MOVIE WATCH III.
THURSDAY Father Goose (Film4, 1.35pm) A hard-drinking beachcomber languishing on a small South Sea island is assigned to look for Japanese spy-planes by the Australian Navy during the Second World War. When his path crosses with a hapless teacher and her schoolgirl pupils marooned on a nearby shore, he pilots them to the safety of his own home. Predictably, the prim schoolmistress and her drunkard host make for poor company. An excellent comedy from director Ralph Nelson, with great screen chemistry between Cary Grant and Leslie Caron. Grant had been offered the part of Henry Higgins in the movie version of My Fair Lady, but turned it down to star in this. He also wanted Audrey Hepburn, his co-star in Charade, to play Caron's character.
Tank 432 (Film4, 11.35pm) Ben Wheatley is one of the most exciting British film-makers around, so knowing he was involved in the making of this creepy, claustrophobic horror should be enough to inspire viewers to tune in. He's the executive producer, having handed writing and directing duties over to Nick Gillespie. The plot focuses on a group of mercenaries who, while under attack from a mysterious enemy, take shelter in the titular tank. But rather than being a safe haven, the vehicle is fraught with danger. After realising they are trapped inside, the group discover files that suggest something very horrible indeed is about to happen to them... Rupert Evans, Michael Smiley, Steve Garry and Deirdre Mullins head the cast.
FRIDAY Pitch Perfect (E4, 9pm) Beca (Anna Kendrick) arrives at Barden College with dreams of becoming a music producer, to the chagrin of her father, university professor Dr Mitchell (John Benjamin Hickey). He promises to fund a career in Los Angeles if she agrees to become involved in campus life. So Beca reluctantly signs up with all-girl acappella group The Bellas, who flopped spectacularly at last year's sing-off when soloist Aubrey (Anna Camp) projectile vomited over the audience. Aubrey's right-hand gal, Chloe (Brittany Snow), is open to Beca's bold ideas to reinvigorate the repertoire but Aubrey insists they stick to her songbook of 1990s favourites. New girl Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) throws her considerable weight behind Beca but as the competition draws near, tensions are evident.
Bram Stoker's Dracula (Film4, 1.20am) The Dracula myth gets a gory going-over from Francis Ford Coppola, with Gary Oldman as the vampire who likes his stakes rare (or, even better, not at all). On the plus side, the storyline stays close to Bram Stoker's novel, the Gothic sets are both good-looking and sinister, and the make-up is marvellous. But on the minus side, Oldman's Eastern European accent is so thick you can't understand a word he's saying, Winona Ryder makes an anaemic heroine and Anthony Hopkins is ham personified. Keanu Reeves is also miscast as stiff-upper-lipped British hero, Jonathan Harker. A stylish and colourful film but, horror fans may be disappointed that Coppola ditched horror in favour of big budget thrills and spills.
DID YOU KNOW? Francis Ford Coppola wanted Johnny Depp to play Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker's Dracula, but the studio wanted someone who was more of a heartthrob
<B Pitch Perfect