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Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Cancelled in 1969 after three seasons on television, Star Trek  appeared to lay dormant in the late 1970s, until it was unexpectedly revived in a big screen version as Star Trek: The Motion Picture , the film that would transfer the Star Trek brand from the small screen to feature films and precede its 1980s television revival.
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The Memphis Belle: The Story of a Flying Fortress (1944)

The Memphis Belle: The Story of a Flying Fortress is a World War II documentary directed by the Oscar-winning film director William Wyler. Wyler had made several acclaimed feature films in the 1930s and 1940s, including Wuthering Heights (1939), The Little Foxes (1941) and Mrs Miniver (1942), when he joined the U.S. Army Air Force as a Major in order to make documentaries about the war in Europe.  Wyler went to England where he initially struggled to set up a film project or find useful work. Eventually he and his crew joined the 91st Bomb Group based in Bassingbourne in Cambridgeshire, where they would capture genuine footage of bombing missions over occupied Europe. The film they made, The Memphis Belle: The Story of a Flying Fortress , follows one particular American raid over Germany. It focuses on one aeroplane in the raid, a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress given the name Memphis Belle  by the crew. 

Power Play (1978)

A military coup in an unnamed country is the basis for this 1970s political thriller starring David Hemmings, Peter O'Toole and Donald Pleasence.  David Hemmings plays Colonel Narriman, an apparently decent army officer on the verge of retirement. Narriman is looking forward to a quiet life on his farm in the country, when he is persuaded to take part in a coup against the government. The country's current regime is authoritarian and unpleasant and the country beset by terrorist violence. Narriman himself is finally convinced of the need for action when his friends' daughter is murdered by the country's secret police.  Narriman is recruited to the plot by Dr. Jean Rousseau (Barry Morse) and he is soon rounding up his army colleagues to join him. The most important target for recruitment is a maverick tank commander, Colonel Zeller (Peter O'Toole), who will be able to give the plotters the armoured support they need to take on the rest of the government forces. But Z

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

One of John Ford's last films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is an exploration of some of the myths and mythologising of the old West and the relationship between historical fact and legend.  Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) is a respected US Senator who arrives unexpectedly with his wife Hallie (Vera Miles) one day in the small western town of Shinbone, the place where Stoddard had first made his name. When the local newspaper editor learns he is there, he senses a story. Stoddard explains that he is in town for the funeral of an old friend, Tom Donophin (John Wayne). When pressed further, Stoddard reluctantly decides that it's time to finally tell the tale of his friendship with Donophin and the true story behind his famed shootout with outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). When Stoddard first arrived in Shinbone as a young lawyer, the local area was being terrorised by Valance and his men. Stoddard himself was on a stagecoach held up by the gang on his first trip into Shin

Classic TV: Red Dwarf - The Early Years (Series I & II)

The adventures of a man, a cat and a hologram (and later on an android),  Red Dwarf  is one of the world's longest-running sitcoms and the world's second longest-running sci-fi series, after the BBC's venerable Doctor Who . It's also a series with a strong cult following and a legion of fans who have stuck with it through its many ups and downs over the decades. Although based on a small cast of (usually) four characters, the show has undergone many changes and much evolution - a lot of it positive, although not all of it - since it was first broadcast in 1988. The basis of Red Dwarf was originally to look at the sci-fi space epic from an unusual angle; that is, from the point of view of the lowliest people in outer space. This was a view of the sci-fi genre from the perspective of the grunts, the equivalent of the people who empty the bins on the Death Star. In its early years, the series was essentially an antagonistic odd couple sitcom set in a  Star Trek  type world

6 Films from 6 Decades

This year's blogathon from the Classic Film & TV Cafe is 6 Films - 6 Decades . Originally Rick asked people to choose six favourite films from each decade from the 1920s to the 1970s. But he took pity on those of us who aren't that big on silent cinema and allowed us to make it one each from the 1930s to the 1980s. There are plenty of films I like from the 1920s, but nothing I could really call a favourite. So, for that reason, I've gone for the cheat's option on this one. The 39 Steps (1935)

Book Review: Once a Saint - An Actor's Memoir, by Ian Ogilvy

For a while, Ian Ogilvy was very famous indeed, a household name and recognised just about everywhere he went. That was when he played Simon Templar in the 1970s revival of The Saint on television. For the rest of his acting career, he has mostly been a busy and familiar presence, working steadily in film, theatre and television in a variety of roles and genres, with varying degrees of success. His career has ranged from murder mysteries and Noel Coward plays to farces, sitcoms and horror films.