Even More Of What You Fancy
Over the last five or sixth months either Film4, one of the ITV channels, or perhaps even a combination of the two, peppered their schedules with films like Avalanche Express, Bear Island, and The Cassandra Crossing. As films go they aren’t particularly remarkable and certainly won’t ever be inducted into some movie pantheon or other. Made by journeyman directors who weren’t out to make any kind of artistic statement, they had some big names in the cast and were pretty decent stripped down thrillers, which makes a change from a lot of the bloated nonsense we get nowadays.
Watching these films again reminded me of seeing them on their initial release, back at the tail–end of the 1970s when audiences didn’t give a damn about budgets or box–office takings and certainly weren’t subjected to all this current day hullabaloo and tiresome hype. Instead they simply pitched up at one of the local cinemas with precious little fanfare and proved to be just the sort of movies that helped while away a Saturday afternoon. Even if they would be amongst the many titles destined to fall between the cracks of memory, when it came to providing some decent entertainment for a couple of hours, those films did all right, then and now.
Being reacquainted with them for the first time in more than thirty years, it reminded me of the challenge set last year by Stephen Gallagher to list the films that I’ll happily watch from beginning to end any number of times. Back then I came up with 31 titles most, as I said, weren’t all award winners overflowing with artistic merit but were the movies that I enjoy watching again and again, whether late at night or on a rainy weekend afternoon, with or without a shallow tub of vanilla ice cream and a clear plastic container of warm orange squash to add to the viewing pleasure.
I knew there were always more. And since New Year another 30 titles that have seen me through the years proved to be indispensable during the particularly crippling bouts of insomnia or the many empty hours of a Sunday when there was nothing to catch up with on iPlayer. One film in particular (which is eighteenth on this new list if you’re interested) stayed in or close to the DVD player and I watched it three nights in a row as part of the triple bills when sleep steadfastly refused to beckon.
Once again the titles are in alphabetical order. For one movie, because I vastly prefer the director’s cut, I’ve listed it under that extended version’s title, which puts it at the end rather than near the beginning. This time around the images have simply been numbered so there’s no chance of reading the file names in the browser window, which means you either know them or you don’t. Or you could make an educated guess. Either way, they are: