Chariots of Fire, The Shooting Party, The Legend of Bagger Vance: films on TV today

Ben Cross and Ian Charleson go for gold, pheasant is on the menu for James Mason and Edward Fox, and Will Smith comes to tee: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


Chariots of Fire ★★★★★
4.40-7.10pm Film Four 


This is a film about athletics and so much more. It’s about anti-Semitism, the British class system and men of principle, in a time long gone but vividly evoked. The protagonists are Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) who won gold medals for Britain in the 1924 Olympics. Abrahams was inspired as much by the anti-Semitism of his Cambridge University dons as his need to succeed; Liddell, a Christian missionary, ran for the glory of God and refused to take part in the 100 metres because the heats were run on a Sunday. Terrific music by Vangelis, excellent screenplay by Colin Welland, fine performances throughout, especially by Ian Holm. A great, riveting movie whether you like athletics or not.

The Shooting Party ★★★★
12.20-1.50am BBC1

Huntin’ shootin’ and fishin’ aristocrats gather for sport at an English country house. By day birds of the feathered variety occupy their minds, by night, birds of another kind. But this is 1913 and their closeted world is about to change forever.

Reap the Wild Wind ★★★
10.55am-1.25pm More4 

John Wayne is ready for his close-up with Paulette Goddard in Cecil B DeMIlle’s salty adventure yarn about a grizzled sea captain battling the elements and thieves along the Atlantic coast.

The Legend of Bagger Vance ★★★
6.35-9.00pm Movie Mix 

This golfing tale might not be on the same level as Tin Cup, but it’s still a subtle drama about hurt and healing with Matt Damon as the talented but broken war veteran and Will Smith as a mysterious caddie.

Immortals ★★★
9.00-11.10pm Film Four 


Swords, sandals and slaughter abound as King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) tries to destroy humanity, the Greek gods and whatever else gets in his way.