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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 10 December 2017

On an exceptional day for wide-ranging film choice, there were four other co-contenders for the BEST FILM OF THE DAY. The film many critics consider the best spaghetti Western, ever (Once Upon a Time in the West, 7am FoxClas), was ruled out because it screened too early.Any of the other three, the mystery that can’t be ruined by even Kevin Spacey’s personal life (The Usual Suspects, 3.40pm Fox Classics), the gritty New York crime flick with the great chase scene (The French Connection, 1.50pm FoxClas) and M Night Shyamalan’s magnum opus (The Sixth Sense, 2.26pm Max) might have taken the top slot, had they not been picked recently.

Today’s Number One Film:

The Ox-Bow Incident, 3.40pm Fox Classics BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked High Noon, Bad Day at Black Rock or Hombre. Though it suffers from real limitations modern audiences spoilt by computer-generated special effects might find difficult to overlook, such as the most important scene obviously having been shot in a studio, this is one of the great American Westerns. Its many strengths include a great script (based on a true story), superb direction and a magnificent performance from Henry Fonda (and an almost-as-good supporting cast featuring Anthony Quinn). Not so much for the crowd that requires their Westerns to be riddled with bullets as for those who like to leave a film riddled with doubt. An exceptional film with huge rewards for anyone who can sit still for 75 minutes, and one that rarely screens at a reasonable time on cable/DIRECTV.Directed by William A Wellman/ 1943/ USA/ Western-Crime-Drama/ 75 mins/ Unrated but unsuitable for younger children.

Also watch:

Rango, 2.40pm Cine Canal. Watch this if you liked Hugo, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballsor Alice in Wonderland. The small percentage of critics who dismissed Rango as yet another version of Finding Nemo, an identikit kiddie flick aimed at the sentimental periphery of the Ritalin mob, seemed not to have noticed the movie’s several strengths, not the least of which is Johnny Depp as the voice of the conflicted chameleon trying to find his way in a confused and confusing world. A great script and tremendous pacing don’t hurt, either. One of the few family films that appeals to the intelligence of parents and children alike.Directed by Gore Verbinski/ 2011/ USA/ Animation-Adventure-Comedy-Family/ 107 mins/ Rated PG for rude humour, language, action and smoking.

Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 8.05pm MaxPrime. Watch this if you liked Pan’s Labyrinth, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride or Kill Bill Vol I. The kind of musical you’d expect Tim Burton to make: one filled with buckets of gore, sliced throats set to upbeat music and a stunning songbook, as clever as it is macabre. Almost by lanyap, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman are amazing in the lead roles – but the violence is extreme, superbly done and deeply disturbing; assume nightmares as the price of admission.Directed by Tim Burton/ 2007/ UK-USA/ Horror-Musical-Thriller-Fantasy/ 116 mins/ R for graphic bloody violence.

Just Nosed Out:

**The Usual Suspects (Crime-Mystery-Thriller), 3.40pm FoxClas; **The French Connection (Crime-Drama), 1.50pm FoxClas; *Paddington (Animated-Family), 10.36am Max; The Lobster (Drama-Sci-fi), 10.50am Max; Mud (Crime-Coming of Age Drama), 7.35am FoxMov.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: *The Shallows (Action-Creature Horror), 3.45pm HBO2.

Animated/Family: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 4.55pm STun.

Arthouse/Independent: Atonement (Literary Drama), 10.55am HBOC. .

Biography/Documentary: The Rat Pack (Doc), 5.20pm TCM Joy (Bio), 11.05am CnCl.

Classic: *The Breakfast Club (Young Adult Coming of Age Drama), 7.10am HBOP; Escape from New York (Action-Crime-Sci-fi-Thriller), 11.08am TCM.

Comedy: The Trip to Italy (Comic Travel Doc), 2.33pm ISat.

Drama: Great Expectations, 6.50pm FoxCin.

Horror: **The Sixth Sense (Supernatural), 2.26pm Max.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: Star Wars VII, 7.25am HBO.

Thriller: Pineapple Express (Weed-Action-Comedy), 7.41pm HBOP

War: *Von Ryan’s Express, 5.25pm FoxClas.

Western: **Once Upon a Time in the West, 7am FoxClas.

*Starred films have been picked in the last year.**Double-starred films have been picked in the last two months.***Triple-starred films were picked last week.

Particularly strong Also Ran films are bolded.

Please verify times.Advance Internet scheduled times can be wrong, especially at month-end.