(page last regenerated: 24 November 2012)
The reviews on this page are typically of the type that describe the plot in detail. So if you don't want to know then best avoid looking.
|Writer: David Sherwin / Director: Lindsay Anderson / Producers: Michael Medwin, Lindsay Anderson|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 169 mins|
|A saga following the quickly changing fortunes of a young man called Michael Arnold Travis. As the story starts Travis is working for a coffee company in the West of England training to be a salesman. He is given a massive opportunity when he is allocated the whole of the North-East territory to work when the previous salesman unexpectedly quits. Travis is ambitious and eager and sets about cementing his predecessor's contacts and seems to be fitting in just fine.
Then he gets a call from his headquarters asking him to take on Scotland as well and is sent to a remote army base to meet with the catering manager. But once there he is arrested as a spy and tortured and questioned for what secrets he was sent to steal. When the base alarm sounds Travis manages to slip out unnoticed in what seems to be a full-scale evacuation under some sort of massive attack. His car is gutted and he wanders aimlessly over the moors until coming to a motorway and hitching a lift. He is picked up by a representative of a research clinic who offers him a fee for participating in a test. Mick agrees but when he discovers that the clinic is conducting gruesome organ grafting experiments he scarpers. He hitches another ride, this time in a van belonging to a group of musicians returning to London after a gig. Journeying with them is a groupie called Patricia whom Travis makes friends with.
When they get to London Travis discovers that Patricia is the drop-out daughter of a rich business man called Sir James Burgess whom Patricia warns him is an evil so-and-so. Patricia and the band travel on and Travis decides to visit Sir James under the pretext of warning him about his wayward daughter's lifestyle.
In Sir James top floor office Travis arrives just as a disgruntled employee decides to make a statement by jumping from Sir James' office window and when Sir James personal assistant tries to stop him he accidentally falls as well and is killed. Travis finds himself given the job as Sir James new assistant and decides he has now made it - the right hand man to one of Britain's most powerful and influential men. Sir James is in talks with an African ruler about making a substantial investment in his country's economy - but first the insurgents must be dealt with and so Sir James arranges for a consignment of deadly toxic chemical weapons to be shipped out to be used by the government forces to eliminate all rebel resistance.
Travis has put a naïve trust in his new boss who is giving him immense responsibilities by letting him arrange all the details. So when the police come to arrest someone Sir James disavows all knowledge and claims that Travis was working alone abusing his trust and Travis is arrested and sent to prison for five years.
Five years later he has decided he is a reformed man and wants to do good things for people - but his efforts to help are met with resistance and he is left without any money wandering the streets in London with no plans for what to do next. He is given a flyer calling on anyone who wants to be a star to attend an open audition for a part in a movie called "O Lucky Man!" and with nothing else to do he goes along. He is selected for the lead role and at the end is seen celebrating and dancing in a social gathering with all the cast members who have populated the film we have just been watching.
|Comment: Most of the cast members play multiple roles. One of Arthur Lowe's characters is a black African leader who was so convincingly "blacked-up" that I didn't even realise it was him until he had been speaking for a while.|
|Starring:||Malcolm McDowell (as Michael Arnold Travis), Ralph Richardson (as Sir James Burgess), Helen Mirren (as Patricia)|
Other key roles played by:- Rachel Roberts, Arthur Lowe, Graham Crowden, Mary MacLeod, Wallas Eaton (all in multiple parts)
|Featuring:||Warren Clarke, Bill Owen, Geoffrey Palmer, Brian Glover, James Bolam, Alan Price|
|Starlets:||Sue Bond (as Blue movie girl), Anna Dawson, Jo Jeggo, Stephanie Lawrence, Tuesday Miller, Christine Noonan, Rachelle Miller|
|Based on an original idea by Malcolm McDowell.|
|This is the middle film of a loose trilogy of Lindsay Anderson directed films in which Malcolm McDowell plays the same character of Mick Travis. The preceding film was If.... (1968) and the next one was Britannia Hospital (1982).|
|Writer: Lawrence Huntington / Director/Producer: Gordon Hessler|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 92 mins|
|In the 19th century, the Markham brothers: Sir Julian and Sir Edward, own a lucrative plantation in Africa - but something has angered the local natives and Sir Edward is captured and subjected to ritual torture at the hands of the witch doctor. Sir Julian witnesses this and negotiates his brother's release and brings him back to England.
Sometime later back at the Markham family home Sir Edward is kept locked in a room upstairs. His African ordeal has left him a raving madman, dangerous and unpredictable, and with a terrible disfigurement to his face (that we don't see until near the end) caused by a malady induced by the witch doctor. But Edward has a plan to escape his confinement and attempt to find a cure. He has managed to engage the services of a lawyer called Samuel Trench who has found an African explorer in need of money to bring home with him a (different) witch doctor from Africa who will take a look at Edward's condition for payment of gold. First the witch doctor N'Galo brews a drug that will simulate death with the plan that they will then rescue Edward's "dead" body from the morgue. But the plan goes wrong and once "dead" Sir Julian immediately seals his brother's body in a coffin (the Oblong Box of the title) not wishing anyone else to see the terrible fate that befell him, and he is buried - alive.
But in these times the practice of grave robbing is rife and a local doctor called Neuhart needs fresh bodies for his medical experimentations and his hired help dig up and steal Edward's body which, to Neuhart's shock, comes alive when he starts to examine it. Neuhart agrees to give Edward shelter lest the authorities discover his malpractice. Edward takes to wearing a crimson mask to cover his face and at night he prowls the town trying to find where N'Galo has gone so that the original deal that the lawyer arranged can be fulfilled with a cure. But Edward's madness has lowered his inhibitions and anyone who stands in his way or angers him is quickly killed.
Eventually Edward tracks down N'Galo but finds he cannot cure him of the fearful malady he has been given - however he is able to tell Edward why it was done to him - a young African boy was killed by a Markham on a horse and this plague condition was induced as revenge. But Edward knows he did no such thing - so it must have been his brother Julian who killed the boy. He is incensed that the retribution meted out on him by the tribe should have been for his brother, not him.
Julian, meanwhile, is out looking for Edward after discovering he is still alive and there is a final showdown in which Julian confesses but says he could do nothing to prevent the tribe's actions - there is a fight and Edward is mortally wounded - but before he dies he takes Julian's hand and bites deep into it passing on the infection. And when we next see Julian he has shut himself away in his brother's old room and is starting to show the signs of the same facial decay that afflicted his brother and is accepting of it as a fate he deserves.
|Starring:||Vincent Price (as Sir Julian Markham), Christopher Lee (as Dr Neuhart), Alister Williamson (as Sir Edward Markham)|
|Featuring:||Hilary Dwyer (as Elizabeth, Julian's wife), Peter Arne (as Samuel Trench, lawyer), Sally Geeson (as Sally, a maid), Rupert Davies (as Joshua Kemp, an artist), Carl Rigg (as Mark Norton, explorer working for Trench), Harry Baird (as N'Galo, witch doctor), Uta Levka (as Heidi, a prostitute)|
|Familiar Faces:||Colin Jeavons (as Village Doctor)|
|Starlets:||Anne Clune, Jackie Noble, Ann Barrass, Jan Rossini, Zeph Gladstone, Tara Fernando|
|Based on a story bu story by Edgar Allan Poe.|
|Writers: Bernard McKenna, Graham Chapman / Director: Peter Medak / Producers: Mark Forstater, Graham Chapman|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 84 mins|
|Arthur Harris returns home early to surprise his wife Fiona with a present for their 5th wedding anniversary. But he finds her packing her bags and making preparations to leave him. He is shocked by this because he thought they were very happily married but she tells him they are always arguing - he denies this and they proceed to have a row about whether or not they are always arguing. She tells him she no longer loves him because he is dull and just no fun anymore.
After she is gone Arthur is a broken man and contemplates suicide but all the methods he can think of sound dreadfully painful or don't work as expected. Then just as he is about to try electrocuting himself there is a knock on the door and an eager helpful looking man asks him if he needs any odd jobs done. Arthur doesn't but then thinks again and says the man can help him by throwing the switch on his makeshift electric chair. But the Odd Job Man knows a bit about electrics and questions whether Arthur's set up would actually kill him and suggests he might just be badly burnt which Arthur doesn't like the sound of at all. Arthur tells the man about his marital problems and his decision to kill himself and his inability to do it properly - Arthur realises that the problem is that if he does it by his own hand then he will know when it's about to happen and that's what's putting him off. So he offers to pay the Odd Job Man £500 to decisively kill him sometime over the next day at a surprising time when he isn't expecting it to happen. The man is up for anything, even this unusual request, and agrees to the arrangement and leaves.
Meanwhile Fiona has gone to stay with Arthur's best friend Tony who she thinks of as a pal but she finds that Tony is trying to give her some unwelcome sexual attention now that she is separated. She phones Arthur to see how he's doing and he tells her he is going to kill himself and she feels very guilty that she has made him so upset although doesn't quite believe he will actually do it.
Next day the Odd Job Man strikes while Arthur is walking in the park but he gets the wrong man and Arthur returns home unharmed - and finds that Fiona has returned apologetically saying she has made a dreadful mistake and has come back to him. Arthur is so happy until he remembers that the Odd Job Man is still out to kill him and he certainly doesn't want to die now - but he has no means of contacting him to tell him he can stop trying.
There follows a series of incidents in which the Odd Job Man does his best to bump off Arthur but always kills the wrong person by mistake. After numerous failed attempts the Odd Job Man is getting increasingly frustrated at this job which is taking a lot longer than he thought and comes after Arthur with a gun while he and Fiona are visiting a zoo. Arthur and Fiona desperately flee back home to their apartment block complex with the Odd Job Man in hot pursuit but eventually Arthur manages to get close enough to tell him the job is cancelled and he doesn't want to die anymore. The Odd Job Man is quite happy with this and cheerily bids him goodbye and leaves. Then in their high-storey apartment the Harris' realise the man has left his gun and lean over their balcony railings to call down to him. The Odd Job Man desperately shouts up to them to tell them not to lean on the balcony as he'd forgotten to mention that he'd earlier sabotaged it in an unused attempt to bump off Arthur. But he is too late - the balcony gives way and Arthur and Fiona fall to their deaths. THE END.
|Starring:||Graham Chapman (as Arthur Harris), David Jason (as The Odd Job Man), Diana Quick (as Fiona Harris, Arthur's wife)|
|Featuring:||Simon Williams (as Tony Sloane, Arthur's best friend), Edward Hardwicke (as Inspector Black), Bill Paterson (as Sergeant Mull), Carolyn Seymour (as Angie, seductive neighbour), Michael Elphick (as Raymonde, crime boss), George Innes (as Doorman at Arthur's apartment complex)|
|Familiar Faces:||Richard O'Brien|
|Based on a play by Bernard McKenna.|
|Writers: Kenneth Ross, George Markstein / Director: Ronald Neame / Producer: John Woolf|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 123 mins|
|It is November 1963 in Hamburg, Germany and journalist Peter Miller covers what he thinks will be a small story of an old Jewish man called Salomon Tauber who has just committed suicide. A detective friend of his investigating the death gives Miller the old man's diary to read which turns out to be a revelation. Tauber had been an inmate at a notorious Nazi concentration camp and had been one of only a small number of prisoners to survive. He writes of a ruthless SS officer called Eduard Roschmann who not only ordered the death of countless Jews but also gunned down a decorated German officer who stood up to him - although Tauber didn't know the murdered man's name he describes his distinguished service decoration and the date of the death. After the war Roschmann vanished and his fate remained unknown but Tauber recently caught sight of him alive but couldn't get the authorities to believe him or take any interest hence his resort to suicide.
Miller decides to take up the investigation and try to find Roschmann himself. He discovers there is a secret organisation called "Odessa" set up to help former members of the SS by giving them new identities so they can start anew in influential positions in society, whilst the Odessa leaders plan for the day when they can re-emerge to make Germany great again.
Odessa operatives permeate all levels of society and Miller finds his enquiries blocked and receives clear warnings to desist. Then Israeli intelligence make contact with him when they hear of his investigation. The Israelis have received intelligence that the Odessa are planning to use the resources at their command to make a missile strike on Israel and spread a radioactive tinged bubonic plague. The missiles are ready but the guidance system is still being developed. Miller agrees to attempt an infiltration of Odessa by posing as a former low-level SS officer who has decided he needs the protection of a new identity. He undergoes a comprehensive course of tuition on the identity he is to adopt so he will pass the rigid inspection he will be put through before the wary Odessa leaders will accept him.
Miller manages to pass scrutiny of the Odessa screener and is sent to a master forger called Klaus Wenzer who supplies all the Odessa members with new identities. Wenzer is a Jew and fears for his own safety so to protect himself has kept a master log of all the new identities he has created showing their previous names. After Miller is sent to Wenzer the Odessa leaders receive information that he is a mole and so send a professional killer to eliminate him. Miller becomes suspicious that his cover is blown and manages to overcome the killer and retrieve Wenzer's logbook. He discovers Roschmann's new identity is the head of an electronics firm that is developing the crucial rocket guidance system hence the Odessa's steadfast attempts to shield him from exposure.
When Miller confronts Roschmann, the former SS man tries to convince Miller that he had been simply following orders and the diary he read was the uninformed opinions of a bitter old man. But Miller then reveals that his overriding interest in tracking Roschmann down was not just because of the sickening injustice done to the Jews but because the decorated German that Roschmann murdered was Miller's own father - although he was unnamed in Tauber's account the specified bravery decoration and date of death made it clear to Miller who the man had been (although this was previously unrevealed to, and unsuspected by, the viewer). Roschmann realises he cannot appeal against Miller's personal revenge and tries to kill him with a hidden gun - but Miller reacts too fast and shoots him first.
Wenzer's logbook is given to a trusted Nazi war-criminal hunter and as a result many now-influential men are exposed and arrested - and Roschmann's electronics factory is blown-up by the Israelis to eliminate the threat that the missiles had posed.
|Starring:||Jon Voight (as Peter Miller), Mary Tamm (as Sigi, Peter's girlfriend), Derek Jacobi (as Klaus Wenzer, identity fraud expert), Maximilian Schell (as Eduard Roschmann)|
|Featuring:||Peter Jeffrey (as David Porath, Israeli intelligence officer), Ernst Schröder (as Werner Deilman, high ranking Odessa member), Noel Willman (Franz Bayer, high ranking Odessa member), Maria Schell (as Frau Miller, Peter's mother, [small role]), Towje Kleiner (as young Salomon Tauber, in flashback scenes), Gunnar Möller (as Karl Braun, detective friend of Peter's), Christine Wodetzky (as Gisela, [probably the policewoman tasked with minding Sigi])|
|Based upon the novel by Frederick Forsyth|
|Writer: Bryan Forbes / Director: Ken Hughes / Producer: James Woolf|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 95 mins|
|Set in approximately the early 1900s. Philip Carey is a sensitive and compassionate young man who has not yet found his purpose in life. He has a clubfoot and as a schoolboy he was victimised by bullies because of this. With corrective shoes Philip's disability only caused him a slight limp but he was still subjected to endless ridicule by fellow pupils which resulted in him having few friends. After he left school Philip moved to France and tried to become an artist, but although he possessed technical ability his work was unremarkable and he was told he would be better off pursuing a different career. So Philip returned to London and enrolled in a four-year course at the East London Hospital Medical School with a view to qualifying as a doctor.
Philip's disability does not severely affect him but he retains a belief that he will forever be judged first as a cripple before anything else. He has found it difficult to meet girls because he would never be able to take them dancing like other men could. At the medical school Philip makes friends with another student called Griffiths who knows how to have a good time and refuses to let Philip mope around on his own when he could be out having fun. Philip lets himself be persuaded along to the local tavern which all the students frequent.
Mildred Rogers is a waitress with a working class background whose looks have made her the fancy of every young man around. Mildred is forever being propositioned and has become adept at gaily deflecting chat-up lines with her cheeky back-chat without causing offence. When Philip sees Mildred he is instantly smitten by her beauty and buoyant personality and becomes anxious to get to know her better. Philip has a soft-spoken and sincerely courteous manner which marks him out to Mildred as somewhat different from the usual sort that try to woo her. But she is used to being propositioned and can take her pick so she politely turns him down.
Over the coming days Philip persists until eventually she agrees to go to dinner with him. It is clear Mildred is a common working class girl able to masquerade as a lady when it suits her although her manner betrays her if she speaks. She can appreciate the finer things in life that her gentleman suitors care to lavish upon her.
To everyone else Mildred is a common tart, but to Philip she is his image of perfection and he falls hopelessly in love with her and as a result cannot concentrate on his studies because he can think of nothing but her. After several successful dates he believes she is as serious about him as he is for her. But then he discovers she is still seeing other men and to her he is just another chap who takes her out now and again. Philip causes a scene and she gets affronted that he is being so possessive and says she doesn't want to see him again.
Philip's dignity and confidence are shattered but Griffiths tells him it is probably for the best as now he knows what she is like - as close to a whore as they come without actually walking the streets and taking hard cash. Some weeks pass in which Philip avoids going to the tavern but inevitably he bumps into her again and she seems to have forgotten all about their spat and wonders why he has not been to see her recently. Her infectious personality easily charms him all over again and he immediately starts pouring his heart out over how much he has missed her. They agree to another date and this time Philip is convinced she has decided upon starting a committed relationship with him. He buys an engagement ring and at the end of their evening out he proposes, expressing his deep abiding love for her. But she has some shocking news for him - she has already agreed to marry another - a man called Miller who is earning good money. Philip is not yet in a position to be earning and she thinks Miller's to be the better offer. Philip is stunned and is left alone with dark thoughts of abandonment which reinforces his belief that it is his lot in life to be left on his own as an outcast. Philip knows he has to forget about Mildred and so he knuckles down and gets to grips with his studies which he had been neglecting whilst Mildred was around. He passes his second year exams with flying colours.
Then unexpectedly Mildred comes back into his life. Miller has abandoned her and left her pregnant and unsupported. She is demure and sheepish and has lost all trace of her frivolous gaiety now she has been exposed to life's harsh realities. She has come to Philip for help because she knows he once cared for her. Philip's affection for Mildred remains and although he does not wish to renew his relationship he feels an obligation to help her. Philip agrees to rent her an apartment and look after her until the baby is born and then help her find her husband whose responsibility it is to provide for her. Mildred is grateful and knows it is more than she deserves. She remains humble all the way to the birth of a baby girl.
Mildred does not feel able to support a baby by herself so Philip pays to have her fostered. With the baby gone a great burden seems to be lifted from Mildred and her vivacious spirit returns. She wants to start having fun again and Philip's love for her is so ingrained he can refuse her nothing and is simply overjoyed to see her happy again. All he asks in return for his devotion to her is that she be true to him. But Mildred cannot help herself and soon slips back into her flirtatious ways dallying with other men with no concern for Philip's feelings. Philip feels humiliated and gives her an ultimatum to choose him and the secure stable life he can offer, or to get out of his life for good. She responds unfavourably to this attempt to control her and turns on him with recalcitrant ferocity telling him how much his mere presence revolts her and always has done and she forswears his cloying idolatry. Philip's sufferance of her selfish comportment reaches its limit and he casts her welfare aside and tells her she can fend for herself from now on.
At the hospital Philip makes friends with an irascible old gent called Thorpe Athelny who is a patient on his student training rounds. Thorpe has a daughter called Sally who visits him and Philip is immediately drawn to her fair comeliness and it appears the feeling is mutual with his soft-spoken manner gelling with her own. When Thorpe is better he invites Philip down to his and Sally's country cottage to have Sunday dinner with them. Philip and Sally become better acquainted and a romance blossoms.
Some time passes and Philip hears that Mildred has fallen on hard times and has become a prostitute living in the slums. Philip's strange emotional attachment to this undeserving trollop will not allow him to stand by and let this happen so he tracks her down and tells her he will pay for her to live somewhere better. This works for a while but eventually Mildred's injurious pride runs away with her again as she accuses Philip of keeping her like a cosseted pet. He clearly does not want to marry her or take her as a mistress and she cannot abide not understanding what he wants of her. She throws all his good intentions back in his face calling him a cripple and a joke of a man spurning the lifeline he has freely offered in a wantonly self-destructive rage. Her vile words sting Philip hard and he leaves for the final time finally realising she is beyond his help and trying more would be counter productive. His insane love for her will never be reciprocated.
Philip continues to see Sally who is an altogether different prospect, an English rose with an enlightened spirit who makes Philip feel very happy. At the end of his four-year course, Philip graduates and becomes a fully-fledged doctor. He attends outpatients' clinics and one day his final patient of the day is none other than Mildred Rogers. She has a nasty cough and other complications and Philip sends her to have a blood test. When the results come through it is discovered she has contracted syphilis. Philip goes to her address which is a grimy basement hovel even worse than her last place. She rejects all his offers of help and treatment because she cannot afford the time for it because she needs to ply her trade to feed herself.
A little while later Mildred is admitted to hospital dying and Philip is by her bedside to be there for her with soft words of kindness as she slips away. Her death hits Philip hard and he decides he wants to emigrate and start a new life after attending Mildred's funeral which he pays for. But he has reckoned without Sally who is not about to let him go so easily. She joins him at the funeral understanding his pain and giving him a good reason to stay. The film ends there and we don't discover what Philip decides to do.
|Starring:||Laurence Harvey (as Philip Carey), Kim Novak (as Mildred Rogers), Jack Hedley (as Griffiths, medical student), Nanette Newman (as Sally Athelny), Roger Livesey (as Thorpe Athelnym Sally's father)|
|Featuring:||Siobhan McKenna (as Nora Nesbitt, authoress with whom Philip has a brief fling), Robert Morley (as Dr Jacobs, medical school lecturer), Ronald Lacey (as Matty Mathews, medical student), David Morris (as Philip as a schoolboy), Anthony Booth (as Martin, suitor of Mildred, [uncredited]), Peter Moray (as Art Teacher, [uncredited])|
|Based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham|
|Directing credit is: Directed by Kenneth Hughes. Additional scenes directed by Henry Hathaway|
|Made in Black and White|
|Writer: John Hopkins / Director: Sidney Lumet / Producer: Denis O'Dell|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 107 mins|
|Detective Sergeant Johnny Johnson is a police officer involved in the hunt for a serial child molester that has an entire community fearful for the safety of their children. Three young girls have so far fallen victim to the attacker and the police have made no significant progress.
When another young girl is reported missing while walking home from school a massive search is started and she is found by Johnson in the woods having suffered a distressing experience. Johnson has been working on cases like this for the past twenty years and has seen some terrible things which now haunt his waking thoughts. All the misery he has witnessed have taken their toll on his state of mind and he feels an immense hatred towards anyone who would do something like this to a little girl.
When a man called Kenneth Baxter is found wandering around in the vicinity of the attack in a disorientated state he is brought in for questioning as a possible suspect. Senior officers interview him but his answers are vague and no firm conclusions can be reached about his guilt. However Johnson feels certain that Baxter is the culprit and believes he knows how to get a confession from him. So without authorisation he interviews Baxter alone. Johnson subjects the reticent suspect to a series of accusations and becomes increasingly infuriated by the man's calm and unconcerned superior-seeming manner. Johnson describes to Baxter the kind of sordid things about young girls he knows the man must be thinking to which Baxter remains unresponsive. Eventually Johnson becomes aggressive and starts hitting Baxter but this only seems to please the man more.
Baxter opens up and reveals he is one of life's perennial victims who is forever being targeted by bullies who think they are better and more powerful. But Baxter has long known that since a bully needs a victim it is actually he who has the upper hand. Baxter holds such men in contempt and recognises that Johnson is the kind of bully that he has encountered all his life from school to the workplace who thinks that others can be ridden roughshod over. But he has learnt how to handle such men and allow them to do their worst until the balance of power shifts. Baxter tells Johnson that the reason he must know the mind of a child abuser so well is that he has similar feelings. Johnson flies into a rage at that suggestion because he knows there is some truth to it and he has been having uncomfortable thoughts about young girls. He pummels the helpless Baxter with his fists as the man smiles at him with a bloodied grin.
Only when other officers rush in after hearing the commotion does Johnson's uncontrollable onslaught end. Baxter is rushed to hospital in a critical condition and later dies. Johnson is arrested for murder and questioned by senior police superintendent Cartwright who listens to Johnson's version of events (as described above) to try to work out what drove him to such an extreme reaction. Johnson tries to explain that all his rage towards the scum he's had to encounter over the years had bottled up and were released in that moment of fury towards a man who seemed to be there for that very provision - as if it were Baxter's calling to absorb the anger of others in the manner of a safety valve. After Johnson has finished his statement Cartwright can find nothing to mitigate his actions however depraved he believed the suspect to be. A policeman is supposed to be better than that and get at the truth by careful questioning and evidence gathering - not by intimidation and violence. Johnson is led away to the cells.
|Comment: We don't find out what happens to Johnson next, nor do we ever get to find out for sure if Baxter was really the child molester.|
|Starring:||Sean Connery (Detective Sergeant Johnson), Trevor Howard (as Detective Superintendent Cartwright), Vivien Merchant (as Maureen, Johnson's wife), Ian Bannen (as Kenneth Baxter, suspect)|
|Featuring:||Peter Bowles (as Detective Inspector Cameron, senior officer), Derek Newark (as Frank Jessard, detective)|
|Writer: Robert Dillon / Director/Producer: William Castle|
|Type: Comedy Horror||Running Time: 82 mins|
|London-based American car salesman Tom Penderel has for the last month been sharing a flat with a man called Caspar Femm after responding to an advert. The arrangement is rather odd in that Tom is allowed to have the flat at night and Caspar uses it only during the day. Tom finds out that every night Caspar goes back to his ancestral home of Femm Hall in Dartmoor even though he is in fear of his life when he is there. Caspar buys a car from Tom and asks him to drive it down to Femm Hall for him to deliver it and he can at the same time meet his errant family including his cousin Cecily who is the only nice one of the lot.
Tom arrives at Femm Hall one stormy evening and finds it is a large and gloomy gothic mansion. His first grisly discovery is that Caspar has just died of a fall down the stairs. He then meets the sweet and lovely Cecily who warns Tom to leave for his own safety - but the weather has closed in and made the roads unsafe so Tom has to stay the night.
The Femm family are an odd bunch:- these include the gregarious head of the family Roderick and his nervous wife Agatha who knits to calm her nerves; Potiphar, who has built a great ark in the garden ready for the great biblical-scale floods he predicts will come; and the overbearingly seductive Morganna, whose father Morgan is insanely protective if she talks to any man. The odd thing is that none of the family really seem to want to live in the old house but are obliged to by the terms of an ancient will. Roderick's great great great grandfather was a pirate captain and left a fortune but stipulated that the money would only be inherited by the last remaining Femm who adhered to his rule that every Femm who wishes to inherit must live in this house and be home by at least midnight every day for a family gathering or they automatically forfeit their claim.
The family fear that one of their number has become a murderer to speed up the progress of the inheritance by eliminating all their rival beneficiaries - but which is it? Tom doesn't know since none of them seem normal except for Cecily who says she only stays because she was born and grew up here and it is the only home she has known - but she is greatly concerned how the house seems to wickedly twist people as if it is itself alive with evil.
There follows a series of murders after each of which a deep male voice booms out a mocking warning from a tape recording machine. The survivors wonder who will be next - even Tom is not safe because Roderick thinks he might be a distant Femm relative as he resembles a portrait of the pirate captain.
As the murders mount up killing even the most likely suspect Roderick himself, Tom realises that the tape that is being played is artificially slowed down and when he replays it at the correct speed he finds it is the voice of Cecily. She reveals herself as the murdereress who wants the money for herself and she has planted bombs all round the house to kill all those remaining and destroy the house. Tom rushes round trying to find and disable the bombs and just in time he finds the final one and lobs it randomly into the woods where it happens to land just beside Cecily who is waiting with eager anticipation to watch the house explode - she is the only one who dies. Tom is the hero of the surviving Femms and much to Tom's dismay even Morgan decides that the seductively unquenchable Morganna can have him after all.
|Comment: Although the plot description might not seem to have much comedy content it is played in a light comedic way by lead actor Tom Poston as he muddles his way through the situation.|
|Starring:||Tom Poston (as Tom Penderel)|
(Femm Family) Robert Morley (as Roderick, head of family), Janette Scott (as Cecily, Roderick's niece), Joyce Grenfell (as Agatha, Roderick's wife), Mervyn Johns (as Potipher, Roderick's brother), Fenella Fielding (Morgana, Roderick's niece), Peter Bull (as Caspar and Jasper, twins, sons of Roderick)
|Featuring:||Danny Green (as Morgan, brother of Roderick, father of Morganna)|
|Based on The Old Dark House by J.B. Priestley|
|Writer: Vernon Harris / Director: Carol Reed / Producer: John Woolf|
|Type: Musical / Drama||Running Time: 140 mins|
|Set in the 19th century. In Dunstable at the workhouse Home for Paupers and Orphans the boys there are put to work in tasks of hard manual labour. All they get for their efforts is a bowl of gruel whilst the workhouse governors feast on gourmet dinners. Oliver Twist is an orphan whose mother came to the workhouse destitute whilst she was pregnant and died in childbirth. He has been raised at the workhouse ever since and has no clues about his real family background. He has grown up into a young boy with an angelic face, innocent charm and trusting nature. One day at dinner he is egged on by his friends to complain about the measly portions of gruel they receive by asking workhouse manager Mr Bumble for more. Unfortunately this display of impudence is considered intolerable and Oliver is earmarked a troublemaker and sold away to local undertaker Mr Sowerberry as a dogsbody.
Oliver is treated badly and he soon runs away and heads for London where he has vague notions of finding his fortune. London is an awesome place with its noise and bustle and Oliver has no streetwise instincts to help him find food and lodgings. He chances to meet a young scruff dressed as a toff who calls himself the Artful Dodger who says he knows an agreeable gent who will put him up. The Dodger takes Oliver to the slum area of London and to the den of Fagin where dozens of other young boys also dwell. The roguish Fagin gives his boys food and shelter and in return they earn their keep by picking the pockets of rich gents - although Oliver does not realise this at first and thinks Fagin is just very generous. Fagin's partner-in-crime is bully and thug Bill Sikes who steals valuable items from houses and has Fagin fence the goods for him. Sikes' girlfriend is tavern waitress Nancy whom all the boys adore for her sweet and kindly nature.
The Dodger takes Oliver out to show him what will soon be required of him - and as Oliver watches he is shocked to see the Dodger picking a gentleman's pocket and run off. The gentleman realises his wallet has gone and looks round and sees only Oliver and angrily accuses him of the theft. Oliver runs in panic and is eventually caught and brought before a magistrate. Fortunately a witness comes forward who saw the real culprit and says that Oliver seemed only to be an innocent bystander. Oliver is freed and the gentleman who accused him whose name is Mr Brownlow decides to make amends by showing the poor orphan boy hospitality and kindness and semi-adopt him. Oliver goes to stay in Mr Brownlow's townhouse as a member of his family and for the first time in his life knows what happiness is like. Mr Brownlow is delighted by his cherubic new charge and is struck by the similarity between the boy's angelic features and a portrait of his poor departed young niece who ran away years ago and was never seen again.
Bill Sikes is extremely displeased with the recent developments for he fears that Oliver will snitch on them and divulge what he has learned about Fagin's setup and Sikes' involvement. Sikes persuades Fagin that it is vital to get Oliver back under their control. With menaces he recruits an unwilling Nancy to help even though she would prefer they just leave the boy to get on with his life in peace. When Oliver is next sent out on an errand Nancy's job is to exploit his trust in her and lead him into an ambush. Thus Oliver is recaptured and brought back to Fagin's den where Sikes insists on keeping a special eye on him and warns Nancy not to interfere in matters that don't concern her.
Mr Brownlow is very worried about Oliver's disappearance and starts making enquiries about his background at his former workhouse orphanage. Mr Bumble tells Brownlow about the unfortunate fate of Oliver's mother and shows him a locket they kept that had belonged to her. Brownlow recognises it as the locket he had given to his niece on her 18th birthday and knows with absolute certainty that Oliver is a true member of his family.
Bill Sikes starts taking a fearful Oliver out on jobs that require a small person to enter a property through a narrow window and open the front door. Meanwhile Nancy is still feeling awful about her role in recapturing Oliver and resolves herself to make amends and correct her horrific mistake. She goes to see Mr Brownlow and tells him to meet her on London Bridge that night and she'll bring Oliver to him.
Later that evening Nancy sneaks Oliver away from Sikes in the tavern and leads him to where Brownlow is waiting. But Sikes notices his novice minion has gone and gives chase. He catches up with them and in his rage and fury beats Nancy to death for her disobedience and disloyalty and retakes Oliver. Nancy had been a very popular person in these parts and her death is very upsetting. Soon a posse of angry locals and police are on the hunt for her killer whom they know to be Sikes.
A desperate Sikes tries to flee from the enraged mob over the rooftops but falls to his death and Oliver is free and returned to the happy home of Mr Brownlow. Fagin and the Artful Dodger's operation in these parts has been rendered unsalvageable and they set off to start anew somewhere else.
|Starring:||Mark Lester (as Oliver Twist), Ron Moody (as Fagin), Shani Wallis (as Nancy), Oliver Reed (as Bill Sikes), Jack Wild (as The Artful Dodger), Joseph O'Conor (as Mr Brownlow)|
|Featuring:||Harry Secombe (as Mr Bumble, workhouse manager), Peggy Mount (as Mrs Bumble, workhouse cook), Leonard Rossiter (as Mr Sowerberry, undertaker), Hylda Baker (as Mrs Sowerberry, undertaker's wife), Kenneth Cranham (as Noah Claypole, undertaker's employee), Megs Jenkins (as Mrs Bedwin, Mr Brownlow's housekeeper), Hugh Griffith (as The Magistrate), Sheila White (as Bet, Nancy's friend), Elizabeth Knight (as Charlotte, Noah's girlfriend)|
|Freely adapted from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. Book music and lyrics by Lionel Bart.|
|The above stated running time excludes 7 minutes of the film which consists of nothing other than a title card with some music playing at beginning, middle and end:- Overture (3 mins), Intermission (3 mins), and Exit Music (1 min).|
|Writer: David Seltzer / Director: Richard Donner / Producer: Harvey Bernhard|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 106 mins|
|Prologue: Five years ago in Rome soon after 6am on the 6th June at an ecclesiastically administered maternity hospital, American Ambassador Robert Thorn makes a fateful decision. Robert's pregnant wife Katharine has just been through a difficult labour and does not yet know that the child died. Robert is persuaded by the principale Father Spiletto's unorthodox suggestion that he could take another baby born at the same time, whose mother died in childbirth, and pass it off to Katherine as the baby she bore. Robert knows how much Katherine wanted a child and how difficult it might be for her to conceive again, so in this moment of weakness, and against his better judgement, he agrees. They call the child Damien. End of prologue.
Five years later and Robert and his family are now living in London where he is the British Ambassador with speculation that he could be a future presidential candidate. Damien is a perfectly normal and healthy boy who has never given them any trouble and they love him dearly. Things start to change on his fifth birthday when for no good reason his young nanny Holly publicly kills herself in an extravagant fashion. Damien is shocked by the incident and it seems to awaken in him some latent awareness. Soon a new governess arrives, seemingly unbidden, to fill the vacant position. Her name is Mrs Baylock whose professional manner conceals her dark unholy purpose of safeguarding the life of an emergent evil whilst it still possesses the body of a vulnerable child who is not yet fully aware of his true heritage.
Meanwhile Robert is being pestered by a priest called Father Brennan who brings him dire warnings concerning his son. Brennan appears to have knowledge of Damien's unconventional adoption and Robert wonders if the priest is trying to blackmail him. But Brennan speaks little sense amid his crazed prognostic pronouncements of ancient biblical prophecies from the Book of Revelations coming true. According to Brennan the omens indicate that his sweet son is the child of the devil himself who will one day bring about global apocalypse which can only be avoided if Robert takes precipitate action by ending Damien's life whilst he is still a defenceless boy. Brennan gives him the name of a man in Megiddo, Israel who can instruct him on the procedure required to fully eradicate the satanic evil.
Robert dismisses the priest as a crank, but next day is shocked to find out that the priest met a grisly end in a freak accident soon after they had met. Robert starts to notice things about Damien that lead him to wonder if there could be any substance to Brennan's portentous warnings - such as Damien's irrational fear of churches; his avoidance of all the normal childhood illnesses; and the way animals seem to be wary of him as if sensing a malevolence.
Robert goes to Italy to try and find out about the family background of Damien's birthparents. But he discovers that all the records from the hospital were destroyed in a fire soon after the adoption which had never been official anyway. Slender leads take Robert on a journey upon which he uncovers what seems to have been a conspiracy to have a changeling purposely installed within his family. Robert discovers the ghastly possibility that his own baby may have been deliberately murdered at birth to create the opportunity for the replacement to be accepted. Robert now firmly believes that his son must be the antichrist - the son of the devil. Theological theories lend weight to the possibility that Robert was chosen as host because of his heavyweight political connections which members of his family would also share.
Back in England, Katherine is recovering in hospital after a fall over her banisters in a seeming accident caused by Damien. Katherine had been pregnant again but she lost the baby in the fall and Robert now believes that it was a deliberate act by the boy to ensure there was no sibling rival, and possibly he was trying to kill her too. Robert phones Katherine in the hospital to warn her to leave England but before she can get dressed Mrs Baylock arrives and pushes Katherine from the upper story window to her death to complete the job.
Robert is devastated when he hears the news and becomes determined to do what must be done as ordained by Father Brennan whose warnings he should have heeded and he recalls the man in Israel that the priest urged him to contact. Robert travels to Megiddo in Israel in the old city of Jezreel which is being excavated by occult specialist Carl Bugenhagen. Here at the birthplace of Christianity, Bugenhagen explains to Robert what he must do to properly extirpate the evil. He gives Robert a series of seven ancient knives to be used in a certain way on hallowed ground. He warns Robert to be wary of the child's nanny who is an apostate of hell and will die to save her charge. Robert asks for proof that all of this is true and the sage tells him to look for a birthmark on Damien's skull shaped like three sixes which are the sign of the devil.
Robert returns home and confirms that Damien has the birthmark by cutting away some of his hair as he sleeps. He is then attacked with wild unrelenting ferocity by Mrs Baylock who clearly intends to stop him any way she can and he has no choice but to kill her to defend himself. It is totally against Robert's nature to be violent or want to harm small children and his rational mind struggles hard to accept what he must do to save the world. He drags Damien kicking and screaming to his car and speeds off to the nearest church. His wild driving is noticed by a police patrol car and all units are notified of a possible diplomatic incident in progress. Robert carries Damien into the church and pins him to the floor of the altar and prepares to expunge the demonic evil with the ancient knives. Armed police rush in and see what seems to be a helpless child being mortally threatened and after Robert ignores a warning and makes his first lunge, they shoot.
Epilogue. Ambassador Thorn and his wife are given state funerals and the President of the United States himself attends. Everyone's sympathies are with the young orphaned Damien. The president himself seems to have taken the boy under his wing and Damien has a secret look which suggests that things are going to plan ...
|Comment: Also part of the story but left out above for space reasons was a photographer called Keith Jennings who accompanies Robert on his trip to Italy after he discovers strange shadows on his photographs that foretell the manner of the subject's death.|
|Starring:||Gregory Peck (as Robert Thorn), Lee Remick (as Katherine Thorn, Roberts's wife), David Warner (as Keith Jennings, photographer), Billie Whitelaw (as Mrs Baylock, governess), Harvey Stephens (as Damien Thorn, 5-years-old son)|
|Featuring:||Patrick Troughton (as Father Brennan), Leo McKern (as Carl Bugenhagen, exorcism expert, [his role is uncredited]), Martin Benson (as Father Spiletto, Principale of Italian maternity hospital), Bruce Boa (as Tom Portman, Thorn's Aide), John Stride (as Katherine's psychiatrist), Anthony Nicholls (as Hospital Doctor), Freda Dowie (as Nun, at Italian maternity hospital), Sheila Raynor (as Mrs Horton, housekeeper), Robert MacLeod (as Mr Horton, chauffeur), Holly Palance (as First Nanny)|
|Starlets:||Dawn Perllman (as Chambermaid)|
|The main stars were American actors but the film was largely made and set in England and had a British supporting cast.|
|The film was followed by two sequels:- Damien: Omen II (1978) in which Damien is now 13-years old; and The Final Conflict (1981) which features the adult Damien. The second film has no British connections, but the third one is set once again in the British Isles.|
|Writers/ Producers: Ronald Wolfe, Ronald Chesney / Director: Harry Booth|
|Type: Sitcom spin-off||Running Time: 84 mins|
|Stan Butler is a bus driver who along with his conductor friend Jack Harper, crew the No 13 bus for the Town & District Bus Co. As a team they cover for one another as they make private detours to visit lusty housewives or make special stops to ferry around Stan's family - consideration towards the fare-paying passengers is very low on their list of priorities. The pair of them are the bane of Bus Inspector 'Blakey' Blake's life who would like nothing better than to be rid of the cheeky disrespectful duo whom he considers to be lazy good for nothings. However Stan and Jack know they hold the trump card because bus drivers are in short supply and Blakey cannot afford to sack them which allows them to get away with all manner of irregularities.
However Blakey has come up with a solution and advertises for women bus drivers and before long the staffing shortage is solved leaving Stan in a weakened position unable to safely flout regulations quite so readily. And it also means he can no longer rely on the overtime pay he has been getting used to.
At home Stan lives with his mother, his useless sister Olive, and her freeloading husband Arthur. Stan is the main breadwinner and with his income reduced and Olive with a baby on the way, the finances are becoming stretched. So Stan and Jack decide something must be done about the women bus drivers to get things back to how they were. They set about with an action plan of making the women appear to be useless and unreliable by use of such tactics as setting up fake bus diversion signs along their routes and lacing their canteen tea with laxatives. Their scheme works and Blakey is forced to reassign the women away from driving work.
Stan is happy because this means a return to rewarding overtime pay - but his satisfaction is short-lived when he discovers that Blakey has promoted all of the women to Bus Inspectors to keep a sharper eye on the bus routes and increase efficiency.
|Starring:||Reg Varney (as Stan Butler), Bob Grant (as Jack Harper), Stephen Lewis (as Blakey), Doris Hare (as Stan's Mum), Michael Robbins (Arthur, Stan's Brother-in-Law), Anna Karen (as Olive, Stan's Sister)|
|Featuring:||Brian Oulton (as Bus Depot Manager), Pamela Cundell (as Ruby, woman bus driver), Pat Coombs (as Vera, woman bus driver), Claire Davenport (as Peggy, woman bus driver)|
|Familiar Faces:||Wendy Richards (as Woman arguing outside launderette), Gavin Campbell (as Motor Cycle Cop)|
|Starlets:||Andrea Lawrence (as Betty, bored housewife), Pat Ashton (as Sally, driver and clippie), Brenda Gogan (as Bridget, sexy new canteen lady), Caroline Dowdeswell (as Sandra), Jeannette Wild (as Suzy, clippie), Moira Foot (as Katy), Linda Regan (as Girl on Bus wearing short skirt)|
|This was the first of three big screen spin-offs from the popular ITV sitcom of the same name. The other two were Mutiny on the Buses (1972) and Holiday on the Buses (1973). The series itself ran for 74 episodes over seven series from 1969 to 1973.|
|Writer and Researcher: Suzanne Mercer / Director: Stanley Long / Producers: Stanley Long, Barry Jacobs|
|Type: Documentary||Running Time: 84 mins|
|Subtitled: "A Chronicle of Prostitution". A quasi docu-drama about the history of prostitution that flits around the historical landscape showcasing certain aspects of the social evolution and development of prostitution in different societies through the ages. This is achieved through narration and dramatised sequences. (The various snippets that follow are as shown in the film and may or may not be historically accurate)
Beginning in biblical times amid the ancient Hebrews and moving on to the ancient Greeks who first recognised the commercial possibilities of prostitution and opened the first state brothels in 600BC. The Romans followed suit - there the women had to register to become prostitutes and once they had a licence they remained a prostitute for the rest of their lives - they were obliged to wear yellow wigs to identify themselves.
In 16th century Venice the courtesan was born - a high-class prostitute companion most sought after by respectable gentry. Further down the social scale common streetwalkers in Venice were imprisoned and their jailers given free reign to rape them - their sentences lasted as long as it took them to become pregnant at which time they would be no longer able to continue in their chosen profession and no longer a problem. Alternatively the prostitutes would suffer the public humiliation and torture of being put into a small cage and repeatedly ducked underwater.
In 19th century Britain both prostitutes and clients were made to wear masks so they couldn't recognise each other in polite society as many of the women were respectable wives. Also brothels of men were available where frustrated women could use the services of virile studs.
In Paris during the late 19th century the cult of the harlot was born with selected women becoming famous personages for their outrageous sexual behaviour and visited by the likes of Napoleon and the Prince of Wales from England. Meanwhile in Victorian London where moral values were very high, prostitutes were looked upon as poor unfortunates who needed to be saved and prime minister Gladstone took a personal hand in trying to help some of them by listening to their stories of how they fell into their way of life - some shanghaied by unscrupulous brothel madames and groomed into the profession. Elsewhere in Storeyville in America's New Orleans the law required that bordellos also provided entertainment and became the birthplace of jazz.
During the First World War the Germans raised morale among troops by providing mobile brothels where prostitutes were transported around near the front line in caravans. In Britain by the end of World War II brothels were closed down and this led to girls being forced out onto the street and by the mid-1950s London's streets were inundated with prostitutes and curb crawlers and became a public nuisance where no respectable girl could walk without being pestered. The Street Offences Act was therefore introduced making it illegal for girls to solicit.
|Featuring:||Lloyd Lamble (Prime Minister Gladstone), Gloria Walker (as Jenny, prostitute telling Gladstone her hard luck story), Olive McFarland (as Mrs Duberry, grooms young girls as prostitutes), Carmen Silvera (as Mrs Berkley, dominatrix), Karen Archer (as Mrs Berkley's assistant), David Brierley (as Prince of Wales), Francis Batsoni (as Napoleon III), Allen Morton (as Henry III of France), Peter Duncan (as François, King Henry's companion), Mildred Mayne (as Lulu White, New Orleans Madame), Charles Hodgson (as Roman Administrator)|
|Starlets:||Mandy Murfitt (as Cora Pearl, French Harlot), Fiona Victory (as Giulia Barucci, Italian Harlot), Natalie Shaw (as La Belle Otero, French Harlot), Pat Montgomery (as Lady Beatrice, Victorian user of male prostitutes), Heather Chasen (as Victorian Madame of male prostitutes), Louise Pago (as Veronica Franca, French Prostitute), Honey Brown, Jenny Lane, Tiffany and Bridget (as 4 New Orleans prostitutes), Eva (as Jailed Venetian Prostitute), Val Penny (as Water-ducked Venetian prostitute), Suzy Bowen (as Roman girl applying for licence to be a whore), Nicola Austine (as Roman Empress Messalina, who moonlights as the prostitute Lysisca ), June Palmer (as Victorian Wife who becomes a prostitute), Flanagan (as Lil, modern prostitute talking to social worker), Pamela Coveny (as Social Worker), Sonia Stevens (as Lil's friend), Lucienne Camille (as Sexual Therapist, [credited as Lucienne])|
|Also:||Charles Gray (Narrator, voice only)|
|Writer: Wendy Marshall* / Director: John Mackenzie / Producer: Guido Coen|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 86 mins|
|Mark Stevens is a divorced company director in his early 60s. He lives on his large country estate with his unmarried daughter Jennifer who is in her late 20s. Mark still enjoys the company of women who tend to find him very attractive. Jennifer herself is attracted to her own father but in a way she can never voice or realise. One summer a daughter of one of Mark's friends comes to stay - she is called Susan and has just left school. Mark and Jennifer involve her in their various social activities to keep her entertained and she proves to be delightful company.
Mark likes her and she is good company for Jennifer. But young Susan is attracted to Mark and starts growing closer to him until they eventually kiss and start a relationship even though he is so much older than she. They announce their engagement and Jennifer is furious thinking her father is making a fool of himself with this girl barely out of childhood. Jennifer owns some horses and she gifts one to Susan - but has an ulterior motive hoping that the young virile stable owner Bill Denton will turn Susan's head while he is giving her riding lessons. It's a ploy that works and after Susan has known Bill's youthful passion she finds having sex with much older Mark a disappointing and empty experience and she breaks up with him leaving Jennifer to have her father to herself once again.
|Starring:||Clifford Evans (as Mark Stevens), Jennifer Hilary (Jennifer Stevens, daughter), Felicity Gibson (as Susan Long), Peter Egan (as Bill Denton)|
|Featuring:||Jan Holden (as Elizabeth, Mark's mistress)|
|Familiar Faces:||Richard Vernon, Brian Wilde|
|Starlets:||Carolyn Seymour, Susan Harvey, Pauline Challoner, Moira Foot (all cameo roles)|
|*from a story by Harry Tierney and Guido Coen, suggested by a play Valkerie's Armour by Harry Tierney|
|Felicity Gibson receives an "introducing" credit|
|Writer: Ronald Harwood / Director/Producer: Caspar Wrede|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 101 mins|
|Set in a bleak Soviet labour camp for dissidents and political prisoners during the early 1950s. The focus is on one prisoner called Ivan Denisovich showing what a typical day is like for him.
The camp is in the wilderness of snowy Siberia where the daytime temperature is minus 27°F and escape is impossible because chances of survival are nil. Prisoners are known by their numbers and not their names and discipline is tightly maintained by the guards who rouse the prisoners early for fish and cabbage soup. Rules are never relaxed and even wearing extra layers of clothing against the cold is punishable with a period of solitary in the isolation cell where the cold is excruciating and to be avoided at all costs.
The men are marched at sunrise many miles across the snow to begin their day's hard labour constructing a power station building. The men work furiously hard because they know that they must hit certain work rate targets to be certain of getting any food that evening.
During breaks the men are allowed to talk and some discuss their sentences and how they came to be here. Ivan is in his eighth year of a ten-year sentence - his "crime" was escaping from allied capture during the war which in the eyes of the authorities made him a potential spy. Others have twenty-five year sentences and all seem resigned to the fact that they will serve their sentences in full and hope they will be released at the end of it. They consider themselves fortunate to be here amongst fellow-minded citizens instead of in a prison full of actual criminal classes where the biggest threats are from within. Here you are free to contemplate your position and examine your soul and providing you stick to the rules you'll get through it in the end.
At sunset they are marched back to camp and arrive in darkness. They have their evening food, socialise and barter items they have received from home in food parcels and then go to bed.
Every day the routine is the same, but this one was a good day for Ivan - he got something to eat, hadn't become ill and had managed to avoid any punishment. Another day closer to his release.
|Starring:||Tom Courtenay (as Ivan Denisovich, prisoner C854)|
|Featuring:||(other parts) Alfred Burke, James Maxwell, Eric Thompson, Espen Skjønberg, Wolfe Morris, Alf Malland, Matthew Guinness, John Cording, Paul Connell, Lars Norsdrum, Sverre Hansen, Frimann Falck Clausen, Kjell Stormoen, Roy Bjørnstad, Hans Stormoen|
|From the novel by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn|
|Character names are rarely mentioned and so other than the leading actor it is unknown who is who and how big a part they played|
|Writer/Producer: Michael Carreras / Director: Don Chaffey|
|Type: Adventure||Running Time: 96 mins|
|Set in prehistoric times at the dawn on time when the Earth was young. A tribe of cavemen are led by the fearsome leader Akhoba who dominates by means of his strength and aggression. He has two grown-up sons called Tumak and Sakana who are fiercely competitive and hateful of one another. Their "Rock Tribe" are just one of several tribes scattered amongst the wilderness although each is too busy surviving to venture into the dangerous unknown and the tribes are unaware of any others existence. The Rock Tribe is ruled with fear and each member must struggle for whatever scraps they can muster after the leader has had his feed of a hunt. There is no compassion amongst them and the wounded are abandoned and the strongest survive. Although Tumak is the favoured of the leader's sons even he is not spared his father's uncompromising wrath - when Tumak tries to take food that his father wants Akhoba savagely beats his son and expels him from the tribe.
Tumak sets out into the unknown wilderness and has encounters with some dangerous creatures. After many days travelling and in a weakened condition he comes to the coast and sees the ocean for the first time and then comes under attack by a giant turtle. Some women of the coastal Shell Tribe are fishing nearby and see him and call their men to help fend off the creature and save Tumak. One woman called Loana takes special interest in the newcomer as they take him back to their camp to care for him as he recovers.
The Shell Tribe are peaceful and cooperate with one another in tasks for the benefit of all. Consequently they have made innovations on spear design that amaze Tumak. In turn Tumak impresses them with his bravery when he defeats a marauding dinosaur that attacks their camp. However Tumak is too used to behaving selfishly and cannot understand the concept of group cooperation in anything other than hunting and when he tries to appropriate weapons for himself the Shell Tribe have no choice but to insist he leave - although they allow him to have one of their spears for protection. Loana has found herself attracted to Tumak and chooses to venture out into the wilderness with him.
Meanwhile back at the Rock Tribe the leader is badly injured in a fall deliberately caused by his callous son Sakana who takes his place as the new leader. Tumak and Loana make their way back to his old camp and are greeted warmly by most although Sakana is not pleased to see his brother return. Tumak teaches the tribe the improved spear-making skills he has learned and Loana shows the women her own skills of cultivation and fishing. Tumak's skills make him the natural leader and Sakana's position is usurped and he leaves with a small group of men still loyal to him.
While showing the tribe how to swim at the lake Loana is snatched by a swooping pterodactyl which takes her back to its high mountain peaked nest by the sea. Tumak immediately follows but hours later when he gets to the coast he realises that it is a forlorn hope to try and rescue her as she is surely dead now and he regrettably turns back. However unknown to him Loana had managed to fight the bird-creature into dropping her into the sea and she rejoins her old tribe and persuades some of the men to escort her back to Tumak's tribe.
Halfway back everyone is happily reunited but then Tumak is alerted that his brother Sakana and the men loyal to him are raiding the encampment for women and revenge. The Shell tribesmen agree to come with Tumak to aid him in battle. There is a pitched battle between the factions and to make matters worse a volcano erupts nearby causing the Rock Tribe to have to abandon their dwellings in panic. The two brothers' personal conflict goes on amidst all this with Tumak eventually getting the better and killing his brother who was trying to take Loana for himself. The surviving members of the Rock Tribe gather themselves together with Tumak in charge and start a trek through the wilderness to try and find a new place to live.
|Starring:||John Richardson (as Tumak), Raquel Welch (as Loana), Robert Brown (as Akhoba, Tumak's father and Tribe leader), Percy Herbert (as Sakana, Tumak's brother)|
|Featuring:||Martine Beswick (as Nupondi, Rock Tribe woman), Jean Wladon (as Ahot, Shell Tribe man)|
|The final two minutes or so of the film while they are walking around to look for a new place to live appeared to be in black and white. I don't know if this was done for (unclear) artistic reasons or if it was a restored sequence. None of the rest of the film had B&W sequences.|
|This film is a remake of One Million B.C. (1940) and the screenplay is credited as being based upon the work of the original writers of that film: Mickell Novack, George Baker and Joseph Frickert.|
|This is the first of three "primitive man" films made by Hammer although there are no continuing characters or situations that link them. The two films that followed were When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970) and Creatures the World Forgot (1971).|
|Writer/Producer: Bill Walsh / Director: Robert Stevenson|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 90 mins|
|Set around the early 1920s just after the Great War and starting off in China where we see a man called Lord Edward Southmere on the run from the wrath of a vicious warlord from whom he has stolen a secret. Once back in England he is still not safe and the London-based Chinese intelligence division are given orders to recapture him and retrieve the stolen secret of Lotus X.
Sir Edward flees into the Natural History Museum where he manages to hide the microfiche containing the secret on the skeleton of a large dinosaur. He collapses from his exertions and first on the scene to help is an elderly Nanny on a day-trip with her young charges and who just happens to have been Sir Edward's own nanny when he was a boy. He quickly tells her that he has hidden a secret film on the body of a large dinosaur just before the Chinese gang arrive and take him away as their prisoner. Nanny Hettie assumes Sir Edward must have become a spy and has trusted her with a vital state secret and so she is determined to help. She organises her network of nanny friends including Emily and Susan and after museum closing time they plan to sneak in and search the large dinosaur.
Sir Edward has been taken prisoner by Hnup Wan, leader of Chinese Intelligence in London, who has been tasked with recovering Lotus X which he assumes must be something with vital security implications to his country as the orders have come from the top level. Sir Edward repeatedly tries to tell them he is a businessman not a spy but this is dismissed as an obvious cover story.
As things progress Hettie and her friends fail to find anything on the skeleton and make several failed attempts to rescue Sir Edward from the Chinese's clutches. Hnup Wan decides that the only way to search the skeleton properly is to steal it and so they make a daring nighttime raid and load the large dinosaur skeleton on to the back of an open top lorry. But Nanny and co manage to steal the lorry from under their noses and drive it away around London in an attempt to keep it from the gang - creating confused mayhem around the city where only the dinosaurs upper body is visible through the fog giving passer-by's the impression it is moving by itself.
Eventually all parties realise they have been looking on the wrong large skeleton all this time. Hnup Wan finds the fiche in another large skeleton and triumphantly returns to his headquarters with the valuable information successfully recovered. But when he views it he discovers it is merely a recipe for Won Ton soup. Sir Edward, as he had been saying all along, is not a spy at all but a director of a soup company looking for a new flavour who had angered a Chinese warlord by pinching the details of a closely guarded family recipe. The nannies mount another raid on the headquarters and manage to rescue Sir Edward.
|Starring:||Peter Ustinov (as Hnup Wan), Helen Hayes (as Nanny Hettie), Derek Nimmo (as Lord Edward Southmere), Clive Revill (as Quon, Hnup Wan's right-hand man), Joan Sims (as Nanny Emily), Natasha Pyne (as Nanny Susan)|
|Featuring:||Bernard Bresslaw (as Fan Choy, Chinese henchman), Roy Kinnear (as Superintendent Grubbs), Andrew Dove (as Lord Richard Castleberry, boy), Max Harris (as Andrew Truscott, boy), Richard Pearson (as Sir Geoffrey Wilkins, museum curator), Arthur Howard (as Thumley, museum director), Jane Lapotaire (as Thumley's secretary)|
|Familiar Faces:||(small or cameo roles) Deryck Guyler (as Museum Guard), Jon Pertwee (as Colonel Mortimer, big game hunter), Joss Ackland (as BJ Spence, Texan millionaire), Amanda Barrie (as Mrs Spence), John Laurie (as Scottish man), Max Wall (as Juggler), Anthony Sharp (as Home Secretary), Frank Williams (as Dr Freemo, police scientific boffin), Percy Herbert (as Motorist), Joan Hickson (as Motorist's wife)|
|Based on the novel The Great Dinosaur Robbery by David Forrest|
|Andrew Dove and Max Harris both receive "introducing" credits - they were the two lads that Nanny Hettie was responsible for looking after.|
|Novel: Anders Bodelsen / Writers: Erik Balling, Anders Bodelsen / Director/Producer: Erik Balling|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 82 mins|
|Henrik Vinther is a 40-something businessman who works for one of Denmark's largest automobile importers, AutoNord. His firm has just struck a deal with a large Japanese car firm to construct a manufacturing plant in Denmark to build the latest secret model. Henrik is given management responsibility for the new deal and his first task is to entertain the Japanese businessmen prior to their departure back to Tokyo. Henrik's wife declines to accompany him as she is feeling unwell and in one of her increasingly frequent drink-induced moods that have caused their relationship to suffer. So Henrik joins the Japanese alone and feels a bit left out of the dinner table conversation as they all converse in their mother tongue and his gaze wanders to a pretty young blonde girl sitting at the bar. When the Japanese leave for the airport Henrik decides to stay behind with thoughts of trying to talk to the girl although he has no real plans beyond that. Her name is Susanne and they strike up a conversation and to his surprise she invites him back to a party that her young friends are organising. He decides to accept and goes with them in their car.
On arrival at her family beachside bungalow Henrik immediately realises he has made a mistake and feels terribly out of place amongst the dope-smoking students and after a brief stay decides to leave. He borrows Susanne's car to drive himself to the train station with her instructions that he should leave the car there and she'll collect it the next morning. It is a foul night and Henrik can barely see where he is going in the lashing rain and he accidentally knocks down an elderly cyclist. He stops and checks but the old man is dead and in his panic he pushes the body down into a ditch and throws the bicycle into some undergrowth and then continues on home.
Next morning is Sunday and his wife has recovered and is her bright and sunny self again, full of congratulations on his new contract and apologetic that she let him down last evening. Henrik hears on the radio that the body of a 72-year-old victim of a hit and run driver has been found - he is anxious but he feels that no one will know who he is and if the police trace the car and question the students none of them will know who he was as he never mentioned his name. But then at work the next day Henrik's boss Mr Falck tells him he would like Henrik to appear on a TV business programme to talk about AutoNord's business expansion plans. Henrik is reluctant to do this in case Susanne or one of the students sees the broadcast and puts a name to his face - but Falck is insistent that he does the interview and Henrik cannot think of an acceptable enough excuse to refuse.
After the interview has been broadcast the situation Henrik feared occurs and Susanne comes to visit him at his workplace after having seen him on TV. Henrik assumes she is going to blackmail him but instead she tells him she'd have probably done the same if it had happened to her - but what she is not happy about is the effect his actions have had on her life. She was pulled in for questioning by the police, her house searched and drugs found, a hefty fine to pay - and to top it all her employees used it as an excuse to fire her. So what she wants from Henrik is not money but a job - she used to be a publisher's secretary so she suggests she could be his press secretary.
Falck and his right-hand man Melchoir are bemused by what they see as an unnecessary appointment of a press secretary and have a sneaking suspicion that Susanne must be Henrik's mistress - which is fair enough in their eyes although putting her on the payroll seems a bit extreme. But Henrik is senior enough to make his own staffing decisions so they don't intervene - although she is treated with suspicion and not kept in the loop about the new secret car design which they don't want the press getting wind of because then no one would want to buy the current car model.
Susanne is a bright and sunny girl with a mischievous air about her that always suggests she is playing some manipulative game and Henrik is never quite sure what it is she really wants from him - but she has a hold over him and he must keep her appeased. She tells him she doesn't want to ruin him and just wants to get to know him and she seems to genuinely like him and wants to take things further. But when she kisses him he pushes her sharply away - and bizarrely this pleases her that he is at last showing some spirit. Meanwhile Henrik's wife is feeling low again and has gone off on holiday alone with their daughter when he was too busy to come with them and they both know it is an unspoken trial separation.
When Henrik is invited over to Tokyo to test drive the new model he is forced by Falck to take Susanne with him since she is supposed to be the press secretary so she might as well earn some of her salary. On the way in a sleeper train Susanne seduces him and they sleep together and she is amazed at what a tender and considerate lover he is - she is taken aback by the force of her feelings for him and tells him she loves him. During their stay in Japan Henrik gets a letter from his wife telling him that she is pregnant and how she is so happy and this is the chance that they need to re-cement their relationship. Susanne reads the letter and she is not sure where this leaves her if Henrik and his wife's relationship regains its solidity - she tells Henrik that she is not someone he can just play with and their night of passion meant a lot to her. Henrik realises at that moment that he is never going to be rid of Susanne and she will always be there intruding into his personal and professional life because of the possibility of her telling the police about the accident always hanging over him.
At the test track the next day Henrik takes the new car around the track - the circuit is a long one and disappears behind a hill for the outward part of the route. He goes deliberately slowly when out of sight to give himself a poor lap time and then on the second lap he stops and loosens the brake fluid valve so it slowly drips. He returns the car to the pit stop putting in a poor time and it is then Susanne's turn to test drive it and she knows she can beat his disappointing time. She does two fast laps without incident and easily beats him and then goes again determined to beat the course record - and then while out of sight on the fourth lap there is a loud explosion as the car crashes and Susanne's is killed within the burning car in such an inferno that any evidence of Henrik's tampering is destroyed and he is free of her. THE END
|Starring:||Roy Dotrice (as Henrik Vinther), Judy Geeson (as Susanne Strauss), Frederick Jaeger (as Melchoir, Henrik's friend at work), Geoffrey Chater (as Falck, Henrik's boss)|
|Featuring:||Zena Walker (as Beret Vinther, Henrik's wife), Ann Firbank (as Sonja, Melchoir's wife)|
|The Danish title of this film is Hændeligt uheld. Although this film was made and set in Denmark it doesn't have any definite Danish feel to it and much of the time could have just have easily been set in Britain with the few references to them being in Denmark easily overlookable. All the actors are British and speaking in their normal unaccented voices. But, if by no other clue than their character's names, they are clearly meant to be playing native Danish people (rather than British people living and working abroad) who in fictional terms are talking in Danish, but for the sake of the target audience are talking in English.|
|Writer: Bryan Forbes / Director: Sidney Gilliat / Producer: Leslie Gilliat|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 102 mins|
|Set in the small Welsh town of Aberdarcy. John Lewis works at the local library and has a wife called Jean and two young children. John has a wandering eye for attractive young women and they generally find his pleasing looks and easy-going charm very appealing. Jean is an understanding wife who knows her husband likes to flirt and accepts it as part of his character. She is keen for him to apply for a more senior job in the library but John doesn't think he stands much of a chance because he does not hold particularly strong views on actively promoting the use of the Welsh language which he knows the interview board are very keen upon.
Elizabeth Gruffydd-Williams is the rich and glamorous wife of the library committee chairman. One day she comes to the library to borrow a book and meets John whom she finds very desirable. She proceeds to seduce him making it clear that she can influence her husband's choice of candidate for the forthcoming promotion.
John finds Liz attractive as well and lets himself be drawn into her game of clandestine assignations although something always upsets their plans and they never get an opportunity to consummate their infidelity. Jean eventually finds out that John is having an affair with Liz but she tolerates it knowing what he is like and tells him she doesn't care - so long as he keeps providing the housekeeping money he can do whatever he pleases.
John goes for the interview which goes badly but Liz tells him it was just a formality and she has already swung it for him to get the job. She then starts becoming possessive as if she now owns John and can tell him how to behave and dress and has planned a new opportunity for them to be alone together. John suddenly realises that she is training him like a poodle and ends their relationship telling her that the price is too high. He declines to take the new job and reconciles with Jean. John and Jean move away from Aberdarcy and set up a mobile library service.
|Comment: Another plot element involves a local playwright called Gareth Probert who was an old flame of Jean's and is still bitter that it was John who won her love in the end. The two men maintain a sniping acrimonious rivalry whenever they meet and John has his suspicions that Jean might still be in love with him.|
|Starring:||Peter Sellers (as John Lewis), Mai Zetterling (as Elizabeth Gruffydd-Williams), Virginia Maskell (as Jean Lewis, John's wife), Kenneth Griffiths (as Iain Jenkins, John's friend), Richard Attenborough (as Gareth Probert, playwright, John's "nemesis")|
|Featuring:||Raymond Huntley (as Vernon Gruffydd-Williams, councillor, Elizabeth's husband), Maudie Edwards (as Mrs Davies, neighbour with dog), Meredith Edwards (as Clergyman on job interview board), John Le Mesurier (as Councillor on job interview board), Graham Stark (as Hyman, seedy library customer), John Arnatt (as Bill, Elizabeth's friend)|
|Familiar Faces:||Desmond Llewelyn (as Clergyman in mobile library, [cameo])|
|Made in Black and White|
|From the novel That Uncertain Feeling by Kingsley Amis|
|Writer: John Salmon / Director: Basil Dearden / Producers: Len Deighton, Brian Duffy|
|Type: Crime Caper||Running Time: 100 mins|
|Silas is a war veteran who now uses his organisational skills to plan intricate confidence tricks on unsuspecting avaricious businessmen whose greed can be exploited. Silas' small team of cohorts consist of his girlfriend Liz Smallwood and his junior partner Bob Hardcastle - both of whom are equally well versed at adopting credible false personas and playing whatever role is required to provide the mark (the person they are conning) with the necessary assurances that things are on the level.
The first con we see them engaged with is in New York where they have quickly set up a convincing office to seal a bogus property deal with a couple of marks they have been grooming. They return to London with the proceeds of their swindle before their victims even know they've been conned.
Bob is becoming a bit fed up with Silas always giving the orders and feels he could organise a con just as well. There is also some sexual tension in that Bob quite fancies Liz but cannot make any sort of move because she is Silas' woman. Their next attempt at a con is of a leader of a small upcoming African nation who is looking to purchase weapons but finds himself unable to secure them from the British government due to the belief he will use them to oppress his people. Silas and his team pose as army personnel willing to supply the weapons "unofficially". However this confidence operation goes awry when their scheme is exposed and they only just manage to get away without some sort of retribution being meted upon them for their impertinence.
Bob spots their next mark when he discovers a waiter friend of his is being paid a retainer by a rich property tycoon called Spencer to pass on juicy financial titbits heard while serving his patrons. Bob brings the opportunity to Silas' attention but insists that since it was his idea he should plan the stratagem for this one. Silas reluctantly agrees and takes on the supporting role allowing Bob to play the lead part in drawing the mark in. Spencer is baited with some false snippets passed on by Bob's waiter friend and they proceed to gain his trust and interest in a highly rewarding business opportunity in Beirut that just needs some additional capital investment to grease a few palms of corruptible bank clerks to push things through. Bob seems to take great delight in ordering Silas around in his role as a menial personal assistant.
Everything is going according to plan and Spencer and his own assistant Diana arrive in Beirut with their investment unaware that as soon as it is in the hands of the con artists it will be the last they hear from them. During the course of the operation Bob and Liz have become lovers and come to a secret arrangement to abandon Silas and take the money for themselves. They, however, are unaware (as indeed is the viewer until the revelation is made) that Silas and Spencer's assistant Diana have a secret plan of their own to take the money and abandon Bob and Liz. Ultimately however it is Liz who double crosses them all and heads off with the money all by herself.
|Starring:||Richard Attenborough (as Silas), David Hemmings (as Bob Hardcastle), Alexandra Stewart (as Liz Smallwood)|
|Featuring:||Nicholas Pennell (as Spencer), Melissa Stribling (as Diana, Spencer's PA), Terence Alexander (as Government man), Edric Connor (as Awana, African war minister), Calvin Lockhart (as Awana's aide), Brian Grellis (as Waiter), David Healy and Alan Gifford (as New York marks)|
|Familiar Faces:||David Lodge (Army vehicle depot man)|
|Additional material by Patrick Tilley. From the book of the same name by Len Deighton.|
|"Only When I Larf" was the punch line of a joke that Richard Attenborough's character often told his marks to entertain them on occasions when he needed to pass some time while waiting for his accomplices to carry out some important related part of the plan (although I'm not sure if there's any good reason why "Laugh" is misspelt).|
|Writers: John Warren, John Singer / Director: Cliff Owen / Producer: M. Smedley-Aston|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 92 mins|
|Charlie Tully is an audacious conman who preys on the rich and greedy, luring them with grand promises of social advantage or incredible investment opportunities. He uses his mastery of disguise and skill at artful deception to gain their confidence and then disappear with their money. His accomplice is Reggie Campbell Peek - a fully-fledged ladies man who has the names of all his ex-girlfriends and their phone numbers tattooed all over his torso.
Charlie and Reggie are currently working a scam in which, by posing as Royal and Foreign Office officials, they have convinced a gullible Italian businessman that his son has been selected to marry Princess Anne in order to foster Anglo-Italian relations as Britain prepares to enter the Common Market. All that is required from him is a contribution of £500,000 towards the wedding expenses. The con is successful and Charlie and Reggie get away with the money. Their next step is to fly out to Switzerland to deposit the money in a bank. At the airport Reggie is carrying the briefcase of bearer bonds but unfortunately Charlie cannot resist a quick pocket-change swindle of a couple of tourists and is caught for that offence and sentenced to six-months in prison. Reggie is not caught and he continues on and deposits the money safely in a Swiss bank.
Elsewhere the Italian businessman, incensed at being swindled, contacts the Mafia and takes out a contract on the pair who deceived him whom he has now belatedly identified. The Mafia boss agrees to make the hit but (for his own gain) wants to try and recover the stolen money first which means biding time until Charlie is out of prison.
Meanwhile Reggie is concerned that since only he knows the account number at the Swiss bank, if anything should happen to him Charlie would not know the details - so he takes measures to record that information in a highly cryptic manner that only Charlie would be able figure out. During this time he has affairs with four new girlfriends - unfortunately one of these turns out to be the sister of over-protective gangland boss Sid Sabbath who vows to kill him.
When Charlie gets out of prison Reggie is in fear of his life and doesn't get a chance to tell his friend the account details before he is killed by Sid's men. Charlie knows Reggie cryptically encoded the account number for him but he does not know where to start looking until he sees a new photograph in their flat in which Reggie is proudly displaying the tattooed names and phone numbers of his four latest girlfriends. Charlie visits the tattooist who tells him that on each occasion Reggie had brought the girlfriend in question with him and had had a tattoo placed on them as well using some strange mixture of random numbers - located on their bottoms! Charlie realises that Reggie has split the account number up into four segments and in order piece it back together he must find these four girls and somehow get to see their bottoms - easier said than done.
The Mafia are concerned that with Reggie dead Charlie is now their only hope of getting the money so they secretly put him under guardian angel protection. Which is fortunate because the first girlfriend that Charlie contacts is the sister of Sid Sabbath - and when he uses his conning skills to convince her she has inherited some money from Reggie but as executor he must first confirm her identity by means of viewing the tattoo, Sid catches him at it and vows to kill him also. So throughout the remainder of Charlie's quest he is being murderously stalked by Sid's men and secretly saved by the Mafia men - all with him being none the wiser on this matter.
Charlie visits the other three girls and by means of various different ruses and disguises (which include posing as a butler and enrolling into an all-women police cadet school) manages to discover the full account number. He goes to Switzerland and gets the money and is immediately abducted by the Mafia and taken to Rome. Now that the Mafia boss has the money he is ready to fulfil his contract to the conned businessman and kill Charlie. But Charlie uses all his powers of persuasion to convince the Mafia boss that he is more valuable alive and starts working for them using his skills to con unwary travellers in Rome with opportunities to purchase valuable monuments and relics.
|Starring:||Dick Emery (as Charlie Tully), Ronald Fraser (as Reggie Campbell Peek, Charlie's accomplice), Derren Nesbitt (as Sid Sabbath, Mob leader)|
|Featuring:||Pat Coombs (as Libby Niven, Charlie and Reggie's landlady and friend), William Franklyn (as Arnold Van Cleef, Liza's rich American suitor until exposed as another British conman)|
(Tattooed girls) Cheryl Kennedy (as Jo Mason, 1st girlfriend, sister of Sid), Julie Crosthwaite (as Patsy, 2nd girlfriend, her sequence is much shorter that the other three), Liza Goddard (as Liza Missenden Green, 3rd girlfriend), Anna Gilchrist (as Jane Seyton, from 4th girlfriend sequence although she turns out not to have the tattoo herself)
Ambrosine Phillpotts (as Lady Penelope Missenden Green, Liza's mother), Norman Bird (as Prison Warder Burke), Roland Curram (as Vivian, tattooist), Margaret Courtenay (as Woman Police Officer in charge of Cadet school), Steve Plytas (as Conned Italian businessman), Louis Negin (as Italian Businessman's son), Henry Gilbert (as Don Luigi, Mafia boss), Brian Oulton (as Funeral Director), Sheila Keith (as Magistrate)
|Starlets:||Vanessa Shaw (as Police Cadet, uncredited, brief speaking part), Jacki Harding|
|This comedy is inspired by the long-running TV comedy sketch show The Dick Emery Show and uses a few of the famous characters from that show. However those characters are used in this film as "disguises" or false identities that Charlie Tully adopts in the course of his exploits. This differs markedly from their use in the TV series in which they were "real" individuals in the context of the sketches they appeared in. The sketch show ran on the BBC from 1963 to 1981 and notched up over 160 editions.|
|The title of the film comes from the catchphrase of one of Dick Emery's most famous characters called "Mandy" - a woman who is always being approached by men in the street and misunderstanding their innocent questions or remarks as being sexually motivated and at the end of the sketch utters the line "Ooh... you are awful ... but I like you", before she pushes them over and leaves.|
|Writers: Richard Imrie, Derry Quinn, Ray Rigby / Director: Michael Anderson / Producer: Carlo Ponti|
|Type: War Drama||Running Time: 111 mins|
|Set in 1943 during World War II. Winston Churchill receives intelligence reports that the Germans are developing a series of rockets and flying bombs with which they intend to remotely bombard Britain. Churchill orders his supply minister Duncan Sandys to develop and coordinate a plan of action to counter this threat.
Sandys briefs his cabinet of experts. Some of them think it may be a hoax to divert attention, but Sandys is convinced there is enough corroborating indications to support the fact that something is going on. Germany are recruiting thousands of scientists and engineers from all over the occupied territories to work at an underground factory. What is needed is some agents to infiltrate that factory undercover as engineers and report what is going on. Sandys sets up an interview panel to find military personnel who have the required engineering background and are able to speak flawless German.
In the waiting room the applicants congregate and amongst their number are the eventual successful candidates:- American Lieutenant John Curtis, Dutchman Robert Henshaw, and Englishman Phil Bradley. They also meet another applicant called Bamford who was brought up in Germany and so speaks excellent German - but he is unsuccessful.
Curtis and Henshaw are given the identities of real Dutchmen who are known to have been recently killed and who would have been recruited by the Germans. Bradley is kept in reserve as a backup. Curtis and Henshaw are parachuted into Holland where they make their way to a hotel run by Frieda who is a member of the Dutch Resistance. Unfortunately it is belatedly discovered by British Intelligence that the man whose identity Henshaw is using is wanted for murder. Bradley is therefore sent with a backup identity.
Meanwhile the Germans perfect their flying bomb with aircraft wings and start launching them at London. They can achieve speeds of 400mph and are almost impossible for the slower Spitfires to intercept. After many days of bombardments Sandys decides to move anti-aircraft guns to the coast to increase the chances of shooting them down and this starts to be successful. But Sandys knows that the Flying Bomb is just the first wave of new weaponry that the Germans are developing.
The German police arrest Henshaw for murder when he produces his faked identity papers and he realises he cannot deny it for fear of compromising the operation and will have to take the punishment due. To make matters worse he is recognised by an SS officer who was until recently working undercover in England and had been present at the interview session - his name is Bamford and he knows Henshaw is a British agent. But Henshaw stubbornly refuses to drop his cover and Bamford has no choice but to execute him.
Curtis also has a problem when Nora Van Ostamgen, the Italian ex-wife of his cover identity, shows up at the hotel. She has been searching for her husband all over the country to get him to sign some custody papers for their children and had no idea he was dead. When she discovers that the man using her husband's name is not really her husband, Curtis has to take her prisoner in his hotel room so that his cover will not be blown. After getting to know her he begins to believe her that all she wants is a signature and she won't say anything. Curtis tells Frieda that Nora can be trusted and Frieda seems to accept it. But when Curtis has left the hotel to be transported to the factory Frieda calmly shoots Nora dead unwilling to take any risks.
Bradley has arrived in the country and is on the same truck convoy as Curtis. They get to the factory which is a vast underground complex burrowed into the side of a mountain under eighty feet of solid rock and impregnable to aerial bombing. Curtis is put to work on the development of the V2 rocket and learns it is capable of speeds of 3000mph using a new revolutionary fuel mix and will reach its target of London a mere five minutes after launch. There are some teething problems to iron out but it is nearly ready to go into operation. Hitler has ordered the total destruction of London and these rockets will be the tool that will demonstrate the supremacy of the German race.
The V2 attacks begin and their speed is so fast they are impossible to shoot down. London is defenceless and the only option is to destroy the factory where they are made. Sandys plans a night-time bombing raid but its success depends totally on the two agents they have on the inside.
Details of the timings of the raid are conveyed to Curtis and Bradley via resistance channels and the two men start to make their plans. The factory is heavily guarded and they are not too hopeful of achieving what is being asked of them but they know they have to try. To make matters worse SS Officer Bamford has arrived screening personnel records looking for any other possible British agents.
When the appointed time arrives Curtis and Bradley make their way to the power room and manage to trick their way in. But Bamford is on to them and manages to kill Bradley. Curtis locks himself into the power room which controls all of the base's heavy equipment. At the appointed time and knowing it will be the last thing he ever does, Curtis activates the circuit that opens the launch bay doors used for firing the rockets. With light now shining from the shaft like a beacon the squadron of British bombers waiting overhead drop their payloads and some bombs fall down the shaft and explode. With the vast stores of rocket fuel in the area there is a chain reaction which destroys the entire rocket making facility and kills all the scientists and engineers with rocket-making knowledge.
Curtis was also killed and back in England Sandys and Churchill quietly pay homage to the brave agents who were instrumental in this important victory but whose contributions to the war effort will never become known.
|Starring:||(Agents) George Peppard (as Lt John Curtis), Tom Courtenay (as Robert Henshaw), Jeremy Kemp (as Phil Bradley) |
Richard Johnson (as Duncan Sandys), Anthony Quayle (as Bamford, double-agent), Sophia Loren (as Nora Van Ostamgen, wife of Curtis' cover identity), Lilli Palmer (as Frieda, member of Dutch resistance)
|Featuring:||Trevor Howard (as Professor Lindemann, British scientist), John Mills (as General Boyd, British), Karel Stepanek (as Professor Hoffer, head of research at underground factory), Barbara Rueting (as Hannah Reitsch, female German test pilot), Richard Todd (as Wing Commander Kendall, head of photo analysis), Sylvia Syms (as Constance Babington Smith, photographic interpreter), Richard Wattis (as Charles Sims, photographic interpreter), Maurice Denham (as Air Marshall), Patrick Wymark (as Winston Churchill), Wolf Frees (as German Police Inspector), Philip Madoc (as German police officer), Moray Watson (as Col. Kenneth Post, British officer), Allan Cuthbertson (as Interview Panellist), William Mervyn (as Interview Panellist)|
|Familiar Faces:||John Alderton (as RAF navigator, [uncredited cameo])|
|Original story by Duilio Coletti and Vittoriano Petrilli|
|Writers: Tudor Gates, Anthony Simmons / Director: Anthony Simmons / Producers: Adrian Gaye, Victor Lyndon|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 106 mins|
|Sam Hall is an ageing ex-music hall entertainer who is down on his luck and lives by himself in a run-down riverside slum area called "Nine Elms". He busks for a living and his only companion is a scruffy but lovable shaggy dog called Bella who is old and becoming poorly.
A couple of cheeky local sibling kids called Liz and Mark taunt him with names and disrespectful rhymes but he tries to ignore them. Liz is 11 or 12ish and Mark is 6-years-old. They come from a poor working class family living in a small dilapidated home. Their mother is always busy with their baby sister and their father is always working overtime at his factory and they rarely see him. They aspire to leave their cramped rundown home and move into a council property but they are on a waiting list and have no idea when they will be re-housed. They are lonely and bored and that is why they follow the odd busker man around and poke fun at him - because they find him curious and unusual.
But after a while as they see him perform for the crowds using his once sought-after talents they begin to feel some sympathy and they tag along and help him with his act. After a while they become unlikely companions and Sam regales them with his personal philosophy of the values of a bygone era. The kids become keen to see what is on the other richer side of the River Thames and Sam takes them on a bus ride to see the sites of London and later shows them a special dog cemetery at Hyde Park.
The children want a dog of their own and Sam takes them to Battersea dogs home to choose one - but they need to raise a £3.50 fee which is beyond them. So they start doing odd jobs to try and raise the money and Sam eventually lends them the rest. They get their new dog whom they call "Battersea" but their mother and father are appalled at having a new mouth to feed and say she must go back - what's more the council have at last approved their re-housing and no pets are allowed at the new place.
The children run away and ask Sam if they can live with him. But his dog Bella has just died and Sam is very upset and gets drunk. The children decide to take the dog's body and give it an impromptu burial in the Hyde Park cemetery. Their parents are worried sick when the children don't come home and call in the police to look for them. Sam's recent association with the children is discovered and he guesses they may have gone to Hyde Park. It is pitch dark and the children cannot be found because they are hiding.
But next morning they are discovered safe and well and the family are reunited and they give Sam their new dog Battersea to replace Bella as they head off to live in their new home.
|Starring:||Peter Sellers (as Sam Hall), Donna Mullane (as Liz Ellis), John Chaffey (as Mark Ellis)|
|Featuring:||Marjorie Yates (as Chrissie Ellis, mother), David Daker (as Bob Ellis, father), Patricia Brake (as Battersea Dog's Home Secretary)|
|Familiar Faces:||Keith Chegwin (as Laundry factory teaboy, non-speaking cameo)|
|From the book The Optimists of Nine Elms by Anthony Simmons|
|Donna Mullane and John Chaffey both receive "introducing" credits|
|Writer/Director: Christian Marnham / Producer: Julian Harvey|
|Type: Crime Drama||Running Time: 47 mins|
|Set in 1966. 22-year-old Pauline Cox phones Mike Robins to see if he wants to go out on a date after they met recently at a Bexley nightclub and exchanged phone numbers. Mike suggests she come with him on Sunday morning to watch him play cricket in the rural Kent village of Charthurst about seventeen miles away and then they can go off and have some fun afterwards.
Pauline gets bored watching the cricket and wanders off alone for a walk through a vast nearby apple orchard and comes to the small provincial train station where she admires the well-kept garden of the level-crossing gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper invites her in for some tea and tries his best to be charming despite an unfortunate tendency for his cheery conversational manner to sometimes come across as sounding a bit creepy. He is a bit of a loner because he has a hunchback and lives with a tenant called Ewen who is an emotionally retarded, but powerfully built, handyman.
Pauline could just about cope with the Gatekeeper's strangeness, but when Ewen arrives he makes her feel too uneasy and she makes her excuses and leaves. On her way back through the orchard Ewen catches her up and seems a bit more normal and she thinks perhaps she misjudged him and tries to be friendly. But then he attempts to get fresh with her and when she resists he becomes violent and strangles her to death with her stockings before stripping her body naked and hiding her in a pile of apples.
Later on Ewen takes her body to his workhut where he talks to her romantically as if she were still alive bringing her flowers from the Gatekeeper's garden. That evening the Gatekeeper wonders what Ewen is up to and finds him with Pauline's corpse although he seems more annoyed that Ewen has stolen his flowers than about the murder. But he knows it won't look good on him and he is sure to get the blame along with Ewen.
When Pauline is reported missing the Gatekeeper mentions nothing to the police about her visit to his cottage and, to divert their attention, he tells them that he thinks he remembers seeing a young girl getting on a train to London. But the police nevertheless decide to do a proper search of the orchard and surrounding area - they find nothing and start looking elsewhere. The Gatekeeper now feels it is safe to bury Pauline in the orchard knowing the police have already searched and he and Ewen go out in the night to do this.
It appears they have gotten away with it until Ewen makes a blunder reacting badly to a throwaway remark of a local commuter who reports his suspicions and the police repeat their search and find the body. Ewen becomes demented and hugs Pauline's dead body with inconsolably frenzied grief and the Gatekeeper successfully dissociates himself from any involvement in Ewen's crimes. And in a modern day epilogue we see that the Gatekeeper is still working at the same station now manning the ticket office.
|Starring:||Bill Wallis (as Railway Gatekeeper), Tracy Hyde (as Pauline Cox), Clive Mantle (as Ewen)|
|Featuring:||Mark Hardy (as Mike Robins, Pauline's boyfriend), Raymond Adamson (as Mr Wickstead, local villager), Cyril Cross (as Village Policeman)|
|Writer/Director: Jane Arden / Producer: Jack Bond|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 106 mins|
|This film introduces us to a group of young women living in some sort of special sanatorium where they all wear white smocks. They are all emotionally brittle and inclined to schizophrenic despair. They are cared for by a single therapist who tries to get to the roots of their problems and make them feel more comfortable about themselves.
The film is a jumble of assorted scenes that do not tell any kind of coherent story or bring things to any sort of lucid conclusion. Some of what we see may be fevered imaginings of the patients and some may be real but it's hard to be sure which. Near the end one of the girls is hoisted up by the others onto a crucifix and left to die and in the film's prologue we see that girl being found and resuscitated by medical staff - and the rest of the film might be partly the girl's flashback to her experiences in the sanatorium.
|Featuring:||Sheila Allen (as Meg The Peg), Susanka Fraey, Liz Danciger, Ann Lynn, Penny Slinger, Jane Arden (as Therapist), Sally Minford (as Cellist), Jenny Moss, Liz Kustow, Rosie Marcham, Elaine Donovan, Bill Drasey|
|None of the characters are given names and there is no particular principal character. There is cast list but it does not attempt to identify who was who. Most of the actresses seem to have been one-timers except for writer/director Jane Arden who played the therapist and patients Sheila Allen and Ann Lynn.|
|Writers: Ian La Frenais, Dick Clement / Director: Dick Clement / Producer: Bruce Cohn Curtis|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 87 mins|
|Gerald Oltley is an unambitious layabout who spends as little time working as he can and is always skint and having to scrounge off his dwindling circle of friends. He is one of life's failures and when he gets evicted by his landlady for not paying his rent he begs a bed for the night from his old friend Eric Lambert.
Lambert is a civil servant who (we have seen) has become embroiled in something untoward although we do not yet know the details except that he is demanding a large amount of money in return for something from a man called Hendrickson. Otley knows nothing of this and falls asleep on Lambert's sofa. When he awakens he is groggy and is bewildered to discover he is laying outdoors on an airfield with no idea how he got there. He finds out on the news that Lambert was murdered and he is the number one suspect. Otley does not know what happened and has no idea what to do. He visits his sister Jean to clean himself up. The next morning there is a knock at the door and he is bundled into a car. He thinks it is the police but instead he finds himself in the hands of some unknown agency being questioned by a man called Hendrickson and a woman called Imogen about his involvement in Lambert's death. Otley swears he knows nothing and he is so convincingly hapless that they believe him and release him.
Otley realises he has unknowingly stumbled into something dangerous and decides the best thing to do is give himself up to the police and clear his name. But before he can he is abducted again and brought to the offices of the ICS World News Organisation headed by Philip Proudfoot. ICS is an information bureau which secretly specialises in obtaining secret information for interested parties. Proudfoot is concerned that Lambert may have passed on what he knew to Otley before he was killed. But Proudfoot convinces himself that Otley is not a player and security has not been compromised. Otley is drugged and sent to a farm in the country - home of of ICS's paid assassin Johnston who has been hired to dispose of him
But Johnston has his own secret agenda and keeps Otley alive. It was Johnston who was paid to kill Lambert and he also moved Otley to the airfield to confuse the law. Johnston explains that Hendrickson is a civil servant who had been secretly working for ICS. Lambert had found out and was attempting to blackmail him so ICS ordered Lambert's liquidation. But now Johnston has decided to blackmail Hendrickson himself. He makes arrangements with Hendrickson for a drop-off of money at a London Underground station. But when Johnston picks it up the suitcase explodes and kills him and Otley finds himself free once again.
Otley is then contacted by his brother-in-law Miles Rollo who unexpectedly turns out to be a Government security agent working in partnership with Imogen. The security services know all about ICS's illegal activities but allows it to operate because it enables them to channel misleading and bogus information to their enemies. But now that ministers are aware of the situation it has become untenable to allow the organisation to continue unless they can put Hendrickson up as a scapegoat - but he has gone into hiding. Miles and Imogen think Otley is ideally placed to help them and they outline their plan which is approved by their boss Sir Alex Hadrian.
Otley is given a tailored makeover and an expense account in order to enable him to play his part convincingly. He then meets with Philip Proudfoot at the Playboy Club exuding an air of confident authority. He makes out that his previous persona of a scruffy layabout had been an undercover guise but now there is no need for further pretence. Proudfoot is convinced because he always thought there must be more to Otley than met the eye. Otley tells Proudfoot that the Security Services intend to close him down unless he surrenders Hendrickson to them.
Otley is taken to Hendrickson's location and left there. Otley tries to broker a deal with Hendrickson but the fugitive is not listening and tries to kill Otley. Otley is saved by the intervention of Sir Alex Hadrian who kills Hendrickson and tells Otley he has done a good job. Sir Alex incautiously reveals he is the mastermind behind ICS knowing Otley is a nobody and can do nothing to prove it.
Otley tries to tell Miles and Imogen that their boss is a traitor but without proof they cannot act, however they assure Otley the matter will be dealt with accordingly. Otley returns to his normal humdrum layabout life.
|Starring:||Tom Courtenay (as Gerald Arthur Otley), Romy Schneider (as Imogen, agent), James Villiers (as Hendrickson, rogue civil servant), Leonard Rossiter (as Johnston, assassin)|
|Featuring:||Freddie Jones (as Philip Proudfoot, head of ICS), Fiona Lewis (as Lin, ex-girlfriend of Otley), James Bolam (as Albert, current boyfriend of Lin), Phyllida Law (as Jean, Otley's sister), James Maxwell (as Miles Rollo, Jean's husband), Alan Badel (as Sir Alex Hadrian, head of security services), James Cossins (as Jeffcock, Otley's driving test examiner), Edward Hardwicke (as Eric Lambert, corrupt civil servant), Ronald Lacey (as Curtis, Hendrickson's lackey), Geoffrey Bayldon (as Inspector Hewitt, police)|
|Familiar Faces:||Robin Askwith and Kenneth Cranham (as Youths)|
|Based on the novel Otley by Martin Waddell|
|aka: Operation: Fred|
|Writer: Hugh Leonard / Director: Bob Kellett / Producer: Josephine Douglas|
|Type: War Drama||Running Time: 95 mins|
|It is 1939 and war has broken out. Serious Shakespearean actor Fred Wimbush is hoping that his entertainment job will put him in a reserved occupation that will be sufficient to prevent his call-up papers from being issued. However that is not to be and he is drafted into the army, given training as a car mechanic, and posted to France where his acting skills are immediately put to use for concert party duties. However he is most disgruntled to be given the role of a female impersonator in all the plays his troupe put on.
The Germans invade France and take over the British HQ where a concert party performance has just ended. Fred is still in drag and the chivalrous German general mistakenly believes him to be a real woman and lets him go since Germans do not make war on women. Fred's commander manages to snatch a few words and tells him it is his duty to maintain his cover as a woman and find a way back to England - however he warns him not to allow his guise to be rumbled otherwise he will be shot as a spy.
Fred sets out alone down the country road in his woman's clothing and soon comes upon two British ladies who are themselves hiding out from the just-invaded Germans. They are Miss Flodden and Miss Lochhart, a headmistress and her deputy from a local France-based finishing school for young English girls. Miss Flodden is trying to keep her five nubile young charges hidden from the German soldiers for fear that they will be raped. In fact Miss Flodden trusts no men whatsoever and declares that even if they came across a British soldier on the run she would turn him over to the Germans to prevent him from corrupting the purity of her girls. Fred therefore finds he has no choice but to maintain his female guise amongst them which has them fooled as well. Fred's motor mechanic training enables him to repair the car they call "Agatha" and they set off. Fred takes charge of them while maintaining his pretence of being a very practical woman whose quick thinking keeps them out of trouble on several occasions.
Despite his skills for female impersonation, Fred is a red-blooded male and finds it very hard keeping his lusty eye off the beautiful young girls who are not as pure as their headmistress believes. The five girls confide in Fred that they have found and hidden an RAF officer called Herbert Smallpiece who bailed out and is trying to get back to England. Fred reveals his identity to Smallpiece and together they devise a plan to get to an airfield in Calais.
The plan requires them to get the appropriate official papers to pass German checkpoints and so Fred has to renew his brief acquaintance with the German general who had seemed very interested in a romantic liaison with "her" the last time they met. The General thinks Fred(erica) is a very remarkable woman and attempts to woo "her" with dinner and fine wine. Fred manages to sidestep the general's enthusiastic ardour and get him drunk and then safely get away with the appropriate travel documents.
The fugitives then clandestinely travel on in the guise of French nationals and reach a heavily guarded airfield. They gain access to the grounds by playing the parts of local village tarts arriving for the men's pleasure. Once inside they manage to appropriate guns and grenades enough to make a break for a barrage balloon which they use to fly back to England where Fred is at last able to shed his female disguise.
(Epilogue) Fred is promoted for his bravery but is then dismayed to learn he is being ordered to resume his "Frederica" guise and parachute back into France to further befriend the German general and gather vital intelligence for the furtherance of the war effort. THE END.
|Starring:||Danny La Rue (as Fred Wimbush), Lance Percival (as Squadron Leader Herbert Smallpiece), Alfred Marks (as General Brincker, German military commander), Lally Bowers (as Miss Flodden, headmistress), Frances de la Tour (as Miss Lockhart, her deputy)|
|Featuring:||Walter Gotell (as Schmidt, SS Officer)|
|Familiar Faces:||Frank Thornton (as British Colonel), Andre Maranne (as Resistance Fighter [Familiar from Pink Panther films])|
|Starlets:||(Finishing School girls) Kristin Hatfield (as Hilary), Jenny Twigge (as Judith), Vanessa Furse (as Prunella), Seretta Wilson (as Elvira), Sophie Batchelor (as Emma)|
Toni Palmer (as Fashion show organiser), Jennifer Croxton (as Fashion show model)
|Additional material by Terence Feeley|
|The version reviewed carried the title Operation: Fred. However this title alteration was achieved merely by a box strip overlaying the original title. This change makes no grammatical sense since the film opens with a pre-title billing "Danny La Rue as ..." followed by the title which only makes sense when the original is used.|
|Although clearly not a serious war film drama - it is not really a play-it-for-laughs comedy either as one might expect from looking at the names of the main cast and so it's difficult to properly classify.|
|Writers: Jeremy Brooks, Haya Harareet / Director/Producer: Jack Clayton|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 101 mins|
|The Hook family of seven children and their mother live in a house as a happy and deeply religious family. The eldest child is Elsa who is about 12-years old and as the film starts she is taking on responsibility as head of the household while their mother lies very sick in bed. Mother flatly refuses any doctor to be called to treat her. The children have a daily ritual called "Mother Time" when they gather round their ailing mother's bedside to ask her questions. But as Elsa prepares her for the latest daily ritual mother finally dies. The children are devastated and having no father they know that they will be put into an orphanage if they tell anyone about it. They decide to bury her in the garden and then carry on as before as if she were still sick in bed. They continue to receive their mother's monthly annuity cheque which they cash at the bank after forging her signature and this money provides them with their daily needs.
They make the garden shed into a shrine for mother and continue their "Mother Time" rituals asking her questions in prayer - and the second eldest girl Diana, who feels a special affinity, acts as a conduit and gives answers as if they were from mother herself - which includes dishing out punishments for bad behaviour that might expose their secret. Elsa reads out mother's will which leaves the house to her children but declines to read the final paragraph for it contains a secret that she wants kept from the little ones and which mother told only to her.
But eldest boy Hubert finds out the secret that mother is still married to estranged husband Charlie Hook and therefore, he reasons, must be their father. When youngest girl Gerty falls ill they respect mother's wishes to not call a doctor - but Hubert gets concerned she may die and writes a letter to Charlie asking for his help. Gerty recovers by herself but Charlie still arrives now appraised of his wife's death - he is at first very supportive and all the children take to him delighted to find they have a father after all and they come to depend on him for his common sense approach - only Elsa remains aloof mindful of her mother's secret advice that Charlie was "no good".
But Charlie soon begins to change and act as though he owns the place holding wild parties and raiding mother's savings account for gambling money. It soon becomes clear that Charlie is self-centred and is beginning to tire of the children now he has his foot in the door. The children find out Charlie has plans to sell the house. Elsa tells him it is their house not his and the final part of mother's will specifically said nothing should go to him. But he tells them they are all under-age so they cannot own anything and besides as far as the outside world is concerned their mother is not even dead but in a sanatorium. He has forged a power of attorney and so is considered to be acting on her behalf. He tells them he owes nothing to them and is not even their father - all they have of his is his name - their mother was a whore who slept around and they all have different fathers. And so he's selling up and sending them all to an orphanage.
It was only Diana who had maintained a faith in Charlie up to the end after feeling a bit of a girlish crush on him from when he was still being nice and fatherly to them all. But this string of revelations is too much for her and she is so incensed at his betrayal that she takes a fireplace poker and strikes him a savage and mortal blow. The children are very supportive of Diana and tell her it had to be done but they realise they can no longer stay and so they pack their bags and all head off together in the dark leaving their house forever.
|Comment: Definitely a bit of a hidden gem this one - which ends with you really wanting to know more about what happens to them next.|
|Starring:||Dirk Bogarde (as Charlie Hook)|
(The Hook Children) Margaret Brooks (as Elsa), Louis Sheldon Williams (as Hubert), Pamela Franklin (as Diana Hook), John Gugolka (as Dunstan), Mark Lester (as Jiminee), Sarah Nicholls (as Gerty), Gustav Henry (as Willy)
|Featuring:||Yootha Joyce (as Mrs Quayle), Claire Davidson (as Miss Bailey, schoolteacher), Anthony Nicholls (as Mr Halbert, neighbour), Gerald Sim (as Mr Marsh, Bank Clerk), Parnum Wallace (as Louis, Jiminee's schoolfriend), Annette Carell (as Mother)|
|Starlets:||Edina Ronay (as Doreen, party girl), Diana Ashley (as Doreen's friend)|
|Based on the novel by Julian Gloag.|
|Writers/Producers: Reuben Bercovitch, Eric Bercovici / Director: Alan Bridges|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 86 mins|
|Ann and her grown up 20-ish daughter Joanna run the Marine Hotel in a seaside resort. Neither have any men in their lives and they are increasingly intolerant of one another and forever bickering. It is the winter season and so business is at a low ebb and the lack of hotel work to busy themselves with gets them both down.
Then a man from Ann's past comes back into her life. Joe Turner is an American with whom she had a romantic relationship some twenty years ago until he suddenly left without explanation. He has now come to look her up and maybe rekindle what it was they had all those years ago. He tells her he waited six years before he met someone else and got married but now that relationship is over. Ann tells Joe that she met someone only two months later and was married and had Joanna by him. Her husband died but she appears reluctant to give Joe any details about who he was or what happened - Joe appears a bit surprised that she got over him so quickly. The former lovers soon recapture some of what they had, dancing to their favourite old tunes as Ann retrieves her box of old photos to reminisce over. Joanna seems jealous of the relationship and possible happiness that her mother is finding again. She won't let them have quality time together and insists on sitting in during their cosy chats together in the lounge area ignoring any heavy hints that her mother gives her to leave them alone.
Joanna takes her opportunities to talk alone to Joe and realises he has not necessarily found that lost part of himself he came searching for - or if he even knew what it was in the first place. She can tell he finds her attractive and she sets about seducing him with her youthful allure and when he discovers her waiting for him in his bedroom he cannot resist her.
Joe tries to forget what happened between himself and Joanna as he tries to continue his romance with Ann on eggshells as Joanna wickedly skates around the topic cryptically taunting him with his perfidiousness towards her mother. Joanna's badgering during Ann and Joe's attempts at a romantic evening becomes such a nuisance to Ann that she drags her daughter upstairs and locks her in her room. Ann suspects that something happened between them and tells Joe he cannot stay here now and she goes to bed. Joanna sneaks out of her window and comes back down to talk to Joe as he sits thinking in the lounge. She seduces him again and they have sex on a couch - Ann comes down and sees them in mid-throws and rather than be angry at the betrayal she just calmly tells Joe that she lied to him - there never was another man she met after he left her - it was always and has only ever been him. It remains unsaid in the film in actual words but Joe and Joanna therefore know they are father and daughter as the realisation shows on their faces.
The story ends with one of the two women leaving by train - we don't see which it is. And back at the hotel Joe is settling in with the one who remains behind making plans with her to run the hotel together - but we only see and hear him - his companion's hands are all we see of her as the film leaves it intentionally unclear if it is Ann or Joanna whom he ends up staying with.
|Starring:||Vanessa Redgrave (as Ann), Cliff Robertson (as Joe Turner), Susan George (as Joanna)|
|From the way her scenes are filmed it seems quite likely that Susan George's nudity was performed by a body double.|
|Writer/Director: Robert Wynne-Simmons / Producer: Tony Dollard|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 100 mins|
|Set in rural Ireland in the early 1800s amongst a community of rustic folk eking out a living from the land. Maura O'Donnell is an introspective young woman who is emotionally backward and because she keeps her thoughts to herself she is disliked and finds herself being constantly teased and bullied by her peers Triona and Roisin for being strange and creepy. Actually Maura is a dreamer and sees the world in different ways to everyone else which leaves her disconnected from normal social interaction.
Her widowered father is a farmer called Hugh O'Donnell who has two other grown-up daughters who have developed more normally. Farmer O'Donnell is getting on in years and is finding it hard to keep going with no sons to help him tend the fields. Mediator Myles Keenan persuades Hugh to overcome the animosity he holds towards rival farmer Conor Farrell and allow a marriage between Hugh's pregnant daughter Janey and her sweetheart Eamon and who is Farrell's son.
The wedding is celebrated with much drunken merriment and that evening Maura follows Triona and Roison into the woods where they have gone with two lads to do something that Maura knows nothing of. In the woods Maura meets a strange man who identifies himself as Scarf Michael. Maura knows that her people fear that name and believe he is the harbinger of death and misery who possesses magical abilities. The villagers were so frightened of him that they had previously attempted to drown him by wrapping him in a sail and dumping him out to sea - but somehow he survived and now lives as a hermit.
Despite the stories she has heard, Maura in her innocent wonderment is not scared of Scarf Michael and takes him on face value as a lonely man outcast from society and having to fend for himself. Michael in turn sees similar traits in her for she too is an outcast not fully integrated or accepted by her kin. He perceives that she has a connection to the natural world around her unlike anyone else and knows she has the potential for greatness. Michael demonstrates his magical powers by playing mischievous tricks on Triona, Roison and their boyfriends. Maura is amazed and wants to learn how to do those things herself and she feels the first stirrings of what she knows must be love and desire for Michael. But very soon Michael says he must go and it is not safe for her to be seen with him. But unfortunately Triona did see them together and starts spreading stories ...
Very soon afterwards the community begins suffering a series of mishaps and misfortunes. Livestock die of unknown sickness and potato crop is blighted and Janey loses her baby. The superstitious villagers blame their misfortune on Maura and her association with the devilish Scarf Michael and accuse her of being a witch. Maura does not understand why everyone hates Michael so much and makes matters worse for herself by defending him as being a good man.
The villagers come for her and wrap her in a sail intending to drown her at sea believing that only her death will put an end to their current hardships. But Scarf Michael returns and saves her. Maura knows she can never go back home now and stays with Michael. They become lovers and Maura demands that Michael teach her everything he knows. He tells her she is already more powerful than he and compared to her he is a mere conjurer. Michael knows how to transmute to the next level but he did not have the courage to do it. Maura is determined and knows no fear so Michael takes her to a cliff face and instructs her to open her mind to all that she sees and become one with it.
When it is over Michael has left her and Maura decides to try going home. But she discovers that no one can see or hear her - to them she is dead and exists beyond their perception as an invisible spirit unable to interact with anyone. Now truly she is an an outcast, free to roam without fear of persecution.
|Starring:||Mary Ryan (as Maura O'Donnell), Mick Lally (as Scarf Michael), Don Foley (as Hugh O'Donnell, Maura's father), Cyril Cusack (as Myles Keenan, marriage matchmaker), Paul Bennett (as Father Connelly)|
|Featuring:||Brenda Scallon (as Breda O'Donnell, Maura's sister), Bairbre Ní Chaoimh (as Janey O'Donnell, Maura's sister), Mairtín Ó'Flathearta (as Eamon Farrell, Janey's husband), Tom Jordan (as Conor Farrell, Eamon's father), Gillian Hackett (as Tríona), Hilary Reynolds (as Roisín)|
|aka: Spaced Out|
|Writer: Andrew Payne / Director: Norman J. Warren / Producer: David Speechley|
|Type: Sci-Fi||Running Time: 71 mins|
|In outer space an alien ship is having technical difficulties with its navigation controls and has to land on Earth while repairs are carried out. The skipper decides that if any contact is made with life forms they will welcome them until they are ready to leave. The crew comprises of three women:- The Skipper, Partha the engineer, and Cosia a scientist.
On Earth in England four people are in a park in the early evening. Cliff is a man out walking his dog; engaged couple Oliver and Prudence have stopped in their car to have a heated discussion about their relationship; and Willy is a young man who has sloped off into the park to have a look at some porn mags. When they see a bright light in a nearby field they all go to have a look out of curiosity and board the just landed spaceship.
Congregating in a waiting area Oliver and Prudence continue their arguments. Oliver is a public school egghead scientist who is so proper and polite he is angering Prudence with his infuriating patience and understanding; Prudence walks around with a permanent scowl on her face and is disgusted at how the men are going gaga over the sight of the glamorous alien women; Cliff is more of a tough manly sort; and Willy is an adolescent who is used to being a nobody with no chance with girls and is wide-eyed with interest when he sees the underdressed crew and has already had an interesting encounter with Partha when the group became separated.
The skipper is forced to take off when the ship is surrounded by a herd of cows and the crew believe they are under attack from organised indigenous life forms. Now in space again the crew observe their earthling "guests" on a monitor and are puzzled by the three who are different (the men) because they appear to be oddly deformed with no proper chests - perhaps they are mutations of some sort. The aliens' planet is populated only by women kind of beings and they don't know what men are. They get hold of Willy's porn mag and look at the pictures and are intrigued that the mutated flat-chested ones depicted therein have some sort of vestigial appendage beneath their stomachs. They cannot figure out what the mutations are doing to the normal ones (the women) - perhaps it is a sport, or maybe a form of unarmed combat, or perhaps a religious rite.
They decide to investigate and study the mutations further for their fighting skills and intelligence acumen. Willy is dismissed as being too puny looking so they start with Oliver and Cliff - but with the skipper being a skilled fighter and Partha asking the most complex questions she can think off the human pair come across as very unimpressive and the skipper conclude the species is not very formidable. Then it is Willy's turn and he completely by accident manages to defeat the skipper in combat and then inadvertently answers all of Partha's questions correctly and the skipper has to reassess the species' potential. Willy is sent to Cosia's lab for a bioscan. She examines his extra appendage and when he explains what it is for she is intrigued. Reproduction is achieved on her planet using a mechanical device but she is more than happy to try out his method with him. After that she looks at the results of the bioscan which show he has one of the most advanced bodies in the universe.
Meanwhile Cliff has also introduced Partha to sex but he finds he has unleashed a monster because she enjoys it so much she wants it again and again and cannot understand why he cannot keep doing the trick - she completely wears him out and he slopes off to recover vowing to never go near a woman again. Elsewhere Oliver and Prudence have patched up their differences and found a cosy bed to cement their renewed relationship.
The skipper heads back to Earth to return the earthlings to their home but she makes Willy an offer that he can stay - she tells him that since he is such an advanced being he will be supreme on her planet and enjoy many privileges. Because he is such a nobody back home Willy decides to accept and when the other three are dropped off he stays with the ship.
|Starring:||(The Earthlings) Barry Stokes (as Oliver), Tony Maiden (as Willy), Michael Rowlatt (as Cliff), Lynne Ross (as Prudence)|
(The Aliens) Kate Ferguson (as Skipper), Glory Annen (as Cosia), Ava Cadell (as Partha)
|Featuring:||Jeff Dehart (as Computer Voice, USA version), Bob Saget (Wurlitzer Voice, USA version)|
|There were UK and US variations of this film. One known difference was the computer's voice which was re-dubbed in the US version with re-written dialogue. Outer Touch was the name of the UK version.|
|The version reviewed here is the American version Spaced Out. The effeminate American computer voice in this version adds a level of coarseness and crudity that is not present in any of the spoken British dialogue and seriously and unnecessarily lowers the tone. It's not currently known how the original British computer voice dialogue was pitched but one can only assume (hope) it fitted in somewhat better.|
|Writer: Christopher Hudson, Stuart Cooper / Director: Stuart Cooper / Producer: James Quinn|
|Type: War Drama||Running Time: 78 mins|
|Set in 1944. Thomas Beddows is a quietly spoken and studious middle-class young man who is drafted to serve in the army. We see him and his fellow conscripts undergo months of vigorous training as they are ingrained with army discipline.
It soon becomes clear to the recruits that they are being specifically trained to participate in the forthcoming D-day assault of mainland Europe. Tom has an overwhelming sense of foreboding and feels he is not going to make it and has vivid dreams of himself dying on the battlefield.
On an evening's R&R in town Tom meets a demure girl called Janie at a dance hall and once they overcome their mutually awkward hesitancy they get on and make plans to meet up again. But almost immediately back at barracks Tom's regiment is given orders to relocate and the men are trucked to a new secret location where they are cut off from all outside contact Here they are given the opportunity to rest up for a few days ahead of the important task that lays ahead. Tom feels sad that he wasn't able to let Janie know he would not be able to meet her again.
The fateful day soon arrives and Tom's unit are on their landing craft approaching the French shores. Each man sits in an eerily calm silent contemplation of what is to come. Tom still has his resigned belief that he won't make it but he has stoically come to terms with the inevitability of it and does not let it deter him from facing the moment.
Then before Tom's craft reaches land a stray bullet from shore strikes him in the head and he goes down. His comrades believe he is dead and have to go on without him.
End Note: As the film concludes we see a casualty on a stretcher being shipped back to England but we never see him closely enough to see his face properly. So it remains a bit vague on whether this is Tom having survived, or whether it is someone else and Tom did die.
|Starring:||Brian Stirner (as Thomas Beddows, drafted soldier)|
|Featuring:||Davyd Harries (as Jack, fellow draftee), Nicholas Ball (as Arthur, fellow draftee), Julie Neesam (as Janie, [credited as The Girl]), Sam Sewell (as The Trained Soldier), John Franklyn-Robbins and Stella Tanner (as Tom's parents)|
|The film makes extensive use of wartime archive footage including battles and air attacks. The personal story of Tom Beddows experiences which was woven amongst this was made in black and white so that the archive footage used would blend in more readily.|
|Nicholas Ball, Julie Neesam and Sam Sewell all receive "introducing" credits|
|Writer: Lee Dunne / Director: Daniel Haller / Producer: Tamara Asseyev|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 87 mins|
|Paddy is a 20-something Dublin lad with the gift of the gab. He lives with his mother, sister and two brothers in a fairly dilapidated home and is constantly squabbling with the older two of his siblings. He is fairly unambitious and makes do with a number of part-time delivery jobs including meat and paper rounds. This provides him with an opportunity to meet some lonely housewives including the recently widowed 40-something Clair Kearney who asks him round regularly to do some handyman work for her (should anyone ask) - but really they spend the time in bed and she pays him a little something for his trouble.
Paddy's best pal is Harry Redmond who tells him he's a bright lad and really should try and get a proper job - so Paddy applies for and gets a job in an insurance office. He dislikes the strict boss Mr Cahill who makes everyone's life a misery but likes the young office girls. This includes Maureen Murphy who also attends the same evening technical college as Paddy and they get talking and start going out on dates. But Paddy still likes his other women and continues to see Clair and has the occasional impulsive fling if an opportunity arises elsewhere.
Paddy and Maureen get closer and have sex but she wants some sort of commitment from him as she suspects he still sees other girls. He cannot find it in himself to make that commitment. She falls pregnant with Paddy's baby but tells him that she let another man at the college called Willy make love to her and she will tell him the baby is his. She doesn't love Willy like she loves Paddy but knows she can get him to propose and she WILL marry him - unless she can marry Paddy. But despite this ultimatum Paddy still cannot bring himself to commit to her and they decide it's therefore best if they just move on from one another.
|Starring:||Des Cave (as Paddy Maguire), Milo O'Shea (as Harry Redmond, Paddy's best pal), Dearbhla Molloy (as Maureen, Paddy's girlfriend)|
|Featuring:||Maureen Toal (as Clair Kearney, widow), Judy Cornwell (as Breeda, Blonde Englishwoman), John Molloy (as Watchbox Dawson, friend in pub)|
(Family) Marie O'Donnell (Paddy's mother), Donal LeBlanc (as Larry Maguire, Paddy's sick young brother), Vincent Smith (Billy, Paddy's other brother), Ita Darcy (as Josie, Paddy's sister)
(Office) Desmond Perry (as Cahill, manager), Clive Geraghty (as Tony Deugan), Pat Layde (as Mr Hayes, senior manager), Mark Mulholland (as Jack Sloan)
|Based on a book called Goodbye To The Hill.|
|Milo O'Shea is the top-billed actor even though he only plays a supporting role to the title character of Paddy who is in every scene. I've adjusted the order to reflect importance in the film rather than original billing.|
|Dearbhla Molloy's surname is spelt "Molloy" on the opening credits and "Malloy" on the closing credits.|
|Writer/Director: James Dearden / Producers: James Dearden, Chris Salter|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 18 mins|
|Mandy Foster has a job which entails her being away abroad a lot and her boyfriend Paul is becoming a bit frustrated with the situation. He is willing to support her through his own income but she wants to work and maintain an independent life. After another late night row at his apartment she leaves to drive back to her own flat. It is a foul night with torrential rain so when Mandy passes a bedraggled old lady waiting at a bus stop she decides to stop and offer a lift.
The old lady gets into the car but remains uncommunicative and Mandy begins to become unnerved by her, feeling an irrational sense of danger and evil menace emanating from her passenger. Mandy stops the car pretending to have a problem with a back wheel and she asks the old lady if she will get out and have a look. When the woman does as she is asked Mandy drives off leaving her stranded. Mandy feels immense relief but then a bit guilty as she realises she has driven off with the woman's bag left on the passenger seat.
Mandy stops at a phone box to call Paul and tell him what happened and he advises her to hand the bag in at a police station. Paul can tell from her voice that Mandy has had a bad scare, however irrational it might have been, and so he tells her he will head on over and meet her at her place.
Mandy takes the bag to a police station and explains what happened. The desk sergeant opens the bag to look for a clue to the woman's identity but all he finds is a very sharp looking meat cleaver which no one would carry around with them for innocent reasons. Mandy realises that she has indeed had a lucky escape after all.
Meanwhile Paul, who knows none of this, while driving along comes across the same old lady and decides to make amends for Mandy's rash actions earlier. The old lady gets into his car and they drive off. When the car stops at some traffic lights the old lady gets out of the car, but when the lights change the car does not move. Mandy's sixth sense saved her earlier but this time the old woman wasted no time in carrying out her murderous pursuit.
|Starring:||Julie Neesam (as Mandy Foster), Peter Blake (as Paul, Mandy's boyfriend), Avis Bunnage (as The Old Lady)|
|Featuring:||Leonard Fenton (as Policeman), John Blundell and Ray Burdis (as Punks)|
|This short film's basic story was remade in the 2001 short film Left Turn.|
|Writer: Jimmy Sangster / Director: Freddie Francis / Producer: Anthony Hinds|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 80 mins|
|Every year the rich Ashby family hold a church service to commemorate a double family tragedy. Eleven years ago the parents of Eleanor and Simon tragically died and eight years ago their elder brother Tony took his own life after three years of being unable to cope with the loss of his parents. Tony wrote a suicide note and jumped off a cliff into the sea and his body was never found. The children were raised by their aunt Harriet.
Under the terms of their parents' will the Ashby children, who are now adults, had to wait many years until they could inherit and control the full estate. That date is now only a few weeks away. Simon is an arrogant and boozy spendthrift who antagonises everyone, whereas Eleanor is an emotional wreck who never recovered from the loss of her brother Tony to whom she was very close. Eleanor is considered on the verge of madness and Simon hopes she will be committed so that he will get her share of the estate as well - he has even hired her a nurse with a secret agenda to try and push her over the edge. The estate is currently administered by the family solicitor John Kosset. His son Keith Kosset is worried because unbeknown to his father he has been secretly embezzling money from the trust fund and fears an audit may discover this.
Eleanor thinks she is going mad when she sees a man who looks like her dead brother Tony several times and decides it is a sign for her to finally join him in death. She jumps from the same cliff Tony's suicide note was found beside but is saved from drowning by the man she saw. The stranger takes her home and he turns out to really be the long-lost Tony. He tells the family that he faked his death eight years ago because he couldn't bear to live with Aunt Harriet any longer. He had not been intending to make himself known on this occasion but was forced to in order to save Eleanor. Although he does look remarkably like Tony would eight years on, both Harriet and Simon are intensely sceptical and hostile to his sudden reappearance. Simon is especially distressed because as the eldest brother Tony would inherit the estate. John Kosset is called in to ask detailed questions about Tony's childhood to try and catch him out, but Tony passes the test with flying colours and seems to be the genuine article. Eleanor is overjoyed that her favourite brother is alive and she makes a full recovery from her morose.
(The viewer is now let into a secret) "Tony" is actually an impostor selected by Keith Kosset so that his embezzlement will not be discovered. Keith knew the real Tony as a boy and so has been able to brief the fake Tony with meticulous detail and even worked both ends by suggesting to his father questions that could be asked to try and "catch out" an impostor all of which he knew his Tony was well briefed on. (None of the Ashby family know this though)
Tony is accepted into the family albeit grudgingly by both Simon and Harriet who still seem sure Tony is an impostor despite all evidence to the contrary. Eleanor on the other hand is delighted to have her special brother back and spends as much time with him as possible. Simon makes an attempt on Tony's life by sabotaging his car and appears to veer into madness when he finds out Tony survived the attempt.
Over the days that follow Tony and Eleanor become close and he is very attracted to her but is forced to behave like a brother. However when a friendly sibling kiss becomes something more Eleanor recoils in disgust and he is forced to admit he is not the real Tony. She appears relieved and finds she is in love with him whoever he is.
At night organ music is heard from the chapel and Tony goes to investigate. He finds Simon playing and Harriet dressed as a choirboy and pretending to be Tony miming to choir music. It turns out that Simon was sent mad by his parents' death and three years later actually murdered Tony and faked it to make it appear he committed suicide with no body ever being found. Harriet was able to lessen Simon's madness by dressing as Tony and pretending he was still alive and over time Simon appeared to be cured. However the arrival on the scene of the "Tony" pretender has sent Simon back over the edge because Simon knew Tony was really dead and that his body is in a bricked-up alcove behind the organ. Tony is overpowered and tied up to a pillar and Harriet sets fire to the chapel to be rid of him. Eleanor rushes in to save Tony and they escape. But then Simon goes back into the burning building to try and save the now mummified body of the real Tony and he dies in the attempt.
|Starring:||Alexander Davion (as Tony Ashby, returning brother), Oliver Reed (as Simon Ashby, brother), Janette Scott (as Eleanor Ashby, sister), Sheila Burrell (as Aunt Harriet)|
|Featuring:||Maurice Denham (as John Kosset, estate accountant), John Bonney (as Keith Kosset, John's son), Liliane Brousse (as Françoise, Eleanor's nurse)|
|Made in Black and White|
|Writer: Marc Behm / Director: Guy Hamilton / Producer: Anthony Perry|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 88 mins|
|Melina Morgan is a young American woman whose father is the head of a large company. She has come on an extended holiday to England to escape the predictability of her privileged life and has hooked up with a crowd of beatniks led by a drop-out called Moise. Melina is drawn to the way they abandon the usual conventions of society and do as they please with all-night parties and raucous drug-and-drink fuelled behaviour. Melina has become engaged to one of them called Phillip.
Melina has another fiancé in America called Carson who works for Melina's father and is looking forward to further advancement when he marries the boss's daughter. He is unaware that she does not want to marry him and start the cosy predictable life expected of her. When Carson cannot get to speak to her by phone he flies to England to see her but finds she has gone into hiding to avoid him. Her friends behave as awkwardly as possible towards him and give him the run-around treatment by sending him on wild goose chases in his search for her.
Carson rents a flat while he continues to try to find the elusive Melina and in the meantime becomes particularly friendly with one of the girls called Nina who has started to feel sorry for him. A romantic relationship ensues once Carson begins to realise that his future prospects with Melina are looking unlikely with her persistently stubborn attitude.
Then, the morning after a wild party, events take a series of tragic turns. Melina's beatnik fiancé Phillip commits suicide by jumping off a tall building in an apparent state of despair. And Carson is told that Melina has left town in her continued efforts to avoid him. But later Melina is found dead and the truth of what happened at that wild party starts to emerge.
Melina had been found passed out on the dance floor by the other revellers who think she is so high and out of it that she appears dead to the world. They think it would be a laugh to strip her and then carry out a mock funeral procession. They leave her in a garden for her to sleep it off and awaken to be suitably embarrassed the next morning.
The partygoers assume she must have been so angered by their hijinks that she decided to leave town but was hit by a car and killed. But as Carson delves deeper further truths emerge which only Moise and his friend Tutzi saw occur. At the party Melina had been so doped-up she had fallen from the upstairs floor of the studio apartment onto the dance floor below and was already dead from the fall when her friends found her "passed out" and were having their lark. Only her fiancé Phillip realised the truth when he kissed her lips and she was cold - and that is why he killed himself the next day.
Moise and Tutzi later moved Melina's body from the garden to another location to make it seem as if she died in a traffic accident. Then they conspired to invent a cover story that she had been seen alive since the party and had said she was leaving town. Even though her death had been an accident Moise is willing to confess to the police about what really occurred - but Carson tells him that nothing can change what happened and that Moise and the others should use this tragedy as a wake-up call to grow up and start behaving more responsibly. Carson resigns from his job with Melina's father and decides to stay in England and marry Nina instead.
|Starring:||Clifford David (as Carson), Oliver Reed (as Moise), Ann Lynn (as Libby), Catherine Woodville (as Nina), Louise Sorel (as Melina Morgan), Eddie Albert (as Ben Morgan, Melina's father)|
|Featuring:||Roddy Maude-Roxby (as Hector, Melina's twitish neighbour)|
(other beatniks) Mike Pratt (as Geronimo), Maurice Browning (as Tutzi), Jonathan Burn (as Phillip) Annette Robertson (as Fran), Alison Seebohm (as Ada)
|Made in Black and White|
|There are no on-screen director or producer credits. Those details have been obtained from an alternate reference source|
|Writer: Bruce Nicolaysen / Director: J. Lee Thompson / Producer: John Quested|
|Type: War Drama||Running Time: 101 mins|
|During the Second World War, France has been occupied by the Germans but neighbouring Spain is not involved in the fighting. A middle-aged Spanish farmer living on the snowy Pyrenees is a former soldier in the recently concluded Spanish civil war. Known as "The Basque", he now enjoys a solitary existence tending sheep and takes no interest in neighbouring events. One day he is approached by two members of the French resistance who are seeking his help in smuggling an important American scientist out of France across the Pyrenees and into the safety of Spain. The scientist is called Professor John Bergson and he is currently being harboured by the resistance in a safe house. His scientific knowledge would be of great value to the Nazis and they are actively searching for him. The Basque's combination of military training and local knowledge of the mountain pass are unique but he is reluctant to get involved and furthermore cannot leave his sheep alone for more than four days. The agents assure him it will not take that long and he finally agrees when a suitably large fee is offered.
The Basque travels to Toulouse to pick up the middle-aged scientist but is immediately dismayed to discover that the party includes the scientist's family which he wasn't previously told about. The scientist's grown-up children Leah and Paul are fine but his wife Ariel is, in the Basque's opinion, not fit enough to endure the demanding hill-walking required on the snowy slopes. He is worried she will slow them down and he will not get back to his sheep in time. He warns the professor that he will not make allowances and she must keep pace or be left behind. The group flee the safe house just in time to avoid a Nazi raid. But the Germans are on their trail and a sadistic SS officer called Captain Von Berkow leads the hunt for the fugitives.
The Basque's skills and ruthlessness help get his charges out of town and into the countryside. There they meet a band of travelling gypsies who allow the Basque and his group to join them. But at a checkpoint they are stopped by Von Berkow and his men who are averse to gypsies. The Bergson's evade notice but unfortunately Von Berkow takes a fancy to Leah and takes her back to his quarters to dally with her. It is only after a while that he realises that she is the daughter of his quarry and leaves her under guard while he properly scrutinises the rest of the gypsies. The Basque rescues Leah and the family continue on their way up towards the Pyrenees. Von Berkow tortures the gypsy leader and discovers where the fugitives are heading and then has all the gypsies executed.
Von Berkow hires a guide and follows in pursuit up the snowy mountainside several hours behind his quarry. Overnight the fugitives stay in a mountain hut and Mrs Bergson, knowing how she is slowing everyone down and risking the safety of them all, selflessly ventures out into the snow to lie down and die whilst the others are asleep. Only the Basque sees her go but does nothing to stop her.
After the family mourn their wife and mother they carry on and make their way past the French-Spanish border into safe territory. But Von Berkow refuses to give up the chase because of this diplomatic technicality - he being of the opinion that the SS has jurisdiction everywhere. The Basque soon realises they are still being followed by the relentless madman who it seems will never give up. So he doubles back and starts an avalanche to sweep Von Berkow away to his death.
The Basque brings the family safely to the sanctuary of his mountain home and they relax believing all the danger to be over. Until a severely injured Von Berkow bursts in waving his pistol about in deadly fashion. But Von Berkow is too weak to pull the trigger and collapses and dies. Next day the family leave the Basque, now in safe territory and able to make their own way to organise a passage home. The Basque continues his peaceful life.
|Starring:||Anthony Quinn (as The Basque), James Mason (as Professor Bergson), Malcolm McDowell (as Captain Von Berkow, SS officer), Patricia Neal (as Ariel Bergson, wife), Kay Lenz (as Leah Bergson, daughter), Paul Clemens (as Paul Bergson, son)|
|Featuring:||Christopher Lee (as Gypsy leader), Michael Lonsdale (as Alan Renoudot, French resistance), Marcel Bozzuffi (as Perea, French resistance), Peter Arne (as French Guide), Rose Alba (as Madame Alba, brothel Madame), Robert Rhys (as Gypsy's son)|
|Based on the screenplay writer's own novel Perilous Passage|
|Paul Clemens and Robert Rhys both receive an "introducing" credit - although the latter was only a small role.|
|Anthony Quinn's character is not given a name and is referred to in the credits as "The Basque".|
|Writer/Director: Brian Smedley-Aston / Producer: James Kenelm Clarke|
|Type: Sex||Running Time: 76 mins / 84 mins|
|Brigitte is a journalist for a French magazine who has been sent on an assignment to London to write a story about sex industry mogul Paul Raymond and his Revuebar.
Brigitte is sex mad and as well as interviewing Paul Raymond about his stage show she has a sexual affair with a female photographer called Diana who works for Raymond on the magazine side of his business. Brigitte also finds time to have sex with various other people, both men and women and group combinations thereof.
|Comment: A very loose story that simply supports a series of sex scenes and specially staged performances from the Paul Raymond Revuebar.|
|Starring:||Brigitte Lahaie (as Brigitte), Diana Cochran (as Diana)|
|Featuring:||Paul Raymond (as Himself)|
|Starlets:||(There are several other roles, some bit-part starlets and many others are performers from the Revue Bar acts - but none are individually credited)|
|Two versions of the film have been reviewed which differ in length by 8 minutes. The shorter one is in English and the longer one is in dubbed French. The shorter version has some of the racier moments involving male nudity or intimate touching edited out although there is nothing that might be considered as hardcore in the longer version. French actress Brigitte Lahaie's narration is in accented English for the short version and in French for the longer version.|
|Writer: Leo Marks / Director/Producer: Michael Powell|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 97 mins|
|Mark Lewis is a shy young man who lives alone in the upstairs flat of a large property that he owns with the downstairs rooms occupied by tenants. His passion is photography and he not only works in a film studio but his spare time is fully occupied with trying to put together the ultimate documentary film on the nature of fear. He is so obsessed with this endeavour that he has become a killer who films his victims as he is murdering them in order to capture their expression of terror on celluloid. He then surreptitiously films the police at work investigating the murders.
Mark's obsession is borne of the way his father raised him as a child. Professor Lewis had been a biologist who had treated Mark's entire childhood as an experiment subjecting him to scares and unpleasant stimuli in order to film and document his reactions. As a result of this abnormal upbringing Mark became very repressed. He never managed to have proper relationships and finds talking to women very awkward.
One of his tenants is a bubbly young woman called Helen Stephens who lives with her blind mother and has just turned twenty-one. She becomes fascinated with her shy inarticulate neighbour and starts to spend time with him. She is a budding author and thinks he may be able to help her with some photographs she needs to illustrate her book.
Meanwhile at the film studio, Mark murders again trying to capture the sheer look of terror in his unsuspecting victim's face when she realises she is unexpectedly about to die. Next day her body is found and the police start to investigate the studio cast and crew. Mark begins to realise that the game may soon be up and he must be prepared to quickly complete his documentary. Abandoning all caution he murders again, killing a model and the police finally realise all the clues point to him and rush round to his house.
Meanwhile Helen has discovered Mark's secret. He is in love with her and cannot kill her but instead explains his methods. His camera tripod leg hides a sharp blade which he uses to kill his victims and to maximise the fear-factor he attaches a mirror to the front of the camera so the victim is forced to watch themselves as they die thereby confronting their greatest fear head on - and it is this ultimate look that Mark films to use in his documentary.
Mark sees the police gathering outside and sets in motion his final pre-prepared scene in which he will kill himself by the same method impaling his throat on the tripod blade as he looks in the mirror while his camera films his dying moments for the ultimate final scene in his life's work. Helen looks in horror as he completes this gory denouement and when the police break into his room he is dead.
|Starring:||Carl Boehm (as Mark Lewis), Anna Massey (as Helen Stephens), Maxine Audley (as Mrs Stephens, Helen's mother)|
|Featuring:||Moira Shearer (as Vivian, budding actress, Mark's 2nd victim), Shirley Ann Field (as Diane Ashley, lead actress in studio film being made), Esmond Knight (as Arthur Baden, film director), Jack Watson (as Chief Inspector Gregg), Nigel Davenport (Miller, detective), Bartlett Mullins (as Mr Peters, newsagent), Miles Malleson (as Newsagents Customer), Brenda Bruce (as Dora, prostitute, Mark's 1st victim)|
|Starlets:||Pamela Green (as Milly, glamour model, Mark's 3rd victim), Susan Travers (as Lorraine, glamour model)|
|Writer: Jonathan Walters / Director: Peter Curran / Producers: Elizabeth Curran, Rosemarie Walters|
|Type: Sex Comedy||Running Time: 87 mins|
|A titled lady finds herself in financial difficulties and starts selling forged artwork - unknown works of famous artists (that she claims have been in storage). To get the necessary co-operation from art-verification experts she uses her own sexual allure and that of her sex-mad teenage daughter to cut through any bureaucratic difficulties encountered.|
|Starring:||Linda Marlowe (as the Lady), Anna Bergman (as Penelope, the daughter)|
|Featuring:||Nicholas Day, George Murcell|
|Starlets:||Various (See notes)|
|This film was a UK/German co-production and therefore many of the minor roles were played by German starlets. The main players are listed in the opening titles with their pictures, but the closing credits are completely unreadable with a badly coloured and too small font-face used. The Internet Movie Database has a list of five actresses playing the girls at the Greek themed party Gina Janssen, Karin Janssen, Marian Koos, Weta Schmidt, Helga Suh - but even if accurate that list does not fully cover the six girls actually seen.|
|Additionally there were three models who are seen with an artist at regular intervals who may or may not be credited in the "unreadable" credits and which IMDB do not list.|
|Writers: David Osborne, Liz Charles-Williams / Director: Jack Cardiff / Producer: George H. Brown|
|Type: Crime Drama||Running Time: 86 mins|
|Detective Chief Inspector Matthews and his junior colleague Roger Sullivan of Kidlington CID are called in to investigate a robbery and murder at the Grancourt Photographic Studio where fashion model Diane Emerson lives and works. The studio safe has been robbed and Diane has been brutally murdered with repeated blows to her face with a heavy blunt instrument. The savage attack has made a wreck of her face and was clearly the work of a psychopath whom Diane must have caught in the robbery act.
Matthews first interviews Tina Hobbs, a scatty young blonde-haired American girl who works at the studio as the receptionist and was the one who found Miss Emerson's body. Also interviewed is photographer Claude Grancourt who was both the owner of the studio and Diane's boyfriend. But neither of them are strong suspects and both have good alibis and had nothing to gain by Diane's death.
Diane has a twin sister called Delphi and together they were brought up by their stepfather Charles Blachford following their mother's death. The two dark-haired sisters are so alike in appearance that even their friends and family struggle to tell them apart. Temperamentally, however, they were like chalk and cheese. Delphi was always the studious one, whereas Diane was fiery, with a domineering, self-centred drive that led her to be cruel and sometimes bully her quieter sister. Charles runs a philately business called the Windsor Philatelic Bureau that deals in rare stamps and Delphi is his assistant. Diane did work with them for a time but never had the patience for such insular activity and became a model instead which more suited her flair.
Charles has a heart condition and the stress of his stepdaughter's death, albeit not his favourite one, has brought upon renewed palpitations and his doctor orders him to take ten days house rest away from work. Delphi is more than capable of running the business in his absence and DCI Matthews comes to see her to get some background information. They get onto the subject of particularly rare stamps and she tells him how her stepfather Charles has always yearned to possess the incredibly rare Penny Gold stamp minted in 1887 by mistake in a printing error. All the erroneous sheets were recalled and destroyed but a couple of individual stamps were missing. Only one of these is known to survive and is in the possession of a Dutch dealer called Van Der Meij. However the Dutchman will not sell the priceless stamp and will only consider exchanging it for a stamp called "The Geneva" which he prizes even more highly. Unfortunately Charles does not possess that stamp either although one of his clients called Ellen Hartridge does own one. DCI Matthews takes a shine to Delphi finding her pleasant company.
Matthews considers the case baffling, with no clues, witnesses, or likely suspects - but he has a strong feeling that it is more complex than the facts would suggest and he doggedly refuses to give up until he discovers the truth.
We (the viewer) learn that the American girl Tina Hobbs and Diane's boyfriend Claude have a certain familiarity between them that suggests collusion. Meanwhile Delphi is travelling to Holland for a stamp auction where she meets up with dealer Van Der Meij and discovers something very odd. Van Der Meij has recently obtained his prized Geneva stamp and exchanged it for the Penny Gold. However he was under the impression that he was dealing with Delphi! That was two weeks ago before Diane was killed and Delphi realises that her sister must have masqueraded as her to obtain that stamp - but why, and how did she get the Geneva stamp to trade it with? Delphi tells DCI Matthews what she has learnt and he discovers that Ellen Hartridge did indeed receive a visit from someone she believed to be Delphi and showed her the Geneva stamp as a courtesy - but it wasn't taken away. But now on closer inspection Miss Hartridge can seen that her stamp is a forgery and "Delphi/Diane" must have switched it whilst her back was turned. Delphi challenges Claude to explain what Diane had been up to with getting hold of the Penny Gold and feels sure he must know where it is, but he claims to know nothing about it.
Charles Blachford is found dead at his home in suspicious circumstances. It seems he tackled an intruder and had another heart attack and died. Charles' will shows that he had all-but disowned Diane and left the bulk of his estate to Delphi.
Matthews and Sullivan decide to start from scratch and thoroughly recheck the alibis. They visit the address given by Tina Hobbs only to discover that she is bogus. The real Tina Hobbs had her passport stolen and is now back in the States. The false Tina evades capture and phones Claude to tell him her cover is blown and they need to move fast. Claude then phones Delphi and tells her that he has the Penny Gold and wants to come over and talk to her about it. When Claude arrives at the Blachford estate he gives Delphi the stamp to look at and while she is engrossed in examining it for authenticity, Tina comes in and she and Claude jointly overpower Delphi and render her unconscious with chloroform. Then Tina removes her blonde wig and she turns out to be Diane, still very much alive! Diane puts on her sister's clothes to assume her identity and they put Delphi's unconscious body in a trunk and put that in the back of a land rover ready to be disposed of. From now on Diane will become Delphi and inherit the estate and no one will suspect because Diane is considered to be dead.
While this has been going on Matthews finally realises they made a fundamental mistake by assuming the dead body with the mangled face was in fact Diane and perhaps that disfigurement had been a deliberate action to disguise the fact that it was actually another young woman with a similar build who may have been lured to the studio for that very purpose. The pieces of the puzzle start falling into place and Matthews and Sullivan rush to the Blachford estate concerned for Delphi's safety.
When Matthews arrives at the house he is relived to find Delphi unharmed and in the company of Claude. He tells "Delphi" that he thinks her sister may not be dead after all and is maybe planning to come here and try and kill her and take her place. He suspects the motive was the Penny Gold which she wanted to sell but can no longer do so because he has circulated information about its theft amongst dealers and no one would touch it. So now Diane is on the run and desperate. "Delphi" assures him she can look after herself and Matthews leaves.
Diane and Claude then proceed to drive the land rover to the deep estate lake where they cold-bloodedly throw the heavy trunk containing Delphi's unconscious body in to the water and leave her to drown. Things seem to be going perfectly to plan until they return to the house to find Matthews waiting alongside the real Delphi safe and well. Earlier while Matthews was here talking to them Sullivan had found the trunk outside and released Delphi and substituted a statuette of a similar weight in her place. Matthews has the case sewn up and both Diane and Claude are arrested for the deaths of both Charles Blachford and the innocent victim who everyone believed to be Diane, as well as the attempted murder of Delphi - they are taken away. Delphi is a little woozy from her ordeal but set to make a full recovery.
|Starring:||James Booth (as DCI Matthews), Francesca Annis (as Delphi/Diane/Tina), Nicky Henson (as Roger Sullivan, detective), Joseph O'Conor (as Charles Blachford, Diane and Delphi's stepfather)|
|Featuring:||Una Stubbs (as Anna, Roger's girlfriend), George Murcell (as Doctor Merrick, Charles' doctor), Joss Ackland (as Jones, high-ranking police officer), Richard Heffer (as Claude Grancourt, photographer), Marianne Stone (as Mrs Parsons, Charles' housekeeper), Sue Lloyd (as Fashion Model), Penelope Keith (as Ellen Hartridge, stamp collector), John Savident (as Sir Roger Hampton, Charles' solicitor), Clinton Greyn (as Van Der Meij, Dutch stamp dealer), Stephanie Smith (as Delphi/Diane as a Child, [flashbacks])|
|Writer/Director: Peter Collinson / Producer: Harry Fine|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 96 mins|
|Bruce Victor is a Real Estate Agent who is making overnight use of an absent client's penthouse apartment to entertain his mistress Barbara Willason. It is 8:15am and there is a knock on the door and a man called Tom who claims to be a meter reader arrives. He behaves in a very odd way and seems more interested in their domestic situation than reading the meter which he is ill-prepared for anyway. He then lets in his friend Dick to help him and it soon becomes apparent that Tom and Dick have some sinister purpose to their visit as they subject Bruce and Barbara to a day of torment. Bruce is immediately tied up to a chair and the intruders get Barbara ragingly drunk and take turns to have sex with her in the bedroom. All the time they carry on with a quirky line of eccentric and sometimes childlike chat making their actions entirely unpredictable. It is unclear to Bruce what it is they want or why they targeted the pair and he can get no clear answer from them. Tom and Dick discuss the need to kill them because they might tell the police. Bruce promises they will not say anything and the intruders abruptly and unexpectedly leave taking with them just a few minor belongings. Their sudden departure takes Bruce by surprise as he had been up until then been becoming ominous of their chances of surviving unscathed at the hands of the two clearly unbalanced men.
A bit later there is another knock on the door and it is a sophisticated and efficient young woman called Harry who says she is the mens' parole officer. She returns the stolen items and apologises for the day of fear they were subjected to. She says they are psychiatric patients who were believed to be cured but will now be headed back to prison having broken the conditions of their parole. She asks one favour that they allow Tom and Dick to apologise to them and hopefully Bruce and Barbara will forgive them and not press charges. But after Tom and Dick return acting very sheepish to make their apology it soon transpires that Harry is one of them and the three of them are at it again subjecting Bruce and Barbara to a few more moments of fear before quickly leaving again with no explanation of their actions. It is now early evening and Bruce and Barbara decide to leave while the going's good although the traumatic events of that day seem to have destroyed their relationship as they leave separately without exchanging any further words.
|Comment: Although there is no real explanation at the end of who the three intruders really were it is nevertheless an engaging film because of the ongoing quirky dialogue that sets it apart as something greater than a basic description of the plot might indicate.|
|Starring:||Suzy Kendall (as Barbara Willason), Terence Morgan (as Bruce Victor), Tony Beckley (as Tom, Intruder), Norman Rodway (as Dick, Intruder)|
|Featuring:||Martine Beswick (as Harry, Tom and Dick's Accomplice/Parole Officer)|
|Based on an original stage play by C. Scott Forbes|
|Writer: Patrick Tilley / Director: Kevin Connor / Producer: John Dark|
|Type: Adventure||Running Time: 87 mins|
|It is c1920 and following the discovery of a seaborne message in a sealed canister sent from a missing American called Bowen Tyler, a rescue mission is mounted by his friend Major Ben McBride. Tyler's message is several years old but it gives the chart-position of the island upon which he is stranded and there is hope he might still be alive along with a woman called Lisa Clayton who survived with him. Tyler describes the island as an ice continent upon which an inland temperate zone heated by a volcano houses a lost world where dinosaurs and primitive cavemen still exist. The rescue mission is funded by a British newspaper and as part of the arrangement McBride has been obliged to bring along the owner's headstrong and liberated journalistic niece Lady Charlotte Cunningham to cover the story.
Their ship Polar Queen stations itself by the island's imposing ice wall whilst a small group use an amphibious take-off plane to fly over the 200 mile stretch of mountain range to get to the zone that Tyler described. The four adventurers are McBride, Lady Charlotte, engineer Hogan, and palaeontologist Dr Edwin Norfolk. Time is limited because the surrounding ice flow is closing in and the ship might be stranded if they take too long to return.
The plane finds the warm zone but is forced to make an emergency landing when it attacked by a pterodactyl. The plane is damaged so Hogan stays behind to make repairs whilst the other three proceed with their mission to look for Tyler. Their first contact is with a young primitive woman called Ajor who they are amazed to find speaks good English. She tells them Tyler had been a friend to her peace-loving Galu tribe teaching them techniques that advanced them to a new level - but a neighbouring warlike tribe called the Naga had mounted a raid and killed most of her people and taken Tyler and Lisa prisoner so that they might learn the secrets also. Ajor was one of the only survivors and from hereon she becomes one of McBride's group.
With Ajor as a guide they continue trekking onwards, surviving various perils until they arrive near the Naga powerbase situated atop the volcano with a mountain top carved to look like skulls. They are captured by the Naga - the two men are thrown into a cell and the two women prepared for sacrifice. In the dungeon McBride and Norfolk find Bowen Tyler is also a prisoner. Tyler tells them that Lisa is dead - she was sacrificed to the volcano which the Naga worship as their god and Tyler could do nothing to save her. The same fate is clearly intended for Lady Charlotte and Ajor.
The three men manage to break out of their dungeon and save the women. This coincides with the volcano becoming active and the adventurers flee with the Naga warriors in pursuit. Tyler volunteers to hold the warriors off to give the others a chance to escape into the mountains. He succeeds but is killed. The others flee amid mounting volcanic activity which bombards the landscape with exploding boulders. They make it back to their plane which Hogan has now repaired and take Ajor with them. The plane has been weakened by the damage it suffered and to gain enough altitude to rise above the mountains Lady Charlotte's camera equipment has to be ditched. They make it back to the Polar Queen just in time as the captain was preparing to leave. They are happy to have survived but downhearted that they failed to rescue Tyler, and have no evidence of their findings except for the friendly native girl Ajor who is set for an amazing adventure of her own once they reach civilisation.
|Comment: Doug McClure's participation is more than a cameo but he does not enter into it until the final third of the film.|
|Starring:||Patrick Wayne (as Major Ben McBride), Sarah Douglas (as Lady Charlotte Cunningham), Thorley Walters (as Dr Edwin Norfolk), Shane Rimmer (as Hogan), Dana Gillespie (as Ajor)|
|Featuring:||Tony Britton (as Captain Lawton, skipper of The Polar Queen), Milton Reid (as Leader of the warlike Naga tribe)|
|Star-Turns:||Doug McClure (as Bowen Tyler, [billed as Guest Star])|
|Based upon the novel of the same name by Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|This was a sequel to The Land That Time Forgot (1975) which showed the story of how the prehistoric island was first discovered by Bowen Tyler and the circumstances by which he became stranded leading to the rescue attempt mounted in this sequel film.|
|Between the two "Time Forgot" films another of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Lost World" themed adventures called At The Earth's Core (1976) was made by the same production company (Amicus). This also starred Doug McClure and was directed by Kevin Connor - however McClure was playing a different character and there was no plot-setting connection to the other two films.|
|Writer: Hugh Leonard / Director: Ralph Thomas / Producer: Betty E. Box|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 96 mins|
|Edwin Anthony is an antiques dealer whose wife Hazel has just left him for her boss James Vaile. While carrying a chandelier through the streets Edwin suffers a terrible injury when a naked man falls on him from a high rise apartment block. Edwin's injury has emasculated him and whilst still unconscious an eminent surgeon Professor Emmanuel Whitbread performs a groundbreaking operation on him to transplant the dead man's penis to Edwin.
The operation is a complete success and Edwin's new member is found to be fully functioning and it is given the nickname of "Percy". Professor Whitbread says he cannot tell Edwin who the donor was due to patient confidentiality but Edwin desperately wants to know so he persuades a nurse to help and she provides him with a list of all the deaths at the hospital on the day of Edwin's admittance. News of the operation gets leaked to the press and becomes a national talking point although Edwin's identity remains unknown.
Edwin then works through the nurse's list visiting widows of the dead men to see if he can identify the correct donor. He eventually finds the man was called Guy Warrington and becomes friends with the widow Moira who offers him a room whilst his marital difficulties with Hazel are being resolved. Moira explains that Guy was not attentive to her and after his death she discovered he had a string of girlfriends. Edwin then visits Guy's ex-girlfriends to try and get an idea of the kind of man he was and the kind of philandering action "Percy" used to get - but he comes to the conclusion that that kind of lifestyle is not for him after he discovers that Guy fell from the window after fleeing from an angry husband who caught him at it with his wife.
Edwin and Moira have been becoming closer although his greedy wife Hazel tries to reconcile things between them after discovering Edwin is the famous transplant patient and reveals his name to the press so she can have some limelight. But Edwin humiliates her on a live "This Is Your Life" type surprise TV show and after their subsequent divorce he sets up home with Moira.
|Links: Edwin's story continued in a sequel called Percy's Progress.|
|Starring:||Hywel Bennett (as Edwin Anthony), Denholm Elliott (as Professor Emmanuel Whitbread), Cyd Hayman (as Moira Warrington, widow), Janet Key (as Hazel Anthony, Edwin's wife)|
|Featuring:||Patrick Mower (as James Vaile, Hazel's lover), Elke Sommer (Helga, ex-girlfriend), Britt Ekland (as Dorothy, ex-girlfriend), Pauline Delaney (as Sister Flanagan, nurse), Tracy Reed (a widow), Sheila Steafel (a widow), Adrienne Posta (a widow), Julia Foster (an ex-girlfriend)|
|Familiar Faces:||Arthur English, Rita Webb, T.P. McKenna, Sue Lloyd|
|Starlets:||Tracey Crisp, Antonia Ellis|
|Music and lyrics by Ray Davies and played by The Kinks|
|Writer: Sid Colin (with Ian La Frenais) / Director: Ralph Thomas / Producer: Betty E. Box|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 96 mins|
|Percy Edwin Anthony is going through a messy divorce hearing for his infidelity when he decides he has had enough and escapes from it all taking his yacht out to sea and living a life of seclusion. Meanwhile in the rest of the world bad things are happening. A US transport plane has crashed into the ocean carrying an experimental chemical called PX123. This chemical spreads around the world infiltrating fresh water systems with the result of making all men in the world infertile. Percy knows nothing of this and has been exclusively drinking champagne and a year later when he arrives at a Spanish port, horny as anything after his self-enforced abstinence, is bemused by the strange reactions he gets when asking for directions to a brothel. He is even more surprised when the brothel girls pay him! His lack of impotence makes him a celebrity and a vital asset to the world for the continuance of humanity. Each country of the world organises a Miss World style contest (called Miss Conception!) to select a girl who will travel to England to be impregnated by Percy. Girls are selected by national judges not just on their looks but on high IQ too. Percy goes along with this but soon becomes worn out with two-thirds of the winning contestants still to be obliged and wants to get away from all the pressure but the authorities aren't going to let him go.|
|Starring:||Leigh Lawson (as Percy), Denholm Elliott|
|Featuring:||Harry H. Corbett, Anthony Andrews, Judy Geeson, Vincent Price, Elke Sommer, Adrienne Posta, Barry Humphries, James Booth, Ronald Fraser|
|Familiar Faces:||Bernard Lee (familiar as M in the early James Bond films), T.P. McKenna, Michael Barratt (as himself - a newsreader), Bernard Falk (as himself - a reporter), Anthony Sharp|
|Starlets:||Julie Ege, Madeline Smith, Jenny Hanley, Diane Langton, Carol Hawkins, Penny Irving, Vikki Richards, Judy Matheson, Minah Bird, Marlene Morrow, Ludmila Nova, Karan David, June Bolton, Olga Anthony, Marianne Morris|
|This is a sequel to Percy (1971) in which the lead character received the world's first penis transplant. Those events are referred in this movie and Denholm Elliott resumes his role as the surgeon who performed the operation. Percy however was played by a different actor, Hywel Bennett. Also in the first movie the character was not actually called "Percy" - his name was Edwin Anthony and "Percy" was the nickname given to his newly acquired appendage. In this sequel "Percy" is now his actual name and "Edwin" demoted to being his middle name. Elke Sommer was also in both films but playing a different character.|
|Barry Humphries has a dual role - his main part is as a doctor working on a cure. But he also does a piece to camera as an Australian lady being interviewed about the impotence problem who is credited as "Australian TV Lady" but is in every regard but name his "Dame Edna Everage" character.|
|Vikki Richards is missed off the end credits although her name appears listed in the opening titles.|
|June Bolton who plays Miss Thailand, one of the successful contestants visiting Percy, may be a pseudonym for Emily Bolton.|
|Writers: C Scott Forbes, Anthony Greville-Bell / Director: Peter Hall / Producer: Jack Smith|
|Type: Crime Caper||Running Time: 89 mins|
|Mr K G Graham is an unmarried deputy Under Manager at the National Metropolitan Bank in London. He is highly intelligent but has become bored with his job and fed up with being so poor and envious of his rich customers. Because he knows the bank's procedures inside out he believes he has worked out a way of stealing a lot of money from the vault - but his plan requires he have some outside help from a man and a woman.
Lady Britt Dorset is a customer who makes an overdraft application with Mr Graham to borrow £500. She is an attractive young woman and they engage in a little flirting and when asked what the money is for she tells him it is so she can travel back to her native Switzerland to visit her sick mother and Mr Graham duly grants her the loan. Later on that day she is waiting outside the bank when he leaves and flaunts the car and new clothes she has bought with the loan money and Mr Graham having been expertly taken in by her act realises she might be just the kind of person he needs to help him. She invites him for a spin in the car and they go on a picnic and he sounds her out on the possibility of her participation. She is keen to be involved and make some much needed money. She suggests her husband would be ideal to fulfil the requirements of the male accomplice required. His name is Lord Nicholas Dorset who is a suave and extravagant, but cash-strapped young member of the House of Lords and Mr Graham approaches him without mentioning that he comes on his wife's recommendation. He outlines the objective of his plan and offers a large financial inducement and Nick agrees to take part and even suggests his wife could be used for the female part which Mr Graham promises to consider that without mentioning she has already been recruited.
Mr Graham has the outward appearance of a meek bank manager but has a very self-assured manner with a commanding confidence and he and Britt are soon sleeping together and making plans to run off together with the money when the job has been done and double-cross her lazy husband. But when Britt is with her husband she is making similar plans with him to double-cross Mr Graham.
The three of them get together and Mr Graham outlines his meticulous plan which will involve Nick adopting various disguises for which Mr Graham sends him all over the country to gather the necessary props although the long-distance travel side of it is mainly a ploy to get him out of the way so that he and Britt can sleep together whilst he's away.
The plan was meant to be carried out on a Friday but various hitches delay it until the following week when it all goes perfectly to plan:- With Mr Graham bypassing normal verification procedures Nick poses as a head office bank inspector making a spot check on the vault's cash deposits and then whilst the count is in progress Mr Graham calls away the supervising vault manager on a ruse and this gives Nick time to swap out the real money with bundles of blanks from a security box that Britt had previously deposited in the vault for the bank's safekeeping. Later on when Nick has completed his part Britt duly collects her security box with the real money inside. But then she fails to make her rendezvous at the airport with either her husband or Mr Graham and as both men watch her get onto the aeroplane with the money they realise they've both been double-crossed by her - and on the plane Britt is smiling at her success with her handsome Swiss boyfriend beside her.
|Starring:||Stanley Baker (as Mr K G Graham), Ursula Andress (as Lady Britt Dorset), David Warner (as Lord Nicholas Dorset)|
|Featuring:||T.P. McKenna (as Mr R Smith, Under Manager), David Waller (as Mr Williams, Bank Manager), Joan Benham (as Miss Welsh, bank secretary), Patience Collier (as Nanny, lives with Britt and Nick)|
|Familiar Faces:||Julian Orchard (as Head Office Inspector), Johnny Briggs (Taxi Driver)|
|Starlets:||Trisha Mortimer (as Switchboard Operator)|
|Writer: Donald Cammell / Directors: Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg / Producer: Sanford Lieberson|
|Type: Crime Drama||Running Time: 101 mins|
|Chas is a hard man gangster working in London's East End in the employ of protection racketeer Harry Flowers. Chas is Harry's strong arm who puts the frighteners on businesses to sign up or get reluctant shop owners to pay up with threats, intimidation and violence. Chas has a lunatic edge that makes his violence all the more unpredictable and of late he has been making unilateral decisions on how to handle problems that Harry finds less than satisfactory.
Harry decides to reign him in and teach him a lesson and sends another of his best men Joey Maddocks around to Chas's flat with a hired hoodlum to give him a savage beating. Chas doesn't stand much of a chance and suffers badly in the beating but as Joey is gloating Chas turns the tables when he manages to retrieve a secreted gun and kills Joey as he pleads for his life.
Chas knows he will have to lay low and get out of the country to escape Harry's wrath and so he packs a bag and leaves. While considering where to go a chance remark overheard in a café alerts him to a room for rent nearby in a reclusive musician's house. Chas takes the room claiming to be Johnny Dean, a vaudeville performer of juggling acts needing a place to stay, and although the owner Mr Turner is at first reluctant to allow him to stay Chas eventually persuades him to allow him a trial period. Turner is a former successful rock star who has turned into a recluse and now devotes his time to writing and painting - he lives with two French women, Pherber and Lucy, as well as a small cockney child called Lorraine.
Chas thinks they are all mad at first but he needs to stay out of sight. He phones a trusted friend called Tony to arrange a new passport for himself and Tony tells him to change his appearance and get a photo done for the passport. Chas enlists the help of the others in the house to come up with a new look for him (which he says is for his act) and they give him a hip modern look more fitting with their own style. And once he looks the part he eventually begins to appreciate their way of life and starts taking drugs with them. In conversations with Turner he realises that the former rock star is depressed with the state of his life.
When Chas next makes contact with Tony he is unaware that his friend has been got at by Harry's men and when he gives Tony his location the hoodlums discover where he is and send the boys round to fetch him. Chas' sharpness has been addled by the drugs and he doesn't realise the danger until it is too late and the thugs have arrived to drive him to the country to quietly dispose of him. Before Chas goes he does Turner what he considers a favour and shoots him dead when Turner says he wants to go to the same place that Chas is going.
|Starring:||James Fox (as Chas), Mick Jagger (as Turner), Anita Pallenberg (as Pherber), Michèle Breton (as Lucy)|
|Featuring:||Johnny Shannon (as Harry Flowers), Anthony Valentine (as Joey Maddocks), Allan Cuthbertson (as a Lawyer), Ken Colley (as Tony Farrell, Chas' friend), John Bindon (as Moody, Harry's henchman), Stanley Meadows (as Rosebloom, Harry's henchman), Anthony Morton (as Dennis, henchman), Laraine Wickens (as Lorraine, young cockney girl), Billy Murray (a Thug)|
|Starlets:||Ann Sidney (as Dana, Chas' girlfriend, one scene only)|
|Writer: Eric Lieter / Director/Producer: Kenneth F Rowles|
|Type: Sex||Running Time: 38 mins|
|Mandy is a sixth-former aged about 17 or 18 who attends the St James's School for Girls. She hates school but has to stay on until the end of term because her parents are abroad and she has no job. The main reason she dislikes school so much is because of the crazed headmaster who picks on her because she's pretty and finds any excuse to cane her in his study. The headmaster is more than willing to exploit his position and takes bribes to allow a photographer to secretly film the older girls showering after games.
When Mandy hears of an acting job going she bunks off school and heads along to the audition. It is to be a film about disco dancing and her innocent look is just what the director is after. She gets the part much to the annoyance of another girl who had thought she would get it. That "evil" girl phones the headmaster and tells him of Mandy's insubordinate behaviour in leaving school without permission. The headmaster is delighted that Mandy has at last done something really naughty and he can punish her properly and knock some correctional sense into her.
The headmaster and the evil girl work together to lure Mandy to an abandoned building and take her prisoner. They tie her naked to a bed where the headmaster lasciviously slavers over the prospect of having her helplessly in his power at last where he can teach her a lesson she won't forget. Meanwhile Mandy's friends, Gloria and Natasha, realise she is in trouble and rush to the rescue with one of the film producer's assistants. They rescue Mandy and she goes on to make the disco related film called A Star is Born part of which involves her doing a striptease dance to a disco track.
After the premiere of the film the still-smarting "evil" girl and a hired thug kidnap Mandy and tie her to a railway line with a train hurtling towards her ...
|Comment: It ends on that cliffhanger with the narrator telling us to watch out for the next Perils of Mandy" instalment coming soon - although such a follow-on was never made.|
|Starring:||Gloria Brittain (as Mandy)|
|Featuring:||(Female names) Amanda Clasper, Elizabeth Kosek, Louise Cohen, Vicki Wade|
(Male names) Tony Martell, Terry Francis, Derrick Slater, Russel Bellamy
|This is a made-for-video production|
|Character names are not given in the credits for the supporting actors so it was not possible to assign most of the actors to their character names. Other than the lead actress, three of the four other female names must be the main three female co-stars who also have nude/topless scenes (Mandy's two friends Gloria and Natasha, and the unnamed character playing the "evil girl" nemesis) - the remaining name may or may not have had a nude scene depending on who she was playing as there is more than one possible character who could have been the other credited actress.|
|Writer: Jeremy Craig Dryden / Director: Lindsay Shonteff / Producer: Jack Shulton|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 86 mins|
|Naïve teenager Suzy arrives in London to visit her friend Fiona. Fiona is a live-in groupie for a rock group called Forever More and Lee of that group is her boyfriend. Fiona makes herself indispensable by seeing to the domestic chores when the group are staying in rented accommodation while on tour. Fiona is very welcoming to her shy unassuming friend and offers to let her stay with them and she gets exposed to a new life of wild parties and groupie adoration.
When the group go on a gig in another part of the country the road manager doesn't let Suzy come. So while they are away for a week Fiona arranges for Suzy to stay with a friend of hers until they get back. But that falls through and with nowhere to stay she end up living on the streets hooking up with a busker for company and has a cold, uncomfortable couple of days and nights living a hand-to-mouth existence.
When the group return she goes back to stay with them and sets about to make herself indispensable to the group so she won't have to endure the same miserable time again. She becomes sexually promiscuous and sleeps with the road manager and all the group and makes it clear to Lee that he can have her too if he should want to. His and Fiona's relationship has been cooling off of late and so he makes an advance to Suzy and they sleep together. Fiona becomes suspicious and jealous seeing her once dominant position in the group's entourage slipping away. She confronts Suzy about it but Suzy has become callous and hard-nosed and scorns her friend's appeal to leave Lee alone. As the group are preparing to move on to another town Fiona makes a desperate last plea to Lee that she loves him but he spurns her saying it is over between them.
Before they depart Suzy returns to the hotel room to get something and finds Fiona in the bath having slashed her wrists. With her life ebbing away and obviously desperately in need of help and support, Suzy just stares at her coldly and uncaringly and then walks out and leaves her. The End
|Comment: A fairly good film depicting one initially likeable girl's complete transformation into someone uncaring in order to survive in the world she has found herself in. The fact that her chosen life is so meaningless to any independent observer seems lost on her. I didn't find it totally clear why Suzy came to London in the first place to visit Fiona or why she was unwilling or unable to return home when she was forced to live on the streets. The final scene is effectively chilling.|
|Starring:||Maggie Stride (as Suzy), Gay Singleton (as Fiona)|
|Featuring:||Gilbert Wynne (as Jimi, the Road Manager), Alan Gorrie (as Lee, a band member), Robert Daubigny (as Pogo, the busker)|
|Starlets:||Debbie Bowen Joyce Crossley Nicola Austin|
|Also:||(as groupies) Nicole Yearne, Suzy Randall, Juliet Adams, Linda Dean, Greta Nelson, Maria Vasilou, Susanna East, Cathy Howard, Samantha Bond, Maria Frost, Louisa Livingston, Madeleine Collinson, Mary Collinson|
|The group featured are called "Forever More" who were apparently a real group from the time although as depicted they seem to lack any sort of charisma or camaraderie. Their music is liberally played throughout the film. As a group they are given an "introducing" credit.|
|The various groupies credited have little to do other than make up the numbers during party scenes - only a few of them have any lines. Twins Mary and Madeleine Collinson appear as groupies but their twin-ness is not utilised and they are not seen together - Mary is credited as Mary Collins.|
|Writers: Robert B. Hutton, Rosemary Wootten * / Director: Don Chaffey / Producer: Kevin Francis|
|Type: Chiller||Running Time: 91 mins|
|Ever since he was a young boy David Masters has lived alone with his mother Carrie in their large estate house. Although enjoying all the trappings of a loving home, David feels neglected by his mother whom he feels shows more regard for her cat Sheba than she does for him. One day her distant disregard for him sends him into a fit of pique and he drowns Sheba in a bowl of milk. The cat is given a burial in an area of the grounds set aside for pet deaths. There are a succession of graves for all his mother's cats from down the years - each of which has been called "Sheba" and identical to the last. A central plinth with a statue of a cat denotes the sanctity of the area. Carrie bears a strong resentment for her son David that is born of the way she feels his arrival ruined her life - where once she was youthful and energetic, now she is a partial invalid following an accident of falling down the stairs when she was pregnant. Her memory tells her that it was her bullysome husband Robert who pushed her after finding she was having an affair with a man called Paul Bellamy who is actually David's father. Paul is an important man and Carrie has been blackmailing him for a regular monthly payment ever since because of her possession of some incriminating letters he sent her whilst they were in the midst of their affair. Carrie is determined, by degrees, to ruin her son's life and make sure he is never truly happy for very long.
Now David is a man and is married to a woman called Janie. He lives with Janie in a separate self-contained wing within his mother's house. They have a baby boy and are very happy together despite Janie's misgivings about continuing to live here near his mother. Carrie has the rest of the house to herself and the latest in her unbroken line of white cats called "Sheba". Carrie dotes on the cat who seems to have a special understanding of tasks Carrie might require of it.
It is David's birthday and Carrie has organised a celebration dinner for the three of them. It is clear that Carrie is somewhat resentful of Janie and much preferred it when it was just she and David. When the dinner is over Janie goes to check on the sleeping baby and finds it dead - smothered by the cat Sheba which got into his cot. Janie becomes traumatised by the tragedy and when a doctor prescribes prolonged bed-rest Carrie organises a nurse to look after her.
The nurse she hires is called Monique Kalfon whom Carrie has paid not only to look after Janie but also with a special task to seduce David and break up his marriage. Over the next couple of weeks the seductive Monique gradually works her charms on David until he finally sleeps with her. Carrie immediately informs a disbelieving Janie of the development who rushes to Monique's bedroom to check and is shocked to find it is true. As Janie rushes out of the room in tears she trips over Sheba who seems to have purposely placed itself in her path - Janie falls headlong down the stairs and dies.
With the two "intruders" (wife and baby) now out of the way Carrie believes she has returned things to how they should be with just herself and David alone - however the traumatic events have tipped David over the edge and he starts digging around in the pet cemetery to anger her with the defiled graves of her beloved pets - but under the main plinth he unexpectedly finds a human skeleton - the ring it is wearing indicates that it is the remains of his father Robert Masters.
Confronted with this evidence Carrie has a breakdown and the previously suppressed true memories of her accident re-emerge - it was her lover Paul who had pushed her down the stairs after finding she was pregnant. This was after they had both already killed her jealous husband Robert and buried him in the garden. Carrie is in tears of remorse but this is not sufficient for the maddened David who exerts a new dominance over her and makes her act like one of the cats she so adores. He pours her a large bowl of milk and insists she crawl on the floor to lap it up - and when she does he drowns her in it just as he did to a previous Sheba cat so many years ago.
|Starring:||Lana Turner (as Carrie Masters), Ralph Bates (as David Masters), Suzan Farmer (as Janie Masters, David's wife), Olga Georges-Picot (as Monique Kalfon, nurse)|
|Featuring:||Mark Weavers (as Young David), Patrick Allen (as Robert Masters, Carrie's husband, brief appearance in flashbacks only), Ronald Howard (as Dr Ross)|
|Star-Turns:||Trevor Howard (as Paul Bellamy, Carrie's one-time lover, brief role)|
|Starlets:||Jennifer Guy (as Waitress, at a nightclub, cameo appearance only)|
|* Additional scenes and dialogue by Frederick Warner|
|Mark Weavers receives an "introducing" credit|
|Writer: John Elder / Director: Terence Fisher / Producer: Anthony Hinds|
|Type: Chiller||Running Time: 80 mins|
|In 1900 at London's Albany theatre the premiere of a new opera by composer Lord Ambrose d'Arcy is preparing to open. The rehearsals for "Saint Joan" have been plagued by a number of incidents that have spooked the cast and crew and the leading lady playing Joan of Arc has walked out. The show's producer Harry Hunter begins auditions for a replacement to the disgruntlement of Lord d'Arcy who prefers to select his own leading ladies using criteria apart from their ability to sing. Harry finds d'Arcy to be an unpleasant man and cannot understand how such an unprincipled and insensitive individual can produce such beautiful music that is usually the province of sensitive poets and dreamers.
Harry casts Christine Charles who has a good voice and shows the most promise. He helps her deflect d'Arcy's unwanted predatory attentions and insinuation that she needs to undergo some private "tuition" with him if she wants to keep the part.
During rehearsals Christine hears strange whispers in her dressing room and she fears the theatre is haunted. She tells Harry who promises to investigate after the first performance. But this performance is curtailed when a stagehand dies in peculiar circumstances.
Harry and Christine come to the theatre at night to investigate the source of the noises she heard - but when Harry's attention is diverted Christine goes missing and Harry cannot find her. Christine has been taken down a secret passage by a hunchback dwarf to an underground watercourse cavern beneath the theatre where a man wearing a featureless mask awaits. He is the source of the whispering voice she heard before. Her circumstances are alarming although his manner is not immediately threatening. All he seems to want of her is that she allow him to teach her how to really properly sing the opera part she is rehearsing. He insists she practice relentlessly and she feels she cannot refuse for fear of antagonising him and inviting reprisal as his level of sanity is in question if provoked.
Harry meanwhile investigates her disappearance and visits Christine's boarding house and speaks to her landlady Mrs Tucker. Harry spots some old hand-written music sheets that Mrs Tucker says had once belonged to a former musician boarder of hers from several years beforehand called Professor Petrie who disappeared without trace and is probably dead. Harry plays one of the pieces on her piano and immediately recognises it as the music supposedly composed by Lord d'Arcy!
Harry delves into Petrie's background and finds he was a composer who had worked for ten years on all manner of musical works including a full opera about Joan of Arc but had never managed to get his work published. Then he took his compositions to Lord d'Arcy who agreed to purchase them for a paltry sum which Petrie is forced to accept but is buoyed by the prospect of at last having his work in print. However when he visits the printers he discovers that Lord d'Arcy has substituted his own name as the composer. In anger Petrie starts a fire trying to destroy it all but his face gets burnt - he rushes outside in pain and falls into the Thames and is swept away. He was never heard of again and believed to have drowned. (Note: some of this background is not revealed until a bit later in the actual film but is collated here for the sake of concision.)
Harry checks the area where the professor reportedly fell and hears faint music coming from a grill leading to a natural underground watercourse. He travels along it until he comes to the cavern where the masked man is holding Christine. He has to fight the mute dwarf who is very protective of his master but manages to subdue him. The masked man confirms he is Petrie who wears the mask to hide his hideous burns and he fills in additional details of his tragic story and how the dwarf saved him from the water although he has no idea who the dwarf is. He begs to be allowed a week to complete Christine's tuition. She has by now gained a trust in Petrie whom she has come to see as a sympathetic soul and so Harry allows it.
On the night of the first performance Christine is magnificent putting in an electrifying performance that captivates both the audience and the masked Petrie who watches from the shadows of an unused box. As Christine is taking her final bows, a rope directly above her holding a large heavy chandelier prop begins to fray - the masked man sees this and jumps down onto the stage to save her. He succeeds in pushing her from harms way but the chandelier falls down upon him instead and he dies.
|Starring:||Edward de Souza (as Harry Hunter), Heather Sears (as Christine Charles), Herbert Lom (as The Phantom/Professor Petrie), Michael Gough (as Lord Ambrose d'Arcy)|
|Featuring:||Thorley Walters (as Lattimer, theatre manager), Harold Goodwin (Bill, stagehand), John Harvey (as Sgt Vickers), Liane Aukin (as Maria, original leading lady who resigns), Sonya Cordeau (as Yvonne, Lord d'Arcy's preferred choice as new leading lady), Renee Houston (as Mrs Tucker, Christine's landlady), Ian Wilson (as The hunchback dwarf)|
|Familiar Faces:||(cameo roles) Patrick Troughton (as The Ratcatcher), Michael Ripper (as Cabby)|
|Based on the composition by Gaston Leroux|
|Writer: Mayo Simon / Director: Saul Bass / Producer: Paul B Radin|
|Type: Sci-Fi / American||Running Time: 80 mins|
|Scientists over the world are focussed on some strange astronomical phenomena wondering what effects it may have on life on earth. In the end the effects appear negligible except to one British biologist called Dr Ernest Hubbs working in Arizona who has observed a behavioural change in ant species. Formally antagonistic species appear to be co-operating and communicating and making decisions that appear to have a purpose. The farmland of an Arizona valley has become uninhabitable for humans as ants converge to kill livestock and undermine foundations of farm property and the area has been largely evacuated while the behaviour is investigated.
Hubbs recruits a young American expert in cryptological communication called James Lesko and together they take up station in a specially constructed hermetically sealed dome in the Arizona desert to study and experiment with their complex banks of computer equipment. The ants have constructed a series of towers of sand for unknown reason - but possibly to observe things from a higher vantage. To get a reaction Hubbs blows up the pillars and Lesko starts recording the sounds made by the ants and the action they take in response to try and determine the rudiments of the "language" they seem to be using. Although not individually intelligent the ants are like individual cells of a larger organism working towards a goal that each part does not understand.
The ants find a way to disable the facility's external generator and so Hubbs uses yellow insecticide sprays to poison the surrounding land to create a no-go area. While investigating the effectiveness of the poison they discover a teenage girl called Kendra hiding outside who, with her now-dead grandparents, had been trying to flee from an ant attack. They take her in and at the same time collect some live ants for study. Underground, a series of ants take samples of the yellow poison on a suicide relay to the queen who ingests a piece and starts producing a new strain of workers with immunity. Next morning they have constructed new pillars with flat slanting crystalline tops designed to reflect the sunlight directly at the dome - creating a marked temperature rise inside.
The study ants are accidentally released when Kendra smashes their receptacle in a fit of anger for their killing of her farm horse and grandparents and a small number of them escape into the inner workings of the facility equipment. And by nibbling at wires and creating short-circuits they target and disable the most critical device in the facility - the air conditioning system. With the heat reflectors stationed outside this raises the inner temperature above the point of 90 degrees when the computer stops functioning. The computer now only works for few hours each night when the temperature reduces enough.
Hubbs thinks the ants are experimenting on them to discover their weaknesses as a prelude to a larger global assault and cannot understand how the ants knew how much their equipment depended on the air conditioning or why they seem to be "allowing" them to use their equipment for short periods and didn't find a way to disable that too. In one of those operating windows Lesko sends mathematical representation on the ants frequency in their language hoping to establish a communication - and gets back a map of the area indicating a nearby point. They interpret this as meaning the ants want someone to go out there and Kendra thinks they want her in revenge for killing some of their kind - she goes out by herself without the scientists' knowledge hoping this will cause the ants to leave the others alone - her fate is not immediately certain. Hubbs thinks the map leads to the queen ant and realises that if he can destroy that leader the rest of the ants will fall into unorganised disarray and be easily defeated. He goes outside with this purpose but before he gets to the indicated point the sand gives way and he falls into a pit - it was a pre-prepared well thought out trap and the ants swarm in and kill him.
Lesko knows it's all up to him and takes blue insecticide that the ants are not immune to and finds his way into the ants lair to make a direct assault on the queen. The lair is curiously free of ants and instead the young woman Kendra is there waiting and beckons to him and Lesko realises that the ants wanted the two young humans of the opposite sex all along and Lesko understands they are being changed and becoming part of the ants world for an as yet unknown purpose.
|Comment: The ending is a bit obscure as to what is actually going on and it kind of skates over giving any proper explanation by making it a "twist" ending.|
|Starring:||Nigel Davenport (Dr Ernest Hubbs), Michael Murphy (as James Lesko), Lynne Frederick (as Kendra Eldridge)|
|Featuring:||Alan Gifford (as Mr Eldridge, grandfather), Helen Horton (as Mildred Eldridge, grandmother)|
|This American film is reviewed here because of the involvement of British actors Nigel Davenport and Lynne Frederick|
|Writer: Brian Friel / Director/Producer: John Quested|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 90 mins|
|Gar O'Donnell lives in the small coastal town of Barry Beg in Ireland where he works for his father as a shopkeeper's assistant in their grocery store. At 25-years-old Gar feels his life has stalled and has become mired in a rut that never changes or offers any hope of quenching his desire to make something of himself. Gar's father, S.B. O'Donnell, is a stern and gloomy man with no facility for small talk whose habitual routine remains unvaried from day to day, never showing any sign of affection towards Gar. The same tired phrases and lifeless milieu which have become the daily norm are sending Gar crazy. And yet Gar himself is fairly undemonstrative, voicing his opinions and scathing retorts only through means of an inner persona (whom we see and hear in the form of another actor standing beside Gar, but of whom none of the other characters are aware).
Gar feels hard done by and that his skinflint father has taken advantage of his good nature. Gar's only chance for happiness evaporated when his girlfriend, whom he hoped to marry, eventually opted for the attentions of someone else with better prospects thereby reinforcing his misery and feelings of inadequacy. His few friends seem perfectly satisfied with the uncomplicated village life, but to Gar his life is like a dismal life-sentence from which there is seemingly no escape. Until recently, Gar had neither the means nor the opportunity to assay greener fields, but now such a chance has arisen and Gar intends to grab it.
Gar's late mother Moira had been one of five sisters, all of whom are now dead except for Liz who went to live in America when she got married. Gar is the only child any of the sisters were ever able to have and Aunt Liz feels a special affection for Gar as if he were the son she could never have. She has invited him to come and live with her in Philadelphia where they have a job waiting for him. To Gar this is like the promise of Shangri-la and Gar has eagerly accepted and made all the necessary preparations for his departure.
As the day of his leaving draws near, Gar examines his relationship with his father seeking out any sign that his father will miss him, or has ever loved him at all. He thinks there may have been one day long ago when his father loosened up and tried to bond with him when they went boating - but when he asks his father about it he has no recollection of the day, and Gar wonders if he only imagined it. Gar is looking for a reason to stay, just some sign from his father that he is needed here. But nothing is forthcoming and his father seems unconcerned that Gar is leaving never to return. Gar gives him opportunities to say things long unspoken between them but neither of them can manage to hurdle the impenetrable barrier of their emotive shortcomings and put any words to what they feel.
Gar leaves the next morning with the only fanfare being a formal farewell handshake from his father. He heads to the airport to catch the early morning plane to America and begin a new life in Philadelphia.
|Starring:||Donal McCann (as Gar O'Donnell), Des Cave (as Gar's Inner Self), Eamon A. Kelly (as S.B. O'Donnell, Gar's father), Siobhan McKenna (as Madge, their landlady/housekeeper)|
|Featuring:||Fidelma Murphy (as Kate Doogan, Gar's former girlfriend), Liam Redmond (as Senator Doogan, Kate's father), Mavis Villiers (as Liz Sweeney, Gar's aunt who lives in Philadelphia), Niall Toibin (as Con Sweeney, Liz's American husband), Pat Layde (as Master Boyle, Gar's former schoolteacher, fallen on hard times), David Kelly (as Canon O'Byrne, priest), Niall Buggy (as Ned, Gar's friend), Eamon Morrissey (as Joe, Gar's friend), Donal Cox (as Tom, Gar's friend), Desmond Keogh (as Dr Francis King, Kate's fiancé), O.Z. Whitehead (as Ben Burton, friend of Liz and Con)|
|From the stage play of the same name, also written by Brian Friel|
|Writers: Andrew Birkin, Demy, Mark Peploe / Director: Jacques Demy / Producers: David Puttnam, Sanford Lieberson|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 86 mins|
|It is the 1340s in Northern Germany and the Black Death is sweeping the country. A family of gypsy entertainers are headed for Hanover when they are met by a Piper who tells them that their destination has been hit by the plague and he is headed for the town of Hamelin where entertainers will be required for a huge wedding celebration between the Baron's son and the Burgermeister's daughter. The Gypsy family change their plans and the Piper joins up with them as they all head for Hamelin.
The town of Hamelin has embarked on a massive project to build a cathedral. It is funded by the Baron who believes it will protect the town and himself from the plague but it is financially crippling him. He has arranged for his son Franz to marry the Burgermeister's young daughter Lisa to be in receipt of her dowry although Franz has plans of his own for the money to finance a military campaign. Elsewhere in town Melius the Alchemist works with his assistant Gavin to provide the townspeople with remedies for mild ailments. His practices are considered heathen by the Bishop but he is tolerated. Melius is concerned about the inevitable arrival of the plague which he believes to be a natural disease spread by rats - a view which the church finds blasphemous as they maintain it is a display of divine retribution. Melius is determined to create some sort of ointment that will protect against the disease. Gavin, who is lame in one leg, is sad that Lisa is getting married because he likes her and doesn't like Franz who is a vindictive and cruel young man.
The Baron asks a papal representative for some money to help with finishing the cathedral. Although such funding is considered unlikely the Baron is told that the Pope needs a conscription of men from Hamelin to fight in his army and will pay for their services. But the Baron does not see how this will help him with his finances because all that money would go on the men's wages. His son Franz suggests a way and he goes to see Melius and tells him to create some fool's gold with his potions. Melius says he hasn't time to try as he needs to work on his protective plague ointment so Franz has him locked up in the castle dungeons to make sure he works only on creating the fool's gold to pay the soldiers so that he and his father can split the real money from the Pope.
Meanwhile the wedding goes ahead and all the guests are enjoying themselves when the castle is found to have become infested by rats. They are everywhere - in the streets and houses - the town is in panic and the Burgermeister addresses the crowds to try and calm them saying (untruthfully) that the matter is in hand and will be swiftly dealt with. Then a voice in the crowd speaks up and says he can rid the town of rats if he is paid 1000 guilders. It is the Piper speaking and although the Burgermeister is dubious he is nevertheless intrigued at what this lone man thinks he can possibly do and agrees to let him try. The Piper then plays a haunting melody on his pipe and walks through the streets and amazingly the rats are drawn to his music and swarm out of the alleyways and houses and follow him. He leads them to a river and they all drown. He then asks for his payment but the Burgermeister reneges saying that such a simple thing is hardly worth so much money and offers him what he considers to be a very generous 50 guilders instead - the Piper declines.
The Alchemist has been unable to make the fool's gold and so he is denounced as a heretic for still maintaining that the plague is an act of nature. He is found guilty and next day he is burnt at the stake. Meanwhile some townspeople have started to come down with the plague caught whilst the rats were present - including Franz.
That evening the Piper plays his flute again but this time it is the children of the town who are attracted to his music and he leads them all out of town and far away. Gavin tries to follow but is left too far behind because of him lame leg and has to return. The gypsy family are leaving town and offer to take Gavin with them. NOTE: That is the end as far as on-screen action is concerned - although a caption tells us that the Piper and the children were never seen again.
|Comment: The Piper himself isn't really a central character in the film which strangely ends without any reaction from the townsfolk on the loss of their children. It also isn't made entirely clear as to the motives of the Piper taking the children. My former understanding of the fairy tale had been that he did it in revenge for not being paid for taking away the rats - but in this film he comes across as being too nice to be so vindictive and in any case by the time he takes the children a good deal of time appears to have gone by and so it is not a snap decision he makes to get even - in fact if someone were to view the film with no prior knowledge of other tellings of the fairy tale it could equally seem that he's trying to save the children from catching the plague.|
|Starring:||Donald Pleasence (as The Baron), Michael Hordern (as Melius the Alchemist), Roy Kinnear (as The Burgermeister), John Hurt (as Franz, Baron's son), Jack Wild (as Gavin, Alchemist's assistant), Donovan (as The Piper)|
|Featuring:||Cathryn Harrison (as Lisa, Burgermeister's daughter), Peter Vaughan (as The Bishop), Diana Dors (as Burgermeister's Wife), Keith Buckley (as Mattio, Gypsy Husband), Patsy Puttnam (as Helga, Gypsy Wife), Peter Eyre (as Arthur Cecil, Pilgrim)|
|Starlets:||Sammie Winmill (as Gretel, maidservant)|
|Based on the story by the Brothers Grimm.|
|Cathryn Harrison receives an "introducing" credit.|
|Writers: Frank Waldman, Blake Edwards / Director/Producer: Blake Edwards|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 99 mins|
|Former Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus of the Sûreté ended the previous film in an asylum after being sent mad by Inspector Jacques Clouseau's ineptitude. But now three years later he is seemingly cured and ready to be released subject to a final assessment. However a quick visit by Clouseau, who is now a chief inspector himself, creates mayhem and reverses all Dreyfus' hard won progress and he remains committed.
The dangerously insane Dreyfus escapes from the asylum and becomes determined to do the world a favour and kill Clouseau but all his early attempts fail because of Clouseau's uncanny knack of being so clumsy he sidesteps trouble without realising it. So Dreyfus devises a revenge plan on a global scale designed to get the world's intelligence services to do his dirty work for him. He kidnaps a British scientist called Professor Hugo Fassbender and his daughter Margo and takes them to his secret headquarters in a Bavarian castle. Fassbender has designed a new long-range energy beam superweapon and Dreyfus forces him to build it in the castle by threatening his daughter.
When it is ready Dreyfus uses the weapon to destroy the United Nations building in New York and announces to the world that he will destroy other global landmarks unless his single demand is met. That demand is that Jacques Clouseau must be killed within the next seven days or the doomsday machine will be used again.
The world's security services feel they have no option but to comply and send their best assassins to Munich where Clouseau is conducting investigations into the case of the missing scientist. But all the assassins fail and most end up killing themselves or each other due to Clouseau's bumbling good fortune. The Russian assassin Olga Bariosova is intending to use seduction to get to Clouseau but in the dark of his room she mistakes another man for her target and ends up making such magnificent love with him that her head is turned and she falls in love and decides to defect. When the real Clouseau turns up she thinks he is the same man and is very eager for more of his skilful attention. Clouseau is perplexed by her extraordinary affection for him, but they work together and deduce that Dreyfus is in Bavaria.
Clouseau travels to Bavaria but is unable to get into the castle. Then he hears that Dreyfus has toothache so he disguises himself as a dentist and gains entry. When Clouseau pulls the wrong tooth Dreyfus figures that only one man could be so incompetent and realises it is his sworn enemy Clouseau. Dreyfus becomes determined to take his revenge on the world for failing to kill Clouseau and activates the superweapon while mulling over the possible targets.
He decides to destroy the whole of England but Clouseau's bumbling causes things to go wrong and the weapon is turned inward and its beam hits Dreyfus causing him to melt away into thin air. Clouseau and the kidnapped scientist and his daughter escape from the castle just in time as the whole thing dissolves away into nothingness destroying the weapon. Once again Clouseau's maladroitness unwittingly saves the day and furthers his formidable reputation.
|Comment: Although Dreyfus seemingly incontrovertibly dies in this film, he returns in the next follow-up without any explanation of how he survived.|
|Starring:||Peter Sellers (as Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau), Herbert Lom (as Former Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus)|
|Featuring:||Lesley-Anne Down (as Olga Bariosova, Russian assassin, [smallish role]), Richard Vernon (as Professor Hugo Fassbender), Briony McRoberts (as Margo Fassbender, professor's daughter), Burt Kwouk (as Cato Fong, Clouseau's manservant), Colin Blakely (as Alec Drummond, British detective), Leonard Rossiter (as Superintendent Quinlan, British detective), Michael Robbins (as Ainsley Jarvis, Fassbender's butler), Andre Maranne (as Sgt François Chevalier, Sûreté), Dudley Sutton (as Hugh McClaren, British detective), Vanda Godsell (as Mrs Leverlilly, Fassbender's housekeeper), Geoffrey Bayldon (as Dr Claude Duval, Dreyfus' psychiatrist), Graham Stark (as Hotel Clerk)|
|Despite the film's title referring to the "Pink Panther" the story does not feature the Pink Panther diamond which had been the stolen object in some of the earlier films.|
|This was the fourth Inspector Clouseau film starring Peter Sellers. The previous film was The Return of the Pink Panther (1975) and the next one was Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978).|
|Writers: Maurice Richlin, Blake Edwards / Director: Blake Edwards / Producer: Martin Jurow|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 110 mins|
|Sir Charles Litton is a notorious jewel thief known as The Phantom who has conducted a series of daring robberies during high society parties. He has a woman accomplice who arranges the sale of his plunder and with whom he is having an affair. The woman's name is Simone and she is the wife of a French detective called Inspector Jacques Clouseau who is the man in charge of tracking The Phantom down. Clouseau is a very accident-prone bumbler and has no idea that his wife is being unfaithful.
Clouseau has been attending all the parties at residencies where the Phantom is likely to strike but despite seventeen incidents the criminal has always managed to elude capture. Clouseau determines that the Phantom's next likely objective would be the famous Pink Panther diamond. This fabulous stone is owned by a beautiful foreign princess called Dala that she was gifted by her late father the King when she was a child. She lives abroad after her country's government was overthrown and the new regime are now demanding the return of the diamond as a national treasure although Dala considers it her personal property.
Princess Dala is in Switzerland on a skiing holiday and Sir Charles inveigles his way into her company through a heroic deed. They become close whilst Sir Charles tries to surreptitiously discover where she keeps the diamond - and although he begins with an agenda he is genuinely captivated by her and she in turn finds him charming. Clouseau is at the resort as well on the look out for the Phantom and Simone has accompanied him. This allows Simone and Sir Charles to continue with their affair under Clouseau's unsuspecting nose.
After her high-profile holiday Princess Dala continues on to her residency in Rome where she holds a fancy dress ball. Sir Charles proceeds with his plan and stealthily makes his way to the princess's safe - but he finds the Pink Panther diamond is missing and he has to leave empty-handed. The alarm is raised and Sir Charles flees the grounds but is eventually captured after a long car chase. Although the diamond is not recovered no one believes he did not steal it and manage to quickly secrete it somewhere prior to being caught. He is put on trial.
Simone visits the princess and we discover it had been Princess Dala's objective all along to tempt the mysterious Phantom to stage a robbery attempt by making the diamond's location publicly known. However she herself removed it beforehand in order that she could plausibly claim it had been stolen and stymie her country's legal efforts to have it returned. But when she realises The Phantom is Sir Charles, whom she has come to think of as a special friend, she decides the diamond does not matter and she needs to help him - but to do this someone else has to take the blame for the theft...
Later on, back at the trial, Inspector Clouseau is questioned by the defence barrister who accuses the detective himself of being the Phantom who has been using his investigations as a cover to attend the high-society parties and carry out the robberies. The diamond is found on his person (planted there by Simone) and he is arrested and found guilty. Inspector Clouseau is sent to prison while Sir Charles and George drive off together as free men along with Simone.
|Comment: An extra factor is the involvement of Sir Charles' American nephew George in the plot and although he features in the general proceedings I left him out of the summary to avoid unnecessary complications because most of what he does shadows the actions of Sir Charles.|
|Starring:||David Niven (as Sir Charles Litton, The Phantom), Peter Sellers (as Inspector Jacques Clouseau), Claudia Cardinale (as Princess Dala), Capucine (as Simone, Inspector Clouseau's wife), Robert Wagner (as George Litton, Sir Charles' nephew)|
|Featuring:||Colin Gordon (as Lloyds of London insurance assessor), James Lanphier (as Princess Dala's manservant), Brenda de Banzie (as Angela Dunning, society party woman), Fran Jeffries (as Singer)|
|Familiar Faces:||John Le Mesurier (as Defence Barrister)|
|Fran Jeffries receives an "introducing" credit|
|This was the first Inspector Clouseau film starring Peter Sellers. Its follow-up was A Shot in the Dark (1964). More sequels followed in the 1970s, although in the intervening time there was another Clouseau film starring Alan Arkin instead of Sellers called Inspector Clouseau (1968) although this is not considered to be part of the official series.|
|Writers: Clive Exton, Michael Relph / Director: Basil Dearden / Producer: Michael Relph|
|Type: Crime Drama||Running Time: 80 mins|
|The working class Flint family live in a run down district of London called Bethnal Green. The family consist of Matt the father in his 50s who wants to get away from life as a dock worker; Lil the mother who loves the home she has lived in for 30 years even though it is now in a fairly dilapidated state; their married daughter Betsy who lives at home with her husband Jim and desperately wants to get together enough money for a place of their own; and the grown-up son Ricky who works in a cigarette factory but has dreams of going to see the world and making something of his life.
Ricky has fallen in with a gang of crooks who are planning on robbing the Coolstream Cigarettes factory where he works. As an inside man Ricky's job will be to disable the alarm system. There are tensions within the gang when Ricky takes up with Catherine the quirky and slightly barmy girlfriend of Charlie - they go out of several dates and her unpredictability appeals to Ricky.
Matt quits his job as a docker and takes up busking with a friend but dies soon after of a heart attack. The council send a letter evicting the Flint's and all their neighbours from their street which is being demolished for slum clearance - they are given two months notice and offered a flat in a high rise block.
Knowing how much he could use some cash for a house deposit Ricky tries to get his brother-in-law Jim involved in the robbery gang because they need the use of his van for transporting the stolen cigarettes - but Jim declines so Ricky uses the van anyway without permission.
The robbery appears to go smoothly until a patrolling policeman wanders by and Ricky, who is supposed to be on watch, scarpers in the van leaving the rest of the gang to make their own escape. As revenge Charlie sets Jim's van ablaze in the middle of the night and Ricky gets burnt trying to put it out and is hospitalised.
When he is released from hospital Ricky starts a fight with Charlie in a pub over the van fire and they are both arrested. In court Ricky tells the magistrate the fight was over a girl and claims that Catherine is his fiancée whom Charlie was making time with whilst he had been laid up in hospital. Even though it is untrue about them being engaged Catherine tells the magistrate it is true and the court is lenient with Ricky saying he was clearly provoked.
And that's where the story ends:- the Flint family have moved into their new flat; Betsy and Jim have a place of their own which the insurance money from the destroyed van helped deposit; And Catherine, who has taken Ricky's courtroom lie as a proposal, tells him they'd better get engaged for real then and that's just what they do.
|Starring:||Michael Sarne (as Ricky Flint), Bernard Lee (as Matt Flint, father), Doris Hare (as Lil Flint, mother), Rita Tushingham (as Catherine Donovan, girlfriend)|
|Featuring:||Barbara Ferris (as Betsy, sister), David Andrews (Jim, Brother in law), Roy Kinnear (as Eric Bunting, factory boss), Marjorie Lawrence (as Sally, canteen worker)|
Gang Members: John Slater (as Jack Ellerman), William Marlowe (as Charlie Batey), Michael Wynne (as Pug)
|Based on a novel called Bethnal Green by Michael Fisher|
|Made in Black and White|
|The version reviewed was missing the first few minutes including the credits and so the cast and crew listed above are taken from another source and have not been verified.|
|Writer: Peter Bryan / Director: John Gilling / Producer: Anthony Nelson Keys|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 86 mins|
|Set in 1860. Sir James Forbes, an eminent professor of medicine at London University, gets a letter from one of his former pupils called Peter Tompson who has become a General Practitioner in a small Cornish village. Peter is at a complete loss to understand a spate of deaths that have been occurring and has written for advice. Since Tompson was one of his brightest students Sir James decides to go and pay a personal visit and his daughter Sylvia accompanies him because she wishes to see her good friend Alice who married Peter Tompson.
As they arrive in the village they are barracked by some rude huntsmen who cause a commotion at a funeral and a dropped coffin breaks open and reveals to Sylvia the face of the deceased man. The brother of the dead man is Tom Martinus who blames Dr Tompson for his inability to cure or even explain the deaths.
Sir James and Sylvia stay at the Tompson's house where Alice appears pale and tired and has a cut on her wrist. Peter tells Sir James that he has been unable to perform an autopsy on any of the dead because of local superstitions. There is no proper coroner to order such matters - these responsibilities are undertaken by Squire Hamilton who is not a very approachable person. Squire Clive Hamilton is an arrogant and overbearing young man who lives on an uncertain income following the closure of his family's tin mine after a spate of accidents which resulted in the miners refusing to work it. He inherited the title and property from his father who died suddenly while Clive was away on an extended trip abroad to the Caribbean republic of Haiti.
Sir James decides that to find out more about the mysterious malady they need to autopsy a body - so in the dead of night he and Peter dig up the grave of the newly buried Jhone Martinus - the man whose funeral had been disrupted earlier that day - but when they open the coffin lid it is empty!
Meanwhile Sylvia observes Alice going out in the middle of the night and follows her. The destination is the old abandoned tin mine where Sylvia is just in time to see Alice being thrown bodily to the ground by a terrifying looking man who she thinks looks just like the corpse from the dropped coffin earlier. Alice is dead and Sylvia rushes back home with the tragic and terrifying news.
The next day Sylvia gets a visit from the Squire himself who seems charming enough. He tells her he is not bothered by his general unpopularity - for in order to be popular one must conform to certain agreed conventions, and he has his own standards of behaviour he prefers to live by. His visit has an ulterior motive and in a seeming accident with a broken glass Sylvia's finger is cut and the Squire surreptitiously collects some of her blood.
Alice is buried but Sir James wants to keep watch on her gravesite to see what happens. Later on some masked men come and dig up the grave but are chased off before they have taken the body. Inside the opened coffin and in front of Sir James and Peter's astonished eyes, Alice's dead face takes on a grey haunted pallor and she suddenly springs back to "life" and stalks them with murderous intent. Sir James has to behead her with his spade to stop her. On a hunch Sir James has the police check all the graves in the churchyard and all the coffins are found to be empty!
Sir James reads up about voodoo rituals and links the religious practice to the island of Haiti which Squire Clive Hamilton visited. He suspects the Squire learnt voodoo on his trip and is now involved in the mysterious happenings in the village. Sir James decides to pay a nocturnal visit to the Squire's mansion to snoop around.
Meanwhile the Squire has used Sylvia's blood and poured it over a figurine effigy, and using an incantation calls out to her to come to him. The Squire has many such blood-soaked effigies locked in a drawer in his study which clearly are used to control the individual whose blood has been applied. Sylvia walks to the tin mines in a trance followed by Peter who observed her departure.
Sir James sneaks into the Squire's mansion and finds the effigies in the study. He has a fight with one of the Squire's minions and a fire is started. Down below the mansion there are tunnels leading to the mineworks and we discover that the Squire has continued the mining operation by employing the zombies he has created as slave miners. The Squire has been taking blood from the living and calling them to their deaths and then resurrecting them as zombies to work as his slaves. They are kept docile and controllable by the blood effigies and kept working by the squire's human minions who use whips to direct the zombies' mindless efforts.
Sylvia is to be the Squire's latest victim and he is about to sacrifice her on an altar when up in the study the fire starts burning the effigies. This causes the mineworker zombies to start burning too and the special control the squire has over them is removed. They start a murderous rampage upon their human whipmasters. Peter and Sir James manage to get Sylvia out of the mine in the lift as the burning zombies kill all the humans including Squire Hamilton. And as the three heroes run to safety above ground the mine explodes and the entire topside structure collapses burying all the zombies.
|Starring:||André Morell (as Sir James Forbes), Diane Clare (as Sylvia Forbes, daughter), Brook Williams (as Dr Peter Tompson), John Carson (as Squire Clive Hamilton), Jacqueline Pearce (as Alice, Peter's wife)|
|Featuring:||Michael Ripper (as Sergeant Jack Swift, village policeman), Marcus Hammond (as Tom Martinus, grieving villager), Roy Royston (as Vicar), Alex Davion (as Denver, Squire's main minion), Ben Aris (as Jhone Martinus, main zombie)|
|Writer/Director: Eric Sykes / Producer: Jon Penington (remake: Dennis Kirkland)|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 43 mins (remake 27 mins)|
|Two workman laying the floorboards in a new house find they are short by one plank at the end of the job. They head down to the timber merchants to get a spare in their small car and strap it to the roof. On the way back they lose the plank from the roof several times and various comic incidents abound involving people who come into contact with them or the plank. The two workman are oblivious to the trouble that is being caused by their simple escapade and the efforts of a bemused policeman to work out what is going on.
Eventually the workmen retrieve the plank and get it back to the house and complete the job only to think that a cat has got trapped under the floorboards and they have to rip up the floor and start again.
|Comment: The 1967 film was remade for TV in 1979, although it has the look of a film and has no TV laughter track. The TV version recreates almost shot for shot the same jokes although tells them in a slightly more efficient manner with an overall running time 16 minutes shorter. The only significant difference is the reason they need the extra plank. In the original they are missing a plank because Eric Sykes burnt it for firewood thinking it was a spare; in the remake some kids steal it to use as a seesaw. And the ending of the remake differs because when they get back to the house with the new plank they find that all the other floorboards have also been stolen by more kids. Eric Sykes stars in both versions but takes on the role of the other workman in the remake. Jimmy Edwards plays the policeman in both although his role is a bit smaller in the remake and Kenny Lynch also repeats his cameo role - all the other parts in the remake were played by different actors who on the whole are more familiar faces than their counterparts in the original. The original has a fair bit of dialogue whereas the remake is dialogue-free.|
|Starring:||Eric Sykes, Tommy Cooper (as Workmen, [Arthur Lowe as second workman in remake]), Jimmy Edwards (as Policeman, [also in remake])|
|Featuring:||(in order of appearance, some roles are brief cameos only, [remake actor shown in square brackets])|
Dermot Kelly (as Milkman, [Deryck Guyler]), Hattie Jacques (as Woman at window, [Diana Dors] [very small cameo for both]), Roy Castle (as Delivery Man, [Charlie Drake]), Jim Dale (as House Painter, [Bernard Cribbins]), Barney Gilbraith (as House Owner, [Lionel Blair]), Howard Douglas (as Old Man crossing road, [Wilfred Hyde White]), Uncredited (as Pretty woman crossing road, [Liza Goddard]), Kenny Lynch (as Dustman, [Kenny Lynch repeats his role]), Rex Garner (as Tourist with camera, [Frankie Howerd as Photographer]), Libby Morris (as Tourist's wife, [Ann Sidney as Photographer's Model]), Anna Carteret (as First Aid Woman, [Kate O'Mara]), Joan Young (as Woman in Bus Queue, [no equivalent]), Dennis Golding (as Boy in Bus Queue, [no equivalent]), Johnny Speight (as Man in Bus Queue, [no equivalent]), Bill Oddie (as Window Cleaner, [Reg Varney]), Thomas Gallagher (as Beer Drinker, [Henry Cooper]), Jimmy Tarbuck (as Barman, [no equivalent]), Graham Stark (as Amorous Van Driver, [Harry H. Corbett]), Ian Wilson (as Van Driver's friend, [Charles Hawtrey]), Clovissa Newcombe (as Hitchhiking Girl, [Joanna Lumley]), Ronnie Brody (as Man carrying nude mannequin, [no equivalent]), John Junkin (as One Eyed Truck Driver, [James Hunt]), Dave Freeman (as Cement Layer, [no equivalent]), Stratford Johns (as Police Station Desk Sergeant, [no equivalent])
Also: (in remake with no equivalent in original) Robert Dorning (as Fork-Lift Truck Driver), Brian Murphy (as Truck Driver near Timber Merchants), Frank Windsor (as Car Driver)
|Writers: Lotte Colin, Melvyn Bragg / Director: Andre de Toth / Producer: Harry Saltzman|
|Type: War Drama||Running Time: 112 mins|
|Set during the Second World War. The British are fighting the Germans in the vast North African desert where the remote location makes both sides dependant on long fuel supply chains and vulnerable if those supplies are interrupted. An unconventional officer named Colonel Masters has been trying to gather intelligence on the location of German commander Rommel's fuel storage depot and has lost several good officer commanders in his attempts. But he now has photographic intelligence taken by an Arab spy that pinpoints the depot's secret location in the desert. Masters believes that the tried and tested desert routes taken by successful military leaders from history would still be valid today and a small force of specialised men travelling over rough terrain would fare better than a large fighting unit using the more regular routes. His commander Brigadier Blore is not fully convinced of the validity of his ideas but decides to give him one last chance to prove himself. However not wishing to lose another good officer he assigns a captain to lead the team whom he considers expendable.
The man in question is Captain Douglas - a fuel pipeline expert on loan from British Petroleum who has only been given a captain's rank as a necessary military formality. Douglas had certainly not expected to be put in charge of a dangerous mission, but is determined to do his best. However he finds that his battle-hardened number two, Cyril Leech, considers his presence unwelcome and unnecessary. Masters has assembled a team of ex-convicts with specialised skills in communication and explosives but to keep the number down to seven men he himself stays behind at headquarters. He knows Leech's views on Douglas and makes a deal with him that if he brings Douglas back alive he will pay him a £2000 bonus.
The team set off and it is clear who is really in charge with Douglas's orders being largely ignored by Leech who only gives scant regard to his views and ideas considering him more of a nuisance than a help. The terrain is rough going for their desert vehicles resulting in many stoppages for repairs. Douglas proves himself capable of making a valid contribution although Leech remains unimpressed by his attempts at leadership but allows him room to make a few key decisions in keeping with his role.
After many days of travel they finally get to the location indicated in the reconnaissance photograph. They stealthily infiltrate the area only to discover it is just a deserted façade with flimsily assembled sheds and empty drums. Leech is ready to turn back considering their ordered mission complete regardless of its fruitless outcome - but Douglas makes the command decision that they will continue on and find the real fuel depot - Leech is willing to give it a go.
They find their way to a port area and locate the real depot which they make plans to infiltrate and blow up that night. However unknown to them the British army are making good progress and Field Marshall Montgomery is closing in on the Germans and now they wish to try and preserve the German fuel for their own use. Back at HQ Brigadier Blore commands Colonel Masters that he must betray his men so that they can be captured by the still-incumbent Germans to prevent them carrying out their mission to destroy the fuel. Masters is reluctantly compelled to obey and send details of the team and their intended mission-target via a double agent so the Germans will be vigilant to their possible arrival.
Dressed in German uniforms Douglas and his team manage to get into the depot and set the explosive charges. But they trigger an alarm and are surprised to hear the Germans address them by name telling them to come out and surrender. They set off the charges anyway and in the confusion Douglas and Leech manage to escape although the rest of their team are all killed.
The pair of them go into hiding and when the British army arrive Douglas and Leech come out holding up a white flag of surrender to avoid any misunderstandings that might occur with the enemy uniforms they are wearing. But they are gunned down and killed by a British soldier who is past caring about showing any mercy to Germans. THE END.
|Starring:||Michael Caine (as Captain Douglas), Nigel Davenport (as Ex sea captain Cyril Leech)|
|Featuring:||Nigel Green (as Colonel Masters, masterminding operation), Harry Andrews (as Brigadier Blore, Masters' CO), Patrick Jordan (as Major Watkins, follow-up force commander), Vivian Pickles (as German Nurse)|
(also in the strike force) Enrique Avila, Mohsen Ben Abdallah, Mohamed Kouka, Takis Emmanuel
|Familiar Faces:||Jeremy Child (British officer at end)|
|Based on a story by George Marton|
|Writer: Jack Henry / Director: Michael Winner / Producer: David Deutsch|
|Type: Music / Drama||Running Time: 78 mins|
|Up-and-coming music combo Billy Universe and the Satellites have won a place in an international music competition in Brussels. But when they get to the airport the flight is postponed for a day because of bad weather and the boys have to abandon their trip. Also on the passenger list is a young heiress called Ann Bryant who was in the news recently for trying to run away with her pop star boyfriend Larry Grainger. Her stuffy father Sir Charles has a very low opinion of Grainger and was sending Ann to Belgium to distance her from him.
With their plane ticket money refunded Billy and the lads decide to spend the evening in London and suggest to the now-stranded Ann that she come with them and they might bump into Larry in a nightclub. They subsequently spend the evening touring various clubs and listening to some of the acts in addition to Billy and his group doing some impromptu performances of their own.
Eventually they locate Larry who is busy making out with another girl until he discovers Ann is still around and resumes his play for her. Billy realises that Larry is in fact an arrogant womaniser who is only interested in Ann because he snobbishly fancies the idea of increasing his social status. He is clearly no-good for her but Ann is oblivious to his faults and agrees to marry Larry immediately while she has the chance. Because Ann is too young to marry in England without her father's permission the couple plan to take the night train to Scotland and marry there where the age limits are different.
Billy decides he must help Ann avoid making a huge mistake and he persuades the young dancer whom Larry was canoodling with to tell Ann what Larry is really like. Ann is initially angry at Billy's interference in her personal affairs but eventually she is convinced about Larry's true motives and realises what a lucky escape she has had. The next day she resumes her journey to Brussels and her grateful father promises Billy and his group some work playing at one of his social functions.
|Starring:||Billy Fury (as Billy Universe, lead singer), Anna Palk (as Ann Bryant), Dennis Price (as Sir Charles Bryant, Ann's father), Peter Barkworth (as Skinner, newspaper reporter)|
(Other Group members), Michael Anderson Jnr (as Alvin), Keith Hamshere (as Ring-a-Ding), Ray Brooks (as Freddy), Jeremy Bulloch (as Joey)
|Featuring:||Maurice Kaufmann (as Larry Grainger, Ann's pop star boyfriend), Richard Wattis (as Nervous airplane passenger), Bernie Winters (as Sydney Norman, songwriter, [uncredited]), Hugh Lloyd (as Taxi Driver, [cameo])|
|Starlets:||Felicity Young (as Yvonne Pemberton, nightclub dancer)|
|Also:||(as themselves, performing) Helen Shapiro, Bobby Vee, Shane Fenton [later known as Alvin Stardust], Danny Williams, Jimmy Crawford, Lionel Blair|
|Made in Black and White|
|The various guest singers perform as themselves although none of them sing "signature" songs for which they are best known|
|Writers: Bud Tobin, Robin O'Connor / Director/Producer: Willy Roe|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 89 mins|
|A serial killer is murdering young women. The killer leaves them with a number written in lipstick on their foreheads which increases by one with every new murder. The only thing linking the women is that they have all appeared as centrefolds in the men's magazine "Playbirds" with either a horse or pagan theme. Inspector Jack Holbourne and his junior colleague Harry Morgan investigate the magazine's publisher Harry Dougan who personally selects the girls to appear in his magazine's centrespread. The police are told the name of the next model to appear and put her under protection but she too is murdered. The police then decide that their best plan will be to send in an undercover policewoman to be the next centrespread. After a series of "auditions" in which several policewomen strip off in front of them Holbourne and Morgan eventually decide upon WPC Lucy Sheridan. Since Dougan is a suspect he cannot know she is working undercover and so she gains an introduction to him via a model called Foxy who has worked for Dougan before (and is soon to be the next victim). Lucy meets with Dougan and soon impresses him enough that she is lined up to be the next centrefold.
The police have several other suspects. A religious fanatic called Hern is Morgan's main candidate, but his boss disagrees and thinks it's a former sex offender and racing jockey called Martin Dolby. Another suspect is an anti-porn MP who is secretly a voyeur.
Lucy's magazine appearance is published and the police decide to question Hern again - they then phone Lucy at her flat to say the case is solved - but then "Hern" knocks at her door and murders her revealing that he is the first Hern's twin brother. The End - case not solved!
|Comment: The ending is a real rush job with no proper resolution. The police decide to re-question Hern but we don't see this taking place (as we had with earlier questioning) and therefore don't know how they came to decide that they had at last got the right man - then we hear Lucy receiving a phone call from her boss - and she says how relieved she is that it's all over now - so obviously the police must have been convinced they'd got their man - but then a previously unknown and unsuspected or even hinted at twin brother comes from nowhere to kill Lucy as the next victim. So even though the police have not got the killer after all the film ends there. Also this twin brother's explanation of his actions is growled out very indistinctly by Dudley Sutton while he is strangling Lucy so that (respite repeated checking) it's impossible to make out just what he's supposed to be saying other than a mention of being a twin brother - so a very rushed and unsatisfactory ending.
What has to be a classic line of absurd dialogue is uttered by next victim-to-be "Foxy":- she wakes up in the middle of the night to find a stranger in her room and declares in a bright sprightly tone "Oh Goody! I'm going to be raped - I've never been raped before!". But unfortunately for her the stranger has other plans and proceeds to strangle her instead.
|Starring:||Glynn Edwards (as Inspector Holbourne), Gavin Campbell (as Morgan), Alan Lake (as Dougan), Mary Millington (as WPC Lucy Sheridan)|
|Featuring:||Windsor Davies, Dudley Sutton (as Hern)|
|Familiar Faces:||Kenny Lynch, Ballard Berkeley|
|Starlets:||Suzy Mandel, Penny Spencer, Pat Astley, Susie Silvey, Erika von Jump, Gloria Brittain|
|Although Mary Millington is given top billing her actual role is more that of a supporting actress.|
|Gavin Campbell became better known as a presenter on consumer campaign programme That's Life.|
|Writers: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey / Director: Mark Stuart / Producer: Andrew Mitchell|
|Type: Sitcom Spin-off||Running Time: 97 mins|
|A new term starts at Fenn Street Secondary School and easy-going teacher Bernard Hedges is eager to begin despite his form 5C being considered the worst behaved in the entire school. At assembly the headmaster announces the annual two-week trip to a rural activity centre in the country which one lucky class will be allowed to attend. 5C are very disparaging about this because throughout their time at the school their class has never been chosen. When Hedges realises this he makes a successful appeal to the senior staff that his class ought to be given a chance and a spot of clean living may do them some good.
After an incident packed coach journey they finally arrive at the Woodbridge Rural Centre and 5C's unruly antics are soon wreaking havoc with the normal good order of things. Most of them find the activities on offer at the centre to be a bit of a bore and their consequent rowdy misbehaviour gets them and Mr Hedges into trouble with the site warden who thinks they are the worst behaved pupils who have ever attended.
It is only once 5C realise that Mr Hedges went out on a limb to allow them to come on this trip that they decide to devote their efforts to making him look good because they are really quite fond of their kind-hearted form master. 5C therefore begin a rivalry with the kids from a posh school called Boulters who are also at the centre and by means of trickery and underhand tactics manage to launch themselves to the top of the best school league table.
This develops into a tit-for-tat battle with the other school which begins to get out of hand. The last straw comes when some money goes missing from the Boulters' hut and 5C are accused of taking it and Hedges lets his severe disappointment in them be known although they deny taking it. The matter is cleared up eventually as the actions of a misguided young gypsy boy who has befriended 5C and was trying to help. Eventually everything is smoothed over and they all have a celebratory party with the hope that the second week might be less fraught.
|Starring:||(Staff) John Alderton (as Bernard Hedges), Deryck Guyler (as Norman Potter, caretaker), Noel Howlett (as Mr Cromwell, headmaster), Joan Sanderson (as Doris Ewell, deputy head), Richard Davies (as Mr Price), Erik Chitty (as Mr Smith), Patsy Rowlands (as Angela Cutthorp)|
(5C Pupils) Peter Cleall (as Eric Duffy), Carol Hawkins (as Sharon Eversleigh), Liz Gebhardt (as Maureen Bullock), David Barry (as Frankie Abbott), Peter Denyer (as Dennis Dunstable), Malcolm McFee (as Peter Craven)
|Featuring:||Jill Kerman (as Penny Wheeler, girl that Hedges meets), Norman Bird (as Reynolds, warden of rural centre), Barbara Mitchell (as Frankie's mother), Peter Bayliss and Eve Pearce (as Dennis' parents), Brenda Cowling (as Eric's mother), Brinsley Forde (as Wesley, black pupil), Aziz Resham (as Feisal, Muslim pupil), Nicky Locise (as Gypsy boy), Richard Everett (as Posh boy from other school)|
|Familiar Faces:||Jack Smethurst (as Coach Driver)|
|Based on the ITV sitcom that ran for 55 episodes over four series from 1968-1972 and spawned a spin-off series called The Fenn Street Gang for 47 episodes over three series from 1971-1973. This led to its own spin-off for one of that series' adult characters called Bowler which ran for one series of 13 episodes in 1973.|
|The TV cast played the same roles in this Please, Sir! film except for Carol Hawkins who replaced Penny Spencer as "Sharon" and then subsequently continued to play her on TV in The Fenn Street Gang.|
|Writer/Director: Gerry O'Hara / Producer: Harry Fine|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 82 mins|
|Sally Feathers has just moved into a London town house converted into flats which she is sharing with a group of other young women that she went to school with. She has come to London to take a modelling course. During the progress of the film she meets Keith, a photographer whom she goes out with a lot but won't let him go too far with her and rush things. And in the end after a brief rift when she tells him if he can't wait then he'd better settle for someone else he eventually decides she's worth waiting for.
Her flatmates are involved in their own lives too:- Marion has become pregnant by her boyfriend Prinny who has a bad gambling habit and tries to gamble to win enough money to pay for her to have an abortion but ends up getting into more and more debt; Dee who is going out with their landlord Nikko who is a bit of shady character and some hard-nosed criminals are out to get him; And Dee's brother Paddy who is everybody's friend and confidant but harbours a secret of his own when Sally discovers he is gay.
|Comment: Although Fransceca Annis and Ian McShane are top billed as the stars it is more of an ensemble piece with similar screen time being given to the stories of all the main participants. Overall there is not one single driving story that can be described but a series of soap-style subplots.|
|Starring:||Francesca Annis (as Sally Feathers), Ian McShane (as Keith Dexter, Sally's boyfriend), Klaus Kinski (as Nikko Stalmar, landlord and Dee's boyfriend)), Suzanna Leigh (as Dee, flatmate), Anneke Wills (as Angela, flatmate), Rosemary Nicols (as Marion, flatmate), Tony Tanner (as Paddy, Dee's brother), Mark Eden (as Prinny, Marion's boyfriend)|
|Featuring:||Colleen Fitzpatrick (as Cobber, Australian flatmate), Carol Cleveland (as Ella, woman in casino), Julian Holloway (as Hanger-on at party)|
|Familiar Faces:||Brian Cant (Man in pub, cameo)|
|Rosemary Nicols receives an "introducing" credit|
|Made in Black and White|
|Novel: Nell Dunn / Writers: Nell Dunn, Kenneth Loach / Director: Kenneth Loach / Producer: Joseph Janni|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 97 mins|
|Joy is a young London woman who has a bright spirit but is not in the best of relationships. She has a young baby son called Jonny and is married to his father Tom who treats her appallingly at times especially in front of his mates. He has no respect for her as a person and expects her to scivvy for him at home and if she stands up to him he uses violence to bring her into line. Tom is a petty thief and the only money he brings home is what he robs. Joy does not disapprove of his "work" and is always keen to see what his latest haul is - but she does not engage in anything criminal herself. When he is arrested and sent to prison it is in some ways a blessed relief for her although she is forced to move out of their flat and stay with her Aunt Emm.
She takes up with another fella called Dave and he too is a thief. But he is a different kind of man, he has a kind heart and treats her with respect and consideration and takes to baby Jonny like he were his own. She and Dave move into a flat together and she has a blissful time with him taking a holiday in Wales. She really loves him and knows he is that one special man for her. As with Tom she doesn't condemn Dave for his thieving ways and welcomes whatever goodies he brings home. Then he is arrested for a robbery that involved a vicious attack on a defenceless old lady and is sent to prison for 12 years.
Despite his violence in pursuit of crime he never showed any towards her and Joy's love for him is undiminished and she vows to wait for him - although she still needs to have some fun of her own in the meantime and has some meaningless one-night stands. She goes back to live with Emm and gets a job as barmaid in a pub and does some part-time modelling. Dave finds out about her activities and says that he doesn't want her to come and visit anymore as he cannot bare to think of her with other men.
Jonny is now three years old and Joy's husband Tom has finished his sentence and comes back into her life. She doesn't want him back but he says he wants to make amends and he has a ready waiting home for them to move into and so she reluctantly agrees to give him another chance. But after a brief period when he seemed to be trying he soon slips back into his old ways of treating her. And when Tom allows Jonny to wander off when he was supposed to be minding him, Joy suffers serious anxiety until Jonny is found safe and well she realises she can never trust Tom and leaves him.
That's pretty much the end except for a short piece of her being interviewed telling a researcher her life story where she says she still loves Dave and never stops thinking of him and doesn't believe there is any such thing as perfect life - you've just got to make the best of what you've got.
|Starring:||Carol White (as Joy), Terence Stamp (as Dave Fuller), John Bindon (as Tom, Joy's abusive husband)|
|Featuring:||Queenie Watts (as Aunt Emm), Kate Williams (as Beryl), Kenneth Campbell (as Mr Jacks, Council Rent Officer) - The cast is large but most of the rest are playing very small roles|
|Familiar Faces:||(all cameos) Billy Murray (In Tom's gang), Tony Selby (Pub Customer), Anna Karen (Joy's next door neighbour)|
|Starlets:||Geraldine Sherman (as Trixie, Joy's hairdresser friend)|
|Directors/Producers: John Lindsay, Laurence Barnett|
|Type: Sex / Documentary||Running Time: 95 mins|
|This film is a documentary about the porn business both in Britain and abroad (as it was in 1973). It is made by industry insider John Lindsay and so has an understandable bias towards presenting the subject matter in an approving light. Emphasis is repeatedly drawn to the seeming double standards of porn being viewed as unsavoury and contemptible by the general public whilst images of death and mayhem in Vietnam are an accepted part of everyday society on the television news and in newspapers.
The first part of the documentary takes place in Britain and features a young girl called Maureen arriving at John Lindsay's photographic studio for a try-out. John Lindsay's affable manner puts her at her ease and after posing for stills she has soon agreed to take a part in a blue movie as well. We then visit the film set and meet the other actors taking part and discover their reasons for being involved. They all appear to be very level-headed and eloquent speakers. Also interviewed are a married couple who act in blue movies.
The focus then moves on to mainland Europe and features interviews with some of the names in the industry such as nightclub owners, magazine publishers and porn filmmakers, and follows them as they go about their work.
|Featuring:||John Lindsay (Photographer), Maureen O'Malley (as British model)|
(other participants in the British section were called) John, Pauline, Janet, Brian and Kevin (Blue move actors), Jess and Belle (British couple)
|Also:||(being interviewed were) Lasse Braun, Nicholas Treadwell, John Freshwater, Joop Wilhelmus, Ulrich Geismar, Fleyming Kornrer|
|The film does not credit the full names any of the participants in the British section although their first names are used and are presumed to be their real names (although might not all be). The featured girl called "Maureen" has been seen identified in a reference book as being named Maureen O'Malley.|
|Writers: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais / Director: Dick Clement / Producers: Allan McKeown, Ian La Frenais|
|Type: Sitcom Spin-off||Running Time: 90 mins|
|A familiarity with the TV characters has been assumed in this summary.
Norman Stanley Fletcher is a wily prisoner who has spent a long time inside throughout his criminal career and learnt that the best way to survive each stretch is to not try and buck the system but nevertheless gain little victories whenever possible. He shares a cell with young Lennie Godber, a fresh-faced first-timer whom Fletcher has taken upon himself to help with advice and guidance.
The story in this film involves a new prisoner called Bill Oakes who is in for a long stretch and wishes to escape so he can enjoy the fruits of his hard "earned" money on the outside. He approaches top-dog Grouty to arrange it for him for a suitable cash-payment. Grouty is the wing's kingpin and anything he asks for he gets. Grouty informs Fletcher he wants him to arrange a football team amongst the prisoners who can then play against a civilian touring team - Fletcher can select whomever he likes to play as long as Oakes is included - and Fletcher has little choice but to agree. The prison governor thinks the idea will be good for the men's morale and approves of it and a week or so later a coach arrives with the touring players.
The coach driver is an accomplice in the escape bid and when Oakes is "injured" during the match and retires to the dressing room, the driver and he exchange clothes and the driver is tied up to feign being overpowered. Unfortunately Fletcher and Godber come in and see them and Oakes has no choice but to take the reluctant pair with him locked away in the luggage compartment. Oakes then drives the coach out of the prison grounds on a refuelling journey that the real driver had pre-agreed with Mr McKay the head warder.
The escaped threesome are soon missed at the prison and an alert is put out for their recapture. When Oakes has travelled a sufficient distance he lets Fletcher and Godber go free and continues on his own. The two convicts are in a quandary - they don't want to be fugitives on the run because they are both near the end of their sentences - however if they turn themselves in who will believe their story of being "kidnapped"?
Fletcher therefore decides they will have to break back into Slade prison unseen. They manage to get back into the coach's luggage compartment as it is being returned to the prison in order to transport the visiting football team home. Once inside the grounds they shut themselves in a storage cellar and start calling for help and make out they have been in there all the time locked in by Oakes. Mr Mackay, is mightily suspicious of Fletcher's story but cannot prove them wrong and they are allowed to return to their cells with no punishment.
|Starring:||Ronnie Barker (as Norman Stanley Fletcher), Richard Beckinsale (as Lennie Godber), Fulton Mackay (as Mr Mackay), Brian Wilde (as Mr Barrowclough) [All TV Regulars]|
|Featuring:||(Supporting TV series characters appearing) Peter Vaughan (as Grouty), Sam Kelly (as Bunny Warren), Ken Jones (as Ives), Tony Osoba (as McClaren, cameo only)|
Geoffrey Bayldon (as Prison Governor, different actor to TV version), Julian Holloway (as Bainbridge, captain of visiting football team), Christopher Godwin (as Mr Beal, new warder), Barrie Rutter (as Bill Oakes, new prisoner), Gorden Kaye (as Coach driver)
|Familiar Faces:||Karl Howman (Prisoner, [small role])|
|A film spin-off from the popular BBC sitcom of the same name which ran for 20 episodes over three series from 1974 to 1977 following a pilot in 1973. There followed a sequel series called Going Straight which had just 6 episodes in 1978 and showed what happened to Fletcher and Godber once they got out of prison. Although the feature film reviewed here was made after Going Straight there is nothing to suggest they have returned to prison, rather that it is set beforehand when they were still in prison.|
|Novel: James Joyce / Writer: Judith Rascoe / Director: Joseph Strick / Producer: (not stated)|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 91 mins|
|As a young Catholic boy living in Ireland in the late 1800s, Stephen Dedalus experiences a dramatic change in his family's fortunes. His father Simon was a rich and well-respected man who was connected with a popular politician who was helping Ireland towards independence and had the support of both Protestants and Catholics. But when the politician was named in a high-profile divorce case his secret love life turned the puritanical masses against him and he was forced from politics in disgrace. This had serious ramifications for Simon as his work opportunities suffered and times became harder and Stephen became accustomed to a diet of political and religious arguments whenever he came home from his boarding school for the holidays. At school Stephen was becoming a promising writer and won a national essay competition but eventually the family's worsening financial situation forced Simon to remove his 10 year old son from the school because of the high fees and the whole family moved to a smaller house. This process was repeated several times with each successive move to a smaller premises until by the time Stephen was 17 his father was bankrupt and forced to auction off what remained of his belongings.
Stephen is now at a Catholic college and his mind is turning to young women and with no girl in his life he is driven to use a prostitute. Later he hears a preacher expounding on the horrors that await sinners in hell and he is physically sick at the prospect and takes an immediate confessional. Stephen soon finds that his keen intelligence seems to mean that everyone wants to control his life and map out his future. His dean of studies has singled him out as the most promising student to join the religious order and tries to manipulate him by telling him his eternal soul may depend on his decision. This ultimatum and his realisation that it shouldn't be so evil to like girls turns Stephen away from religion completely. Next a politicised friend tries to recruit Stephen into the Irish Nationalist party - but Stephen has formed his viewpoints on the world around him and has become a thinker and writer and wants to rise above any single political or religious view. Next a priest friend tries to put pressure on Stephen to take Holy Communion if only to please his mother - but although Stephen has lost his faith he still has respect for the religion and refuses to falsely take communion as it would eat away at his soul.
Stephen has managed to earn a modest amount of money writing review pieces for a magazine and knows now that he can no longer remain in Ireland where he would be castigated for having no allegiance to any particular views and so he decides to emigrate and live in Paris where he believes he can survive on his modest means and be able to express himself in words with an unfettered freedom. And that is where the film ends with him sailing away on a ship and leaving the island of his birth to start a new life.
|Starring:||Bosco Hogan (as Stephen Dedalus), T.P. McKenna (as Simon Dedalus, father), Rosaleen Linehan (as May Dedalus, mother)|
|Featuring:||Luke Johnston (as young Stephen), Maureen Potter, Niall Buggy, Brian Murray, Desmond Cave, Desmond Perry, Susan Fitzgerald|
|Star-Turns:||John Gielgud (as a Preacher)|
|Starlets:||Leslie Lalor (as Milly, a prostitute)|
|Although John Gielgud is third-billed he only has a single scene in which he preaches to a congregation about the horrors of hell and he does not interact with any other cast members.|
|Writers: John Briley, Jack Trevor Story / Director: Robert Lynn / Producer: Ronald Kinnoch|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 83 mins|
|Harold Petts lives in the small tight-knit rural community of Upper Frinley where he is the village's much-loved postman. Harold is a happy soul who considers his job includes welfare work by making sure everyone is okay on his daily rounds.
Harold receives good news from the postal service Head Office - he has been promoted to work at the North West Central Postal depot in London. All his village friends are delighted for him and he is given a rousing send off as he heads off to London on the train to begin a new stage in his career.
When he arrives in London he immediately lends a hand on the mail train and inadvertently foils a robbery attempt. However both the police and the thwarted robbery gang think Harold must be working for another criminal gang from Malden and foiled the robbery for nefarious reasons.
Harold is like a fish out of water in London and has no idea how to get around or find his designated lodgings. He meets an uptight young artist called Jean and she reluctantly gives him basic directions on how to use the Underground trains. Later that evening when Harold has failed to make any headway in his journey and with no other choice she lets him stay at her place for the night in her apartment block. Harold finds it odd that everyone seems so insular and not at all neighbourly.
Harold goes to work in the depot and proves to be so highly efficient that he beats the automatic sorting machines. Back at Jean's place Harold's innocent charm works its magic on the young artist and she starts to mellow towards him.
The criminal gang discover that the post office is handling the transportation of used banknotes bound for destruction at the Bank of England and they infiltrate the sorting office in postal worker uniforms to try and steal it. The police are also there undercover because they still suspect Harold of skulduggery and are waiting for him to make his move. Meanwhile Harold realises that a robbery is being committed which the police have failed to notice because of their concentration on him. Harold is instrumental in foiling the real plot and is rewarded with a promotion to Postmaster back in his village of Upper Frinley where he goes to live with his new wife Jean.
|Starring:||Spike Milligan (as Harold Petts), Barbara Shelley (as Jean)|
|Featuring:||Warren Mitchell, Lance Percival, Arthur Mullard and John Bennett (as Criminal Gang), John Woods (as PC Woods), Archie Duncan (as Detective Inspector), Ronald Adam (as Post Office Supervisor), Miles Malleson (as Psychiatrist), Wilfred Lawson (as Old-timer Postman at depot), Bob Todd (as Post Office District Superintendent)|
|Made in Black and White|
|Additional dialogue by Spike Milligan and George Barclay|
|Writer/Director: Martyn Burke / Producer: Christopher Dalton|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 100 mins|
|In an unspecified republic there is a state of unrest and dissatisfaction with the government and its president who is viewed as being corrupt. Terrorist groups are becoming more emboldened and the country is in turmoil.
A small group of influential men guided by Dr Jean Rousseau see it as their opportunity and obligation to take over and run the country responsibly and fairly by staging a coup d'état. Rousseau recruits his friend Colonel Anthony Narriman who is a brilliant military strategist, and on the verge of retiring from the army, to mastermind the plot and act as the country's new president. Secrecy is important because they would be arrested as traitors and executed if any hint of their intentions were to emerge before they were ready to act.
The conspirators need extensive military support and discreetly gain the cooperation of certain like-minded military commanders who are willing to lead their regiments in support of the coup. This includes ambitious tank brigade commander Colonel Zeller who wants an important government post once they are in charge.
When all the finer details are finalised the secret plan is put into operation. Key strategic facilities are taken with sufficient military might and any attempt to oppose them is quickly quelled as bloodlessly as possible. The operation is coordinated by Narriman and Rousseau and the coup is successfully and relatively painlessly accomplished.
Colonel Zeller takes over the presidential palace and waits for Colonel Narriman to arrive to begin his leadership of the new regime. But upon arrival Zeller has Narriman arrested. Zeller's power-hungry political ambitions were far greater than he ever revealed and now the old president is overthrown he has decided to take over himself with the might of his tank battalion to back him up. Zeller also rounds up the other conspirators and has them all shot as traitors. The only exception is Rousseau whom Zeller considers has a brilliant mind and will be useful to him in the future.
|Comment: Also deeply involved in the story is a tenacious secret police official called Blair whose suspicious and investigations threaten to expose the coup leaders.|
|Starring:||David Hemmings (as Colonel Anthony Narriman), Peter O'Toole (as Colonel Zeller), Barry Morse (as Dr Jean Rousseau), Donald Pleasence (as Blair, security police)|
|Featuring:||Jon Granik (as Colonel Raymond Kasai), Marcella Saint-Amant (as Mrs Rousseau, Jean's wife), George Touliatos (as Colonel Barrientos), Chuck Shamata (as Captain Hillsman, security police)|
|Starlets:||Alberta Watson (as Donna, captured rebel girl)|
|Based on the book Coup d'Etat by Edward N. Luttwak|
|Writer/Director/Producer: Maurice Hatton|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 85 mins|
|Dom is a radically politicised individual who was expelled from the Communist Party for continually advocating and urging active revolution. He has now become involved with a small newly formed group calling themselves The Revolutionary Party of the Third World. The five members conduct structured policy meetings and have formal votes on all issues in the manner of a much larger party and think of themselves as a nascent political force. Dom's vision of the future is based on the principles of Marx and Lenin and he seeks to overthrow the existing regime by exposing the injustices of a capitalist society. His ultimate aim is an uprising with the workers revolting en masse and taking over. He realises that this must be done with overwhelming union support otherwise the capitalist authority will easily crush the attempt at insurrection.
Dom gives lectures to factory workers and has meetings with union leaders and organisers trying to garner support. His reputation grows and he engages in some serious discussions with some aggrieved union officials as his small party comes to be seen as having a valid vision well worth consideration.
But the other members of Dom's party think he is trying to push matters forward before the political climate is ready and is in effect irresponsibly betraying the revolutionary ideal with a rash recklessness to proceed. They put him on "trial" with the proposal that he be expelled from the party if he does not give a satisfactory defence of his actions. He defends himself by claiming to have a different theoretical interpretation of the revolutionary model. In the end the tribunal is broken up with the matter unresolved as Dom parts company with the others and goes his separate way.
|Comment: Amongst the drama there are long documentary-like passages where the narrator gives examples of how the poor suffer in comparison to the rich - accompanied by illustrative stills. These tend to break the film up and make it feel a bit too much like one is being lectured at rather than it being a reasonable advocative to indicate the principles behind the lead characters highly fixated views.|
|Starring:||John Thaw (as Dom), Edina Ronay (as Lucy, his girlfriend)|
(Revolutionary Party Members) Louis Mahoney (as Julius, leader), Anthony Villaroel (as Arthur), Helen Fleming (as Clara), David David (as Lal)
|Featuring:||Roger Smith (Narrator, voice heard throughout), Carl Davis (as Musician), James Mellor (as Shop Steward), Artro Morris (as Union Man)|
|Starlets:||Tanya (as Paraguayan Girl), Eva Enger (as Swedish Girl), Tandy Cronyn (as American Girl), Tina Packer (as Air Hostess), Jenny Robbins (as Bookshop Assistant)|
|"Praise Marx and Pass The Ammunition" is the title of a patriotic World War II song that Dom briefly considers for his party's official song before he decides on something else.|
|Writer: Henry Younger / Director/Producer: Michael Carreras|
|Type: Adventure||Running Time: 86 mins|
|In present day Africa David Marchand is a jungle safari guide for tourists interested in big game hunting. When a trigger-happy tourist wounds a leopard David decides he must humanely kill it and follows its trail into the land of the Gwunaka people. He kills the leopard but is then captured by the tribesmen who have strict laws against hunting in their territory. Back in the ancient past the Gwunaka worshipped the White Rhinoceros but then some white hunters arrived in the area and slaughtered them to extinction. This put the Gwunaka into a perpetual state of spiritual bondage which persists to this day. All they have left is a full size statue of a white rhinoceros and their state of depression will never be lifted until the statue spontaneously shatters.
David is to be executed for his crime but before this sentence is carried out he curiously touches the horn of the rhino statue and everyone except him freezes in time. Then a gateway opens up in a cave wall and he walks through and finds himself in a lush land full of exotic plant life. He soon realises he is still in Gwunaka territory but somehow has been transported into the past.
He is captured again but here the tribe consists entirely of young women. There are two castes - the brunettes who are in charge and the blondes who are their slaves. The overall dark-haired ruler is Queen Kari who is ruthless and sadistic and decides she wants David as her mate. But he shows his distaste for her brutality and is thrown in the work caverns with the men. The men are treated as wild savages but David discovers it was not always so. Once the fair-haired people ruled the land but when the white hunters came and killed the sacred rhinoceros confidence was shattered and one of their dark-haired slave girls made a pact with their savage tribal neighbours called the Devils of Darkness. The Devils helped overthrow the fair-hairs and the dark-hairs took over with the slave girl Kari now installed as their queen ruling with the same degree of cruelty she suffered as a slave. In return for their help the tribe have to surrender one blonde slave girl as a bride to the Devils every month.
David meets blonde slave girl Saria who is trying to mount an uprising of the slaves. She believes David's coming has been prophesised and he will be instrumental in their success. David and Saria fall in love but she wishes him to exploit Queen Kari's obsession with him to their advantage. Yet when the time comes she cannot bear to see him with Kari and jealously blurts out the plan. For this Kari chooses Saria as the next sacrificial bride to go to the Devils and David is sent back into the work dungeons.
David manages to break free of his dungeon and rescues Saria from her fate and a battle for supremacy between the castes begins. Queen Kari is killed when one of the last white Rhinos makes a reappearance and gouges her to death when she makes a defiant stand wrongly believing it will be obeisant to her supremacy. The Blondes win the battle and the prophecy is as was foretold. David wants to stay, but Saria tells him the prophecy says that the stranger came and went. She believes their love will surmount time however.
David returns to the present day and is back in the Gwunaka trial chamber awaiting death as if no time at all had passed rather than the months he felt had gone by. But then suddenly the white rhino statue he just touched begins to crumble and shatter and the Gwunaka rejoice that their spiritual bondage has at last been lifted. David is hailed a hero for his part in helping them. In their jubilation David quietly slips away not sure if his trip to the past was all a daydream until he finds Saria's pendant in his pocket and knows it was real.
Back at his base camp a new visitor has arrived, she is called Sarah and is the daughter of one of the hunters and when he is introduced he sees she is the exact likeness of Saria. The two of them seem to instantly connect and as the film ends it must be assumed that that a romantic relationship will ensue.
|Comment: The actual distance that David travels back in time is not specified but there is certainly nothing to indicate it as being in prehistoric times as the film's title suggests (there are no prehistoric monsters). The fact that modern day David can communicate in their language would suggest something much more recent - perhaps a few hundred years (although they all speak in English for the viewers benefit, in actuality David is speaking their native language).|
|Starring:||Michael Latimer (as David Marchand), Martine Beswick (as Queen Kari), Edina Ronay (as Saria)|
|Featuring:||(Amazon slave women) Stephanie Randall (as Amyak), Carol White (as Gido), Alexandra Stevenson (as Luri)|
(Enslaved men) Sydney Bromley (as Ullo), Frank Hayden (as Arja)
Robert Raglan (as Colonel Hammond, safari tourist)
|Writers: Norman Wisdom, Eddie Leslie / Director: Robert Asher / Producers: Robert Hartford-Davis, Peter Newbrook|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 98 mins|
|Norman Shields is a hopeless case who at the age of 40-something has not been able to hold down any responsible job because of his innate ineptness. His grandfather is the Prime Minister of England who is ashamed of his troublesome grandson and is only reluctantly persuaded that it is his family duty to give Norman a helping hand. Conservative MP Major Rupert Bartlett is the MP for the seaside resort of Tinmouth and owns the town's local newspaper - he is also keen to secure a ministerial post. The Prime Minister suggests that if Bartlett were to give Norman a job on his newspaper, then his name would be considered for a post at the next reshuffle. Major Bartlett agrees even though Norman has none of the qualifications required for the job and comes across as an imbecile most of the time.
Norman arrives at the offices of the Tinmouth Times and is introduced to his new colleagues. In particular Norman takes a shine to glamorous girl reporter Eleanor Lampton. Norman comes over bashful whenever he meets a girl he finds attractive - he falls in love easily never appreciating that most girls are way out of his league. As he later finds out Eleanor is dating the boss Major Bartlett and she hopes to marry him which Norman find difficult to accept.
Norman accompanies Eleanor to cover a local town council meeting which is chaired by the lady mayor Mrs Corcoran. Her husband alderman Ernest Corcoran is an outspoken labour councillor who loves to stir up trouble for the town's conservative MP Major Bartlett. Norman fails to observe correct etiquette from the press box and as a result of an ensuing misunderstanding the meeting descends into a riot. Major Bartlett can see Norman is a complete liability but is loath to sack him and jeopardise the ministerial post. So as a show of good faith he promotes Norman to Political and Municipal reporter.
Next day Norman visits the mayor's house to apologise for the trouble he caused but he only ends up causing more mayhem when his bicycle gets caught up in her chandelier. Norman meets Mrs Corcoran's daughter Liz who is a plain girl with low self-esteem. Liz finds Norman's antics funny and endearing although Norman doesn't notice because he still only has eyes for Eleanor.
Norman's next assignment is to report on the opening of the 1000th house on a new housing estate that Councillor Corcoran is heavily involved with. Unfortunately Norman's well-intentioned but calamitous actions first cause the VIP stage to fall down and then the entire house to collapse into rubble.
Major Bartlett next decides to put Norman in charge of entertainment news although Norman soon finds out the town does not have any amenities or events. So he joins forces with the town's nominal Entertainment Officer Robin Willoughby to organise a beauty pageant to cheer the town up.
Major Bartlett is not sure such an event is right for the town until he discovers that his beautiful new secretary Ruby plans to enter and then he becomes supportive and agrees to be head judge. Norman persuades dowdy Liz to enter to boost her self-confidence as he has become fond of her shy manner. Liz is reluctant but allows herself to be talked into it.
As the girls parade in their swimsuits it is clear the crowd favourite is Ruby whereas Liz is greeted with a rather lukewarm reception. Major Bartlett selects Ruby as the winner without even consulting the other judges. Norman feels the result is a fix and he changes the result to give Liz the crown thinking it will be good for her confidence. The audience jeer unkindly and throw things onto the stage to register their disapproval. Liz runs off the stage in tears feeling completely humiliated.
Major Bartlett comes up on stage to try and calm the angry audience, and so as not to be outdone councillor Corcoran joins him. They end up having a blazing row blaming each other for everything in front of the dumbfounded audience. Norman is so upset about what happened to Liz that it gives him confidence to speak his mind and tell the two men how selfish they are. Norman observes that because Major Bartlett and councillor Corcoran are from rival political parties, and they detest each other so much, they spend more time scoring points off each other than helping to improve the town's economy, which has degenerated appallingly under their stewardship. If only they cooperated more instead of bickering they could achieve great things for the town rather than leave it in the mire. The audience applaud Norman's sentiments and the two civic leaders realise that he has a point and they resolve to patch up their differences and start getting things done.
Norman realises that newspaper reporting is not for him and decides to return to London. Liz catches up with him and asks to come along, and there is a suggestion they might get married.
|Starring:||Norman Wisdom (as Norman Shields, [also plays Norman's mother and the Prime Minister]), Derek Bond (as Major Bartlett MP, newspaper proprietor), Angela Browne (as Eleanor Lampton, reporter)|
|Featuring:||Noel Dyson (as Mrs Corcoran, mayoress), Derek Francis (as Ernest Corcoran, councillor), Frances White (as Liz, Corcorans' daughter), Peter Jones (as Robin Willoughby, entertainments officer), David Lodge (as Mr Ross, newspaper editor), Allan Cuthbertson (as Mr Ballard, PM's Attorney General), Stanley Unwin (as Mr Nottage, town clerk), Tony Selby (as Harry Marshall, rival newspaper reporter), Michael Balfour (as Bert Shields, Norman's father)|
|Starlets:||Tracey Crisp (as Ruby Fairchild, Bartlett's secretary)|
|Based on the book Yea, Yea, Yea by Angus McGill|
|aka: A Matter of Innocence|
|Writers: Keith Waterhouse, Willis Hall / Director: Guy Green / Producers: George W. George, Frank Granat|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 98 mins|
|Set in the present day (1967). Polly Barlow is a shy, retiring 21-year-old who works in her mother's cake shop. When her wealthy Aunt Eva invites her to be her travelling companion on a round-the-world cruise Polly is reluctant but her mother urges her to go in the hope it will bring her out of herself and broaden her mind. So Polly agrees and they set off.
Aunt Eva is a cantankerous and fussy middle-aged snob who is highly critical of everything and mainly wanted Polly along to fetch and carry for her. But Polly does not mind being at her irritable aunt's beck-and-call because she is finding the cruise exhilarating. Their next port of call is a two-day stopover in Singapore where Aunt Eva's brother-in-law Robert Hook runs a rubber plantation. He is considered a black sheep of the family whom Polly only met once when she was a little girl.
In Singapore they are met by a polite and courteous Indian tourist guide called Amaz Adean sent by Robert to greet them and get them to their hotel. They are told Robert is unfortunately unwell and won't be able to see them (although in fact he is fine but is just avoiding meeting Eva whom he detests, and niece Polly whom he expects is a dislikeable spoilt brat). Amaz is charming towards Polly and she feels a strange sense of attraction for him and his over-exaggerated chivalry.
On the first full day Aunt Eva goes for a swim in the hotel pool, after having had a full lunch, where she gets into difficulty and dies. Polly is all alone in a strange country and unprepared for the responsibilities that now befall her. Fortunately Amaz is on hand to help and as the day goes on a romantic attachment develops between them. Amaz's support helps boost Polly's self-confidence and makes her feel wanted for the first time in her life. She takes on a new air of maturity that her unexpected independence has brought her. She looks upon it as the opportunity she has always dreamt of and she intends to enjoy it for she knows it may never happen again.
The funeral comes quickly and Robert feels duty bound to attend. He meets Polly and is surprised how composed she is and realises she is not the dopey emotional milksop he was expecting. He disapproves of her association with Amaz because he knows the man is an oversexed smoothie who will charm the pants off any pretty tourist. But Amaz swears that he feels differently about Polly and thinks she is special and has tried none of his usual tricks on her.
Polly attracts the attention of a wealthy American businessman who sweeps her off her feet with his attentive manner. Amaz becomes sullen believing he has lost her and had been expecting too much to think she might really love him. He knows he cannot compete with what such men can offer a beautiful woman. But Polly does have strong feelings for Amaz and feels forever grateful to him for the way he prized open her shell and let her be the kind of person she always aspired to be.
Soon the two days in Singapore, into which so much has happened, is over and Polly decides to continue the cruise with the security of her aunt's inheritance behind her, and make the most of her one opportunity to really see the world.
|Starring:||Hayley Mills (as Polly Barlow), Trevor Howard (as Robert Hook, Polly's uncle), Shashi Kapoor (as Amaz, romantic tour guide), Brenda De Banzie (as Aunt Eva), Dick Patterson (as Rick Preston, Wealthy American businessman)|
|Featuring:||Kalen Liu (as Lorelei, Robert's girlfriend), Dorothy Alison (as Mrs Barlow, Polly's mother), Peter Bayliss (as Critch, cruise ship's steward), Patricia Routledge (as Miss Gudgeon, passenger), David Prosser (as Ambrose, hairdresser)|
|From the story by Noel Coward|
|The version reviewed carried the American title of A Matter of Innocence|
|aka: Alien Prey|
|Writer: Max Cuff / Director: Norman J. Warren / Producers: Terence Marcel, David Wimbury|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: UK: 77 mins / USA: 84 mins|
|An alien called Cator has been sent to Earth on a solo scouting mission. His first task is to assume a disguise and he adopts the likeness of a man called Anders Anderson that he kills in the forest who was out on a date with his girlfriend whom he also kills.
Nearby is the home of two women. They are lovers living in a large house belonging to Jessica who shares her home with her partner Josephine. Josephine is the more dominant and possessive of the two and is unwilling to let Jessica have any other friends or go away without her. A man called Simon had been a regular visitor for a time but suddenly stopped coming. Josephine has an in-built hatred and mistrust of men. Out on a walk they come across Anderson who appears unwell so at Jessica's insistence they take him home to care for his immediate needs. He appears very odd and naïve about certain very basic things like the purpose of plants and drinking tea. Josephine speculates that perhaps he has escaped from a nearby mental institution.
Nearby two policemen are checking out Anderson's abandoned car. The replacement Anderson attacks and kills them - his face changing to his alien features during the vicious attack. Back at the house the women invite Anderson to stay for dinner - they are vegetarians but he chokes on the meal finding it very unpalatable and he messes up his clothes. Jessica hunts around for some men's clothing for him to wear and in a trunk discovers some of Simon's things including his cap which he never went anywhere without and a switchblade knife. She begins to think that Josephine probably killed him to stop him from seeing her.
Next day Josephine finds her hens slaughtered and blames a fox. Determined to kill it she baits traps but it eludes her and she gives up until Anderson presents it to her dead after somehow catching the fox with his bare hands. The women decide to have a party to celebrate the death of the fox and as a joke dress Anderson up in drag - but he seems not to mind or realise he is being made fun of. They decide to play hide and seek in the large house and Anderson seems to have an uncanny knack of finding the other two. Later Josephine finds the eaten carcass of the fox and starts to suspect that Anderson has eaten it and possibly he was responsible for the hens too.
The next day things reach a terrifying crescendo when the women fiercely argue - Jessica wants to leave with Anderson but Josephine absolutely forbids it and as they fight Josephine beats Jessica's head repeatedly against a plant stand. Josephine instructs Anderson to take the body up to the bedroom and believing she has killed her lover she heads off into the woods to dig a grave. But Jessica is not dead and comes around imploring Anderson to take her with him when he leaves town - she gives herself to him sexually when he appears to be reluctant to come between the lovers. But this arouses him animalistic alien side and he rounds on her changing into his monstrous self and bites out her neck, really killing her this time. Josephine returns to see him eating Jessica and flees screaming into the woods chased by Anderson and she dies as well.
Finally we see Anderson/Cator making a report to his alien superiors instructing them to send an advance party immediately as he has now established that humans are high in protein and easy prey.
|Starring:||Barry Stokes (as Anders Anderson/Cator), Sally Faulkner (as Josephine), Glory Annan (as Jessica)|
|The Anchor Bay UK DVD includes 3.5 minutes of footage that had been removed from previous VHS releases. Norman J Warren on the director's commentary couldn't understand the reason for the cut as there is nothing in the missing section that would warrant censorship. This restored section includes one extra nude scene where Glory Annan is in a bath - but compared to some of the other nudity in the film is inconsequential and wouldn't account for a cut. However those missing scenes were always present on the American version called Alien Prey which also has more additional material still not on the current UK DVD version of Prey. This includes a 5 minute sequence of various scenes which also happen to contain a further bit of minor Sally Faulkner nudity - there is no censorship reason for it being missing as other nudity in the film is far stronger and there is no gore or violence in it either. The Alien Prey NTSC video version reviewed was timed at 84 minutes whilst the Anchor Bay UK Prey version was timed at only 77 minutes.|
|Sally Faulkner's surname is misspelt as "Faulker". The commentary mentions that this was Glory Annan's first film although she is not given an "introducing" credit. Going by her other credits she more usually seems to have her surname spelt as "Annen"|
|Writer: Alan Plater / Director: Christopher Miles / Producers: Christopher Miles, Andrew Donally|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 120 mins|
|The film follows the latter years of the life of controversial author D H (David Herbert) Lawrence. Throughout his writing career DH Lawrence's novels have courted controversy and are subject to the close attention of a prosecutor called Herbert G Muskett. In 1915 copies of his book The Rainbow were ordered destroyed after a trial and since then every new work he publishes is given the utmost scrutiny by the prosecutor's office for offensive material.
Persecution by the authorities has dogged Lawrence's life. While in Germany in 1913 he fell in love with a German woman called Frieda but was arrested by the German authorities thinking he was an English spy. After they were married and moved to Cornwall, Frieda came under similar suspicion of signalling to German submarines and they were forced to move away.
Outside of the occasional flashbacks the main narrative of the story takes place beginning in 1924 when Lawrence, weary of writing, makes a journey to America with Frieda and their deaf friend Dorothy Brett. They visit an American friend called Mabel Dodge Luhan at her ranch in New Mexico and then go to Mexico. Lawrence contracts a nasty cough and is diagnosed with tuberculosis. Their travels take them back to England to his sister's place in his home town of Nottingham, and to France and Italy where they meet a handsome Italian called Angelo Ravagli.
In Italy Lawrence becomes inspired to begin writing again and soon completes his most controversial work Lady Chatterley's Lover which is intentionally full of honest no-holds barred language rather than flowery references to sexual acts that other authors then utilised. Lawrence decides he should self-publish the book and pays to get it printed and distributed in England and America. The book is published in 1928 and causes a scandal and copies of it are seized by the police and it is banned.
Lawrence's TB has been getting worse and he eventually dies in 1930. Frieda marries Angelo and moves to New Mexico eventually sending for Lawrence's ashes so his final resting spot can be in a place that he loved.
|Starring:||Ian McKellen (as DH Lawrence), Janet Suzman (as Frieda Lawrence, wife), Ava Gardner (as Mabel Dodge Luhan, American friend), Penelope Keith (as The Honourable Dorothy Brett, friend of the Lawrences')|
|Featuring:||Mike Gwilym (as John Middleton Murry, friend of the Lawrences'), Maurizio Merli (as Angelo Ravagli, Italian landlord), Jorge Rivero (as Tony Luhan, Mabel's Red Indian husband), Jane Booker (as Barbara Weekley, friend of the Lawrences'), James Faulkner (as Aldous Huxley, Literary friend of DH), Wendy Alnutt (as Maria Huxley, wife of Aldous), Marjorie Yates (as Ada Lawrence, DH's sister)|
|Familiar Faces:||Julian Fellowes (as Barbara's Fiancé), Sarah Miles (as Film Star on Liner), Shane Rimmer (as Chief Immigration Officer)|
|Star-Turns:||John Gielgud (as Herbert G Muskett, Obscenity Prosecutor)|
|Based on the book The Priest of Love by Harry T. Moore - and on the letters and writings of DH Lawrence.|
|There are two versions of the film. The first version runs to 120 minutes and the abridged version lasts 94 minutes. As well as inevitable cutting of some material the second version also rearranges the placement of some of the flashback sequence and ends with Lawrence's death excluding the New Mexico epilogue. The short version is a properly re-prepared effort however with the appearance order end-credits redone to reflect the new positions in which characters first appear.|
|Writer: Jay Presson Allen / Director: Ronald Neame / Producer: Robert Fryer|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 110 mins|
|It is 1932 in Edinburgh and Miss Jean Brodie is a 30-something teacher at the Marcia Blaine boarding school for girls. Miss Brodie is an unconventional teacher with her own unique ideas on the type of education a young girl needs to improve herself. She teaches a broad range of subjects to a set class of young teenage girls in which she regularly replaces the set curriculum with passionate cultural debate and instruction on the ways of life to make them think about ideas rather than just learn facts. "Her" girls are of an impressionable age and Miss Brodie considers it her vocation, while in the prime of her own life, to instil in the young women a love of culture to enrich their lives. As a result the girls in her class all love Miss Brodie and have immense loyalty to her. Miss Brodie pays special attention to four girls in her class whom she considers the crème de la crème:- reliable Sandy, beautiful Jenny, emotional Monica and a new girl called Mary MacGregor who is in need of a bit of special guidance to find her true self.
Miss Brodie has a male admirer in the form of the younger art master Teddy Lloyd. He is married with six young children but is in love with Miss Brodie although she tries to discourage him. He persistently tries to get her to sit for him for a portrait but she always refuses. And every portrait her paints of other subjects always ends up looking a bit like Miss Brodie as she is always on his mind. The school's headmistress is not keen on Miss Brodie and would like to be rid of her - but because of the girls' loyalties she never has sufficient evidence of bad teaching practices to have any proper grounds for dismissal.
The school terms move on and Miss Brodie's four special girls become seniors and leave Miss Brodie's direct tutelage. Sandy remains her special favourite and confidant and the one she most trusts as they continue to have discussions. Miss Brodie remains pestered by Mr Lloyd to pose for her and she suggests he paint one of the four girls - thinking mainly of beautiful Jenny and half-hoping he will start an affair with one of them to rid himself of the foolish obsession he has with herself. However it ends up being Sandy (now 17) that Mr Lloyd has an affair with. Sandy feels she is in love with Teddy but when he paints her portrait and the result looks more like Miss Brodie than herself she gets envious that he still has this devotion to Miss Brodie and feels like he's only using her as a surrogate for the woman he really desires.
Sandy begins to see Miss Brodie in a new light - with a dawning realisation that the influence Miss Brodie has over young impressionable minds is corrupting rather than constructive Sandy secretly turns against her former mentor. When Mary MacGregor decides to join her brother in Spain fighting in Franco's war Miss Brodie actively encourages her saying there are many instances of female bravery throughout history. But when news later comes through that Mary has been killed Sandy blames Miss Brodie for her death knowing that timid Mary wouldn't have made the trip without Miss Brodie's encouraging sentiments. Sandy decides she must act to stop Miss Brodie before other girls minds are harmed by her outspoken views and their misguided loyalties to her. She informs the headmistress that Miss Brodie is preaching politics and after a investigation by the board of governors Miss Brodie is dismissed.
Miss Brodie is distraught and cannot understand how one of her girls would turn against her and is astonished to discover it was her most trusted girl Sandy who betrayed her. Sandy informs her of her reasons and how dangerous she thinks Miss Brodie has become in considering herself not as a teacher but a leader and Sandy had to make the moral decision to put a stop to her.
|Starring:||Maggie Smith (as Miss Jean Brodie), Robert Stephens (as Teddy Lloyd, art teacher), Gordon Jackson (as Gordon Lowther, music teacher). Celia Johnson (as Miss Mackay, headmistress)|
(Miss Brodie's special girls:-) Pamela Franklin (as Sandy), Diane Grayson (as Jenny), Jane Carr (as Mary Macgregor), Shirley Steedman (as Monica McLaren)
|Featuring:||(Teachers and Staff) Margo Cunningham (as Miss Campbell), Isla Cameron (as Miss McKenzie, librarian), Rona Anderson (as Miss Lockhart, chemistry teacher), Ann Way (as Miss Gaunt, headmistresses secretary)|
|Based on the play by Jay Presson Allen which was based on the novel by Muriel Spark.|
|Writer/Director: Arnold Louis Miller / Producers: Arnold Louis Miller, Stanley A Long|
|Type: Documentary||Running Time: 74 mins|
|A documentary that takes a look at life for modern young Londoners taking as its stated theme a kind of guide to a new-born babe showing it the variety of opportunities open to it in a society that seeks to categorise everything.
It starts by explaining the difference between Mods, Rockers and Beatniks and interviewing some members of each persuasion on their views of life. It then opens up and becomes a mishmash of fairly random-seeming features such as the recording of a radio commercial; the life of a busy stripper; self-defence classes; a peek inside the workings of a hat shop; an erotic revue stage show; wrestlers; a tattooist; a delicate operation on a goldfish; a battery chicken processing plant; wife-swapping party; pop-star Billy J Kramer being mobbed by adoring fans at a signing; a foot corn removal procedure; nightclub comedian Ray Martine doing his act; ten-pin bowling.
|Comment: Although it shows a few tassel-wearing showgirls and strippers it does not feature any proper nudity even though the filmmakers seem to clearly know that is what the (original 1960s) audience really wanted to see because occasionally a voiceover "interrupts" the main narration complaining about the lack of girls on show with another voice promising they'll be coming soon although they never really do. The potpourri of small sequences which are supposed to offer an insight into the lifestyle of a bustling society are not especially interesting (at least looking back on it now anyway). Perhaps the only notable item is one that stands out as a bit incongruous in that it is an acted "comedy" sketch in which a voiceover artiste is recording a straightforward line of dialogue for a TV advert which the director (played by Barry Cryer) is never happy with and wants him to keep over-stressing different words. All other items were seemingly real people doing things although some were clearly staged for the camera's benefit.|
|Featuring:||David Gell (Narrator, [voice])|
(as themselves) Billy J. Kramer (Pop star), Ray Martine (Stand-up comedian), Mick McManus (Wrestler)
|Familiar Faces:||Barry Cryer (as fussy Director, [in an acting role])|
|Starlets:||Vicki Grey, Diana Noble (star burlesque performers at Churchills)|
Rhoda Rogers, Audrey Crane (star strippers at Paris Sensations)
|Writers: (see below) / Director: Richard Fleischer / Producer: Pierre Spengler|
|Type: Period Drama||Running Time: 116 mins|
|In the mid-1500s there live two boys with very different upbringings and backgrounds who are destined to meet. Firstly there is young Prince Edward, the son of Henry VIII - he is a somewhat petulant lad going through an awkward phase and is finding it hard to become enthusiastic to the idea of dressing up for the forthcoming costume ball his father is organising; Secondly there is Tom Canty, a poor poverty-stricken lad with a bully of a father who expects his son to steal to earn his keep even though Tom detests it and has an altogether more serene nature that his father considers a weakness.
When Tom is caught stealing he is chased by some lawmen and climbs over a wall to escape only to find himself in the grounds of the King's palace. He is chased by royal guards onto the roof and falls down a chimney into Prince Edward's room. Edward is astonished to see the lad and is even more astounded when he notices the amazing resemblance that the two of them bear - so much so they could easily pass as twins. Edward decides it would be quite an amusement on his father if he were to attend the costume ball in the clothes of a pauper and so he tells Tom to give him his clothes and in return he may wear his royal clothes for his trouble.
But when Edward leaves his bedchamber in his party "disguise" he finds himself pounced upon by the guards still looking for the pauper boy and ejected from the grounds with no one paying heed to his protestations of being the prince. Meanwhile Tom, now dressed as the prince is treated as the real thing and his soot stained appearance is taken to be a clever impromptu disguise he has come up with - and when he claims not to be the prince but a pauper everyone thinks he is just playing out the part and getting into the spirit of the evening's fun.
Although the story flits back and forth between both boys experiences it becomes easier to describe them separately from hereon.
Edward (the prince dressed as the pauper)
Edward on the poor streets of London is still in possession of his royal seal but ruffians try to steal it and jeer at him for his haughty protestations of being the prince. He is saved by a passing stranger called Miles Hendon, a soldier-of-fortune on his way home to the country to resume his lordly seat after many years fighting abroad in the wars. Miles despises ill-treatment and bullying and comes to the lad's aid for these reasons but finds his claims of being the royal prince a bit far-fetched even though he does detect a special quality in the boy that marks him out. He intends to take the boy safely home and have done with him. But when Miles discovers the way Tom's father treats his son, Miles tries to teach the father some manners - however the father's friends pitch in and Miles comes off the worse and is left for dead.
Fearing charges of murder Tom's father goes on the run dragging Edward (whom he thinks is Tom) along with him. They travel far into the countryside and meet up with a robber gang for waywards who have fallen foul of the law. Edward manages to escape and although his father gives chase he is rescued by the recovered Miles who fights with the father again and this time kills him.
Edward continues to claim he is the prince and Miles pretends to humour him and promise to take him back to London but first he needs to stop off at his own nearby home to resume his old life as lord of the manor. Miles expects a hero's welcome at Hendon Hall but instead finds that his brother Hugh has taken over. Hugh refuses to acknowledge him as his brother and declares him to be a pretender and all the staff are in such fear of him that none dare contradict his words - even Miles' fiancée Edith, now betrothed to Hugh, is too scared to acknowledge him. Hugh has Miles arrested and put in the market square stocks.
At night Miles is visited by Edith who releases him and tells him to flee - she of course recognises him but Hugh forged a letter telling her he was dead and he holds such power, wielded so cruelly, that she dared not speak out against him earlier. Miles can do nothing at this time and so his attention returns to Edward who points out parallels to his own situation and how hard it is to get someone to believe one's own claimed identity. And suddenly Miles believes him and acknowledges him as the royal person.
Tom (the pauper dressed as the prince)
Tom has no idea how to behave as a prince and is clumsy and awkward. The ball is now over and Tom's continual claims to not be the prince at all but a poor pauper become irritating to his father the King who tells him to stop the act lest he become angry. Tom is therefore forced to try his best to fit in with the situation he finds himself for fear of a greater punishment.
When the king's health declines and he dies, Tom finds himself heir apparent to the throne and soon to be crowned as the new king. He finds everyone's fawning and obeyance of his orders without question a novelty although he finds affairs of the state to be boring and wishes his advisers could make a few decisions about wars and stuff for themselves once in a while. He much prefers spending time with his sister's lady in waiting, Lady Jane, for whom he has developed a romantic fondness.
Both plots back together
Edward hears that the new king is to be crowned and knows he must get his own identity back before the impostor is crowned. Hugh is travelling to London as a guest and Miles uses the opportunity to hijack the carriage and thereby both deal with his evil brother to get his own life back, as well as providing Edward with fast transport to London.
Edward interrupts Coronation proceedings at Westminster Abbey as Tom is about to be crowned. But it is clear his claims are not going to be believed until Tom speaks up and acknowledges that it is all true and he was never the prince as he had once tried to tell people. Tom is only too happy to relieve himself of the hefty burden that he had felt ill-suited to bear. Edward resumes his rightful place and once he realises that Tom had not been impersonating him for personal gain but because he had been trapped by circumstances, he bears him no malice and forgives him, making him a high court official in his new government.
|Comments: There is nothing in the plot to explain their similarity - such as them being unknowingly separated twins or having shared paternal parentage - instead it is seemingly a purely flukish coincidence.|
|Starring:||Mark Lester (as Prince Edward and Pauper Tom Canty), Oliver Reed (as Lord Miles Hendon), David Hemmings (as Hugh Hendon, Miles' evil brother), Rex Harrison (as The Duke of Norfolk), Charlton Heston (as Henry VIII, Edward's father), Raquel Welch (as Edith, Miles' fiancée), Ernest Borgnine (John Canty, Tom's father)|
|Featuring:||George C. Scott (as The Ruffler, robber gang's leader), Lalla Ward (as Princess Elizabeth, Edward's sister), Felicity Dean (as Lady Jane, Elizabeth's lady in waiting), Sybil Danning (as Tom's mother), Harry Andrews, Julian Orchard, Murray Melvin|
|Familiar Faces:||Graham Stark (as Jester), Ruth Madoc (as Member of Ruffler's gang), Dudley Sutton (as Member of Ruffler's gang), Anthony Sharp (as Doctor), Michael Ripper (as Servant at Hendon Hall)|
|Screenplay by Berta Domínguez D, Pierre Spengler; Final Screenplay by George MacDonald Fraser; based on the novel by Mark Twain|
|The "Edward" of this story is the real life Edward VI (although the proceedings depicted in the film are fictionalised events). He was born in 1537 and came to the throne in 1547 at the age of 10 which is somewhat younger than his apparent age in this film (Mark Lester was about 19 at the time - although playing a little bit younger). And although the film ends on a happy note Edward VI's reign ultimately only lasted for six years until his death (which a voiceover narration at the end hints at by saying it wasn't long until his sister Elizabeth took over).|
|Writers: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond / Director/Producer: Billy Wilder|
|Type: Mystery||Running Time: 125 mins|
|This review assumes a familiarity with the literary characters of Holmes and Watson
Fifty years after Dr Watson's death, in accordance with his will, a security box is opened which contains some unpublished accounts of his friend Sherlock Holmes' cases which were suppressed because of their scandalous nature. Two cases from the late 1880s are featured - the first is fairly short and the second forms the main body of the film.
A ballerina invites Holmes and Watson to a performance of Swan Lake and afterwards she sends for Holmes and proposes a sexual union with him so that she can have a highly intelligent child. She offers him an incentive of a rare Stradivarius violin. Holmes is tempted by the violin but the price is too high as he is generally wary of becoming involved with women. In order to extricate himself gracefully from the situation without hurting her feelings he hints that he and Doctor Watson are more than just friends. When Watson finds out he is furious that his own reputation may suffer and secretly wonders just what Holmes' attitude towards women really is.
A distraught woman who has lost her memory is delivered to Holmes and Watson's lodgings because she was found holding a card containing his address. Her memory gradually returns and she is identified as a Belgian called Gabrielle Valladon who was seeking Holmes' help in locating her missing husband when she was attacked resulting in her temporary memory loss. Her husband is a mining engineer who has developed a revolutionary air pump but ever since he was hired by a company called Jonah Ltd his letters to her stopped.
Holmes takes on her case despite being warned off by his brother Mycroft who works for the government secret service. The detective uncovers some clues that lead to a Scottish castle near Loch Ness. Holmes, Watson and Gabrielle book into a hotel overlooking the loch and Watson sees what appears to be the legendary monster on the loch. They take a boat onto the waters and Holmes hears a strange mechanical engine noise.
Mycroft is at the castle and sends for his brother and reveals that the government are testing an experimental underwater submersible and that Gabrielle Valladon's husband was employed to supply his pump technology. However Mycroft tells Holmes that the woman Holmes is currently working for is not the real Gabrielle Valladon! Instead she is a German spy who has been sent to find the location of the test so that she can signal to some undercover Germans dressed as Trappist monks who plan to steal the technology innovations for their own side.
Queen Victoria visits Scotland to view the submersible but is so appalled at the unsportsmanlike idea of firing on another vessel from underwater without warning that she orders the craft destroyed. Mycroft has no choice but to comply but he decides to allow the Germans to steal the craft and then scuttle it in the loch killing all the enemy agents.
Gabrielle Valladon whose real name is Ilse von Hoffmanstal is arrested but at Holmes' suggestion she is used in a prisoner exchange with the Germans rather than imprisoning her. Over the course of the adventure Holmes appears to have developed a fond attachment to "Gabrielle" and is sad to see her go and clearly hopes that one day he may see her again. Months later Holmes receives a letter from Mycroft telling him that she was captured and executed while on a spying mission in Japan. Holmes appears to be visibly shaken by this news and goes into the next room to comfort himself with a shot of cocaine.
|Starring:||Robert Stephens (as Sherlock Holmes), Colin Blakely (as Dr John Watson), Geneviève Page (as Gabrielle Valladon)|
|Featuring:||Christopher Lee (as Mycroft Holmes), Irene Handl (as Mrs Hudson, Holmes' housekeeper), Tamara Toumanova (as Madame Petrova, ballerina), Mollie Maureen (as Queen Victoria)|
|Familiar Faces:||Frank Thornton (as Porter at Mycroft's club)|
|Starlets:||Nicole Shelby (as Honeymoon Bride, deleted scene - see notes below)|
|This film was originally intended to be much longer and several additional full sequences were filmed but then removed to cut the film down to its current length before it was released. The footage from most of these scenes have been lost. However one sequence called The Dreadful Business of the Naked Honeymooners survives albeit with no sound. The sequence involves Watson insisting he be given a chance to solve a crime using Holmes' techniques and when there is a murder aboard the passenger ship they are travelling on he proceeds to investigate the deaths of a naked honeymoon couple in a bed - giving a convoluted analysis of the circumstances that led to their deaths until it transpires he is in the wrong cabin and this couple are only asleep. The honeymoon groom was Jonathan Cecil and his bride was Nicole Shelby. She sits up topless when she first awakens until she realises she is exposed and pulls the sheets up to cover herself. This scene is included as an extra on a DVD release although her nudity is blurred out - this censoring was presumably done to keep the DVD release rating lower rather than how it was originally intended to be shown or indicative of the state in which the surviving footage exists.|
|Writers: Ronald Harwood, Caspar Wrede / Director: Caspar Wrede / Producer: Ben Arbeid|
|Type: War Drama||Running Time: 85 mins|
|A British army battalion stationed on a Mediterranean island are engaged in an important mission to disrupt enemy activity. The mission's success depends on a stealthy approach through the jungle to take an enemy outpost by surprise and overwhelm the occupants. But as they approach one soldier called Private Potter suddenly cries out loudly in alarm and this alerts the enemy to the impending attack and the mission objective fails.
Potter is arrested on a charge of wilfully assisting the enemy. His defence is that he couldn't help it because all of a sudden he saw God and was so shocked he shouted in alarm. Potter is a quiet and sensitive man who has no religious tendencies. The battalion's brigadier wants to throw the book at him and put him up for court martial but his commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Gunyon is more understanding and wants to try and determine if Potter truly had a spiritual vision, is suffering from madness, or if he is lying.
Potter is interviewed by the brigade's padre and a psychiatrist who both offer differing opinions on how to proceed. But the Brigadier regards it as a moot point because Potter must be made an example of regardless of his reasons and will spend a considerable time in prison.
Potter eventually decides to retract his assertion of seeing God and face the consequences. But he confides to Gunyon that he did really see the Almighty - all his life he had fought against a belief in God and he screamed out because he was scared when faced with the truth of His existence. He considers that his time in prison will give him time to properly reconsider his beliefs.
|Starring:||Tom Courtenay (as Private Potter), James Maxwell (as Lt. Col. Harry Gunyon, company CO), Ronald Fraser (as Doctor), Ralph Michael (as Padre)|
|Featuring:||Brewster Mason (as Brigadier), Eric Thompson (as Capt. John Knowles), John Graham (as Major Sims, psychiatrist), Mogens Wieth (as Yannis, local infiltrator, cook house worker)|
|Familiar Faces:||Fulton Mackay (as Sergeant providing medical escort for Potter en route to hospital, [uncredited])|
|Made in Black and White|
|I wasn't entirely sure when the film was set. They were "modern" soldiers and Potter stated that he signed on for the army voluntarily thinking it was supposed to be peacetime - so it must have been after WWII. It is mentioned they are on an island in the Mediterranean and the mission that Potter ruined was called Operation Naxos. Naxos is the name of a Greek island in the Aegean Sea which fits the bill as far as locale is concerned - so that is probably where they were based. But I'm not clear in a historical context what the name of the campaign they were engaged in was. Perhaps it was being kept deliberately vague or maybe it was considered something that should be immediately obvious without need of stating.|
|Writer/Director: Barney Platts-Mills / Producer: Andrew St. John|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 85 mins|
|Shy and quiet Anne Halpern works as a typist for a literary agents. There she meets and starts going out with Peter Morissey, a promising new young writer whom her boss Mrs Talbert has recently signed up. Anne still lives at home with her parents in a rural town and Peter shares a London flat with his two friends, Stephen and Henry.
Anne is a good girl and Peter a respectful young man and their dates are innocent - but when she misses her last train home and stays out all night, her father, who takes his parental responsibilities seriously, begins to worry that she is being led astray by her new boyfriend. This leads Anne to feel too cosseted and she leaves home and she and Peter move into a flat of their own. Peter is supposed to be working on his novel but finds it hard to knuckle down - but he has had an advance from Mrs Talbert and he and Anne are very happy together so he is content. Peter has a hankering for a simpler way of life and he persuades Anne to move with him to a remote cottage in the Scottish countryside where they spend some time living in self-sufficiency. But he still finds very little time to write and Anne begins to get frustrated with him and tire of the countryside and so they return to their London flat.
Anne thinks she is pregnant and Peter is pleased and suggests they should get married. But Anne has secret doubts and is not sure she wants a baby. The couple are no longer so love-struck and are often bickering but seem to still love each other and want to remain together. Peter at last finishes his novel after a year working on it but Mrs Talbert does not like it and tells him it needs more work which makes Peter irate because he believes it is perfect as it is.
Peter decides he needs a proper job to tide him over and his friend Henry recommends him for a copywriting job at the advertising agency he works for. Peter proves to be quite suited for the job and his prospects seem good. Meanwhile Anne has turned to her father for help and had an abortion without letting Peter know. Anne moves back home with her parents afterwards as she and Peter take their relationship back a step whilst they make tentative plans to get married.
Back at the flat Peter has a long chat with his friend Stephen who is recovering after briefly becoming hooked on hard drugs. Stephen helps Peter see that he is becoming trapped in his new well-paid job which is providing a comfort level that it may become hard to escape from - and consequently he is in danger of losing the dream he once had of becoming a writer and living a simple life. Stephen steals an electric typewriter for him and gives him back that option. And as the film ends Peter's future life has several different paths it could take but we don't find out what he decides.
|Starring:||Susan Penhaligon (as Anne Halpern), Bruce Robinson (as Peter Morissey)|
|Featuring:||Michael Feast (as Stephen, Peter's friend/flatmate), George Fenton (as Henry, Peter's friend/flatmate), Robert Brown and Kathleen Byron (as Mr and Mrs Halpern, Anne's parents), Patricia Cutts (as Erica Talbot, Literary agent), Trevor Adams (as Alex Marvel, successful writer)|
|Starlets:||Susan Broderick (as Sylvia Halpern, Anne's sister), Catherine Howe (as Iverna, Henry's girlfriend), Pamela Moiseiwitsch (as Office Secretary whose typewriter is stolen), Joanna Ross (as Mrs Talbot's Secretary)|
|Writer: Peter Nichols / Director: Michael Blakemore / Producer: Simon Relph|
|Type: Drama / Music||Running Time: 107 mins|
|In 1948 in South East Asia in Malaya the war is not over for some British troops who remain in the country trying to mop up the remaining insurgents. Major Giles Flack is a keen soldier who believes the third world war has secretly started without the Whitehall bigwigs even realising it - namely the holy war between the dark forces of communism and Christian enlightenment. But he is frustrated that rather than having his jungle combat skills utilised to lead a crack unit of well trained soldiers he is instead given command of a special unit dedicated to troop entertainment whose purpose it is to keep up morale by putting on variety shows. The unit is named SADUSEA (Song and Dance Unit South East Asia).
Flack does not understand much about show-biz types and finds their highly-strung peculiarities confounding and so lets the highly-effeminate acting Captain Terri Dennis get on with producing the show. Dennis is a sensitive luvee type who has no time for military matters. His company of performers are drawn from all areas of the armed forces selected for having some interest in showbusiness. All the privates are acting sergeants so that they can uses messes when on tour.
Sgt Major Drummond is secretly conspiring with the enemy to smuggle out weaponry from the camp but needs to get his hands on more supplies. He manages to convince Major Flack that the frontline troops are badly in need of a major arms replenishment because the regular supply convoys are constantly being ambushed and what is needed is a way of surreptitiously smuggling the arms through - and he leads Flack into devising the idea of using the touring variety show convoy to smuggle the weapons through as a kind of Trojan horse.
Major Flack gives his company special jungle training without revealing the real reason for the sudden change to their usual itinerary and then goes with them on a tour to raise morale deep into the jungle. But the treacherous Drummond has arranged an ambush and the weapons are stolen and the performers are seriously wounded as the insurgents shoot at them indiscriminately - one man is killed. After this the company is broken up and are returned home to England.
|Comment: Only the elements necessary to describe the major story plot are outlined above but there are plenty of interesting character situations involving the individual members of the company which underpin it all.|
|Starring:||John Cleese (as Major Giles Flack), Denis Quilley (as Acting Captain Terri Dennis), Patrick Pearson (as Sgt Steven Flowers), Michael Elphick (as Sgt Maj Reg Drummond), Nicola Pagett (as Acting Lt Sylvia Morgan), Joe Melia (as Sgt Len Bonny)|
|Featuring:||John Standing (Captain Sholto Savory), Simon Jones (Sgt Eric Young-Love), David Bamber (as Sgt Charles Bishop), Bruce Payne (Flight Sgt Kevin Cartwright)|
|Although categorised here as a drama it is tinged with comic moments often provided by John Cleese. But it would probably be inaccurate to term it a "comedy".|
|Writer: Norman Bogner / Director: Peter Watkins / Producer: John Heyman|
|Type: Drama / Music||Running Time: 98 mins|
|Set in a Britain of the near future when an allied government has headed off the growing unrest in youth culture by encouraging the music entertainment world to provide ever more extreme violence in their stage shows to provide the audiences with a release valve for their pent up tensions. Amid this cultural milieu, pop star Steven Shorter has emerged as a youth icon famed for his songs and performances depicting his incarceration and brutal ill-treatment by authority figures. In just over two years Steven has become the world's most important and influential personality. He is adored by his screaming fans and his association with any product guarantees its sales will hit the roof.
However, Steven Shorter himself is a lonely figure who seems perplexed by the public adoration he receives and the thought of it appears to visibly discomfort him - he in no way revels in it or seeks to exploit his celebrity for personal gratification. In fact he is so closeted by his entourage that he rarely has an opportunity to speak to anyone outside his business associates. That is until he is left in the company of a young artist called Vanessa Ritchie who has been commissioned to paint his portrait. She seems to understand what he's going through without being dazzled by his star name and she soon becomes a more permanent companion in his day-to-day life.
Steven Shorter Enterprises is a company set up to manage his global image and associated brand name and at one of their regular board meetings the chairman Andrew Goddard Butler announces that their planned campaign has now reached saturation point. With Steven Shorter having successfully been made the focal attention point of today's violent youth by giving them a modern day folk hero to adore and influence them, it is now time for Phase II of the operation. Steven Shorter will now repent and say he was wrong - he will renounce violence and declare that he has discovered God and the Christian ways of peace and harmonious living. It is hoped that his fans will be so rapt by his influence that they will follow suit and hence transform society into one of fruitful Christian conformity.
So at a packed stadium concert Steven does as he is asked and performs spiritual songs of peace and inner enlightenment instead of his usual diet of mayhem and violence. As predicted there is soon a public resurgence in religion and a wish to obey the rules. Steven remains the cultural figurehead for a new movement of love and harmony.
But Steven has become sick of the manipulation and seeing his pain Vanessa tells him he can stop it if he wants - all he has to do is speak out and everyone will listen. So at an awards ceremony celebrating his contribution to pop music Steven makes a faltering announcement of how he is tired of being worshipped like a god and from now on he wants to be a person again. His words stun the world at large and are poorly received amidst the new climate of conformity in which individualism is discouraged. He finds himself immediately out of favour as public attitude turns against him and his business empire dissolves. Within a year his name has been consigned to the archives.
|Starring:||Paul Jones (as Steven Shorter), Jean Shrimpton (as Vanessa Ritchie, Steven's girlfriend), William Job (as Andrew Goddard Butler, Chairman of Steven Shorter Enterprises Limited)|
|Featuring:||(Steven's entourage) Mark London (as Alvin Kirsch, Steven's press officer), Max Bacon (as 'Uncle' Julie Jordan, Steven's music publisher), Jeremy Child (as Martin Crossley, Steven's personal manager), Frederick Danner (as Marcus Hooper, Steven's administrator), Victor Henry (as Freddie K, Steven's musical director), James Cossins (as Professor Tatham, media strategy planner)|
Malcolm Rogers (as Reverend Jeremy Tate)
|Familiar Faces:||Lucy Fleming (party guest, non-speaking extra, only fleetingly seen once - she later became a star of BBC series "Survivors")|
|From an original story by John Speight. With additional scenes and dialogue by Peter Watkins.|
|Paul Jones was the lead singer in the pop group Manfred Mann.|
|Writers: John C. Cooper, Peter Bryan / Director: Ian Curteis / Producers: John Croydon, Maurice Foster|
|Type: Sci-Fi||Running Time: 85 mins|
|At the Farber Research Foundation Doctor Paul Steiner has created a complex machine to transmit matter. He and his colleague Dr Chris Mitchel have successfully teleported inanimate objects and have just performed the first test on a living creature. The guinea pig is placed on the machine's transmission cradle where it disappears and has its energy stored in power cells. Then a pair of modified lasers are used to project the matter and reconstitute it back into its original form. The guinea pig survives the process but shortly afterward dies when it is touched by something conductivly linked to earth - as if it were holding a massive charge. Steiner calls in an old friend of his called Dr Patricia Hill who is a pathologist and might be able to tell them how the animal died.
Meanwhile the scientists' work is being hampered by the foundation's director Blanchard. Even though they have been close to a full breakthrough for some time Blanchard seems to be unimpressed with anything less than complete success and is holding Steiner to an absolute deadline after which he will close down the project. Steiner thinks the director is unsupportive because he did not commission the project himself but had it foisted on him by the ministry. But we are privy to the fact that Blanchard is in league with a man from the ministry called Latham who together have a secret agenda to discredit Steiner as a failure and then steal his research.
Patricia Hill determines the guinea pig had been reconstituted out of magnetic phase. Steiner and Mitchel are able to make a small adjustment to their equipment which corrects that failing and at last they make a successful transmission test with a monkey which survives the process completely unharmed. Blanchard is dismayed that Steiner seems to be so far advanced with a new breakthrough and so he arranges for Steiner to demonstrate his device to a scientific assessor from Geneva but then sabotages the equipment beforehand so it is a spectacular failure. Blanchard then tells Steiner that the Foundation's committee has decided to close his project down and he should dismantle everything.
But Steiner is determined to prove his device really works and late at night with the help of an inexperienced secretary called Sheila he activates his machine and pre-programs the process telling Sheila all she has to do is press a certain button when a bank of lights are all illuminated. He then lays upon the transmission cradle with the intention of projecting himself directly to Blanchard's house where the director is entertaining the man from Geneva to provide unequivocal proof of his success. But Sheila accidentally gets things wrong and pushes the button too early causing the program to malfunction. Steiner disappears from the cradle but appears to be in intense pain as his energy is transmitted to its destination.
The error causes the transmission to be off-target and Steiner materialises on nearby waste ground - one side of his body has become horribly scarred giving him a monstrously terrifying appearance and the magnetic correction has not worked so Steiner's touch has become deadly or destructive to anything he touches by delivering a huge electrical shock. His mind is also affected and he has become twisted and bitter and goes on a killing spree of anyone who gets in his way.
Doctors Chris Mitchel and Patricia Hill are determined to find and help him but Steiner appears to consider himself beyond help as he goes after Blanchard bent on revenge. He kills both conspirators Blanchard and Latham as they are trying to steal the computer records of the successful experiments. He then uses the equipment on a reverse setting to make it self-destruct and kills himself in the process as it causes him to vanish into nothingness.
|Starring:||Bryant Haliday (as Dr Paul Steiner), Mary Peach (Dr Patricia Hill), Ronald Allen (Dr Chris Mitchel), Norman Wooland (as Dr L.G. Blanchard)|
|Featuring:||Derek Farr (as Detective Inspector Davis), Tracey Crisp (as Sheila Anderson, secretary), Derrick De Marney (as Latham), Gerard Heinz (as Dr Lembach, from Geneva), Frank Gatliff (as Dr Wilson, pathologist)|
|Starlets:||Norma West (as Gloria, monster Steiner's first victim)|
|Based on a story by Frank Quattrocchi.|
|Writer/Director/Producer: Tony Garnett|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 93 mins|
|In Birmingham, Sandra is a streetwalking prostitute who picks up work from curb-crawling motorists. However the police vice squad are cracking down hard on such activities and prosecuting such women for solicitation and she wants to move onto something safer. Sandra shares a flat with her best friend Louise who is a social worker with a special interest in the rights of prostitutes. Louise is keen to get a movement together to lobby their MP on the rights of such women to continue their activities without fear of draconian persecution. She organises a group consisting of some working prostitutes and a forward thinking lawyer friend to work out some sensible proposals and hopes to get the media interested as well.
Meanwhile Sandra starts working in a massage parlour and from there does some part time work providing glamorous female company at a businessmen's conference. There she makes contact with Amanda from London who offers to give her suitable contacts if she comes down to London. Sandra heads off to the big city and gets work with a visiting massage service as well as helping Amanda with some of her own higher-class prostitution services.
Eventually things turn sour for Sandra and she unsuccessfully tries to make it on her own through private adverts but falls foul of corrupt London vice squad officers who want a slice of her income and services to boot.
So after just a few months Sandra returns to Birmingham. In the meantime Louise has managed to get a TV documentary maker interested in her issue and preliminary negotiations are underway to research the matter. And Sandra, with no other options open to her, resumes the thing she knows best - working the street and being picked up by curb-crawlers.
|Starring:||Eleanor Forsythe (as Sandra), Kate Crutchley (as Louise)|
|Featuring:||Richard Mangan (as David Selby, lawyer working with Louise), Kim Lockett (as Jean, helping in Louise's group), Ann Whitaker (as Amanda, High-Class London Prostitute), Paul Arlington (as Mr Hanson, Amanda's client), Brigid Mackay (a Mrs. 'T', stern owner of London visiting massage service), Colin Hindley (as Griff, sociology lecturer who has a fling with Louise)|
|Starlets:||Carol Palmer (as Carol, Birmingham massage parlour manageress), Barbara Roslyn, Jackie Thompson, and Philippa Williams (as Mrs T's massage girls), Anne Beverley, Elizabeth Revill (as Girls at Party)|
|Writer: Hugh Mills (based on his own novel) / Director: Fielder Cook / Producers: Kenneth Harper, Ronald Kahn|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 88 mins|
|Gerald Hardcastle is a successful city chairman married for twelve years to his wife Prudence. He and Prudence are perfectly civil towards one another - but they have lost any strong affection and lead largely disparate lives with separate bedrooms except when performing marital duties. However despite Gerald's efforts they have never had children to bond them more tightly together unlike his brother Henry who, with his wife Grace, has a now grown-up daughter called Geraldine.
Henry and Grace are rather straight-laced and are shocked to discover that Geraldine has embraced the permissive society and is on the contraceptive pill. When Grace wonders how Geraldine managed to get the necessary doctor's prescription, Geraldine tells her she has been taking them from Grace's own supply and putting aspirins in their place. Grace is appalled at this news and soon realises she has become pregnant again as a consequence.
When Gerald hears this story from Henry he checks Prudence's room and discovers that unbeknown to him she is on the pill which is why she has never fallen pregnant. He decides to secretly substitute her pills for aspirins so that she may have a child by him and save their marriage. Unfortunately due to a series of convoluted misunderstandings the maid Rose substitutes the pills back and so Prudence remains protected. When Gerald discovers this he tries the same trick again and this time the substitution is successful.
Gerald has a secret mistress called Elizabeth whom he would like to marry but he cannot afford to divorce Prudence if she is the injured party. But when he discovers she has been having an affair with her former Harley Street doctor, Alan Huart, he triumphantly confronts her. She wants a divorce so she can marry Alan but does not want Alan to be cited for fear of ruining his reputation. Gerald thinks he has the sanctimonious upper hand until Prudence finds out about his own mistress Elizabeth. But then Prudence discovers she is pregnant by Gerald which is terrible news for her as she definitely does not want a child with him and would prefer to have Alan as the assumed father. So without telling Gerald why, she agrees to give him an easy divorce and provide him evidence of her wrong-doing as long as he cites an unknown third-party as reason for divorce. This fits in with Gerald's own wishes to marry Elizabeth and so he agrees.
It ends happily for all concerned with all the women in the story becoming pregnant and having babies with the partner of their choice.
|Comment: The plot seems to have a hard-to-resolve quandarous element in that on one hand Gerald is prepared to use underhand methods to get Prudence pregnant and save their marriage, but on the other hand he also wants to leave her and marry his mistress and delightedly leaps at the opportunity to divorce Prudence when he discovers her impropriety.|
|Starring:||David Niven (as Gerald Hardcastle), Deborah Kerr (as Prudence Hardcastle, Gerald's wife), Robert Coote (as Henry Hardcastle, Gerald's brother), Joyce Redman (as Grace Hardcastle, Henry's wife), Irina Demick (as Elizabeth Brett, Gerald's mistress), Judy Geeson (as Geraldine Hardcastle, Henry and Elizabeth's daughter)|
|Featuring:||Keith Michell (as Dr Alan Huart, Prudence's lover), David Dundas (as Tony Bates, Geraldine's fiancé), Edith Evans (as Lady Roberta Bates, Tony's aunt), Vickery Turner (as Rose, Hardcastle's maid), Hugh Armstrong (as Ted, Hardcastle's chauffer, Rose's boyfriend), Jonathan Lynn (as Chemist's assistant)|
|Familiar Faces:||Peter Butterworth (as Chemist), Moyra Fraser (as Woman in Tea Shop)|
|Star-Turns:||Michael Hordern (as Dr Morley, uncredited on both opening and closing credits)|
|Writer: Julian Halevy / Director: Alexander Singer / Producer: Phillip Hazelton|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 94 mins|
|Alison and Eric are married with two young daughters. About five years ago Alison was struck blind when she took a tumble down the stairs and hit her head. Initially she was so devastated by her disability that she tried to kill herself in hospital but now she has learned to cope. Alison cannot remember the accident or the circumstances that led up to it because of the blow to her head. Her doctor has told her that there is nothing physically wrong with her eyes and her inability to see is psychosomatic and for some reason her brain refuses to process the images.
Alison grew up with her grandmother Crawford and helped raise her younger sister Robin whom she loves dearly. Robin was always the pretty one and married easily but badly and had some stormy relationships. Robin is crafty and manipulative and has developed an unfeeling jaded view of the world and about other people, but she knows the power her beauty gives her over men. She was staying with Alison and Eric at the time of the accident but is not able to shed any light on how it happened.
Robin has just split from her latest husband and comes to stay with Alison again. It soon becomes obvious (to us) that Eric is uncomfortable having her around and clearly something has gone on between them in the past. Robin revels in mischievously flirting with him silently in front of her sightless sister. Alison is making concerted efforts to try to recall her accident and this makes Robin nervous and she is relieved when Alison fails to retrieve any details.
The sisters go for a summer break to stay with their grandmother and they are later joined by Eric and a family friend called Paul who is in love with Robin but knows she is too good for him. He had a brief affair with her when she was 17 and has held a torch for her ever since hoping she will turn to him again.
When Alison married Eric, Robin at first hated him for taking her best friend sister away. But as a young girl she came to stay with them and Robin eventually came to idolise him as a father figure and eventually they had a secret affair. It was on one fateful day that Alison came home early and found them in bed together - she stumbled back in shock and fell down the stairs in the accident that blinded her and left her with no memory of the incident.
On their vacation Eric and Robin have been unable to resist one another and have become lovers once again. Alison begins to suspect Robin is playing up to Eric because of the awkwardness in his manner when she is around. The sisters argue about it and Robin becomes petulant and starts riding a horse in a reckless manner. Alison is knocked over by the horse and bangs her head. She is not seriously hurt but soon afterwards she realises that her vision is returning and she begins to recall the day of her accident. She realises that her one hold over Eric, and probably why he has not deserted her, is his guilt about her blindness and an obligation he feels to look after her. So to preserve this she pretends to still be blind.
However later on she witnesses Eric and Robin flirting openly and outrageously right in front of her and they see her looking at them in astonishment and know they have been rumbled. Alison walks out on them and goes out into the garden to enjoy the beautiful sights she has missed for so long. THE END
|Starring:||Patricia Neal (as Alison), Curt Jurgens (as Eric, Alison's husband), Samantha Eggar (as Robin, Alison's younger sister), Ian Bannen (as Paul, family friend)|
|Featuring:||Beatrix Lehmann (as Mrs Crawford, Alison and Robin's grandmother)|
|Made in Black and White|
|From the novel Psyche 59 by Françoise des Ligneris|
|Writers: Arnaud d'Usseau, Julian Halevy / Director: Don Sharp / Producer: Andrew Donally|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 86 mins|
|Tom Latham is the 18-year-old leader of a gang of Hell's Angel bikers that call themselves "The Living Dead". They revel in creating mayhem and have no concern what harm befalls others as a result of their reckless behaviour. Tom's girlfriend Abby is part of the gang and follows his lead because she loves him - but some of the things they do appal her because she is basically a nice girl who has fallen in love with the wrong guy - totally unlike the other girl-member Jane who finds the lawlessness thrilling. The bikers regularly congregate around a monument of seven stone monoliths that have been named the "Seven Witches" - legend has it that the stone pillars were real witches who were turned to stone after breaking a bargain they made with evil powers.
Tom has an obsession with death and believes it is possible to come back from the other side but does know the secret of how to accomplish this. His mother is a spiritualist who knows that secret but is not prepared to tell him. She is forever accompanied by her manservant Shadwell who never seems to get any older for all the time Tom has known him since he was a small boy. There is a room in their house that Mother keeps locked and Tom has never been able to enter. Mrs Latham fears that if he were to discover its secrets the information might destroy him. Now however Shadwell feels that Tom is at last ready to face the truth and mother gives him the key.
In the room Tom finds a mirror and in its reflection he sees a vision of events from eighteen years prior - when he was a baby his mother had taken him to the Seven Witches monument and formed a pact with an evil being to sign over his soul. Tom finds out that his late father had attempted to come back from the dead but had failed and mother knows why. And Tom now discovers this secret too - in order to be successfully reborn as one of the living undead that person must kill themselves with the utter conviction that they are going to be reborn - any wavering, doubt or fear and it will not happen and they will remain dead.
With this knowledge Tom proceeds to kill himself by riding off a bridge knowing and wanting to die in order to be reborn. He is buried and the following day he becomes reanimated - however now he is immensely strong and invulnerable to harm because he cannot die again - he can now experience the thrill of any danger, however extreme, knowing he will survive.
Tom returns to his astonished gang and tells them what he has done and how they can do it too - at first only Jane and Hinky are willing to try - but it only works for Jane because Hinky has last minutes doubts in his moment of death. Jane comes back to life and she and Tom team up to terrorise motorists and create death and mayhem on the road.
The police investigate the troubles and discover from eyewitness reports that "Living Dead" gang members are responsible for the current outbreak of devastation - so they round up and imprison all the surviving members. Tom and Jane subsequently storm into the police station killing the officers and releasing their friends. The rest of the gang now decide they are ready to come-over to the other side and join Tom and Jane in their undead carnage. Even the vacillant Abby decides to participate because she wants to be with Tom - but she remains afraid that she will not have the necessary courage required to go through with it or sufficient conviction it will truly work for her if she does. All the others kill themselves in spectacular fashions and are reborn as immortals. Abby cannot bring herself to die so audaciously so she instead takes an overdose of drugs to kill herself. But her suicide attempt fails when she is discovered unconscious and saved by doctors.
Police Inspector Heseltine is growing suspicious of all the recent suicide deaths which are then followed by the deceased's bodies being stolen (so it seems to him). He therefore releases the false news that Abby is dead hoping to catch someone in the act when they come to steal her body too. His plan only partly works, because although Tom and the gang do come for Abby, Heseltine and all his officers end up dead. With Abby in tow the gang then go riding off on another violent spree without fear of death or consequences. The gang at first believe Abby is a reborn-dead just like them - but when she shows reluctance to perform death-defying stunts Tom guesses that she is still actually alive. She tells him she has realised she wants to go on living and therefore cannot love him anymore - but Tom tells her that is not acceptable and she must willingly kill herself and come back to him in her undead form for otherwise he will kill her himself and then she will remain dead. They ride to the site of the Seven Witches and Tom tells Abby she has three minutes to decide.
Concurrent to some of the above Mrs Latham has decided that Tom has gone too far with his wanton death and destruction and must be stopped - she tells Shadwell (whom it turns out is the evil being she signed the pact with) that she wants to break the bargain she made. Shadwell tells her that her son was part of the bargain for all eternity and if it is broken he will have to pay the price. Shadwell and Mrs Latham then perform a ritual to break the pact.
At the same time back at the monument, Tom gives a gun to Abby so she can shoot herself - but she makes her decision and instead empties the gun directly into Tom's chest - but to no effect. And as Tom makes his move to kill her he begins to change - his skin starts to calcify and become hard until his whole body has become engulfed and he has turned into a stone monolith - as have all the other undead bikers leaving only Abby alive, screaming and crying. A car then pulls up and the mysterious man (Shadwell) walks towards her - for purposes unrevealed because that's where it ends.
|Comment: I'm not sure I really grasped quite why Mrs Latham needed to sign the pact with the devil (?) in the first place - or what she actually gained by it - which is why I'm a bit vague about the matter in the above summary - maybe it was to give herself spiritualist powers (?) or something to do with her dead husband (?).|
|Starring:||Nicky Henson (as Tom Latham, leader of biker gang), Mary Larkin (as Abby Holman, biker and Tom's girlfriend), Ann Michelle (as Jane Pettibone, biker), Beryl Reid (as Mrs Latham, spiritualist and Tom's mother), George Sanders (as Shadwell, Mrs Latham's butler), Robert Hardy (as Chief Inspector Hesseltine)|
|Featuring:||Patrick Holt (as Police Sergeant), Roy Holder, Denis Gilmore, Miles Greenwood, Peter Whitting and Rocky Taylor (as Other bikers)|
|Familiar Faces:||Bill Pertwee (as Pub Landlord), John Levene (as Police Constable, [Sgt Benton from Doctor Who]), June Brown (as Jane's mother)|
|Starlets:||Serretta Wilson (as Stella, brunette girl in pub), Fiona Kendall (as Monica, blonde girl in pub), Heather Wright (as Girl with Parcels)|
|Writer: Robert Bloch / Director: Freddie Francis / Producers: Max J. Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky|
|Type: Crime Drama||Running Time: 81 mins|
|Detective Inspector Holloway is called in to investigate when a solicitor called Reinhardt Klermer is murdered and a doll with his likeness is left beside his body. The doll's torso is an unusual design which the local toyshop has a record of selling with a batch of five others to an old lady called Mrs Van Sturm. She is a wheelchair-bound recluse whose only interest is making and collecting dolls - she talks to her dolls as if they were beloved children and seems a bit senile. She is German and it soon emerges that she has a motive for the murder. Twenty years ago after the Second World War had ended, her late husband had his estate confiscated by the Allied War commission when it was claimed he had used slave labour in his factories - he was arrested and committed suicide. Klermer had been a member of the commission whom Mrs Van Sturm believed to be corrupt. Mrs Van Sturm now lives with her grown-up son Mark who works in a boat yard but knows their family should be rich - he feels stifled living with his dotty mother in their old house.
Soon other members of the original commission are being killed in a variety of bizarre ways with dolls left near their bodies. Mrs Van Sturm's doctor tells Holloway that her paralysis is psychosomatic and she could walk if she wanted to but her brain is preventing it - Holloway wonders if she could be faking her disability and committing the murders - but as she tells him, if she wanted revenge why would she have waited twenty years.
Then Holloway discovers that the current commission had reviewed the case file and discovered irregularities that proved Mr Van Sturm to have been innocent and the now-dead commissioners to have been corrupt. The commission had sent a report to Mrs Van Sturm two weeks ago telling her that the estate was now hers again. Holloway wonders if it could have been this that triggered her desire for revenge. He goes to see Mark at his boat yard but he becomes very protective of his mother and tries to kill Holloway knocking him out but falling himself and suffering serious injury. When the inspector regains consciousness Mark is nowhere to be found.
It emerges that Mrs Van Sturm knew nothing of the new report which had been intercepted by Mark. He wanted the estate for himself rather that it go to his mother and so it was he who had committed the murders in a manner that would throw suspicion on her - so that after she was arrested and committed he would inherit the estate instead of her. We discover that Mark's boat yard fall broke his back and has left him completely paralysed and mentally regressed - somehow his mother got him home and has painted him up like a helpless doll. When the Inspector arrives to search her house Mrs Van Sturm is murderously protective of Mark and demonstrates her ability to rise from her wheelchair but dies when she falls down the stairs.
|Starring:||Patrick Wymark (as Inspector Holloway), Margaret Johnston (as Mrs Von Sturm), John Standing (as Mark Von Sturm, her son), Alexander Knox (as Frank Saville, ex-member of Allied commission), Judy Huxtable (as Louise Saville, Frank's daughter), Don Borisenko (as Donald Loftis, Louise's fiancé)|
|Featuring:||Thorley Walters (as Martin Roth, ex-member of Allied commission), Robert Crewdson (as Victor Ledoux, ex-member of Allied commission ), Colin Gordon (as Dr Glyn, Saville's doctor), Tim Barrett (as DS Morgan, Holloway's colleague)|
|Starlets:||Gina Gianelli (as Gina, toy shop worker)|
|Judy Huxtable receives an "introducing" credit|
|Writer/Director: Mike Hodges / Producer: Michael Klinger|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 91 mins|
|Mickey King is a British author of pulp fiction churning out paperback novels of American gangsters and eroticism under a number of pseudonyms. He lives abroad in Malta and his publisher introduces him to Ben Dinuccio who represents a celebrity who wants to publish his life story and Mickey is asked to ghost write it although the identity of the celebrity is not revealed to him as secrecy is important. Mickey agrees to do the work and is sent by Ben onto a package tour during which contact will be made and he will be taken to meet the subject.
On the package tour coach he meets a fellow tourist called Jack Miller who is reading one of his books and is a fan. When they get to the hotel there is a mix-up and Miller is given the room Mickey was meant to have, so rather than make a fuss Mickey takes Miller's intended room instead. Later on when Mickey goes to see Miller he finds the man dead in his bath with stab wounds. Mickey is shocked and concludes that someone was trying to kill him and had assumed it was him in the room. Mickey leaves him as he finds him not wishing to get involved and next morning he is surprised that there isn't a police presence and he goes back to Miller's room and finds the room being cleaned out and at the reception desk he is told Mr Miller had to leave urgently and checked out earlier. Mickey cannot understand why the death has been covered up.
Back on the coach trip at a stopover at an ancient ruins Mickey is contacted by a young woman called Liz Adams who escorts him to a limousine where he is reunited with Ben who then takes him to meet the subject of the "autobiography" he is to write. The subject turns out to be Preston Gilbert, a famous ageing American actor who exclusively played Mafia roles in Hollywood movies and many in the industry believed him to have real Mafia connections. He found himself hounded out of America by speculation and has now chosen to live in Malta and has since become one of the establishment and goes on regular hunting parties with other local dignitaries. He is dying of cancer and wants the world to know the true story of his life and all the secrecy is because he believes he is the target of a hitman called Miller. Mickey is surprised to hear that but has good news for him on that count and can tell him that Miller is dead.
Mickey starts work as Gilbert talks almost non-stop for a week about his life experiences providing more than enough material for a book. Gilbert celebrates the completion of the work on the book with a party for his friends. Gilbert is a notorious practical joker and enjoys doing his party pieces so when a priest comes up to him and shoots him point-blank with a silenced pistol the other guests are stunned and think at first it might be a prank - but he is really dead.
The speculation is that someone became worried that Gilbert was going to reveal something damaging to them in his autobiography but Mickey realises that he is still a target because the killer might think that Gilbert told him about whatever it is that has caused such panic. Mickey is contacted by a clairvoyant that Preston had been consulting and is supplied with some clues that lead him to a small sleepy town where he is told to look for a man called Lepri. Lepri is not around but a partisan takes him to a grave of Lepri's daughter. It turns out the daughter was raped by members of Gilbert's hunting party and had had a heart attack and died and Lepri was paid-off to keep the matter quiet. Mickey deduces it is obviously one or more of the other dignitaries that has been prepared to use deadly means to be sure that Gilbert revealed nothing of the incident in his memoirs. Then a sniper shoots at them killing the partisan and wounding Mickey who escapes back to a truck and runs the sniper down and kills him and it turns out to be the hitman Miller - he had faked his death back at the hotel.
Mickey is ready to tell the police the whole story but the other members of the hunting party are important people in town and have the police in their pocket and he is told that if he says anything he will be charged with the murder of Miller. And so as we leave him he is recuperating from his wounds and continuing to write his pulp fiction but inwardly vowing to make them pay somehow. THE END
|Starring:||Michael Caine (as Mickey King), Mickey Rooney (as Preston Gilbert), Lionel Stander (as Ben Dinuccio, Preston's right hand man)|
|Featuring:||Nadia Cassini (as Liz Adams, Preston's distant cousin), Dennis Price (as The Englishman, on package tour), Lizabeth Scott (as Princess Betty Cippola, Preston's ex-wife), Al Lettieri (as Jack Miller), Leopoldo Trieste (as Marcovic, Mickey's publisher)|
|Starlets:||Liu Bosisio, Cristina Gaioni, Janet Agren, Irene Sophie Opperman|
|Nadia Cassini receives an "introducing" credit.|
|Writer: Harold Pinter / Director: Jack Clayton / Producer: James Woolf|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 115 mins|
|Jo is happily married to her second husband Giles and has five children which also make her very happy with the household always full of life and gaiety. Having children and caring for them seems to give Jo fulfilment. Then she meets a writer called Jake and falls in love with him. She divorces Giles and marries Jake and she and all the children move into his large London flat. Jake is a successful screenwriter with a number of hits to his name. Soon she is pregnant by him and has another baby.
Jake brings home a lady friend of his called Philpot that he has invited to stay for a while. Philpot tries to be helpful but Jo begins to resent another woman being in the house and starts to wonder just why Jake invited her to stay - she begins to suspect the two of them might be carrying on and turfs Philpot out.
Time passes and Jake begins to find all the noisy kids tiresome while he is trying to concentrate on his writing and makes it clear he does not want any more children which upsets Jo.
When Jo becomes pregnant again Jake is not pleased because he had thought their baby days were behind them and with the other children growing up now they should be ready to settle into a content and peaceful life together. Jo becomes depressed and a doctor recommends a termination for mental heath reasons. Afterwards she remains disconsolate and sees a psychiatrist who thinks that the crux of the marriage problem seems to be whether or not they should have more children and that they might restore their relationship if she were no longer physically able to have any - a hysterectomy is recommended and Jo reluctantly agrees hoping it will save their marriage.
For a time it works and everyone is happy again - but then Jo discovers that Jake has for years been cheating on her with a string of young actresses that he meets in his line of work and is even having a child by one of them which contradicts what he apparently didn't want with her and was why she went through with the operation.
Jo goes through a long period of uncommunicative depression spending a lot of time on her own in her former house in the country she shared with her previous husband. Eventually Jake makes a gesture of reconciliation bringing all the children to visit her to try and shake her out of her malaise with a reminder of a full and bustling household - and as the film ends she seems to be turning a corner towards acceptance that the childbearing part of her life is over as they all fall into a family unit once again.
|Starring:||Anne Bancroft (as Jo Armitage), Peter Finch (as Jake Armitage), James Mason (as Bob Conway, husband of an actress), Maggie Smith (Philpot, lady friend of Jake)|
|Featuring:||Eric Porter (as Psychiatrist), Janine Gray (as Beth, actress, wife of Bob), Cedric Hardwicke (as Jo's father), Rosalind Atkinson (as Jo's mother), Alan Webb (as Jake's father), Richard Johnson (as Giles, Jo's previous husband)|
|Familiar Faces:||John Junkin (Undertaker), Yootha Joyce (Woman in hairdressers)|
|Made in Black and White|
|Based on a novel by Penelope Mortimer|
|The reason for the title is not readily apparent|
|Writer: Alistair MacLean (from his own novel) / Director: Geoffrey Reeve / Producer: Kurt Unger|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 93 mins|
|Paul Sherman is an American narcotics agent who has come to Amsterdam to investigate the source of heroin shipments that are flooding the States. He has the reluctant consent of the local police chief Colonel De Graaf and his right hand man Inspector Van Gelder who are themselves most concerned with some recent assassinations of drug runners. The American's presence in the city soon comes to the attention of parties who would rather see him eliminated and before long Sherman is being tailed by an assassin. Sherman uses his counter-surveillance skills to evade and then follow his tail to a warehouse and although the man later dies in a fight he manages to get hold of his notebook which provides a lead to "Marianne" with a date and time indicated. Looking round the warehouse it is a storage area for items like dolls, bibles and clocks.
Whilst conferring with Inspector Van Gelder about the case Sherman meets the Dutchman's unfortunate niece Trudi who is 24 years old but has the mind of a small child brought about by complications following a heroin overdose. She carries a Dutch traditional doll with her and is looked after by a nurse called Herta who is a stern battleaxe of a woman.
Another agent called Maggie arrives from Washington to assist Sherman and the two of them have a romantic history. The two agents follow separate leads:- Maggie follows Astrid Lemay, the girlfriend of a murdered drug runner, to a church run by a pastor called Meergeren and although she doesn't know it the stern woman handing out bibles is Herta the nurse of Trudi; meanwhile Sherman finds that "Marianne" is the name of a small run-down trawler that is moored at the docks.
Their investigations lead them to conclude that heroin is being brought into Holland on the trawler from nearby Huyler and the warehouse is used to pack quantities of the drug in hollowed-out bibles and the dolls and the counterweights of clocks and then exported. Maggie goes to Huyler, which is a Dutch traditionalist island, and happens to meet Trudi in a gift shop who makes friends with her in her childlike way and invites her to come with her to the nearby castle where they make the dolls. Maggie thinks she may have stumbled on a way in to make further investigations so she accompanies the girl. But the pastor Meergeren is also at the castle and after he tells Trudi to leave the room he turns nasty and without mercy kills Maggie.
Later Sherman arrives at the castle after observing a drugs pick up on the trawler and he is shocked when he discovers Maggie dead hanging by her neck on a chain and whilst temporarily stunned he is jumped from behind and knocked out. When he comes to he is strapped into a chair and put into a time-elapsed death trap by Meergeren who then departs to supervise at the warehouse. Sherman manages to free himself and chases after the pastor in a speedboat and the two of them have a long speedboat chase through the waterways of Amsterdam and eventually Meergeren crashes and dies in an explosion.
Following up a hunch Sherman phones Van Gelder and tells him he has uncovered the mastermind behind the operation and needs his help at the warehouse. And Sherman's hunch is proved correct as Van Gelder reveals himself as the criminal mastermind and his accomplice is Trudi who has been faking her mental condition. Trudi is killed in a gunfight and Sherman is wounded but as Van Gelder attempts to makes his escape Sherman just manages to turn the tables and Van Gelder plunges to his death from the upper floor of the warehouse.
|Starring:||Sven-Bertil Taube (as Paul Sherman), Barbara Parkins (as Maggie), Patrick Allen (Inspector Van Gelder), Vladek Sheybal (as Pastor Meegeren)|
|Featuring:||Penny Casdagli (as Trudi), Ania Marson (as Astrid Lemay), Alexander Knox (as Colonel De Graaf), Peter Hutchins (as The Assassin), Mark Malicz (as Morgenstern, warehouse manager)|
|For the writing credits Don Sharp and Paul Wheeler are credited with providing additional material. Additionally Don Sharp is credited with directing the speedboat chase sequence of the film and some additional scenes.|
|Writer/Director: Rod Amateau / Producer: Jerry Bresler|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 99 mins|
|Fred Dobbs is a 26-year-old British playwright living in Rome. Currently his greatest concern is his perceived onset of baldness after regularly finding hair on his pillow and he is consulting a scalp therapist called Dr Fahrquardt who behaves like his psychiatrist too and encourages Fred to talk about his busy romantic life.
Fred is married to Millie and has a mistress called Ornella. Millie knows all about her husband's mistress although the cheating couple don't know she does - however Millie doesn't mind for she knows Fred still loves her if he cares enough to lie to her and it is if and when he starts to tell her the truth about his affair that she knows she needs to worry. And besides that Millie is busy enough conducting her own affairs with handsome Italian men. The Dobbs' maid Flavia has secret arrangements with both her employers to cover for them when their lovers call. Flavia is also carrying on with Dr Fahrquardt and is the one putting hairs on Fred's pillow for the doctor so he can drum up business because he is a fraud and Fred is not actually suffering from any sort of hair loss problem. Meanwhile Fahrquardt has his own marital difficulties with his psychotic wife Anna who is always trying to kill him.
Flavia recommends her beauty-queen niece Angelica to be Fred's secretary and Fred soon whisks her away for a romantic working weekend away at Castelli - a home of Italian filmmaking. While he is away a famous and extremely handsome Italian movie star called Grant Granite comes to his house with the offer of a large cheque for the screen rights to his latest play. Millie swoons over both Grant's good looks and the size of the cheque but she does not know where her husband is. She calls his mistress Ornella dropping all pretence of not knowing about her, but Ornella says he's not with her either. Both women team up and head to Castelli with Grant to find Fred and get him to sign the contract realising he is cheating on both of them but not especially minding because that's the sort of man he is and they love him.
The film ends with an extended knockabout chase sequence amongst the various spaghetti western film sets at Castelli after Millie gets upset when Fred at last tells her the truth about his affairs and she thinks he now no longer loves her and she goes off with Grant as Fred gives chase.
|Starring:||Ian McShane (as Fred Dobbs), Anna Calder-Marshall (as Millie Dobbs), Severn Darden (as Dr Fahrquardt), John Gavin (as Grant Granite)|
|Featuring:||Beba Loncar (as Ornella, Fred's mistress), Gaby André (as Flavia, Dobbs' maid), Katia Christina (as Angelica, Flavia's niece), Joyce Van Patten (as Anna, Dr Fahrquardt's wife), Marino Masé (as Franco, Millie's boyfriend), Dari Lallou (as Hesther, Franco's jealous girlfriend), Ian Trigger (as Dr Ponti)|
|Starlets:||Veronica Carlson (as Liz, a masseuse, Fred's girlfriend), Linda Morand (as Moira, Fred's girlfriend), Solvi Stubing (as Girl at party with a door), Madeline Smith (as Gwendolyn, Millie's sister, Fred's girlfriend - uncredited)|
|Writers: Dave Humphries, Martin Stellman, Franc Roddam / Director: Franc Roddam / Producers: Roy Baird, Bill Curbishley|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 114 mins|
|In 1964 Jimmy Cooper is a young man recently out of school who works as a menial postroom boy in an advertising agency. Jimmy's social life is dominated by his obsession with pop music bands such as The Who. He subscribes to a way of life that has been classed as "mod" and pals around with like-minded friends who all dress the same way in parka coats and drive scooters. Another branch of youth culture dubbed "rockers" dress in black leathers and ride more powerful motorbikes. The Mods and the Rockers are natural adversaries and are antagonistic towards each other resulting in frequent set-tos.
Jimmy lives with his parents who don't understand him and he and they are forever arguing. His bedroom walls are strewn with recent newspaper clippings of clashes between vast mobs of Mods and Rockers at seaside resorts which Jimmy was not involved in but is intoxicated by the thought of what it must have been like to have been part of it all. Jimmy and his main group of mates Chalky and Dave are also heavily into pill popping and no party would be complete without some drugs on hand - which they buy if possible but will steal if necessary. Jimmy fancies a girl called Steph but although they are friends she always seems to go out with the flash guys with which his own meagre finances cannot compete.
A bank holiday weekend is approaching and Jimmy and his group of Mod friends are planning on going down to Brighton to join up with a general youth exodus expected to descend upon the town from all parts of the region. When they arrive Jimmy is most impressed by a super-mod called Ace Face and his suped-up scooter who seems to embody all that Jimmy aspires to. The Rockers are also there en masse and minor squabbles soon turn into riotous brawling on the beach and in the town and the police wade in to make arrests. Jimmy's immediate mates manage to slip the net and return home but Jimmy himself is one of the unlucky ones who is caught and sent before the magistrates court to receive a fine.
The disgrace of his involvement and the anger he feels causes Jimmy to lose his job and his parents feel so ashamed that they lose patience with him and kick him out of the house. To top it off Steph has taken up with Dave causing a bitter rift between them and he becomes outcast from his friends. He even crashes and writes off his scooter. Now in a deep depression with his life unravelling and with nowhere to go he heads off back to Brighton on the train to be at the place where he felt truly alive for once amid the energy of the group unity of purpose. But now it's just a normal sleepy town again and there is nothing special anymore. And when he sees that his "hero" mod Ace Face is just a lowly put-upon bellhop for a hotel he cannot see a future and steals Ace Face's scooter and heads for the cliffs. After a lot of agonised thought and consideration about his next action he makes a decision and drives the bike off the cliff - although he is not on it as it falls. THE END
|Comment: The editing of the ending initially makes it seem as though Jimmy has committed suicide - but as the bike descends in slow-motion it becomes apparent he is not with it and so must have jumped off at the last moment - although we don't see this occur and the film ends with the bike smashing on the rocks below with no further views of Jimmy. However this ending turns out to link up with a seemingly disassociated pre-credits prologue in which we see a man standing on a cliff-edge looking down and then walking away - and if you watch this again afterwards it is clearly Jimmy in what must be the immediate follow-on to the ending. This would seem to imply that he decided to give life another go.|
|Starring:||Phil Daniels (as Jimmy Cooper), Leslie Ash (as Steph), Philip Davis (as Chalky), Mark Wingett (as Dave)|
|Featuring:||Kate Williams (as Jimmy's mother), Michael Elphick (as Jimmy's father), Garry Cooper (as Peter, Steph's boyfriend), Sting (as Ace Face, Mod in Brighton), Raymond Winstone (as Kevin, Rocker friend of Jimmy's), Gary Shail (as Spider, Mod friend), Toyah Willcox (as Monkey, Mod friend), Trevor Laird (as Ferdy, drug dealer), Kim Neve (as Yvonne, Jimmy's older sister), Benjamin Whitrow (as Mr Fulford, Agency Boss)|
|Familiar Faces:||Jeremy Child (as Agency Employee), Timothy Spall (as Agency Projectionist), Hugh Lloyd (as Mr Cale, head of postroom)|
|Cross Section receive an "introducing" credit. They were a pop group seen playing in a club at one stage.|
|aka: The Creeping Unknown|
|Writers: Richard Landau, Val Guest / Director: Val Guest / Producer: Anthony Hinds|
|Type: Sci-Fi||Running Time: 78 mins|
|An experimental manned spacecraft has been launched in Britain by brilliant but arrogant scientist Professor Bernard Quatermass. It travelled a record-breaking 1500 miles into space before returning on automatic after a problem occurred. It crash-lands in the British countryside and the authorities surround it anxiously waiting for it to cool unsure whether the three astronauts are alive or dead. When it is safe to enter Quatermass and his team find only one occupant and two empty spacesuits. There is no sign of the other two men and the scientists are baffled by how they could have left the sealed craft while in space. The survivor is Victor Carroon and he is in a severe state of health with an unusual gaunt look and a catatonic inability to communicate.
Quatermass and his team study the craft in greater detail and find some strange jelly-like substance which upon analysis proves to be human tissue - this is shockingly determined to be the remains of the missing crewmen who have died in an inexplicable manner. Quatermass concludes that the spacecraft must have passed through an area of space containing an unknown microscopic life form which entered the craft and infected Victor Carroon and somehow absorbed the life essences of the other two.
In a secure hospital Victor is slowly mutating - he escapes and starts killing and absorbing the life essence of his victims. The thing he is changing into has a hunger that needs constant nourishment and at night he causes havoc in a zoo killing many animals.
Quatermass realises that the process of change is speeding up and when he finds a torn-away piece of the creature to study he discovers it is building towards a process of multiple reproduction with each new creature as dangerous to life as the first in a reproductive process that will repeat exponentially. It is imperative that the creature be found and destroyed before it spawns and potentially destroys all life on Earth. A massive search begins and the army are called in to help.
The creature in its final giant-size octopus-like tentacled mass is discovered in Westminster Abbey high on some scaffolding being used for restoration. The BBC have an Outside Broadcast unit filming in the Abbey and Quatermass uses their cabling to wire up the scaffolding and the national grid divert all of the city's power through the cables and fry the creature to death.
|Comment: Quite what was so interesting about the restoration of Westminster Abbey that that BBC were broadcasting live coverage of it is not really clear especially in 1955 when such an extravagance would presumably have been an expensive luxury.|
|Starring:||Brian Donlevy (as Professor Bernard Quatermass), Jack Warner (as Police Inspector Lomax), Margia Dean (as Judith Carroon, wife of astronaut), Richard Wordsworth (as Victor Carroon, mutating astronaut)|
|Featuring:||David King-Wood (as Dr Gordon Briscoe, Quatermass' associate), Gordon Jackson (as BBC TV producer covering live Westminster Abbey restoration event), Harold Lang (as Christie, helps Victor escape), Sam Kydd (as Police Desk Sergeant)|
|Familiar Faces:||Jane Asher (as Little girl playing beside river, about 11-years-old)|
|Star-Turns:||Thora Hird (as Rosie, down-and-out, one-scene only)|
|Made in Black and White|
|Based on the 6-part BBC serial The Quatermass Experiment by Nigel Kneale broadcast in 1953. The role of Quatermass was played by Reginald Tate. There were two further Quatermass serials which were also given a subsequent film treatment Quatermass 2 (1957) and Quatermass and the Pit (1967). Brian Donlevy again played Quatermass in the first of these and Andrew Keir was the professor in the other.|
|Writers: Nigel Kneale, Val Guest / Director: Val Guest / Producer: Anthony Hinds|
|Type: Sci-Fi||Running Time: 81 mins|
|The head of the British Rocket Group, Professor Quatermass, is angered when his plans to build a Moon base are unexpectedly cancelled by high-level ministers. Meanwhile his team of scientists have become aware of a high number of meteorites that all seem to be coming down near the small English town of Frawley. Further enquiries reveal that such meteorites have been falling for eighteen months in small numbers but have increased in quantity recently. They recover one broken meteorite which is a hollow shell and seems as if it might have originally contained something before it broke up.
Quatermass and his assistant Marsh visit Frawley where they find an unexpected high-security base. From a high vantage point they see that the Moon base that Quatermass designed has been built on Earth with its large 200-foot high pressurised domes. Marsh finds an unbroken meteorite on the ground and when he picks it up something emerges from within and enters his body leaving a telltale scar. Security guards from the base take Marsh into custody and Quatermass is ordered to leave.
Back in London Quatermass seeks the help from an MP who is concerned about the purpose of this secret base and doesn't believe the story that it is a factory to make high protein food because there is no associated infrastructure to support this. He has arranged to have an inspection tour and invites Quatermass to come along. The security is tight and the tour is kept away from sensitive areas that Quatermass most wants to examine - he is not allowed to see what is contained within the large domes.
It emerges that the meteorites are a piecemeal invasion of a large space creature. Some meteor rocks are used to infect and take over the minds of VIP humans in influential jobs who can help maintain secrecy. The remainder of the hollow rocks are being collected and amalgamated in the domes to re-create the original space creature as it acclimatises to Earth's conditions in the airtight domes where it is fed the nutrients being manufactured in the factory as a prelude to a full-scale invasion.
Quatermass gets the plant construction workers on his side after he reveals to them what they have been working on and they infiltrate the base but are unable to stop the emergence of the massive 100-foot high creature from the dome. As a last resort Quatermass orders his atomic space rocket re-targeted and used as a bomb and this destroys the creature with its radiation.
|Starring:||Brian Donlevy (as Professor Bernard Quatermass), John Longden (as Lomax, police inspector), Tom Chatto (as Vincent Broadhead MP), William Franklyn (as Dr Brand, scientist at Quatermass' lab)|
|Featuring:||Bryan Forbes (as Marsh, Quatermass' assistant), Sydney James (as Jimmy Hall, journalist), Percy Herbert (as Paddy Gorman, construction worker), Michael Ripper (as Ernie, village man), Vera Day (as Sheila, young village woman)|
|Made in Black and White|
|Based on the 6-part BBC serial Quatermass II by Nigel Kneale broadcast in 1955. The role of Quatermass was played by John Robinson. There were two other Quatermass serials which were also given film treatments The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) and Quatermass and the Pit (1967). Brian Donlevy played Quatermass in the first of these and Andrew Keir was the professor in the other.|
|Writer: Nigel Kneale / Director: Roy Ward Baker / Producer: Anthony Nelson Keys|
|Type: Sci-Fi||Running Time: 93 mins|
|Professor Bernard Quatermass of the British Rocket Group is in a meeting with his newly assigned boss, former bomb-disposal expert Colonel Breen, when a call comes through about an unusual wartime bomb that has been uncovered during redevelopment work at Hobbs End underground station. Breen's previous expertise is needed for some advice on the strange discovery and Quatermass tags along.
The workers had also uncovered some ancient human-skeletons which an archaeology team led by Dr Matthew Roney have dated back five million years which is far earlier than any other known human-like remains. When the "bomb" is fully exposed it is clearly not like any device encountered before and is of sleek design about the size of a tank. It is made of a smooth frictionless metal-like substance that is impervious to both heat cutters and the most sophisticated drilling equipment.
Some workers start to report seeing horrific demon-like things skulking around which leave them on the verge of crazed madness. Barbara Judd, who is on Roney's team, researches the history of Hobbs End and finds it has been a notorious location through the ages for reports of unexplained phenomena leading to local superstitions and even its very name of "Hob" is a form of address for the Devil. Many of these reports coincide with digging projects in the area.
Back at the dig, part of the device then spontaneously melts away and inside are the perfectly preserved dead remains of huge hideous looking locust like creatures with horned heads that resemble classical depictions of gargoyles. The dead creatures quickly begin to decompose upon contact with the air and so they are taken back to a lab for study.
Quatermass and Roney come up with the theory that the creatures are Martians who five million years ago sought to escape their world which was starting to lose its atmosphere but found Earth's own atmosphere unbreathable to them. So they took primitive apemen and genetically modified them to increase their intelligence and instil a race-memory of the Martian society so the Martian way would live on in some form. These apemen then became modern day intelligent humans who unknowingly used the "remembered" Martian imagery as the basis for their superstitious depictions. The Hobbs End device is a crashed spaceship that ended up being stranded on Earth and has remained buried for five million years causing a locally intense paranormal focus for those most susceptible to the effects which are released whenever the spaceship is disturbed by vibrational activity.
The government authorities are not impressed by this "kookie" explanation and persist with the line that it is an unknown wartime missile and organise a press event with live TV coverage to reassure the public that it is not a spaceship. A TV lighting rig beside the spaceship accidentally electrifies the hull and this triggers an awesome effect within it. The spaceship throbs and glows with power and waves of psychic energy are emitted that cause devastating seismic shocks around London. The people's minds are taken over by their dormant subconscious race memory and they believe they are these Martian creatures on their home planet engaging in a ritual self-slaughter designed to cull their own rising population. Crowds of people riot and kill and only a few individuals remain unaffected because of some sort of natural immunity - one of these is Dr Roney. Quatermass however IS affected but Roney manages to partially shake him out of it and bring him back to reality.
The Martian craft's energy field has manifested itself high into the air so that it resembles a giant image of the devil himself and Quatermass knows that the only way to stop it is to somehow disrupt that energy and earth it. Quatermass is in no fit state to do anything heroic since he is only barely holding onto his reason so Roney climbs a nearby giant crane rig and turns the iron gantry directly into the energy field and successfully shorts out the massive power build up. London is saved but Roney dies in the discharge and collapse of the crane.
|Starring:||Andrew Keir (as Professor Bernard Quatermass), James Donald (as Dr Mathew Roney), Barbara Shelley (as Barbara Judd), Julian Glover (as Colonel Breen)|
|Featuring:||Bryan Marshall (as Captain Potter, head of army bomb disposal unit), Duncan Lamont (as Sladden, drilling specialist), Peter Copley (as Howell, ministerial aide), Edwin Richfield (as Minister of Defence), Sheila Steafel (as Journalist)|
|Based on the 6-part BBC serial Quatermass and the Pit by Nigel Kneale broadcast in 1958. The role of Quatermass was played by Andre Morrell. There were two other Quatermass serials which were also given film treatments The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) and Quatermass 2 (1957) - in both of those Quatermass was played by Brian Donlevy.|
|Writer: Frank Agrama, Ron Dobrin / Director: Frank Agrama / Producer: Keith Cavelle|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 81 mins|
|Luce Habit is a female filmmaker making a movie in darkest Africa. But she is having trouble finding a good leading man since she has a reputation as a risk-taker and no one will work with her. She returns to London and goes scouting around and in a street market sees her man - a scruffy student-type with long hair and a cheeky grin. She gets him out of trouble when he's caught stealing and takes him for a drink which she spikes and next thing he knows he's on a ship bound for Africa - to become a film star - his name is Ray Fay.
The ship arrives at the African island of Lazanga (Where They Do The Konga). Luce, Ray and the complement of all-female ship's crew and film technicians make land and find a tribe of women performing a ritual before a giant wall with a giant picnic table and chair inside. The high priestess spots Ray and wants him to take part in their ritual, but Luce declines. Back on the ship again that evening alone on deck Ray is abducted by some tribeswomen and taken back to the great wall where he is hoisted up into a giant cake on the table - and then a giant 64-foot female gorilla whom the tribeswomen call "Kong" emerges from the dense jungle and takes him away back into her domain.
Kong battles several prehistoric creatures saving Ray from near death and a bond of trust develops between them. Then Luce and the other women rescue Ray and flee back to the beach pursued by Kong. They use gas to knock the creature out and decide to take her back to England and put her on show as an exhibit. In one of London's parks things are ready for the grand unveiling to the paying public and distinguished guests. Kong is unveiled to gasps and then screams as she breaks free and goes on a rampage through London looking for Ray. Knowing she won't harm him Ray is happy to go with Kong who takes refuge at the top of Big Ben as warplanes and helicopters prepare to attack.
Then Ray makes an impassioned plea to women everywhere to protest at the treatment of this female ape and how she represents the female struggle to free themselves from male shackles and that the army are only persecuting this rampaging 64-foot gorilla because she is a woman. Women everywhere agree with this sentiment and stage instant protest marches forcing the army to back down and Kong is transported back to Africa with Ray to live happily ever after.
|Comment: This parody virtually follows plot-point by plot-point the story of 1933's King Kong but with the gender roles reversed. The only significant difference is at the end where, in this film, Kong survives and is taken back to her island home.|
|Starring:||Robin Askwith (as Ray Fay), Rula Lenska (as Luce Habit)|
|Featuring:||Valerie Leon (as High Priestess), Carol Drinkwater, Fiona Curzon, John Clive, Linda Hayden|
|Starlets:||(Credited crew and native girls) Barbara Allen, Suzie Arthur, Lela Babbick, Jeannie Collings, Trudi Van Doorne, Kathryn Hayes, Chai Lee, Eva Louise, Tawny Sands, Annette Lynton, Vicki Michelle|
(Uncredited, but identified elsewhere) Mireille Allonville, Anna Bergman, Melita Clarke, Marta Gillot, Marianne Morris
|None of the crew girls and native girls have significant roles and are limited largely to background non-speaking parts making up the numbers|
|Writer: Joe Ireland / Director/Producer: Willy Roe|
|Type: Sex||Running Time: 60 mins|
|This can barely be classed as a proper film. The paper thin plot involves a pair of thugs trying to extort business for their bosses protection racket from the owners of a strip club called "The Blues". But the heavies seem more interested in ogling the on-stage strippers than being threatening. We are "treated" to various models doing long strip routines - but considering that this is really the point of the whole film the camera oddly views most of them from a fixed distant position making them hard to see properly. The star attraction at the club is Mary who is considered the "Queen of the Blues" - quite what is so special about her isn't certain but everyone involved seems to think so. This turned out to be Mary Millington's final film and her acting ability had not improved. Thankfully her acting "talents" are not called upon very much in this film - just a few unconvincing backstage conversations with other models.|
|Starring:||John M. East, Mary Millington|
|Familiar Faces:||Ballard Berkeley|
|Starlets:||Rosemary England, Lynn Dean, Cindy Truman, Nicola Austin, Lydia Lloyd, Rosalind Watts, Pat Astley, Faith Daykin, Fiona Sanderson, Geraldine Hooper (receptionist - no nudity), Valerie Minifie (audience member - no nudity)|
|John M. East plays one of the brothers who own the club and also plays the club's comedian who tells his jokes very Max Miller-like - certainly lifting one Max Miller ditty directly so maybe others too I'm not familiar with. It's not clear if the comedian and brother are supposed to be the same person as he goes through some very quick changes appearing on stage in costume one moment then doing something elsewhere as the brother in the next. In fact the time continuity/consistency seems to be very dodgy in general. But it's not really worth going into examples as the film does not warrant the attention.|
|A lot of the strippers are probably credited (amongst the names in the above Starlets list) but are given character names in the credits that are never mentioned on-screen, so except for a few familiar faces it's hard to know who is who. A few recognised strippers are indicated and any known to have non-nude roles are also indicated above.|
|Writer: Terence Feely / Director: Ralph Thomas / Producer: Peter Eton|
|Type: Sci-Fi||Running Time: 87 mins|
|Set in the present day (1971) where a top scientist called Colin Trafford who works at Imperial Physical Industries is demonstrating a new Random Particle Accelerator to some government bigwigs. The process involves particles being accelerated to half the speed of light - but during the demonstration something goes wrong and there is an explosion which knocks Colin out.
He comes to at a Gentleman's club in London dressed in different clothes and with no idea of where he is. Everyone he meets seems to know that he is Colin Trafford even though clothing styles seem to indicate he is in the past by 20 or 30 years. However when he looks at a newspaper it indicates the correct year as 1971 although the news story is of a political initiative by John F Kennedy - which seems very odd because Colin knows JFK died in 1963. He begins to think someone is playing an elaborate prank on him but as he goes outside the scale of the changes make that seem unlikely. He seems to be in another version of reality where things are all a bit different. Here he is a rich and famous author rather than a scientist. He finds out where he is supposed to live and goes home where he meets "his" wife Ottilie. He finds her breathtakingly beautiful and at first she seems to adore him - but when the guests she was entertaining have left she turns cold and it becomes clear she despises him but puts on a loving-wife act in front of other people. He soon comes to realise that in this reality he is an arrogant, drunken, adulterous oaf whom no one really likes but grudgingly tolerates because of his writing talent. His vagueness about who people are that he is supposed to know and his seeming absent-mindedness on what is currently happening in his life only convinces everyone that he is once again hopelessly drunk.
He tries to tell Ottilie he is different but she is long past believing anything her husband tells her and she announces to him that she wants a divorce. Colin is devastated because he has fallen in love with her and he wants to convince her he is different so he can be with her if he is to be forevermore stuck in this changed reality. He hears about a scientist called Sir Henry Larnstein whom he knows in his own world who has developed a theory about parallel worlds. Colin pays him a visit and explains his situation and Sir Henry believes him because it fits in with all his theories which state that a time-line can diverge at critical historical moments and go off on two completely different paths each quite unaware of the other. In this reality the Second World War never happened and consequently technological development is less progressed than in Colin's version of reality.
Colin convinces Ottilie to see Sir Henry and with the respected scientist's words backing him up she starts to take his wild story of being someone different more seriously. He appears to have genuinely changed and she begins to trust him - they start a new romance and she falls in love with him anew telling him he is the Colin she always knew was hidden away and she has never been so happy. But Ottilie has been keeping a devastating secret from her husband - she has a heart condition and is feeling increasingly weak. Colin feels sure he's read about an operation to cure it but her specialists disagree and Colin realises it is an advanced treatment known only in his own world. Ottilie dies and all of a sudden Colin finds himself back in his own world.
He has woken up in a hospital bed where he is told he has been laying unconscious for three weeks following the laboratory accident. He cannot believe it was all a dream - it seemed so real. He is determined to find the Ottilie of his own world and prove it was real for he knows that she would have been born with a similar heart condition and may not even know it.
Colin has to do some tough detective work to track her down because in this world she was adopted as a baby after her family were killed in a Second World War air raid (something that never occurred in the other Ottilie's world). Here she is called Tracy and works as an airhostess and of late has been feeling increasingly tired. He gets to her just in time as she lays virtually unconscious at home from apparent exhaustion and he insists she is taken to hospital immediately where her heart condition is treated and she is cured. While she is recuperating Colin goes to visit her in her hospital bed with some flowers and she thanks him for saving her life as she meets him for the first time. And there the film ends with the hint that maybe something romantic might develop between them in this world too.
|Starring:||Tom Bell (as Colin Trafford), Joan Collins (as Ottilie Trafford/Tracy Fletcher), Denholm Elliott (as Tom Lewis, friend of Colin)|
|Featuring:||Laurence Naismith (as Sir Henry Larnstein), Lyn Ashley (as Jennifer, air hostess), Juliet Harmer (as Geraldine Lambert, actress), Jeremy Child (as Dougie Raynes, Colin's agent), Ray McAnally (as Jack Kahn, theatre producer), Neil McCallum (as Jimmy, co-pilot), Dudley Foster (as Grimshaw, airport clerk)|
|Familiar Faces:||Simon Ward (as Jeremy, groom), Johnny Briggs (as Club Barman)|
|Starlets:||Trudi Van Doorn (as Sylvia, bride), Geraldine Moffat (as Stella Jordan, ex-girlfriend of parallel Colin)|
|Based on a short story by John Wyndham entitled Random Quest|
|Writers: Luciano Vincenzoni, Elio Petri / Director: Elio Petri / Producer: Alberto Grimaldi|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 105 mins|
|Leonardo Ferri is a modern Italian artist living in Milan whose abstract work is considered highly desirable and his output commands the best prices. His selling agent and lover Flavia handles the business side which lets Leonardo get on with being creative. They have a quirky sexual relationship and Leonardo often has dreams of being tortured or even killed by her and he himself playacts killing her.
Of late Leonardo's inspiration has deserted him and he hasn't been able to complete a painting for several months. He decides he needs a change of scenery and scouts around finding what seems to be an ideal place in the country. His discovery is a large neglected villa that has been long unoccupied and in disrepair. He arranges to rent it and moves in.
Leonardo becomes intrigued by a local story of a young woman called Wanda who died at the villa during the war when an English fighter plane strafed it. Although that event was now over twenty years ago she is still remembered by all the village men as being the most beautiful girl they had ever seen who had an enormous appetite for sex and all of them had had relations with her. The villa's caretaker Attilio had been with her on the day she died.
Leonardo begins to think the villa is haunted by Wanda and he becomes obsessed by her. When his lover Flavia comes to visit she suffers accidents and it seems to Leonardo that Wanda's spirit is jealous and wants Flavia to leave.
Leonardo's behaviour becomes irrational and eventually he organises a séance at the villa and contacts the spirit of Wanda. Unearthly events manifest and when the question of who killed her arises, a pair of scissors mysteriously fall onto the table with the blade pointing at Attilio. The caretaker admits it - he had caught Wanda having sex with a German soldier and because he was madly in love with her and had thought she was equally devoted to him he had jealously killed the man and buried him while Wanda watched seemingly unconcerned. Then the fighter plane strafed the villa - Wanda was unharmed in the attack but Attilio still in a rage at her casual infidelity used his own gun to shoot her dead.
After the séance guests have gone leaving just Flavia and himself, Leonardo becomes even more obsessed with placating Wanda's spirit and, knowing how much Wanda resents Flavia, he proceeds to kill her for real and butcher her body into small pieces.
Police arrive to search the grounds looking for the twenty year old bodies following the caretaker's confession - but they fail to find Flavia's body and it becomes clear that Leonardo did not really kill her and he was delusional - the police turn out to be doctors who have come to cart him away to an institution because he has gone mad.
He continues to paint and in his madness he becomes prolific in his artistic output - working in return for small luxuries from the orderlies who pass the artwork onto Flavia who continues to sell them to the art market.
|Starring:||Franco Nero (as Leonardo Ferri), Vanessa Redgrave (as Flavia)|
|Featuring:||Georges Géret (as Attilio, caretaker of villa), Rita Calderoni (as Egle, housemaid at villa), Gabriella Grimaldi (as Wanda, seen in flashbacks), Madeleine Damien (as Wanda's Mother), David Maunsell (as Medium)|
|Story by Tonino Guerra and Elio Petri|
|This is a Italian film that is reviewed here because of the involvement of British actress Vanessa Redgrave. The version reviewed was in English. Its original title was Un Tranquillo posto di campagna|
|Writer: Harold Pinter / Director: Michael Anderson / Producer: Ivan Foxwell|
|Type: Spy Drama||Running Time: 100 mins|
|Quiller is an American working as an agent for the British Intelligence services. He is sent on an assignment to Berlin to continue the mission of two previous operatives who were each killed in the course of their investigations. The focus of the investigation is on a group of radical neo-Nazis whose ultimate goal is a return to the Germany of old. Its sympathisers are young and old pervading all facets of normal German society and it is considered essential that the ringleaders are arrested before the movement gets too organised and out of hand - it has already proved itself willing and able to murder to protect itself. Quiller's task is to find the location of their operational base.
Quiller only has a few leads to go on that were left behind by his predecessors. One lead takes him to a school where a teacher who was exposed as a war criminal hanged himself. Undercover of being a journalist he interviews a young teacher from the school called Inge Lindt who can offer nothing of value about her late colleague. But he finds her attractive and offers her a lift home and they socialise.
Not long afterwards Quiller is waylaid and rendered unconscious. When he comes around he is in a room tied to a chair and is subjected to questioning by a man called "Oktober". This menacing man is leader of the fascist group Quiller is investigating. Oktober wants to know how much is known about his organisation by the authorities and where the British have their local intelligence centre. Oktober resorts to using truth drugs to make Quiller talk but the American's training allows him to withstand questioning. Quiller is eventually rendered unconscious and when he wakes he finds he has been set free. He is puzzled by this because he felt sure they would kill him.
He knows he must find the place he was taken to but he has no idea where it was. He goes to see Inge and they spend the night together. During pillow talk she mentions that a friend of her fathers once spoke of the evil men he is trying to find and Quiller asks to meet with him. Through these contacts Quiller is shown the location of a derelict looking mansion by the side of the river. He tells Inge to wait in the car whilst he checks it out to make sure it is the same place.
He discovers it is the correct location when he is captured again by Oktober. They are packing up their records and equipment in preparation to moving to a new location now that this one has been compromised. He also discovers that Inge has been captured and Oktober uses threats against her as an inducement for him to talk. Quiller claims not to know her and Oktober lets him go so he can mull things over and return when he has decided if he wants to save her life. Quiller leaves and returns to his hotel but he is closely followed by Oktober's henchmen to make sure he does not make any phone calls. Quiller can not travel to the British operational centre without giving away its secret location - which is obviously Oktober's rational for letting him go. Time is of the essence because he must get the information to his superiors before Oktober has moved location.
Quiller sneaks out the back way unseen to his car but luckily notices it has been booby-trapped with a bomb which would activate on engine ignition. He rigs it instead to explode only after he has got a safe distance away on foot. When the bomb goes off the henchman believe their precautions have worked and Quiller is dead and they call off their watch on him.
Quiller then reports to his superiors the location of Oktober's headquarters and the police are sent in to arrest everyone. Quiller is puzzled that no mention is made of finding any girl - either dead or alive. He goes to the school and Inge is back at work, she is surprised to see him because she thought he was dead. She tells him she was lucky and Oktober let her go - Quiller finds that very surprising.
Although Quiller does not say it directly, he realises that she is a secret sympathiser and had led him to the derelict house and acted as prisoner in order to further Oktober's plan. His fondness for her stops him from reporting her involvement but the underlying subtext of their words displays to each their mutual understanding of what has occurred. He tells her he is leaving Berlin and bids her goodbye leaving her to continue her life as before.
|Comment: The ending is slightly ambiguous and I have applied my interpretation in the above description. Perhaps Quiller didn't report her because her cooperation seemed tinged with reluctance and he considers her to be harmless enough without the corrupting influence of an evil man like Oktober stirring events. All that said, Oktober's actions in letting Quiller go do seem somewhat foolish - he was taking a huge risk to try and find the location of the British headquarters and it is not completely clear what he would have done even if he had discovered it. It is also not clear why the title of the film refers to a "Memorandum" because there is no such article featured in the film.|
|Starring:||George Segal (as Quiller), Alec Guinness (as Pol, head of British Intelligence's Berlin department), Max von Sydow (as Oktober, chief of neo-Nazi organisation), Senta Berger (as Inge Lindt, schoolteacher)|
|Featuring:||Peter Carsten (as Hengel, German agent), Edith Schneider (as Headmistress), George Sanders (as Gibbs, ministry bigwig)|
|Familiar Faces:||Philip Madoc (as Oktober's Henchman)|
|Based on the novel by Adam Hall|
|Although not directly linked to this film in any way, the book character of Quiller was also adapted for a BBC-TV series in 1975 starring Michael Jayston. One series of 13 episodes was made|
|Writer/Director: Bryan Forbes / Producer: Bruce Cohn Curtis|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 107 mins|
|Set in the modern day (1971). Bruce Pritchard is an outspoken laddish 24-year-old with a love of football and loose girls. He shows no signs of settling down unlike his somewhat staid brother Harold who is just about to get married. Bruce plays for his local football team a few days before the wedding and gets bruised in a tackle. Bruce performs his best man duties but after the reception he collapses and it is discovered he has lost all use of his legs with no likelihood of recovery.
Bruce is confined to a wheelchair and with no facilities in his family's high-rise flat he is sent to a convalescence home in Hertfordshire that specialises in the welfare of the handicapped. The other residents are also in wheelchairs and vary in ages from young to old. Bruce finds it very hard to adjust to his new situation as a cripple and declines to join in with the social activities of the residents - preferring instead to keep to himself.
After a long period of sullen resentment Bruce eventually comes to terms with the things he will no longer be able to do and decides to make the best of what he has. He strikes up a relationship with another resident called Jill Matthews whose serenity he has admired. Jill is a pleasant 31-year-old woman who has been at the home for about six years ever since she lost the use of her legs after contracting polio. She has a fiancé called Geoffrey whom she was engaged to prior to her illness - he visits her regularly but she has a sense that it is only through a feeling of duty and pity that he has not ended their relationship and continues the charade that they will one day marry - she knows he no longer thinks of her in sexual terms as he has not tried to kiss her for ages.
Jill and Bruce find they share the same easy sense of rebellious humour and really get on as friends. Jill eventually gives Geoffrey an honourable way out of his commitments to her and he takes it, leaving her a free woman. Jill and Bruce progress their relationship and eventually decide they would like to get married.
The care home has no facilities for a married couple and so they make plans to move elsewhere helped by two of the staff who have become their friends. Jill has been feeling a bit tired of late but they continue to make plans towards their happy day. One morning Bruce goes for a job interview as a telephonist full of optimism for his future happiness but when he gets back to the home he discovers that Jill has been taken suddenly ill and rushed to hospital.
Jill dies as a result of catching a virus that in her weakened condition proved fatal and Bruce returns to the home a broken man upon whom fate has so cruelly intervened yet again - devastating his attempts to pull together his already shattered life. THE END
|Comment: The reason for Bruce's sudden overnight disablement is not particularly clear since we never saw him suffer any kind of serious enough looking injury. The type of care home depicted in the film seems anachronistic now - other than their limb disablement the residents were perfectly fit-of-mind and mostly young (not elderly) people. They seemed to be confined to the home simply because, in wheelchairs, they would be unable to function in the society at large - and they were fully accepting of that fact.|
|Starring:||Malcolm McDowell (as Bruce Pritchard), Nanette Newman (as Jill Matthews), Margery Mason (as Matron, head of disabled home), Georgia Brown (as Sarah Charles, care attendant at disabled home), Barry Jackson (as Bill Charles, handyman at disabled home)|
|Featuring:||Gerald Sim (as Reverend Carbett, disabled home's parson), Geoffrey Whitehead (as Harold Pritchard, Bruce's brother), Theresa Watson (as Gladys, Harold's wife), Jack Woolgar and Patsy Smart (as Bruce's parents), Norman Bird and Constance Chapman (as Jill's parents), Michael Flanders (as Clarence Marlow, home resident)|
|Familiar Faces:||Bernard Lee (as Uncle Bob, [small role]), Christopher Chittell (as Terry, Bruce's friend at wedding), Geoffrey Bayldon (as Governor at disabled home), John Savident (as Fete guest), Paul Darrow (as Hospital Doctor, [cameo])|
|Starlets:||Jackie Agrique (as Edna, Bruce's girlfriend)|
|Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Marshall - its title comes from a phrase in a Dylan Thomas poem|
|Writer: Alan Sillitoe / Director: Harold Becker / Producers: Harold Becker, Souter Harris|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 90 mins|
|In the late 1950s Tony Bradmore is a scruffy youth in his late-teenage years. Still living with his parents he has no job and makes any money he has by thieving at night from homes and businesses. One evening while out getting a take-away he meets a beautiful young girl called Doris Randall. She is in her last year at school and at first doesn't want anything to do with him as he tries to chat her up. But he is very persistent and she eventually agrees to go on a date with him. Doris is the daughter of a scrap metal merchant who, despite the lowly sounding nature of the job, is very rich and drives a Rolls Royce. She wants for nothing from her father but when Tony tells her about his illicit night-time activities she asks to go with him for the thrill and excitement of it.
So Tony shows Doris the ropes taking her with him as they break into small business and private homes for loose cash and valuables. The thrill of breaking-and-entering becomes addictive and they become more and more daring in their adventures - a few times they are nearly caught but their narrow escapes just make it all the more exciting. This goes on for quite some time and the pair of them become lovers and start to make semi-serious plans to run away together although she isn't quite sure if she is ready to make such a bold commitment and leave the security of her home life just yet. She also tells Tony she might be pregnant as she has missed a period.
Doris' parents' meanwhile have been getting worried about her attitude of late and when one night she arrives home in the wee hours they forbid her to go out in the evenings. But she manages to climb from her bedroom window and she and Tony decide the time is now right to leave - but they go on one final rob which proves one-too-many when a policeman becomes suspicious and investigates - Tony runs allowing her to stay hidden and undiscovered and although Tony evades capture that evening a vital clue leads the police to him and he is arrested the next day. He is sent to a borstal where he spends the next couple of years - never seeing Doris again or hearing any news about her.
Upon his release he returns home to his mother's house and she tells him the news that Doris got married. She was pregnant and needed to marry so six-months after Tony was sent-down she was wed to a local lad - a bit of a tearaway with a fast motorbike - she had a son two months later. Then she and her husband were both killed in a motorbike accident while speeding on an icy Christmas Eve and the baby boy is now being brought up by her parents. Tony knew none of this as the news had been kept from him. He goes round to her father's house hoping to catch a glimpse of the boy he knows is his son - he sees him from afar being lovingly cared for by his grandfather but knows he can do nothing about it except walk away. The End.
The main story is interspersed with brief glimpses into the life of the present day Tony about fifteen years later. He has a low-paid job at a dairy, he lives in a run-down high-rise apartment block, and has a plain but loving wife and two young children. He still steals but now he petty-thieves from his employees and that eventually gets him the sack which is probably the pattern of his life. All the time he seems haunted by his past always looking back to his youth and the might-have-beens with the beautiful Doris.
|Comment: The date-setting of the main story is a bit vague and is never specifically stated - it feels more 60s than 50s with the scruffy haircuts the boys have. It's not all that crucial to be specific except that the "present day" Tony is presumably based in 1972-ish (when the film was made) and looks to be in about his mid-30s so the bulk of the story must be set about fifteen years earlier which would place it in the late 50s sometime. Alternately if the main story is set in the 60s then perhaps older Tony is supposed to be a few years ahead of 1972 in a largely unchanged future. In younger Tony's time they are still using shillings so it is definitely he who is in the period setting and not simply older Tony being fifteen years in the future of "now". So whilst the above summary states late-50s this is only on the assumption that older Tony is in the exact "present" of when the film was made.|
|Starring:||Simon Rouse (as Tony Bradmore), Victoria Tennant (as Doris Randall), Patrick O'Connell (as present day Tony)|
|Featuring:||Leslie Sands (Doris' father), Brenda Peters (as Tony's mother), Brian Murphy (as Tony's father), Jane Wood (as present day Tony's wife)|
|Familiar Faces:||Reginald Marsh, Gareth Thomas|
|Simon Rouse and Victoria Tennant both receive "introducing" credits. Simon Rouse is best known more recently for his long-running role as DCI Jack Meadows in police drama The Bill.|
|Writer/Director: Lionel Jeffries / Producer: Robert Lynn|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 97 mins|
|In the early 1900s the Waterbury family live an idyllic, happy and comfortable life. The three children, Roberta (Bobbie) who is the eldest and her younger siblings Phyllis and Peter, have a loving mother and father and everything appears to be perfect. Until one evening when some men knock on the door - their father mysteriously has to go with them and doesn't come back and their mother is very vague about what's happened to him. The remainder of the family soon fall on hard times and have to move from their expensive London home to a cottage in Yorkshire - it is cold and rundown and not at all what they are used to but they soon settle in and make it into a proper home for themselves and make new friends from the village.
The children have a naturally happy spirit and make the best of their new circumstances. They enjoy waving at the passing trains from the hillside and one regular elderly traveller always gives them a special wave from his train as it goes by. The film then follows a series of mini-incidents in the children's lives...
Bobbie asks the kindly gent if he can help and he tells her she is in luck for he has been troubled by this conviction himself ever since he first read about it and will see what he can do. And before long the father's conviction is overturned and he travels up to Yorkshire and the family are reunited.
|Starring:||(The Waterbury children) Jenny Agutter (as Bobbie), Sally Thomsett (as Phyllis), Gary Warren (as Peter)|
Dinah Sheridan (as Mrs Waterbury, mother), Bernard Cribbins (as Albert Perks, stationmaster), William Mervyn (as Old Gentleman), Iain Cuthbertson (as Charles Waterbury, father)
|Featuring:||Peter Bromilow (as Doctor Forrest), Ann Lancaster (as Ruth, London maid), Gordon Whiting (as The Russian), Beatrix Mackey (as Aunt Emma), Deddie Davies (as Mrs Perks, Albert's wife), Christopher Witty (as Jim, paper-chase boy), Brenda Cowling (as Mrs Hilda Viney, neighbour)|
|Familiar Faces:||David Lodge (as Bandmaster)|
|Based on the novel by E. Nesbit.|
|Jenny Agutter had previously played the same role in a 1968 BBC 7-part serial. And in 2000 she was in a feature length ITV production of the book, this time playing the part of the mother.|
|Writer: Paul Wheeler / Director: Casper Wrede / Producer: Peter Rawley|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 90 mins|
|In London a group of dangerous terrorists are captured after a sustained bombing campaign. Another faction of the terrorist organisation responds by taking the British ambassador in Scandinavia hostage at his embassy. This group is led by the terrorist organisation's leader Martin Shepherd and he demands the release of the British prisoners and safe conduct to an airfield.
The British military attaché in Scandinavia, Captain Barnes, is told to cooperate with the terrorists and accede to their demands because the British know their destination and can capture them at the other end. Barnes liaises with Colonel Tahlvik of the Scandinavian security service.
But the plan derails when Shepherd is contacted by a trusted compatriot called Ray Petrie who tells him that the authorities have discovered their intended destination and so the plan will have to change. Petrie and his men have hijacked a passenger plane which is now waiting at a nearby airfield and Shepherd should make his way there with his hostage and they can all escape. Petrie and his men all have guns but they tell the passengers no one will be killed if everyone remains calm.
Colonel Tahlvik is told by his superiors to cooperate with the hijackers' demands so that they can get the incident off their soil. But Tahlvik is an uncompromising man who does not approve of a policy of giving into terrorist demands in case of repeat incidents. So he organises a series of attempts to retake the plane from the hijackers using Special Forces commandos. But Petrie has planned things too well and always manages to outthink his opponent.
As the situation develops Tahlvik wonders why the terrorists have not killed anyone as they had threatened despite Tahlvik's repeated provocations. He also wonders how they smuggled the guns aboard past high-tech security measures. And when Tahlvik discovers that a Queen's messenger is on the plane's passenger list delivering British embassy mail in a diplomatic bag he realises the truth. The entire hijack incident is a British planned operation. Petrie is an undercover policeman and the guns were smuggled onto the plane via a diplomatic bag. The objective was to discover Shepherd's destination which the British in truth did not know at all. Captain Barnes had been complicit in the deception too.
Once Shepherd and his fellow kidnappers are on board the plane with the ambassador, the hijackers ask to meet with Captain Barnes on the plane. Tahlvik is furious that his country has been used in this way and he takes Barnes' place and boards the plane. He exposes Petrie's secret to his fellow terrorists and single-handedly retakes the plane. Petrie is killed by one of the terrorists for betraying them by being an undercover agent. Most of the terrorists and kidnappers are also killed and the Ambassador is saved. The audacious British plot fails.
|Starring:||Sean Connery (as Colonel Tahlvik), Ian McShane (as Ray Petrie, hijacker), John Quentin (as Martin Shepherd, kidnapper), Jeffry Wickham (as Captain Barnes, British military attaché)|
|Featuring:||Norman Bristow (as Captain Denver, pilot of hijacked plane), Robert Harris (as Gerald Palmer, kidnapped ambassador), Isabel Dean (as Mrs Palmer, ambassador's wife), Kaare Kroppan (as Donner, Special Forces commander), James Maxwell (as Bernhard, Scandinavian Department of Interior), Harry Landis (as George Rawlings, Lookout Pilot for hijackers), Colin Prockter (as Mike, small plane pilot), Preston Lockwood (as Hislop, Queen's messenger), Brita Rogde (as Air Hostess on hijacked plane)|
|The term "Scandinavia" is used in the film as if that is the name of the country with a collective security force. The particular Scandinavian country where the action is set is not mentioned.|
|Writer: John Elder / Director: Don Sharp / Producer: Anthony Nelson Keys|
|Type: Historical Drama||Running Time: 87 mins|
|Set in Russia in the early 1900. An innkeeper's wife is seriously ill and the local doctor can do nothing for her leaving the innkeeper in despair. Then a stranger in monkish robes called Grigori Rasputin arrives who arrogantly claims he has the ability to cure where others cannot. Rasputin attends the woman's bedside and using the power of his will and the touch of his hands draws the fever from her body. The innkeeper is so grateful that he offers Rasputin any reward. The unconventional monk is a womanising hedonist and craves only drink and to dally with the innkeeper's beautiful daughter Tania amid a general party of celebration. Tania's sweetheart objects to Rasputin's lewd molestations of his beloved and starts a fight which Rasputin wins.
When the monastery abbot hears of Rasputin's licentious conduct he has no choice but to excommunicate the monk. The abbot believes Rasputin's curative powers must be a gift of the devil for he cannot believe that God would bestow such abilities on one so steeped in sin.
Rasputin decides to go to St Petersburg where all manner of excesses and sensualistic pleasures are waiting to be experienced. He drifts into the company of a disbarred doctor called Boris Zargo whom he bends to his will. Rasputin stays at Zargo's apartment while he plans his rise to power in this city of opportunity. At a café he chances to meet Sonia who is a lady-in-waiting to her imperial majesty the Tsarina and nursemaid to the young Tsarvitch, Alexi. Rasputin uses his piercing strength of will to implant instructions into Sonia's brain impelling her firstly to bring about an accident for Alexi which will send him into a coma, and then secondly suggest to the Tsarina they send for Rasputin to help cure the boy.
Thus Rasputin gains favour at the court and earns himself a reputation as a miracle healer. The Tsarina grants him a grand mansion from which to conduct his consultations of the rich and powerful who now clamour his curative powers. Boris Zargo acts as his assistant. The Tsarina herself seeks Rasputin's counsel and soon she comes to depend on his abilities, not realising that whilst he has her under his hypnotic influence he is able to shape her policies and bring about personnel changes that he wants. Rasputin's influential association with the Tsarina brings him enemies some of whom have been ousted from their posts by his manipulations and there are many who would gladly see him dead.
Lady-in-waiting Sonia is still under Rasputin's influence and craves his attention as a devotee. But Rasputin has no further use for her and considers her a nuisance so he hypnotically orders her to kill herself. Zargo is appalled by Rasputin's callous treatment of the woman and leaves his employ. Sonia's brother Peter discovers his sister's death and along with his friend Ivan meets with Zargo and learns how her death came about. Together they vow revenge on Rasputin and formulate a plan.
Ivan meets with Rasputin feigning amity and pretending to seek his assistance in influencing the Tsarina to promote him. In return for such a favour Ivan offers Rasputin an introduction to his beautiful sister Vanessa to whom he knows Rasputin has a liking. Rasputin agrees to the arrangement and thus Ivan brings Rasputin to an apartment to wait while he (supposedly) goes to fetch his sister. Chocolates and wine are laid out for Rasputin's refreshment whilst he waits. Rasputin eats and drinks unaware that both have been laced with a strong poison by Dr Zargo who is hiding behind a screen. But although the poison has an agonising effect Rasputin is inexplicably able to fight against it with his own healing powers. Zargo attempts to overpower Rasputin is his weakened condition but still cannot overcome the former monk's indomitable mesmeric powers and is killed. Ivan rushes in and has a titanic struggle with Rasputin and eventually manages to hoist the former monk out of the window where he falls several stories to his death.
|Starring:||Christopher Lee (as Grigori Rasputin), Barbara Shelley (as Sonia, lady-in-waiting), Richard Pasco (as Dr Boris Zargo, Rasputin's assistant), Francis Matthews (as Ivan Kesnikov, Vanessa's brother), Suzan Farmer (as Vanessa, 2nd lady-in-waiting to Tsarina), Dinsdale Landen (as Peter Vasilvec, Sonia's brother)|
|Featuring:||Renée Asherson (as The Tsarina), Derek Francis (as Innkeeper), Joss Ackland (as Tsarina's lord bishop), Robert Duncan (as Alexi, The Tsarvitch, Tsarina's young son), John Welsh (as Rasputin's Abbot), John Bailey (as Tsarina's Physician), Michael Cadman (as Innkeeper), Fiona Hartford (as Tania, innkeeper's daughter), Bryan Marshall (as Vasily, Tania's sweetheart), Mary Quinn (as Innkeepers Wife)|
|Starlets:||Helen Christie and Maggie Wright (as Café Tarts)|
|Writer: Clive Barker / Director: George Pavlou / Producers: Kevin Attew, Don Hawkins|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 86 mins|
|Set in modern day Ireland. In the village of Rathnorne some farmers are clearing some land and attempting to topple a large obtrusive stone pillar in the middle of a field. But it proves immovable and they have to give it up. But later that evening as a storm rages the weakened pillar collapses of its own volition and from beneath emerges a hellishly savage demonic monster (who later gets named Rawhead). He stands over eight-feet tall and is raging with guttural ferocity.
American writer Howard Hallenbeck, his wife Elaine and their two children Robbie and Minty are on holiday in Ireland so that Howard can do some research for a book he is writing about the persistence of sacred sites through the ages. They stay in Rathnorne where Howard studies the local church. He is especially intrigued by a stained glass window depicting a hideous demon being bested by a tall figure holding something aloft - but missing segments of the glass conceal the figure's face and what they are holding. Unknown at this time the demon represented in the window is Rawhead and through special laser-like properties of the glass the demon has enthralled the verger and superheated the altar casket for as yet unknown reasons.
The revived Rawhead proceeds to go on a killing spree and slaughters a farmer whom he proceeds to eat. The level of destruction at the farmhouse leads the police to believe an organised gang was involved. The monster is seen eating its prey by a young lad who is struck dumb with fear and cannot describe what he saw - but he draws a simple picture which seems too outlandish for the police to take seriously.
Howard is out for a night-time stroll and from a distance he also sees the massive figure standing on a hilltop. He describes what he saw to the police but they just think he was imagining things. Howard cannot get any further with his research because the verger is peculiarly inhospitable and sinister.
Howard and his family leave the village but have to stop to allow their young daughter Minty to relieve herself in a field. Their son Robbie is left alone in the car and he comes under attack from Rawhead who drags him out of the vehicle and kills him. Howard sees the attack but is unable to do anything to stop it. He returns to the village to report the attack and vent his fury at the inspector in charge for doing nothing to track down and kill this monster. The police race to the scene of a reported attack on a caravan park but their firearms prove ineffective against the rampaging demon.
Howard figures out that the demon is part of this area's history and the church window shows an earlier medieval encounter depicting the method by which the demon was vanquished. But the nature of the object used by its subjugator to defeat the beast is unclear. Then Howard notices that the church altar appears to be charged with mystical heat energy preventing human hands from opening it. Howard overcomes the defences and retrieves from within it a small rock neolith which he construes must be the object the medieval figure was holding.
Howard tracks the demon down and holds the rock aloft as shown in the symbolic stained glass window scene - but nothing happens and he has no idea what else he is supposed to do to make it work. Rawhead is unaffected and attacks Howard who drops the rock as Rawhide comes in for the kill. Howard's wife Elaine rushes to the scene and picks up the rock hoping to hit the demon with it to save her husband - but unexpectedly in her hands the rock exhibits its magical properties. It emits a spectacular display of swirling light tentacles which ensnare Rawhead and leaves him helpless. The ground opens up and Rawhead falls in. Elaine drops the rock and it falls into the hole with him before it closes up. Howard regrets the loss of the rock for future protection but is grateful that is has all worked out - he realises that the power of the rock could only be wielded by a woman which the missing glass on the window would have revealed.
Epilogue: Some months later when things have returned to normal Rawhead re-emerges from the ground ... (perhaps because the rock was not saved and stored in a holy place?). THE END
|Starring:||David Dukes (as Howard Hallenbeck), Kelly Piper (as Elaine Hallenbeck, Howard's wife), Ronan Wilmot (as Declan O'Brien, verger), Niall O'Brien (as Detective Inspector Isaac Gissing), Heinrich von Schellendorf (as Rawhead)|
|Featuring:||Hugh O'Conor and Cora Lunny (as Robbie and Minty Hallenbeck, Howard and Elaine's children), Niall Toibin (as Reverend Coot, vicar), Patrick Dawson (as Detective Larkin), Barry Lynch (as Andy Johnson, caravaner), Maeve Germaine (as Katrina, Andy's girlfriend), Simon Kelly (as Neil Johnson, Andy's younger brother), Derry Power and Sheila Flitton (as Sean and Nancy Power, caravaners)|
|Hugh O'Conor and Cora Lunny both receive "introducing" credits - they were the two young children|
|The "Rex" of the title is not part of the demon's name and is not used in the film. It probably is used as the Latin word for king - like in "Tyrannosaurus Rex"|
|There is one topless scene where a non-speaking young woman gets dragged out of a caravan window by Rawhead and thrown against a tree. Smaller parts than hers were credited and so she might be listed but if so it is not made completely clear which one she is - she could be Lana McDonald who played "Screaming Woman" - but earlier on there was also an unnamed older woman screaming in a church who also could have fitted that character designation.|
|Writer: John McGrath / Director: Jack Gold / Producer: Ronald Shedlo|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 105 mins|
|Michael Marler is a resolutely driven sales executive in his late-30s who works at a London based company called Grenfell's which manufacture adding machines. His staunch unwavering ability is invaluable to his doddering boss John Hazlitt who totally relies on Marler's ruthless business skills to help him defeat his rivals in boardroom power struggles. And it suits Marler to rise in the organisation upon Hazlitt's tails.
Marler receives word that his father is very ill. He immediately heads off to Liverpool and the humble slum district where he was brought up. His family is of Irish descent although Marler himself has lost any trace of accent as he became immersed in the English business world in which he has enjoyed his huge success. He has not been back home for five years because of his busy life and by the time he arrives his father has already passed away.
His father had suffered a heart attack and the side of his body is badly bruised - the doctor tells Marler he thinks it must have occurred when he fell but Marler is not convinced. He goes to see one of his father's drinking buddies called Cocky Burke who tells him that they had been out celebrating a win on the horses and his father had been singing Irish songs in the pub. Some Teddy Boys had taken exception to this and one of them had pushed him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him. Marler is incensed because this beating led to the later heart attack and as far as he is concerned the hooligan effectively murdered his father. Cocky refuses to speak to the police because he mistrusts them and reminds Marler that according to their beliefs such things are a matter of honour and should be dealt with privately. He points the culprit out to Marler and leaves it up to him what to do about it.
Marler at first feels resentful that he is expected to take the law into his own hands but as he spends some time back in his home town he is reminded of his heritage and by the time of the funeral he has decided he will deal with the youth himself. He sets about providing himself with an alibi using the same steely efficiency with which he approaches his business dealings and successfully kills the yob.
Marler returns to London full of confidence and decides that the time has come to usurp his boss Hazlitt. By sleeping with Hazlitt's secretary he manages to assemble a dossier of blunders that Hazlitt has made but managed to blame on convenient scapegoats. He presents this to the Grenfell's chairman and is rewarded with a promotion. The film ends with Marler feeling indestructible and being able to get away with anything.
|Starring:||Nicol Williamson (as Michael Marler, Executive at Grenfell's), Ann Bell (as Rosemary Marler, Michael's wife), Paul Rogers (as John Hazlitt, Michael's immediate boss), Zena Walker (as Hilda Greening, Hazlitt's secretary), Gwen Nelson (as Michael's Mother), Christine Hargreaves (as Kath, Michael's sister), Rachel Roberts (as Joyce Eglington, Doctor's receptionist with whom Michael has an affair)|
|Featuring:||Tom Kempinski (Brunzy, Michael's friend), Barbara Ewing (as Joan, Michael's secretary), J.G. Devlin (as Cocky Burke, friend of Michael's late father), Douglas Wilmer (as Moyle, Grenfell's Chairman), Kenneth Hendel (as Davidson, manager at Grenfell's)|
|Familiar Faces:||Edward Hardwicke (as Mitchell, Grenfell Personnel Department)|
|Based on the novel The Harp That Once by Patrick Hall.|
|Writers: John Cleese, Graham Chapman / Director: Jim Clark / Producer: Terry Glinwood|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 89 mins|
|Upper class ex-army Major Upton runs a company called Upton Securities Ltd which provides private detective and security system services. His company's services are engaged on two matters by a new client called Jeffrey Armitage who is the head of a chemical firm called Armitage Chemicals. Armitage wants Upton to install a new security system at his factory to provide better protection for the classified work they are doing for the military in developing a new fast acting paralysing nerve gas. And on a more personal matter Armitage wants Upton's agency to keep tabs on his glamorous wife Utta whom he jealously suspects of having casual affairs.
Upton briefs his staff of detectives and assigns them their duties. However his secretly deceitful deputy Simon Hamilton has been privately contracted by Japanese spies to get hold of the nerve gas formula. So whilst Upton works towards the aim of improving Armitage's security, Hamilton and his easily-led partner Miles Gannet furtively work to disrupt matters until they can get their hands on the formula which Armitage has temporarily moved to the safe at his large estate house in the country where trainee detective Hobbs is keeping watch on Utta.
Comic situations and misunderstandings ensue until at last the treacherous Hamilton has the formula. But he is greedy and decides to double-cross the Japanese agents and sell instead to an Arab prince who runs a small local airport. Upton has become wise to Hamilton's double-dealing ways and gives chase as does Armitage and the Japanese. Everyone converges on the small airfield where unfortunately the airport staff are on strike and Hamilton's plans of making a quick getaway are scuppered.
Upton's business is ruined but he ends up having an affair with Utta and they go abroad where she becomes one of the Arab prince's wives and Upton becomes a faithful retainer.
|Starring:||Ronald Fraser (as Major Upton, head of detective agency), Donald Sinden (as Jeffrey Armitage, head of Armitage Chemicals), James Booth (as Simon Hamilton, crooked detective), Richard Briers (as Miles Gannet, detective), Julie Ege (as Utta, Armitage's wife)|
|Featuring:||Kenneth Cope (as West, detective), John Wells (as Owltruss, detective), Richard Beckinsale (as Hobbs, trainee detective), Michael Bentine (as Husein, Arab prince), Tsai Chin (as Madame Greenfly, Japanese spy)|
|Familiar Faces:||Penelope Keith (as Reporter), Spike Milligan (as Customs officer, [cameo role]), Derek Griffiths (as Delivery driver)|
|Starlets:||Patricia Quinn (as Armitage's chauffeuse), Cheryl Hall (as Maxine, Major Upton's secretary), Veronica Clifford (as Petrol Pump Attendant)|
|Additional dialogue by John Fortune and John Wells|
|Richard Beckinsale receives an "introducing" credit|
|Writer: John Elder / Director: John Gilling / Producer: Anthony Nelson Keys|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 86 mins|
|Set in 19th century Cornwall. In a prologue we see a man come home to his cottage where he finds a note which summons him to the nearby manor house. The big house seems deserted and he wanders upstairs where he is attacked by something ferocious which causes his face to blacken as he dies foaming at the mouth. His death is reported as simple heart failure by the local coroner and as we soon discover his death is just the latest in a series of mysterious deaths that have occurred in the area. (End of prologue).
The dead man's brother Harry Spalding inherits his cottage in the village of Clagmore. He and his wife Valerie decide to keep the cottage and live there themselves. The local pub landlord Tom Bailey extends his hand of friendship although warns Harry that he'd probably be better off selling the cottage and getting out as there have been a series of mysterious deaths in these parts of late. Harry and Valerie's new cottage is situated on some moorlands and is quite isolated. Their nearest neighbour is a Dr Franklyn who lives in the large manor house across the moors although when they first meet him he seems reluctant to engage in chit-chat and is only concerned in locating his daughter Anna.
Later when Anna turns up Valerie meets her and finds her to be quite charming as she invites the newcomers around for dinner that evening. Dr Franklyn keeps his residence unusually warm which he explains is because he is an explorer and together with his daughter spent a lot of time in the hot climates of the world and prefers it like that. Franklyn is very strict towards his daughter and Harry wonders if she is being mistreated.
Another death of a local man occurs near the cottage and Harry sees the horrible discoloration of his dead features. Tom tells him that the locals call it the "Black Death". Harry has travelled the world as a soldier and he says he has seen a death like this before in India when a man was bitten by a King Cobra - and on the back of the dead man's neck are two puncture marks. He and Tom dig up the grave of Harry's brother and discover similar markings on him.
Then Harry is lured to the manor house with a note from Anna asking for his help - (we know this mirrors the circumstances that led up to the death of Harry's brother in the prologue). Harry too is attacked by a human reptile creature and bitten - fortunately the creature's bite goes through his stiff collar and the amount of venom he receives is minimised and he manages to get away and return back to the cottage before he falls gravely ill. Harry pulls through over several hours in a fever. Meanwhile Valerie goes to the manor house herself and is captured after encountering the snake reptile lizard woman who we find out is Anna.
Dr Franklyn reveals that her condition is a punishment from a remote tribe in Borneo that he encountered during his travels that was meted out when he interfered in their religious ways. They infected her with a malady that causes her to shed her skin regularly and become a reptile woman who has the need to kill. Franklyn has decided he must now kill Anna to put her out of her misery and stop the danger she represents. He goes down into the hot sulphur stream caverns beneath the manor where she sleeps - but she fights back and kills him first. A fire starts and the reptile woman goes up into the house where she starts to attack the locked up Valerie - but the now recovered Harry and Tom come to the rescue and when they break the window, the cold air is let in causing the reptile woman to collapse and die. Valerie is saved just in time as the fire spreads and the manor house burns down.
|Starring:||Ray Barrett (as Harry George Spalding), Jennifer Daniel (as Valerie Spalding), Noel Willman (as Dr Franklyn), Jacqueline Pearce (as Anna Franklyn), Michael Ripper (as Tom Bailey, pub landlord)|
|Featuring:||John Laurie (as Mad Peter, local victim), Marne Maitland (as The Malay, Dr Franklyn's mysterious manservant), David Baron (as Charles Spalding, Harry's brother in prologue)|
|Writers: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach / Director: Roman Polanski / Producer: Gene Gutowski|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 100 mins|
|Carol Ledoux is a beautiful young French woman living in London and working as a manicurist at a beauty salon. However Carol is not independently minded and has an almost childlike dependency on her older sister Helen whom she lives with in an apartment. Carol is prone to unresponsive episodes where she appears to have gone into a trance which her work colleagues put down to daydreaming. At times she seems normal enough but at others she becomes unable to fully engage with the world on anything other than a perfunctory level. Her beauty brings her many admirers including a bachelor called Colin who perceives her distant vagueness as being an exotically aloof affectation and is keen to get to know her better.
Helen is planning a fortnight's holiday away with her boyfriend Michael during which Carol will be left alone. Carol can look after herself on a day-to-day basis and so Helen thinks she'll be able to cope alright. Carol dislikes Michael and hates it when he stays overnight resenting the intrusion - there is something about men in general that causes her feelings of disquiet and anxiety.
Helen and Michael depart leaving Carol on her own. Without the stabilising grounding of her sister's presence Carol's mind begins to play tricks on her and her mental state quickly deteriorates. As the days of isolation go by she starts to see large cracks appearing in the apartment and imagine the walls are trying to grab at her. As her state of paranoia increases she retreats into a timid shell afraid to go out or perform any domestic tasks such as cleaning. In her fevered delusions a male intruder repeatedly rapes her.
Colin tries to phone her but gets no reply so with increasing concern for her wellbeing he goes round to her apartment and has to break in. Carol panics and beats him to death with a heavy candlestick and puts his body in the bath. Some days later the landlord comes round for his rent and seeing how vulnerable she is tries to opportunistically seduce her. Carol reacts by slashing him with a razor and stabbing him to death.
When Helen and Michael return home they find the apartment in a filthy unkempt mess, then find the dead bodies and finally discover Carol hiding under a bed completely withdrawn into herself in a cataleptic state of regression.
|Starring:||Catherine Deneuve (as Carol Ledoux), Yvonne Furneaux (as Helen Ledoux, Carol's sister), Ian Hendry (as Michael, Helen's boyfriend), John Fraser (as Colin, Carol's suitor)|
|Featuring:||Patrick Wymark (as Landlord), James Villiers (as John, Colin's mate), Hugh Futcher (as Reggie, Colin's mate), Helen Fraser (as Bridget, Carol's colleague at beauty salon), Valerie Taylor (as Madame Denise, beauty salon owner), Renee Houston and Monica Merlin (as Clients at beauty salon)|
|Familiar Faces:||Mike Pratt (as Workman [and imaginary rapist])|
|Adaptation and additional dialogue by David Stone|
|Made in Black and White|
|Writers: Frank Waldman, Blake Edwards / Director/Producer: Blake Edwards|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 108 mins|
|The country of Lugash possess the world-famous diamond known as The Pink Panther and have it on proud display in a museum. It is protected by sophisticated security gadgets but nevertheless a highly-skilled lone thief manages to steal it. The thief leaves behind a white glove with a monogrammed "P" - the calling card of The Phantom - the same thief who stole the same diamond once before.
The Shah of Lugash requests the assistance of the French detective Inspector Clouseau of the Sûreté who helped recover the diamond on that previous occasion. This comes as unwelcome news to Clouseau's boss Chief Inspector Dreyfus who wants to be rid of the bumbling detective but in the spirit of international cooperation is forced to reinstate him from a period of suspension.
Clouseau begins his investigations with very little to go on. He is aware that the Phantom's real identity is Sir Charles Litton, but Sir Charles has not been seen in public for four years and his whereabouts is unknown. In fact Sir Charles is staying in a French villa and is very surprised to learn of the theft and his supposed involvement because he knows he played no part. His young wife Lady Claudine has just returned from a trip abroad and he decides to travel to Lugash to try and discover the identity of his impostor.
Clouseau devotes his efforts to following Lady Claudine around hoping she will lead him to Sir Charles and he adopts a manner of different disguises in his often disastrous efforts to discover clues. Dreyfus is becoming increasingly unhinged by Clouseau's incompetent behaviour and decides to act upon his murderous thoughts towards his inept subordinate.
Eventually Sir Charles works out that it was his own wife who stole the diamond to keep the Phantom's name alive. Clouseau is on hand to wrap up the case but a corrupt Lugash police chief called Sharki wants the diamond for himself and prepares to kill them all. They are inadvertently saved by Dreyfus whose attempt to murder Clouseau kills Sharki instead. The diamond is recovered and Clouseau is honoured with a promotion to Chief Inspector replacing Dreyfus who ends up in a padded cell and straightjacket in a mental institute.
|Starring:||Peter Sellers (as Inspector Clouseau), Herbert Lom (as Chief Inspector Dreyfus)|
Christopher Plummer (as Sir Charles Litton), Catherine Schell (Lady Claudine Litton)
|Featuring:||(recurring characters) André Maranne (as Sgt. François Chevalier, Dreyfus' assistant), Burt Kwouk (as Cato, Clouseau's manservant)|
(also) Peter Arne (as Colonel Sharki, head of Lugash secret police), Peter Jeffrey (as General Wadafi, Akbar police chief), David Lodge (as Litton's chauffeur), Graham Stark (as Pepi, local stooge), Eric Pohlmann (as The Fat Man, gang leader), Victor Spinetti (as Hotel Concierge), John Bluthal (as Beggar), Mike Grady (as Bellboy)
|Familiar Faces:||Peter Jones (as Psychiatrist)|
|This was the third Inspector Clouseau film starring Peter Sellers and was made after a relatively long period since the previous story A Shot in the Dark (1964). In the intervening time there was another Clouseau film starring Alan Arkin instead of Sellers called Inspector Clouseau (1968) although this is not considered to be part of the official series. The next film was The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976).|
|Writer: Hugh Whitemore / Director: Alan Bridges / Producers: Ann Skinner, Simon Relph|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 98 mins|
|Set in England during the First World War. Kitty Baldry is married to Captain Chris Baldry who is away fighting in the war. They are upper class and live in a large estate house with a full staff of servants. Chris' cousin Jenny lives with them and is Kitty's companion.
Kitty is visited by a woman of a lower-class called Margaret Gray who rather sheepishly hands over a telegram she has received concerning Chris. He has apparently been wounded and is in hospital although Kitty is sceptical because any such news would have come to her and not some stranger. Margaret tells her she used to know Chris quite well twenty years ago before she was married but does not know why the telegram was sent to her instead of to Kitty.
When Kitty visits Chris in hospital she finds he does not know her. Shell-shock has wiped away twenty years of his memories and he thinks he is still in love with Margaret who was a secret sweetheart when he was a young man before he ever met Kitty. Chris remembers his cousin Jenny because he has known her all his life.
Once his physical wounds have healed Chris returns home but cannot recall anything that happened in the last two decades although he accepts the passing of time and that he is married to a woman he does not know. He tries to talk to Kitty but it is like talking to a new passing acquaintance - she describes the daily routine of things they used to do together to try and jog his memory but all he can think of is how dull and unfulfilling it all sounds. He explores the house and finds it familiar but wonders why one particular room is kept locked.
Kitty agrees that he can see Margaret so she can put him straight on matters. Chris is still head over heels in love with Margaret though and she still feels a great affection for him. Chris wonders why they ever parted and Margaret tells him that it was over a jealousy that he had about another man who was paying her some attention. They parted and she moved away from the area.
Kitty decides that Chris is not going to remember his life with her by himself so she sends for a psychiatrist called Dr Anderson to help. He speculates that perhaps there is an emotional trauma in Chris' life with her that his subconscious is keeping blocked because it is too painful to remember - and with the shell-shock he has regressed to a time of his life when he was blissfully happy. When Kitty tells the doctor that their only son died as a young child five years ago he decides that this may be it. The child's nursery is the room that Chris found to be locked which has been left untouched since the death. Margaret is chosen to tell Chris about his child's death and with that tragic revelation Chris' memories return.
|Comment: It ends there without us seeing if life returns to normal for the Baldry family or whether Chris might have re-evaluated his life with Kitty as a result.|
|Starring:||Julie Christie (as Kitty Baldry), Alan Bates (as Chris Baldry), Glenda Jackson (as Margaret Grey), Ann-Margret (as Jenny Baldry, Chris' cousin), Frank Finlay (as William Grey, Margaret's husband), Ian Holm (as Doctor Anderson)|
|Featuring:||Jeremy Kemp (as Frank, family friend), Hilary Mason (as Ward, housekeeper), Elizabeth Edmonds (as Emery, maid), Valerie Whittington (as Beatrice, Margaret's kitchen maid), Edward de Souza (as Edward, family friend at party), Amanda Grinling (as Alexandra, Edward's wife), Michael Cochrane (as Stephen, family friend at party), Vickery Turner (as Jessica, Stephen's wife), Gerry Cowper (as Nurse at hospital)|
|Familiar Faces:||Pauline Quirke (as Girl at Hospital) , Kevin Whately (as Soldier in café) (both easily missed minor cameos)|
|Based on the novel by Rebecca West|
|Writer/Director: Ray Davies / Producer: Dennis Woolf|
|Type: Musical||Running Time: 57 mins|
|The entire film is of an unnamed businessman's commuting journey to work by train to Waterloo - (he is called "The Traveller" in the credits). There is minimal dialogue and the background story is told mostly in song and flashback images. He is a husband and father and we discover from the Traveller's haunted memories that his grown-up daughter Lisa had recently left home and then become victim to a random killer after hitchhiking. Unconnected to the killer is a story in the daily newspaper of a serial rapist who has just struck again and a police artist's sketch of the culprit bears a resemblance to the Traveller. We don't know for sure whether it really is him but he does have an interest in looking at young women in the train carriage which is depicted as being a bit creepy. A flashback suggests that Lisa may have originally left home because of her father becoming too interested in her. His wife does not seem to be aware of anything criminal although she thinks he may be having an affair and their relationship is strained - not just because of the tragic death of their daughter.
At the end (and also more fully in the prologue) the Traveller gets to Waterloo and proceeds to the Underground station and there the film ends - there are hints (although nothing more) that maybe he intends to commit suicide by throwing himself in front of a train.
|Comment: The film is a musical with a storyline - the songs are relevant to telling the story and are sometimes heard as backing tracks and other times the train passengers are singing them in fantasy sequences.|
|Starring:||Ken Colley (as The Traveller)|
|Featuring:||(Family) Valerie Holliman (as Traveller's Wife), Dominique Barnes (as Lisa, Traveller's Daughter)|
(Commuters) Christopher Godwin, Michael Cule and Hywel Williams Ellis (as Businessmen commuters), Gretchen Franklin and Betty Romaine (as Gossiping women), Tim Roth, Mike Smart and Sallie-Anne Field (as Punks on train), Myrtle Devenish, Lizzie McKenzie and Sheila Collings (as Old ladies), Nat Jackley and Wally Thomas (as Old gentlemen)
|Starlets:||Claire Parker (as Headphones Girl, walking down to Waterloo Underground), Wanda Rokicki (as Young Schoolteacher on platform), Sue Vanner (as Pretty girl commuter, [Uncredited])|
|All songs are by Ray Davies (who was the lead singer of The Kinks). As well as also writing and directing the film he has a cameo role as a busker in the subway tunnel leading to Waterloo Underground station|
|Writers: Brian Scobie, Sture Rydman / Director: Sture Rydman / Producer: Elizabeth McKay|
|Type: Ghost Story||Running Time: 29 mins|
|Short ghostly tale in which a man arrives to view a property that has been on the market for the last twenty years and is being minded by a housekeeper called Mrs Park. The man is very interested in hearing of the stories surrounding the previous owner Gerald Harboyd who was accused of murdering his wife on their wedding night and sent to a mental institute. Harboyd had an obsession with physical perfection and when he found out that his new wife Muriel had a toe missing that is what it was said sent him over the edge. Mrs Park says she often hears noises at night from the master bedroom where it happened and doesn't dare go in there. The man then reveals he knew Harboyd as a child and doesn't believe he could have killed his beautiful wife and speculates it might have been the wife's former jealous fiancé who was jilted.
The man decides to spend the night in the bedroom to see if he can commune with Muriel's spirit and discover the truth. He then reveals he is actually Harboyd himself and his memory of the incident is a blank and wants to find out the truth about what happened - he carries a revolver to protect himself.
Listening outside the bedroom Mrs Parks hears Harboyd talking, mainly to himself, and then suddenly he starts to remember and screams in horror when he realises it was him after all - then a shot rings out. Mrs Parks goes in and finds Harboyd dead and on the dusty floorboards she sees a newly laid footprint of a woman's bare right foot with one toe missing!
|Starring:||Peter Vaughan (as The Man), Rosalie Crutchley (as The Housekeeper)|
|Based on stories by Ambrose Bierce and A.M. Burrage|
|Writer: John Kruse / Director: Sidney Hayers / Producer: George H. Brown|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 85 mins|
|Pub landlord Jim Radford and his family have just attended the funeral of their youngest daughter Jenny. She had been murdered by a local pervert with a penchant for little girls and their only consolation is the man responsible is in police custody. But soon after their return Jim's friend Harry has some disturbing news - the detained man Seeley has been released due to insufficient evidence. Harry is just as furious as Jim because his young daughter was also murdered by the same sex killer. Jim and Harry and Jim's son Lee are determined that Seeley won't get away with it - they have no doubt in their minds that it was him and they decide they should abduct him and force a confession out of him and then meet out their own justice. If in the unlikely event he is innocent they will let him go.
The three of them watch Seeley's daily activities - he is a hermit-like character - he only goes out once a day to the shops always taking the long way round and stopping outside the infants' school to watch the little girls at playtime. His very behaviour reeks of suspicion and predatory behaviour towards young girls. So next evening they snatch Seeley on his way home as dusk is setting in and bundle him down into the pub basement. Jim's wife Carol gets involved as well when she hears the noise and all four of them lay into Seeley beating him up until finally Jim snaps and throttles him and seemingly kills him. The four of them are shocked by their actions but know that Seeley deserved no less - they make plans on how to dispose of the body - but later when they come to move him he is found to still be alive but very weak. Now they are faced with a dilemma - any confession would be useless given his state and they would be the ones arrested for grievous assault and attempted murder. The best thing to do would be to kill him and dispose of the body as they had planned - but none of them can bring themselves to do it and they decide to wait until the next day and hope he dies of his injuries.
But Seeley survives and they have to keep him a prisoner in the basement while pub business goes on as normal while they decide what to do. Meanwhile the situation they find themselves in causes all sorts of family tensions and arguments that is blamed on Seeley who has become a pathetic figure tied up in the basement. Lee becomes so preoccupied with worry that his relationship with his girlfriend Rose is ruined; and Jim's young teenage daughter Jill is bemused by all the tension until she discovers what they have been keeping from her and she walks out to go and stay with a friend.
After two days of their prisoner's incarceration the family has come apart and Carol leaves with her stepson Lee (whom she has become a little too friendly with) leaving Jim alone. Harry phones and tells Jim the latest news he's read that the police have arrested someone else for the murders who is currently helping them with their enquiries.
Jim realises what a huge mistake he has made and brings Seeley up from the basement and starts treating him with apologetic kindness hoping he'll understand the reason behind the terrible thing they have done to him and offers to give him some money in compensation. Seeley appears very uncommunicative and is still in shock at his ordeal but accepts Jim's hospitality and the next morning is still there. Jim goes out to buy him a gift hoping that Seeley will let the matter rest and not go to the police on the matter of his abduction and brutal treatment. But in the newsagents Jim reads the latest on the police case - the second man has been released without charge and the police are still searching for the perpetrator. Jim rushes home and hears a scream from the kitchen and finds Seeley in the process of sexually assaulting one of Jill's young school friends who had come round to walk to school with her. So Seeley was the right man all along - Jim pulls him off and in his fury at the man who murdered his little girl he stabs Seeley to death with a kitchen knife and then makes a call to the police to turn himself in.
|Starring:||James Booth (as Jim Radford), Joan Collins (as Carol Radford, wife), Ray Barrett (as Harry, friend), Tom Marshall (as Lee Radford, son)|
|Featuring:||Zuleika Robson (as Jill Radford, daughter), Sinéad Cusack (as Rose, Lee's girlfriend), Kenneth Griffith (as Seely, suspect), Donald Morley (as Detective Inspector), Barry Andrews (as Detective Sergeant)|
|Familiar Faces:||Geoffrey Hughes (Brewery Delivery Man)|
|Tom Marshall and Zuleika Robson both receive "introducing" credits.|
|Writer: Jimmy Sangster (with Hurford Janes) / Director: Terence Fisher / Producer: Anthony Hinds|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 86 mins|
|(Following on from the events of the previous film). It is 1860 in Germany and Baron Frankenstein is headed for the guillotine for the brutal murders committed by the creature he created. The blade falls and the country believes Frankenstein dead unaware that the Baron made a secret deal with a hunchback prison worker called Karl who agreed to help him escape in return for the Baron's medical help.
It is three years later in the town of Carlsbruck where a new doctor called Doctor Stein (whom we can see is Baron Frankenstein) has set up a successful practice for rich clients. Members of the local medical council are beginning to feel aggrieved that Stein is taking their best paying clients from them while steadfastly refusing to join the council himself. They send a deposition to ask him to join but Stein tells them that when he first came to town he asked for membership but was refused and was therefore forced to go it alone - so he fails to see why he should now join their council which he considers is set up to dissuade competition. One junior council member called Doctor Hans Kleve stays behind and speaks to Dr Stein privately. He has recognised him as being Victor Frankenstein but rather than report him he wishes to become his apprentice and learn from the man he considers to be the finest medical brain in the world.
Dr Stein agrees and shows Hans around his lab where he is continuing his experimentations. He has created a human being from body parts taken from the recently dead at the poor hospital where he does volunteer work. All Dr Stein needs is a live human brain to complete the new being and as part of his bargain of three years beforehand it is his hunchback assistant Karl who is to have his brain transferred into the new perfect body. Karl's current body is damaged and in addition to his hunch his right arm is dead. Dr Stein has previously tested out the procedure on animals and has met with success.
With Hans' assistance Dr Stein carries out the procedure and transfers Karl's brain into the new body. They then take him to the hospital and install him in a private room so that they can properly monitor his recovery. Karl's new body seems to be working fine and he can move both his arms. As Karl recovers his strength he learns that he will be considered a medical miracle and will be the subject of much medical interest and that Dr Stein has plans to present him at medical conferences. Karl finds this idea of being a curiosity not to his liking because what he wanted from this operation was the chance to have a normal life without being considered a freak and so when he has sufficiently recovered he absconds. He goes back to the lab and puts his preserved original body in the furnace so that Stein will have no "before" body to display. The janitor comes in and challenges him and a fight ensues in which Karl is hurt and splashed with chemicals - something snaps inside Karl's mind and the muscle memory of his brain begins to exert a similar influence on the deportment of his new body by disabling one arm and causing him to walk in a hunched manner. Karl has now gone mad and he attacks and kills a girl in a park. Karl eventually confronts Dr Stein at a society party and calls him by his true name of "Frankenstein" before collapsing and dying.
The name of "Frankenstein" is hated and feared and despite Dr Stein trying to claim he is not that infamous Frankenstein and only altered his name to avoid the stigma associated with it, he is not believed and the patients at the poor hospital attack him leaving him badly injured. Hans carries him to their lab but cannot save his life and so he uses the surgical skills he learnt while assisting with Dr Stein's operation on Karl to remove Dr Stein's brain and transfer it to a second body that Stein had already prepared for his next experiment. The authorities come to arrest Frankenstein but are satisfied when Hans shows them his dead body.
In an epilogue we move forward a few months to Harley Street in London where a "Dr Franck" has set up a practice and we see that Dr Frankenstein in his new body has started up his medical practice once more with the assistance of Hans with his scars starting to heal nicely.
|Comment: The end scene is a little confusing in that the "new" Dr Frankenstein has Peter Cushing's face although the body is quite clearly the new one because a large telltale tattoo can be seen on the arm which we were shown as being a feature of the new body. So either Hans replaced Frankenstein's brain back into his original body after the police had left and did some other surgery as well to move the arm across, or perhaps the more likely alternative that it is a piece of visual poetic license to show the viewer that it is the same mind behind the face.|
|Starring:||Peter Cushing (as Dr Victor Stein), Francis Matthews (as Dr Hans Kleve), Michael Gwynn (as Karl, after operation), Oscar Quitak (as Karl, before operation)|
|Featuring:||Eunice Gayson (as Margaret Conrad, society woman doing volunteer work at poor hospital), John Welsh (as Bergman, hospital janitor), Charles Lloyd Pack (as President of the Medical Council), Margery Gresley (as Countess Barscynska, rich society woman), Anna Walmsley (as Vera, countess' daughter), Michael Ripper (as Grave Robber)|
|Starlets:||Avril Leslie (as Gerda, victim of Karl's rampage)|
|This is the second of Hammer's Frankenstein movies. The previous one was The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and the next one was The Evil of Frankenstein (1964). The events of the first two movies are within the same continuity - although for the third film certain things are reset and don't follow on directly from the way this film concluded.|
|Writers: Frank Waldman, Ron Clark, Blake Edwards / Director/Producer: Blake Edwards|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 92 mins|
|A French crime syndicate headed by Philippe Douvier is keen on securing a major drugs deal with their American counterparts. But the Mafia need convincing that Douvier is still a major player before they agree to doing business. So to demonstrate his firm's credentials Douvier orders the assassination of the world famous French detective Jacques Clouseau who is now a Chief Inspector. Clouseau has a formidable reputation the world over after having solved many high-profile cases. The underworld fear him and are convinced that his bumbling manner is just a façade to cause his opponents to underestimate him. Little do they know that his clumsy blundering is not a deception and Clouseau only solves his cases with fluky fortune.
After several failed attempts on Clouseau's life the killers are finally able report success to their boss when they manage to blow Clouseau's car up on a quiet country road. However it was not Clouseau in the car but a thief who had earlier hijacked the detective's car and stolen his clothes. But the world believes Clouseau to be dead and Douvier celebrates his success and makes arrangements for the drugs shipment with the now satisfied Americans.
Clouseau meanwhile decides to take advantage of his supposed death and remain incognito while trying to discover who was trying to kill him. He meets Simone Legree who was Douvier's secretary and mistress until she was fired in acrimonious circumstances. Because she knows all Douvier's secrets her ex-boss now considers her to be a danger and she has also become a target of his hired killers. She tells Clouseau that Douvier is the French Connection and informs him where the meeting is taking place with the American mafia boss.
Clouseau adopts the disguise of a mafia godfather and meets Douvier pretending to be his contact in order to discover the method by which the drugs are being imported. Once Clouseau discovers what he needs to know his disguise is rumbled and he is chased into a fireworks warehouse by the villains and a shoot out ensues. This sets off the fireworks in a fiery conclusion and the mobsters are all rounded up and arrested by the police.
Clouseau's survival is revealed to the world and he is once again hailed a hero for his astonishing achievement in foiling an international drug cartel operation and receives a decoration from the French president.
|Comment: A further plot element is Clouseau's former boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfuss, who has been committed to a mental institution having been sent insane by Clouseau's ineptitude in previous films. But when he hears the joyous news about Clouseau's death he instantly recovers and is released from his confinement to resume his job. But he starts to go off the rails again when he keeps seeing men who look like Clouseau in disguise (who are actually Clouseau).|
|Starring:||Peter Sellers (as Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau), Herbert Lom (as ex-Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus), Burt Kwouk (as Cato Fong, Clouseau's manservant), Dyan Cannon (as Simone Legree, Douvier's secretary), Robert Webber (as Philippe Douvier, head of French Syndicate)|
|Featuring:||Douglas Wilmer (as New Police Commissioner), Tony Beckley (as Guy Algo, Douvier's right-hand man), Paul Stewart (as Julio Scallini, American mafia boss), Andre Maranne (as Sgt François Chevalier, Commissioner's assistant), Graham Stark (as Auguste Balls, costumier), Sue Lloyd (as Claude Russo, criminal female impersonator), Ferdy Mayne (as Dr Paul Laprone, asylum doctor), Elizabeth Wilcox (as Mrs Wu, brothel Madame), Adrienne Corri (as Douvier's wife)|
|Familiar Faces:||Alfie Bass (as Fernet, doc walker), Henry McGee, as French police officer), Andrew Sachs (as Hospital patient who thinks he is Hercule Poirot)|
|Starlets:||Valerie Leon (as Tanya, brothel girl)|
|Despite the film's title referring to the "Pink Panther" the story does not feature the Pink Panther diamond which had been the stolen object in some of the earlier films. Dreyfuss appears in this film even though it seemed he was categorically killed in the previous film (by being disintegrated), with no explanation of how he survived.|
|This was the fifth and final proper Inspector Clouseau film starring Peter Sellers. The previous film was The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976). However there were two further films made after Sellers' death that continued the series with some of the same co-stars. These were Trail of the Pink Panther (1982) (which interwove new scenes with unused scenes from earlier films that featured Sellers in order to tell the story of his disappearance) and Curse of the Pink Panther (1983) (which continued the story of the hunt for Clouseau but did not feature any footage of Peter Sellers himself).|
|Writers: Tony Maylam, John Bailey / Director: Tony Maylam / Producer: Drummond Challis|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 98 mins|
|Set in 1901 in the waters around Germany's Frisian Islands on the North Sea coastline. English yachtsman Arthur Davies is sailing amongst the islands re-charting the passages through the shifting sandbanks for the Admiralty charts. He is in the same locale as a larger German yacht called Medusa and is invited aboard for dinner where he meets the owner Herr Dollmann and his charming daughter Clara. Davies gets the distinct impression he is being gently probed about his reasons for being in the area and tactfully urged to leave soon by Dollmann and their dinner companion Commandant Von Brüning, head of mainland customs.
Davies gets the feeling that something decidedly odd is going on and so he invites his friend Charles Carruthers to join him for a holiday. Carruthers works for the foreign office and becomes intrigued by the story that Davies tells him. It emerges that Dollmann is trying to salvage some gold bullion from a sunken Napoleonic ship but Davies and Carruthers cannot understand why the two of them are considered a threat to that endeavour as the veiled warnings to stay away continue.
The two Englishmen land on one of the islands to do some duck shooting and are surprised to see a group of important looking Germans arrive at a remote brickworks factory. Davies sneaks in to look around and discovers the factory is manufacturing barges. The Germans are looking at maps of the North Sea coastline of Eastern England. It turns out that the Germans have realised that England's east coast is undefended and have hatched a plan to tow thousands of barges across the North Sea and mount a surprise invasion with 100,000 troops and take over an unprepared England. Dollmann is discovered to be a former British naval officer - but Davies and Carruthers can't be sure if he is a double agent working for the British to uncover this plot or a traitor helping the Germans.
The Kaiser arrives to personally oversee a trial run of a fully troop laden barge. Carruthers gets aboard the Kaiser's vessel and discovers more details about the plot. He gets away but the Germans are on to him and know he and Davies must be eliminated to stop them warning the British authorities.
Davies and Carruthers board the Medusa to confront Dollmann and find out if he is an agent or traitor. It turns out he is a traitor and tries to kill them but Davies manages to get a shot at him first. Dollmann is wounded and needs urgent medical help so the Englishmen allow him to leave in Davies smaller yacht whilst they use the Medusa to make a faster getaway. When the Kaiser's vessel catches up to Davies' yacht they ram it thinking they will be killing the Englishmen but instead kill Dollmann and his wife. Clara had decided to remain aboard the Medusa with Davies and Carruthers and shows them where her father kept his charts and documents and they return to England and report the plot to the Admiralty. As a consequence the essential element of surprise is lost and so the Kaiser calls off the invasion - and only a handful of people ever knew about what might have been.
|Starring:||Michael York (as Charles Carruthers), Simon MacCorkindale (as Arthur Davies), Jenny Agutter (as Clara, Dollman's daughter)|
|Featuring:||Alan Badel (as Dollmann), Jurgen Andersen (as Von Brüning, German commandant), Michael Sheard (as Böhme, German official)|
|From the novel by Erskine Childers|
|Writers: Jack Couffer, Bill Travers / Director: Jack Couffer / Producer: Joseph Strick|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 102 mins|
|Graham Merrill works in a financial institution in London but is fed up by his job with everything becoming ever more computerised. One day while passing a pet shop he sees an otter in the window display which he becomes intrigued by. Every time he passes the shop he feels that the otter singles him out for attention and always knows when he is there and has in some way "chosen" him. He feels a special bond has developed between them and eventually can resist no longer and buys the animal. He takes it home to his apartment as his pet - he names the otter Mijbil after an Arab Sheik which soon gets shortened to "Mij".
Graham soon has his hands full looking after the lively creature in a not too otter-friendly environment and he decides it is high time for a complete change in his life. He gives up his job and buys a remote cottage in the village of Camusfearna situated in the Scottish Highlands. Here he intends to utilise the peace and quiet to write a book about the Marsh Arabs based on his personal knowledge of when he travelled in Arabia. The environment is ideal for Mij with a burn (small stream) virtually surrounding the location (the "Ring of Bright Water" of the title) giving the otter plenty of natural exercise and food source. Mij is very domesticated and lives with Graham having his own "cat-flap" to come and go as he pleases.
Graham has so much to do with home-improvements that he finds scant time or inclination to get on with his book and he and Mij just enjoy living in the idyllic surroundings. He soon meets Mary MacKenzie the village doctor who has an affinity for animals herself and the two of them become good friends although not romantically so.
As winter approaches the burn stops providing for Mij and one day he goes missing while scouting further afield and meeting a wild female otter in the nearby loch. Graham becomes ever so concerned by his absence and he and Mary go looking for him. They follow a lead from a lighthouse keeper who says he saw an otter pair swimming together out towards an offshore island. Eventually Graham and Mary find Mij washed up on the remote island a bit worse for wear after being caught up in some fishing nets - but he makes a full recovery and thereafter does not stray too far away from sight of Graham.
When Graham has to go back to London for a week on some business Mary agrees to look after Mij. But tragedy strikes when Mij is killed by a road mender thinking him to be an unwelcome pest. Graham returns to the sad news and goes through a period of bereft dejection at the loss of his faithful pet. He tries to throw himself into his book but comes to the conclusion that he really ought to go back to Arabia to write it properly and starts making tentative preparations to leave. Then on the beach he sees a female otter leading three pups as they make their way to his burn to swim which he finds intriguing and then recalls that Mij was seen with another otter that day he went missing and comes to the conclusion that these are Mij's offspring. This development gives Graham new inspiration and he abandons all thought of leaving and starts writing again but switches subjects to a story about Mij which he calls "Ring of Bright Water".
|Starring:||Bill Travers (as Graham Merrill), Virginia McKenna (as Mary MacKenzie)|
|Featuring:||Peter Jeffrey (as Colin Wilcox, Graham's London friend)|
|Familiar Faces:||Tommy Godfrey (as Rail Ticket seller)|
|Based on the book by Gavin Maxwell.|
|Writer/Director: Peter Karp / Executive Producer: Piero Amati|
|Type: Horror||Running Time: 87 mins|
|Set in modern day Italy. Carlotta Rhodes is mother to a 13-year-old girl called Daria whose personality has recently undergone a drastic change. Before Daria was born, Carlotta had been a member of a satanic cult. She engaged in an initiation ritual with the personification of Lucifer and became pregnant with Daria when she submitted to him believing it would raise her above ordinary mortals. But there was a terrible price to pay because after that day she was unable to have relationships with normal men. Carlotta denounced the devil, but now she believes the dark lord is taking his revenge upon her through Daria who has become aware of her satanic heritage and has begun to exhibit special abilities. Daria has taken to speaking curtly towards ordinary people whom she considers weak and useless and to whom she considers herself superior.
Carlotta has several friends from the same cult who all went through similar experiences and have regretted their actions ever since. Carlotta seeks their help with Daria who now believes she is the devil's heir and will not betray him as her mother did. Daria makes preparations to take her place as an initiant in the next satanic rite. Carlotta is determined to save Daria from this fate and seeks help from a disillusioned priest who manages to impede the ceremony enough to deter Lucifer from taking Daria as his lover.
However the danger to Daria has not passed. So Carlotta decides she must personally perform a dangerous ritual to save Daria and return her to normal. Daria mocks her mother's attempts at dark magic and plays along with the ritual because she knows herself to have superior abilities. And she is correct - Daria's power is the greater and she destroys her mother by turning the ritual against her. Daria then sets out into the world with a supreme confidence and an ability to control weak humans with the power of her mind as she heads into the city. THE END.
|Starring:||Anne Heywood (as Carlotta Rhodes), Lara Wendel (as Daria, Carlotta's daughter), Valentina Cortese (as Eleanor Merrill, Carlotta's friend and Daria's schoolteacher)|
|Featuring:||Marisa Mell (as Agatha, Carlotta's friend), Irene Papas (as Rafaella, Carlotta's friend), Ian Bannen (as The Professor), John Phillip Law (as Priest), Ezio Miani (as Lucifer)|
|Star-Turns:||Frank Finlay (as Paul, Carlotta's friend)|
|Director: James C. Katz|
|Type: Documentary||Running Time: 40 mins|
|Fly-on-the-wall type documentary about British women who become striptease dancers. It features interviews with them in which they explain how they started and why they do it and shows them performing their routines in pubs and clubs. Some do it for the glamour hoping it might help them break into movies or modelling as it seems like a part of show business - others because it pays good money. It also features a woman who runs a course teaching women how to take off their clothes erotically without looking awkward and clumsy. Others interviewed talk about the ingredients that go into making a successful stripper - personality and sex appeal.
The final part of the film concentrates on a male stripper at hen parties and discovers how he approaches his job which differs markedly from the way a female stripper is perceived by introducing a comedic element into his act.
|Comment: Names are rarely used in the film but presumably the male stripper at the end is meant to be "Ivor Dickie". However quite why the film is given the title it has remains unclear since it is not especially about him and although he is perhaps the single most featured individual, the women strippers feature more overall - perhaps the hope was to make it sound like it was a sex-comedy type film (?) which were very popular at that time.|
Women: Anne Robertson, Carmen Sinclair, Diana Halliday, Danielle Molineaux, Jacqueline Clare, Judy Little, Kim Delmar, Kim Kinnie, Mandy Goldman, Maria Lopez, Tanya Birkland, Tracy Kildare
Anna Raeburn (Expert being interviewed)
Men: Donald Ward, Lee Martin, Rick Tame, Robert Channell-Mills, Ivor Dickie, Mike Brown
|The film was released on video as a companion feature to the 1973 quasi docu-drama film about prostitution called On The Game|
|The film does not feature on IMDB (Last checked: February 2007) and the film itself has no credits (other than the film's title) and no identifying on-screen captions giving names of interviewees. The credits shown above (including the director's name) were found on an online site that held information about pre-certification video releases - but where the information hails from (or its accuracy) is not known. One stripper is called Maria Lopez which tallies with the information found (and is therefore the only one who can be positively indicated as having nudity) - and another was called "Kim" (although there are two "Kim's" shown). Assuming the names are correctly of the on-screen participators then probably quite a lot of the female names must have been the strippers - but not all of them. It is a British made film and all the interviewees speak with British accents.|
|Writers: Peter Cook, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Kevin Billington / Director: Kevin Billington / Producer: Harry Fine|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 97 mins|
|A man called Michael Rimmer arrives at an advertising and opinion poll agency called Fairburn's. He confidently walks around with a clipboard making observations and notes and everyone up to and including the inept managing director Mr Ferret assumes he has been sent by the company chairman in an official capacity. In fact Rimmer has no business being there but when he takes his findings to the absent-minded chairman he manages to convince him that he has been commissioned to perform the study. Rimmer's report on Ferret's abilities is scathing and Mr Fairburn is persuaded that Rimmer would be a better choice to head his firm.
Now installed as Managing Director Michael Rimmer proceeds to raise Fairburn's profile by commissioning a nationwide sex survey. The results garner national interest and Rimmer appears on chat shows to discuss it which raises his own public profile. Next Rimmer head-hunts an executive called Peter Niss from a rival polling firm and uses his inside knowledge to destroy the other firm's polling credibility and enhance the reputation of Fairburn's which have now become the only game in town.
Rimmer is employed by Conservative leader Tom Hutchison, currently in opposition, to improve his media profile and presentation skills. Rimmer stage-manages events to raise Hutchison's public popularity and make the current Labour Prime Minister appear to be a fool. In return Rimmer accepts the offer of being given the opportunity to contend as a Conservative candidate in the next General Election. Rimmer realises he needs to find himself a wife to give his candidacy a veneer of respectability and so he woos and marries Patricia Cartwright, a national celebrity horsewoman voted the second most popular girl in Britain (after the Queen).
At the General Election the Conservatives win and Tom Hutchison becomes the Prime Minister. Rimmer wins his seat and becomes an MP and quickly manages to use his influence with Hutchison to gain the top cabinet position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. The previous administration had left Britain's finances in a sorry state and Rimmer persuades Hutchison to authorise a covert mission to steal gold from vaults in Switzerland. This gold is then passed off by Britain as coming from a newly discovered rich vein of undersea North Sea gold. To celebrate the "find" the Prime Minister visits the sea rig - but while holding a block of gold aloft for the press he falls off the rig into the sea and drowns in a horrific accident (actually Michael Rimmer secretly pushed him while seemingly making an attempt to stop him from overbalancing).
As the most popular MP, Rimmer is elected the new party leader and hence becomes the new Prime Minister. His first policy decision is to transform the workings of government by making every decision subject to public referendum. Each morning every household in the country receives reams of confounding paperwork asking for verdicts on every minute detail which takes them all day to complete. The public soon tire of this burden and rebel and so Michael Rimmer proposes one final referendum to install him as a president which would mean no one would ever have to vote again. The public are so fed up with all the incessant voting that they jump at this opportunity and vote away their democratic rights. And so Michael Rimmer becomes the perpetual president of Britain.
|Starring:||Peter Cook (as Michael Rimmer), Denholm Elliott (as Peter Niss), Arthur Lowe (as Mr Ferret, managing director of Fairburn's advertising firm), Ronald Fraser (as Tom Hutchison, leader of the opposition), Vanessa Howard (as Patricia Cartwright, Rimmer's girlfriend/wife)|
|Featuring:||George A. Cooper (Blocket, Labour prime minister), Elspeth March (as Ferret's wife), Harold Pinter (as Steven Hench, chat show host), Norman Bird (as By-Election returning officer), Graham Crowden (as Bishop of Cowley), Richard Pearson (as Hugh Wilting, MP), Michael Bates and Diana Coupland (as Mr and Mrs Spimm, referendum couple)|
|Familiar Faces:||John Cleese (Fairburn's employee) James Cossins (Fairburn's employee), Graham Chapman (Fairburn client) , Dennis Price (as Mr Fairburn, Company owner), Ronnie Corbett (as survey pollster), Frank Thornton (as TV Election show pundit)|
|Starlets:||Valerie Leon (as Tanya, Ferret's secretary), Ann Beach (as Fairburn's Receptionist), Marilyn Rickard (as Girl in Humbug commercial), Rosalie Westwater (as Tart being polled)|
|Writer: Eric Chappell / Director: Joe McGrath / Producer: Roy Skeggs|
|Type: Sitcom Spin-off||Running Time: 93 mins|
|Rigsby is the live-in landlord at a boarding house whose various tenants he cannot leave in peace. He is continually barging into their rooms unannounced to have a chat and poke his nose into their affairs to give his unasked for opinions and advice. Rigsby is a bundle of nervous energy and comes across to others as being very seedy and his lodgers tolerate him but don't really like him. Upstairs he has two students who share a room - one is a black medical student whose posh cultured accent and worldly wise knowledge always uneases Rigsby who believes him to be the son of an African chief - although he can never be sure because the students are forever playing tricks on him by good-naturedly taking advantage of his gullibility. The other is an art student called John, inexperienced in the ways of women, and a new arrival to the house. Downstairs lives Miss Ruth Jones who is the focus of Rigsby romantic attentions although it is purely a one-way thing. She is a lovelorn spinster living alone and Rigsby is forever trying to find ways of getting Miss Jones to become romantically involved with him but she has her sights set higher and always thwarts his efforts.
There are many mini-incidents that make up the film as Rigsby tries to woo Miss Jones once more - but the main story is that Rigsby wants to rent a spare room to a higher class of lodger and advertises it. It is rented by one Charles Seymour of whom Rigsby is very impressed - his public school attitude and stories of being a Battle of Britain pilot mark him out as such a man of breeding and refinement that Rigsby even waives his normal requirements for rent money in advance. It turns out that Seymour is a con-man and is hoping to use his charm to persuade Miss Jones to hand over her post office savings to him as he makes spurious plans for them to run off and be together - a line that the love-susceptible Miss Jones has fallen for - and it takes Rigsby and the other lodgers' help to expose him and show her what Seymour was really after.
|Comments: This was the final outing for Rigsby and Co. Some character developments made near the end are that Miss Jones discovers Rigsby's first name is "Rupert" (whether this was known in the series I'm not sure but she didn't know it) and Rigsby discovers the long standing tease-story of Philip being an African Prince is untrue - something that the con-expert Seymour saw through and exposed.|
|Starring:||Leonard Rossiter (as Rigsby), Frances De La Tour (as Miss Jones), Don Warrington (as Philip), Christopher Strauli (as John), Denholm Elliott (as Seymour)|
|Familiar Faces:||Glynn Edwards (as Sandra's father), Derek Griffiths (Boxing referee)|
|Starlets:||Carrie Jones (as Sandra, John's girlfriend)|
|Based on the popular ITV sitcom that ran for 28 episodes from 1974 to 1978. This film revived the characters after the series was over with the same actors playing the parts. Richard Beckinsale who played Alan in the series had unfortunately passed away by this time so, assuming he would have been in it, his role effectively became the one Christopher Strauli played.|
|aka: The Night Digger|
|Writer: Roald Dahl / Director: Alastair Reid / Producers: Alan D. Courtney, Norman S. Powell|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 97 mins|
|Maura Prince is a spinster in her late 40s who lives with her blind mother Edith in their large old house "The Towers". Maura is a speech therapist at a hospital helping stoke victims learn to speak again although her obligations to her mother's care means she can only work two hours a day. Maura herself suffered a stroke twenty years or so ago and Edith looked after her then and she now feels obligated to look after her mother despite her being awkward, quarrelsome and bossy. Edith takes a perverse pleasure in keeping Maura on a tight leash and making decisions that seem designed to try her daughter's patience.
So when a young man comes round answering an advert for a handyman position whom Maura deems unsuitable, Edith decides to hire him and he is given board and lodgings in exchange for general house maintenance and garden work. The man is called Billy Jarvis and he arrived on his motorbike with little in the way of personal possessions. His story is that he lived with his disabled mother who died in a house fire from which he was unable save her and he has been on the road for the last three months labouring in a work-gang laying new roads. He has taken this job at The Towers because he dislikes large numbers of people.
Billy is personable and hard working and is proving to be a great help. When Edith insists Billy go with them to church on Sunday he tries to get out of it but in the end has to go for fear that she might sack him otherwise. At the church he is very uncomfortable and sullen. He spots a young woman there and on exit he notes she is a teacher at Meadowbrook Nursery school. That night he visits her house and kills her in her bedroom - then he straps her up to his motorbike and drives her to a road construction site where he buries her in a prepared lane that the next day is to be concreted over. Next day the missing teacher is the local headlines news. Police say there is evidence of a struggle in her bedroom but no sign of her body. Just like six previous cases over the last three months - none of whose bodies or whereabouts have ever been found although fingerprints at the abduction scenes show it is the same man each time.
Flashbacks show the root of the problem being humiliation Billy suffered as a younger lad when, unable to perform in bed, the women he was with ridiculed and humiliated him for his inadequacy. His problem seems to be that whenever he sees a young woman he has to kill her which is why he has taken the job at the older women's house to keep himself away from such contact. But he can't avoid all contact and yet another killing takes place when a young nurse comes round to look in on Edith.
Meanwhile Maura has come to grow close to Billy and empathises with the mental anguish he seems to be suffering as he fights to combat his urges although she can only guess what it is he does. She declares her love for him and says she will look after him. She tells her mother she is leaving and she and Billy go to live at a lonely secluded farmhouse on a cliff-top by the sea with no one else for miles around.
They live happily for a period as he works at the farm and she runs any errands required in town. But one day on her way home she meets a young woman looking for her dog who says she has just been to the farmhouse to ask the man there as well. Soon after Billy rides up to Maura on his bike looking very tortured - meeting this young woman has obviously triggered his compulsions once again - he and Maura exchange meaningful knowing looks and then he drives off the cliff edge killing himself to avoid the inevitable.
|Comment: The ending is not terribly clear as to why he drives off the cliff - and the above summarisation is merely my interpretation of what I thought it could be.|
|Starring:||Patricia Neal (as Maura Prince), Pamela Brown (as Edith, her Mother), Nicholas Clay (as Billy Jarvis)|
|Featuring:||Jean Anderson, Graham Crowden|
|Familiar Faces:||Yootha Joyce, Peter Sallis|
|Starlets:||Brigit Forsyth, Diana Patrick, Jenny McCracken, Sibylla Kay|
|Based on the novel Nest in a Falling Tree by Joy Cowley.|
|Nicholas Clay receives an "introducing" credit.|
|Writers: Edward Boyd, Peter Yates, George Markstein / Director: Peter Yates / Producers: Michael Deeley, Stanley Baker|
|Type: Crime Drama||Running Time: 108 mins|
|A highly organised gang of robbers led by a man called Paul Clifton set about with an ambitious and audacious plot to rob the London to Glasgow Royal Mail night train while it is carrying hundreds of sacks of cash to restock the Scottish banks.
The main ringleaders steal some jewels from a diamond merchant to fund the operation's overheads and then recruit key personnel to help them carry out the meticulously worked out plan. This even involves springing one man from a prison whose expertise is required.
The police suspect that something big is being planned when they notice the increased activity of known underworld figures but have no idea that the crime of the century is about to be committed. The plan goes into operation one night like a highly efficient military operation with the mail train stopped at a falsified red signal and boarded - all without use of guns which Clifton is very particular about as that would triple their sentence if they were caught. It all goes to plan and they get away with several million pounds.
They hide away in an underground bunker beneath an abandoned airfield to lay low and count and divide the cash. The police are led to the general area by a reckless phone call that the escaped convict tried to make to his wife and they search the airport grounds but still fail to find them.
They are eventually caught when a scrap metal yard worker who was paid a sizeable fee to mind the fleet of getaway vans for the gang is caught when he tries to leave the country with a bag of cash - and when the gang come to pick up their vans the police are waiting. Only Paul Clifton evades capture and escapes after changing his appearance and flees to America with access to his share of the cash which he had earlier had flown out of the country on a private plane.
|Comment: Although the names are different, this film is probably inspired by the real life Great Train Robbery although I'm not sure how closely the details of this film may or may not follow those real events.|
|Starring:||Stanley Baker (as Paul Clifton), James Booth (as Inspector George Langdon), Barry Foster (as Frank, gang member), William Marlowe (as Dave Aitken, gang member), Frank Finlay (as Robinson, gang member)|
|Featuring:||Joanna Pettet (as Kate Clifton, Paul's wife), Glyn Edwards (as Police Chief)|
(other gang members) Clinton Greyn (as Jack), George Sewell (as Ben), Michael McStay (as Don)
|Familiar Faces:||(all cameo roles) Robert Powell (as Mail train's co-driver), Mike Pratt (as Informant at Railway Station), Frank Williams (as Inside man at prison helping Robinson escape)|
|Based on a story treatment by Gerald Wilson|
|Writer: James Goldman / Director: Richard Lester / Producer: Denis O'Dell|
|Type: Adventure||Running Time: 102 mins|
|This review assumes a certain familiarity with the basic Robin Hood story and characters
Robin Hood and his faithful companion Little John have been in the Holy Land for twenty years fighting in the Crusades alongside King Richard. But now the war is over and they decide to return home to Nottingham. They are aware that the years have taken their toll and they are no longer the young adventurers they had been when they left.
Much has changed in Sherwood, but other things have stayed the same. The Sheriff is still in charge although he has mellowed somewhat displaying a grudging respect for his old rival and seems willing to let bygones be bygones. However the Sheriff is being pressurised by a representative of King John called Sir Ranulf into stamping down on certain religious practices with the arrest of the local abbess.
That abbess is Maid Marian, the former sweetheart of Robin Hood. She had been so upset by Robin's abrupt departure twenty years ago she tried to kill herself and was brought to the abbey where she remained as a nun and eventually became the abbess.
Robin Hood is forced back into action to save Marian and he reforms his band of merry men in Sherwood Forest. Robin's bravery is well-remembered and he has no trouble finding new recruits. Robin and Marian renew their romance and make plans to rebuild their former home in the forest. She hopes he can at last settle down and they can live out their lives in happy contentment.
But Sir Ranulf will not let matters lie and brings a small army of King John's men to the outskirts of the forest - an action the sheriff is obliged to support. A stalemate is reached:- the king's men cannot enter the forest because they will be easily ambushed by Robin's men - and Robin's band of followers are too few in number to leave the forest and engage the soldiers.
Robin proposes a solution - a battle of champions between himself and the Sheriff. If the Sheriff wins Robin's men will disband, and if Robin wins the army will withdraw and leave them to live in peace. The fight between the two ageing men begins, both of them highly skilled swordsmen and so evenly matched that neither can gain an upper hand. Both suffer wounds and start to tire but neither will yield. Eventually Robin manages to get a lucky thrust in and kills the Sheriff. Sir Ranulf refuses to abide by the terms of the contest and orders an attack and a battle begins. Robin is badly injured and Marian takes him back to the monastery. She knows he will never be at peace and will forever be trying to fight the good fight. So she decides to end it all for both of them - she drinks some medicinal wine and he follows suit - but it is poisoned and he realises too late what she has done to ensure they will be at peace together evermore. He fires his arrow out of the window and tells Little John to bury them together wherever it lands.
|Comment: The ending is a bit unexpected and I can't say I totally understood Marian's reasons for doing what she did unless Robin's wounds were so bad he was going to die anyway.|
|Starring:||Sean Connery (as Robin Hood), Audrey Hepburn (as Marian), Nicol Williamson (as Little John), Robert Shaw (as Sheriff of Nottingham)|
|Featuring:||Denholm Elliott (as Will Scarlett), Ronnie Barker (as Friar Tuck), Kenneth Haigh (as Sir Ranulf, King John's representative), Bill Maynard (as Mercadier, King Richard's lieutenant), Esmond Knight (as Old Defender of Holy Land fort), Peter Butterworth (as King Richard's surgeon)|
|Star-Turns:||Richard Harris (as King Richard the Lionheart, [short prologue role]), Ian Holm (as King John, [small role])|
|Starlets:||Veronica Quilligan (as Sister Mary, nun), Victoria Abril (as Queen Isabella, King Richard's wife, [cameo role])|
|Writers: Jim Sharman, Richard O'Brien / Director: Jim Sharman / Producer: Michael White|
|Type: Musical / Sci-Fi||Running Time: 100 mins|
|Engaged couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss are travelling in Denton, USA when they get lost at night and their car breaks down. They call at a spooky looking manor house to use its phone and discover there is a party going on. The house's residents are all very outlandishly dressed and their bizarre host Dr Frank-N-Furter is wearing little else than a woman's black corset. Other occupants include the hunchback manservant Riff Raff and the maid Magenta.
Brad and Janet are invited to stay for the night and join in the celebrations at which Frank is just about to unveil the end-product of his bio-chemical research in which he says he has learnt the secret of creating life itself. His creation is a well-toned muscle man called Rocky Horror whom Frank finds very appealing and proposes to use as a sexual playmate. Brad and Janet are given separate bedrooms and both have late-night visits from Frank and fall for his strangely seductive bi-sexual charms. Later on Janet falls for the Adonis-like Rocky as well.
UFO expert Dr Von Scott turns up at the house looking for a missing relative (whom Frank had earlier imprisoned and killed as part of his experiments). It turns out that Dr Frank-N-Furter and the house's other assorted occupants are actually aliens from the planet of Transsexual in the constellation of Transylvania and the whole manor house is their spaceship. Frank imprisons the humans by turning them into statues and then later makes them perform a song and dance routine floor show dressed in Transsexual type clothing.
Then Riff Raff and Magenta reveal themselves as the ship's commanders and decide that Frank has gone too far and he must be taken prisoner and returned home. Frank resists capture and Riff Raff ends up killing both him and Rocky with a ray gun. Riff Raff then tells Brad, Janet and Dr Von Scott to leave quickly because the spaceship is about to leave. The three humans get away just in time and are left crawling around in the foggy night in a confused and traumatised state after their strange ordeal.
|Starring:||Tim Curry (as Dr Frank-N-Furter), Susan Sarandon (as Janet Weiss), Barry Bostwick (as Brad Majors), Richard O'Brien (as Riff Raff, hunchback manservant), Patricia Quinn (as Magenta, maid), Jonathan Adams (as Dr Everett Von Scott, UFO expert), Peter Hinwood (as Rocky Horror, muscle man creation of Frank-n-Furter)|
|Featuring:||Nell Campbell (as Columbia, guest, [credited as Little Nell]), Meatloaf (as Eddie, motorcyclist prisoner), Charles Gray (as on-screen narrator)|
|Based on the original musical play by Richard O'Brien|
|There was a sequel film called Shock Treatment (1981) which told the further adventures of Janet and Brad (played this time by Jessica Harper and Cliff De Young)|
|Writers: John Cleese, Robert Young / Director: Robert Young / Executive Producers: Ian Gordon, David King|
|Type: Comedy||Running Time: 40 mins|
|The daughter of a Russian Prince is becoming betrothed to a count and preparations are underway for the celebration ball later that day with the centrepiece being an orchestral performance. Smychkov is a travelling musician booked to play in the orchestra who arrives several hours early at the palace with his large double bass case. But he is not allowed in so early nor is he permitted to leave his instrument in safekeeping. So to pass the time Smychkov wanders the grounds with his large heavy instrument. He finds his way down to the river and because it is hot day takes off his clothes to go for a swim wearing only his top hat.
Further up stream the soon-to-be-married princess Costanza is relaxing by the river doing a spot of fishing and using an expensive piece of jewellery to weigh down her float. But the line snaps and she has to take off all her clothes and wade in to try and retrieve it. But while she is in the water a thief makes off with her clothes. The same thief then runs past where Smychkov is swimming and steals his clothes as well.
Whilst Smychkov is wondering what to do he sees the naked princess still wearing her tiara wandering along the bank. They greet and she asks him to help her get back to the palace although she insists he mustn't look at her while she's naked. So he removes his double bass and the princess gets inside the empty case which he then hauls through the woods on the way back to the palace. Along the way they make several rest stops where they get chatting and find they have things in common. She is learning to play an instrument too and she also confesses that she doesn't really want to marry the count for that would mean leaving her idyllic life here and going to live with him in Siberia.
Walking along a road Smychkov, still naked, has to put down the case and run for cover when a wagon approaches. The occupants are two fellow musicians arriving for the concert and they see him and say they'll take his double bass along to the palace for him and despite his protests they pick it up and take it with them with the princess still inside.
Smychkov then makes his way to the palace sneaking inside using his un-cased double bass as a cover to hide his modesty behind. He finds some ill-fitting clothes to wear and goes to his place in the orchestra where he finds his case left for him unopened with the princess still inside. He then, much to the other orchestra members bemusement, has to make several hasty exits from the room during rehearsals to purloin clothes from the princess's room which he then quickly bundles into the case without explanation to the other astonished musicians.
When Smychkov is apprehended for stealing the princess's belongings she emerges fully dressed and he is released. The princess gets on with her royal duties dancing with the count, whilst Smychkov plays in the orchestra - although throughout they only have eyes for each other.
And at the end of the day in the fading light by the palace walls they can be seen again both naked and playing their instruments - he playing his double bass and wearing her tiara and she playing her recorder in his top hat as they rekindle their fledgling friendship.
|Starring:||John Cleese (as Smychkov), Connie Booth (as Princess Costanza)|
|Featuring:||Graham Crowden (as the Count), Dennis Ramsden (as Princess's father), June Whitfield (as Princess's mother), Desmond Jones, Freddie Jones, Jonathan Lynn, Andrew Sachs (as Orchestra members), John Moffatt, Terry Nelson, Kathie O'Donoghue|
|Based on a short story by Anton Chekhov and adapted from an original screenplay by Bill Owen.|
|Writers: Tom Stoppard, Thomas Wiseman / Director: Joseph Losey / Producer: Daniel M. Angel|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 111 mins|
|Lewis Fielding is a successful writer of novels and screenplays whose wife Elizabeth is away on a solo European break to rediscover herself. But Lewis cannot concentrate on his latest screenplay because he keeps imagining she may be having an affair and his mind conjures up possible lurid scenarios which fuel his concern.
In fact Elizabeth is not having an affair but she has become of interest to a handsome and charming young German called Thomas Herser who is staying at the same hotel. He is a professional freeloader with no regular income who lives off the hospitably and generosity of lone older women who become flattered by his deft attention. Thomas is also into the more dangerous game of couriering drugs and has hidden his latest consignment in the hotel roof gully for safekeeping until he is ready to move on. Elizabeth does not fall prey to his charm because she is happily married and so his efforts to interest her prove fruitless. Elizabeth leaves to travel home and Thomas gets ready to leave with a better prospect but when he collects his hidden drugs he finds that they have been washed away in a downpour leaving him with a major problem with no delivery to hand over to an expectant drugs baron.
Elizabeth arrives home and things get back to normal until Lewis gets a letter from Thomas saying how he met his wife on holiday and is a great admirer of his novels and while he is in England would welcome the opportunity to come for tea one day and discuss his work. Lewis thinks it’s a great idea and may give him an insight into what Elizabeth got up to on her holiday.
When Thomas arrives for tea he is charming and complimentary and ends up staying for dinner and then overnight. This then becomes a prolonged stay which shows no sign of an end but for some reason the Fieldings' find his presence acceptable and make no insistence that he leave. Lewis even puts him to work as his secretary typing up letters and pays him a small wage. Thomas has managed to wangle free board and lodging as well as being paid while hiding out from discovery by the drug baron who is after him. As his stay lengthens Elizabeth softens to his poetic charms. Still somewhat suspicious Lewis uses Thomas to test Elizabeth by letting them go out to a function alone together and when his worst fears are realised and he catches them lovemaking in the garden gazebo he chucks Thomas out and Elizabeth decides to go with him after having fallen madly in love.
With no money between them Thomas couriers a hot car to Europe for the ride and receives a good payoff to provide them with working capital. Elizabeth knows how he makes his living and she makes herself scarce while he sponges off rich widows to provide a meal ticket. But she tires of it and phones Lewis to let him know where she is and he comes to fetch her prepared to give her another chance. However Lewis is followed by the drugs baron who belatedly discovered where his quarry had been and Thomas is traced - and as Lewis and Elizabeth are reunited Thomas is led away by the drug baron and his men to an uncertain but probably unpleasant fate.
|Starring:||Glenda Jackson (as Elizabeth Fielding), Michael Caine (Lewis Fielding), Helmut Berger (as Thomas Herser)|
|Featuring:||Michel Lonsdale (as Swan, drugs baron), Kate Nelligan (as Isabel, Elizabeth's journalist friend), Béatrice Romand (as Catherine, Au-Pair), Rene Kolldehoff (as Herman, film producer), Nathalie Delon (as Miranda, dinner party guest)|
|From the novel of the same name by Thomas Wiseman|
|Writers: Franco Brusati, Masolino D'Amico, Zeffirelli / Director: Franco Zeffirelli / Producer: Anthony Havelock-Allan|
|Type: Romantic Drama||Running Time: 132 mins|
|In centuries past in the Italian city of Verona, two important families - the Montagues and the Capulets - are bitter enemies and the slender peace between them is only maintained by means of the Prince forbidding any fighting in his city.
Young Romeo of the Montagues is attending a ball when his heart is captured by a fair maiden called Juliet - they fall instantly in love and only later discover they are of each others rival clan. Such a union would not be acceptable to either family and so they keep their relationship secret and inveigle upon the local Friar to betroth them together.
The youths of each family roam in gangs and arguments often spill over into swordplay although they are mindful to moderate their tempers and merely act to best their opponent rather than cause him serious harm. But when Tybalt Capulet and Mercutio Montague engage in some high-spirited swordplay Mercutio is accidentally killed. He was Romeo's best friend and in an enraged state Romeo drops all fighting inhibitions and ends up killing Tybalt in revenge.
Romeo has to go into hiding seeing his beloved wife Juliet in secret when he can. Meanwhile Juliet's parents unaware of her secret marriage have arranged for her to be wed to a member of their clan called Paris. Juliet visits the Friar seeking a solution to her dilemma and he gives her an elixir that will simulate death within her for two days - with the intention that she will be interred during that time and when she awakens she will be able to go off and live with Romeo. She takes the potion and when she is found "dead" her family mourn her passing and place her in the family crypt.
The Friar attempts to get word of the plan to Romeo but the message never reaches him and instead Romeo hears of his beloved's death by other means. He goes to the crypt that night and finds her still resting body unaware that she is not truly dead. Romeo is unable to bear the thought of living without her and he poisons himself and dies by her side. When Juliet's elixir wears off and she awakens she finds her Romeo dead by her slab and in her inconsolable grief she takes his dagger and stabs herself dead so that they will remain together in death.
|Starring:||Leonard Whiting (as Romeo), Olivia Hussey (as Juliet)|
Milo O'Shea (as Friar Laurence), Pat Heywood (as The Nurse), John McEnery (as Mercutio, Romeo's friend), Michael York (as Tybalt, Juliet's cousin)
|Featuring:||Paul Hardwick and Natasha Parry (as Lord and Lady Capulet, Juliet's parents), Antonio Pierfederici and Esmeralda Ruspoli (as Lord and Lady Montague, Romeo's parents), Robert Stephens (as The Prince), Roberto Bisacco (as Paris, Juliet's selected husband)|
|Writer: Erik Lee Preminger / Director/Producer: Otto Preminger|
|Type: American / Thriller||Running Time: 124 mins|
|Five girlfriends are kidnapped whilst they are on a Mediterranean cruise on the luxury motor yacht Rosebud. The girls are all daughters of rich high-profile international industrialists and politicians from France, Italy, Germany, United States and Great Britain. Their kidnappers are members of the Palestine Liberation Army and they release a film to the authorities saying that if it is shown on national TV around the world they will release one girl along with another film containing further instructions.
British hostage crisis expert Larry Martin is called in to manage the situation. After some wrangling by the influential parents the film is shown worldwide and one girl called Helene is released with the new instructions. She was released in Corsica but cannot tell Larry in which country they were held because her journey from the underground cellar where they were being detained involved a long plane trip and she was blindfolded throughout. The new film demands that a full confession is made by the grandfather of one of the hostages detailing his role in the slaughter of innocent Palestinians in Sept 1970 (dubbed Black September) by his supply of arms to King Hussein of Jordan. For the sake of his granddaughter he makes the confession and another girl is released. The next demand is the economic isolation of Israel which is not something that national governments can accede to even for the sake of three innocent girls. So Larry knows it is time to act.
Larry Martin has little to go on in tracking down the location that the girls are being held - but working with both German and Israeli security services he follows up leads that help a bit. The leader of the Black September terrorist organisation behind the kidnappings is a man called Edward Sloat who is known to Larry. They had once been friends until Sloat converted to Islam and became committed to the cause of eradicating the state of Israel. Heavily blindfolded to maintain secrecy Sloat permits Larry to be brought to his remote cave headquarters in the desert from where he is masterminding the operation. Larry's appeals for the release of the remaining three girls go unheeded and Sloat restates his position that only the complete dismantling of the Israeli state will suffice. On his way out Larry manages to grab a rock sample that he gives to Israeli intelligence so they can analyse its composition and determine the caves geological location.
When Larry takes Helene up in a small reconnaissance plane and her ears pop she realises that when she was flown to Corsica by the kidnappers from the place she was being held that phenomenon had not happened to her. The plane ride was a cleverly managed fake experience that never left the ground and so Larry knows that the kidnappers are located in Corsica.
With the help of the Israeli security and local intelligence they work out that the girls are being held in converted underground cellars at an isolated farmhouse. They intercept the water supply to the farm and feed sleeping gas to the property through the pipes and are able to safely enter and arrest the kidnappers and rescue the girls. With the hostages safe Israeli commandos stealthily infiltrate the now-pinpointed desert headquarters of Sloat and take him into custody.
|Starring:||Peter O'Toole (as Larry Martin), Richard Attenborough (as Edward Sloat, leader of terrorist group), Cliff Gorman (as Yafet Hemlekh, Israeli agent), Claude Dauphin (as Charles-Andre Fargeau, Sabine's grandfather)|
(Hostages) Brigitte Ariel (as Sabine Fargeau), Isabelle Huppert (as Helene Nikolaos), Lalla Ward (as Margaret Carter), Kim Cattrall (as Joyce Donnovan), Debra Berger (as Gertrude Freyer)
|Featuring:||(Parents) John V. Lindsay (Senator Donnovan, Joyce's father), Peter Lawford (as Lord Carter, Margaret's father), Raf Vallone (as George Nikolaos, Helene's father), Hans Verner (Freyer, Gertrude's father), Françoise Brion (as Melina Nikolaos, Helene's mother), Adrienne Corri (as Lady Carter, Margaret's mother)|
(Kidnappers) Yosef Shiloa (as Hacam), Amidou (as Kirkbane)
(Others) Georges Beller (as Patrice Dubois, Sabine's boyfriend), Klaus Löwitsch (as Hans Schloss, German Secret Service Agent)
|Based on the novel by Joan Hemingway and Paul Bonnecarrere|
|This American thriller is included here because of the starring roles of Peter O'Toole and Richard Attenborough as well as actress Lalla Ward.|
|The justification for calling the film "Rosebud" seemed a bit flimsy because this is just the name of the luxury yacht the girls are abducted from in the early part of the movie and thereafter plays no part in the action.|
|Writers: Christopher Wood, Justin Cartwright / Director: Justin Cartwright / Producers: Davina Belling, Clive Parsons|
|Type: Sex Comedy||Running Time: 84 mins|
|Rosie Dixon becomes a nurse at a hospital full of doctors who seem to only be after one thing as they take turns "assessing" her for suitability for the role of the rag week queen. She is hopelessly naïve and is just looking for some romance with a handsome doctor.|
|Comment: Debbie Ash in the lead role is very disappointing and can't seem to deliver her lines at all convincingly. With a more assured lead performance this could have been a much better film. Her co-star Caroline Argyle is much better. At the end both girls leave the nursing profession and the seeds are sown for a possible sequel - but this never happened.|
|Starring:||Debbie Ash (as Rosie), Caroline Argyle (as Penny, her roommate)|
|Featuring:||Jeremy Sinden, Peter Mantle, Ian Sharp, Christopher Ellison, Beryl Reid, Liz Fraser, John Junkin, Bob Todd, Leslie Ash, John Clive|
|Star-Turns:||John Le Mesurier, Arthur Askey, Lance Percival, Patricia Hodge|
|Starlets:||Glenna Forster-Jones, Pat Astley, Theresa Wood, Margaret Heald, Fiona Douglas Stewart, Sue Lambarth|
|Debbie Ash and Caroline Argyle both receive "introducing" credits|
|Debbie's real sister Leslie is also in the film in a small role as her younger sister during family scenes. Leslie Ash went on to much greater acting success.|
|Writer: George MacDonald Fraser / Director: Richard Lester / Producers: Denis O'Dell, David V. Picker|
|Type: Adventure||Running Time: 101 mins|
|Set in the 1840s. Captain Harry Flashman is a hero of the war in Afghanistan celebrated for his gallantry in being the sole survivor of Piper's Fort after managing to kill all an attacking enemy. What no one realises is that Flashman was actually a coward and his survival and defeat of the enemy was down to dumb good fortune in which he played no part. Of course he never tells anyone this and enjoys the fame and adoration his famous story brings him.
Back in England, Flashman lives the life of a gambling womaniser and one evening while fleeing from a police raid on a gambling establishment, he seeks sanctuary in the carriage of a beautiful Spanish lady called Lola Montez who is an aspiring actress. Her companion is a stuffy and sanctimonious German politician named Otto Von Bismarck. Flashman and Bismarck have an instinctive antipathy towards each other and Flashman takes great delight in making Bismarck appear foolish on both this and on another occasion they meet. Bismarck seethes at his humiliation but has sufficient self-control to defer his revenge until another occasion when he is more likely to be able to settle the score. Bismarck has an imperious attitude and seems to think he is one day destined to be a ruler of men. Flashman has an affair with Lola but finds her insatiable penchant for inflicting pain during their lovemaking to be insufferable and calls it off. Lola wants to be a famous actress but she commits an intolerable breach of etiquette when she draws blood duelling with a woman on a matter of honour. She has to leave the country and Flashman feels somewhat relieved.
Four years later Flashman receives a visit from a solicitor acting for Lola. She married the king of Bavaria and is now the country's uncrowned monarch. She has asked that Flashman pay her a visit in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, and has offered him a generous financial inducement to go. Flashman finds the offer intriguing and accepts.
Flashman arrives in Munich and upon meeting Lola he soon finds out it was a trap in which she has been complicit. He is captured and placed under torture by her henchmen. But then he is rescued by a dashing Hungarian nobleman called Rudi Von Sternberg who whisks him away to the safety of a remote castle. But once there Flashman finds he has fallen into the real trap and now he is in the hands of his old adversary Otto Von Bismarck for whom Sternberg works. However Bismarck is not out for petty revenge upon Flashman and instead he has an important task for him. Bismarck is striving to unify all the disparate German states into one strong Reich and one of the small states in his sights is the small independent duchy of Kahlstrachen ruled over by the popular Duchess Irma. She is due to enter into a marriage of convenience with a Scandinavian crown prince called Carl Magnus whom she has never met. The timing of the wedding is crucial to Bismarck's plans but unfortunately the prince has contracted a social disease from which he will take months to recover meaning he cannot marry at the appointed time. However as luck would have it, Flashman just happens to be the exact double of Carl Magnus and so Bismarck wants Flashman to impersonate the prince to make sure the wedding goes ahead on time. Then when the real prince has recovered he will seamlessly resume his role and Flashman can go home.
Flashman has little choice but to accept the bizarre job and he is trained up in all aspects of passing himself off as the real prince and is even given real sabre scars on his face to match those of the prince. Flashman meets the Duchess and they are married in a grand ceremony. Everyone accepts him as the real prince including, it seems, the prince's best and oldest friend Eric Hansen.
Once the marriage is complete Flashman begins to settle into life as a royal and starts to like the way everyone is subservient to him. Then he discovers he has been perfidiously deceived when Sternberg's flunky Kraftstein tries to kill him whilst they are out hunting together. Flashman forces Kraftstein to tell him the plot:- Flashman was to be killed and exposed as an English agent trying to infiltrate European royalty - this would create so much scandal that Germany would have an excuse to march into Kahlstrachen and take over. Flashman learns that the real prince is being held in Northberg castle and is due to be executed as well.
Then Flashman falls into the hands of a partisan group led by a man called Sapten. The group includes the prince's friend Eric Hansen who had immediately known Flashman was an impostor because his scars were slightly wrongly positioned. Flashman convinces them he was an innocent dupe and he tells them where the real prince is being held.
The partisans mount a rescue attempt on the castle which proves disastrous and the prince is not rescued. Flashman decides to cut his losses and return to the palace where he steals the Kahlstrachen crown jewels so that his efforts won't go entirely unrewarded.
On the road back home he meets Lola who has been forcibly removed from her Bavarian throne in a people's revolt. She wants nothing to do with Flashman until she sees the treasures he has with him at which point she welcomes him back into her life. They sleep together and next morning she has disappeared taking all the treasures with her. Luck has clearly deserted Flashman so he heads back to England with nothing substantial to show for his perilous adventure.
|Starring:||Malcolm McDowell (as Captain Harry Flashman, [also Prince Carl Magnus]), Alan Bates (as Rudi Von Sternberg, Bavarian adversary), Oliver Reed (as Otto von Bismarck, German adversary), Florinda Bolkan (as Lola Montez, Spanish love interest)|
|Featuring:||Christopher Cazenove (as Eric Hansen, Prince Carl Magnus' best friend), Joss Ackland (as Sapten, partisan leader), Britt Ekland (as Duchess Irma), Lionel Jeffries (as Kraftstein, Rudi's henchman), Tom Bell (as De Gautet, Rudi's henchmen), Alastair Sim (as Mr Greig, Lola's legal adviser), Bob Hoskins (as Police Constable), Michael Hordern (as Headmaster of Rugby School), Richard Hurndall (as Duchess Irma's chamberlain), Arthur Brough (as King Ludwig of Bavaria), Stuart Rayner (as Speedicut, Flashman's friend), Margaret Courtenay (as Lady in honour duel with Lola)|
|Familiar Faces:||David Jason (as Mayor of duchy), Henry Cooper (as John Gully MP, heavyweight champ)|
|Starlets:||Tessa Dahl and Claire Russell (as Casino girls), Elizabeth Larner (as Baroness Basham)|
|Based on one of the novels in the "Flashman" series by George MacDonald Fraser. Harry Flashman was a character borrowed from the 1857 novel "Tom Brown's Schooldays" by Thomas Hughes in which Flashman was the bully character at Rugby School.|
|Writer: Peter Barnes (based on his own play) / Director: Peter Medak / Producers: Jules Buck, Jack Hawkins|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 153 mins|
|Set in the present day. The somewhat eccentric 13th Earl of Gurney, peer of the realm and member of the House of Lords, has a penchant for flirting with death. In his bedroom he regularly hangs himself and swings by the neck for a few moments while wearing his military tunic and a ballerina's tutu. He challenges death like this so he can have visions of the other side and be closer to his late wife. But his luck finally runs out when he accidentally kicks away his stepladder and dies. The 13th Earl had four sons - three of them died in overseas action but the fourth of them, Jack, is still alive. However he is shut away in an institution where he has been for eight years because he believes himself to be God.
The Earl's brother Charles wants control of the estate but the late Earl's will stipulates that everything goes to Jack and any attempt to contest the will shall result in the entire estate being donated to charity. So Jack is brought back from the institution with his psychiatrist Dr Herder so his suitability can be assessed. However it is clear that Jack is still under his delusion. He has a long beard, wears simple robes, and purports a serene godly manner as he speaks with philosophical profoundness about all of nature's wonders that he did create.
Charles formulates a plan to get his nephew Jack married and quickly have a son who will be the 15th Earl and will inherit the estate when Charles has Jack re-committed. Charles plans that he will then act as the youngster's guardian and control the estate. Charles recruits an erotic entertainer friend of his called Grace Shelley with lofty social ambitions who has agreed to marry Jack and bear his child.
Dr Herder still hopes to cure Jack and devises a radical solution. He brings in another man who also believes he is God, but one with a highly belligerent nature - the two "gods" meet and the tranquil Jack is so awe-struck by the raging bluster of the other, that he is shocked into the realisation that since there can only be one God then he cannot be Him after all. His godly delusions cease and he becomes normal Jack Gurney again, the 14th Earl of Gurney.
Charles is not best pleased at this development. He brings in a Master In Lunacy to have Jack tested out but is thwarted when Jack is given a clean bill of health. Jack is now able to pass as completely normal with just a degree of eccentricity permissible (and even expected) of a lord. Grace is pregnant and has a baby boy and Jack begins his civic duties.
However in secret Jack has developed a new hidden personality and he now believes he is Jack The Ripper and starts murdering people. He eludes suspicion and takes up his seat in the House of Lords where his eccentric and outspoken views can be given free reign.
That's pretty much where it ends - in the final moments we see Jack murder his wife Grace in front of everyone but are not shown the consequences of that action. Most of the other people in the story including Charles, Dr Herder and the drunken butler Tucker end up being committed themselves after their dealings with Jack.
|Starring:||Peter O'Toole (as Jack Gurney), William Mervyn (as Sir Charles Gurney, Jack's uncle), Coral Browne (as Lady Claire Gurney, Charles' wife), Carolyn Seymour (as Grace Shelley), Arthur Lowe (as Daniel Tucker, butler), James Villiers (as Dinsdale, Charles and Claire's son)|
|Featuring:||Alastair Sim (as Bishop Lampton, Charles' brother-in-law), Michael Bryant (Dr Herder, Jack's psychiatrist), Harry Andrews (as Ralph, 13th Earl of Gurney, Jack's father), Nigel Green (as McKyle, vengeful god), Graham Crowden (as Truscott, Master In Luncay), James Grout (as Inspector Brockett, detective), James Hazeldine (as Fraser, Brocket's colleague)|
|Writer: Trevor Wallace / Director: Gene Levitt / Producer: Ian Lewis|
|Type: Thriller||Running Time: 93 mins|
|The story starts in 1967 (two years before the present day). Richard Stuart is a mathematics teacher who is on his way back from the country home of the head of school governors, Sir Howard Nettleton, when his car is side-swiped by a speeding Rolls Royce. He follows to complain and this leads him to Buckley Manor House. Oddly there is a fallen tree across the driveway blocking his path although the other car seemed to get past it somehow. He walks to the house and sees the courtyard is full of expensive cars including the Rolls Royce and he notes the licence number. Rather than ring the front doorbell he decides to sneak inside via an open window. The house is dilapidated and shows no signs of occupancy until he comes to a gallery balcony where down below he sees a clandestine meeting of businessmen who are clearly up to something decidedly shady. One of the men seems to be having second thoughts and is on the point of resigning - but he is threatened at gunpoint by a third man - there is a struggle and the gun goes off killing the gunman. Richard is shocked and makes a hasty exit which the men hear and follow getting the number of his car as he speeds away.
Richard calls the local police to report the murder and returns to the manor with a policeman . But the driveway-blocking tree is no longer there, the cars are all gone and the meeting room shows no signs of a murder. With nothing to back up his claims, the policeman does not believe his story and the matter has to be dropped.
Back in London Richard hires a small-time private investigator called Peter Martin to trace the owner of the Rolls Royce from its number plate. The investigator finds out it belongs to a certain Lord Dunnsfield and Richard goes to see him. But when he arrives he is coshed on the head and loses consciousness ...
When he awakens he is in a hospital in Geneva and he finds his entire life is different. It is now 1969, his name is Tony Sutton, an international playboy who is married to a beautiful wife called Elizabeth and he is in hospital following a polo accident. But Richard remembers none of this - he only recalls his "proper" life. He suspects that everyone is in on some big conspiracy to make him doubt his own mind. His "wife" Elizabeth acts totally confused by his behaviour and his insistence that he is really someone else and not her husband. She and he have been married for two years but are on the verge of divorce because he is has become such an unpleasant person. Richard realises that the scale of the "conspiracy" is too vast and the explanation must be something far simpler. He concludes that back in 1967 the cosh to the head he suffered gave him amnesia and the cabal of mystery businessmen took advantage of this to set him up with this new identity which he had obviously totally believed in and has been living for two years oblivious to his old life. But then the polo accident wiped out his new memories and brought the old ones back.
Richard decides to trust Elizabeth and she starts to believe him. He seems so different and totally unlike her "Tony". She begins to fall in love with the new kinder man that Richard is. She tells Richard that he arrived in the area two years ago under the stewardship of an elderly doctor called Ralph Sawyer who said that "Tony" was recovering from a war injury. She now realises that it was Sawyer who told her the details of Tony's family history.
Richard confronts Sawyer who confesses but says he only became involved because he had been in debt. His job had been to oversee Richard's new identity because the cabal did not believe he turned up at that manor house by accident and have been waiting for his memories to return so they could question him on it. Sawyer then kills himself rather than suffer the consequences of betraying the cabal.
Richard returns to England with Elizabeth not knowing who to trust from amongst his old friends and colleagues who know him as Richard. He phones the Private Investigator Peter Martin who now has plush offices and seems to have done very nicely in the past two years. But Richard soon finds that this is because Peter has been recruited by the cabal and is working for them. Richard calls his friend and governor Sir Howard and asks him to call the police and have them waiting at the old manor house. Richard then goes there and finds the businessmen are meeting again. They are all high-powered financiers who are secretly colluding to manipulate the world's gold standard prices so they can make handsome profits.
Richard expects the police to arrive soon - but Sir Howard comes alone and Richard discovers he too is part of the conspiracy. Richard is captured and put in the basement along with Elizabeth who has also been taken prisoner. The businessmen all leave except for Sir Richard and Peter Martin who are left to decisively deal with Richard and Elizabeth. The couple manage to escape the basement and head down the driveway. They are quickly chased by the two conspirators in a car. But Richard has learnt that the fallen tree is actually a disguised mechanical barrier and as the pursuers pass underneath he activates it downwards and their car crashes into it.
The police are called and the conspirators are rounded up and arrested. Richard and Elizabeth decide to "re-marry" but now with him as Richard rather than "Tony".
|Starring:||Louis Jourdan (as Richard Stuart), Mary Tyler Moore (as Elizabeth Sutton, wife of "Tony"), Wilfrid Hyde White (as Dr Ralph Sawyer), Terence Alexander (as Peter Martin, private investigator)|
|Featuring:||Alexander Knox (as Sir Howard Nettleton, school governor), Laurence Naismith (as Lord Dunnsfield, cabal member), Norman Bird (as Sgt. Hooper, local beat policeman), Ronald Howard (as Inspector Huntington, bogus detective), Stanley Holloway (as Caretaker of Buckley Manor), Ernest Clark (as Cabal Chairman), Bernard Archard (as Cabal member), Jean Anderson (as Sister Teresa, nun at Geneva hospital)|
|Starlets:||Hilary Pritchard (as Peter Martin's 1st Secretary), Margaret Nolan (as Peter Martin's 2nd Secretary, [uncredited]), Norma West (as Nurse at Geneva hospital), Yutte Stensgaard (as Girl at party, [Uncredited cameo])|
|aka: The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash|
|Writer: Eric Idle / Directors: Gary Weis, Eric Idle / Producers: Gary Weis, Craig Kellem|
|Type: Music / Comedy||Running Time: 73 mins|
|In a parody of The Beatles story, this is a spoof retrospective biographical documentary about Liverpool's most famous pop group - The Rutles. The prefab Four were: Ron Nasty (essentially John Lennon), Dirk McQuickly (Paul McCartney), Stig O'Hara (George Harrison) and drummer Barry Wom (Ringo Starr). Discovered by their manager Leggy Mountbatten in the early 1960s and launched into superstardom with a string of hit records that led to a cultural phenomenon known as Rutlemania.
A somewhat befuddled reporter takes us to places visited by the Rutles and explains with clips and interview footage the evolution of the group (mirroring a comically skewed version of real-life Beatles history) including a highly successful tour of America, two feature films, and the various women that came into their lives - through to the disastrous formation of Rutle Corp which led to the financial problems and the eventual break up of the band.
|Comment: One of the cleverest things about this excellent parody is that it does not have the pseudo group covering existing Beatles songs, but instead uses a whole gamut of original "Beatles-like" songs spanning the various evolving musical styles the group underwent during their career - most of them catchy in their own right. It also has a sequence parodying the animated "Yellow Submarine" film which was created by that film's original animation studio.|
|Starring:||(The Rutles) Eric Idle (as Dirk McQuickly), Neil Innes (as Ron Nasty), John Halsey (as Barry Wom), Rikki Fataar (as Stig O'Hara)|
Eric Idle (as The Reporter), Gwen Taylor (as Chastity, [Nasty's girlfriend] and Mrs Iris Mountbatten, [Leggy's mother]), Terence Bayler (as Leggy Mountbatten)
|Featuring:||(mainly in cameo, one-scene appearances) Michael Palin (Press Agent), George Harrison (Interviewer), Bianca Jagger (Dirks' wife), John Belushi (Fearsome promoter), Dan Aykroyd (failed record producer), Gilda Radner (street interviewee), Bill Murray (Radio DJ), Henry Woolf (Mystic), Frank Williams (Rutles Producer), Barry Cryer (Rutles Music Publisher), Mick Jagger (Interviewee), Paul Simon (Interviewee)|
|The original idea of the Rutles was born as a sketch within former Monty Python team member Eric Idle's solo BBC sketch show Rutland Weekend Television (1975-6 for 14 episodes). When he guested on America's Saturday Night Live and showed the sketch they liked the idea so much that it was funded for development into this full TV special.|
|There was a belated sequel called The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch (2002)|
|Writer: Robert Bolt / Director: David Lean / Producer: Anthony Havelock-Allan|
|Type: Drama||Running Time: 186 mins|
|Set at the time of the First World War in a small coastal community in Northern Ireland where the locals bitterly resent the presence of British troops that patrol their land. Local girl Rosy Ryan is the daughter of publican Thomas Ryan. She is a genteel oddity who is out of sorts with the typical social and behavioural attitudes of her age group. She has refined tastes and sensibilities and as a result has never found a suitable young man amongst her rough and ready community to be in courtship with. The only man she admires is the local middle-aged schoolteacher Charles Shaughnessy. With his classical education he too does not conform to the general way of things which is what Rosy finds appealing.
Virginal Rosy knows there is something important missing from her life, something that would automatically make her happy and fulfilled, but does not know what. She decides that marriage must be that lacking ingredient and persuades Charles to marry her. Charles is dependable but lacks passion and Rosy soon finds that married life with him is actually quite dull. Charles performs his husbandly duties at night but the fulfilment which Rosy had anticipated would come through a sexual union fails to occur.
Then a new British officer called Major Randolph Doryan arrives to take over the local garrison. He is an invalid from active frontline service who has been assigned this light duty after being injured in the trenches. The Major is young and strangely enigmatic as a result of being inwardly haunted by horrific memories of his battle experiences.
Rosy finds herself inexplicably drawn to the Major and soon they begin a passionate affair. With this man Rosy at last finds that missing dynamic she so craved. And for the Major his bad memories can be set aside somewhat with a new focus. However their affair has to remain secret for two reasons:- firstly because Rosy does not want to offend Charles, but also because the locals would consider her traitorous for consorting with a British soldier. The lovers continue their assignations throughout the coming weeks thinking they have successfully kept it secret. However Charles guesses Rosy is being unfaithful but decides to let the affair run its course and hopefully burn out. But unfortunately the townsfolk also find out about Rosy's shameful secret and she becomes snubbed.
A freedom-fighting activist called Tim O'Leary arrives in town seeking local help in scavenging crates of weapons and explosives that have been washed ashore in a violent storm. The weapons will be used in rebellious action to help rid their province of the British. The whole town turns out to help O'Leary whom they consider to be a brave hero fighting for a cause they believe in. But as O'Leary is set to go with his precious cargo, Major Doryan turns up with his troops to arrest him and seize the smuggled munitions.
The angry townsfolk believe that Rosy informed the Major although in fact she did not. When Rosy realises however that it was her father who informed she shoulders the blame knowing that as a man he would be shot as a traitor whereas as a woman she would merely have to undergo the humiliation of having her hair shorn.
Rosy ends her relationship with the Major who subsequently descends back into his dark mood of painful memories and blows himself as he destroys some newly scavenged explosives on the beach. Rosy and Charles decide to separate and leave the town where neither feel welcome. But not wishing to give the townsfolk the satisfaction of knowing their marriage is over they mutually agree to leave as a couple and only part once they reach Dublin. The local padre guesses their intention and asks them to consider giving their marriage another chance to work in a new place where they can make a fresh start. The film ends with them leaving on the bus and we don't find out what they decide.
|Starring:||Sarah Miles (as Rosy Ryan), Robert Mitchum (as Charles Shaughnessy, schoolteacher), Trevor Howard (as Father Hugh Collins), John Mills (as Michael, simpleton), Leo McKern (as Thomas Ryan, Rosy's publican father), Christopher Jones (as Major Randolph Doryan, Briths soldier)|
|Featuring:||Barry Foster (as Tim O'Leary, revolutionary), Evin Crowley (as Moureen, young townswoman), Niall Toibin, Philip O'Flynn, Niall O'Brien and Owen Sullivan (as O'Leary's gangmembers)|
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