The Small Back Room

Kathleen Byron and David Farrar with heads together

So how do you follow a grand Technicolor extravaganza like The Red Shoes? With The Small Back Room, if you’re Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A war movie set in 1943, even its title is telling us that this isn’t more of the same. And it really isn’t. A mid-grey hodgepodge in which nothing quite locks into place, deliberately, it’s almost experimental in its approach. Does this 1949 movie work? Depends what you mean. The film was called Hour of Glory in the US, which makes sense, kind of, by the time you’ve got to the end of the film but none whatsoever for the majority of it, since it’s a story of … Read more

The Avengers: Series 6, Episode 31 – Pandora

Tara King in front of a portrait of Pandora

The benign king deceived by his courtiers – a wicked grand vizier, a scheming cardinal, a treacherous brother – is a comforting story told and retold down the ages. The Avengers episode Pandora is Brian Clemens’s version of it: a man grieving for a lost love being fooled by his family into believing she is alive, the better to loosen his grip on the family fortune… Pandora is that woman, dead 50 years but still mourned by maddened recluse Gregory (Peter Madden), around whom a massive deceit is daily confected that out in the wider world the First World War is still raging and Pandora is still alive. All that bad guys Rupert … Read more