TV Cream

Films: R is for...


Arthouse? Yeah, maybe, but lest we forget, this was a Compton Films production, under the aegis of the great Tony Tenser, who’d later make Tigon the de facto third best horror film studio in the country. You can still sense his lairy exploitation zeal at work in this film, trying to haggle with Polanski over the number of extras groping at Catherine “If I only had” Deneuve through the walls of her flat (Tenser argued more hands = more extras = more toilet breaks = more time wasted, Polanski went huffily off for a fag). So unless you’re Trevor and Simon launching a hoplessly obscure sketch on Going Live that’ll get pulled after a week, check the term ‘arthouse’ in at the door. We’ll arthouse you in a moment. And so on. There’s plenty more in Compton’s vaults we’d like the schedulers to get their hands on – Holmes vs. the Ripper drama A Study in Terror (not to be confused with Holmes vs. the Ripper drama Murder by Decree – that one had John Gielgud in it, this one has Barbara Windsor); period thriller The Black Torment, in which Tenser solved the problem of a lagging filming schedule by walking onto the set and tearing a handful of pages out of the script; and the wonderfully designed and truly bizarre Wonderwall, in which pervy prof Jack MacGowran drills holes in the wall of his dingy flat to watch model Jane Birkin parading about in her ultra-swinging pad next door. The fact that Oasis named a song after this last film is seemingly not reason enough for anyone to dig it out and show it again. What do they want?

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  1. Matt Patton

    July 30, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    A year later, Polanski got Catie’s sister Francie nekkid for CUL-DE-SAC,, which has Donald Pleasance in a nighty and Lionel Stander not in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Hart. Don wears a nightie and some point. At this point, Polanksi should have been sent home . . .

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