TELEVISION TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS FILMS
This Christmas, The list offers a comprehensive guide to all the television films over the holiday period. Times were correct at time or going to press but could be subject to late changes. ITglevlslon tilm listings compiled by Eddie
I Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (BBC2) 9.05—10.30am. Jacques Tati‘s M. Hulot. the bachelor with the accident-prone touch. arrives at ajaunty coastal resort and devastation very soon ensues. Comic timing at its most irresistible.
I National Velvet (BBC2) 10.30am—12.30pm. Elizabeth Taylor got her ﬁrst big break in this equestrian movie about a young women who dresses up as a male jockey to compete in the Grand National.
I Ride a Wild Poney (Scottish)
in the Australian outback is the story of an emotional child‘s attachment to a pony.
I An American In Paris (BBC2) 1.10—3pm. Splendid — ifsometimes garish — romantic musical. with Gene Kelly on top form as a would-be artist kicking up a storm in la belle (fire.
I City Under the Sea (Channel 4) 2-3.30pm. Vincent Price leads a band of smugglers living in an undersea city off Cornwall whose secret existence is threatened by a young American investigating a series of strange phenomena.
I Miracle in the Wilderness (BBC 1) 2.15-3.40pm. Kris Kristofferson is a frontiersman who has hung up his spurs for the quiet ranching life — until his home is attacked by Blackfoot Indians. that is. I Jules Verne‘s Bucket to the Moon (Channel 4) 5.05—6.50pm. Burl Ives is the legendary American showman Phineas T. Barnum who has a plan to send General Tom Thumb to the moon. Fast-paced comedy with Terry-Thomas and Lionel Jeffries.
I Monkeys, Go Home! (Scottish) 3.30—5.10pm. A young American inherits a farm in France. When he arrives. the locals are bemused to ﬁnd that his farm hands are chimps.
I Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (Scottish) 8.30—10pm. More capers from the incompetent cops. whose boss is due to receive a prestigious police award.
I The Godfather 111 (BBC 1) 9.30pm—l2.05am. The ﬁnal instalment. we're assured. of the Coppola/Puzo saga has Al Pacino‘s Michael Corleone struggling to keep the peace both within the family and throughout his Maﬁa contacts. Painted on the same broad canvas as its two prequels. this is a lavish and beautifully played gangster drama with a true note of tragedy.
I The First Monday in October (Scottish) lO.30pm-12.25am. American drama of liberal vs conservative politics. as the ﬁrst woman appointed to the Supreme Court turns out to be a tad right-wing. Walter Matthau and Jill Clayburgh star.
I The set-lip (BBC2) 12.35—1.45am. Boxing movie about an old ﬁghter refusing to believe his career is over. who tries to win one last bout — unaware his crooked manager has ﬁxed the ﬁght.
I Phantom of Hollyvvood (BBC 1) 12.55—2. 10am. A masked killer goes on the rampage on the MGM studio lot after his secret hide-out is threatened by develOpers.
I The Doctor and the Devils (Channel 4) 1.05-2.45am. Atmospheric horror movie which reworks the Burke and Hare legend with Timothy Dalton as the corpse-hungry anatomy professor Knox and Jonathan Pryce as the grave-robber who sees a gap in the market for fresh bodies.
I The Rape or Richard Beck (Scottish) 1.25—3. 10am. A hard-bitten homicide detective who has little sympathy for the victims of sexual assault. His beliefs are shattered when he becomes the victim of male rape in this psychological thriller. I Sweeny Todd, Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Channel 4) 245—355(11)). The aptly-named Tod Slaughter gives a memorable performance as Sweeney Todd. the barber who killed and robbed his customers before turning them into meat pies.
? SATURDAY 24
i I The Thanksgiving Promise (Scottish) ‘ 9.35—11.15am. Disney offering featuring
lO.30am—l2.20pm. This Disney movie set
several members of the Bridges acting clan in a story about a boy who becomes
emotionally attached to a goose that is
being fattened up for dinner.
I Holiday Attair<BBC2) 8.10—9.35am. Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh star in a Christmas romance about a woman who
decides at the last moment to marry the
‘ dark. handsome stranger instead of the
dependable. stay-at-bome type. I Apache (BBC2) 9.35—1 lain. Sympathetic portrait of the Apache tribe
whose spirit seems to be broken after ; Geronimo's surrender. btit one warrior is
determined to ﬁght on. Burt Lancaster stars.
I Charlotte’s Web (Channel 4)
10.45am—12.30pm. Animated version of the EB. White classic with the voices of Debbie Reynolds and Henry Gibson. in
t which a farmyard spider befriends a shy
piglet. Not badly done by the Hanna- Barbera studio.
I Krakatoa - East or Java (BBC2) Ham-1.05pm. A ship on a mission to recover ajewellery fortune frotn a sunken vessel is caught in the fall-out from an exploding volcano.
I Santa and the Three Bears (Scottish) 12.55—l.50pm. Christmas animation about a bear. her cubs and the forest ranger.
I Up in Arms (Channel 4) 12.45--2.4()pm. First Danny Kaye feature. in which the fleet~footed one is a hypochondriac who is called up for military service. At) early warning of major talent.
I The land Betore Time (BBC 1) 1.35—2.40pm. Animated feature from Disney graduate Don Bluth follows the fortunes of orphaned Brontosaurus Littlefoot. who loses his mum to the claws ofa nasty Tyrannosaurus Rex before teaming up with a gang of similarly parentless wee dinos. Classically drawn and Chockful of edifying moral lessons. I From Russia With Love (Scottish) 2—4.05pm. Classic Connery as Bond hitches a ride with a Russian woman who plans to defect to the West with an invaluable code-breaking machine.
I The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Channel 4) 2.45—4.25pm. From the same studio as Sesame Street. this full y- animated version of the CS. Lewis children‘s classic imginatively evokes the exciting fantasy land of Narnia.
I Santa Claus: The Movie (BBCl ) 2.50—4.25pm. Dudley Moore is an elf (we knew that!) from Santa's l ’orth Pole toy factory who heads to New York.
I An American Tail 2: Fievel Goes West
i (BBCl) 5.30—6.45pm. Disillusioned with
their New York tenement. the .‘vlouskowitz : family heads out to the Wild West. where
' Fievel teams up with Sheriff Wylie Burp
i and his friend Tiger in order to clean tip
l the town run by evil Cat R. Waul. .\'ot
really up to the standard of the original. I Wildcats (Scottish) 8.()5—l().05pm. Average comedy with Goldie Hawn as a dolly divorcee with two kids who finds herself in charge of a tough inner city football learn.
I Dead Again (BBCl) 10—1 1.40pm. This was a notable shift away from the Bard for Kenneth Branagh in his ﬁrst Hollywood outing. with the golden boy of British theatre playing cynical. Los Angeles-based private detective Mike Church. an expert at tracing heirs and missing persons. Old-fashioned llitcbcockian thriller. carried ()ff with much style.
I She-Devil (BBC2) 11.2()pm—12.55am. Television comedy star Roseanne (aka Arnold. aka Barr) makes her screen debut in Susan Seidelman‘s heavily criticised version of The Life (tut! Lures oft: .S'ltt' Devil. When her husband falls for romantic novelist Mary liisher (Meryl Streep). the dispossessed spouse decides
‘ to enact a ficndishly cunning revenge.
I Harlequin (Scottish) 12.2()~2am. Robert Powell is a creepy faith-healer who cures a 1eukaemia-stricken boy and seduces his mother.
I Frankenstein (Channel 4) 12.35—1.5();ilt). Boris Karloff is the
monster in this 1931 version of the
famous story. in which Frankenstein‘s assistant mistakenly steals a criminal's brain which is to be used to create life in his master's laboratory experiment.
I The Guiller Memorandum (BBC 1)
'1--2.4()am. lixcellent ()Os spy thriller with
an all-star cast headed by George Segal as
a British agent sent to investigate the killing ()f two spies in Berlin.
I The George McKenna Story (Scottish)
2>~_‘).4()am. Television movie about real—
. life high school head of who turns a
rough. inner city school round into a model of pupil pride.
I Devil-Ship Pirates (Channel 4)
3.15—4.50am. Following the defeat of the Armada in 1588. Spanish opportunist
Christopher Lee pitches up in Cornwall with a revised version ofevents. fooling
the gullibie natives. But for how long‘.’ Swashbuckler from 1964. I Snowball Express (Scottish) 3.40—5.25am. Disney comedy about an accountant in New York who inherits a run-down hotel in the Rockies and decides to convert it into a ski lodge.
'1 CHRISTMAS DAY
, I That’s Entertainment (BBC2) 7.55--1()am. \r'ibrant collection ()f MGM musical faves. with admittedly skimpy narration given by the likes of Fred Astaire. Gene Kelly. Bing Crosby and
Liza Minnelli. While never quite
capturing the impact (if any of the
complete musicals. it works well as a
companion piece. and is worth tracking
down for the rarities it contains.
I Dr Dolittle (BBC2) ll)am-—12.2()pm.
Rex Harrison is the man who talks ~ and
indeed sings -— to the animals in Richard
lileisclier's lavish but misguided
adaptation of Hugh Lofting's ()dd tales.
i I Jetsons: The Movie (BBC!)
Ham—12.20pm. America‘s favourite
; family of the future (it says here). as
animated by Hanna and Barbera. move to
I a new home in outer space when George
3 .letson gets promotion at Spacer
I Hans Christian Andersen (Channel 4) 12.55—3pm. Danny Kaye stars as the Danish storyteller in the much-loved. if somewhat fanciful. musical biopic.
I The Christmas Star (Scottish) 1.10-3pm. Disney movie about a conman who escapes froin prison dressed as Santa. I Mary Poppins (Scottish) 3.10—5.40pm. Classic musical with Julie Andrews as perky nanny who charms her new charges with her relentlessly upbeat view of life. I The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Channel 4) 3.15—5.15pm. Danny Kaye again. in his best-ever role. Based on a short story by American satirist James Thurber. this musical adaptation casts Kaye as a mild-mannered proof-reader who daydreams wildly fantastic adventures.
I Sleeping Beauty (Scottish) 6.05—7.30pm. Magniﬁcent Disney animation based on the French story with the score from Tchaikovsky‘s ballet.
I Robin Hood: Prince or Thieves (BBCl) 6.45—9pm. Kevin Costner is the star of the Beeb‘s Christmas biggie as he sets about undoing the wrongs of Alan Rickman‘s scene-stealing Sheriff of Nottingham in a ﬁlm wonderfully reminiscent of the best Saturday matinee swashbucklers.
I The Butcher’s Wire (BBC2) 1().3()pm—12.20am. Demi Moore is a lonely lass who marries a New York butcher and starts doling out clairvoyant advice with the pork chops to local
lovelorn women. Aiming for the gentle tone of a contemporary fairy tale. director
Terry Hughes overdoses on whimsy.
I Trading Places (BBC 1)
1 1 .3()pm—l.2()am. Dan Aykroyd and liddie Murphy in ‘Prince and the Pauper' 1ifestyle-swapping comedy sparked. once again. by the dynamic presence of Murphy.
I The Haunting (BBC2) 12.20—2. 10am. lierie events as Julie Harris. Claire Bloom and others convene in a haunted house with a view to assessing its ectoplasm rating. Frightened everyone‘s socks off on its 1963 release.
I Stealing Home (Scottish) 12.45—2.3()am. A disillusioned baseball star returns home for the ﬁrst titne in years after his childhood sweetheart commits suicide. His childhood is remembered in flashback as he travels home.
I Mr Vampire (Channel 4) 1.55—3.40atn. Traditional Hammer horror meets Far East vampire movie in Hong Kong. resulting in a interesting take on the whole Count Dracula legend.
I Grandvievv, USA (Scottish) 2.30-4.14am. Jamie Lee Curtis is trying to save her demolition derby track — roughly equivalent to stockcars — from predatory developers.
I Greyrriars Bobby (Scottish) 4.15—5.55am. A faithful dog. a grave and a dead master are the elements of this famous true story set — in case you didn't know ~ in Edinburgh.
I little Women (BBC2) 8.05—10am. Film version of Louisa May Alcott's classic story set in 1860s America. which follows
92 The List 16 December 1994—12 January 1995