Sunday 29th July: Victoria and Abdul. 2017 saw Judy Dench return to character as Queen Victoria. The movie starts four years after the death of John Brown as we see the growing friendship between Victoria and an Indian Muslim civil servant, Abdul Karim. His closeness to the Queen arouses jealousy and resentment within her household yet she is steadfast in her support for Abdul. Our challenge will be unravelling the true sentiments of both Victoria and Abdul along with the other characters involved, including heir to the throne Prince Albert (who would take the name King Edward VII on the death of his mother).
Sunday 12th August: What’s Love Got To Do With It. The 1993 biopic of Ike and Tina Turner, played by Laurence Fishburn and Angela Bassett, both nominated for Oscars in Best Actor/Actress categories, Bassett winning a Golden Globe for her role. A powerful movie, detailing the rise to stardom of the couple, eventually giving Tina the strength to leave her abusive husband. However, the movie was made using her own autobiography as its primary source so we have to examine the facts and decide if this was a true account of their career and relationship.
Sunday 26th August: Legend. Tom Hardy plays both Reggie and Ronnie Kray in this 2015 portrayal of the 1960s London gangster brothers, the Kray twins. We’re grateful for the suggestion from listener Philip Pomerantz.
Sunday 09th September: Lawrence of Arabia. This classic David Lean movie starring Peter O’Toole in the eponymous role and a supporting cast including Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins and Anthony Quinn. Popular British culture would have us believe that Lawrence was a major part of the Arabian revolt against the Ottoman Empire but how accurate is his legend? This movie has been suggested by a number of listeners, most recently Scott Jeffrey. Thank you Scott and everyone else who mentioned it!
Sunday 23rd September: Darkest Hour. This 2017 movie depicting the early days after Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in 1940 features Gary Oldman as Churchill supported by Kristin Scott Thomas as his wife Clementine and Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI.
Sunday 7th October: The Ghost and The Darkness. This movie details the events surrounding the 1896 building of the East African Railway when two rogue male lions started attacking African and Asian workers. Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas play a British engineer and an American big game hunter respectively. Based on Colonel John Patterson’s (Val Kilmer) own book on the events, our task is to examine how closely the movie follows the book but also how closely the book followed actual events. Recommended by listener Thomas Finn.