On The Box: This Week’s Films On TV You Just Got To See

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On the day that the Oscars are given their final brush up,  Richard Lutz offers up the latest on tv movies

No doubt about it. The one to watch (or record) is tonight (Sunday, BBC, 12.45 am). It’s Point Blank  set in a 1967 San Francisco which is anything but love and peace.

Lee Marvin is an obsolete bad guy out of prison to retrieve his $93,000. But the criminal world has changed. Angie Dickinson and Marvin are as tight as skin and hard as knuckles. It’s a joy to watch from Brit director John Boorman. It’s noir in blood colour.

Moving on and let’s stay with crime movies with a back-to-back Clint fest. (Monday ITV4, 21.00/23.10) You get Dirty Harry and Magnum Force. It’s all big guns, crypto-fascism ideology and Eastwood’s sneer. They are now classics though at the time were considered repugnant junk.

Earlier in the day and back to  a gentler age  with John Ford in the director’s chair for 3 Godfathers (TCM 07.25).

The Duke in a forgotten classic


It is a forgotten John Wayne conestoga wagon of a film when he and two other outlaws struggle across a bleak desert to deliver a tiny baby back to civilisation. Cue religious motifs and The Duke is as good as he gets- whether you like him or not.

Pather Panchali is the main event on Wednesday. (Film4; 1.10 am on Tues actually) Indian director Satyajit Ray delivers a great story about a little Bengali boy called Apu who lives in poverty but sees the greatness and wonder in small things as his family struggles with the crumbs of life. A beautiful film.

Wednesday is also for stiff upper lips with Kenneth More taking on the Douglas Bader role in Reach for the Sky (Ch4; 12.30). Wave the flag for plucky Britain. Lewis Gilbert was at the helm- he did early 007 films and Alfie so he has a laudbale track record.

Let’s stay midweek with Wednesday because if you’re in and locked into tv-land, here’s another back2back on Film4: On the Town (12.35) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (14.30) Now…that’s entertainment  with Gene Kelly in the former and Marilyn in the latter.

Off to another British modern classic on Thursday with Shakespeare in Love (ITV3 23.55). Loads of laughs and romance as Tom Stoppard writes one of the most joyous scripts this side of the codpiece.

That’s your lot.