Made in HK

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 January, 1994, 12:00am

IF one programme on Hong Kong television deserves a quick dose of undiluted praise it is Inside Story (World 8.30pm), the investigative current affairs magazine which in the face of a dearth of things to investigate still manages to make life interesting,with the occasional abhorration.

The fact that it is locally produced is a good start; the fact that it is often quite good is a surprising and welcome bonus.

Tonight editor Sally Round, who also has a part time job reading the news, has sent Vivian McGrath and a fly-on-the-wall camera team on the trail of malpractice in the real estate industry, something that might come as no surprise to many. Joanne Gilhooly takes a look at the strange saga of refugees who fled Vietnam during the Border Wars, were caught and imprisoned in China before getting anywhere near Hong Kong, and then sent back to Vietnam by the Chinese authorities as spies. Exactly what their status is now, nobody seems to know.

IF you were charged with the pleasant task of looking around for a couple of films to show in tribute to Audrey Hepburn, who died of cancer one year ago, what would you choose? Charade, of course, Roman Holiday perhaps, My Fair Lady almost definitely,The Nun's Story, in which she used those heron's eyes to greatest affect, the rest of her being wrapped for the duration in a habit? One you would not choose is Robin and Marian (Pearl, 9.30pm) a 1976 British revisionist version - hardly a pair of green tights in sight - which sees a portly Robin (Connery) return to Sherwood Forest after too long in exile looking for his lady love. This was not Audrey's greatest moment, but to be fair Pearl has already shown her greatest moment Charade (last night), and we know better than to expect too much.

Robin and Marian's greatest problem is that the politically correct script has stripped the characters not only of their tights, but also of their magic. Connery is still a better Robin than Kevin Costner was in Prince of Thieves ('scuse me Sir, but aahmlooking for Sheerward . . .) and the British community will have fun looking for Ian Holm and Ronnie Barker, but there is something missing . . . something more than the tights.

Director Richard Lester is one of the best swashbucklers in the business (Four Musketeers, Return of the Musketeers, The Three Musketeers, to name but 10), and gets the best from every scene and every one. It's just that the script could have done with abit of a workover. Anyway, Audrey Hepburn is in it, so what the hell.

Incidentally, Hepburn afficionados, of whom there are a great many, will be pleased to hear that The Nun's Story is out on a new series of classic film video cassettes, already available in Hong Kong. That habit, that voice, those eyes, that face. No wonder the world misses Audrey.

STAR Plus has come up with such a good film it has decided to show it twice. This is not a repeat of Saturday evening's Three Men and a Baby fiasco, but is deliberate. Don't ask me why.

Resting Place (12 midnight and 3.30am) stars Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy) as an army officer charged with the job of accompanying the body of a black Vietnam war hero to his home in the American south, where he runs into problems with the less than liberally-minded local community, who don't want a black man, hero or no hero, buried in their all-white cemetery. The military, with its usual sensitivity, makes everything worse by throwing in enough bureaucratic red tape to trip up a Stealth Bomber Freeman has rarely given performances that have been anything other than exceptional, but he has often been made to give them in very unexceptional films: Bonfire of the Vanities, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Glory. This is no clasic, but well aboveaverage. John Lithgow also stars.