Finnegan On Films: Three Movies With Something For All Ages To Enjoy

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James Finnegan selects a Disney remake, an Irish film classic and Tom Hanks’ first western for your viewing pleasure this week…

There are three films available this week that have something for all ages, on terrestrial television and Netflix, which I would recommend for your viewing pleasure.

Pete’s Dragon was first made in 1977 by Disney.  It was typical of that studio output at the time, a charming, whimsical musical staring Helen Reddy, Jim Dale, Mickey Rooney and Red Buttons.

On Saturday on RTE One at 7.05pm, the 2016 remake is being shown, which, in my opinion, is a better version of the same basic story.

Continued below…


Pete Healy is on a road trip with his parents.  They are involved in a tragic accident which Pete is the sole survivor.  Wild animals force him into a forest, when a Dragon appears to save him.  Pete names the Dragon, Elliott, who becomes very protective of the boy.

Some years later, the local lumberjacks are felling trees near Pete’s home, which could lead to the discovery of Elliott to the wider world.

A strong cast including Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban and Robert Redford help keep this wonderful fantasy story grounded, and I am certain the film will be a hit for the younger members of the family.  There might be something in the eyes of any watching adults as well, so you have been warned.

My Left Foot (RTE One Saturday 11.50pm) is the modern classic Irish film.  It is the true story of the life of Writer and Artist Christy Brown, who had cerebral palsy and grew up in poor circumstances.

He taught himself to write and draw with his foot gaining world wide admiration for his work.

Directed by Jim Sheridan and based on Brown’s own memoir, it stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Christy Brown and Brenda Fricker as Christy’s mother Bridget, both of whom picked up Oscars for their exemplary work.

The film also stars a who’s who of Irish Acting talent including Ray McAnally, Fiona Shaw and Cyril Cusack.  This was a total game changer for Irish Cinema, and is now the standard by which all other Irish films are measured.

You may be surprised to know that Tom Hanks has never made a Western – unless you count Woody in Toy Story.

News of the World (Netflix) remedies that situation, and no, it is not a film about a defunct Sunday newspaper!

Hanks plays Captain Kidd, a Civil War veteran who travels, reading the news to Texan townfolk.

One day he comes across a young ten year old girl (Helena Zengel) who has been rescued from Native Americans, but is now frightened and alone.  Kidd reluctantly agrees to return the girl to her natural family.

They have to find a way to communicate without a common language and, as they travel across the Texas plains, they face many challenges and dangers, both human and natural.

Directed and Co-Written by Paul Greengrass (The Bourne films) this film has resonances of ‘The Searchers’ among other famous Westerns.  Enjoy and Stay Safe.

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