BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Lady and the Tramp ★★★★★
OK, the sentimentality can become a little cloying at times but what did you expect — this is a Disney animated feature. It tells of the developing romance between Lady (Barbara Luddy), a cosseted cocker spaniel, and Tramp (Larry Roberts), a scruffy mongrel from the wrong side of the tracks. Apart from the difference in their social status the obstacles and dangers they face include running away together, being seized by dog catchers and a fight with a vicious rat, which is menacing the new-born baby of Lady’s owners. Best of all, though, are the two wicked Siamese cats (both voiced by Peggy Lee) whose destructive activities land the dogs in more trouble and help to cut the sentimentality. The overall effect is engaging, funny and pretty exciting. There’s a nice comic turn from Stan Freberg as a friendly and helpful beaver and some great songs written and sung by Peggy Lee, including He’s a Tramp and The Siamese Cat Song.
War of the Worlds ★★★★
Martian hordes come a-calling in Steven Spielberg’s epic take on the HG Wells alien-invasion classic. Tom Cruise looks suitably frantic as the blue-collar dad desperate to save his kids from disintegration.
The Quiet American ★★★★
Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser vie for the love of a young Vietnamese woman as Vietnam bridles under French colonial rule. Caine is on Oscar-nominated form in a sweatily atmospheric adaptation of the Graham Greene novel.
Meet the Parents ★★★★
The hilariously painful interaction between dad Robert De Niro and prospective son-in-law Ben Stiller may force you to watch this comedy with your hands in front of your face.
Goodbye First Love ★★★★
PREMIERE 9.40-11.30pm BBC4
Fans of the languorous film-making style of Eric Rohmer (Claire’s Knee, The Green Ray) will appreciate this tale about a young woman’s first love coming back into her life after years abroad.
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