A brilliant entry in the Play For Today strand based on real life events that happened in Cornwall in 1913 when a large number of specially trained Welsh policemen were sent to a small Cornish village and billeted in the homes of clay miners who were on strike. One of the coppers Herbert Griffith is sent to stay with the Stocker family (none of the miners are keen to have the policemen around but at 12 shillings a week can’t afford to say no) and after an initial period of mistrust Griffith and Manuel Stocker become friends.
However the situation begins to deteriorate for the miners with black legs who have continued working showing no signs of stopping and plans are made by the miners to take action to get rid of them. As matters come to a head the police and the picketing miners are drawn towards an inevitable deadly confrontation and neither Griffith or Stocker are prepared to stand aside.
Shot on 16mm this is a production to be savoured, it evokes a real sense of period. Strong central performances too from Thomas and Marshall, Griffith and Stocker do become friends but there is still the sense that they don’t really understand where the other is coming from. In fact its one of the key motifs of the film and its a way of cleverly bringing the political aspect of the drama to the audience without really pushing it at them. Six weeks after the police and miners fought all the men returned to work on the employer’s terms. The film was made with the co-operation of English Clays Co Ltd, Goonvean China Clay Co Lt and the Dart Valley Railway.
UK / BBC One / 1×85 minute episode / Broadcast 20 January 1972 @ 9.20pm
Writer: Tom Clarke / Script Editor: Ann Scott / Costumes: Sally Neiper / Music: Treviscoe Male Choir, St Dennis Silver Band and Carl Davis / Production Design: Austen Spriggs / Producer: Graeme McDonald / Director: Jack Gold
GARETH THOMAS as Herbert Griffith
BRYAN MARSHALL as Manuel Stocker
JANE LAPOTAIRE as Alice Stocker
TONY CAUNTER as Vincent
MALCOLM TIERNEY as Reverend Booth Coventry
DOMINIC ALLAN as Glamorgan Sergeant
WILLIAM MOORE as Engine Man
ANGELA BILLING, BARRY HAWKEN as Stocker children
HARRY LITTLEWOOD as Clay Worker
MICHAEL BEINT as Cornish Supt
DON McKILLOP as Cornish P.C.
and this just in
Cahill U.S. Marshal (Warner 1973, John Wayne, George Kennedy)
John Wayne plays US Marshal J. D. Cahill, so wrapped up in work he neglects his motherless sons Billy (Clay...
Dakota Incident (Republic 1956, Dale Robertson, Linda Darnell)
Dale Robertson plays bank robber John Banner, who decides to go straight. Pitching up in small town Christian Flats, he...
Invitation to a Gunfighter (UA 1964, Yul Brynner, George Segal)
Richard Wilson’s western Invitation to a Gunfighter stars George Segal as Matt Weaver, returning home to Pecos, New Mexico after...
Reindeer Games (2000, Ben Affleck, Charlize Theron)
In crime thriller Reindeer Games, car thief Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck) shares his penitentiary cell with Nick (James Frain), a...
Daddy Nostalgia (1990, Dirk Bogarde, Jane Birkin)
Bertrand Tavernier, one of France’s most esteemed filmmakers, directed Dirk Bogarde in his last film role as Tony Russell, an...
Ariana Grande at the BBC airs Thurs 1 Nov on BBC-1
BBC Music presents Ariana Grande At The BBC: a world-exclusive entertainment show on BBC One hosted by Davina McCall. The...
The First: Separation Series Premiere Thurs 1 Nov on Channel 4
From Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated Beau Willimon (House of Cards, Mary Queen of Scots) comes The First, a...
The Lakes With Paul Rose Episode 3 airs Fri 2 Nov on BBC-2
In this week’s programme, adventurer and Lake District resident Paul Rose explores Coniston and follows in the footsteps of the...
Fixer, The (1968, Alan Bates, Dirk Bogarde)
In pre-revolutionary Russia, Yakov Bok (Alan Bates), a ‘fixer,’ or handyman, moves to Kiev from the shtetl and is unjustly...
Justine TCF 1968, Dirk Bogarde, Anouk Aimée
In the low key drama Justine, based on the The Alexandra Quartet of novels by Lawrence Durrell, we are in...
Sam Whiskey (UA 1969, Burt Reynolds, Angie Dickinson)
In Sam Whiskey Burt Reynolds plays an adventurer lured by a robber’s widow (Angie Dickinson) into returning stolen gold to...