The Night Porter, We Bought a Zoo, The Grey: films on TV today

Bogarde and Rampling court controversy, Matt Damon goes animal crackers, and Liam Neeson confronts nature red in tooth and claw: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

BARRY NORMAN:  FILM OF THE DAY 

Advertisement

The Night Porter ★★★
10.10pm-12.30am Talking Pictures TV 

This very well-made, extremely controversial film was directed by Liliana Cavani, features fine performances by its leads Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling, and is absorbing in a horrifying kind of way. It’s set in 1957 in Vienna where Bogarde is the night porter at a hotel and Rampling the wife of a musician. During the war he had been an SS officer and she a concentration camp survivor whose life he saved through a sadomasochistic relationship. Now, as they meet again, that previous relationship — graphically and explicitly shown in flashback — is resumed and becomes mutually self-destructive. A bizarre, unconvincing subplot is definitely not for the squeamish. Before very recently, when Talking Pictures TV acquired the film, it was very rarely shown on television.


We Bought a Zoo ★★★
6.35-9.00pm Film Four 

Widower Matt Damon moves his family to a California zoo in a story that’s actually based on a true British story. It makes for warm and fuzzy family entertainment.


The Grey ★★★
9.00-11.15pm Film Four 

Liam Neeson broods as a plane-crash survivor whose endurance is tested to the limit as he is pursued across the tundra by a bloodthirsty pack of wolves.


Yes Man ★★★
9.00-11.05pm 5★ 

Jim Carrey gets his goof on as an antisocial loner whose life changes for the wackier when he starts to say “yes” to everything.


Eyes of Laura Mars ★★★
10.55pm-12.55am Movies4Men 

Advertisement

Faye Dunaway’s photographer is cursed by a psychic link to a serial killer in this unnerving slasher yarn directed by Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back). Halloween’s John Carpenter co-wrote a script that owes much to the giallo horror of Dario Argento.