TV programmes and films - what are your favourites?

Just wondering what we all watch when there's not much on the television? Quadrophenia is the obvious one of course, but I confess I've never seen it all the way through.
On the series front, on my shelf there are box sets of the Mrs Peel & Tara King Avengers, of Gerry Anderson’s UFO, some original Star Trek.
Films wise, I’ve the 1967 Casino Royale (plotless and confused, but I love every weird minute), The Italian Job, Roman Holiday, all the Beatles films (sorry…), Breakfast at Tiffany's, etc. There’s Metropolis, some lesser known French films, a Small Faces documentary, and Cracked Actor.  
On the more general side of things there are also two of my favourite films, 2001 and Lawrence of Arabia, but my favourite film of all must be How to Steal a Million, with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole.

What're your favourites? 

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  • Really happy to knock these off my want list today.

  • Like many older members I grew up hearing various covers of the old jazz standard Mack The KInife  by Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, anong others. knowing only that it was from The Threepenny Opera. Recently I came across the original German version by Lotte Lenya, and discovered that the entire opera had been adapted for cinema  in about 1931by Bertolt Brech, having been originally written in the 18th century by John Gay. The screenplay is set in a very imaginative interpretation of London's Soho in the early 19th century, which anyone who knows London at all well will find rather whimsical. The film is very reminiscent of the old black and white Yiddish movies Iv'e seen ( which is hardly surprising really). I still love the tune and the song, and it's nice, after all these years, to have a little more background on it . I wonder if John, the Original Modernist, would be able to flesh it out a bit....... over to you, John!

    • Graham I am flattered that you thought I may have something to add to your post. I am getting on a bit but I was not clubbing in the period to which you refer lol.

      Obviously, Soho has always been a melting pot for immigrants in the past and those that remained there were attracted to the cosmopolitan and sleazy reputation it enjoyed. When I was doing the clubs, it was commonplace to be constantly accosted by brasses and guys trying to entice you into clip joints and strip and peep shows etc. It still goes on but it's not anywhere on the same scale.

      I knew that Mack the Knife was the theme from the theme from Threepenny Opera, which was a big hit for Bobby Darin, probably as much so as Louis Armstrong. Speaking of which Beyond the Sea, is the French song La Mer written in 1945. It has been covered by countless artists as La Mer but I remember it as being internationally made famous by Maurice Chevalier when I was a kid.. It featured as the introduction song to The European Cup 2016. Something I completely missed but was pointed out to me by a young family member. So Bobby Darin was a great revivalist of old songs.

      I listened to Lotte Lenya on you tube. She has that painful,  haunting quality in her voice which reminds me of Piaf and Billie Holiday. I particularly liked September song. I though Surabaya Johnny, to my jazz ear was structured and sounded like an improvisation of Mack the Knife. Brech who was her partner, certainly knew how to write to extract that quality she had.

      Without Jewish song writers I think we would  not have the American Songbook, Cole Porter, Gershwin,Irving Berlin  Rogers and Hart, Hammerstein , Jerome Kern etc.etc.. All suited to jazz because of the accent on the minor key. Currently we have Bob Dylan who has just won the Nobel Prize for poetry.          I heard the poet Laureate, Andrew Motion name Dylan as one of the greatest poets of all time and compare him with Shakespeare.

       What I want to know Graham is when we can expect a few songs and poems from you?  it seem s to me you are letting the side down. Over to Graham in Indiana, for a tasty slice of music and prose.


    • Sorry John, I hadn't meant to age you unduly.... Ha Ha! The period to which I referred would have been about the time of the Bobby Darin/Maurice Chevalier covers, which even I remember hearing often a s a kid. You did however manage to shed a great seal of light on the subject, as I hoped you would (and let's not forget Leonard Cohen, may he rest in peace). I get the part of the minor key.... much of the musical scores and TV themes from the sixties seem to have a strong Klezma influence.... (i.e the theme from The Munsters.) Thanks for your response. Incidentally I did check out the Van Gough movie, which looks amazing, and I would love to sit down with the whole family and watch all of it one day.

    • I like the song, but never saw the film adaption. I heard that there was one film version that had Roger Daltrey in it, although it got bad reviews. I'll look for the '31 version, sounds cool.

  • The Man From Uncle-RIP Robert Vaughn

    • Just wanted to add The Man From Uncle, James Bond, I Spy, were Mod influences for me of a Cool sharp look in 60s Suits. Robert Vaughn was class as Napoleon Solo, intense in The Magnificent Seven, Named as one of the best Villains in the Columbo Films.

    • Thanks for the nudge back in the direction of the original thread Steve; in 1965 I was convinced that I had a future career as a secret agent working for MI5 ~ lol!

      Actually I was given the Complete Collection of The Man From Uncle on DVD last year. Never thought I'd be watching them again with my kids 50 years later! BIig fan, now as back then.

  • 'The night of' was brilliant.

    • Make you right about that Dave.   HBO always present very well produced and acted series. It was a very depressing view of the justice and prison system in New York.

      The cast were very believable in an extraordinary  situation. Had James Goldifini lived, it is  my understanding that he would have played the legal advisor with the bad feet.

      Calling it brilliant is not an exaggeration. All a matter of opinion of course

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