Take the phone off the hook and grab the most comfortable seat in your house on Friday nights from 16 February at 8.30pm when ABC2 brings some of British cinemas best thrillers to the small screen.
Whether you remember the films from their first release or you can’t remember a time without colour television, these classic movies are guaranteed entertainers!
The recent removal of genre restrictions has opened up exciting possibilities for ABC2, including screening film classics previously relegated to late night timeslots.
Featuring directors, cinematographers and actors whose influence still impacts on many contemporary filmmakers, the Classic Film: Thrillers series provides a great, advertisement-free, night in at the movies.
Over ten weeks, audiences will be thrilled by:
16 February: S?ance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)
23 February: The Rocking Horse Winner (1949)
2 March: I See a Dark Stranger (1946)
9 March: Lost (1956)
16 March: Green For Danger (1946)
23 March: The Spider and The Fly (1949)
30 March: Jassy (1947)
6 April: The League of Gentlemen (1959)
13 April: The Clairvoyant (1934)
20 April: Madeleine (1950)
ABC2 is the ABC’s digital-only, free-to-air channel – a complementary service offering new, original and innovative content alongside time-shifted ABC programs. It is available free-to-air on channel 21 with a digital set-top box, or from selected pay TV services. For more information, visit abc.net.au/abc2.
S?ANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON
S?ance on a Wet Afternoon (dir. Bryan Forbes, 1964), stars Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough. Myra and Billy Savage plan to ‘borrow’ a child using the perceived kidnapping to highlight Myra’s power as a medium. Kim Stanley – who famously left a career on stage – was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Myra, a fragile woman slipsliding between sanity and insanity. S?ance on a Wet Afternoon is a tense psychological thriller, brilliantly acted and directed.
THE ROCKING HORSE WINNER
The Rocking Horse Winner (dir. Anthony Pelissier, 1950) is the first recorded film adaptation of a D.H. Lawrence story in which a teenage boy finds he is able to pick winning race horses – with dire results. The musical score by William Alwyn sets the scene for this dark thriller featuring John Howard Davies, Valerie Hobson, Hugh Sinclair and John Mills. The Rocking Horse Winner is not just a nail-biting thriller but a film with resonances for the perils of rampant consumerism.
I SEE A DARK STRANGER
Deborah Kerr stars in I See A Dark Stranger (dir. Frank Launder, 1946) playing a young woman whose hatred of the British government leads to an alliance with a German agent during World War II and her unwitting entanglement in the Nazis’ spy network. This is the film that brought Deborah Kerr to Hollywood’s attention.
In Lost (Guy Green, 1956) a baby is kidnapped and the police – and the baby’s parents – pursue scant leads in an attempt to find the child and its kidnapper.
GREEN FOR DANGER
Green For Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946) is every patients’ worst nightmare as unwitting victims die mysteriously on an emergency hospital’s operating table. Sally Gray, Trevor Howard, Rosamund John and Alistair Sim’s performances put the very British talent for macabre humour in the spotlight.
THE SPIDER AND THE FLY
The Spider and The Fly (Robert Hamer, 1949) transports us to Paris, World War I where the relationships that develop between a police chief, a gentlemen safecracker and his pretty young accomplice lead to disillusionment. Watch carefully for a young George Cole (later Arthur Daley).
Jassy (dir. Bernard Knowles 1947) is one of only two Gainsborough films made in Technicolor. Starring Margaret Lockwood as Jassy, an independent and daring young woman whose gift of second sight enables her to climb the social ladder. A marvellous melodrama and the only colour film in the Classic Films: Thrillers season!
THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN
With a cast led by Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Roger Livesey and Richard Attenborough, The League of Gentlemen (dir. Basil Dearden 1959) is a ripping yarn described in the original Rank press sheet as “a grand edge-of-your-seat film that will delight for its impudent effrontery and sheer, joyous vitality.” A disgruntled veteran (Jack Hawkins) recruits a group of former army colleagues to perform a bank robbery with military precision.
The Clairvoyant (dir. Maurice Elvey 1934) stars Claude Rains as Maximus, a man making a (dis)honest living as a music hall clairvoyant. His wife Rene (Fay Wray), who ‘assists’ his second sight, is unable to fulfil her role one night and, in panic, Maximus’ true gift is revealed – with dramatic consequences.
Madeleine (dir. David Lean 1950) is based on the true story of a Glasgow woman, Madeleine Smith (Ann Todd) who, in 1857, was accused of murdering her French lover.