06/03/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT
A & E(Sun., June 2, 8 P.M. ET)
In a smashing film involving the supernatural, Albert Finney plays an innkeeper in the chic British countryside who is also a full-blown boozing womanizer.
Thanks to a wonderful script by Malcolm Bradbury—adapted from fellow novelist Kingsley Amis's book—Finney is also something of poet. His tantalizing descriptions of meals are absolutely lewd: "A sensual coupling of lobster with slender lone points of asparagus served in a champagne and truffle sauce...firm but succulent breasts of quail stuffed with pigeon and grape mousse caressed in a penetrable warmth until tender, then laid on a bed of scented vegetables and fungi served with a wild berry sauce."
This zestful Commandment-breaker is getting disturbing visits from a former inhabitant of the building, a decadent 17th-century cleric who promises, "I will show you the true shape of your desires."
Before the part gradually begins to get away from him in the third and final hour, Finney gives a ravishingly ardent performance.
Linda Marlowe, Sarah Berger and Michael Hordern costar in the movie, which is suitable only for adults. (The mix of pagan mysticism, suspense and quirky rural behavior recalls the 1973 film The Wicker Man.) The BBC tends to be a good deal more explicit than our networks. The Chief only knows why.