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Showing posts from May, 2020

Quiz (2020): The Game Show, the Cough and the Criminal Trial

Quiz tells the story of one of the more unlikely scandals of early 21st Century Britain. It's a story of a phenomenally successful TV game show, a million pound prize, a court case, and a lot of coughing.

In the 1990s and early 2000s British television became good at creating reality TV formats that sold around the world. Before the likes of Pop Idol and The X Factor came the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Part of Millionaire's appeal is summed up by that title. Its top prize was a then unprecedented £1 million. Or, as Doctor Evil might say, One Million Pounds.

Unlike later reality TV shows, the programme's contestants weren't filtered by how photogenic they were or what heart-rending backstory they could produce. Almost anyone could phone the production company's hotline, answer a few questions, and theoretically have the chance of going on to compete for the million.

Once on the show, the cash prizes got bigger with each question successfully answered, …

6 Favourite Films from the 1960s

For National Classic Movie Day on 16th May, the Classic Film and TV Cafe are hosting the 6 from the '60s blogathon. Writers and bloggers are asked to pick their six favourite films of the 1960s and say a bit about their choices.

This event is a sequel to the Five Favourites of the Fifties blogathon, one of the most entertaining blogathons that I took part in last year. I think the 1960s choices are going to be more eclectic and harder to guess, so I'm especially interested in seeing what everyone else's picks are this time.

Anyway, these are my six choices. There are at least four films here that I don't expect to see on any other list. But who knows?



Two Way Stretch (1960)


Most Peter Sellers fans will probably tell you that his best films were made earlier in his career, before he got trapped playing Inspector Clouseau over and over again.

One of his best films is Two Way Stretch from 1960. Sellers plays the leader of a trio of imprisoned crooks (with David Lodge and …

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

This 1992 film version of Dracula was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and stakes a claim for itself initially by virtue of its faithfulness to the original novel. Although there have been hundreds of films featuring Count Dracula, many owe little to the original source novel by Bram Stoker.

This version is also partially an origins story, and ties itself in to one of the probable inspirations for the character, Vlad III of Wallachia, also known as Vlad the Impaler. The film's prologue shows Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) as a 15th Century knight, defending his land from an invading Turkish army. Dracula leaves his young bride, Elisabeta (Winona Ryder), to lead his soldiers against the Turks in battle.

Dracula and his forces are victorious, but a false message saying that he has been killed in the battle has been sent to his wife. The inconsolable Elisabeta commits suicide, and when Dracula returns to discover her body, he is told by an elderly priest (Anthony Hopkins) that her sou…