What's on this week or so


Gideon of Scotland Yard (1958)

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

2.40 pm Film4 Wed 8 Nov

Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

Small group of Brits get separated from the army during the desert campaign and have to make their way through the desert to Alexandria. In their midst is Anthony Quayle who claims to be South African but might be working for the Germans. Leading the group is John Mills, fighting to keep off the bottle and giving one of his best performances. Classic war film that ages well.

Poster for Ice Cold in Alex

3.30 pm Film4 Fri 10 Nov, 12.40 pm Film4 Tues 14 Nov

The Black Knight (1954)

Alan Ladd is the chap sent undercover as the Black Knight in order to unmask Peter Cushing as the head of a gang of raiders. It sounds like the plot of a B-Western and the script is in that league but there are plenty of cheap laughs to be had if you're in the mood. Patricia Medina is the perfect fifties maiden: over-made-up, jumping to the wrong conclusions and fainting all over the place. Best of all is Ladd's hairpiece - an uncomfortable-looking quiff in an unnatural shade of blonde.

11.00 am Film4 Sat 11 Nov, 2.45 pm Film4 Thur 16 Nov

Carry On Regardless (1960)

The Helping Hands agency is run by Sid James. The agency will do anything for anyone. So Williams gets to walk the chimp and Hawtrey gets to enter the boxing ring. This is the most bitty of all the Carry Ons with no attempt at a plot. Still, if you don't like one sequence, there's always another along in a minute. It only falls apart at the end with a slapstick house decorating/wrecking scene.

2.40 pm Film4 Sun 12 Nov

Carry On Cabby (1963)

Feminism arrives in the Carry On world as Sid James refuses to employ female cab drivers and his wife Hattie Jacques starts up a rival company using only dolly birds (and Esma Cannon!). It feels more like an Ealing Comedy than a Carry On but has glorious moments and lines (especially "What! With tweeds!" from Michael Ward)

10.00 am More4 Tues 14 Nov


Nothing this week