lios tray elling back in time to 1955 toplay matchmaker tohis par'ents-to-be. or else he won't esisthii the way . he invents rock'n‘roll asw ell. Brilliant. breathless entertainment that builds to a frantic climax. Settle dow ii after your dinner to thisone. ( 1955)

I The Empire Strikes Back r .s‘eoiiish i

3.55 oilfipm. The competition is a second screening for the sequel to Surf ll an. I whichmatchestheswashbucklinghi-tech flairofitspredecessorbiitiiianagestotill out the characters a little bit more llaiiiill, Ford. fisher. (iuincss et aI reprise their roles. ( 1983).

ISilverado t Blicl )931) 11..‘~i’)piii. Lawrence Kasdan follow ed the triumph of The Hit: ( Ill/l w ith this rather less successful contemporary attempt at .i classic Western. The result is w eigherl down with enough plot for three moy ies. but a splendid cast includes Key in Kline. Scott ( ilenii. Brian Dennehy . .iiidlett (ioldblum. look out for .loliii ( ‘leese 111.1 bizarre cameo as a limey Sheriff. Iixasperatingly unsatisfying. ( 19b“ ).

I The Family 1 1311(2) iii. ISpm 1:.3riam. liighty year-old Vittorio ( iassman plays

the grandfather at the centre of this domestic epic. w liieh follow s his experiences through the century . Support from lianny Ardant and I’hilippe Noiiet in this solidly engrossing ltaliaii drama.

made only last year and ( unusually l gettinga television screening rather than a theatrical release. 1 1937) I Carousel ( BB( ‘1 ) l l .~Iilpm 1.45am Memorable Rodgers and l lainiiierstein musical stars ( iordon Mac( ‘i’ae as [he fairground hawker who tries tochaiige for the better when he falls for Shirley Jones. Songs include You "ll .Vt't‘i'r ll’u/k .‘l lune. (I95b).

I Some Like It Hot ( BB( ‘3) 13.3) 3.31M”) luck Lemmmi In. All-time comedy great has gangsters on the run l.emmon and

Tony ('urtis taking refuge in Marin ii‘s all-girl orchestra. .loe li. Brow n is the love interest. One of Billy Wilder's sharpest offerings. with all the stars at their best.

Boo boo be doo.i 1959). I

The List 23 Dec I9SS ~ lllan ltis‘iiza