Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.
This is a documentary on the reign of the last Shahanshah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who was overthrown by Khomeini’s Islamic ‘revolution' in 1979.
Aubrey Beardsley was a phenomenon, as his contemporaries recognised. Between 1893 and 1898 (when he died from tuberculosis aged just 25) he developed into one of the world's most exciting graphic artists, and turned out hundreds of black and white drawings, which retain their power to fascinate, to amuse and to shock. In this film Brian Reade, Brigid Brophy, Ralph Steadman and a psychiatrist, discuss Beardsley's work and recall the story of his short life. The film has been made almost exclusively from Beardsley's original drawings. (1982)
Broadcast the week he died, this short documentary about Alex Harvey covers his background and his life as a musician and includes footage from performances and interviews with Alex.
A decrepit bus with nine entertainers on board leaves Inverness in a desperate bid to persuade the corpse of the variety road show to sit up. Through the Highlands to the island of Skye, the cast hump their ' props' from village to village playing up to three shows a night. Conditions are hard, complaints are many; jokes are cracked about the ' escape committee' until, finally, they form one ... The second of three programmes written and narrated by Ian Wooldridge
The effects of a one megaton nuclear bomb being exploded over London
In this film B. A. Robertson examines the Scottish contribution to rock and pop. The programme contains some rare and atmospheric film of Scottish stars in performance and in the recording studio. B.A. meets them and discusses their involvement with the pop scene.
Barry Norman looks at the attitudes towards success and failure among the famous and not quite so famous figures of Hollywood.
On March 1932, the baby son of American aviator Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped from his home near Hopewell, New Jersey. Four years later a German immigrant carpenter, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, was convicted of the murder of the baby and died in the electric chair. The Lindbergh Kidnapping was at the time the ‘Trial of the Century’, a worldwide sensation that inspired many films and books over the years, including Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. But doubts have existed from the beginning about the guilt of Hauptmann. In 1982, with new evidence, his 83-year-old widow reopened the case and sued the State of New Jersey for the wrongful execution of her husband, but her claim was dismissed. Ludovic Kennedy looks at the evidence only recently made public and shows that doubts are now more than ever justified.
Barry Norman tells the story of a famous training establishment for would-be stars in the 1940s and 50s. The Rank Organisation called it 'The Company of Youth' but the press quickly dubbed it 'The Charm School', where youngsters from varied backgrounds and with little or no acting experience, were put under contract at £10 a week and trained at a church hall next door to Rank's Highbury Studios. Taking part are former charm school students Diana Dors, Pete Murray, Christopher Lee, Barbara Murray, Peggy Evans, Susan Beaumont and the Viscountess Rothermere, publicity executive Theo Cowan, Rank's Director of Artists Olive Dodds, and producer Betty Box.
Millions of Americans are determined to live through what they foresee as an inevitable nuclear war. Others are heading for camps in the remote back-country to escape the chaos of an impending political or economic cataclysm. They sing hymns, chant psalms of war, preach the survival of the fittest and arm themselves to the teeth. They are the Survivalists.... This film talks to women training with machine guns, to undergraduates taking courses in How to Stay Alive, to retired generals who run schools for mercenary killers, and to self-appointed clergy who say their native America has 'gone soft on the Devil and the Reds' and has become a 'Disneyland for Dummies'.
James Hunter traces the history of the crofter's struggle to gain security of tenure on the land they occupied from the beginning of the 1880s.