With the Christmas season over and a fresh new year open before us, you might want to cosy up to 2021 with some classic films. From the 5th of January SONY MOVIES CLASSIC will be living up to its name as the home of classic cinema by playing host to some of the greatest films in history.
Every day you’ll have the chance to see hand picked classics from the 1940s onwards, featuring some of the brightest stars of Hollywood and beyond. Films from Alfred Hitchcock, Elizabeth Taylor, Faye Dunaway, Gene Wilder and many more will be played, and we’ve taken a look at the very best the channel has to offer.
To get your fix of classic cinema you can tune in to SONY MOVIES CLASSIC, which is available on Freeview 51, Freesat 303, Sky 319 and Virgin 424.
On launch day SONY MOVIES CLASSIC is starting as it means to go on, with screenings of The Great Lover, Ladies of the Chorus and these two stone cold classics.
It is perhaps fitting for a channel that is dedicated to cinematic discovery, I first watched Funny Girl only last year. I have been a fan of Barbara Streisand’s work since I young, when Peter Bogdanovich’s screwball classic What’s Up Doc? was on heavy rotation on my family’s VHS player.
Funny Girl was a smash hit on its release in 1968, coming off the similar success of the show (also led by Streisand) on Broadway. Startlingly, this is Streisand’s film debut, and there have been few cinematic introdcutions as luminous as hers.
If you’ve never seen the film, you’re in for a treat. Songs such as ‘People’ and ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ sit high in the pantheon for movie musicals, and rightly so. It’s a stagey smash hit even now, more than fifty years since it was released. It’s the perfect film to throw yourself into the new year.
Eyes of Laura Mars
A Streisand effect of sorts can be felt in the second of our picks for the SONY MOVIES CLASSIC opening line up. Irvin Kershner’s Eyes of Laura Mars was originally set to be a vehicle for the actress, who was dating the film’s producer Jon Peters at the time. It’s hard to imagine a more different starring role for Streisand, just ten years on from Funny Girl.
In the end it was Faye Dunaway who was cast as the titular Ms. Mars, with an astonishing set of co-stars. Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, René Auberjonois and Raúl Juliá all feature heavily, making this one a feast for fans of compelling acting.
If you’re not already sold, then perhaps the fact that the film was written by John Carpenter will seal the deal. Based on his spec script Eyes, this neo-noir thriller bears some of the acclaimed director’s hallmarks. It should rightly be considered worthy of sitting alongside his other 1978 classic, Halloween.
The film that birthed an entire gory genre, Psycho will always be remembered as one of the most shocking films of all time. Bates Motel is ground zero for the Slasher genre, and it has inspired hundreds of lesser copycats. This is the original, and the best.
The film retains itself impact sixty years on. From the stark Black and White cinematography and the restless, propulsive strains of Bernard Hermann’s iconic score, the film is a template for so much of what came after.
It also gave rise to the unparalleled greatness of the film’s teaser trailer, in which Mr. Hitchcock himself personally gives his audience a tour of Bates Motel and the spooky surrounds. It is as playful as the resulting film is terrifying, and is a joy to behold in itself. Take a look…
Mike Nichols’ classic notably depicts a time of life in a very specific time in history. The in-between years of college and adulthood are a fecund foundation for art. With the years of childhood and adolscence still fresh in the mind, new experiences and grand expectations make for a heady mix of identity and social politicals.
Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal of an acquiescent young man, dipping his toes in the wider world is an all-timer. He is matched perfectly by Anne Bancroft’s sophisticated Mrs. Robinson, whose seduction of young Benjamin has passed into classic cinema legend.
A smart and savvy script, a fantastic cast and then there’s that soundtrack. Though the songs here by Simon & Garfunkel are classics in their own right, when placed upon the images of Nichols’ film they become iconic. The introduction is one of the most memorable in all cinema.
These are just some of the classics you can see on SONY MOVIES CLASSIC from the 5th of January. Whatever else 2021 has in store for us, at least there will always be the cinematic escape of classic films.
Dedicated classic film TV channel returns on 5th January 2021
SONY MOVIES CLASSIC, the home of classic cinema, will be available on: Freeview 51, Freesat 303, Sky 319 and Virgin 424.