Mona Lisa Smile, Build My Gallows High, Age of Heroes, Highlander, The Last Temptation of Christ: films on TV today

Campus drama, campy fantasy, film noir thrills and the Bible reworked: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


Mona Lisa Smile ★★★
6.40-9.00pm Movie Mix


If you’re in the mood for an “inspirational teacher” movie, this 2003 period tale set in the fetching, well-to-do environs of Wellesley, Massachusetts, could do the trick. Directed by Mike Newell, it stars Julia Roberts as an idealistic new art teacher arriving in the mid-50s at the real-life Wellesley College who ruffles faculty feathers by disregarding the syllabus in favour of free-thinking at a time when even educated rich girls were in training to be good wives. Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal are among her initially recalcitrant students, and a pre-Wire Dominic West the war-hero language prof who pursues her. It’s all decorous and leafy, and — unless you desire surprises — is a warm, female-centric way to spend an evening.

Build My Gallows High ★★★★★
3.30-5.25pm Movies4Men

Robert Mitchum at his most languid and Kirk Douglas at his most sinister square off over a dame and a whole load of missing dollars in this dark, smouldering and absolutely classic film noir.

Age of Heroes ★★★
9.00-10.55pm Movie Mix

This tale of wartime derring-do is based on the real-life exploits of 007 creator Ian Fleming. James D’Arcy plays him alongside Sean Bean and Danny Dyer on a sabotage mission in Norway.

Highlander ★★★
9.00-11.10pm Spike

Sean Connery mentors Christopher Lambert in the art of swashing his buckle in a cult fantasy adventure that is set in a mythological 16th-century Scotland and yet, is so 1980s Hollywood.

The Last Temptation of Christ ★★★★
12.40-3.55am Film4

Willem Dafoe saves the world, without a cape, in Martin Scorsese’s portrait of Jesus Christ. It caused an almighty uproar on its initial release for daring to show the Messiah as having very human foibles.


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