GOODBYE GIRL (July
24, 6:00 pm): This film came during the peak
of Richard Dreyfuss' acting career and is one of his best
performances. He won an Oscar for Best Actor (becoming, at the
time, the youngest to win the award) for this 1977 film. The
screenplay, written by Neil Simon, is good, but the acting and
interaction between Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason and Quinn Cummings
(the latter two were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting
Actress, respectively) are outstanding. Cummings, who was 10 when the
film was released (and flamed out as an actress a couple of
years later), is marvelous as Mason's precocious daughter.
It's a very charming and entertaining romantic comedy.
CAINE MUTINY (July 25, 12:00 am): Humphrey
Bogart in his last great role as Lieutenant Commander
Philip Frances Queeg, the head of the USS Caine, a Navy destroyer
minesweeper. Queeg is losing his wits and desperately trying to have
a final moment of glory as a commander, which puts his crew
at risk. The final straw is his refusal to avoid a typhoon and then
freezes when told of the danger facing the ship. That leads to a
peaceful mutiny – thus the clever title – and a court martial.
The supporting cast – Jose Ferrer, Van Johnson and Fred MacMurray
(the latter in particular) – is excellent.
CHOICE (July 23, 8:00 pm): David Lean directed this
wonderfully droll comedy with Charles Laughton in one of his best and
most unforgettable performances. He’s a widower with three
daughters to marry off, but things don’t quite turn out like he
expected. See this once and you’ll want to see it again ... and
again. Gentle comedies such as this aren’t made anymore; mores the
pity. Look for Prunella Scales – later best known as Sybil Fawlty –
as one of Laughton’s daughters. If you haven’t seen this before,
you’re in for a real treat. And if you have seen it before, I don’t
need to tell you to watch it again; you’ll be doing that anyway.
ENTERTAINER(July 23, 10:00 pm): Laurence Olivier
gives an unforgettable performance as has-been song-and-dance man
Archie Rice, who will stop at nothing to hit the big time once more,
even if it means ruining the lives of those around him. Brenda
DeBanzie gives a terrific performance as his alcoholic wife, Phoebe,
and Roger Livesey is wonderful as his father Billy, a retired music
hall performer. Director Tony Richardson does a superb job of
capturing the flavor and atmosphere of the cheesy seaside resorts
that Archie is reduced to playing, which compliments perfectly
Olivier’s brilliant touches as the egotistical Archie Rice. Olivier
had perfected the role on stage in John Osborne's play and hits every
discordant note on his way down. A true essential.
DISAGREE ON … LITTLE BIG MAN (July 27, 9:30 pm)
B.Little Big Man is an interesting
movie, as it’s concerned with a specific period of American
history. Unfortunately, whenever Hollywood meets history, truth is
the thing sacrificed. There are several glaring inaccuracies in the
film concerning matters of historical fact, mainly the depiction of
Custer as a bigoted loony murderer. That’s as far from the truth as
the depiction of him as a gallant martyr in They Died With
Their Boots On. Keep in mind that the film was made in 1970, when
it was chic to be anti-establishment. I have never seen any reason to
bend historical fact to fit an ideology. History is interesting
enough without hiding or distorting the facts to make a “better”
story. As a film it is first-rate, but it’s historical inaccuracy
is enough to make me drop it a grade.
no doubt that, as Ed wrote, this isn't an accurate telling of
historical events. However, simply dismissing this satirical film for
that reason is short-sighted. It's a fascinating story of the
many legends of the Wild West as told by Jack Crabb, a 121-year-old
man who supposedly lived through them. Dustin Hoffman is positively
brilliant in the lead role, showing amazing versatility playing the
character in a variety of scenarios and at different ages. The makeup
is fantastic, and while Hoffman is the star of this 1970 film, he has
a solid supporting cast including Martin Balsam as a snake oil
salesman and Chief Dan George, who plays his Indian "father."
It's a great combination of comedy and drama told through what is
definitely a very liberal, but extremely entertaining, telling
of historical events.
For the complete list of films on the TCM TiVo Alert, click here.