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23 May 2022

Eighteen must-see movies on TV over the next week

Ten movies to watch on TV this Christmas Day

Ronan O'Meara gives his picks of movies on TV

If you are planning to watch a movies on TV over the coming week, we've got you covered.  Film guru Ronan O'Meara has been scouring the schedules and has picked 18 to choose from.

Hobson's Choice: Saturday, Talking Pictures TV @ 9pm

Henry Hobson is a bit of a melt and his daughters want to get away from him fast. But things were a bit different for women in the 1880's and Henry's oldest daughter Maggie is having none of it. David Lean's 1954 comedy is a joy. Full of perfectly drawn characters and comic situations and a cast that's second to none. Charles Laughton is a masterly lead and Brenda De Banzie & John Mills give him fine support.

The Promise: Saturday, RTÉ 2 @ 11pm 

Ana,Chris and Mikael are in Constantinople and both men have a bit of a thing for Ana. Overshadowing their love triangle is one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. The romantic stuff is old hat but it's the bigger picture that makes it a worthwhile watch as it's a story that has sadly been ignored in Western cinema. Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale all do a sad story justice

The Craft: Saturday, 5Star @ 11.20pm

A new girl has moved to a new school and she's making new friends. Friends with powers. Witchy powers that have drawn them to each other. They start having fun with these powers until of course one of them starts enjoying it too much. A darkly funny celebration of femininity and nonconformism with a hell of a star turn from Fairuza Balk as the buddy we all secretly want to hang out with. Robin Tunney, Rachel True and Neve Campbell work well together. 

Psycho: Sunday,  RTÉ One @ 1.15am

There's 40,000 stolen dollars in Marion's suitcase and she's on the run because of it, heading north up along the Pacific Coast Highway. She's been driving all day and needs to sleep so stops at the Bates Motel and there she meets a kindly desk clerk called Norman. Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller is a masterpiece of tension and black humour. One so ingrained in pop culture that you'll recognise whole swathes of it even if you've never seen it. 

Isolation: Sunday, Film4  @1.35am

A farmer with financial problems rents space on his farm out to a bio-genetics company who've plans to increase livestock productivity and before long things get weird. Imagine Alien but instead of space think Wicklow and instead of Xenomorphs think Friesian cattle. No, wait, it's better than you think. Some proper scares, some wicked tension and a couple of nice turns from Ruth Negga and John Lynch make it work.

Sorry We Missed You: Sunday, BBC Two @ 10pm

The Turner family are having an awful time. The financial crash wiped out their savings, their son is acting up and their father has taken on an immensely stressful job that's causing him and the ones he loves nothing but trouble. Ken Loach's 2019 drama is a scathing and profoundly upsetting look at the way the UK government has failed the many people who depend on it to save them from exploitation. Humane turns from Debbie Honeywood and Kris Hitchen will keep you watching through the pain.

It's Only The End Of The World: Monday, Film4 @ 1.10am

Louis hasn't seen his family in well over a decade and now he's heading home but it's no cause for celebration. He's sick and he has to tell them he's dying. But getting the words out is harder than he thought. Xavier Dolan's 2016 drama is a tough, intense and often unpleasant film, harshly dealing with stark reality but the acting from Gaspard Ulliel (who sadly died recently), Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux is second to none.

Little Fauss And Big Halsy: Monday, Talking Pictures TV @ 2.50am

Fauss and Halsy. Friends and rivals in their work as dirt bike racers. Their relationship gets tested when a woman called Rita joins their circuit and both fall for her. From 1970 comes a Robert Redford film you never hear about anymore but it's a fun, odd and invigorating character piece that captures the zeitgeist of the era it was made in wonderfully. Redford's as reliable as always while Lauren Hutton and the unique Michael J. Pollard bring the charm.

You're Next: Monday, The Horror Channel @ 9pm

Erin's a new face at a family reunion in rural Missouri that suddenly turns nasty when masked men interrupt proceedings. Adam Wingard's home invasion thriller is a blisteringly violent watch but it's one laced with loads of dark comedy to ensure you'll enjoy the ride. Sharni Vinson and A.J. Bowen have a ball as the leads in a deliciously warped look at family dynamics. You'll never run out your front door again after seeing this.

Red Joan: Monday, BBC Two @ 11.15pm

Who's Joan and why is she red? Joan's an English woman working in atomic research. She's also a spy who's been giving the secrets of England's nuclear industry to communist Russia for a very very long time. Parts of Red Joan are, without doubt, kind of pedestrian but a committed turn from the always reliable Judy Dench as latter day Joan, and a story filled with intrigue, will keep you watching until the end.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: Tuesday, Film4 @ 1.25pm

The Stoddards have returned to the town of Shinbone for the funeral of an old friend. An old friend who did something for Ransom Stoddard that will forever be a secret. A true classic of the western genre. Talkier and more cerebral than most while still offering everything you'd expect. James Stewart, Vera Miles, John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Woody Strode & Edmond O'Brien all do stellar work in a John Ford masterwork. 

Mars Attacks! Wednesday, TCM @ 6.50pm

Earth is invaded by an army of cruel little skull faced aliens with evil senses of humour and it's up to a star studded cast of earthlings to fight back against them. Tim Burton directs a fantastically surreal & amusing film with his usual sense of disturbingly funny glee. The first scene will let you know if this film is for you or not. Pam Grier, Jack Nicholson (x) 2, Annette Bening, Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan and Tom Jones (yep him) lead the attack.

Dangerous Liaisons: Wednesday, BBC Two @ 11.15pm

Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont are rich, decadent and bored. To fill their time they play games and when young Cécile de Volanges catches their eye things get rather complicated. Stephen Frears' 1988 drama is a hefty watch, a sensual, complicated, mature drama about rich folk with too much time on their hands that's powered by splendid turns from Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer and Uma Thurman. 

Human Traffic: Thursday, Great! Movies @ 1.25am

Jip, Lulu, Koop, Moff and Nina. Five friends in Cardiff who live for the weekend to escape the banal existence that is their life. Friday night means chats, pints, dancing and enough Class A's to fell a horse. The controversy over the casual drug use depicted here overshadowed what is a well put together look at urban culture and alienation. John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington and (yes, seriously) Danny Dyer do substantial work here. Oh and the soundtrack is lethal.

She Wore A Yellow Ribbon: Thursday, BBC4 @ 10.05pm

An army captain close to retirement is tasked with one last piece of work, to broker a deal with the Cheyenne and the Arapaho tribes following the massacre at Little Big Horn. Some of the politics of John Ford's 1949 western have aged badly in preceding years but there's no denying it's a stunning looking film, shot on Technicolor in Ford's beloved Monument valley. John Wayne, Joanne Dru and Ben Johnson are in good form here.

Basic Instinct: Friday, Great! Movies @ 9pm

A rock star has been murdered and a writer is the main suspect and she's got her eye on the cop investigating the case. This is a film Alfred Hitchcock would have made in his prime if the Hays Code of motion picture censorship didn't stand in his way. A twisting, turning, shocking, exciting and complex thriller from Paul Verhoeven that might offend some viewers but it's a lot better than it's reputation makes it seem. Michael Douglas may have been the big star here but Sharon Stone owns the hell out of this film.

The Pit And The Pendulum: Friday, Talking Pictures TV @ 9.05pm

What do you get when you add Roger Corman, Vincent Price and Edgar Allen Poe? You get horror brilliance, that's what. A young man travels to Spain to investigate his sister's disappearance and discovers nothing but terror. 61 years old and still as scary, intense, atmospheric and beautiful looking as it was on it's release. Price and Barbara Steele do mighty work here, Price especially when he goes off the deep end in a way only he could.

The Children Act: Friday, RTÉ One @ 11.15pm

Judge Fiona Maye is having a tough time of things lately. Her marriage is on the edge of a precipice and the case before her in chambers is rattling her in a way no case ever has before. What to do, what to do? The always rock solid Emma Thompson does strong work in an adaption of Ian McEwan's novel. It's a film that never fully takes off but the acting from Thompson and Fionn Whitehead is absorbing and there's plenty of food for thought here.

As always visit hamsandwichcinema.blogspot.com/ for more film and tv chat.

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