Film Four & Film Four +1 19-06-08.
Astra 2D at 28.2E 10729 V SYM:22000 FEC 5/6
Film Four SID8335 VPID2312 APID2313 Eng
Film Four +1 SID8330 VPID2332 APID2333 Eng
(1947) In his first solo outing away from his brothers, Groucho Marx plays theatrical agent Lionel Q Devereaux.
Three Came Home
(1950) Powerful and fact-based drama starring Claudette Colbert as Agnes Keith.Four years after directing this powerful and humane film about life in a p.o.w. camp, Negulesco directed Three Coins in the Fountain, which proves his talent and virtuosity. Colbert is quite superb as the writer Keith who in 1941 tried to escape from Borneo, only to end up with her family interned and ill-treated in a Japanese camp. Based on her autobiography the film presents an unblinking portrait of the deprivations endured and the conduct of the 'jailers' and their rigid commander (Hayakawa)
(1948) John Wayne stars as Tom Dunson, owner of a vast Texan cattle empire.
A cattle baron and his adopted son try to drive their livestock from north from Texas to the Missouri railhead. Western drama starring John Wayne and Montgormery Clift
Red River This Hawks directed film teams 'Duke' Wayne with Montgomery Clift (excellent in his movie debut). They are the father and foster-son who, while on a make-or-break cattle drive, begin to question their relationship with each other as the former's work methods become steadily more tyrannical. With its observant and poignant script, stunning direction and breathtaking visuals (the action is set against some genuinely mind-boggling landscapes), this is epic film-making in the truest sense of the word, and a bold departure from the comedies with which Hawks is more commonly associated. Of Wayne's plethora of westerns, this stands out.
(1979) Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale and Fulton Mackay star in this superior spin-off feature from the much-loved TV sitcom.When Slade Prison plays host to a celebrity football match, those on the inside smell a chance to escape. Big screen version of the hit sitcom starring Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay and Brian Wilde
Porridge While virtually every British sitcom of the 1970s was blown up for the cinema screen, only a couple made the transition successfully. The two Steptoe And Son pictures have their defenders, as does Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais' The Likely Lads. However, it's another Clement/La Frenais entity that best made the trip from its 8.30 TV slot to the local Odeon. Arguably the greatest situation comedy of them all, 'Porridge' was so small-scale it appeared about as easy to blow-up as a leaky air-bed. Hats off then to the writers for knowing how to inflate their meisterwork, and congratulations to the cast for keeping their characters small without diminishing the size of the laughs. With day-to-day life as grim as ever at Her Majesty's Slade Prison, everyone from the governor to the oldest of lags is delighted when ageing recidivist Norman Stanley Fletcher (Barker) suggests bringing a team of celebrities up to play football against the prison first XI. Fletch, though, is but the front for a scam cooked up by prison bigwig Harry Grout (Vaughan) for whom the match is a means to freeing the Ronnie Biggs-esque Phil Oakes (Rutter). But with matters failing to run smoothly, it's Fletch and cellmate Lenny Godber (Beckinsale) who find themselves on the outside. And since both are near the end of their sentences, they don't want out - they want back in!
(2002) Joel Schumacher's taut thriller, told in real-time, stars Colin Farrell as a slimy New York publicist trapped in a phone box by a sniper.Colin Farrell stars as a slimy New York publicist trapped in a phone box by a sniper - voiced by Kiefer Sutherland - who wants to force him to admit to his sins
Phone Booth First it was delayed in the expectation that star Colin Farrell (Tigerland) would make it big post-Minority Report, then knees collectively jerked when a real sniper started picking people off in the US, but director Joel Schumacher and writer Larry Cohen's Phone Booth finally made it to screens (in the UK at least) in 2003. It's a quintessential piece of high concept cinema. A sniper snares a guy in a phone box. The guy in question is Stu Shepard (Farrell), a New York publicist who's been introduced doing his business on the mobile phone, playing would-be stars and magazine editors off against one another while a put-upon assistant scurries along behind him. He really is a creep: he's rude, he's arrogant, he's a fibber. But he's heading for a comeuppance, of sorts.
When Shepard goes to "the phone booth on 53rd and 8th, one of the last of its type still in operation" to call client cum potential conquest Pamela (Holmes) the phone rings. Instinctively he answers. Bad move. There's a crazy guy on the other end (voiced by Sutherland) and he's wielding a high velocity rifle with telescopic sights.
The film flags up the sniper's fundamental grievance with a question writ large in a shop window display behind Stu: "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?". More specifically, the sniper believes he is fulfilling some sort of judicial function, acting as conscience and even executioner of those he considers immoral, sinful. Previous victims include a German pornographer (and secret paedophile) and a corrupt corporate executive. He tells Stu, "You are guilty of inhumanity to your fellow man."
This vigilante mission pursues pretty weak logic, and is a flaw in the film. Sure, Stu is a liar who uses skilful deception to manipulate lives, but so do a million people in the media, marketing and entertainment industries. The problem is that the audience has to sympathise with Stu, so although we'd all concede he's a creep, there's still hope for him. The sniper is aggrieved that Stu is playing around behind the back of his wife, Kelly (Mitchell), but he's not actually shagged Pam, he's just thought about it. As he says himself, he's "just a publicist who has fantasies about pretty little actresses".
One Missed Call
(2003) Takashi Miike's second horror venture is a ghost-in-the-machine chiller in the style of Ringu.Takashi Miike's second horror venture is a ghost-in-the-machine chiller in the style of Ringu
After Hideo Nakata merged traditional long-haired she-ghosts with the modern trappings of technology to create Ringu (1998), South-East Asia's film industry (and the Hollywood remake machine) went into overdrive, slavishly imitating Nakata's winning formula and eventually milking it dry.Only Takashi Miike's first foray into horror, Audition (1999), a uniquely twisted psychological thriller which is still one of the most viscerally shocking horror films of all time, owed nothing to the Ringu model of J-horror. It is a surprise then that Miike's long-awaited return to the genre with One Missed Call (2003) should so closely follow all the conventions of a Nakata-style chiller. But what the film lacks in originality, it makes up for with the baroque exuberance of its execution.
Students begin receiving voicemail messages, apparently from themselves, recording the last moments of their future deaths - and then die a few days later exactly as presaged in the messages, slowly and in agony.
The police file the cases as suicides or accidents but Yumi Nakamura (Shibasaki), a child psychology student, has witnessed several of these deaths and knows there is something else at work. Soon she has joined forces with Hiroshi Yamashita (Tsutsumi), the brother of one of the first victims, and together they try to work out how a disused hospital, the distinctive sound of an asthma inhaler and the presence of candy in each of the victims' mouths are all connected with the series of murders. It is an investigation that becomes all the more urgent and personal once Yumi herself receives a call and knows that her number is up.
After the first grand guignol death, our heroine runs into some schoolgirls discussing the horror. One girl asserts that the victim, Yoko (Nagata), must have received "the call that foretells death" - which is the plot of Ringu in skeleton. Another girl says of the supernatural perpetrator: "I don't know the full story, but I heard she's a woman who died leaving a grudge in this world" - the plot of
The Man from Elysian Fields
(2001) Struggling novelist Andy Garcia becomes a male escort, which brings him into contact with ailing, aged Pulitzer-winner James Coburn.Struggling novelist Andy Garcia becomes a male escort, which brings him into contact with ailing, aged Pulitzer-winner James Coburn. A classy morality story that also stars Mick Jagger, Olivia Williams and Julianna Margulies
Man From Elysian Fields The Man From Elysian Fields is one of those modest but well-manicured movies that originates in the hinterland between Hollywood and American indie country. Byron Tiller (Garcia) is a middle-aged family man, with a supportive wife, Dena (Margulies), and a young son. They live in relative comfort in Pasadena - "a city where people still read". No one is reading Byron's first novel ('Hitler's Child'), however ("There it was in the remainder bin"), and his editor has rejected his new manuscript. Not knowing where to turn, Byron is slowly won over by suave British gent Luther Fox (Jagger), who tells him "A man can always support his family if he's willing to do what's necessary". What's necessary here is working for Luther's high-class male escort agency, Elysian Fields.
Lying to Dena, Byron gets involved - in a professional capacity - with Andrea Allcott (Williams). One night, Andrea's much older, dying husband, multiple Pulitzer-winning novelist Tobias (Coburn), butts in on them. What's more, he asks for Byron's help - "When I was your age, ideas used to flow out of me. Now I have to squeeze them out like little farts". Byron is mesmerised by this seeming fast-track to the acclaim he craves, but inevitably his marriage suffers.