Her politics may be dubious and her excessive campaigning for animal rights verging on the eccentric, but when your name is Brigitte Bardot you do not mature into a matronly mum happy to spend your days knitting and chasing the grandchildren round a suburban garden. While America may have produced the world's most enduring sex symbol in Marilyn Monroe, France gave us bare, brutal and blatant sexuality in the bee-sting lips, heaving breasts and rounded bum of Bardot. That overt sexuality - one flaunted brazenly across the screen in Roger Vadim's . . . And God Created Woman and on the beaches of St Tropez - sounded one of the first blasts of the sexual revolution. By the 1960s, when the revolution was in full swing, Bardot was able to poke a little fun at herself, as she does in Viva Maria! (World, 9.35pm), alongside another French icon of sensuality, Jeanne Moreau. Indeed, the self-parody is very funny in parts, if a little dated now. The story is set at the turn of the century in a little Central American country where a revolution is brewing. Maria I (Moreau) is a dancer with a travelling show. She invites a buxom Irish revolutionary, Maria II (Bardot), to join her act. Maria II's father was killed in Ireland fighting the British and she has been weaned on battle tactics. Both women fall in love with Flores (George Hamilton), leader of the revolution, and get caught up in the campaign. Things start a little slowly, but the second half is great fun and worth watching to see what real sex appeal is all about. No silicon breasts here. You can imagine The Ballad Of Little Jo (Pearl, 12.50am) being a trite and silly movie but, with a cast that makes the most of every incident, and taut direction from Maggie Greenwald, the story (inspired by a real woman) leaps off the screen. Suzy Amis plays the spirited youngest daughter of a well-to-do family. When she finds herself pregnant and unmarried, she is disowned and forced to leave her son, and heads west to forge a new life. A hardened survivor after some harrowing incidents, she lops off her hair, scars her face and reinvents herself as a man. Co-stars include Bo Hopkins, Ian McKellen, and David Chung as the wandering coolie she rescues from a lynch mob. It's hard now to remember when Harvey Keitel wasn't a star. He seems to appear in all today's top movies (if only in cameos) and every time you hire a video he is in it. He made his breakthrough in Martin Scorsese's 1973 film Mean Streets, and worked steadily in the 1980s but it was not until 91's Thelma And Louise that he really became a known face. Since then he has starred in some of the 90s' biggest hits - Reservoir Dogs, The Piano, Pulp Fiction. The Young Americans (Pearl, 9.30pm) casts him in a part so well established he could do it in his sleep, the obsessed New York cop (with all the baggage that entails). The only difference is the setting, London, where he has been sent to investigate the massive expansion of America's drug racketeers into Europe. Inevitably, he meets some of the city's colourful underworld characters. It is an average thriller but Keitel's presence gives it the clout that would otherwise have been lacking. I sometimes wonder if staff at the English-language channels watch the films they air. If the trailer for the Cable film What's Eating Gilbert's Grapes? is indicative, the answer is a definite no.