This Christmas, The list offers a comprehensive guide to twelve days of Christmas films from Sunday 22 oecember to Thursday 2 Jan. Times were correct at the time of going to press but could be subject to late changes. Television film listings compiled by Alan Morrison.


I Mary, Cueen Of Scots (BBCI) 7.20-9.25am. Vanessa Redgrave plays the Scottish queen sentenced to death by her English cousin Elizabeth I. in a stuffy but well acted costume drama.

I High Society (BBC l)

l l.4()am— l .2()pm. Classic musical entertainment frotn MGM studios. with rich girl Grace Kelly playing hard to get as far as Bing Crosby is concerned. Frank Sinatra looks on and wonders ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?‘.

I A Christmas Carol (Scottish) l.l()—2.3()ptn. An animated version from I985 of the Charles Dicken classic. complete with ghosts from Christmas Past. Present and Future scaring Scrooge ottt of his hutnbugs.

I The Pirate (BBCZ) 2.25—4.05pm. Wandering player Gene Kelly passes himself off as a fatnous pirate to win over Judy Garland in a second division MGM/Cole Porter musical.

I The Christmas Star (Scottish) 2.30—4.10pm. Substandard seasonal fare. as a con man escapes frotn jail dressed as Santa.

I Clash Of The Titans (B BCI ) 2.55—4.50pm. Ray Harryhausen's distinctive stop-motion monsters provide the excitement as heroes battle mythological beasts in ancient Greece.

I And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird (Channel 4) 5. l 5~-7pm. A teenage boy and his ten-year-old brother build a robot that becomes possessed by the spirit of their dead father in this off-beat family fantasy.

I National Lampoon‘s Christmas Vacation (Scottish) 5.45—7.30pm. Gone are the days when the words ‘National Lampoon‘ meant anarchic comedy with the likes ofJohn Belushi. Now it‘s always Chevy Chase straining for laughs in some farcical situation with his all-American family.

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FILM OF THE DAY - SUNDAY 22 I Raiders OI The lost Ark (BBC!) 8—9.50pm. The first adventure starring Harrison Ford as swashbuckling archaeologist Indiana Jones has him up againstthe Nazis as they search for the Ark of the Covenant in pie-World War 11 Egypt. Wonderfully entertaining matinee-ster action.

I Toys (Channel 4) 9--| I.20pm. It's militaristic madness against childish lunacy as nasty Michael Gambon uses his deceased brother‘s toy factory to churn out wargatnes. despite Robin Williams's cutesy wishes. Nice sets. but grossly self- indulgent.

I In Bed With Madonna (BBCZ) ll.30pm—-l .30am. Going behind the scenes on tour with the world‘s top pop female. we watch Ms Ciccone switch from super-bitch to mother mode. Concert footage is impressive.

I Wise Guys (BBC 1) 12.40-2. I()atn. Brian De Palma‘s offbeat gangster caper stars Danny De Vito and Joe Piscopo as two small-time crooks whose double dealings lead to each being handed a contract to kill the other.

I The Undefeated (Scottish) l.l5--3.2(Iam. John Wayne and Rock Hudson star as adversaries during the American Civil War who put aside their differences to save some bystanders. Made during that period in the late 60s when the western was dead on its feet

I Maya (Channel 4) l.25—3.45am. Ketan Mehta shifts the story of Madame BUHU')‘ to post-independence India. creating a heroine whose personal and political search for identity tnirrors that of the country. Subtitles.


I A Farewell To Arms (BBCZ) 7.20-8.40am. This I932 version of Hemingway‘s First World War tale of a wounded American who falls in love with his nurse suffers a little as its sentiment has dated.

I The Shop Around The Corner (BBCZ) 9.25-1 lam. A glorious romantic comedy by the great Ernst Lubitsch. with bickering shop assistants James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan gradually realising the identity of their mystery lovers each other.

I The Brave Little Toaster (Scottish) l().30am-—l2.()5ptn. Fun animated adventure as a group of plucky electrical appliances go off in search of their master who has moved to the big city. Hmm: handy for breakfast. but hardly role models.

I In Search or The Castaways (BBCZ)

l lam—12.40pm. Disney certainly stuffed this fatnin adventure full of incidents - but earthquakes. floods and volcano eruptions are all in a day‘s work for Hayley Mills.

I Now Voyager (BBCZ) I.()5—3pm. Classically cast (Bette Davis. Claude Rains. Paul Henreid). this archetypal tragic love story is unadventurous and

:12: - '..i. .. git-2; . Q. . FILM OF THE DAY - MONDAY 23 I My Left Foot (Channel 4) 10.05pm—midnight. Daniel Day Lewis is in Oscar-winning form as paralysed painter and writer Christy Brown. portrayed in warts-and-all fashion to create a funny, touching and thoroughly absorbing movie.

even bland. but its stars are charismatic enough to overcome its problems.

I All I Want For Christmas (BBC 1) 2.()5——3.3()ptn. It‘s time to head for Sentiment City. USA. when two New York kids decide that want they really want for the holiday season is to bring their divorced parents together again.

I Blood Alley (Channel 4) 2.2()—~I.25pm. John Wayne indulges in his anti- Communist urges as an American sailor who helps a grottp of Chinese refugees to safety in Hong Kong.

I Vice Versa (Scottish) 3.30—5. lOpm. A mystical eastern \ ase enables yuppie bttsinesstnatt Judge Reinhold to change places with his precocious schoolboy son for the day. Predictably formulaic farce.

I Easter Parade (BBC2) 4.2()~opm. Fred Astaire is a song-and-dance man on the lookout for a partner. so in comes Judy Garland and the result is an enjoyable if lightweight Irving Berlin musical.

I Trouble Along The Way (Channel 4) 4.25—6.30pm. The afternoon's John Wayne double bill continues with The Duke as a football coach hired by the rector of a Catholic college while undergoing a custody battle for his daughter.

I love Story (BBCZ) lU—l l.40pm. Take a couple of lovers. give one leukaemia and. hey. you‘ve got one of the biggest box office hits of I970. Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw squeeze every tear out ofa tired formula.

I A Man And A Woman (BBCZ)

l I.40pm- I .25atn. This Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film back in I966 is your basic love story zapped up by French New Wave cuts and camera angles. but bogged down by a schmalzy theme tune. Subtitles.

I Sword or The Valiant (Scottish) 1.25—3. l()am. Sean Connery pops up sporadically in this lacklustre version of Gawain And The Green Knight. with Miles O‘Keeffe as the young squire.

I Love Hurts (Channel 4) ISO-3.45am The first of a double bill starring the under-rated Jeff Daniels (/01 Dalmatians will put a stop to that) as a soon-to-be divorcee who tries a reconciliation with his wife at his sister’s wedding.

I Checking Out (Channel 4) 3.45—5.25am. Jeff Daniels again. this time as an advertising executive for a Californian airline whose excessive health-conscious lifestyle is tested when he has to smooth over a crash-landing. Art uncertain satire on midlife crises.


I Christmas In Connecticut (BBCZ) 7.05—8.45am. in order to sustain the image of her newspaper column on love and marriage. spinster Barbara Stanwyck fabricates a fatnin of her own. Lively comedy showing the star‘s best qualities. I For Me And My Cal (BBC2) 8.45~l0.25am. Gene Kelly plays a rather unlikeable hoofer who joins a male/female duo and pushes them further along the road to fatne. Routine plot lifted by energetic numbers.

. I King Of The Khyber Itifles (BBC2)

l0.25am—l2.05ptn. In the mid-I800s. a British garrison in India comes under attack. but thankfully Tyrone Power is there to save the day. There‘s nothing special in this standard adventure.

I Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm (Scottish) l lam—l2.25pm. The shadowy world of the recent animated TV series is given feature length treatment. as the Caped Crusader wonders who is knocking off Gotham's ageing gangsters. Great ‘dark deco' design.

I Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (BBC2) 12.()5—I.ISpm. A fairy shrinks a human lumberjack in order to save the rainforest ftotn destruction in an eco-edged animated tale with more to recommend it than just its well-meaning intentions.

I Star Trek: The Motion Picture (BBC 1) l.4()~3.55pm. The original cinema film was basically an excuse to check out the details of the [Enterprise in big screen format. so when it‘s reduced to TV size. the pacing seems stultifyingly slow at times. A dull plod by the old-timers.

I A Mom For Christmas (Scottish) I.35—3.3()pm. A lonely little girl wishes she could have a mother to look after her and. before you know it. a shop

mannequin turns into Olivia Newton-John

and takes on the role. Now. if it could have been Sharon Stone . . .

I Dr Bolittle (Channel 4) 3-5.40pm. An overblown musical fantasy with Rex Harrison as the titan who can talk to the animals while searching for the mythical Great Pink Sea Snail. Looks great in widescreen. but is way overlong.

I Protocol (Scottish) 3.30-5. lOpm. Goldie Hawn plays heavily on her dizzy blonde persona as a waitress who accidentally saves a diplomat from assassination and so gets ajob with the US Government where her naivety teaches the professionals a lesson or two. I Super Mario Brothers (BBC 1) 3.55~5.35pm. Proof that video games should stay in the foyer and not on the screens of your local cinema: a totally duff and boring film about heroic plumbers jumping their way through a lizardly parallel world.

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I citrate-got (BBC!) 9-10.4opi'ti.; Terrific edge-of—the—seatadventtirefgjg

with Sylvester Stallone as agency-g; ridden mountain rescue pro. . . undergoingrspectacular stunts .

battles a gang of hijackers- .1 a 5,

I 7 r. i,» . . . I." I ' I "All

from action master Renny Harlin. >27 .

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The List l3 Dec l996-9 Jan I997 73