FILM CHOICE AND CRITIC'S CHOICE; Barmy bros chase away those blues.
Learning that the orphanage where they were raised by nuns is about to be sold to pay a property tax, Jake and Elwood Blues decide to save it.
The problem is they have to raise dollars 5000 in 11 days. So the brothers decided to reform their blues band and raise the money by staging a big gig.
The plot itself is fairly sketchy, but it's how it is handled that has ensured it holds a special place in the memories of film lovers.
The film, which originated from a sketch on the US TV series Saturday Night Live, is jammed full of one hilarious episode after another, epic car chases and great music.
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as the big-hearted petty criminal Blues Brothers.
They are ably backed up by a musical supporting cast which includes Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Cab Calloway. And when director John Landis wants a choir session, James Brown and Chaka Khan lead the singing.
It's all held together by the band - an excellent selection of musicians.
(BBC2, 6.45am - 8.00am)
Oh mammy. This is dire. So bad, in fact, that this "comedy" would give The Vicar of Dibley a laugh. (1935)
Never So Few
(BBC2, 2.25pm - 4.25pm)
Sweat it out in wartime Burma with Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Steve McQueen. Clich-ridden drama. (1959)
Seduction In A Small Town
(Ch5, 9.00pm - 10.50pm)
It's good to talk - but not to be the subject of the gossip. Young mother Melissa Gilbert is falsely accused of abusing her children in wagging tongues teledrama. (1996)
(BBC2, 9.30pm - 11.55pm)
Steve McQueen as Henri Charriere, a man devoted to finding ways of escaping the squalor of Devil's Island penal colony. An unrelentingly brutal film that gives a fascinating insight into screen acting styles. McQueen, as ever, is wary and watchful while co-star Dustin Hoffman fidgets and fusses over the tiniest task. Scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo appears as the warden in the opening scene. (1973)
(Ch5, 10.50pm - 12.50am)
See how hard it is to digest spaghetti with blood and guts instead of sauce in this Western. Lee Van Cleef broodingly bides his time as he serves the townsfolk he despises. (1970)
(Ch4, 11.35pm - 1.15am)
Homicide cop Scott Glenn seems to be caught up in one of his own spare- time novels after glamorous new neighbour Lara Flynn Boyle is stabbed with a knife bearing his fingerprints. Initially intriguing mystery soon peters out in a series of absurdly melodramatic contrivances. (1994)
(BBC2, 12.45am - 2.40am)
After looking askance at Swinging London in Blow Up, Michelangelo Antonioni casts a jaundiced eye on student unrest in America. Though lacking in immediacy, it has a peculiar elegance and is justifiably famous for its explosive climax (jarring music courtesy of Pink Floyd's Careful With That Axe, Eugene). The acting is purposely blank. (1970)
(Ch5, 1.25am - 3.05am)
Psst ... this is something that's best kept quiet. Small town newspaper
editor Loni Anderson is targeted by a serial killer who phones up his victims and scares them by whispering nasty nothings in their ears. Minimal suspense in a slack thriller. With Jeremy Slate. (1988)
Morons From Outer Space
(Ch5, 3.05am - 4.35am)
Just a little too far out of this world, boys. Feeble sci-fi comedy with Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones. They just don't seem to have an earthly. (1985)
The Real ... Kaiser Bill
Ch 4, 9.00pm - 10.00pm
The horror of World War I is known by all - especially at this time of the year with Remembrance Sunday just around the corner.
Channel 4 profiles the life and times of a man many hold directly responsible for the greatest carnage the world has seen in the week of the 80th anniversary of the end of the combat.
The Real Kaiser Bill is the third in the acclaimed new biographical series looking at infamous figures in world history.
The programme charts Kaiser Wilhelm II's life and influences, from a painful childhood to his death in exile in 1941, when he still clung to dreams of a return to power as monarch of a resurgent Germany.
It features interviews with Prince Wilhelm Karl and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, grandson and great grandson respectively of the Kaiser, Prussian princes and relatives of the British Royal Family. There is also a fascinating radio interview with the Kaiser speaking - in impeccable English - from exile in 1931.
Before the war Kaiser Bill, as the Tommies called him, was an Admiral of the British Fleet, Field Marshal of the British Army and the youngest ever Knight of the Garter.
As defeat for his country became inevitable in 1918, he fled to neutral Holland, where he remained until his death.
However, the lack of success, personally or for his country, in the First World War did nothing to dull this man's spirits and neither did the fact that he learnt of his own abdication in 1918 by telephone - after it had been announced by his government.
Fleeing to Holland to escape his own countrymen as well as the Allies only served to make Kaiser Bill more bitter, and he longed for recognition once more from the country he loved.
Within four years of the war's end his youngest son had committed suicide and his first wife was dead, but his second wife - his own god- daughter Princess Hermine - actively promoted the Kaiser's cause amongst the Nazis.
Not content it seemed with being responsible for the horror of one war, Kaiser Bill wanted in on another.
He was appalled by some of the Nazis' vulgarity, but he shared many of their ambitions and he held the Jews responsible for his abdication and wrote: "Let no German rest until these parasites have been destroyed."
Perhaps it was lucky for the Kaiser that he died in 1941 under the impression that his fantasy of German supremacy in the world was about to come true.
Oh Mercy. Eve is off on a mission to Romania, but Charlie just can't see the big picture and is moaning about how short- staffed he'll be in A&E.
It's not entirely his fault, though. Eve (Barbara Marten) went over Charlie's (Derek Thompson) head to book extended leave. And she hasn't even told him she needs it to deliver emergency supplies to medics over there.
All she has said to him is that basically it's none of his business.
But when he tries to make it his business, Eve is adamant and says: "Sorry but this isn't about the team. It's about you. You don't run this and you don't run my life." So there.
Charlie won't have much time to fume though. Things are much too busy. And he'll be able to take his mind off his own worries when he sees how much more profound are those of Max (Robert Gwilym).
Max's son Frank (Tobias Menzies) has been admitted after taking a heroin overdose. Frank bellows: "This doctor is my father. If I were you, I wouldn't let him near you. He doesn't care about you. He doesn't care about anyone except himself." Maybe they don't get on.
Josh (Ian Bleasdale) and Penny (Donna Alexander) almost can't see the wood for the trees when they find they have different views on a road protest through a forest. Chop, chop, you two, there are casualties to deal with.
Channel 4, 8.00pm
Ben Elton, above, likes Eggs, Beans and Crumpets, by PG Wodehouse ... but whatever your taste in books, you're bound to find something to whet your appetite here.
Elton joins American author Edmund White to discuss Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full with presenter David Aaronovitch and resident reviewer Nigella Lawson.
In the first of the second series, the guests also get to indulge their own literary passions and White chooses Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli by Ronald Firbank.
There's also an interview with Booker Prize winner Pat Barker, who will be discussing her new novel, Another World.
Brian Barron's in trouble ... quite a lot of trouble. But he seems to be bearing up incredibly well.
That's probably because he's not actually caused any of the problems - though he does seem to have an unhealthy interest in trouble spots around the world.
He's the BBC's New York correspondent and this week is dipping into community disputes in West Virginia, crime reporting in Mexico and covering mines clearance operations in the Sudan.
The trouble in the Appalachian mountains is brewing over coal companies whipping the tops off mountains and dumping the waste in the valleys.
So well-balanced is the Beeb's Brian that he perches on the fence so that he can hear both sides of the dispute.
But what goes on in them thar hills is pretty tame to what happens in the Mexican city of Juarez.
It's home to 500 drug houses and 600 street gangs. And, despite a relatively small population of one and a half million residents, there is a murder recorded nearly every day.
After 15 years of civil war in Sudan, refugees returning to their homeland find it's a minefield.
It's too costly and dangerous for the international community to deal with - so the people are doing it for themselves.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Nov 7, 1998|
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