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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 4 March 2018

The top choice just had the clear edge but the other films chosen and the first couple of Also Rans could very easily also have been the BEST FILM OF THE DAY.Rock music fans might want to check out Led Zeppelin’s concert film with individual band member fantasy inserts, The Song Remains the Same (11.42am TCM).

Today’s Number One Film:

High Noon, 9pm Fox Classics BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Hombre, Unforgiven or 3.10 from Yuma. Anytime it screens, whether early or late, BC on TV advises the real cinefile to grab a rare cable/DirecTV chance to see the movie the American Film Institute rated as the 33rd best of the 20th Century. Using almost real-time pacing to build tension as effectively as the more modern Keifer Sutherland TV series, 24, this is a contender for Best Western and one of the greatest American movies ever made. The classic Western and dramatic theme of one man’s courage in standing up to possibly fatal difficulty alone repays close attention. It’s perhaps not for viewers who require lots of pretty explosions to keep them interested but, for people with a couple of O’levels, it’s hard to top. Excellent. Directed by Fred Zinnermann/ 1952/ USA/ Drama-Western-Thriller/ 85 mins/ Black & White/ Rated PG-13 for some Western violence, and smoking.

Also watch:

Seven (aka se7en), 10.50am MaxPrime. Watch this if you liked Gone Baby Gone, Memento or Fallen. Extremely gruesome – though you don’t see the murders, just their results – but just as good, this taut thriller about a retiring cop and his rookie replacement facing a demented serial killer features excellent performances from Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt (yes, Brad Pitt).It is worth watching three times, once for the story, a second time for the performances and the third time just to admire the depraved world created by the director and the quite-magnificent way he reaches a genuine climax. The se7en in question are the deadly sins, illustrated by deadly-impressive scenes of murder.Directed by David Rincher/ 1995/ USA / Crime-Mystery-Thriller/ 127 mins/R for grisly after-views of horrific and bizarre killings and strong language.

The Sting, 9.55am Fox Classics. Watch this if you liked Ocean’s Eleven, Catch Me if You Can or Cool Hand Luke. The director who made Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, one of the first films shown to students at film school, followed it up with one of the slickest American films ever shot.The portrayal of the con is itself worthwhile but it is the immaculate comic timing of the late Paul Newman and Robert Redford that really make it as good today as it was 45 years ago; you’ll recognise whole scenes copied in later films, where the production values are much higher but the final result far lower. Worth missing church just for the ragtime soundtrack alone – Scott Joplin’s famous The Entertainer is the theme. Directed by George Roy Hill/ 1973/ USA/ Comedy-Crime/ 129 mins/Unrated but suitable for family viewing.

Just Nosed Out:

**Arrival (sci-fi), 4.55pm HBOP; *The French Connection (crime-thriller), 12.05 midday FoxClas; Mad Max: Fury Road (action-sci-fi-thriller), 6.55pm HBOP; The End of the Tour (biodrama), 2.10pm Max;; ***Toy Story 3 (animated-family), 9.18am & 8.13pm HBOF; Made in Dagenham (biodrama), 12 midday ISat; The Jungle Book (adventure-animated), 11.40am MaxU.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Superman (superhero), 7.25am MaxU.

Animated/Family: Son of Rambow, 10.20am ISat.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: Blue Valentine (drama), 6.55pm Sund.


Classic: …And Justice for All (courtroom thriller), 7.55am FoxClas.

Comedy: *What We Do in the Shadows (mockumentary), 6.35pm ISat.

Drama: The Other Boleyn Girl (history), 2.55pm & 9pm Sund.

Foreign: Marshland (Spanish crime thriller), 1.55pm FoxCin.

Horror: The Shallows (creature), 9.50am HBOC & 7.30pm HBO2

Sci-fi/Fantasy: *Avatar, 11.22am CnCl.

Thriller: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (sci-fi), 9pm HBOP.

War: Patton (biodrama), 1.55pm FoxClas.

Western: Gunfight at the OK Corral, 4.45pm 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.