Scottish screenwriter Alan Sharp passed away earlier in 2013. With this mini-season we pay tribute to this writer, showing seven of his films, directed by the like of Robert Aldrich, Arthur Penn and Sam Peckinpah.
The Hired Hand
Peter Fonda | USA | 1971 | 90 minutes
Western starring Peter Fonda as Harry, a drifter who, with his friend Archie (Warren Oates), has crossed the plains of America in search of a better life. But tiring of the transient existence Harry heads for home and the wife and child he left behind years before. At first his wife Hannah (Verna Bloom) refuses to accept him back, forcing him to sleep in the barn and work the farm strictly as a hired hand. After time their romance rekindles, and they rediscover the happiness they had lost. But when bad news of Archie reaches the farm, Harry is faced with the most difficult decision he has ever had to make.
Sunday 31st March, 6pm.
Robert Aldrich | USA | 1972 | 103 minutes
Robert Aldrich’s violent Western about a cavalry platoon, led by Burt Lancaster’s Indian scout, in search of a group of Apaches on the rampage after escaping from a reservation. The film centres on the different reactions to the Apache killings from the scout and the platoon leader. Considered to be one of Aldrich’s best but overlooked films it is also seen as an allegory of America’s involvement in Vietnam.
Sunday 7th April, 6pm.
Billy Two Hats
Ted Kotcheff | USA | 1974 | 99 minutes
When someone gets killed during a bank robbery by Deans, half-breed Billy Two Hats and their partner, the robbers flee. Sheriff Gifford tracks the robbers, killing one of them and capturing Billy. Deans escapes, but during a successful plot to free Billy from the Sheriff, Deans is shot, leaving him unable to walk or ride a horse. Billy, not wanting to abandon his friend, builds an Indian cot to drag Deans behind the horse. With the Sheriff hot on their trail, Deans and Billy try to stay one step ahead of the many obstacles which threaten their lives and freedom.
Sunday 14th April, 6pm
Arthur Penn | USA | 1975 | 100 minutes
Vastly underrated Arthur Penn film from the mid-1970s ranks as one of the era’s nastiest and most fascinating pieces of business, a detective story that shuttles back and forth between Hollywood and the Florida Keys, with a plot nearly as complex as Chinatown. Gene Hackman stars as a tired, ageing private eye who, as a favour to a friend, agrees to track down a runaway teen. But the case turns out to be something much larger: a smuggling ring of Mayan antiquities. The human impulses get darker and darker and Hackman’s character gets pulled in deeper and deeper, even as his own life is falling apart. Ultimately, in one of his best and most unsung performances, Hackman winds up hurting the people he is trying to help.
Sunday 21st April, 6pm.
The Osterman Weekend
Sam Peckinpah | USA | 1983 | 103 minutes
Over the course of a tense weekend, a muck-raking television talk-show host, John Tanner (Rutger Hauer), has to face difficult decisions as he attempts to expose a Soviet spy. Unfortunately for John, the guilty man, or men, just happen to be his close friends – all of whom are spending time with their wives at their annual reunion at John’s home. Violence, crosses and double crosses galore soon follow in Sam Peckinpah’s last film.
Sunday 28th April, 6pm.
Michael Caton-Jones | USA/UK | 1995 | 139 minutes
In the highlands of Scotland in the 1700s, Rob Roy tries to lead his small town to a better future, by borrowing money from the local nobility to buy cattle to herd to market. When the money is stolen, Rob is forced into a Robin Hood lifestyle to defend his family and honour.
Sunday 12th May, 3:30pm
Mission of the Shark
Robert Iscove | USA | 1991 | 100 minutes
After delivering the atomic bomb that would be used to destroy Hiroshima, the USS Indianapolis is hit with a Japanese torpedo. But because the crew’s mission is veiled in secrecy, their rescue is delayed in this true story of shipwrecked sailors.
Sunday 12th May, 6pm.