TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS FILMS TELEVISM
I Forbidden Cargo (BBC2) 9.05—l0.30am. Straightforward British thriller from the early 505 about a customs ofﬁcer's attempts to bust a French drug- smuggling ring.
I Knute Rockne, All American (Channel 4) ll.50am-l.40pm. The true story of a Norwegian immigrant who became a top American football player despite a crippling disease.
I Animal Farm (BBC2) 1.10—2.20pm. George Orwell's political satire becomes satisfying viewing for children and adults alike in this animated version.
FILM OF THE IJAY I Spartacus (BBC2) 2.20—5.20pm. One of an elite band of movies that truly deserve the ‘epic’ tag. Kirk Douglas leads the slave rebellion against the Romans in this surprisingly political film (actually, not that surprising, given that it was written by Dalton Trumbo). if you haven't seen it before, why not?
I Sunrise (Channel 4) 2.50—4.35pm. Despite its bright title. Murnau's silent melodrama is dark in mood and look. When a young farmer is seduced by a city vamp, it tears his family life apart. I Only The lonely (BBC 1) 9.15—lO.55pm. Home Alone producer John Hughes and director Chris Columbus team up again for a sentimental romantic comedy. with John Candy as the Chicago cop who's torn between his morgue assistant girlfriend and domineering mom. I An American Werewolf In lonrlon (Channel 4) 10—1 1.50pm. You'll laugh. you’ll scream. you'll enjoy yourself aplenty as an American tourist comes over all hairy after an unexpected bite on the Yorkshire moors. A gory. funny homage with excellent sfx. I Desperate Hours (Scottish) 10.05pm—midnight. Anthony Hopkins is one of the few things worth watching in Michael Cimino‘s film. A gang of convicts, led by hammy Mickey Rourke. terrorise a family in their home. I The Fly (Channel 4) 11.50pm—i .35am. The original 1958 version in which a scientist ends up with an insect's head and wing while the poor beast has to make do with his head and arm. I Carry on noroan (BBCl) 12.40—2.05am. If only they would. and leave our screens in peace. Spanish holidays are the target in one of the final outings for the original gang. I Konga (Channel 4) 1.35-3.15am. More dotty scientist stuff. with Michael Gough mixing a serum derived from carnivorous plants with his pet chimpanzee — hey presto! the perfect accomplice to kill off his professional and romantic rivals. I Ilellzapoppin’ (BBC2) 1.30-2.50am. Boisterous Broadway revue put on screen in a manner that brings the best of old- style vaudeville anarchy together with contemporary cinematic techniques. Set the video for a treat. I longann (Scottish) 3.55-5.10am. A bunch of unknowns (Shannon Tweed is the most famous) star in an obscure TV movie also known as Showdown In Silver Citv.
I inspector elouseau (BBC 1)
735—9. lOam. Alan Arkin has the unenviable task of slipping into Peter Sellers‘s raincoat when Scotland Yard call in the French detective to help with the Great Train Robbery.
I El Old (BBCl) l0.30am—l.25pm. Charlton Heston in fine epic form as the
l lth century hero who aims to sweep the Moors from Spain. Well scripted, with a sttmng siege ﬁnale.
I Elephant Boy (Channel 4) ll..0Sam—12.35pm. Bringing together a Kipling story and documentary footage by Robert Flaherty, Zoltan Korda brews up a
slightly disappointing jungle adventure which nevertheless made a star of young actor Sabu.
I The Thief 0i eagtlarl (Channel 4) 12.35-2.35pm. Classic fantasy from producer Alexander Korda, with input from several directors including Michael Powell. A wicked vizier. a genie in a bottle. a Streetwise young thief. an all- seeing eye — all the Arabian Nights-style elements are on show. alongside an overﬂowing box of cinematic magic
I Gay Pumee (BBC2) 1.30—2.50pm. Contender for worst title of the hols. this animated feature doesn‘t have the charm of Disney’s The Aristocats, although again it‘s about the feline perspective on Parisian life. _
I Splash! (Scottish) 1.40—3.35pm. Friendly comedy with Tom Hanks falling in love with mermaid Daryl Hannah. A modern fairytale with warm direction from Ron (Apollo 13) Howard.
I Pal Joey (BBC2) 2.50-4.40pm. Sinatra. Hayworth and Novak in a nightclub triangle; George Sydney directing; Columbia rivalling MGM at its own game; songs including ‘Bewitched. Bothered And Bewildered' and ‘The Lady is A Tramp'. A fine combination.
I Shoot At The Devil (Scottish) 3.35-6pm. Beery. leery Lee Marvin teams up with stiff Brit Roger Moore to stop ivory poaching in East Africa on the eve of World War I.
I labyrinth (BBCl) 3.45-5.20pm. Lewis Carroll-like fantasy with a pre-pubescent girl searching the realm of the Goblin King (not David Bowie’s best screen effort) for her baby brother. The Henson creatures and some of the landscapes will please the kids. though.
I Battle For The Planet Of The Apes (Channel 4) 4.25—6pm. By the time the series got as far as this fifth and final instalment, it had descended into boring monkey business. Gorillas vs chimps vs mutants. Don’t we get enough of this on Gladiators?
I The Wolves 0f Willoughby Chase (BBC2) 6—7.30pm. Slightly gloomy Victorian-style story that will go down well with older children. Two girls suffer hardships under an evil governess (Stephanie Beacham) and a grim orphanage.
I The Jewel Of The llile (Scottish) 6.40-8.15pm. Old-fashioned adventure romp that reteams Michael Douglas. Kathleen Turner and Danny Dthto from the superior Romancing The Stone.
I l8.20—9.50pm. Baz Luhnnann’s sparkling dance romance is one of
.1 those movies that never fails to put a twinkle in the toes of even the grumpiest viewer. Will Paul Mercurio throw away the rulebook and shock
g the world of Australian ballroom dancing with his own steps? And can l he get the girl into the bargain?
I South Pacrttc (Channel 4) 8.30-11.15pm. A US Navy nurse falls for a French planter over the course of several enchanted evenings on a sunny island. Luridly coloured.
I m In Year (Scottish) 10—11.30pm. Jewel heist movie with Peter
Falk and Charles Duming who lose track of their objective when a pretty Florida antiques dealer comes on the scene. Saved by Falk's charisma.
I Carry On Camping (BBC!) 1-2.25am. One of the best in the series, with a splash of nudity, but it’s all relative, isn’t it. The troupe are all Oh” on holiday. with Barbara Windsor the object of the most lustful glances.
I Imagine: John Lennon (BBC2) 1—2.40am. Some 240 hours of John and Yoko's home movies were sorted through to assemble the main footage in this absorbing documentary.
I The Docks at New York (Scottish) 4.55—5.55am. Ludicrous time to put on Joseph Von Stemberg's downbeat silent melodrama. A stoker marries the girl he saves from suicide after a trawl through the underbelly of the Big Apple.
NEW YEAR’S DAY
I The Square Peg (BBC2) 7.15—8.45am. Just imagine: for some reason you wake early with a hangover. you wonder what 1996 will hold, and the ﬁrst movie of the new year stars Norman Wisdom in a World War ll comedy with a hint of drama. Turn over. Go back to sleep.
I A Day At The Races (BBC2) 8.45—10.30arn. But remember to set the alarm for this Marx Brothers romp which sets off at a gallop but looks a bit tired by the finishing line. This time the boys save a sanitorium by betting at the racetrack I The Princess Anti The Goblin (BBCl) 10.25-1 1.45am. Rather dull animated fairytale. with no discemible charm and annoying songs. Only Rik Mayall's Goblin Prince has a spark of life.
I Hills Angels (Scottish) 10.35am-12.30pm. Also known as The North Avenue lrregulars. this Disney tale
follows the attempts of a women‘s syndicate helping the local Rev to save his church.
I Bugsy Malone (BBC!)
1 1.45am—l. 15pm. Alan Parker's gangster movie. cast entirely with child actors (including a young but vampish Jodie Foster), has kept its charm over the years. I Suburban Commando (BBCl) 2.40—4.05pm. Whatever happened to Hulk Hogan? A couple of kids movies. then whoosh! Gone. This was the blond wrestling star's debut, when he starred as an alien who helps out an ordinary family. I On her Malesty’s Secret Service (Scottish) 2.40—4.55pm. George Lazenby’s sole outing as James Bond. with the usual deluge of action. super villainy and gimmicks.
I Curly Sue (Scottish) 5.40—7.30pm. Cute orphan wins over divorce lawyer. Through the years. John Hughes has offered kids enough sweet rubbish to rot an army of teeth. and this drivel is probably the worst offender of the lot.
I Never Say Never Again (BBC 1) 5.55—8pm. Sean Connery returned to the 00‘} role after a few years of retirement for this unofficial entry to the series. but it was still better than what Moore and Co were managing at the time.
I Nuns On The Run (Channel 4) 8.30—IO.lSpm. All in the best British taste. Robbie Coltrane and Eric Idle hide out in nun's garb. ogle the nubile novices and descend to a far too clichéd, sniggering level of humour. '
H ﬁll! or THE any
I betence Ill The lteah (Channel 4) ll.l5pm—lam. An excellent conspiracy tale, with joumo Gabriel Byme uncovering nuclear shenanigans. What makes it gripping is not so much the political point. scoring, but the old-fashioned thriller elements that give the mystery an edge.
I Grand Canyon (BBC2) lOpm—l2. 10am. Lawrence Kasdan’s examination of the
malaise beneath the surface of LA isn't as revealing as Altman's Short Cuts, but the cast provide some solid moments of drama and dry humour. even when the writer-director lapses into self-indulgence. I Carry On Doctor (BBCI) 1.10—2.40am Hattie Jacques is after Kenneth Williams, but they've both got an unhelpful patient in Sid James. The diagnosis for this one is better than most.
I A Fire Has Been Arranged (Channel 4) l-2.iSam. Flanagan and Allan star in this 30s comedy about two criminals who resort to fire-raising when they discover theirjewel stash has been built upon. '
I The Days (BBC2) 1.10—2.25am. An unusual choice for the BBC's Centenary of Cinema selection. but well deserving of some exposure, even at this inhospitable hour. A slow. sensual. black-and-white portrait of a Chinese couple and the dissolution of their relationship. Modern
I little White lies (Scottish) 2.40—4.25am. Made-for-TV romantic comedy about a detective and an intern who meet on holiday. but decide not to tell the whole truth about what they do for a living. Not worth the bother.
I The Sheepman (BBC2) 8.35-lOam. Usually. the battle in westerns is between farmers and cattlemen; in this more lighthearted take. it's sheep vs cows, as Glenn Ford moseys into town.
I Johnny Angel (BBC2) 10.25-11.40am. Waterbound noir. with George Raft as a sea captain avenging the murder of his father. The claustrophobic atmosphere is brilliantly sustained.
I Tin Pan Alley (Channel 4) 2.15—4pm. Two struggling songwriters get their girlfriends to perform their compositions. Bubbly Fox musical with a string of old hits
I Lethal Weapon (Scottish) 9—10pm; 1040—! 1.40pm. Not exactly a rare screening of the Mel Gibson-Danny Glover cop buddy movie. here shown with the added irritation of a split for the news and stupid anti-swearing.
IlI Mllon En Mal (BBC2) _ l2.20—2.05am. Sadly, director ~‘ Malle died towards the end of 1995. His 1989 movie is a gentle, at absurdly funny farce, set in rural ~ ~. France. Michel Piccoli tries to . organise his aristocratic mother’s. funeral, but isn't helped by the 1968 strikes.
I The Mean Season (BBCI) “pm-12.35am. Sweaty Florida is the setting for this thriller in which reporter Kurt Russell becomes the mouthpiece for a killer. Gripping stuff.
I West (It The Divide (Channel 4) 2.35-3.35am. Short John Wayne western made in 1934. in which The Duke searches for the man who killed his paw. Okay for fans. but a bit slight for the rest. I The Boys in Blue (Scottish) 2.35—4.25am. And they say that the Christmas films are always a disappointment. How fitting that the last
in the twelve days is a Cannon and Ball remake of a Will Hay comedy. it's enough to make you go all Scrooge-like.
The List 15 Dec l995-ll Jan |996101