FILMS OF THE DAY; Thursday TV.
Ralph Thomas' spoof spy thriller starring Dirk Bogarde as an unsuspecting MI5 recruit who soon gets caught up in a web of espionage, deceit and danger - and all because he speaks fluent Czech. Sylvia Koscina is among a cast which reads like the Who's Who of British actors.
THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL ***
Leslie Howard stars as English aristocrat Sir Percy Blakeney, a dandy and notorious hedonist who, unknown to his wife, is actually the dashing hero saving French aristocrats from Madame Guillotine. Merle Oberon, Raymond Massey and Nigel Bruce also feature in this wonderful tale.
FAMILY SINS ***
Kirstie Alley and Will Patton are the big names giving this quality TV movie some gravitas. A seemingly respectable woman is held in high esteem by her suburban community for taking in a large number of abandoned children. However, her neighbours are unaware that behind closed doors she subjects her foster children to a campaign of violence and cruelty, as well as forcing them to commit crimes on her behalf.
THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE ****
SKY MOVIES ACTION/THRILLER 7PM
Powerful melodrama of loss and redemption with Halle Berry (top) as a grieving widow drawn to her dead husband's best friend, recovering heroin addict Benicio Del Toro. As he fills a void in her life, his presence causes distance between the widow and her young daughter. Both Oscar-winning leads give terrific showings in a subtle and compelling examination of human nature and the power of grief.
MIDNIGHT RUN ****
SKY MOVIES COMEDY 9.35PM
Robert De Niro heads the cast as bounty hunter Jack Walsh, who has his work cut out when he's given the task of locating former Mafia accountant Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas (Charles Grodin, above, with De Niro). Finding him isn't a problem, but escorting him from New York to Los Angeles proves to be a massive headache thanks to the Mob, the FBI and a rival who wants the $100,000 reward for Mardukas's capture.
FILLING A VOID... Things We Lost in the Fire HIDE AND SEEK... Midnight Run