The opening scene in A Hard Day's Night sees the The Beatles aboard a train to London on route to a TV show. Inside the carriage with them is an elderly gentleman, who has caught the curiosity of John. ''Who's that little old man?'' he asks. ''That's my grandfather,'' replies Paul. ''He's a nice old man, isn't he?'' asks John. ''He's very... clean,'' says Paul, as though choosing his words carefully. John immediately stands up and inspects the poor fella, before concluding: ''Aye, he's very clean.'' As their manager enters the carriage he too is introduced to Paul's grandfather, with John asking ''Isn't he clean?'' Presumably, there's a reason for the film to emphasise this man's impeccable hygiene - we just have no idea what it is yet. We later see that this description becomes something a running joke throughout the film, as the seemingly "clean" and respectable old chap becomes anything but: flirting, gambling and picking fights behind The Beatles' backs. But the pay-off comes when you realise that Paul's grandfather is played by Wilfrid Brambell, an actor better known for his portrayal of Albert in the BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son, where his character is often referred to as (drum roll, please) a ''dirty old man."
Yorkshireman (hence the surname). Often spotted sacrificing sleep and sanity for the annual Leeds International Film Festival. For a sample of (fairly) recent film reviews, please visit whatsnottoblog.wordpress.com.