What's on this week or so


Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)

Missionary Gladys Aylward heads for China and finds herself having to smuggle a group of children over the border to safety.

Great afternoon movie with an impressive performance from Ingrid Bergman and a final farewell from Robert Donat.

Still from Inn of the Sixth Happiness

1.25 pm Film4 Thur 21 March

Whisky Galore! (1948)

It's 1943 and for one Scottish Island the war is becoming unbearable: they have no whisky. That is until a ship full of the stuff runs aground. There's just one little problem - English Home Guard captain Basil Radford and the customs men he calls in to find the contraband.

As in all the best Ealing comedies, this has a sharp edge. Here the conflict is between the locals and the English land owners who can't grasp local cultural imperatives (and the need to get rat-arsed). If you want to get po-faced you can call it an allegory of imperialism; if not, you can just laugh at one of the funniest comedies made by Ealing.

3.25 pm BBC2 Thur 21 March

The Thirty-Nine Steps (1959)

This might be more fondly remembered if it wasn't for the original which, despite its studio-bound scenes, beats this remake hands down. Kenneth More is the hero who gets himself chained to Taina Elg.

2.45 pm Fim4 Fri 22 March

The 39 Steps (1935)

The pinnacle of Alfred Hitchcock's British career, this film has all the classic elements we've come to expect: innocent man falsely accused (Robert Donat), beautiful blonde (Madeleine Carroll), well known locations (the Forth bridge) and bags of suspense and humour. It's been re-made twice since but why did they bother when the original is so perfect?

Still from The 39 StepsPoster for The 39 StepsPoster for The 39 Steps

2.05 pm BBC2 Sat 23 March

49th Parallel (1941)

Powell and Pressburger's most propagandist film centres on a stranded group of Germans trying to cross Canada and get into neutral USA. The aim was to show America what a bunch of bastards the Germans were, though as usual, Powell and Pressburger couldn't resist making some of them sympathetic.

One of the main problems in production was leading lady Elisabeth Bergner's refusal to return to Britain after the Canadian exteriors were shot. She was replaced by Glynis Johns but can still be seen in some of the long shots. One of the other problems is Laurence Olivier's laughable attempt at a French Canadian accent. Despite these little upsets, this is another winner from Powell and Pressburger.

11.00 am Film4 Mon 25 March

Yangtse Incident (1957)

True story of how HMS Amethyst escaped from the Chinese revolution in 1949. The story is fascinating but the film far too long.

5.05 pm Fim4 Wed 27 March

Hell Below Zero (1954)

True story of how HMS Amethyst escaped from the Chinese revolution in 1949. The story is fascinating but the film far too long.

12.50 m Film4 Thur 28 March

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

1.25 pm Film4 Fri 29 March



Nothing this week