The best movies to watch on TV this week

WEDNESDAY

High Noon (1952) Movie4, 4:15 p.m.

It’s former city marshal Will Kane’s (Gary Cooper) wedding day, and he’s just found out that a killer he tried to bring to justice has been released on a technicality – and is returning. into town on the midday train, intent on revenge.

Will must decide whether he should leave as planned to start a new life with his Quaker wife (Grace Kelly) or stay and face his adversary. But he receives little support from the inhabitants of the city, who make him understand that he will have to face his destiny alone.

High Noon was seized upon at the time as an allegory for McCarthyism, but even without that extra layer of meaning, it’s still one of the greatest Westerns ever made. The fact that it takes place in (roughly) real time only adds to the tension, and Cooper is in iconic form as Kane.

THURSDAY

Dangerous Liaisons (1988) BBC4, 9pm

Stephen Frears’ powerful adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ novel about sexual double-dealing in 18th century France stars John Malkovich and Glenn Close as the Viscount de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil, two manipulative and bored aristocrats whose idea of ​​pleasure destroys the reputations of others.

Malkovich is very believable as an intriguing but perhaps a little less convincing as an irresistible seducer. However, there are fine performances from Close and Michelle Pfeiffer, who is all passion suppressed as their innocent prey.

Also beware of the eye-catching role of a teenage Uma Thurman and the first appearance of Keanu Reeves.

FRIDAY

Rebecca (1940) Talking Pictures TV, 5:25 p.m.

Alfred Hitchcock’s wonderfully atmospheric take on Daphne Du Maurier’s gripping tale stars Joan Fontaine as the shy new wife of widower Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier).

His country estate, Manderlay, remains in the iron grip of the fearsomely efficient governess Mrs Danvers (the brilliant Judith Anderson) and the memory of the master’s late wife, Rebecca.

As the new Mrs de Winter struggles to win the staff’s approval, she can’t help but feel her husband is still pining for his glamorous predecessor – and Mrs Danvers isn’t shy about exploiting her new mistress’s insecurities. . But was Rebecca really as perfect as everyone seems to think?

SATURDAY

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) BBC1, 10:30 p.m.

Jon Watts’ shrewd reboot of the Marvel Comics superhero — the third iteration in 15 years — weaves an impressive web of rites of passage drama, buddy comedy, and explosive spectacle.

Several months after Tom Holland made his webslinger debut in Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker (Holland) managed to hide his crime-fighting alter ego from Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) with the help of his mentor. , Tony Stark. (Robert Downey Jr).

When Salvage Society owner Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) takes to the skies as a thieving winged menace called Vulture, Peter foolishly attempts to prove himself to the Avengers by taking on the airborne lunatic on his own.

SUNDAY

Saving Private Ryan (1998) Channel 5, 10 p.m.

Steven Spielberg’s thoughtful WWII tale tells the story of a platoon of American soldiers (led by Tom Hanks), who are ordered to scour the battlefields of France in search of a missing infantryman , the titular Private Ryan (Matt Damon), who was allowed to return home because his brothers were killed in the conflict.

Spielberg is a true master of modern cinema and it came as no surprise when Saving Private Ryan won five Oscars in 1999. The opening scenes depicting the invasion of Normandy are poignant to say the least and are among the most realistic. never carried out. This superb film is crowned by impressive performances from Hanks, Damon, Tom Sizemore, Ed Burns and Jeremy Davies.

MONDAY

The Conjuring (2013) BBC3, 9pm

James Wan’s film opens in the sun with the arrival of Roger Perron (Ron Livingston) and his wife Carolyn (Lili Taylor) in a dilapidated farmhouse in Harrisville with their five daughters. The family dog ​​Sadie refuses to enter the property and that first night the clocks all stop at 3:07 sharp.

Later, the Perrons experience increasingly violent episodes, which terrify Carolyn and her offspring. In desperation, they turn to paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga), who immediately sense a malevolent force.

However, in order for the Vatican to authorize an exorcism, Ed and Lorraine must gather irrefutable evidence of this powerful demonic entity – and so they begin their terrifying research into the farm’s dark history.

TUESDAY

The Terminator (1984) ITV4, 9 p.m.

One of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, James Cameron’s time travel masterpiece catapulted Arnold Schwarzenegger to Hollywood stardom. He plays a violent cyborg sent from the future to kill waitress Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the woman destined to give birth to the savior of the human race. Luckily, a brave soldier (Michael Biehn) is also sent back in time to protect the heroine from the contrived assassin.

This sci-fi saga is what all films in the genre should aspire to: smart, action-packed and loaded with memorable lines. Schwarzenegger is cast perfectly as the emotionless robot killer, while Hamilton is impressive as the woman whose slender shoulders (she would become more muscular in the sequel) carry the hope of humanity’s survival.

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