What's on this week or so


The Maggie (1953)

This Ealing comedy is now half-forgotten thanks to a lack of the "usual suspects" in the cast. American Paul Douglas has the lead and is surrounded by a bunch of Scots character actors busily outwitting him as he tries to get some valuable cargo transported in the Western Isles. Well worth watching.

Still from The Maggie

6.20 pm BBC2 Sun 13 Jan

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

Sherlock Holmes gets the Hammer treatment ("It's ten times the terror in Technicolor!"). Peter Cushing makes a fair Holmes though the production looks cheap and the hound is a bit disappointing.

Poster for The Hound of the Baskervilles

11.00 am Film4 Mon 14 Jan

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)

Kenneth More is the English innocent at large in the Wild Wild West. Jayne Mansfield is the gal who teaches him the ways of the world.

It's a retread of The Paleface, but it's still a fun comedy and the stars work together far better than could be expected. 

2.40 pm Film4 Mon 14 Jan

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)

4.45 pm Film4 Mon 14 Jan

Jassy (1947)

More Wicked Lady stuff from Margaret Lockwood. This time she's a gypsy, more sinned against than sinning, and without that strain of evil this film quickly becomes a dull disappointment.

9.55 am Talking Pictures TV Tues 15 Jan

Gasbags (1940)

The Crazy Gang tie their mobile fish-and-chip shop to a barrage balloon and accidentally get carried to Nazi Germany. They break out of their prison, Teddy Knox impersonates Hitler and they get back home in a new secret weapon - an underground tank.

The whole film is a blissful two-fingers up to Germany and WWII at a period when it looked like we were losing. It has some truly outrageous moments and could well be Britain's most anarchic comedy.

Still from Gasbags

6.00 am Talking Pictures TV thur 17 Jan

Colditz (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.

11.00 am Film4 Fri 18 Jan


Dead of Night (1945)

If you had to pick a portmanteau film, this would be most people's choice. It's a classic collection of creepy stories held together by Mervyn John's recurring dream. Standouts are Michael Redgrave and his ventriloquist dummy and Googie Withers' haunted mirror

20.40 NFT2 Sat 12 Jan, 14.30 NFT Studio Thur 17 Jan

The Ghost Goes West (1935)

When a Scottish castle is exported to America, its ghost goes with it.

Lovely fantasy.

17.50 NFT2 Sun 13 Jan

Night of the Demon (1957)

People who upset occultist Dr Karswell have a habit of dying. When an American psychologist does the same, Karswell hands him a parchment and says he'll die in four days. Can the American beat the curse?

A text book example of how to tell this sort of spooky story, this is one of the highlights of 50s cinema.

20.40 NFT2 Mon 14 Jan

Gaslight (1939)

This was long thought to be a lost film because when MGM did the remake they bought up all the prints. It's the tale of wife Diana Wynyard driven to madness by her husband Anton Walbrook in his search for her family's missing rubies. More tight-arsed than the American version which suits the claustrophobic atmosphere.

18.10 NFT3 Wed 16 Jan