Looking at the Skyplus memory bank (must really get around to watching The Night Manager before it’s one year anniversary) I notice that I’m collecting movies being shown by the estimable Talking Pictures TV channel. The channel’s picture quality has much improved, and the recent deal to show movies licensed by ITV Global Entertainment and Miramax is filling some gaps in my knowledge of British cinema.
Jigsaw is slated for a US Blu-Ray release sometime soon, I believe. Meanwhile, Val Guest’s documentary style police drama has much to commend it . Jack Warner gets to jump up a rank to Detective Inspector, Brighton and Saltdean look as shabby and rundown as they did a decade earlier in Brighton Rock, captured for posterity in excellent monochrome cinemascope photography. I guessed the who of the whodunit the classic way, by recognising a bit part character being played by somebody a bit too good for that role. I missed completely the way the suspect’s alibi is broken, despite it being mentioned every ten minutes or so!
Jack Warner plays completely against type in My Brother’s Keeper – here he’s a convict who has leapt to freedom, not letting a little thing like being handcuffed to juvenile delinquent George Cole get in his way. David Tomlinson is a junior reporter breaking into his own honeymoon to pursue the case, which suggests a light side to the film which doesn’t actually materialise. This is strong, bleak stuff, well played by the cast, and a casual murder two thirds through the film still shocks.
Hell Drivers is always worth a look thanks to a cast en route to great things – Patrick McGoohan, Stanley Baker, David McCallum, William Hartnell, Sean Connery – but becomes even more fascinating as it’s a screenplay by John Kruse, who went on to script the recently rediscovered Avengers’ episode “Tunnel of Fear”. Any connections? Stanley Baker could almost be a cousin to Anthony Bates’ character (they could have done jail time together) but I have to say this is superior in terms of suspense, thrills, and dramatic ending (a cliffhanger no less.) I will probably buy this if Network get round to a Blu-ray edition.