The League of Gentlemen, Trainspotting, The Bourne Supremacy: films on TV today

Jack Hawkins chooses crime, Ewan McGregor chooses life, but Matt Damon has no choice: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

ANDREW COLLINS:  FILM OF THE DAY 
The League of Gentlemen ★★★★
10.40am-12.55pm More4 

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This enduring British favourite was released in 1960 but is set in the late 40s when not all ex-servicemen were hailed as heroes and found themselves on hard times. Directed by Basil Dearden (The Blue Lamp), it’s a comic crime drama that revolves around a rum bunch of old soldiers recruited by Jack Hawkins to rob a bank, including Richard Attenborough’s fruit-machine fixer, Norman Bird’s ex-alcoholic, Terence Alexander’s kept husband and Roger “Colonel Blimp” Livesey’s con artist and fake vicar. Through disguise and deception (their dramatic-society cover recalls The Ladykillers), they plot their revenge on society. Darker than the caperish tone suggests, it’s a valuable reflection of postwar blues.


Trainspotting ★★★★★
11.00pm-12.50am Film Four 

“Choose life” was the tagline for Danny Boyle’s follow-up to Shallow Grave, a visually and emotionally arresting portrait of young heroin addicts in Edinburgh. And it’s a truly lively experience, led by Ewan McGregor, who continued his rise into movie-stardom with a wry, passionate, charismatic performance. And as for Boyle, he was destined for Olympic glory. 


The Bourne Supremacy ★★★★

9.00-11.10pm ITV2

Matt Damon is Bourne again in this all-action sequel, with the stone-faced amnesiac spy still wondering why everyone is trying to kill him. Paul Greengrass’s restless camera keeps us right in the middle of the action, as Bourne is forced back into the world he was trained for after he is framed for a double assassination. We can only hope that the reuniting of director and star for the proposed fifth instalment brings with it the quality and thrills of the original trilogy.


The Score ★★★
9.00-11.00pm True Entertainment 

If you want to see three generations of intense acting muscle in one place, this is your movie. Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro and Edward Norton play a trio of criminals who plan to rob the Montreal Customs House of a valuable antique sceptre. It’s wordy, it’s suspenseful, it’s understated, and if you don’t mind the familiar plot, you’ll be well rewarded. But don’t expect fireworks or big set pieces. Director Frank Oz will be more fondly remembered as the voices of Miss Piggy and Yoda. 


National Lampoon’s European Vacation ★★★
10.30pm-12.30am ITV4 

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Chevy Chase and the Griswold gang win a trip to the Old World, and tick off a complete set of national stereotypes, in this predictable but endearing entry in the comedy franchise.  There’s a welcome scattering of British comedy talent in the cast, but it’s not as zany as the original 1983 movie.