Tuesday 24 April 2018

The Seventh Seal (1957)


The Seventh Seal (1957)

11.30am, Sky Arts 1

Undoubtedly Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece, a stunning film that more than justifies its continuing presence on Top 10 lists everywhere. Max von Sydow is the melancholy medieval knight who journeys through Sweden in the grip of the Black Death, and ends by playing a game of chess with Death, who has come to take him.

Gallipoli (1981)

3.15pm, RTE1

Mel Gibson gives the kind of great performance common to his early career, as a young Australian athlete serving with the Anzac forces in the disastrous First World War campaign in Gallipoli (masterminded by Winston Churchill). Directed by Peter Weir, with Mark Lee and Bill Kerr.

The Impossible (2012)

9pm, Channel4

Disaster film set around the cataclysmic Asian Tsunami. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor play a couple who take the fateful decision to spend Christmas with their three young sons at a resort in Thailand. Co-stars Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast.


Himmler: The Decent One - Storyville (2014)

9pm, BBC4

Feature-length documentary in the always-interesting Storyland strand. This looks at Heinrich Himmler through his diary entries, with the title coming from his bizarre belief that the SS would be warmly remembered as being comprised of 'decent men.'

Resistance (2004)

9.30pm, TG4

Bill Paxton and Julia Ormond star in this Second World War drama, set in occupied Belgium. An American airman is shot down but saved by a fighter with the Resistance, only to repay him by starting an affair with his wife.

Stripes (1981)

11.10pm, Film4

Eighties comedy about a couple of chancers ­- played by Bill Murray and Harold Ramis - who decide to join the US army on a whim, believing that it will be like a health spa. Support from Sean Young, John Candy, PJ Soles and Judge Reinhold.


The Longest Day (1962)

11am, Film4

Star-studded Second World War epic about the invasion of France by the Allies on June 6, 1944. Robert Mitchum and John Wayne star, along with Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Richard Burton and Rod Steiger. Among the many consulted, including D-Day veterans, was the widow of Field Marshal Rommel.

Devil (2010)

9pm, Film4

Supernatural horror based on a story by M Night Shyamalan, who wrote The Sixth Sense, intended as the first of a trilogy, although no further films have been made. The Devil is loose in modern-day Philadelphia, with an ex-alcoholic detective in confused pursuit. With Chris Messina and Logan Marshall-Green

The Lookout (2012)

1.20am, Channel4

Stylish, multi-layered French crime thriller set in and around Paris, beginning - rather presciently - with a sniper killing a group of policemen. Daniel Auteuil is the veteran cop who hunts the killer, with excellent support from Mathieu Kassowitz and Olivier Gourmet. Directed by Michele Placido.


RED (2010)

9.35pm, RTE1

Action comedy about a group of retired agents (RED stands for Retired, Extremely Dangerous) who get back in the game for one last job. Bruce Willis is the ringleader, joined by Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman and Mary-Louise Parker.

Rushmore (1998)

2.20am, Channel4

Laconic comedy-drama from Wes Anderson about an eccentric schoolboy, played by Jason Schwartzman, who pals up with a rich industrialist, Bill Murray, with whom he shares a crush on his elementary school teacher, Olivia Williams. In an attempt to win her affection, he writes a play based around the Vietnam War. Support from Owen Wilson, who co-wrote with Anderson, and Brian Cox.

Wild Hogs (2007)

11.20pm, BBC1

Comedy road movie about four bored middle-aged suburban men who go on a motorbike trip on their 'hogs'. The journey goes sadly sour when they encounter a real gang of bikers. Stars John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H Macy and Tim Allen.


Knight and Day (2010)

9pm, Film4

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in this all-action comedy about a woman forced to flee from the Secret Service in the company of a manic, over-active, former spy played by the manic, over-active Tom Cruise. The second screen pairing for Cruise and Diaz, after the rather better Vanilla Sky.

The Switch (2010)

9pm, Comedy Central

Another rom-com from Jennifer Aniston's vast back catalogue. This one gives us a woman who decides to have a baby on her own, with complications ensuing when her best friend switches his sperm with the sperm donor's. Co-starring Jason Bateman, Patrick Wilson and Juliette Lewis.

Downfall (2004)

10pm, BBC4

Excellent German drama set in Hitler's bunker in the final stretch of World War Two. This shows the last 10 days of his rule, as the Allied forces are closing in on Berlin. Great performances all round, but particularly Bruno Ganz as Hitler, ably supported by Alexandra Maria Lara and Ulrich Matthes. Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel.


Body of Lies (2008)

9pm, RTE2

Ridley Scott, Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe combine here to create a tight, atmospheric spy thriller. DiCaprio is a CIA operative in Iraq who goes against the orders of his boss, played by Crowe - who gained three stone for the role - and shelters a terrorist in return for information. Along with solid performances, the film is an honest attempt at examining tensions between the Arab world and the West.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

9pm, TV3

Spin-off from the X-Men film series, in turn based on the Marvel comic books. This focuses on the mysterious origins of James 'Logan' Howlett, aka Wolverine, and his relationship with his half-brother. Stars Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber and Danny Huston.

The Hurt Locker (2008)

11.10pm, TV3

Kathryn Bigelow produced and directed this Iraq war film, about a three-man bomb disposal unit on tour of duty in a very tense, battle-scarred Iraq. Awarded six Oscars, including best director for Bigelow (shamefully she is still the only woman to get the award in the Academy's history). Stars Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty.


Shrek (2001)

6.35pm, RTE1

Animated fantasy with the voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow, about an ogre whose swampland peace is disturbed by a host of fairytale characters fleeing the evil Lord Farquaad. Shrek teams up with a taking donkey to take on Farquaad, but is sent on a mission to rescue the Princess Fiona from a tower.

Private Benjamin (1980)

12.45am, RTE1

Endearing comedy that spawned a TV series spin-off, with Goldie Hawn as a sweet but dependent young woman who joins the army after her husband dies on their wedding night during sex, and a recruiter persuades her that army life will be just what she needs. Initially hopeless, she starts to shape up and find a core of inner strength. Directed by Howard Zieff, with support from Eileen Brennan and Armand Assante.

On Deadly Ground (1994)

12.55am, RTE2

Heavy-handed environmental action film, directed by and starring Steven Seagal, with Michael Caine and Billy Bob Thornton. An unscrupulous oil company put men's lives at risk by cutting corners while drilling in Alaska. With Seagal, a specialist in oil drilling fires, on their trail, they scapegoat the rig foreman.

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