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Top films to watch on TV this week

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Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Brian De Palma’s violent, gripping film Scarface (Wednesday, ITV4,10 p.m.)

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Brian De Palma’s violent, gripping film Scarface (Wednesday, ITV4,10 p.m.)

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Brian De Palma’s violent, gripping film Scarface (Wednesday, ITV4,10 p.m.)

Wednesday: Scarface (1983) ITV4, 10p.m.

Based on Howard Hawks' 1932 noir thriller and with a screenplay by Oliver Stone, Brian De Palma's violent, gripping Scarface chronicles the rise and fall of Tony Montana (Al Pacino on iconic form), a lieutenant for powerful South Florida drug lord Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) in the early 1980s.

Tony harbours desires for Frank's sultry mistress, Elvira (Michelle Pfeiffer), but is also strangely protective of his sister Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). So much so, Tony would rather sacrifice his friendship with Manolo (Steven Bauer) than allow romance to blossom between them.

As Tony rises up the Florida food chain and slowly succumbs to the product he peddles, his downfall is assured.

Thursday

The Hunger Games (2012) 5 Star, 9p.m.

In a post-apocalyptic future, North America lies in ruins. In its place stands the autocratic nation of Panem, comprising the wealthy Capitol and 12 surrounding, poorer districts controlled by President Snow (Donald Sutherland).

Every year, one boy and one girl are selected by lottery from each district to take part in The Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death.

Katniss Everdeen (the steely Jennifer Lawrence) replaces her younger sister Primrose (Willow Shields) as the female representative from District 12, competing alongside baker's son Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).

Their alcohol-sodden mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) prepares the youngsters for competition against the other teenagers in a brutal and bloody test of strength and endurance in this gripping drama.

Friday

Kinky Boots (2005) BBC1, 11.10p.m.

The comedy from the creators of Calendar Girls is a life-affirming modern day fairy-tale about two very different men who discover that you can only succeed in life by putting your best foot forward... preferably in a stiletto.

Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) takes control of his family's traditional shoe factory in Northampton following the death of his father, only to discover that business is far from booming.

However, a chance encounter with cabaret performer Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor) suggests a whole new untapped market - fabulous footwear for drag queens. But can Charlie convince the workforce that this is the way to save their jobs?

Saturday

Darkest Hour (2017) BBC1, 7.30p.m.

On May 9, 1940, Clement Attlee (David Schofield), leader of the opposition Labour Party, demands Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) stands down as prime minister. King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) subsequently invites Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) to form a government at a critical juncture in the fight against Hitler.

Foreign secretary Lord Halifax (Stephen Dillane) spearheads senior figures within the Conservative ranks, who expect Churchill to agree to talks with the Germans - but they are gravely mistaken.

Darkest Hour is a handsomely crafted character study, which elegantly dramatises the 27 tumultuous days that led to Churchill's impassioned cry for the British to fight on the beaches.

Concealed behind layers of make-up and latex, Oscar-winner Oldman conjures a mesmerising embodiment of the statesman.

Sunday

The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) BBC1, 10.30p.m.

The 1968 Steve McQueen movie is given a makeover, with Pierce Brosnan taking the title role. A bored billionaire (the heart bleeds, all that money and nothing to do), Thomas Crown decides - just for a laugh - to steal a valuable Monet piece from the New York Museum.

However, Catherine Banning's (Rene Russo) insurance company underwrite the painting, and the feisty woman is determined to retrieve it from the crook. You can guess the rest - bad boy billionaire meets sexy wannabe detective, and romance blossoms, but both have their own motives.

The chemistry between the pair makes for a thrilling and absorbing plot, doing the original movie justice without losing any of its intrigue or gutsiness. Although it is refreshing to see the female sex symbol being portrayed by a mature woman and not a twenty-something.

Kerryman