What sounds good for your family’s movie menu this weekend?
Even if the winds outside chill the air, the movies available on television can heat things up.
Check out the highlights.
The Godfather and The Godfather Part II
Features of the Weekend
Some families kill together to stay together. They set their own rules and take the law into their own hands. In these supremely entertaining films, the Corleone family thrives in a fascinating double standard. While they willingly hurt and kill others for business, they only get personal when they focus on family. And this family willingly lives, dies and kills for each other. The Godfather films put us in the middle of their house, tensions, disappointments and dreams. We learn the fundamentals how they live, where they work, why they kill, who they support; we experience threats that could bring them down and agendas that might distract. They invite us to consider what defines a family, whether it may be blood relations, cultural experiences people share or perhaps commitment to take care of each other. These fascinating folks hug their children goodbye, go off to commit a crime, and return home just in time for dinner, without ever giving a thought about what they do. Family comes first and, in these films, family is everything.
The Godfather: Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., AMC
The Godfather Part II: Saturday, 1 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., AMC
Other Weekend Highlights:
Harrison Ford shines as Richard Kimble, a man trapped by the facts others create as he jumps off a dam to escape capture, saves a boy in a hospital while risking discovery, and marches in a parade through downtown Chicago, all in the search of freedom. This adaptation of the 1960s television show asks us to consider how we would cope if accused, and convicted, of a crime we did not commit. While its action sequences dazzle, what sets the film apart is Ford’s portrayal of Kimble as a man trying to accomplish something that should be very simple.
Saturday, 9 p.m., ABC Family.
Robin and Marian
For all of us who love Audrey Hepburn on screen, her return to films in 1976 was a moment to celebrate. Time had been kind to this marvelous actress who could accomplish so much with a simple glance. While her role is small in this Richard Lester film about the legendary hero of Sherwood Forrest, she breaks our hearts as a woman who never stopped loving the man of her life, ultimately being there for him when he feels at his most vulnerable. Savoring this under-rated gem reminds us how special Hepburn was.
Saturday, 4 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
My Fair Lady
Of her many memorable film roles, Audrey Hepburn’s performance in My Fair Lady is, perhaps, her most controversial. While she had dazzled in the 1957 musical Funny Face, she was considered an unlikely choice to play Eliza Doolittle in the movie adaptation of this Broadway hit. Even if many believed Julie Andrews should have been given the chance to recreate her stage role, and the fact that Marni Nixon sings the songs on the soundtrack, Hepburn makes the role her own, especially in the later scenes as the flower girl transforms into a lady.
Sunday, Jan. 26, 5 p.m., TCM
Pride of the Yankees
Movies introduce us to people from other times who we should remember. This classic from 1941 follows the journey of baseball player Lou Gehrig as he confronts the devastating impact of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the progressive neurodegenerative disease. For a film from this era, Yankees is surprisingly frank about Gehrig’s fears, anger and emotional obstacles. Gary Cooper shines as a man who refuses to pity his destiny, never lets himself feel like a victim, and finds the inner strength to make the most of every healthy moment he can experience. As portrayed by Cooper, the man demonstrates the emotional resolution to move ahead with life, even when he does not have the physical strength to take the first step.
Sunday, 12 noon, TCM
Serving worthwhile movies can be as easy as turning on the television.
As you watch together, take time to share what you observe, question and consider.
Watching movies together can begin a meaningful way to share time. And a lot of fun.