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  1. #1
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    I am trying to find the name of what was I believe a BBC TV play from the early 70's, possibly even in the Play For Today series itself.

    It was..a rather odd, unconventional play, and bear in mind I was quite young when I saw it, but there is one scene that always stayed with me...

    Wendy Craig was in the play, that I know for sure. There is a scene where she takes in a homeless tramp and looks after him. For reasons I cannot remember the tramp believes she is an angel. She puts him to bed, and then she takes off her top and goes to get in bed with him (I don't believe you see any actual nudity though), and the tramp looks at her and says 'Tits? An angel with tits? Angels don't have tits!'...or something very similar.

    I have checked Wendy Craigs resume on IMDB and cannot find anything that resembles it, though to be fair some of the entries for TV plays back that far don't carry any information regarding plot or synopsis.

    Does anyone else recall this one, it is just one of those vivid memories from my childhood.?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Sounds like she was trying to re-route her career after Not in Front of the Children, as attempted by Julie Andrews after Disney.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England Westengland's Avatar
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    It's Dennis Potter's Angels Are So Few, BBC-1, Play For Today, 5 November 1970 (the visitor was the "angel").

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK SilverTyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westengland View Post
    It's Dennis Potter's Angels Are So Few, BBC-1, Play For Today, 5 November 1970 (the visitor was the "angel").
    I thought of that and discarded it, mainly because of the OP's memories of it being Wendy Craig, and of the tramp thinking she was the angel. It doesn't fit with Potter's plot line.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    I might have the answer. The logline certainly gives the impression she is a Angel and he is a Tramp:

    A woman tries to help a man who has become an outcast from society.

    Daily Mirror preview, 20th May 1970

    9.10 WEDNESDAY PLAY
    : Chariot of Fire

    Starring Rosemary Leach, Jimmy Gardner
    :



    As David Essex's mother in That'll Be the Day (1973)/Head Porter in Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972)

    Not Wendy Craig but she and Rosemary were both popular comedy actresses at the time and asmithee did say it's a childhood memory ...

    Unpleasant subject matter, I'm afraid:

    THE "Wednesday Play" series, which presents its last original production on BBC-1 tonight, will probably go out as it came in. With a bang.


    Last week the phone calls streamed in over the sex scenes in David Mercer's
    Emma's Time. A lot more are expected tonight when Chariot of Fire (9.10) tackles the subject of a man jailed for interfering with little boys.

    The play is based on a real-life case history. The prisoner, disguised under the name Stanley Wood, is sentenced to twenty years and wins the sympathy of a prison visitor - a housewife with two young sons. When Wood is arrested again she fights to get him proper psychiatric and legal aid.

    Wood is played by actor Jimmy Gardner. Did he have any hesitation about taking the role? Didn't he feel there was a risk that his reputation or personal behaviour would be identified with the character?


    Reason

    "I don't think so at all", said Gardner. "People who say 'Be careful about a role like this' would quite happily play a murderer or a brutal prisoner who went around hitting people on the head. I think there is nothing wrong in playing a prisoner who is sick. This is a play about the shortcomings of society."

    In the Autumn the BBC will start a new series, "Play for Today". Till then the Wednesday Plays will all be repeats.


    Perhaps Rosemary Leach's character tried to seduce him in the scene you remembered, in an attempt to convince him there was a sexual side to women that he didn't want to believe ("Angels don't have tits")?
    Last edited by cornershop15; 28-03-13 at 03:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    Having read more about the play Westengland mentioned, I think he's right:

    Angels Are So Few (1970) | British Television Drama



    Starring Tom Bell and Christine Hargreaves

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westengland View Post
    It's Dennis Potter's Angels Are So Few, BBC-1, Play For Today, 5 November 1970 (the visitor was the "angel").


    Actually, that does sound like the one. Obviously I was wrong about Wendy Craig,but perhaps she was in a similarplay and I was mixing them up.

    But considering the scene I described, which would have been fairly controversial for 1970's tv, it does seem logical that it would be something by Dennis Potter.

    Sadly, I don't suppose this and many other similar BBC TV plays survived.

  8. #8
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    Well...that was interesting. I had a look around the net and lo and behold found a lot of old plays listed on youtube (that seem to be sourced from old video, whether from home or from the actual archives themselves is not clear).


    And that very play is there in it's entirity -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUWPp...mgGO_l&index=9


    Just watched it, fascinating stuff. Tom Bell is excellent as the 'angel', and it revolves around the veracity of his claim to be a real angel, but also, typically Potterish, also delves into the realms of sex and sexual repression.

    I also realised I was confusing two different scenes...the line about 'an angel with tits' is actually spoken when Bell's character is talking to an old couple whose house he has visited, and the old woman is describing a statue of a female angel, which horrifies Bell as he maintains all angels are male.

    The scene where the wife gets into bed with Bell comes later in the play, and that was pretty much as I remembered it. For 1970 it was most definitely risky material. Even though there is no nudity and the sex itself is not shown, it's still fairly raunchy stuff for the time.

    Fascinating to see it after all these years.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asmithee View Post
    Even though there is no nudity and the sex itself is not shown, it's still fairly raunchy stuff for the time.
    I recall Patrick McGoohan being quoted in 1968, and remarking that everything had been shown on screen by now and soon we would be watching someone urinating. I think the 1972 Andy Warhol documentary proved him right.

    I'm not sure it was not so raunchy as you might imagine nowadays. What would be different is that you more often wouldn't actually get to see the tits'n'bums.
    Last edited by Moor Larkin; 28-03-13 at 11:46 AM. Reason: missing not..... :-D

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England Westengland's Avatar
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    I saw Angels Are So Few when it was first broadcast and have an interest in Dennis Potter as a Gloucestershire writer, so the OP's description of what they saw was too close to AASF to be anything else (when there were only three television channels, another play with such a similar plot would not have been made at the time - although there were "stranger-visitor" ones).

    The "Wendy Craig" memory may be due to the AASF Designer - and perhaps the Director and Potter - consciously echoing the setting of WC's well-known BBC-1 sitcom Not In Front Of The Children (and notice the hairstyle and clothes of the female lead).

    The interesting thing about this thread and the other "memory" threads is how the memory of a particular event (on Britmovie, usually a film or television programme) can remain apparently clear and strong but when the film or programme is seen again after a long time, the viewer can realise that their memory has made subtle subconcious changes in what is remembered. I have noticed this with myself many times - for example, I have even got colour memories of a programme I only saw in black-and-white: Get Off My Cloud from Out Of The Unknown ("not extant", so I may never see it again in any format).
    Last edited by Westengland; 28-03-13 at 12:31 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England Westengland's Avatar
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    @Moor Larkin
    P McG didn't have that long to wait to watch urinating on film - see Teorema (1968) - the storyline of which by relates to Angels Are So Few and Brimstone And Treacle - by coincidence or otherwise.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westengland View Post
    The interesting thing about this thread and the other "memory" threads is how the memory of a particular event (on Britmovie, usually a film or television programme) can remain apparently clear and strong but when the film or programme is seen again after a long time, the viewer can realise that their memory has made subtle subconcious changes in what is remembered. I have noticed this with myself many times - for example, I have even got colour memories of a programme I only saw in black-and-white: Get Off My Cloud from Out Of The Unknown
    Memories are rarely wrong. Reality is continually branching off into an infinity of different versions. Accidents may happen (inadvertent quantum-jumping), and if you get caught up in the wrong stream, you end up inhabiting a slightly different reality, so that your past no longer precisely matches that of your peers.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westengland View Post
    @Moor Larkin
    P McG didn't have that long to wait to watch urinating on film - see Teorema (1968) - the storyline of which by relates to Angels Are So Few and Brimstone And Treacle - by coincidence or otherwise.
    Aha.....

    I was more regretting not using the more current vernacular.... tits'n'ass .......................

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westengland View Post
    The "Wendy Craig" memory may be due to the AASF Designer - and perhaps the Director and Potter - consciously echoing the setting of WC's well-known BBC-1 sitcom Not In Front Of The Children (and notice the hairstyle and clothes of the female lead).
    I think it's more likely that it was just that Christine Hargreaves just looked a bit like her anyway......... but I take your point about the possibility of the deliberate televisual referencing

    On the other hand, who the heck remembers Christine Hargreaves?.......... ....

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England Westengland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    I was more regretting not using the more current vernacular.... tits'n'ass .......................
    Perhaps I should not mention that I watched Emma's Time (see cornershop152 Daily Mirror quote at #5 above) when it was first broadcast in 1970 and its repeat in 1972...

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