Film Choice: Torn Curtain, War Games, Ordinary People, Hud

By Laurence Phelan
Sunday 23 October 2011 08:34

Torn Curtain - 4.10pm Sky Movies Action/Thriller

The making of his 50th film was not a happy experience for Alfred Hitchcock, who wasn't used to directing actors such as Paul Newman, who'd graduated from the method school. The result is a not entirely convincing Cold War espionage thriller, but one that keeps moving along at a fair pace. Julie Andrews is the love interest.

War Games - 6.45pm Film4

In John Badham's 1983 adventure thriller, Matthew Broderick (right) plays a teenager who accidentally hacks into the computer that controls the US's nuclear defence system, and plays a simulation called "global thermonuclear war", little realising how high the stakes are. One of the earliest cyber-thrillers, 'War Games' looks quaintly lo-tech these days, but it remains a smart teen adventure.

Ordinary People - 9pm TCM

Robert Redford's first and arguably finest film as a director is a well-observed and winningly played drama about an affluent suburban American family – father Donald Sutherland (right), mother Mary Tyler Moore and teenage son Timothy Hutton – that is quietly coming apart following the death of an older son. Its genuine pathos and power are hard earned, with Hutton and Redford picking up Oscars for their efforts. Judd Hirsch is also memorable as Hutton's psychiatrist.

Hud - 11.15pm Film4

Young Texas cattle rancher Hud Bannon is an arrogant and amoral rotter who drinks, cheats and whores his way through this downbeat contemporary Western, at the expense of his decent family. It's a real measure of Paul Newman's inherent likeableness that both the character and the film are so engaging.

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