Christmas 2014: the 10 best free films on TV

What, Elf's only on Sky? No matter, here are the must-see films that everyone can watch for free this Christmas, including Skyfall, One Hundred and One Dalmations and, of course, The Great Escape

Radio Times hasn’t had a lot to do this Christmas, so we decided to count just how many films were showing over Christmas and New Year.

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The answer? Over 4,500!

That’s an awful lot of big screen action to sift through, so we thought we’d give you a little helping hand. Here, for your convenience, are the top 10 must-see movies on TV this Christmas. And they are all FREE.

Skyfall, 8pm ITV, Christmas Eve

Bond and M do an all-action version of Home Alone in the most recent (and, arguably, one of the best ever) Bond movies. Belting theme song, manic villain (thanks Javier Bardem) and Daniel Craig at his chiselled finest.

One Hundred and One Dalmations, 4.45pm BBC1, Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve afternoon, the perfect spot (sorry) for some puppy love (sorry again). Forget the live-action version, this is the 1961 Disney classic – can you spot the Micky Mouse ears hidden in the dalmations’ spots?

The Wizard of Oz, 4.10pm C4, New Year’s Day

Because, because, because you simply cannot forget this Hollywood musical classic, even if you are looking as green as the Wicked Witch after New Year’s Eve’s excesses.

The Muppet Christmas Carol, 4.50pm C4, Christmas Eve

Back to Christmas, and Michael Caine scowling at a bunch of teasing puppets. Oh, and just so you know, The Muppets Movie has its freeview premiere at 6.20pm, BBC1 on 28 December.

The Lady Vanishes, 9pm BBC4, Christmas Day

Typically leftfield choice from BBC4 for Christmas Day, but we’re not complaining. Alfred Hitchcock’s thrilling railway caper is one of his greatest ever films. Hitch a ride if you want something different from the usual family fare.

Back to the Future, 10.55am ITV, Christmas Day

Three for the price of one with this pick. Set your clock for the first in the trilogy on Christmas Day, then hop back in the Delorean for parts II and III on Boxing Day and Sunday 28th (1.45pm and 2.30pm respectively).

Singin’ in the Rain, 1.50pm BBC2, Boxing Day

What a glorious feeling, the chance to sit back the day after Christmas Day, rub your mince pie-filled belly and watch Gene Kelly stomp, slide and holler through the puddles. Happy again.

Marvel Avengers Assemble, 8.30pm BBC1, Boxing Day

Superheroes and a smashing cast – including that best of baddies Tom Hiddleston as Loki – make this the perfect Boxing Day blockbuster. Even if you don’t follow everything that happens in the Marvel universe, this film is too much fun to miss.

Cinderella, 4pm BBC1, Monday 22 December

No, sorry, Frozen isn’t on Freeview (although you can catch it on Christmas Day on Sky Movies Premiere), but the original charming fairytale is. We know that makes two Disney films on this list, but what can you do without a little Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo?

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The Great Escape, 2.50pm 5USA

Fenced off in the Freeview backwater of 5USA, this is still, for at least one curmudgeonly uncle, the ultimate Christmas film. We dare you not to sing along to the theme tune.