What's on this week or so


The Colditz Story (1954)

The story of the escape from the "impregnable" POW camp was a natural for the cinema. John Mills and Eric Portman head the cast in a fine, though now slightly clichéd, movie.

  3.15 pm Film4 Thur 20 Sept

Carry On Constable (1960)

Number four and Sid arrives and instantly takes charge. He's a police sergeant whose entire station is down with flu. So he has to take on some trainees: Connor, Hawtrey, Williams and Leslie Phillips. Cue mayhem.  

5.15 pm Film4 Thur 20 Sept

A Tale of Two Cities (1957)

Say what you like about Dirk Bogarde, but he never played for sympathy. This makes him the perfect Sydney Carton doing that far, far better thing on the scaffold. T.E.B. Clarke's adaptation of the Dickens classic is a respectable job and the film is good without reaching the heights of Great Expectations or Oliver Twist. The stand-out performance is that of Rosalie Crutchley as Madame Defarge: the bitterest woman in cinema.

7.00 pm Talking Pictures TV Sat 22 Sept

A Night to Remember (1958)

Titanic movie which more than holds its own against the modern blockbuster.

Poster for A Night to RememberPoster for A Night to Remember

10.10 pm Talking Pictures TV Sun 23 Sept

Convict 99 (1938)

Will Hay specialised in characters doing jobs they are hopelessly ill-equipped to do. This time he's accidentally appointed as a prison governor. With Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt co-starring, this is a typical Hay vehicle. It doesn't hit the heights of the previous year's Oh Mr Porter but it's still good fun. Look out for 10 year old Roddy McDowall.

8.30 am Talking Pictures TV Mon 24 Sept

The Long Memory (1952)

John Mills has the long memory - out of prison after twelve years for a murder he didn't commit, he's determined to get revenge on the perjurers who put him there.

Director Robert Hamer always had a taste for the downbeat and this is one of his grimmest works. He gets a lot of atmosphere out of the locations but John Mills is no one's idea of an avenging angel no matter how hard he tries. In order to get Mills face to face with the last of his enemies, the script has to resort to the wildest of coincidences which punctures any pretence at realism; and if you can't predict how the final shoot-out will end you haven't seen enough movies.

3.30 pm Talking Pictures TV Tues 25 Sept

Gideon of Scotland Yard (1959)

It's a day in the life of Inspector Jack Hawkins. Nothing special, but it's directed by John Ford and has a script by T.E.B. Clarke. Should have been better.

The main problem for today's audience is that television has done the same thing a thousand times since. Still, there are incidental pleasures: a nice collection of character actors doing cameos (including Anna Massey's debut), it looks good, has a fine sense of the day's rhythm, and there's a lot of fun to be had with lines like "Chummy's for the drop" and other period chat.

Still from Gideon's Day

4.30 pm Film4 Wed 26 Sept

Hungry Hill (1946)

Two families feud through the generations in this Margaret Lockwood star vehicle.

3.25 pm Talking Pictures TV Thur 27 Sept


Nothing this week