December 1–December 7


TRILOGY OF FAITH (December 3, 1:30 am): To me, there is no greater or more important film director than Ingmar Bergman. TCM is showing six of his films on December 3, starting with Smiles of a Summer Night at 8:00 pm, a very funny film from someone whose body of work featured few comedies. After that are Bergman's two best-known pieces, Wild Strawberries at 10:00 pm and The Seventh Seal at 11:45 pm. For those who have never seen a Bergman film, these are his most approachable and among his finest, and I would highly recommend watching them. For those who have seen those and other Bergman movies, and are looking for more, the three films that follow The Seventh Seal, know collectively as the "Trilogy of Faith," are essential viewing. It starts with Through a Glass Darkly at 1:30 am, followed by Winter Light at 3:15 am and The Silence at 4:45 am. Rather than give you a short synopsis on each of the films, I urge you to click here and read my analysis and thoughts on the three.

ROLLER BOOGIE (December 6, 2:00 am): Yeah, this 1979 film is awful, and one that's I've wanted to write a Train Wreck Cinema article about for a long time. The plot is unbelievably terrible, including the male lead wanting to be an Olympic roller skater. High-society girl Linda Blair resists at first, but eventually falls in love with him while he gives her skating lessons. Along the way, they foil a plan from mobsters who wants to buy their favorite roller-skating rink. It's laughably awful, but a film that I can never not watch when it's on. Easily the best scene is toward the beginning with the rink filled with dancers getting down to Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland."


SHE DONE HIM WRONG (December 1, 9:30 pm): Mae West at her absolute peak as she adapted her Broadway hit, “Diamond Lil” into a film. Mae is Lady Lou, a saloon singer and nightclub owner in the gay ‘90s who has more men friends than she can count. Unfortunately, one of them is a jealous criminal who has escaped and is looking for his lady, not knowing she hasn’t exactly been faithful in his absence. For her part, though, Mae is more interested in seducing young Captain Cummings (Cary Grant), a local temperance league preacher. It’s filled with hilarious double entendres and ribald situations, including the song, “I Wonder Where My Easy Rider’s Gone?” This film not only rescued Paramount Studios from bankruptcy, but also spurred the formation of the Legion of Decency. Not a bad day’s work.

I’M NO ANGEL (December 1, 10:45 pm): Mae West again, and why not? This is another gem. Mae is Tira, a circus sideshow entertainer whose real talent is luring men backstage after the show and swindling them out of money and jewelry. Cary Grant is Jack Clayton, a millionaire victim of Tira’s who is the only man to win her heart. The plot makes little sense, but go with it; after all, we’re not tuning in to see an intricate plot, but to see the great Mae West in action before the bluenoses shut her down. And there’s much to see with Mae’s one-liners flying around, lines such as “It’s not the men in your life, it’s the life in your men,” and “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.” That’s the Mae West we want to see.

WE DISAGREE ON . . . ADVISE AND CONSENT (December 5, 8:15 am):

ED: B-. The early ‘60s saw a slew of political intrigue and conspiracy movies: The Manchurian CandidateSeven Days in May, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,Fail-Safe, and Dr. Strangelove. Compared with these heavyweights, this is one of the weaker movies of the bunch. Now I’m not saying this is a bad movie; it’s not. It boasts an excellent cast and a good script. However, the one failing is the direction by Otto Preminger, which tends to be stilted at times. Also, in comparison to The Best Man, which covers much of the same territory, it pales in comparison. Hence the grade.

DAVID: A-. 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 are occurring is 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. The cut-throat style of politics shown in this film is about as authentic as it gets. It relies a lot on dialogue, but the script is so good that it elevates the quality of the film. Add the excellent all-star cast  Fonda, Lew Ayres, Charles Laughton, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford and Burgess Meredith (in a small but memorable role)  and great directing by Otto Preminger, who makes the viewer feel like a Washington insider, and you get a film that's interesting, intelligent and compelling.

Schedule Subject to Change (All Times Eastern)

December 1

6:00 am – GRAND HOTEL (MGM, 1932): Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore. Guests at a posh Berlin hotel struggle through scandal and heartache. A

8:00 am – SADIE MCKEE (MGM, 1934): Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone. Working girl Joan suffers through three relationships on her way to wealth and prosperity. B+

11:30 am – THE LAST OF MRS. CHEYNEY (MGM, 1937): Joan Crawford, William Powell. Chic jewel thief Crawford falls in love with one of her marks is this remake of the 1929 Norma Shearer film. C+

1:15 pm – SUSAN AND GOD (MGM, 1940): Joan Crawford, Frederic March. Flighty socialite Joan neglects and alienates her family when she joins a religious group. B

3:15 pm – MILDRED PIERCE (WB, 1945): Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, & Eve Arden. A self-made woman’s (Crawford) spoiled rotten teenage daughter (Blyth) embroils her in murder. A

5:15 pm HUMORESQUE (WB, 1946): John Garfield, Joan Crawford. A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy socialite. Look for Robert Blake as the young Garfield. B+

8:00 pm – THIS IS THE NIGHT (Paramount, 1932): Lily Damita, Roland Young, Thelma Todd, & Cary Grant. This romantic farce finds Young hiring Damita to pose as his wife in order to hide his pursuit of Todd. C

9:30 pm – SHE DONE HIM WRONG (Paramount, 1933): Mae West, Cary Grant. A saloon singer fights off smugglers, and escaped con, and a Salvation Army officer out to reform her. A+

10:45 pm – I’M NO ANGEL (Paramount, 1933): Mae West, Cary Grant. A carnival dancer evades the law and invades high society. A-

12:30 am – THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK (Paramount, 1933): Frederic March, Cary Grant. RAF pilots fight to endure the nerve-wracking ordeal of flying in World War I. D-

2:00 am – HOT SATURDAY (Paramount, 1932): Cary Grant, Nancy Carroll, & Randolph Scott. Virtuous small town clerk Carroll is victimized by a scandalous rumor fabricated by a former suitor. A-

4:00 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

December 2

10:15 am – THE DARK HORSE (WB, 1932): Warren William, Bette Davis, & Guy Kibbee. William leads a political machine backing dimwitted Kibbee for governor. B-

11:45 am – UNDER EIGHTEEN (WB, 1932): Warren William, Marian Marsh, & Regis Toomey. Girl from the slums Marsh falls for lecherous Broadway producer William with predictable results. C+

1:15 pm – THE WOMAN FROM MONTE CARLO (WB, 1932): Lil Dagover, Walter Huston, & Warren William. A creaky romantic melodrama with Dagover as a woman married to Huston but accused of adultery with William. C-

2:30 pm DON’T BET ON BLONDES (WB, 1935): Warren William, Claire Dodd. An actress's manager tries to keep her from leaving the stage for marriage.C+

3:30 pm FEAR (Monogram, 1946): Warren William, Anne Gwynne, & Peter Cookson. A detective uses psychological warfare for get s confession from a murderous student. C

4:30 pm THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING (Columbia, 1935): Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur. A gangster hides from the law by trading places with a mild-mannered double. Directed by John Ford. B

6:15 pm – THE REAL GLORY (UA, 1939): Gary Cooper, David Niven. A U.S. military doctor stationed in the Philippines helps the natives fight off invaders.A

8:00 pm – OUT OF THE PAST (RKO, 1947): Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer. Noir classic concerning a private eye (Mitchum) who falls under the spell of the murderous dame (Greer) he’s being paid to find. A+

9:45 pm – HOME BEFORE DARK (WB, 1958): Jean Simmons, Dan O’Herlihy, & Rhonda Fleming.  A woman must readjust to life after a stay in a mental institution. B+

12:15 am – A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT (Paramount, 1949): Bing Crosby, Rhonda Fleming. A musical take on the classic Mark Twain story. B-

December 3

6:00 am – DECOY (Monogram, 1946): Jean Gillie, Edward Norris. A woman saves her gangster boyfriend from the gas chamber to get her hands on his hidden money. A

7:30 am – HIGHWAY 301 (WB, 1950): Steve Cochran, Virginia Grey, & Gaby Andre. A brutal bank robber fights internal divisions within his gang. C

9:00 am – SCARFACE, SHAME OF A NATION (UA, 1931): Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, & Boris Karloff. The original Howard Hawks directed saga of ambitious gangster Tony Camonte (Muni). Karloff is great as his rival. A

10:45 am – THE NAKED KISS (Allied Artists, 1964): Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley. After killing her pimp, a prostitute flees to a small town in a futile search for normalcy. A-

12:30 pm – IN A LONELY PLACE (Columbia, 1950): Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame. Bogie is a top form as a loony screenwriter suspected of murder. B

2:15 pm – THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (Ealing, 1951): Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway. Charles Crichton directed this comic masterpiece about two clerks that mastermind the theft of a million pounds of gold bullion. A+

8:00 pm – SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT (Svensk Filmindustri, 1955): Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck. An actress schemes to win back her married lover from his still virginal wife. A++

10:00 pm – WILD STRAWBERRIES (Svensk Filmindustri, 1957): Victor Sjostrom, Bibi Andersson. After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor must confront the emptiness of his existence. A++

11:45 am – THE SEVENTH SEAL (Janus, 1957): Max Von Sydow, Gunnar Bjornstrand. A medieval knight challenges Death to a game of chess to save himself and his friends. A++

1:30 am – THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (Svensk Filmindustri, 1961): Harriet Anderson, Max Von Sydow. A recently released mental patient becomes obsessed with her younger brother. A+

3:15 am – WINTER LIGHT (Janus, 1962): Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Bjornstrand. Ingmar Bergman directed this classic about a priest who must cope with his loss of faith. A+

4:00 am – THE SILENCE (Svensk Filmindustri, 1964): Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom. Two sisters stranded in a war-torn city must deal with their tangled relationship. A+

December 4

7:00 am – BEDTIME STORY (Columbia, 1941) Frederic March, Loretta Young. Stage star Loretta dreams of retirement, but her playwright husband needs her to star in his next play. A-

10:15 am – I LOVE MELVIN (MGM, 1953): Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds. Photographer's assistant O’Connor promises to turn chorus girl Reynolds into a cover girl. C+

11:45 am – HALF A HERO (MGM, 1953): Red Skelton, Jean Hagen. A married writer moves to the suburbs to research a story. C

5:45 pm – RING OF BRIGHT WATER (Palomar, 1969): Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna. A pet shop otter changes a man’s life when he decides to release it along the coast. B+

8:00 pm – REMEMBER THE NIGHT (Paramount, 1940): Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray. A shoplifter arrested on Christmas Eve spends the holiday at the home of the Assistant D.A. A-

10:00 pm – MEET JOHN DOE (Columbia, 1941): Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck. A reporter’s fraudulent story makes a tramp into a national political hero and a pawn of big business. A-

12:15 am – 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-

December 5

6:15 am – THE HUMAN FACTOR (MGM, 1980): Nicol Williamson, Richard Attenborough & John Gielgud. A diplomat is suspected of being a double agent. Otto Preminger’s final film. C

8:15 am – 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. Ratings: See above.

10:45 am – SAINT JOAN (UA, 1957): Richard Widmark, Richard Todd. Otto Preminger directed this version of the story of the French peasant girl who leads her country to victory over the English. C

12:45 pm – THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (UA, 1956): Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, & Kim Novak. This stark look at the horrors of drug addiction is the first film to treat the subject seriously. A

3:00 pm – THE MOON IS BLUE (U.A., 1953): William Holden, David Niven, & Maggie McNamara. Otto Preminger directed this film about two womanizers that fall for a woman determined to keep her virginity. C+

6:30 pm – LAURA (Fox, 1944): Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, & Clifton Webb. A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he’s been investigating. A+

8:00 pm – GOOD NEWS (MGM, 1947): June Allyson, Peter Lawford. College football hero Lawford falls for his French tutor (Allyson) in this spirited musical set in the ‘20s. A

9:45 pm – EASTER PARADE (MGM, 1950): Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, & Ann Miller. Irving Berlin wrote the music about a dancer rising to fame with a new partner, but who can’t forget his ex-partner. A

11:45 pm – THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY (MGM, 1949): Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers. A married musical team splits up so the wife can pursue a career as a serious dramatic actress. A

5:00 am – THE BELLE OF NEW YORK (MGM, 1952): Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen. Turn-of-the-century playboy Astaire courts Salvation Army worker Vera-Ellen.C+

December 6

6:45 am – SEVEN DAYS LEAVE (RKO, 1942): Victor Mature, Lucille Ball. Serviceman Mature has one week to wed an heiress and inherit $100,000. B-

8:30 am – BROADWAY RHYTHM (MGM, 1944): George Murphy, Gloria DeHaven, & Charles Winninger. Retired vaudevillian Winninger clashes with his producer son Murphy. C-

10:30 am – DARK DELUSION (MGM, 1947): Lionel Barrymore, James Craig, & Lucille Bremer. A young doctor tries to keep a neurotic young woman from being committed. Barrymore’s last Dr. Gillespie film. C

12:15 pm – RAWHIDE (20th Century Fox, 1951): Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, & Hugh Marlowe. Two passengers on a stagecoach find themselves at the mercy of four outlaws. C+

2:00 pm – THE SANDPIPER (MGM, 1965): Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton. An Episcopal priest falls for a married artist. Godawful. D+

4:15 pm – BOYS TOWN (MGM, 1938): Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney. The story of Father Flanagan and his fight to found Boys Town, a refuge for orphaned boys. B+

8:00 pm – WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (WB, 1966): Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor. A bitter aging couple uses a young couple to fuel their emotional pain towards each other. C-

10:30 pm – THE GRADUATE (Embassy, 1967): Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, & Katherine Ross. A recent college graduate has an affair with his neighbor’s wife, and later falls for her daughter. A-

12:30 am – CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (Avco Embassy, 1971): Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen. Onetime college friends cope with the sexual morays of the ‘60s. Dated. B

2:00 am – ROLLER BOOGIE (UA, 1979): Linda Blair, Jim Bray, & Beverly Garland. When her favorite roller disco is threatened with closing, a girl organizes the skaters to save it. Amateur night. D-

3:45 am – HEAVENLY BODIES (MGM/UA, 1984): Cynthia Dale, Richard Rebiere. A small dance studio fights for its existence against the unscrupulous owner of a rival club. F

December 7

6:00 am – A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (MGM, 1935): The Marx Brothers, Allan Jones. The Marxes turn an operatic performance upside down in their effort to promote their protégé and his romance with the leading lady. A

8:00 am – THE LADY VANISHES (Gainsborough, 1938): Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave. A young woman creates an international incident looking for an elderly friend who has disappeared. A-

10:00 am – THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM (MGM, 1962): Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom. This rather fanciful biography of the famed fairy-tale collectors contains reenactments from their stories. B

12:30 pm – THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (WB, 1942): Bette Davis, Monty Wooley. Acerbic critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on an Ohio family’s icy steps and moves into their house along with his entourage. B-

6:30 pm – DECEMBER 7TH (U.S. War Dept., 1943): Walter Huston, Dana Andrews. This docudrama about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was co-directed by Gregg Toland and John Ford. B+

8:00 pm – FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (Columbia, 1953): Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr & Montgomery Clift. Enlisted men in 1941 Hawaii fight for love and honor on the eve of war. B

10:15 pm – SEPARATE TABLES (UA, 1958): Deborah Kerr, Rita Hayworth & David Niven. The boarders at an English resort struggle with emotional problems. A+

12:00 am – ANIMATION FROM VAN BUREN STUDIOS (Turner, 2014): Selected cartoons from the defunct studio. A

2:30 am – LAW OF THE BORDER (Dadas Film, 1966): Yilmas Guney, Pervin Par. In order to keep his ailing son alive, an impoverished Turkish man agrees to sneak a herd of sheep across the border. B

4:00 am – DRY SUMMER (Hitit Film, 1967): Ulvi Dogan, Erol Tas. Turkish farmers rebel when a wealthy landowner dams the river they need to survive. B

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  1. Village of the damned sounds like an interesting story

    1. It's definitely worth your time to watch it. It's a great film.