TV Films of the week (08/12/12): A telling tale of England as it might have been
Saturday 08 December 2012
Tuesday: Went the Day Well?
12.50pm Channel 4
(Alberto Cavalcanti, 1942) Brambly End is an ordinary, pretty, sleepy English village, until a fifth columnist invites a troupe of Nazis to stay and the villagers must take extreme measures to repel them. Ealing Studio's 1942 Graham Greene adaptation is a bracing if not downright subversive propaganda film, an endearing time capsule, and a still highly effective action thriller. Leslie Banks and Basil Sydney head the cast. *****
Saturday: Back to the Future
(Robert Zemeckis, 1985) Michael J Fox stars as regular Eighties teenager Marty McFly, whose friendship with a local madcap inventor (Christopher Lloyd) results in his driving back to the mid-Fifties, disrupting the space-time continuum by forming an Oedipal triangle with his then-teenage parents, and inadvertently giving birth to rock'n'roll. If only all family movies were this smart, wildly inventive and fun. *****
Sunday: Local Hero
(Bill Forsyth, 1983) Texas oilman Burt Lancaster sends minions Peter Reigert and Peter Capaldi to the small Scottish fishing village that he wants to buy up and replace with an oil refinery complex. Once there, however, they are charmed by the wily locals. Bill Forsyth's small but perfectly formed human comedy is in the previously lost tradition of Ealing films such as Whisky Galore! ****
Monday: The Third Man
(Carol Reed, 1949) Filmed at off-kilter angles and in expressive black-and-white amid the rubble and division of post-war Vienna, Carol Reed's superlative melancholy thriller, from Graham Greene's script, finds Joseph Cotten in over his head as he looks into the death of his old school friend, Harry Lime, but is unprepared for what he finds. Leave it to Orson Welles to make one of the all-time great movie entrances. ****
Wednesday: Age of Consent
(Michael Powell, 1969) Michael Powell's colourful, final full-length film – made in Australia, following the hostile response at home to Peeping Tom – stars James Mason as a depleted artist whose creative juices are replenished after he relocates from New York to Queensland, and finds a coquettish muse in the form of the young Helen Mirren, who swims nude around the Barrier Reef. ***
Thursday: The Blues Brothers
1.30pm & 10pm Sky Movies Modern Greats
(John Landis, 1980) By far the best film yet derived from a Saturday Night Live sketch, this simultaneously deadpan and delirious rock'n'roll musical comedy is not quite like anything else. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as Jake and Elwood Blues, on a mission from God to reform their band, while additional musical numbers are performed by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and James Brown. ****
(Baz Luhrmann, 2008) It's set in a real time and place – Australia's northern territory before the outbreak of war, and then during the post-Pearl Harbour Japanese invasion – but Baz Luhrmann's mock-epic romantic adventure story is an impressive work of pure filmic artifice; the country's landscapes are made to look as vivid and pretty as a painted studio backdrop. Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman star. ****
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Doctor Who Christmas special, review: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
The Interview film review: Controversial gross-out satire is broad, bawdy and bad - but undeniably entertaining
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever