Dracula, Star Trek, Crossfire: films on TV today

Christopher Lee rises from the grave, JJ Abrams takes us into the future, and Robert Mitchum is on the case: the RadioTimes team's pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
Dracula ★★★★★
10.00pm BBC Four

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With Dracula Untold – a rather hokey, CGI-suffused, action led “origins” story – now in cinemas, a drop of a golden oldie seems to be in order. Hammer studios rebooted Universal’s black-and-white original with this blood-dripping Technicolor update, and Christopher Lee’s tall, dark, handsome Count quickly unseated Bram Stoker’s eerie ghoul as the industry standard. With Peter Cushing as vampire hunter Van Helsing, and character-acting stalwarts like Michael Gough, Geoffrey Bayldon and George Woodbridge fleshing out the cast on those fabulously outré Bray studios sets, the 1958 Dracula feels like the 60s are just around the corner – and the roll call of flesh-branding cruxifices, graveyards, coffins, castle keeps and damsels in diaphanous nighties proved staples for many sequels to come. A British cinema classic, surely.


Star Trek ★★★★
6.35pm Film4

Director JJ Abrams has become the go-to man for saving flagging sci-fi franchises. He’s the man entrusted with the forthcoming Star Wars Episode VII, and it was this epic reboot of the Trek universe that got him the gig. Chris Pine stars as a young and reckless James T Kirk, who immediately butts heads with Zachary Quinto’s by-the-book Spock after joining Starfleet Academy. And a wonderful screen partnership is reborn.


Crossfire ★★★★ 
9.15am MovieMix

It might seem a bit early on the day for this kid of thing, but this gritty film noir is the cinematic equivalent of a steaming pot of strong java. The original poster screamed “Hate is like a loaded gun!”and the socially conscious story tells of a bunch of demobbed army men who are involved in a racially motivated murder. Thankfully, square-jawed Robert Mitchum is on hand to investigate.


Rachel Getting Married ★★★
11.45pm 5*

Everyone loves a wedding, don’t they. But there’s more than just the usual jitters for bride-to-be Rosemarie DeWitt after she invites her loose-cannon, drug-addled sister Anne Hathaway to the celebrations. Jonathan Demme’s handheld camera direction gives the film an intimate, up-close feel, almost as if you’re one of the invited guests.


Captain Apache ★★★
9.00pm Movies4Men

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After Sergio Leone’s Dollars films gave his career a much-needed boost, Lee Van Cleef became a Western star in his own right. This is one of his more unusual showcases, in that he plays a native American who fights for the US Army (“A redskin in cavalry blue”). He also wears a wig and gets to“sing” the film’s theme tune in a manly, Lee Hazlewood kinda style.