Shane, Morning Glory, Hobson’s Choice, Stir of Echoes, Universal Soldier: films on TV today

Sunset endings, sunrise telly, dawn raids and night terrors: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


Shane ★★★★★
4.35-6.55pm Film4 


On the face of it, this is the old one about the ruthless cattleman (Emile Mayer) waging war on the farmers (led by Van Heflin) and their fences. And there’s the gunfighter, Shane (Alan Ladd), weary of his trade, wanting to settle down but perforce obliged to help those farmers. But there is much else going on beneath the surface. Ladd, employed by Heflin, becomes a hero to the man’s young son (Brandon de Wilde) and is mutually attracted to his wife (Jean Arthur). It’s a classic of the genre with much to think about and much to excite, especially the showdown between Ladd and Meyer’s hired gun, Jack Palance. And, of course, there’s the famous last line: “Shane! Come back, Shane!” 

Morning Glory ★★★
6.55-9.00pm Film4 

Breakfast telly is the butt of the jokes – or should that be, yolks (sorry) – in a sunny-side comedy (again, apologies) with Rachel McAdams as a producer opposite Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton as show host and news anchor.   

Hobson’s Choice ★★★★
8.00-10.10pm Talking Pictures TV 

David Lean’s delightful comedy stars Charles Laughton as the Salford widower who knows his boots and his booze, but doesn’t understand his three daughters.    

Stir of Echoes ★★★
10.50pm-12.45am Horror Channel 

Kevin Bacon receives messages from the dead — or else he’s got crossed wires on his mobile phone network. Hmm…

Universal Soldier ★★★
11.00pm-1.00am Spike 


Before he started wearing double denim and advertising beer, Jean-Claude Van Damme  was a serious action hero (sort of) in films like this one opposite Dolph Lundgren. Jaws don’t get any squarer.

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