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When to catch your movie faves

The Christmas Eve slot is the perfect place for It's a Wonderful Life, but this unmissable classic finds a place on Christmas Day (TV3, 9.35am). That other festive favourite The Wizard of Oz (RTE1, 8.35am) also goes out on Christmas morning.

Queen Elizabeth II gives a big thumbs-up to Ireland in her annual Christmas speech and, in keeping with that theme, the 2011 Oscar-winner The King's Speech (Sky Movies Premiere, 8pm) is a thoughtful offering, with excellent performances from Colin Firth (right) and Geoffrey Rush.

On St Stephen's Day, a dose of Shrek 2 (BBC1, 4pm) should be just the job. Alongside Eddie Murphy as the voice of Donkey, we are introduced to Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas).

A more contemporary fairytale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (Sky Movies Premiere, 8pm) sees Harry, Rupert and Hermione seeming to spend most of the film on a camping trip.

There's more Harry Potter with the second instalment in the series Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (UTV, 3.30pm).

If all this good cheer is getting to you, you may feel like Bruno Ganz did with his much-copied rant as Adolf Hitler in Downfall (RTE2, 11.30pm), a brilliant movie about the final days of the Third Reich.

And if you fancy staying up late you can tune in to Hitchcock's classic Vertigo (UTV, 2.05am) starring Kim Novak (above) and James Stewart or catch the wonderful Steve McQueen in Bullitt (RTE1, 1.50am).

>GEORGE BYRNE


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