The 60s retrospective series gets to THE FAMILY WAY (linked). Premiered just before Christmas 1966, but really a 1967 film. It’s most famous for the Paul McCartney soundtrack, but that’s unfair. It’s a family comedy drama, amusing rather than knockabout, with excellent character work. It stars Hayley Mills, John Mills, Hywel Bennett, Marjorie Rhodes, Avril Angers, Murray Head and John Comber. Well worth rewatching.


It’s in the ELT section, THE INSPECTION (linked). Watching Dominic Raab having to take over at no notice took me back 45 years to my first day as a Head of Department which coincided with a government inspection … it has some ELT relevance on the use of boards in class!

The Ipcress File (LINKED)is the latest in the 60s retrospective series. Michael Caine in the first of his five appearances as Harry Palmer. I know it is considered one of the greatest British films of all time, but I’ve never liked the entire genre. Would re-watching convert me to secret agent films? A friend said my negative reviews are much more fun to read than my positive ones. He’ll enjoy this one then.



Japanese Affairs, the fourth in the English As A Funny Language series of novels under the pseudonym Dart Travis is now available.


Links to the Dart Travis  blog:
JAPANESE AFFAIRS (1986) Now available on Kindle at £3.25
JAPANESE AFFAIRS PAPERBACK is now available on amazon, price £8.95

If you’ve missed the early ones in the series:

There’s a loosely continuing theme, though they can be read independently. You’d get more in sequence though.


This one’s an oddity. THE FAST LADY (1963). It’s a really rank romp, or rather a Rank (Organisation) romp that was filmed in 1962, released in 1963, but is a basic 1950s British film comedy template. It’s exactly the opposite of the main body of the 1960s Retrospective reviews. We saw it mainly by chance on TV, and noted it because Julie Christie is in an early starring role. Not recommended viewing, but worth a glance at the review to see why not!

Screenshot 2020-04-05 at 10.21.57

Review of Tom Jones from 1963, directed by Tony Richardson. It was one of the most influential Sixties films, even though it takes place in 1745. Adapted by John Osborne from Henry Fieldings 18th century novel. It was a romp, it was  a film that won so many awards. Albert Finney as Tom Jones with Susannah York, David Warner, Joyce Redman, Hugh Griffiths, Julian Glover. Definitely one to revisit.


Tonight (Thursday) The National Theatre have a free stream on YouTube at 7 pm BST of “One Man Two Guv’nors“. The link is to my 2012 review of the production.