Finnegan On Films: Incredible Choice Of Great Movies This Weekend

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There is always a good selection of films on RTE and TG4 over a Bank Holiday and, thank goodness, this coming weekend is no different, says our movie guy, James Finnegan…

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1) is the fourth in the series and somewhat appropriately in these Olympic times has a sporting theme.

It is Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts, and he is unexpectedly chosen to compete in the Triwizard Tournament being held there.

The challenges involve taking on deadly challenges and monsters, so slightly easier than the Olympics.  One of the best films in the series and the young ones will love it.

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You wait ages for a Robin Hood film, and then two come together.  Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Saturday 9.00pm RTE2) is a modern interpretation that plays with the conventions a little bit but is still good fun.

It stars Kevin Costner as Robin, Morgan Freeman as Azeem, Christian Slater as Will Scarlett, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Marian, but especially Alan Rickman, spectacularly chewing the scenery as the Sheriff of Nottingham, stealing the film from the then more established stars.

You will recognise the theme tune by Bryan Adams and it will be in your head for the rest of the weekend.

On the other hand, the original classic against which all others are judged, is The Adventures of Robin Hood (Sunday 1.40 RTE1). 

Together with his band of Merry Men, Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) robs from the rich to give to the poor, while at the same time wooing the lovely Lady Marian (Olivia de Havilland, fighting the dastardly Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone) and trading quips with Prince John (Claude Rains).

It also has the best swordfight in cinema history between Robin and Sir Guy.

On the weekend we commemorate her passing, Tara Road (Sunday 9.30 RTE1) is the film version of Maeve Binchy’s book of the same name.

Two women, Marilyn (Andie MacDowell) in Connecticut and Ria (Olivia Williams) in Dublin are facing life changing crises.

They need to get away to process their next step so arrange a two month house swap to consider their future.  Also starring Ian Glen, Stephen Rea and Maria Doyle Kennedy among other familiar faces, fans of the author will be very satisfied by this adaption.

The Magnificent Seven (Monday 3.20 RTE1) is simply one of my favourite Westerns.  A Mexican Village is under threat from a Bandit gang.

They hire an experienced gunslinger (Yul Brynner) who rounds up six more guns for hire to fight them off. Also starring Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughan, James Coburn and Eli Wallach, this is the definitive Bank Holiday film.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Monday 9.30 TG4) is a wonderfully atmospheric spy story of a former intelligence officer brought out of retirement to uncover a secret

Soviet double agent high up in MI6. It stars Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Hurt, Tom Hardy and Colin Firth. Enjoy and stay safe!

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