THE GREEN MAN Hit and Amis

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 1990 | 15 | DVD

Di­rec­tor Eli­jah Moshin­sky

Cast Al­bert Fin­ney, Linda Mar­lowe,

Sarah Berger, Michael Hordern, Josie Lawrence, Nicky Hen­son

Mau­rice Alling­ton ( a su­perb Al­bert Fin­ney), owner of res­tau­rant- cum- ho­tel The Green Man, is hav­ing some­thing of a mid- life cri­sis. His fa­ther’s just died at din­ner, he has a closer re­la­tion­ship with al­co­hol than his teenage daugh­ter, and his ef­forts to get his wife and mistress into a three­some may not end in suc­cess. Oh, and he sees ghosts – an­cient, scary ones that were only meant to be part of the spiel he gives to tourists.

Like the 1969 Kings­ley Amis novel on which it’s based, this three- part BBC se­rial is a cu­ri­ous hy­brid of moral fa­ble, comic yarn and ghost story, and ar­guably the supernatural as­pect is the least suc­cess­ful of the three. Its scares will be fa­mil­iar to those who’ve seen just a few ghostly screen tales.

It’s best when it’s at its most typ­i­cally Amis­esque – with quirky char­ac­ters be­ing darkly hu­mor­ous, like Mau­rice or­gan­is­ing the three­some on the day of his dad’s fu­neral. The ex­traor­di­nar­ily gory se­quence which kicks it off cer­tainly isn’t in keep­ing with the gen­eral mood. Pos­si­bly too dawdling and ur­bane for some, it’s nev­er­the­less one of the more un­usual and in­trigu­ing TV dra­mas of its day.

Ex­tras None. Rus­sell Lewin

Look out for a copy of Amis’s The Old Devils – plus Stephen King’s Skele­ton Crew and James Herbert’s The Fog.

Some were hap­pier than oth­ers about the spell­ing of “cen­tre”.

The wait for in­ter­net porn con­tin­ued.

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