FilmFour & Film Four +1 28.02.08

Astra 2D at 28.2E 10729 V SYM:22000 FEC 5/6

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The Common Touch
(1941) Geoffrey Hibbert plays an 18-year-old with a social conscience who takes control of the family's business and clashes with a corrupt manager.Teen tycoon Geoffrey Hibbert comes to the aid of the homeless in this surprisingly entertaining WWII social drama from Love On The Dole director John Baxter
Concerns about the gap between Britain's haves and have-nots are nothing new. John Baxter's noble social drama, The Common Touch, proves that. Made in 1941 (the same vintage as Love On The Dole - the director's finest work), it highlights the plight of the nation's homeless, castigates the corruption and greed endemic in big business and dreams of a socialist utopia.

Dark Command
(1940) After his outstanding performance in John Ford's Stagecoach, John Wayne paired up with the other great director of westerns, Raoul Walsh.This action packed Civil War western pits badge-wearing John Wayne against ruthless gang leader Walter Pidgeon with Claire Trevor as the prize. Produced and directed by Raoul Walsh
It's 1860 and in the bustling town of Lawrence, Kansas, schoolmaster Will Cantrell (Pidgeon) is plotting his rise to power. "I'll be running Kansas yet," he tells his mother. "I'm going clear up to the top, but I'm not going for the climb or the view." The trouble is, there are really only two ways for Cantrell to legally attain the influence he craves. The first is to get elected as the town's marshal, and that post's just gone to honest cowpoke Bob Seton (Wayne).

Doctor in Clover
(1966) The penultimate film in the Doctor... series sees Gaston Grimsdyke embark on a medical school course run by Sir Lancelot Spratt.Leslie Philips stars in the sixth in the popular British hospital comedy series. A new doctor, a new matron, a power struggle, love, lust and televised surgery
The first 'Doctor' film, 1954's Doctor In The House, was the biggest grosser of the year and helped make a household name of Dirk Bogarde, who played the suave charmer Simon Sparrow. Bogarde reprised the role three more times for sequels, in 1957, 1958 and 1963, though he avoided 1960's Doctor In Love, which instead starred Leslie Philips and Michael Craig as Drs Burke and Hare. Philips takes the lead for this sixth instalment, this time round playing one Dr Gaston Grimsdyke.

That Thing You Do!
(1996) Lovingly accurate pastiche of Beatles mayhem written and directed by Tom Hanks.Tom Hanks wrote, directed and starred in this enjoyable nostalgia trip back to the early 60s. A light hearted feelgood with a touch of Happy Days
That Thing You Do! Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner share the James Stewart image, and each used their celebrity to develop pet projects. Whereas Dances With Wolves was an epic cultural tract, That Thing You Do! is a piece of entertaining bubblegum which, like its director, making his feature directorial debut, is high on charm and style.

Little Nicky
(2000) Harvey Keitel plays an ageing Satan who, after considering retirement, decides to hang on for another 10,000 years.Adam Sandler plays the son of Satan. Hell's gates have closed and his elder brothers are causing hell on earth in this gross-out comedy
Little Nicky There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who find the thought of Satan ramming a pineapple up Hitler's arse funny, and those who really, really don't. If you're the former, you'll love this movie. If you're the latter... well, let's just say you won't.

Black Book
(2006) Paul Verhoeven returns to his Dutch roots with this visceral drama of life under Nazi occupation in the Netherlands.The most expensive Dutch film ever made is an original, entertaining and preposterous flickbook of WWII atrocities from the director of Basic Instinct
There's something about the violent proclivities of Paul Verhoeven's best work that belongs forever to late twentieth century America. Robocop was a Republican's wet dream of corporate quagmires and zero-tolerance policing. Starship Troopers both aggrandised and attacked the excesses of American foreign policy. Showgirls and Hollow Man showed a man out of time and possibly out of his mind. Since then Verhoeven has stomped home to make "fruity films about suffering", to paraphrase Barton Fink, another outsider artiste adrift in LA.

Southern Comfort
(1981) A group of National Guardsmen on a training weekend suddenly find themselves in deadly conflict with the local Cajuns.A lost platoon of National Guardsmen falls foul of a band of bloodthirsty rednecks. Action thriller starring Fred Ward, Powers Boothe and Keith Carradine, and written and directed by Walter Hill
Southern Comfort There was a time in the early 1980s when it looked as if Walter Hill might don the mantle of his mentor Sam Peckinpah. With the great man marginalised from the system (he was reduced to making genre pictures like The Osterman Weekend and music videos for Julian Lennon) and Hill having scored sizeable hits with The Warriors and The Long Riders, it seemed possible that the screenwriter of The Getaway could establish a body of work to rival the cinematic carnage of 'Bloody Sam's' CV. Of course, things didn't work out as they might and Hill would tread B-movie water for the better part of 20 years before scoring big with the spectacular TV western 'Deadwood'. That Hill failed to follow in Peckinpah's blood-spattered path seems sad when one considers the artistic success of Southern Comfort, a violent but intelligent action movie of the sort Peckinpah used to make in his sleep.