First on this tape, American Carrott, Jasper Carrott does some stand-up in the US, and there’s some vaguely sitcom interludes of Jasper trying to watch his own show in TV. They’re not entirely successful.
His jokes about gays in San Francisco, and Chinese drivers in Hong Kong feel a little bit behind the times, but I guess it’s the 80s. He does tell a joke about Joe Dolce, though.
But gosh, the interstitial bits are tiresome in the extreme.
Then, recording switches to the end of Panorama, looking at the Nimrod early warning plane.
There’s a trailer for Miss Marple – The Moving Finger.
Then, The Monday Film is Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood’s original maverick cop who doesn’t play by the rules, in Don Siegel’s classic.
It starts off trying to get you onside.
It has a wonderfully funky score by Lalo Schifrin. A score which does something during the titles that I’ve noticed a lot – when the composer’s name appears, often a score will do something different to what it’s been doing. Here’s there’s a new motif that appears in the basses, and it starts just after Schifrin’s credit. I’ve often wondered if this is something a composer is in a position to do. Are the titles locked before the composer does his stuff? Enquiring minds would like to know.
Someone calling himself Scorpio is killing people with a sniper rifle in San Francisco, and demanding money from the city. John Vernon plays the mayor, in basically the same roles as the Principal he played in Animal House. But Harry doesn’t take shit from the Mayor. “When an armed man is chasing a woman with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That’s my policy.”
When he foils a bank robbery during his lunch break, we get to hear his ‘catchphrase’. Well, that’s stretching the point for what’s virtually a soliloquy.
I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five. To tell you the truth in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 magnum the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
It’s fun to count all the hard-boiled cop cliches that were fresh when this movie was made. All his partners were in the hospital or dead, so he’s partnered with a rookie – a Latino rookie called Chico Gonzalez.
Harry gets to talk down a potential suicide from a tall building (the Lethal Weapon films nicked this one). Scorpio wants a bag full of money, and Harry has to run around town to catch ringing phones. This was used in Die Hard with a Vengeance.
The Scorpio killer, played brilliantly by Andrew (or Andy as he’s credited here) Robinson, was inspired by the Zodiac killer, subject of a terrific film with Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhall and directed by David Fincher. When Harry tracks him down, trying to find him before a kidnapped girl he’s buried alive dies, he’s just the right level of pathetic, crying for a lawyer as Harry treads on his injured leg to try and get the location of the missing girl.
But as a result of Harry’s methods, the DA has no case, as all the evidence found by Harry was inadmissable. And when Scorpio gets someone to beat him up, then claims Harry did it, it looks like he’s got away with it.
But he’s too crazy to leave it there, and he kidnaps a school bus. He’s really scary as he starts to unravel while singing ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ and the kids are getting more and more scared.
It’s still a great film, and Eastwood has rarely been cooler.
BBC Genome: BBC One – 18th February 1985 – 22:05
Afterwards, there’s a trailer for Miami Vice.
Then, there’s the start of A Change in the Weather, as Bill Giles looks at the way weather forecasting has changed on the BBC. Unfortunately, there’s only 5 minutes of it before the recording ends, as it looks interesting.