TCM TiVo ALERT



TCM TiVo ALERT
For
May 23–May 31

DAVID’S BEST BETS:

FURY (May 23, 9:15 am): This is director Fritz Lang's first American film, and it's one filled with suspense, revenge, mob rule, hostility, intolerance and action. Spencer Tracy plays Joe Wilson, who is accused of a crime he didn't commit. While he sits in jail, waiting for the police investigation into the crime, the local townspeople get worked up and go to lynch him. Unable to get inside, they torched the jail with Wilson killed in the fire – or so it seems. The great plot-twist is that Joe escapes, but is presumed dead, with the people responsible for the incident facing murder charges. With the help of his brothers, Joe seeks revenge against his would-be killers. Tracy does a great job going from a hardworking, mild-mannered guy into one controlled by anger and vengeance. 

MARTY (May 31, 8:00 pm): This is on TCM regularly, but if you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth catching. If it's been a while, you should watch it again. Ernest Borgnine steps out of his typical tough-guy character and does a fine job playing Marty, a lonely butcher who doesn't ever think he'll ever get married. He meets Clara (Betsy Blair), a plain-looking teacher and they fall in love despite Marty's friends and mother telling him he can do better. It's a sweet film. Borgnine's supporting cast, except for Esther Minciotti who plays his mother, isn't exceptional. But that's fine as Marty is clearly the film's main character and Borgnine is up to the task. Interestingly, his Oscar-winning performance didn't lead to him playing this type of character again.

ED’S BEST BETS:

TARANTULA (May 25, 8:00 pm): William Alland produced and Jack Arnold directed this way-better-than-average story about a humongous spider on the loose in the Arizona desert. Seems mad scientist Leo G. Carroll’s experimental growth formula works a little too well and with the wrong subjects. It’s one of the best giant-insect-on-the-loose films and boasts fast pacing, wonderful special effects, and a rare good performance by John Agar as a country doctor. Mara Corday supplies the required eye candy and damsel in distress as Carroll’s grad assistant. Also look for a brief glimpse of Clint Eastwood as the jet squadron leader.

TORA! TORA! TORA! (May 28, 10:30 pm): An excellent reenactment of the Battle of Pearl Harbor, from the planning stages to the attack itself. Equal time is given to both the Japanese side, who is planning the attack, and other American side, who is trying to figure out what the Japanese government’s next move is. The movie is marked by compelling performances from its actors, especially So Yamamura, as Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, planner of the Japanese attack and leader of the naval squadron sent to carryout the mission; Martin Balsam as Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, commander of Pearl Harbor and the American fall guy for the aftermath; E.G. Marshall as Lt. Col. Rufus S. Bratton; and Tatsuya Mihashi as Comdr. Minoru Genda. It’s a wonderfully involved and riveting look at the battle that drew us into World War 2.

WE AGREE ON ... TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (May 30, 9:45 am)

ED: A+. We all know the story about Howard Hawks telling Ernest Hemingway that he could take the author’s worst novel and make a good movie out of it. He chose To Have and Have Not and made a masterpiece by throwing out most of the story and focusing on one character, charter boat captain Harry Morgan, rather than following Hemingway in dividing the story between two disconnected characters. (Michael Curtiz would later adapt the novel faithfully in the noir masterpiece The Breaking Point in 1950 with John Garfield and Patricia Neal. In 1958 Don Siegel made an even closer adaptation to the novel, The Gun Runners, starring Audie Murphy.) But why throw out most of the novel? Because the book was a story of a man’s moral defeat, an element that has no place in the universe of Howard Hawks. If anything, the movie is closer to Casablanca: disillusioned American expatriate rediscovers his ideals aiding a European freedom fighter in his struggle. The film is best remembered as the first teaming of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and marked Bacall’s debut. Has any newcomer so dominated a film like Bacall dominates To Have and Have Not? For the first – and only – time in a Bogart movie, the woman shares in the best lines. And she makes them unforgettable. She goes head to head with Bogart in trading witty sarcastic remarks. Think of her as an Ilsa Lund with attitude. It’s one of my favorite movies, a film I can watch anytime.

DAVID: A+. Humphrey Bogart is a tough American expatriate who begrudgingly helps a French resistance leader and his beautiful wife during World War II in an exotic country with the backdrop of a bar and a pal playing the piano. Sound familiar? While there are similarities to CasablancaTo Have and Have Not is a unique and excellent film that stands on its own. In a lot of ways it's as good as the legendary Casablanca. First, Bogey is outstanding as Harry Morgan and Lauren Bacall is breathtaking as Marie "Slim" Browning in her film debut. Director Howard Hawks' wife Nancy Keith noticed Bacall on a magazine cover and pointed her out to her husband, who cast her. For someone with minimal acting experience, the 19-year-old is able to match Bogart, who was 45 at the time, line for line. She's sexy, sultry, charming and funny. The romance between the two characters is kept to a minimal amount in the film, but when they are together they sizzle. That probably has a lot to do with the off-screen chemistry between the two stars. Bacall delivers the classic line: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow" with a smooth seduction that few could pull off. Morgan calls Browning "Slim" even though she doesn't like it and she calls Morgan "Steve" even though it's not his name. But they were the nicknames Hawks and Keith had for each other. Until recently, I hadn't seen the film in a few years. I watched it twice and it only gets better with each viewing. At first, the "rummy" character Eddie, played by Walter Brennan, was a little annoying. However, watching it a second time, his performance is wonderful and pivotal to the success of the film.

Schedule Subject to Change (All Times Eastern)

May 23

9:15 am – FURY (MGM, 1936): Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney. A prisoner thought dead after a lynch mob attack vindictively decides to frame the mob for his murder. A

11:00 am – THE SHOOTING (Jack H. Harris Enterprises, Inc., 1972): Warren Oates, Will Hutchins. A mysterious woman engages two bounty hunters to help her seek revenge. C+

12:30 pm – THE VERDICT (WB, 1946): Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre. In 19th century London, Greenstreet is an ex-Scotland Yard superintendent plotting the perfect murder. A-

2:00 pm – THE SEARCHERS (WB, 1956): John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, & Vera Miles. An Indian-hating Civil War veteran tracks down the tribe that slaughtered his family and kidnapped his niece. A+

4:15 pm – OTHELLO (Les Films Marceau, 1952): Orson Welles, Micheal MacLiammoir & Suzanne Cloutier. Welles stars as Shakespeare’s tragic Moorish general, who is brought down by the devious Iago. A+

8:00 pm – GONE WITH THE WIND (MGM, 1939): Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, & Leslie Howard. This classic version of Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller was the biggest grossing movie for decades. A

12:15 am – SAN FRANCISCO (MGM, 1936): Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, & Jeanette McDonald. A singer and a battling priest try to reform a Barbary Coast saloonkeeper in the days right before the big earthquake. B

2:15 am – TEST PILOT (MGM, 1938): Clark Gable, Myrna Loy & Spencer Tracy. A test pilot’s wife and best friend are trying to keep him sober and safe. C

4:30 am – BOOM TOWN (MGM, 1940): Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy. Gable and Tracy as friends who hit it big in the Oklahoma oil fields and become rivals. With Claudette Colbert and Hedy Lamarr. B

May 24

6:45 am – THE PAINTED DESERT (RKO, 1931): Bill Boyd, Helen Twelvetrees. A cowboy and his girlfriend try to settle a feud between their fathers in Clark Gable’s talkie debut. B-

8:15 am – HONKY TONK (MGM, 1941): Clark Gable, Lana Turner. Turner is a young girl who falls in love with gambler Gable. Chill Wills is Gable’s sidekick and Albert Dekker as the heel. A-

10:15 am – ACROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI (MGM, 1951): Clark Gable, Ricardo Montalban. An explorer leads the way for 19th century settlers along the American frontier. B-

11:45 am – LONE STAR (MGM, 1952): Clark Gable, Ava Gardner & Broderick Crawford. A frontiersman helps out with Texas's fight for independence from Mexico. C+

1:30 pm – ADVENTURE (MGM, 1946): Clark Gable, Greer Garson. A rough-living sailor has trouble adjusting to domestic life when he marries a librarian. C

3:45 pm – HOMECOMING (MGM, 1948): Clark Gable, Lana Turner, & Anne Baxter. WWII surgeon Gable and nurse Turner share a hot affair that causes trouble with wife Baxter when the war ends. C-

5:45 pm – SOMEWHERE I’LL FIND YOU (MGM, 1942): Clark Gable, Lana Turner, & Robert Sterling. Brothers feud over a girl both fall for while covering World War II. C+

8:00 pm – PAL JOEY (Columbia, 1957): Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak & Rita Hayworth. A womanizing singer romances a wealthy widow but he’s really in love with someone else. B

10:15 pm – THE EDDY DUCHIN STORY (Columbia, 1956): Kim Novak, Tyrone Power. The famed pianist loses the love of his life and almost loses the love of his son as well. C-

12:30 am – BYE BYE BIRDIE (Columbia, 1963): Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke & Ann-Margaret. A rock star’s unscheduled appearance turns a town upside down. B-

2:45 am – CAMELOT (WB, 1967): Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero. A musical adaptation of the marriage of King Arthur to Guinevere set amid the pageantry of Camelot. D

May 25

6:30 am – SUMMER STOCK (MGM, 1950): Judy Garland, Gene Kelly. Garland is a farmer bitten by the show-biz bug when Kelly and his theater troupe invade her farm. A-

8:30 am – CORVETTE SUMMER (MGM, 1978): Mark Hamill, Annie Potts. A high school student hits the road in search of his stolen, rebuilt Corvette. C

10:30 am – SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER  (MGM, 1958): Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor & Montgomery Clift. Hepburn is a rich widow who wants Clift to perform a lobotomy on niece Taylor to hide a family secret. B+

6:15 pm – IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (MGM, 1949): Judy Garland, Van Johnson. Feuding co-workers do not know they are secret romantic pen pals in this musical remake of The Shop Around the CornerA-

8:00 pm – TARANTULA  (Universal, 1955): Leo G. Carroll, John Agar & Mara Corday. Scientist Carroll’s attempt to alleviate hunger creates instead a giant tarantula. Well done. A-

9:30 pm – THE RETURN OF THE FLY (Fox, 1959): Vincent Price, Brett Halsey. Attempting to duplicate his father's work on matter transmission, a scientist turns himself into a monster. C+

11:15 pm – THE COSMIC MONSTERS (DCA, 1958): Forrest Tucker, Gaby Andre. A scientist has punched a magnetic hole in the ionosphere, allowing cosmic rays through that enlarge the insect life. C-

12:45 am – THE WASP WOMAN (Filmgroup, 1959): Susan Cabot, Fred Eisley. Enjoyable nonsense about a vain cosmetics CEO whose beauty treatment with insect enzymes makes her waspy. C

2:00 am – SWAMP THING (Embassy, 1982): Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau. After a violent incident with a special chemical, a research scientist is turned into a swamp plant monster. C-

4:00 am – THE KILLER SHREWS (McLendon Radio Pictures, 1959): James Best, Ingrid Goude. A scientist on a deserted island turns shrews into giant man-killing beasts in this classic stinker. D

5:45 am – BABY FACE HARRINGTON (MGM, 1935): Charles Butterworth, Una Merkel. A milquetoast has to fight off cops and gangsters when he's mistaken for a criminal. B-

May 26

7:00 am – THE GIRL IN THE SHOW (MGM, 1929): Bessie Love, Raymond Hackett. Confusion reigns when a touring show's manager deserts them. C

8:30 am – WAR NURSE (MGM, 1930): Robert Montgomery, Anita Page. A nurse fights to survive when she’s caught behind enemy lines in World War One. A-

10:00 am – MEN MUST FIGHT (MGM, 1933): Lewis Stone, Diana Wynyard. Wynyard is excellent in this top-notch drama and a prophetic tale of a mother in 1940 trying to keep her son out of war. A-

12:45 pm – DANCING CO-ED (MGM, 1939): Lana Turner, Richard Carlson. A college girl fights to survive in academia and show business. C+

2:15 pm – THE KID FROM TEXAS (MGM, 1939): Dennis O’Keefe, Florence Rice. A playboy turns cowboy and sets up a polo match with an Indian tribe. C

3:45 pm – DULCY (MGM, 1940): Ann Sothern, Ian Hunter. A scatterbrained beauty tries to help her fiancé's career by throwing a big party. D+

5:15 pm – WASHINGTON MELODRAMA (MGM, 1941): Frank Morgan, Ann Rutherford. A philanthropic businessman is framed for murder during a lobbying trip to Washington. B-

8:00 pm – THE WINGS OF EAGLES (MGM, 1957): John Wayne, Dan Dailey. Wayne is Frank Wead, a pioneer aviator who turned to writing after being grounded by an accident in this biopic. B-

10:00 pm – SERGEANT YORK (WB, 1941): Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan. Howard Hawks directed this morale film based on the true story of Alvin York, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War I. B+

12:30 am – ABOVE AND BEYOND (MGM, 1953): Robert Taylor, Eleanor Parker. Col. Paul W. Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, and his struggles with the demands of his mission to drop the atomic bomb. B+

2:45 am – HELL TO ETERNITY (Allied Artists, 1960): Jeffrey Hunter, David Janssen. When his adoptive Japanese-American family is interned, a young man enlists and becomes a hero. C

5:00 am – THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS (Fox, 1944): Anne Baxter, Thomas Mitchell. Based on a true story, it’s the tale of five brothers who all served in World War II and were killed in action. A-

May 27

7:00 am – TARGET ZERO (WB, 1955): Richard Conte, Peggie Castle. International soldiers fight to ignore their differences while holding a hill during the Korean War. C

8:45 am – THE HOOK (MGM, 1963): Kirk Douglas, Robert Walker, Jr. Three soldiers in Korea suffer inner torment after they’re ordered to execute an enemy soldier. C+

10:30 am – ONE MINUTE TO ZERO (RKO, 1952): Robert Mitchum, Ann Blyth. U.S. Colonel Mitchum has trouble doing his duty due to U.N. envoy Blyth in this Korean War romance. C

12:30 pm – THE RACK (MGM, 1956): Paul Newman, Wendell Corey. A captain brainwashed into helping the enemy returns to the USA after two years in a Chinese prison camp and now faces trial for treason. B+

2:30 pm – MEN IN WAR (U.A., 1957): Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, and Vic Morrow. A platoon leader, a sergeant and a shell-shocked colonel try to regroup in Korea. Great cast. B

4:30 pm – THE STEEL HELMET (Lippert, 1951): Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie. American trapped behind North Korean lines must fight their way back. Directed by Samuel Fuller. A

6:00 pm – BATTLE HYMN (Universal, 1957): Rock Hudson, Anna Kashfi. A minister resists turning to violence while trying to help orphans during the Korean War. B+

8:00 pm – NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS (WB, 1958): Andy Griffith, Myron McCormick. Andy Griffith dominates this classic about a country boy who causes havoc in the Air Force. A-

10:30 pm – MISTER ROBERTS (WB, 1955): Henry Fonda, James Cagney, & Jack Lemmon. An officer aboard a supply ship tries to transfer to a fighting ship. B+

12:45 am – ENSIGN PULVER (WB, 1964): Robert Walker, Jr., Burl Ives, & Walter Matthau. A young officer on a World War II supply ship battles his captain to keep his men happy. C+

2:45 am – SEE HERE, PRIVATE HARGROVE (MGM, 1944): Robert Walker, Donna Reed & Robert Benchley. Walker stars in the madcap adventures of a green recruit in the Army. B-

May 28

6:00 am – SUZY (MGM, 1936): Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone & Cary Grant. French flier Grant discovers his wife’s husband is still alive in this hollow soaper. C

8:00 am – 36 HOURS (MGM, 1965): James Garner, Eve Marie Saint, and Rod Taylor. Nazis kidnap an American major before D-Day, trying to convince him the war is over in order to learn the plans for the invasion. B

10:00 am – JOURNEY INTO FEAR (RKO, 1942)Joseph Cotten, Dolores Del Rio. Cotten is a munitions expert who runs afoul of gunrunners in World War II Turkey. B+

11:30 am – ACTION IN ARABIA (RKO, 1944): George Sanders, Virginia Bruce. An adventurous reporter tangles with Nazis in the desert on the eve of World War II.  B-

1:00 pm – NAZI AGENT (MGM, 1942): Conrad Veidt, Ann Ayars. Great fun as Veidt plays identical twins: one a loyal German-American, and the other a Nazi official. Directed by Jules Dassin. B+

2:30 pm – HOTEL BERLIN (WB, 1945): Faye Emerson, Helmut Dantine, & Raymond Massey. During the final days of World War II, people with a variety of stories converge on a Berlin hotel. B-

4:15 pm – SABOTEUR (Universal, 1942): Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, & Otto Kruger. Falsely accused of sabotage, a munitions worker goes on the lam to prove his innocence. B

6:15 pm – ACROSS THE PACIFIC (WB, 1942): Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, & Sidney Greenstreet. U.S. spy Humphrey Bogart thwarts a plan to blow up the Panama Canal. B+

8:00 pm – TWELVE O’CLOCK HIGH (Fox, 1950): Gregory Peck, Gary Merrill & Dean Jagger. The leader of a World War II bomber squadron cracks under the pressure. A+

10:30 pm – TORA! TORA! TORA! (Fox, 1970): Joseph Cotten, So Yamamura. A docudrama reenactment of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, before, during, and after. A

1:45 am – THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO (MGM, 1944): Spencer Tracy, Robert Walker. Tracy stars as Gen. Jimmy Doolittle in this story of his famous raid over Tokyo. B+

4:15 am – ACE OF ACES (RKO, 1933): Richard Dix, Elizabeth Allen. After being branded as a coward, a sculptor travels to France to fight in World War I. C

5:45 am – FIGHTER SQUADRON (WB, 1948): Edmond O’Brien, Robert Stack. Dedicated pilot O’Brien pushes himself and those around him during a rough World War II campaign. C+

May 29

7:30 am – NEVER SO FEW (MGM, 1959): Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen. A band of American and British guerrillas hunt Japanese soldiers in World War II Burma. Look for George Takei in a hospital scene. B

9:45 am – OPERATION CROSSBOW (MGM, 1965): Sophia Loren, George Peppard, & Trevor Howard. Allied agents go behind enemy lines to destroy a German missile base. B

12:00 pm – KELLY’S HEROES (MGM, 1970): Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland.  American soldiers plan a bank heist behind German lines during World War II. B

2:30 pm – WHERE EAGLES DARE (MGM, 1969): Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood. An Allied team sets out to rescue an American officer held prisoner in a mountaintop castle. C+

5:15 pm – THE DIRTY DOZEN (MGM, 1967): Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine & Charles Bronson. A renegade officer trains a group of misfits for a crucial mission behind enemy lines. B+

8:00 pm – DESTINATION TOKYO (WB, 1943): Cary Grant, John Garfield.  A U.S. submarine crew takes an assignment into Tokyo Bay to gather information for the first air raid over Tokyo. B+

10:30 pm – OPERATION PACIFIC (WB, 1951): John Wayne, Patricia Neal, & Ward Bond. Dedicated submarine commander Wayne stops at nothing to defeat the enemy while girlfriend Neal waits for him to return. C+

12:30 am – THE ENEMY BELOW (Fox, 1957): Robert Mitchum, Curt Jurgens. During World War II, the captain of an American destroyer matches wits with the captain of a German U-Boat. B

2:30 am – UP PERISCOPE (WB, 1959): James Garner, Edmond O’Brien. Navy frogman Garner infiltrates a Japanese-held island during World War II. C

4:30 am – TORPEDO RUN (MGM, 1958): Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine. A submarine commander faces a dilemma when he’s forced to blow up a Japanese troop ship containing his family. C+

May 30

6:15 am – TIGER SHARK (WB, 1932): Edward G. Robinson, Zita Johann & Richard Arlen. Howard Hawks directed this drama about a tuna fisherman who marries a woman in love with another man. C+

7:45 am – BRINGING UP BABY (RKO, 1938): Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn. Howard Hawks directed this great screwball comedy about a naïve professor who is pursued by a dizzy heiress with a pet leopard. B

9:45 am – TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (WB, 1944): Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall & Walter Brennan. Bogie is a skipper of a boat who becomes involved with the Vichy French. It was Bacall’s film debut. A+

11:30 am – THE BIG SLEEP (WB, 1946): Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall. Bogart is Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s tale of corruption and decadence in Los Angeles. A+

1:30 pm – THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (RKO, 1951): Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornwaithe & Margaret Sheridan. The staff of an Arctic base fights a murderous visitor from outer space. A+

3:00 pm – THE BIG SKY (RKO, 1952): Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin. Trappers Douglas and Martin lead an expedition against river pirates and Indians along the Missouri River. Directed by Howard Hawks. A-

5:30 pm – RIO BRAVO (WB, 1959): John Wayne, Dean Martin, & Angie Dickinson. A great film from Howard Hawks: Sheriff Wayne enlists a drunk, a kid and an old man to help him fight off a ruthless cattle baron. A+

8:00 pm – IT STARTED IN NAPLES (Paramount, 1960): Clark Gable, Sophia Loren. An American lawyer trying to settle his brother's affairs in Italy falls for one of the man's in-laws. C+

10:00 pm – MOGAMBO (MGM, 1953): Clark Gable, Grace Kelly, & Ava Gardner. This remake of Red Dust is now set in Africa and Gable is a big game hunter/guide torn between Kelly and Gardner (in the Harlow part). C

11:45 pm – THE MISFITS (UA, 1961): Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe. A young divorcee becomes involved with a group of modern cowboys who are roping mustangs for sale as dog food in Gable’s final movie. B-

2:30 am – RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP (UA, 1958): Burt Lancaster, Clark Gable. During a perilous mission near the Japanese coast, the Commander (Gable) of a submarine clashes with his first officer (Lancaster). B+

4:15 am – KEY TO THE CITY (MGM, 1950): Clark Gable, Loretta Young. Two mayors meet and fall in love during a convention in San Francisco. C+

May 31

6:00 am – TO PLEASE A LADY (MGM, 1950): Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck. A ruthless race-car driver falls for a crusading journalist out to clean up the sport. B-

7:45 am – NEVER LET ME GO (MGM, 1953): Clark Gable, Gene Tierney. Soviet authorities keep an American correspondent and his Russian ballerina wife separate in this unconvincing drama. C+

9:30 am – BETRAYED (MGM, 1954): Clark Gable, Lana Turner. During World War II, a U.S. officer falls for a Resistance fighter suspected of being an enemy spy. C

11:30 am – BAND OF ANGELS (WB, 1957): Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo. A Southern belle fights to survive slavery after discovering her mother was black. C+

1:45 pm – MY PAL, WOLF (RKO, 1944): Sharyn Moffett, Jill Esmond. A little girl fights to keep her dog over her nanny's objections. B

3:15 pm – TWO ALONE (RKO, 1934): Jean Parker, Tom Brown & ZaSu Pitts. An orphan sent to work on a farm gets pregnant. C

4:45 pm – BOY SLAVES (RKO, 1939): Anne Shirley, Roger Daniel. Potboiler about a young runaway (Daniel) sent to a labor camp run by the usual evil warden. C-

8:00 pm – MARTY (UA, 1955): Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair. Borgnine won the Oscar for his portrayal of a lonely butcher who finds love despite the opposition of his friends and family. A

10:15 pm – MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT (Columbia, 1959): Kim Novak, Frederic March, & Glenda Farrell. A widowed businessman courts a younger woman who works for him. B-

2:00 am – DEAR HEART (WB, 1964): Glenn Ford, Geraldine Page. A middle-aged postmistress falls for an affianced man during a convention in New York. B-


TCM TiVo ALERT
For
May 15–May 22

DAVID’S BEST BETS:

ADVISE AND CONSENT (May 16, 3:45 pm): This 1962 film about the confirmation process of a secretary of state nominee (Henry Fonda) was ahead of its time. Having the president (Franchot Tone) dying while the proceedings occur is somewhat overdramatic, but the storyline rings true with politics of later years that saw and still see numerous presidential nominees have their entire lives scrutinized just for the sake of partisanship and not for the betterment of the country. It's dialogue heavy, but the dialogue is so good that it elevates the quality of the film. Add the excellent cast – Fonda, Lew Ayres, Charles Laughton, Walter Pidgeon, and Burgess Meredith (in a small but memorable role) – and great directing by Otto Preminger and you get a film that's interesting, intelligent and compelling.

BONNIE AND CLYDE (May 19, 10:15 pm): A groundbreaking film in terms of style, content and graphic violence from 1967, which I consider to be among the two or three finest year in cinematic history. The leads – Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway – are outstanding in their roles as the famed outlaw duo oozing passion, raw sexuality, violence, charisma and charm at every turn. The supporting cast – notably Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons – are equally strong. The movie's violence goes from almost comic to intensely graphic. The final scene in which the two are shot dozens of times is outstanding, particularly the quick looks of horror Beatty and Dunaway give each other when they realize they're about to die a very brutal death. It conveys more emotion and intensity than almost anything you'll seen in film.

ED’S BEST BETS:

BLOOD SIMPLE (May 15, 12:00 am): The first film directed by the prodigious Coen brothers, this is a great noir about a Texas bar owner (Dan Hedaya) who hires a shady private detective (M. Emmett Walsh) to get photographic evidence of his wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover Ray (John Getz), one of his bartenders. It's when he hires the detective to kill them that things go dreadfully wrong. And when things go wrong in a Coen Brothers film they never follow the usual route, which makes it a film to catch.

BELLE DU JOUR (May 19, 2:00 am): Catherine Deneuve is outstanding as a self-loathing housewife who turns tricks to fill the emptiness in her life and live out her sexual fantasies. As for the film itself, it’s yet another exercise by Bunuel in surrealism and it hasn’t aged well over they years. It can best be seen as a historic exercise, much like Birth of a Nation, rather than as a groundbreaking film. Watch it for Deneuve and how she projects sexiness on screen in a manner much beyond what most other screen beauties can reach. Also watch it for Bunuel’s use of color – for his first color film, he uses the shades like a master.

WE DISAGREE ON ... GILDA (May 20, 8:00 pm)

ED: B. This tale of intrigue and romance has some resemblance to the later – and superior – Notorious. However, unlike the Hitchcock film, Gilda is a noir. What mars the film for me is, given the unpleasantness and perversity going on throughout the film, it ends on an optimistic note that seems to come out of nowhere. I think it’s a rather heavy-handed attempt to distract us from the obvious homoerotic relationship between Johnny and Mundson, since Johnny’s devotion to his employer feels more romantic than either of their relationships with Gilda. For her part, Gilda’s sexuality, blatant as it is, is more directed towards the audience, as evidenced in the famous “Put the Blame on Mame” number. What helps the movie is the performances of George Macready as the sleazy Mundson and Rita Hayworth, who gives a larger-then-life performance as the title character. The film is also populated by a group of tried-and-true character actors such as Joseph Calleia, Stephen Geray, Joe Sawyer, Gerald Mohr, and Donald Douglas. And has any character made an entrance quite like Gilda and her hair flip?

DAVID: A. Rita Hayworth is one of cinema's greatest femme fatale in the title role of this 1946 film noir classic. She incredibly gorgeous, and her form-fitting dresses and how she is filmed only adds to her sex appeal. Glenn Ford had a number of memorable roles in his career, but his portrayal of Johnny Farrell, a down-on-his-luck hustler in this film, is among his best. George Macready is strong as Ballin Mundson, a casino owner who also happens to be working with the Nazis. Little does anyone know that Gilda, married to Mundson, had a torrid affair with Farrell years earlier, and the two haven't resolved their feelings. In this role, Hayworth could have chemistry with a rock. Fortunately, Ford has considerably more talent than said rock and the two sizzle on the screen. The cinematography, Hayworth's performance and the dynamics between the three main characters makes this a classic even though the plot could use some assistance.

Schedule Subject to Change (All Times Eastern)

May 15

7:00 am – DISRAELI (WB, 1929): George Arliss, Joan Bennett. Arliss is the famous English statesman in this interesting biopic. Prehistoric, but Arliss is fascinating to watch. A-

8:45 am – ROAD TO SINGAPORE (WB, 1931): William Powell, Doris Kenyon, Louis Calhern. Powell is a cad who becomes enmeshed in intrigue and adultery in the British colonial Far East. C

10:00 am – IT’S TOUGH TO BE FAMOUS (WB, 12932): Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Mary Brian & Walter Catlett. Fame complicates a naval hero's private life. B+

11:30 am – UNION DEPOT (WB, 1932): Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Joan Blondell. Fairbanks is a con man that finds a suitcase full of cash at a train station. Blondell is a stranded chorine he becomes involved with. B-

12:45 pm – THE NARROW CORNER (WB, 1933): Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Patricia Ellis & Ralph Bellamy. A man on the run for murder tries to escape fate in the Pacific islands. B+

2:00 pm – THE GIRL FROM 10TH AVENUE (WB, 1934): Bette Davis, Ian Hunter. A lawyer recently dumped by his fiancée marries a shop girl. Everything’s fine until his ex decides she wants him back. C+

3:15 pm – THE GOLDEN ARROW (WB, 1936): Bette Davis, George Brent. A cashier is hired by an agent to pose as an heiress to a fortune so that gossip about her will keep the name in the papers. C-

4:45 pm – MORE THAN A SECRETARY (Columbia, 1936): Jean Arthur, George Brent.  This is a pleasant trifle about a secretarial schoolteacher who gets the glamour treatment to win a boss’s heart. C

8:00 pm – GREY GARDENS (Rialto Pictures, 1976): Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith B. Beale. A reclusive Long Island mother and daughter living in their own world at their mansion, “Grey Gardens.” A-

10:00 pm – LA PROMESSE (Eurimages, 1996): Jeremie Renier, Olivier Gourmet. A father and son renting apartments to illegal immigrants finds things unraveling after a building inspector visits. A-

12:00 am – BLOOD SIMPLE (USA Films, 1984): John Getz, Frances McDormand. A Texas bar owner hires a private eye to kill his cheating wife and her boyfriend. A

1:45 am – SEVEN DAYS TO NOON (British Lion, 1950): Barry Jones, Andre Morrell. A scientist threatens to detonate a nuclear warhead if the nation will not halt arms research. A+

3:00 am – LUMIERE’S FIRST PICTURE SHOWS (1895-1897) (TCM, 2013): An overview of the works of French film pioneers Louis and Auguste Lumière from 1895 to 1897. A

4:15 am – AT THE CIRCUS (MGM, 1937): The Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont & Kenny Baker. Groucho, Chico and Harpo must help a circus owner (Baker) save his show. C+

May 16

6:00 am – I DREAM TOO MUCH (RKO, 1935): Lily Pons, Henry Fonda. A composer sets the stage for discord when he pushes his wife into a singing career. C+

7:45 am – THAT CERTAIN WOMAN (WB, 1937): Bette Davis, Henry Fonda. A gangster’s widow (Davis) fights for love despite society’s disapproval. C

9:30 am – THE BIG STREET (RKO, 1942): Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball. A story of unrequited love redeemed at the end between a busboy and a showgirl. B

12:45 pm – BATTLE OF THE BULGE (WB, 1965): Henry Fonda, Robert Ryan, Robert Shaw, and Charles Bronson. Fictionalized account of one of the epic battles of World War 2. Filmed in Spain. C

3:45 pm – ADVISE AND CONSENT (Columbia, 1962): Franchot Tone, Lew Ayers & Henry Fonda. A Senate investigation of the newly nominated Secretary of State could ruin the candidate and the President. B+

6:15 pm – THE FUGITIVE (RKO, 1947): Henry Fonda, Dolores Del Rio. Fonda is first-rate as a priest who must flee from a Central American dictatorship. Directed by John Ford. B+

8:00 pm – CHINA SEAS (MGM, 1935): Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, Rosalind Russell, & Jean Harlow. A sea captain (Gable) is caught in a romantic triangle and also has to fight off Malaysian pirates. B-

9:30 pm – WIFE VS. SECRETARY (MGM, 1936): Clark Gable, Myrna Loy & Jean Harlow. An executive’s wife believes her husband's relationship with his secretary is more than professional. B+

11:00 pm – RED DUST (MGM, 1932): Clark Gable, Jean Harlow & Mary Astor. It’s a hot time in French Indochina with Gable as a plantation overseer torn between boss’s wife Astor and hooker Harlow. A

12:45 pm – MANHATTAN MELODRAMA (MGM, 1934): Clark Gable, William Powell. Boyhood friends end up on opposite sides of the law. The film Dillinger went to see on his last night alive. A-

2:30 am – HOLD YOUR MAN (MGM, 1933): Clark Gable, Jean Harlow. Anita Loos wrote this story of a woman who takes the fall for her con-man boyfriend after he accidentally kills a man. B-

4:15 am – TOO HOT TO HANDLE (MGM, 1938): Clark Gable, Myrna Loy & Walter Pidgeon. This lively and funny comedy stars Gable and Pidgeon as photographers who battle for stories and flyer Myrna. B

May 17

6:15 am – SARATOGA (MGM, 1937): Clark Gable, Jean Harlow & Lionel Barrymore. Horse breeder Barrymore’s granddaughter (Harlow) falls for a bookie (Gable) in Harlow’s last film. B-

8:00 am – MEN IN WHITE (MGM, 1934, Clark Gable, Myrna Loy. A young doctor has to choose between his studies and his marriage to a society girl. B+

9:30 am – THE SECRET SIX (MGM, 1931): Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone & Johnny Mack Brown. A secret society funds the investigation of a criminal ring. C

11:15 am – PARNELL (MGM, 1937): Clark Gable, Myrna Loy. Gable is horribly miscast in this turkey about the Irish politician whose fight for independence was compromised by his affair with a married woman. D-

1:30 pm – THE SQUALL (WB, 1929): Myrna Loy, Richard Tucker. A gypsy beauty sets the men of a farming family to fighting over her favors. C+

3:15 pm – THE CUCKOOS (RKO, 1930): Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, & June Clyde. Two tramps-turned-fortune-tellers try to solve a kidnapping. C

8:00 pm – HAPPY LAND (Fox, 1943): Don Ameche, Frances Dee. A small-town druggist thinks back on the life of the son who has just died in World War II. C+

9:30 pm – AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY (Paramount, 1931): Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney. A factory worker's romance with a beautiful heiress is complicated by an earlier fate. C

11:30 am – I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (RKO, 1943): Frances Dee, Tom Conway. Are you ready for Jane Eyre in Haiti? Then tune into this lyrical horror film produced by Val Lewton. A

1:00 am – FOUR FACES WEST (UA, 1948): Joel McCrea, Frances Dee & Charles Bickford. After a big bank job, a bandit tries to avoid the posse on his trail. B-

2:45 am – OF HUMAN BONDAGE (RKO, 1934): Leslie Howard, Bette Davis. A club-footed medical school student (Howard) falls for an illiterate, slutty waitress (Davis). A

4:15 am – FINISHING SCHOOL (RKO, 1934): Frances Dee, Billie Burke & Bruce Cabot. A boarding school girl has to cope with family problems and puppy love. C+

5:45 am – LOVE IS A RACKET (WB, 1932): Ann Dvorak, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., & Lee Tracy. This fine effort from William A. Wellman stars Tracy as a Broadway columnist with private intrigues. B+

May 18

7:15 am – THE BOY AND THE PIRATES (UA, 1960): Charles Herbert, Susan Gordon.  Bert I. Gordon produced and directed this tale about a boy transported by magic to the days of cutthroats and buccaneers. C+

8:45 am – THE SPANISH MAIN (RKO, 1945): Paul Heinreid, Maureen O’Hara & Walter Slezak. Heinreid leads a band of Dutch rebels kidnapping the fiancée of the Spanish Governor of Cartagene. B-

2:15 pm – SEVEN SEAS TO CALAIS (MGM, 1962): Rod Taylor, Keith Michell. Sir Francis Drake fights to take over Spain's treasure routes for Queen Elizabeth I. C

6:00 pm – THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (UA, 1934): Robert Donat, Louis Calhern. It’s a first-rate version of the Dumas tale about a escapee that pursues those who unjustly imprisoned him. A

8:00 pm – THEM! (WB, 1954): James Whitmore, James Arness & Edmund Gwenn. Take one part sci-fi, one part red scare and one part noir about ants made into giants by A-bomb testing in the New Mexico desert. A+

9:45 pm – GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS (Toho, 1954): Raymond Burr. Takashi Shimura. A U.S. newsman in Tokyo recalls a big dinosaur roused by nuke blast. C+

11:30 pm – IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (Columbia, 1955): Faith Domergue, Kenneth Tobey. Fun opus about a giant octopus disturbed by H-bomb tests and on a rampage. B

1:00 am – THE GIANT BEHEMOTH (Allied Artists, 1959): Gene Evans, Andre Morrell. Atomic tests have unleashed a prehistoric dinosaur that is heading straight for London. Great fun. B+

2:30 am – THE PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES (ARC, 1955): Kent Taylor, Cathy Downs. An unusual radioactive rock on the sea bottom mutates the ocean life into a horrible monster. D

4:00 am – THE MAGNETIC MONSTER (U.A., 1953): Richard Carlson, King Donovan. Atomic Scientists discover a new man-made element that could destroy the world by absorbing its energy. B-

May 19

6:00 am – THE WHISTLER (Columbia, 1944): Richard Dix, Don Costello. Dix is a grieving widower who has hired hit man Costello only to discover his wife is still alive. William Castle directed. C

7:30 am – THE POWER OF THE WHISTLER (Columbia, 1945): Richard Dix, Janis Carter. A young woman seeks the clues to an amnesiac’s true identity in the clues in his pockets. C+

9:00 am – VOICE OF THE WHISTLER (Columbia, 1945): Richard Dix, Lynn Merrick. A dying millionaire marries his nurse for companionship, only to experience a miraculous cure. C+

10:30 am – THE MYSTERIOUS INTRUDER (Columbia, 1946): Richard Dix, Barton MacLane. A detective (Dix) discovers the woman he’s been hired to track down is the key to an unusual inheritance. C

12:00 pm – THE SECRET OF THE WHISTLER (Columbia, 1946): Richard Dix, Leslie Brooks. An artist plans to murder his wealthy wife after she catches him with one of his models. B+

1:30 pm – THE RETURN OF THE WHISTLER (Columbia, 1948): Michael Duane, Lenore Aubert. When a woman vanishes on the eve of her wedding, her fiancée hires a private detective to find her. C+

3:00 pm – I LOVE A MYSTERY (Columbia, 1931): Jim Bannon, Barton Yarborough. Detectives Jack Packard and Doc Long try to protect a man who predicted his murder in the next three days. C

4:30 pm – THE DEVIL’S MASK (Columbia, 1946): Jim Bannon, Barton Yarborough. Two detectives attempt to identify a shrunken head found in the remains of a crashed cargo plane. B-

6:00 pm – THE UNKNOWN (Columbia, 1946): Karen Morley, Jim Bannon & Jeff Donnell. A woman hires two detectives to keep her alive long enough to claim her inheritance. C+

8:00 pm – COOL HAND LUKE (WB, 1967): Paul Newman, Strother Martin. Newman is a rebellious member of a prison road gang. Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. B

10:15 pm – BONNIE AND CLYDE (WB, 1967): Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway. Arthur Penn directed this highly stylized biopic of the murderous duo. A-

12:15 am – POINT BLANK (MGM, 1967): Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson. It’s a great revenge tale about a gangster planning revenge on his faithless wife and his partner. B+

2:00 am – BELLE DU JOUR (Allie Artists, 1968): Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel. Deneuve is a bored and frigid housewife who decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute. Directed by Luis Bunuel. A+

May 20

6:00 am – TRIPLE CROSS (WB, 1967): Yul Brenner, Christopher Plummer. A safecracker becomes a double agent in World War II. C+

8:15 am – THEY CAME TO ROB LAS VEGAS (WB, 1969): Elke Sommer, Lee J. Cobb. A casino blackjack dealer plots to hijack and rob an armored car. C

10:30 am – MEET BOSTON BLACKIE (Columbia, 1941): Chester Morris, Richard Lane. Reformed thief Blackie (Morris) uncovers a Nazi spy ring while investigating a murder at sea. B+

12:00 pm – THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION (Universal, 1976): Alan Arkin, Nicol Williamson & Vanessa Redgrave. Watson tricks Holmes into seeing Dr. Sigmund Freud for his cocaine addiction. B+

2:15 pm – 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (Columbia, 1957): William Hopper, Joan Taylor. A spaceship brings back an egg from Venus that grows into a huge monster. C+

6:15 pm – SPEEDWAY (MGM, 1968): Elvis Presley, Nancy Sinatra. Racing car driver Elvis tries to avoid tax auditor Nancy, but to no avail. C-

8:00 pm – GILDA (Columbia, 1946): Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford. A gambler runs into his old flame in South America, but unfortunately, she’s married to his new boss. Ratings: See above.

10:15 pm – YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (Columbia, 1942): Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth. Argentine heiress Hayworth thinks penniless American dancer Astaire is her secret admirer. A-

12:00 am – CORNERED (RKO, 1945): Dick Powell, Walter Slezak. A great noir with Powell as an ex-WWII POW hunting down the Nazi collaborators responsible for the death of his wife. A-

2:00 am – ERASERHEAD (Miramax, 1977): Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart. A cog in the industrial machine tries to cope with his unhappy wife and mutant baby. C+

3:45 am – IT’S ALIVE (WB, 1974): Guy Stockwell, Sharon Farrell. A couple's use of an experimental fertility drug produces a monstrous infant. C+

May 21

6:00 am – THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (WB, 1937): Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Billy & Bobby Mauch. Fine adaptation of Mark Twain’s tale of a 16th century prince trading places with a peasant. A-

8:15 am – BROADWAY MELODY OF 1940 (MGM, 1940): Fred Astaire, Eleanor Powell, & George Murphy. A vaudeville team breaks up when both men fall for the same gorgeous dancer. B-

10:00 am – CRIME OF PASSION (MGM, 1957): Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden. Stanwyck is at her best as a police lieutenant’s wife who’ll barter sex for her husband’s business success. B

2:00 pm – MUSCLE BEACH PARTY (AIP, 1964): Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, & Don Rickles. The beach gang resists the takeover of their beach by bodybuilders from a nearby gym. C

6:00 pm – BOY’S NIGHT OUT (MGM, 1962): Kim Novak, James Garner. Psychology student Novak researches infidelity by becoming a platonic kept woman for four buddies. B-

8:00 pm – LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING (Fox, 1955): William Holden, Jennifer Jones. A Eurasian doctor in Hong Kong falls in love with a war correspondent. A

10:00 pm – THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY (MGM, 1982): Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver. Two American journalists find themselves in danger during the Indonesian revolution. B

12:15 am – LOVE (MGM, 1927): Greta Garbo, John Gilbert. In this updated version of Anna Karenina, a married woman sacrifices everything for the love of a military officer. Silent. B-

2:00 am – A BRIGHTER SUMMER DAY (Hero Communications, 1992): Chang Kuo Chu, Elaine Jin. Love draws a Taiwanese youth into the world of street gangs and violence. A+

May 22

6:00 am – WESTWARD PASSAGE (RKO, 1932): Ann Harding, Laurence Olivier. An heiress gives up her fortune to wed a poor novelist, then dreams of giving their children the finer things. C

9:15 am – PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (MGM, 1940): Laurence Olivier, Greer Garson. Jane Austen's comic classic about the five Bennett sisters, all out to nab husbands in 19th-century England. A+

11:30 am – THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL (WB, 1957): Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe. An American showgirl in London causes a stir when falls for a European prince. C

6:00 pm – THE ENTERTAINER (Goldwyn, 1960): Laurence Olivier, Brenda DeBanzie. Olivier is terrific in this drama about a third-rate song and dance man reduced to playing in ramshackle dives. A+

8:00 pm – WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (WB, 1962): Bette Davis, Joan Crawford. Disabled former star Blanche Hudson is cared for by her psychotic former star sister Jane. A-

10:30 pm – DIE! DIE! MY DARLING! (Columbia/Hammer, 1965): Tallulah Bankhead, Stephanie Powers. A young woman is captured and terrorized by her late fiancé’s demented mother. D+

12:30 am – STRAIT-JACKET (Columbia, 1964): Joan Crawford, Diane Baker. Joan stars in this William Castle opus as a decapitating murderer convinced she is returning to her old habits. C

2:15 am – WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN? (U.A., 1971): Debbie Reynolds, Shelley Winters. After their sons are convicted of murder, two women move to Hollywood to start a dancing school. C

4:15 am – THE NANNY (20th C. Fox/Hammer, 1965): Bette Davis, William Dix & Pamela Franklin. A disturbed young man tries to prove his nanny is out to kill him. C

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1 comment:

  1. Once again... My main source for "recording" TCM classics! Thanks guys!

    ReplyDelete