Paul O’grady on movies

paul o’grady on his C4 guide to our all-time favourite movies, be­gin­ning this week with tear­jerk­ers…

TV Times - - Contents - Emma Bul­limore

Paul O’grady’s Hol­ly­wood satur­day / c4 / 8.00Pm

Most of us go to the cin­ema to be en­ter­tained, but some­times a good old cry can be fun too! In Paul O’grady’s new se­ries, which fea­tures con­tri­bu­tions from Celine Dion, Jonathan Ross and Mau­reen Lip­man, he ex­plores why tear­jerk­ers can be box of­fice gold.

‘Why do we pay good money to sit in a cin­ema with strangers, sob­bing?’ he asks. ‘Weird as it may seem, peo­ple do en­joy weep­ing at the movies.’

Au­di­ences may love them, but weepies aren’t Paul’s cup of tea. ‘I spent a whole af­ter­noon watch­ing them for this se­ries, and I hadn’t seen any of them. I’m an an­i­mal lover, but when I watched Mar­ley & Me, that dog’s death couldn’t come soon enough! But in other episodes, we look at gang­ster films and Dis­ney clas­sics, both of which I love.’

Here, Paul, 62, talks us through the ul­ti­mate cin­ema sob-fests…

Brief en­counter (1945)

Star­ring: Celia John­son and trevor Howard

‘Any ro­mance that re­lies on the rail net­work is doomed from the start!’ says Paul of Noel Cow­ard’s clas­sic Os­car-nom­i­nated film. ‘It’s the story of an or­di­nary wife who wres­tles with her morals af­ter she meets a man at a rail­way sta­tion. The post-war lib­er­a­tion of women en­abled the risqué plot to res­onate with main­stream au­di­ences – it tore up the rule­book of sto­ry­telling.’

ti­tanic (1997) Star­ring: Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet

‘It was so ex­pen­sive and lav­ish, you can pick any scene and see that a few bob has been spent on it!’ says Paul, dis­cussing the hugely pop­u­lar block­buster. ‘It’s a clas­sic ex­am­ple of doomed ro­mance – it was never go­ing to work out, was it? For­get it! It’s all a bit far-fetched for me, but when it came out, it quickly be­came the most suc­cess­ful film of all time.’

the rail­way chil­dren (1970) Star­ring: Jenny agut­ter and Bernard Crib­bins

‘This tear­jerker tells the story of three sib­lings com­ing to terms with life with­out their father af­ter he was carted off in cin­ema’s least con­vinc­ing snows­cape!’ says Paul, re­flect­ing on the fam­ily-friendly clas­sic. ‘The ma­jor­ity of the film is about the chil­dren’s light-hearted ad­ven­tures and there’s a lovely end­ing with happy tears.’

Bambi (1942) Star­ring: Bambi, thumper, Flower and Fa­line

‘Film­mak­ers think it’s a good idea to make sto­ries about an­i­mals dy­ing – why would they do that?’ asks Paul of the scene where Bambi’s mother is killed by a hunter. ‘We tell our­selves it’s just an an­i­ma­tion, but we’re in­con­solable at that mo­ment. I was trau­ma­tised by it as a kid – you think of your own mother.’

Beaches (1988) Star­ring: Bette Mi­dler and Bar­bara Her­shey

‘Ter­mi­nal ill­ness is a sta­ple of the weepie – if you didn’t cry at doomed ro­mances or dy­ing an­i­mals, you’ll def­i­nitely cry at this,’ says Paul. ‘Beaches is the genre’s crown­ing glory; it’s about two women’s life­long friend­ship that started when they were kids and leads to their fi­nal mo­ments to­gether with the iconic Wind Be­neath My Wings belted out by Bette Mi­dler her­self.’

Phil­a­del­phia (1993) Star­ring: tom Hanks and Den­zel Wash­ing­ton

‘It is a deathbed movie about a con­tro­ver­sial and timely sub­ject – a huge gam­ble that re­ally paid off,’ says Paul, dis­cussing the film that re­flected on the AIDS cri­sis. ‘The gay com­mu­nity was hit hard, and it was in­evitable that a tear­jerker would fol­low. It was an im­por­tant film, con­tain­ing dozens of mov­ing scenes. It’s very up­set­ting to watch.’

Sob story: Paul talks weepy movies

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