|Index||3 reviews in total|
Actually a deal better than that summary would imply. It began the same
year as its more upmarket rival 'Film 72' from the BBC. Although it was
scheduled in a time slot aimed at kids it attracted an adult following
as well, particularly those who wanted to avoid the often stuffy style
of Film 72's presenter.
Kelly was the key, and his easy, affable style made the whole show trot along. Clearly airing pre-six in the afternoon - well before the watershed - meant that no 'X' rated movies could be reviewed, but the line up was by no means limited to Children's films. Interest was added by competitions, either of the write in on a postcard variety, or simple 'answer after the break' style (There were no emails or text messages in those distant days, nor were there premium rate phone calls to boost flagging programme budgets)
Clapperboard picked up the very tail end of the Baby Boomer teenagers, but failed to move with them when they aged. Perhaps that's why it lasted no more than a decade, but is sadly missed by at least one forty something!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I read recently on a 'lost shows' website how many complete editions of
Granada's T.V.'s 'Clapperboard' currently survive. The depressing
answer was this - very few.
It was a long-running children's programme about cinema. Screened on Monday afternoons, it began as an earnest look at film genres ( westerns, sci-fi, musicals, comedies etc. ) but as it progressed changed into something more akin to an Open University programme. Very few children would have known exactly who the programmes were about. One was devoted to the film music of Ron Goodwin, another to the work of Ken Adam ( set designer of the Bond films ), others profiled cinematographer Freddie Young, Edward Fox, Jacques Tati, William Goldman, Frank Launder & Sidney Gilliat, Gloria Grahame, and Richard Attenborough. To tie-in with the television debut of 'Space: 1999', Gerry Anderson was put in the spotlight. It is highly unlikely that such an eclectic programme would get on air today.
The presenter, Chris Kelly, was in his thirties, and reviewed films in a laid back, confidant style akin to Barry Norman's, there was no attempt to pander to younger viewers. He was brave enough to put the boot into the film 'Grease' for one thing! You sensed he was having fun doing the show. Credit for its success not only belongs to him but to producer Muriel Young, herself a former presenter.
When 'Clapperboard' was axed in 1982, it left a huge void in children's television, one that is still sadly waiting to be filled.
Although 'Clapperboard' was broadcast as part of children's TV, at about 5pm, it was actually a very worthwhile cinema programme. The latest releases got a good airing, of course, but there were also programmes showing how films were made, such as the work of special effects and stunt units, the writing of film music, even the importance of continuity. There were also 'themed' programmes looking at films through the years devoted to specific subjects (I remember one about the Titanic when 'SOS Titanic' and 'Raise the Titanic' were released in 1980), or directors. Of course, I was a child when I watched the programme, but I remember there was good solid information here, and it gave me an interest in films and film-making I still have 40 years later.
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