BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
The Godfather, Part II ★★★★★
9.00pm-12.40am Film Four
The Godfather was the best of all gangster movies but this is an even better film, different, not quite so exciting perhaps but absorbing in its study of the way power corrupts. It serves both as prequel and sequel. First it shows how the young Don Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro), the original Godfather, became the most powerful Mafia boss in America. Then it takes up the story after Don Vito’s death when his youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino) takes over, becomes even more powerful and destroys his own soul in the process. As directed by Francis Ford Coppola and written by him and Mario Puzo, both sections are rivetingly well done but it’s Michael, increasingly ruthless and remote, who holds centre stage as, among other chilling things, he turns against his wife (Diane Keaton), his older brother Fredo (John Cazale) and even the Corleone family’s lawyer Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall). This is a superb movie, beautifully acted with Pacino and De Niro outstanding.
The Epic of Everest ★★★
PREMIERE 10.00-11.25pm BBC4
This recently restored documentary of the ill-fated 1924 Everest ascent is an amazing historical record of the mad bravery that set Mallory and Irvine on their final journey.
The Hangover ★★★★
The morning after a stag do, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis wake up with no groom and no clue as to what happened. But it does involve a stripper, a baby, a tiger and Mike Tyson…
Kingdom of Heaven ★★★★
Blacksmith Orlando Bloom joins the Crusades with his long-lost father Liam Neeson in Ridley Scott’s historical drama, which doesn’t disappoint in epic action, but is also balanced and intelligent.
11.25pm-1.30am Movie Mix
George Clooney stars in Steven Soderbergh’s thoughtful reworking of the 1972 film by Andrei Tarkovsky. A space mission comes across a mysterious planet that appears to react to people’s emotions.