Robert Tanitch reviews the latest DVDs
GAME OF THRONES SEASON 5 (Warner Bros Entertainment).George R R Martin’s dark fantasy lumbers on. The brutal bloody butchery continues. The sadism is relentless. People are whipped, raped, murdered, hanged, beheaded, burned alive and fed to the dragons. Pleas for mercy are ignored. There are longueurs. The good news is that Tyrone Lennister (Peter Dinklage) is alive and well.
The dialogue is anachronistic and chunky. The F-word is used freely. There is full frontal female nudity. The high spots include the rescue of Queen Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) by a dragon at the Olympic Games and a long walk of shame in the nude through an angry mob by Queen Cersei (Lena Headley).
You may have heard rumours that Jon Snow has been assassinated Caesar-fashion by his own Watch. But is he really dead? (Kit Harington who plays Jon Snow is about to appear on the London stage in Kit Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.)
SANDERS OF THE RIVER (StudioCanal). Zoltan Korda’s 1935 colonial epic, patronising and racist, is dedicated to a handful of white men. I am not surprised Paul Robeson hated the film. The natives are servile, savage and childish. Leslie Banks plays Sanders, the District Commissioner who seemingly runs the country single-handed. When he is not there, there is no law. Robeson, cast as an African tribal chief, is an imposing, grinning presence. He sings a war song translated into English which makes it seem as if he is appearing in a musical. The scenery is authentic. The dialogue and acting are not. Nina Mae McKinney is particularly unconvincing.
NO PLACE FOR JENNIFER (StudioCanal). Husband (Leo Gen) and wife (Beatrice Campbell) divorce. He marries a schoolteacher (Rosamund John). She also marries (Guy Middleton). Their 12-year-old daughter doesn’t want two homes and is so unhappy she ends up in a Child Psychology Clinic. I think we all know what Philip Larkin had to say about parents mucking us about. The film says it’s the parents who should be in the clinic not the children. This staid British sermon was popular with cinemagoers in 1950 thanks to Janette Scott’s performance as the girl who is so torn in her loyalties to daddy and mummy that she runs away. She is pursued by a paedophile (Harold Scott) as she wanders through the streets at night.
WHO GOES THERE! (StudioCanal). An innocuous, dull, sexless and instantly forgettable stage comedy by John Dighton is made into an innocuous, dull, sexless and instantly forgettable film. A guardsman on sentry duty at St James’s Palace (played by young George Cole wearing a busby) dumps his Irish girl friend (Peggy Cummins) who has fainted in one of the grace and favour houses where she is discovered by its owner, a compulsive womaniser (Nigel Patrick repeating his stage role) who takes a fancy to her. Will the sweet, innocent, winsome girl go with him to the West Indies or will she stick with the guardsman?