EVAN WIL­LIAMS

FREE- TO- AIR FILMS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

I HAVEN’T been gen­er­ous to SBS of late, con­sid­er­ing all the DVDs it has been send­ing me, so two warm men­tions this week. Good­night, and Good Luck ( Sun­day, 8.30pm) is quite mar­vel­lous. Shot in black- and- white — some­thing that in­vari­ably has the power to win me over, even with films as dread­ful as Sin City — it’s about broad­caster Ed Mur­row ( David Strathairn), who took on Joe McCarthy and his House Un- Amer­i­can Ac­tiv­i­ties Com­mit­tee dur­ing the Cold War and largely de­stroyed his rep­u­ta­tion. Peer­ing through the fog of stu­dio to­bacco smoke, we see a di­a­mond- hard re­cre­ation of the world of television jour­nal­ism in the 50s and some mem­o­rable per­for­mances, in­clud­ing Ge­orge Clooney as Mur­row’s co­pro­ducer Fred Friendly. I like the way Mur­row holds a cig­a­rette in one hand while de­liv­er­ing his edi­to­ri­als to cam­era, and since the cig­a­rette com­mer­cials paid for much of his salary, there was some­thing hon­est and up­front about it. Clooney also di­rected. The man is so revered in Hol­ly­wood th­ese days that it won’t be long be­fore he plays God. Of the ac­tors who have done so al­ready ( in­clud­ing Morgan Free­man, of course), my favourite was Ge­orge Burns, who ap­peared in golf­ing togs in Carl Reiner’s lovely 1977 com­edy Oh, God!, which Nine is show­ing in the small hours on Fri­day ( 2.10am, Syd­ney, Bris­bane only). It’s worth stay­ing up to hear God’s views on TV, av­o­ca­dos, su­per­mar­ket ethics and other mat­ters. Nine’s Harry Pot­ter marathon con­tin­ues with Harry Pot­ter and the Cham­ber of Se­crets ( Satur­day, 7.30pm), the one in which an­i­mals and stu­dents at Hog­warts school are found mys­te­ri­ously pet­ri­fied and a mes­sage ap­pears writ­ten in blood: ‘‘ The Cham­ber of Se­crets has been opened.’’ Ah, now you re­mem­ber. Darker than the first Harry Pot­ter , but not as dark as the next one: dark­ness be­ing con­sid­ered a good thing in chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment th­ese days, for some rea­son. In The Dark Mir­ror ( Tues­day, 1.25am, ABC), a gor­geously Freudian mur­der mys­tery from di­rec­tor Robert Siod­mak, Olivia de Hav­il­land plays iden­ti­cal twins, one of whom is a mur­derer. The sis­ters are so alike ( as you’d ex­pect) that wit­nesses can’t tell them apart, and au­di­ences will have the same trou­ble. Even bet­ter: Mur­der, My Sweet ( Sun­day, 12.55am, ABC), quin­tes­sen­tial Hol­ly­wood noir from di­rec­tor Ed­ward Dmytryk, with a con­vo­luted Ray­mond Chan­dler plot and Dick Pow­ell in the Philip Mar­lowe role, and rated by some as su­pe­rior to Bog­art’s Mar­lowe in The Big Sleep . So well done, Aunty. The Ab­sent­Minded Pro­fes­sor ( Sun­day, mid­day, Seven, ex­cept Ade­laide) is the 1961 Fred MacMur­ray

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