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1 ever the phrase ‘they don’t make ’em like they I used to’ was best exemplified, it’s with Christmas movies on TV. For a start, BBC2 is screening a

season of Laurel And Hardy films most mornings beginning with the short Below Zero (BBC2, Sat 22 Dec, 11.10am). And the same channel is bookending each day with film noir classics including Farewell, My Lovely (Christmas Eve, 12.10am), Beyond A Reasonable Doubt (Christmas Day, 1am), Force Of Evil (Boxing Day, 1am) and While The City Sleeps (Sat 29 Dec, 12.45am).

Scottish gets in on the act with two Hitchcock classics, The Birds (Sat 22 Dec, 11.45pm) and, in this viewer’s opinion, Hitch’s very best film Vertigo (Fri 28 Dec, 11.25pm). BBC2 counters with two films, The Red Shoes (Christmas Day, 10.45am) and III Met By Moonlight (Boxing Day, 2pm), from Michael Powell, the man who started his career as Hitchcock’s assistant and whose work with Hungarian writer Emeric Pressburger is widely considered to be the best British filmmaking ever.

The pick of the many other classics being broadcast include East Of Eden (Channel 5, Tue 18 Dec, 3.20pm) and West Side Story (Channel 4, Sun 30 Dec, 1.30pm).

Plus, there are David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia real curio with The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr T (Channel 4, (Channel 4, Sun 23 Dec, 1.35pm) and Great Thu 3 Jan, 9am), the only film Dr Seuss ever helped to Expectations (BBC 2, Fri 28 Dec, 12.55pm), which is make, and it’s pretty good in a surreal kind of way. nicely mirrored by the Dickensian tall tale The Seasons are the choice cuts of Christmas films and Tichborne Claimant (BBC2, New Year’s Day, 2.10pm) Channel 4 has two tasty delights: Pedro Almodovar and and Gone With The Wind (being screened by Scottish horror movies. An Almodovar documentary (Channel 4, over two days, rather unnecessarily: Sun 30 Dec, 2pm Sat 22 Dec, 12.30am) and screening of his The Flower and Hogmanay, 1.35pm). Of My Secret (2am) kicks Kids are well catered for ' " off the first, while the by Channel 4’s season of second includes the classic monsters movie bizaorro schlock work of double bills featuring the m k rk Davnd Cronenberg, Dario work of master animator a e I e Argento and George Ray Harryhausen: The I Romero, plus The Wicker Golden Voyage Of Sinbad Man (Channel 4, Sun 30 (Christmas Eve, noon) and Dec, 11.45pm) and Jason And The Argonauts (2pm); First Man In The documentary The Cult Of The Wicker Man (Channel 4, Moon (Fri 28 Dec, 1pm) and Mysterious Island (2.55pm); Sun 29 Dec, midnight). 20 Million Miles To Earth (Thu 3 Jan, 10.40am) and One But if you prefer your films more palatable there’s Million Years BC. (1.30pm), plus Jack The Giant Killer Elizabeth (Channel 4, Sun 23 Dec, 9pm) and (Fri 4 Jan, 10.55am). Shakespeare In Love (BBC1, New Year’s Day, 9.30pm),

Other top toddler treats include CGI classic Toy Story The Truman Show (BBC1, Sun 30 Dec, 9pm) and (BBC1, Christmas Day, 4.40pm) and Antz (8801, Boxing Pleasantville (BBC2, Hogmanay, 10pm) and the sci-fi Day, 5.15pm), Roald Dahl stories James And The Giant adventures Melve Monkeys (BBC2, Sun 23 Dec, 9pm), Peach (BBC1, Hogmanay, 11.15am) and Chitty Chitty Men In Black (BBC1, Thu 3 Jan, 8pm) and 2001: A Bang Bang (BBC1, New Year’s Day, 1.30pm) and yes, Space Odyssey (Channel 4, Christmas Day, 11.45pm). the Child Catcher still terrifies grown-ups. There’s a Happy viewing. (Miles Fielder)