The 10 best movies on TV for Bank Holiday Monday

Ben Arnold

Why bother to get out of your pyjamas and force yourself to go for a nice Bank Holiday walk when there are some top movies on the telly? You don’t want the sofa to be lonely, do you? Course not.

Mr Peabody & Sherman (10.20am, BBC2)

Though it bombed horribly at the box office, DreamWorks’ tale of a genius dog (Mr. Peabody) and his adopted son (Sherman) is a neglected and underrated gem, with a superb voice cast, including Ty Burrell, Allison Janney, Stephen Colbert, and Leslie Mann. It’s even educational. Ha! Have that, kids.

Escape To Victory (11.50am, Dave)

An early start, but a fine way to ease into your Bank Holiday Monday torpor. Prisoners of war in WWII Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone and, luckily, Bobby Moore and Pelé take on the German national team and plan a daring escape while they’re at it in John Huston’s credulity-testing classic.

Rio Lobo (Five, 12.20pm)

The first in a John Wayne double bill on Five, ‘Rio Lobo’ finds Howard Hawks behind the camera, and John Wayne’s Union Army colonel Cord McNally on the trail of a confederate gang following a daring heist of Union gold during the American Civil War.

The Searchers (Five, 2.35pm)

‘Rio Lobo’ is swiftly followed by John Ford’s timeless classic ‘The Searchers’, with John Wayne as the Civil War veteran who goes in search of the Comanche tribe who killed his brother’s family, and abducted his niece. So much more than your standard revenge western.

The Book of Life (Film4, 2.50pm)

Jorge R Gutierrez’ touching tale of the lands of the living, the dead and the forgotten, and the troubadour Manalo (Rogue One’s Diego Luna) who wishes to make the feisty Maria (Zoe Saldana) his wife, but will have to compete with his best friend Joaquin (Channing Tatum) for her hand. Superb.

The NeverEnding Story (W, 3.30pm)

An 80s fantasy classic from visionary director Wolfgang Peterson, about a young boy, bullied at school, who finds himself disappearing into magical book, and the young warrior, who with his faithful luckdragon Falkor, is tasked with saving a mystical realm from impending doom.

Superman (ITV4, 4.05pm)

For many, Richard Donner’s 1978 epic is the quintessential cinematic depiction of the Man of Steel, with Kryptonian Kal-El – aka Clark Kent – played magnificently by the late Christopher Reeve. Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane are just pitch perfect too.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (ITV2, 6.45pm)

OK, it’s not Mel Stuart’s 1971 superlative adaptation, but Tim Burton’s take on Roald Dahl’s confectioner certainly has its moments, thanks to a mildly demented (admittedly marmite-esque) performance from Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and the legendary Deep Roy as all the Oompa-Loopas.

Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave (7.30pm, BBC1)

It wouldn’t really be a Bank Holiday without a bit of Wallace and Gromit, and A Close Shave will do very nicely indeed, with Gromit finding himself framed for sheep rustling. Raise a glass to the legendary Peter Sallis, the voice of Wallace, too. He passed away in June this year at the age of 96.

The Theory of Everything (9pm, ITV)

See Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar-winning turn as Stephen Hawking, following his experiences studying at Cambridge University in the 60s, to his devastating diagnosis of motor neurone disease. Superb performances also come from Felicity Jones as his wife Jane, and David Thewlis as Hawking’s professor Dennis Sciama.

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