3955: Band on the Run by Tea Leaves

This was a very original idea and Gregson certainly appreciated the sense of humour. Even when you had solved all the clues it was a tricky challenge to draw the correct lines. Initial letters of extra words gave the message – DRAW LINES TO CREATE TWENTY ONE FILM TITLES. ENTER FOUR WORD TITLE FOR KEITH AT MM. Final letters of extra words gave "twenty starting wd,ls,tih,ac,gwtw,c,gw,s,hn,ds,rm,bac,ff,coahtr,bn,tkai,ds,anoes,gc,tfc". This gace a clue to twenty of the film titles. The film titles were represented as charades in the manner of the dingbat puzzles that are popular in the daily newspapers. Thus China Town was represented as ACHTOWN (CH in A TOWN!). The title for KEITH was Some Like It Hot and MM was the star Marilyn Monroe. The title Band on the Run referred to the plot of the film.
 
In the above grid the film tiles are numbered as follows.
1. Watership Down 2. Love Story 3. The Iron Horse 4. Animal Crackers 5. Gone with the Wind 6. China Town 7. Go West 8. Sunrise 9. High Noon 10. Dr. Strangelove 11. Rain Man 12. Bonnie and Clyde 13. Funny Face 14. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 15. Broadcast News 16. Some Like it Hot 17. The King and I 18. A Nightmare on Elm Street 19. Duck Soup 20. Gun Crazy 21.The French Connection.

Extra words in clues are shown in square brackets.

ACROSS
1 Know how two [decent] strangers embrace (4)
WOST Hidden
3 Perhaps [raw] novel is forward and extremely racy (5)
STORY ’S + TO + R(ac)Y
6 Her [attendance] once brought together leader of Tories and successor (5)
THEIR
10 [Weaken] strong brown paper made by soldier in American city (6)
MANILA MAN (soldier) + I (in) + LA (Los Angeles)
12 Drug [left] outside Spain (5)
HORSE (Heroin) HORS + E (Spain)
13*Information about extreme [ideology] acquired in America (6)
GOTTEN OTT in GEN
14 [Newcomers] turned out in an exalted state (4)
GONE
15 For the most part [expert] medium is yielding to ancestors (4)
ETHE ETHE(R)
17 Insignificant words deflect [Sylvia] (4)
WIND 2 definitions
18 Every one separately considered residing in France [together] a challenge (4)
EACH Hidden
20 Scottish farmstead prepared fibres of hemp with new [outfit] (4)
TOWN TOW + N (new)
22 University members developed [cognoscenti] right away (4)
GOWN GROWN less R (right)
23*Drama queen and [ruffian] deliver old dialect (4)
NORN NO (drama) + R (queen) + N (and)
24 Not [eating] out certainly not an impossibility (4)
NO-NO not out = NO + NO
25 Broad-edged tool for dressing stone forced through [arrow] (5)
DROVE 2 definitions
25*Gallery finally displayed [tripod] composed of small strips of wood (7)
LOUVRED LOUVRE + D (last letter of DISPLAYED)
28*Planet contains [exceptional] active craters (5)
MAARS A in MARS
29 Large rodent disturbed a [timorous] ram (4)
MARA anag. A RAM
30*Curse [wet] Conservative bench (4)
BANC BAN + C
31 North American bar-rooms producing water bottles when Arabian [elchi] comes in (5)
CAFÉS CARAFES less AR (ARABIAN)
32*The [nightmarish] nurse embracing church in California for relating to practical science (9)
TECHNICAL CH (church) in T’ EN (Enrolled Nurse) + I + CAL
35 Publicly [Tanzania] denied controlling river (5)
CLYDE Hidden
36*Having the power to detect camouflaged foe shot in [Yugoslavic] war (12, four words)
WITH A NOSE FOR anag. foe shot in war
38 [Offspring] returned in the direction of old river source (4)
ROOT reversed TO O (old) R (river)
41 Joined in recession when we supplied [new] housing (4)
SEWN Hidden reversed
44*Two presidents [exit] main road in America (4)
PIKE P (president) + IKE (President Eisenhower)
45 [Few] old friends accepting earl is man (5)
KEITH (Man’s name) KITH containing E (earl)
46 Remarkably [idiotic] to hire animal when at the front (6)
THERIO anag. TO HIRE (when at the front indicates that it is a suffix)
48 Heard a mine entrance is [looming] close (5)
ANIGH sounds like AN EYE
49 Horrifying experience of [middlebrow] gentleman beheaded by dam (9)
NIGHTMARE (K)NIGHT + MARE
50*Front of awful pink [trolley-bus] came into view (5)
AROSE A + ROSE
51 Cox, no hard man, supplies [Irish] trees (4)
ELMS HELMSMAN less H + MAN
52 After misguided steer this [tradesman] lost his way (6)
STREET anag. ESTER + T(HIS)
53 Withdrawn [lord] united with no good beast (3)
GNU U + NG reversed
54*Heartlessly cool individual [exposes] copy (5)
CLONE C(OO)L + ONE
55 Company [schemer] ruined innocent dealer (10)
CONNECTION CO (company) + anag. INNOCENT
DOWN
1 Local drunk and queen seen together in Scottish river valley [emporium] (5)
WATER WAT + ER
2*[Nightclub] character returns tailless ape (4)
OGAM MAGO(T) reversed
3*West Indian [tuba] music lifts a function briefly (4)
SOCA A COS (cosine) reversed
4*Rebel [eccentric] Tory brought back carries weight (4)
ROTL Hidden reversed
5 Half of boorish louts [rebuff] upper-class twit? (3)
YAH Half of YAH(OOS)
6 On the other hand [Falstaff] is the best knight (4)
THEN THE + N (knight)
7 Endlessly displays hollow [optimistic] manner (3)
HOW (S)HOW(S) 2 definitions
8*Do simple turn for [unco] naughty child (7)
SWINDLE
9*[Regatta] finishes in river? Quite the opposite - keeps on going (7)
URE (river) in ENDS
11*[Welsh] member's Asian sounding (3)
TIE sounds like THAI
12*With Italian [outcast] I mix chocolate during manufacture (6)
CONCHE CON (with in Italian) + CHE (dialect form of I)
15*Trainee in organisation of business and I [reappear] together (5)
AT ONE AT (Administrative trainee) + ONE
16*Rumour to the disadvantage of named [deb] (5)
ON-DIT  ON + DIT
19*Accountant and [taciturn] employee make slim curved club (5)
CAMAN a shinty stick CA + MAN
21*Beef broth is lacking [important] infusion (4)
BREW BREWIS less IS
26 [Townsfolk] succeeded in farewell dance (5)
VALSE S (succeeded) in VALE
27*Yankee's working free in [Lima] company (5)
YFERE Y + anag. FREE
28 Branch of Islam without a leader of prophets to take [Eli] on board (4)
SHIP SHIA less A + P(rophets)
33*Sanguine Michael almost shockingly [forward] (6)
HAEMIC anag. MICHAE(L)
34 Sound surrounded [orchestras] on the way up (4)
TRIG GIRT rev.
34*Organist forgetting a new rota confused singers (6)
GRIOTS anag. ORG(AN)ISTS less A N
37*[Kenyan] joint goes on irritating endlessly (5)
ANKLE (R)ANKLE(S)
39*Tenor and old Scottish outlaw needle [Eskimo] (5)
THORN T (tenor) + HORN
40*[Inane] child with a vacant face to cause concern (5)
CHAFE CH (child) + A F(AC)E
41*Negotiates, rejecting accepted [tactics], allowances of 3.846 per cent waste (5)
TRETS TREATS less A (accepted)
42*Monopoly withdrawn for mountain [holidaying] (5)
EIGER RÉGIE reversed
43*[Artistic] drunk to lose everything? (4)
WINO Lose everything = Win nothing!
44*Dim friend takes [terrorist] base (4)
PALE PAL + E (base)
46*William's even to be introduced to [myself] (4)
MEET 2 meanings Shakespeare’s MEET = even, quits
47*Not [manic], we objectively display common sense (4)
NOUS NO + US