A Harrowing of Hell that depends on a specific construction to achieve its effect, that is, Griffiths must show what comedy hell is, really, beyond any doubt.

He has another line going, which is the business end, so to speak, you have to be funny, that’s all, and it isn’t taught in night school even by the Lancashire Lad himself, retired.

The Lad went wet over a tour conducted in East Germany of a death camp, that Schadenfreude was too much.

His most resistant student, disciple of Grock in “truth” says he, gets ice from Frost and is all the wetter for it.

A Hindu butt of somebody’s joke tells one of his own to the Lad and saves the day, something about sacred cows, and there (if Dante is any guide) is the Hell and the Harrowing, a very funny joke.


The Imitation Game

As stated here by a fictionalized Turing (Turner), the title is a proposed experiment meant to demonstrate that a machine can think, or not.

Frinton, the ATS, BP, known as Bletchley.

The itching career of a suburban girl who finds excitement in the prospect of a German invasion and wants to get into it, preferably running the show with maps and charts and staff and all.

This is very closely related to Losey’s Accident, perhaps identical, and very well directed by Eyre on location.


The Cherry Orchard

Chekhov’s Madame Bovary, in which the heroine lives to see the estate and orchard sold.

A very beautiful production laid out with immense skill, exactly like a London stage play in the most exact renderings of set design and lighting, and television direction of the best.


Suddenly Last Summer

The affair is rather different in Mankiewicz’ film, here the violence directed toward the witness is much more telling.

The rich old cootie-catcher wants to drive away the senses of a niece who knows the truth about her son, the poet of a season.

John J. O’Connor, the television critic of the New York Times, took it for a cri de cœur from somewhere.



Murphy rocks, tied to his rocker, “mother rocker” here, to attain the stilly mind at all points of Creation that is so like the act of poesis as described somewhere.

It’s arrived at by a kind of song or rime, repeated with variations, of repeated disappointments in the outer world, the great world Murphy calls it, a song of the degrees.

Penelope Wilton wonderfully made-up, chiming in on the voice from time to time, a perfect expression. The direction enough to indicate the precision usefully.



The night was coming in which no Murdoch could work, as Beckett might say.

Mind you, she was a pain in the arse at Oxford. Later she became a genius of sorts, English sorts.

Tony Blair is the Prime Minister, an eminently forgettable fact, dullness is the rule of the day, arseholes are everywhere.

The very fine hand of Charles Wood is on the screenplay.

Elvis Mitchell rated this as “moldy, minor-key melodrama” in a pan for the New York Times, critics generally agreed, some of them liked it.