BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Dirty Harry ★★★★★
Don Siegel’s classic thriller raised accusations that its protagonist, San Francisco police inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), was a fascist. For ages I went around denying this but now I think I was wrong because, in pursuing a serial killer called Scorpio (Andy Robinson), Callahan rides roughshod over America’s laws and Constitution to make the end justify the means, and that’s what fascists do. His intentions are pure, his methods are not, but we don’t care. Scorpio, who is holding San Francisco to ransom by murdering people, could not be more odious. So we cheer Harry on, no matter what he does, and the fact that we are supporting a man who could hardly be more politically incorrect gives us an added guilty pleasure. This is a terrific thriller that firmly established Eastwood’s stardom. Hard to believe now that the role was initially offered to Frank Sinatra and then turned down by John Wayne, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.
Sink the Bismarck! ★★★★
The pride of the German fleet is targeted by the British in this true-story war movie, with Kenneth More leading the operation from the Admiralty.
Twelve Monkeys ★★★★
Director Terry Gilliam sends Bruce Willis zipping through time to try and save what’s left of humanity, including an ADHD Brad Pitt in one of his best roles.
Last Days in Vietnam ★★★★
This Oscar-nominated documentary charts the sharp exit of the USA from Saigon in 1975 and the plight of the locals they left behind.
12.50-2.20am Horror Channel
This superbly taut shocker conjures up a queasy sense of constant unease as two French teachers get more than they bargained for at their Romanian country home.
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