Calling The Shots DVD (1994)


All Good Men DVD (1974)


Edna the Inebriate Woman DVD (1971) - Play For Today


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Calling The Shots DVD (1994)

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Cherished is based on the true story of Angela Cannings, who was tried for the murder of her babies. She spent two years in prison battling for justice before her conviction was eventually quashed.

Angela was convicted of the murder of two of her children with no physical evidence. Her acquittal created a landmark in legal history, resulting in a change of the law. Since then, nobody can be convicted in a criminal case on expert witness alone without proper physical evidence, such as that which would be required in any murder case.

Cast
Sarah Lancashire
Angela Cannings
Timothy Spall
Terry Cannings


Never commercially released, transferred from VHS to DVD
Very good quality 8 / 10 - Excellent production 

 

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All Good Men DVD (1974)

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£7.46
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The unusual circumstances surrounding the transmission of 'All Good Men' (Play for Today, BBC, tx. 31/01/1974) uncannily reflected the political themes of the play. It was originally commissioned at short notice after another play fell through, and was restricted to a maximum of five characters and a studio-only shoot. Griffiths overcame his usual reluctance to write to such a restrictive brief because of the opportunity to reach such a large audience.

But political events served to impose further restrictions. The then Conservative government, led by Edward Heath, was engulfed in a political crisis chiefly caused by an overtime ban imposed by the mineworkers. In an attempt to conserve energy stocks, the government enforced a three day week; this included a limitation on broadcasting which forced television channels to close down by 10.30pm. As Play for Today started at 9.25pm, this required 'All Good Men' to be edited down from the standard 75 minutes to a mere 63 minutes.

These cuts were significant, as they drastically shorten the opening scenes where the former Labour politician Edward Waite (Bill Fraser) has a rehearsal interview with Massingham (Ronald Pickup), lessening our understanding of the man in terms of his personality and rhetoric. Also lost were most of the audio flashbacks to Waite's submissive and somewhat masochistic relationship with his ex-wife, an important theme which is taken up by his son William (Jack Shepherd) in the context of the relationship between the Labour party leadership and the establishment.

Despite these cuts, however, the play works brilliantly as a dramatised analysis of the parliamentary Labour movement that William defines as "itself a critique: both of extra-parliamentary revolutionism on the one hand, and of parliamentary Toryism on the other." The dialectic expressed in the speeches that bounce between father and son is both brilliantly written (Dennis Potter described them as "some of the sharpest, most telling and intelligent speeches ever heard on television"), and also convincing because of Waite's experience as a political orator and his son's years of rehearsing for this moment of truth. This is combined with a sharp analysis of the methods employed by the media to create its 'neutral' coverage of recent political history. 'All Good Men' has enough material in its short 63 minutes to fuel many other plays, and indeed can be seen as a precursor, even a miniature, of Griffiths' later masterwork, the 11-part epic Bill Brand (ITV, 1976)

Never commercially released, transferred from VHS to DVD
Very good quality 8 / 10 - Excellent production 

BILL FRASER as Edward Waite
FRANCES DE LA TOUR as Maria
JACK SHEPHERD as William
RONALD PICKUP as Richard Massingham

Never commercially released, transferred from VHS to DVD
Very good quality 8 / 10 - Excellent production 

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Edna the Inebriate Woman DVD (1971) - Play For Today

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£5.95
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Edna, the Inebriate Woman is a British television drama written by Jeremy Sandford which was transmitted as part of the Play for Today series on 21 October 1971. 

The play deals with an elderly woman, Edna (Patricia Hayes), who wanders through life in an alcoholic haze without a home, a job or any money. A rambling, pathetic yet defiant woman, Edna sleeps rough and begs for food and shelter and the drama follows her progress as she moves from hostel to hostel, going to a psychiatric ward and then prison along the way. 

Jeremy Sandford, who had previously written Cathy Come Home, researched the play by living rough himself for two weeks. The film was the only notable acting role of British actor Vivian MacKerrell, the real-life inspiration for the character Withnail in Withnail and I. 

* Patricia Hayes as Edna 
* Barbara Jefford as Josie of 'Jesus Saves' 
* Geraldine Sherman as Trudi 
* Cheryl Hall as Vangi 
* Kate Williams as Teresa 
* Peggy Aitchison as Lil 
* Freda Dowie as Mother Superior 
* Roger Hammond as Victor 
* John Trigger as Graham 
* Walter Sparrow as Common Lodging House Proprietor 
* June Watson as Attendant (at The Spike) 
* Denis Carey as Doctor 
* Jerry Verno as Old Man (at The Spike) 
* Rex Rashley as Old Man (at The Spike) 
* Amelia Bayntun as Jessie - Tramp 
* Talfryn Thomas as Tramp 
* Charles Farrell as Tramp 
* Vivian MacKerrell as Tramp 
* Jenny Logan as Doris, on the Road 
* June Brown as Clara 
* Norman Lumsden as Magistrate

Never commercially released, transferred from VHS to DVD
Very good quality 8 / 10 - Excellent production 

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