Thanks to broadcast and standard cable stations, you don’t have to think premium networks to think movies. Take a look at what’s showing this weekend.

 

The Godfather (1972)

Thanks to the creative storytelling of Francis Ford Coppola – and sterling performances from a wondrous cast headed by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino – the predictable pages of Mario Puzo’s novel become a screen classic. Coppola gets underneath the family dynamics to tell a sweeping narrative of greed, ambition, love and envy. And he makes us feel an immediate connection to the simple, yet complex, ambitions a man has for his family.

Friday, October 23, 7 p.m., BBC

 

Fatal Attraction (1987)

Thanks to the magnetic work of Glenn Close – in a performance that should have won her an Oscar – the predictable patter between a philandering husband and his girlfriend emerge an entertaining movie thriller. Sure, the set up is a far fetched, and the conflict exaggerated, but Close is so precise in her portrayal that she makes it easy to overlook the film’s weaknesses. But the ending is still a bit much.

Friday, October 23, 9 p.m., Reelz

 

The Godfather II (1974)

Thanks to Francis Ford Coppola’s never-ending imagination – and his determination to defy the disappointments of most movie sequels – the second film in the Corleone saga deepens and broadens the reach of the drama. Without letting an Oscar for the first installment haunt his creativity, Coppola imagines both the early and latter days of the most famous crime family the movies have known. Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro soar in magnificent performances.

Saturday, October 24, 3:30 p.m., BBC

 

The Help (2011)

Thanks to the magnetic presence that Viola Davis creates with her portrayal of a determined woman, this adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel reaches beyond predictable drama to offer a meaningful look at racial tension in the South in the early 1960s. While Octavia Spencer may have taken home the Oscar, Davis grabs our hearts as a woman who believes in the goodness of the world despite the difficulties she discovers at every turn.

Saturday, October 24, 9 p.m., CMT

 

Jurassic Park (1993)

Thanks to the imagination of Steven Spielberg – and the creative license he takes with Michael Crichton’s novel – this wondrous tale of a larger-than-life monster feels as fresh today as when it opened. While movie special effects have traveled a long way since our first visit to the land of computer-generated dinosaurs, the tension still builds thanks to Spielberg’s deft touch with the movie tease.

Saturday, October 24, 8 p.m., TNT

 

Tea for Two (1952)

Thanks to the perky magic of Doris Day, this movie – inspired by the Broadway musical No, No, Nanette – offers more entertainment than it should. Now, this isn’t the Day who frightens in Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much or delights in Pillow Talk. While this early Day can, at times, look less than comfortable when reading dialogue, she is immediately at home once the band tunes up and she begins to sing.

Sunday, October 25, 12:30 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

 

Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online. And, when you watch as a family, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing. That makes it even more fun.

 

 

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