The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Greed (PG) Satur­day, 4.35pm, TCM (428) The Haunt­ing (M) Satur­day, 8.30pm, TCM (428) The Babadook (M) Wed­nes­day, 9.25am, Thriller (409)

You want to see some­thing re­ally scary? For the near-per­fect Hal­loween ex­pe­ri­ence, there’s none bet­ter than di­rec­tor Robert Wise’s 1963 blackand-white wide-screen psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror film

The Haunt­ing (Satur­day, 8.30pm, TCM). Based on the book by Shirley Jack­son, the film tells of an emo­tion­ally frail spin­ster (Julie Har­ris) who comes un­der the spell of a mas­sive house in the Bri­tish coun­try­side with a long his­tory of tragedy, and the small band of psy­chic in­ves­ti­ga­tors who try to pull her out of it. The film plays ma­li­ciously with the au­di­ence’s imag­i­na­tion, sug­gest­ing more than it re­veals and us­ing sound in a par­tic­u­larly in­ven­tive way.

In a sim­i­lar vein, Bris­bane’s own Jen­nifer Kent keeps view­ers on their toes in her 2014 hor­ror film The Babadook (Wed­nes­day, 9.25am, Thriller). Essie Davis plays the griev­ing widow who dis­cov­ers her young son may be telling the truth when he claims the epony­mous de­mon is stalk­ing them in their house.

Kent’s scrupu­lous at­ten­tion to de­tail and pre­ci­sion tim­ing hold her in good stead, and it’s no won­der the film has been em­braced by genre fans around the world.

No cineaste worth their salt can pass up the op­por­tu­nity to see the 1999 re­con­struc­tion of di­rec­tor Eric von Stro­heim’s leg­endary, mu­ti­lated 1923 mas­ter­piece Greed (Satur­day, 4.35pm, TCM).

Orig­i­nally nearly eight hours long but cut be­fore its re­lease (and the footage burned), the sur­viv­ing two-hour ver­sion has been ex­panded to nearly four by the in­clu­sion of co­pi­ous pro­duc­tion stills, nar­ra­tion from an orig­i­nal shoot­ing script and a new mu­si­cal score. The tragic love af­fair and mar­riage of den­tist John McTeague (Gib­son Gow­land) and Trina Sieppe (Zasu Pitts) is poi­soned by money, and re­mains a ground­break­ing, cau­tion­ary tale of avarice.

Though still quite ac­tive on Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion, ac­tress Anne Heche first came to promi­nence as a lead­ing lady in 1998, when she starred op­po­site Harrison Ford in di­rec­tor Ivan Reit­man’s com­edy Six Days Seven Nights (Mon­day, 12.45am, Ac­tion).

The two play oil-and-wa­ter cast­aways on a re­mote is­land who learn to love each other de­spite their dif­fer­ences. Heche chan­nels the great Jean Arthur in her crafty per­for­mance and Ford, eter­nally un­der­rated for his comedic chops, is quite good.

Stay­ing on the num­bers, among Burt Lan­caster’s best late-ca­reer per­for­mances is as the hawk­ish and de­ceit­ful Gen­eral Scott in di­rec­tor John Franken­heimer’s 1964 Cold War thriller Seven Days in May (Mon­day, 8.30pm, TCM). When he tries to un­der­mine a nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment treaty with the Sovi­ets, he’s called out by his aide (Kirk Dou­glas). Long-time tele­vi­sion and film writer Rod Ser­ling is one of the cred­ited screen­writ­ers.

Anne Heche in Six Days Seven Nights

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