TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS FILMS TELEVISION
the life and loves of four sisters. I Singin’ In The Rain (BBC2) lO-l 1.40am. Hollywood undergoes the transition from the silent era to the talkies and reputations rise and fall. Wonderful Gene Kelly musical entertainment. with the slickest of snappy dialogue and enduringly catchy numbers. I Flash Gordon (Scottish) lOam—noon. Magniﬁcent. campy version of the 30s comic strip as Flash blasts off for the planet Mongo where he encounters Ming the Merciless. I King Solomon's Mines (Scottish) 2.05pm—3.50pm. Lively action movie with Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone in the 1985 version of Rider Haggard’s African adventure yarn. I True Gilt (BBC 1) 3—5pm. John Wayne got himself an Oscar for daring to look old. fat and one-eyed in this enjoyably old-fashioned Western adventure. He plays an ageing lawman inveigled into helping teenager Kim Darby set out after the men who murdered his father. I The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Channel 4) 3.25—5.55pm. Rudolph Valentino stars in Rex Ingram‘s original. 1921 silent melodrama about a South American gaucho who abandons the tango to ﬁght a brutal war in France. I Never Say Hover Again (Scottish) 4.20—7pm. (includes break for news) Sean Connery reprises his trademark James Bond role. going through the same plot as he did a couple of decades previously Thunderball. Still. it’s much more palatable than the Roger Moore efforts and there’s quality casting Max Von Sydow and Klaus Maria Brandauer in the villainy de artment. I Yellow ubmarine (Channel 4) 6.20—7.55pm. The Fab Four save Pepperland from the Blue Meanies. A real period piece these days. this exercise in garish psychedelic animation still remains a colourful (and safely non-addictive) trip for the kiddies. I Kindergarten oop(BBC1) 6.25-8. 10pm. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the polis in question. taking up the reins in a nursery class when he goes undercover to track down the wife and child of a murder suspect. This is a sleazy, exploitative mishmash of genre~blending. family comedy spliced clumsily with bloodthirsty thriller. I The King and I (BBC2) 7-9.10pm. Classic musical with Yul Brynner as the King of Siam who hires the wife of a British army ofﬁcer to be his children’s governess. At ﬁrst the relationship is prickly but the pair come to respect each other’s culture. I Honey I Shrunk The Kids (Scottish) 8.30—10. 15pm. Hapless father and would- be inventor (Rick Moranis) doesjust what the title suggests. The kids ﬁnd themselves cut down to size (a quarter of an inch) and swept out with the trash. Their mission: to escape from the garbage bag and somehow attract their father’s attention to their height problem. I Time Bandits (Channel 4) 9-11.10pm. A young boy is escorted through time and space by a band of dwarves, meeting legendary heroes along the way before a ﬁnal confrontation between good and evil. Imaginative comic fantasy on a modest budget. but a series of witty guest spots and Terry Gilliam's richly detailed screen style win the day. I The Addams Family (BBCl) 9.10—10.45pm. When long-lost Uncle Fester returns after 25 years in the Bermuda Triangle. it disrupts the idyllic lifestyle of the Addams clan. Big budget movie has all the macabre sense of fun of the television series and the original New Yorker cartoons. I Another Woman (BBC2) 10.50pm—12.10am. Woody Allen continues in the serious vein of his previous picture September. with another probing exploration of emotional and familial relationships.
I For a Few Dollars More (Scottish) 11.15pm-l.40am. Middle ﬁlm in Sergio Leone‘s Man With No Name trilogy sees Clint Eastwood on the trail of the psychopathic bandit lndio.
I Spellbound (BBCl) 12.30—2.20am. Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peek in Hitchcock’s complex though not entirely satisfactory suspenser. as psychiatrist Bergman comes to the aid of mentally disturbed amnesiac Peck. who is passing himself off as a doctor. This is the one with Salvador Dali's dream sequences.
I The Taking of Flight 847 (Scottish) 1.40—3.30am. Hijack drama‘about a plane taken over by terrorists who want the pilot to fly to Beirut.
I Zu Warriors (Channel 4) 1.45—3.25am. Chinese action fantasy about an encounter between mortals and the gods in the fabled land of Zu where peace and goodwill prevail.
I Kim (BBC2) 8.10—10am. Errol Flynn leads in this adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s adventure story about an orphaned boy growing up in the British Raj.
I Return to 02 (Scottish) 9.50—1 1.55pm. Inferior sequel to The Wizard oj'O: with Dorothy returning to 07. to ﬁnd the Emerald City in ruins.
I Return of the Pink Panther (Scottish) 2.05—4.0Spm. Peter Sellers returns as
Inspector Clouseau in another entertaining I slapstick caper about a stolen diamond. I Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Scottish) 6—8pm. Comedy action adventure which won Whoopi Goldberg an Oscar as the computer programmer who gets embroiled in an eastern European spy
ring. I The Adventures oi Baron Munchaueen (Channel 4) 6.05-8.30pm. Fabulously expensive l8th~century fantasia has a beseiged Turkish city entertained by the tall tales of Baron Munchausen. who ﬁnally saves the day. Terry Gilliam‘s extravagant visual sensibility guides this maniac epic through its sticky patches. and there is so much to look at and enough genuine laughs that his relentless campaign against mediocre convention is more than justiﬁed.
I Dick Tracy (BBCl) 8—9.4(lpm. Producer/director/star Warren Beatty resurrects Chester Gould's vintage cop cormc strip with original primary colours intact and an engagingly misshapen crew of rubberised villains faithfully preserved. Madonna's brash ﬂoozy and Pacino‘s hammy rnegalomania enliven things frotn time to time. but the material remains fossilised.
I Turner and Hooch (Scottish) 8.30—10.20pm. Ignoring the maxim about working with children or animals. Tom Hanks as a police detective unleashes his large slobbery dog on a tnurder case in this entertaining comedy.
I Thelma and louise (BBC2) 10.15pm—12.20am. The buddy/road movie genres are turned on their heads as Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis grasp the steering wheel and head off. leaving a trail of mayhem in their wake. On one level. the ﬁlm is the critical catalyst that had the feminists cheering; just as importantly. it‘s an accessible piece of entertainment.
I Havy SEALS (Scottish) 10.35pm—12.35am. Charlie Sheen leads this violent action movie about the US Navy's elite commando Corps who head out to the Middle East to rescue civilian hostages. culminating in an exciting invasion of beseiged Beirut.
I Othello (Channel 4) 10.35pm-12.20am. Shakespeare’s Moor as interpreted by Orson Welles. on a miniature budget and in various European locations, over several years. Technical quality very variable. but set-pieces like the murder in the Turkish bath show flashes of brilliance.
I The House on the Haunted Hill (BBC2) 12.20—i.35am. Run-of—the-mill comedy/horror ﬂick. with Vincent Price hosting a ‘dare you to stay in my house for one night. folks’ scam. and the usual grisly surprises.
I Aiter Hours (Scottish) l2.35—2.25am. Martin Scorsese’s excellent black comedy with Grifﬁn Dunne caught up in a never- ending nightmare in New York’s Soho as tries desperately to get home.
I My Geisha (BBCl) l2.35—2.30am. Comedy set in Japan. with Yves Montand as a ﬁlm director best known for working with his wife Shirley Macl.aine. who decides his next project will be a version of Madame Butterﬂy with a real geisha. I Houge (Channel 4) 12.45-2.25am. Romantic Chinese fantasy about a courtesan who returns as a ghost to ﬁnd her former lover.
‘ WEDNESDAY 28
I Playtime (BBC2) 8.05—10am. Another gem from the Jacques Tati season has Monsieur Hulot tussling with the modern world as he follows a group of American tourists around a hi-tech Paris of concrete and glass.
I Moon Pilot (Scottish) 10.25am-12.20pm. Sci-ﬁ comedy from Disney about the ﬁrst astronaut in orbit. who falls in love with a beautiful alien.
I Wonder Men (Channel 4) 1.30-3. 15pm. Lively musical with Danny Kaye as meek bookworm who takes the place of his murdered twin brother in an attempt to avenge the killers.
I Pleeee Sltl (BBCl) 1.30-3pm. British classroom comedy spun off from the television series of the same name, with John Alderton as a teacher determined to take his unruly class on a Outward Bound trip.
I The Crimson Pirate (BBC2) 3.20—5pm. Burt Lancaster swashes and buckles as a buccaneer trying to make a proﬁt out a rebel uprising on a Caribbean island.
I The Story lady (Scottish) 3.30—5.10pm. Jessica Tandy as an elderly lady whose talent for telling stories secures her a children’s show on cable television.
I High Society (BBC2) 6.45—8.30pm. Bing Crosby. Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra in a classic musical entertainment from the MGM studios. in which a rich bitch plays hard to get with a string of suitors. The plot of Philadelphia Story goes out the window. but with stars like these. who cares?
I JFK (BBC2) 9.25pm—12.30am. Based on the controversial theories of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison. Oliver Stone's epic account of what did or (lid not happen when President Kennedy was shot makes for enthralling cinema. with a ﬁne performance by Kevin Costner.
I It (Channel 4) lOpm—l2.05am. The kids are alright as anarchy and rebellion erupt with all the passion of an explosion at a stuffy English public school. Lindsay Anderson‘s symbolic. allegorical stuff about the breakdown of society which didn’t seem that far off twenty years ago. I The Unforgiven (Scottish) lO.20pm—l2.40am. Classy John Huston western from 1960 about a clash between a white Texan family and a band of Indians on the warpath. with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn.
I The lost Boys (BBC 1) ll.50pm—2.25arn. Anaemic comic horror as a Santa Monica teen falls into bad company in the shape of a mad. bad and dangerous-to-know gang of vampires led by Keifer Sutherland. Constant MTV visuals make this an altogether resistible affair.
I Ghost Story (BBC2) 12.30—l.55am. Spooky tale about three friends who arrive at a mysterious country house and get thoroughly frightened out their wits.
I Spiritual Love (Channel 4)
240—4. 15am. More from the Chinese season with a romantic fantasy about a man who falls in love with a ghost.
I Mon Oncle (BBC2) 8.15—10am. Monsieur Hulot causes havoc in the hi- tech home of his uncle. resulting in some hilarious sight gags.
I Omar Khayyam (Scottish) 10.25am-12.20pm. Costume drama following the adventures of the medieval Persian hero who had a dicey affair with the Shah's ﬁancee.
I El oorado(BBC1) 1.30—3.35pm. Messrs Wayne. Mitchum and Caan battle it out fo the 1966 tough guy of the year award in Howard Hawk's competent but uninspiring western.
I The Kid from Brooklyn (Channel 4) 1.30—3.35pm. More from the Danny Kaye season. with a excellent musical about a timid milkman who ends up as boxer surrounded by gangsters.
I The Cheetah (Scottish) 3.35-5.10pm. The two children of a couple of researchers working in Africa adopt a cheetah cub as a family pet but are l.ca..L.oI.c.. 3...". the family has to return home.
I The Prince and the Showgirl (Channel 4) 3.50—6pm. Famous for iLs off-camera clashes between director and leading man Laurence Olivier and co-star Marilyn Monroe. this comedy is the story of a chorus girl who falls for a Ruritanian prince.
I Gunfight at the OK Corral (BBC2) 4—6pm. Classic western with Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp burying the hatchet with foe Doc Holliday (Kirk Douglas). before the pair take on the notorious Clanton gang.
I Blue Heat (Scottish) 9.15—11.15pm. Brian Dennehy is an old-fashioned LA cop who decides to take the law into his own hands after he’s kicked off the force. I Parenthood (BBCl ) 9.30-1 1.30pm. A ﬁlm apparently derived from the experiences of Ron ‘Mr Nice Film' Howard. the ex-Happ_v Days star. Steve Martin is a lovable jerk trying hard to be a good dad in a sentimental ﬁlm about families.
I In Bed With Madonna (BBC2) lO.25pm—12.20am. Madonna. her dancers. the tour crew and a bottle of mineral water are the stars of this behind- the-scenes look at the world’s top pop icon. which provides a constantly entertaining portrait of the artist. as she switches from super-bitch to mother mode.
I When Every Day Was the Fourth of July (Scottish) 12.40—2.25am. Based on the true story of a deaf-mute war hero who is falsely accused of murder. 1978 TV movie by writer/director Dan Curtis.
The List 16 December 1994-12 January 1995 93