What's on this week or so


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

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)

1.10 pm Film4 Sat 19 Jan

The Wicked Lady (1945)

The most popular film of its year. This archetypal Gainsborough melodrama was loathed by critics - who may have had a point. It's silly and badly made but it has an energy rarely found in British costume dramas. Margaret Lockwood has the title role as the woman who steals her best friend's fiancée in order to get rich and then, when she gets bored with country life, becomes a highwayman. Along the way she gets to shag fellow highwayman James Mason.

Still from The Wicked Lady

4.00 pm Talking Pictures TV Sun 20 Jan

Carry On Nurse (1959)

Sergeant was the first, but this is the one that really established the Carry Ons. The regulars are beginning to assemble: Hattie Jacques gets to play matron, and Joan Sims gets to do something rude with a daffodil. It's fun all the way, though without the outrageous camp of the later ones.

4.45 pm Film4 Tues 22 Jan

The Way to the Stars (1945)

The life and times of bomber pilots through the war.

One of the all-time great films, this was voted best film of the war by Daily Mail readers in 1945. It's certainly gives the picture of the war the way people want to remember it.

Anthony Asquith on the set of The Way to the Stars

2.20 pm Film4 Wed 23 Jan

A Day to Remember (1953)

A pub darts team go on a trip to France. Nice ensemble playing in this quaint comedy-drama.

4.45 pm Film4 Fri 25 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.

115.40 NFT1 Sun 20 Jan

Rembrandt (1936)

Despite a meandering plot, this bio-pic is truly memorable. The central performance by Charles Laughton is probably his finest and the supporting cast is perfect. The feeling of Rembrandt's painting is recreated by the most wonderful set design, even though the film is in Black and White.

Poster for Rembrandt

20.30 NFT3 Tues 22 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

18.20 NFT2 Fri 25 Jan