TCM TiVo ALERT



TCM TiVo ALERT
For
July 23–July 31

DAVID’S BEST BETS:

BADLANDS (July 24, 8:00 pm): Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek show their incredible talents in this 1973 film, loosely based on a serial killer and his girlfriend on a 1958 cross-country killing spree. The two become more detached to reality and violent as the movie progresses. The film focuses on the alienation and hopelessness felt by the two doomed young criminals. Despite their horrific actions, you feel somewhat sorry for them. An excellent script, a remarkable job by Terrence Malick in his directorial debut, and outstanding acting from Sheen and Spacek, who would go on to be major stars. It's an exceptional film that shouldn't be missed.

THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (July 28, 2:00 am): To be nostalgic for a moment, this movie was often on Channel 5 (WNYW) in New York City when I was growing up. My father and I would often watch this excellent film together when it aired. It's a smart thriller about four men who hijack a NYC subway car for ransom money. Walter Matthau was a wonderful actor, and this is among his best as a cynical transit authority police lieutenant who deals directly with the criminals. While it's a great drama, there are a lot of comedic moments and the final scene is one of the most memorable in movie history. This film came out in 1974, and is right up there with the excellent NYC-based gritty crime dramas of the era, including The French Connection (1971), Serpico (1973) and The Seven-Ups (1973).

ED’S BEST BETS:

GODZILLA (July 23, 6:00 am): This is not your father’s Godzilla, with Raymond Burr inserted for American audiences. No, this the original, inspired by a tragic accident that took place when America exploded the first H-Bomb in the Marshall Islands, which used to belong to Japan until World War II. A nearby fishing boat, thought to be out of range of the fallout, got caught and the crew died horribly. That was eight months before this film went into production. Godzilla is a metaphor not only for The Bomb, but for America. In other words, Godzilla R Us. Forget about the American version of the film, which at times didn’t appear to make sense amid all the cuts. This version makes perfect sense and its meaning is clear. It’s also a very frightening and serious film, in contrast to the ever increasing silliness of its sequels (except for the first, Gigantis the Fire Monster). It’s a picture that deserves to be seen.

CAT PEOPLE (July 30, 5:00 pm): Producer Val Lewton’s first horror hit, this tale of a strange, shy woman (Simone Simon) and her fear of an ancient curse within her and the man (Kent Smith) who falls in love with her depends more on shadows and suggestion than actual visual horror. Lawton creates an eerie atmosphere of mood and style that draws us in, and once it has us, builds relentlessly until the finale. Tom Conway and Jane Randolph give wonderful supporting performances. Watch for the swimming pool scene. Lewton’s first film and the harbinger of more wonderful horror to come.

WE DISAGREE ON ... A BUCKET OF BLOOD (July 23, 4:00 pm)

ED: C. A Bucket of Blood is a watchable, enjoyable little B-horror flick. It’s the typical Roger Corman formula for his horror-comedies: Walter Paisley (Dick Miller), a dorky character, works as a busboy at a beatnik café. He envies the more talented customers, such as the poets and artists, but he just doesn’t fit in with the cool scene. Trying to impress the café’s hostess, Carla (Barboura Morris), with whom he’s in love, he decides to create a sculpture, but his clumsiness results in the death of the landlady’s cat. Seeking to hide the evidence, he covers the dead cat in clay. The next day he shows her the sculpture. It’s a hit and patrons demand more of the same, so Walter has to keep upping the ante. But despite a great performance from Dick Miller, the film never rises above the usual level of Corman’s quickies (filmed in five days at a cost of $50,000). The humor is obvious, and the tongue-in-cheek attitude ultimately brings the film down. There’s something to be said for playing a bad film seriously. Like I said, it is watchable and enjoyable, but nothing worth going out of you way about.

DAVID: B+. I've put myself in an awkward position – defending Roger Corman. I was outraged when he was given an honorary Oscar in 2010 alongside Lauren Bacall. The "King of the Bs" made a career by being a lazy filmmaker who let others do most of the work. In the process, he helped launch the behind-the-camera careers of Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, among others. However, I must admit A Bucket of Blood – the name is another one of Corman's gimmicks; give a film an outrageous name to bring in the audience – is among his two best movies along with Little Shop of Horrors (hmm, another outrageous name). In "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film," Michael Weldon calls A Bucket of Blood "an all-time classic," as well as "a wonderful beatnik horror comedy shot in five days." I suppose there aren't many other movies in the quickly-made beatnik horror comedy genre, but this is enjoyable and charming even for those not looking for films in that category. Dick Miller, who went on to appear in many of Corman's films, plays Walter Paisley, a coffeehouse busboy loser who dreams of being in with the in-crowd. In a ridiculously-quirky twist, Paisley accidentally kills his landlady's cat and covers it in clay making what the beatniks consider to be an amazing piece of art. He ups the ante when he kills people, first by accident and then intentionally. The story is funny and the beatnik "Daddy-O" dialogue is equally amusing. It's funny and suspenseful, and is nicely paced, wrapping everything up in 66 minutes.

Schedule Subject to Change (All Times Eastern)

July 23

6:00 am  – GOJIRA (Toho, 1954): Akira Takarada, Takashi Shimura, & Momoko Kochi. It’s the original version of Godzilla. Here there is no doubt that Godzilla is the A-Bomb. A+

7:45 am –  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+

9:15 am – THE BOWERY BOYS MEET THE MONSTERS (Allied Artists, 1954) The Bowery Boys. A mad scientist transforms Huntz Hall into a werewolf. C+

10:30 am – SPOOK CHASERS (Allied Artists, 1957): The Bowery Boys. The Boys get stuck in a spooky mansion, where they run into ghosts, gorillas and various "apparitions." C-

11:45 am – PHANTOM OF THE RUE MORGUE (WB, 1954): Karl Malden, Patricia Medina. Updating of the Lugosi classic. A mad scientist uses an ape to murder his enemies. C

1:15 pm – THE BLACK SCORPION (Universal, 1957): Richard Denning, Mara Corday. Willis O’ Brien animated this film about giant scorpions that terrorize the Mexican countryside. C

2:45 pm – BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE (Filmgroup, 1959): Michael Forest, Sheila Carol. Gangsters in South Dakota are terrorized and held prisoner in their cabin by a cobwebbed monster. C-

4:00 pm – A BUCKET OF BLOOD (AIP, 1959): Dick Miller, Anthony Carbone. Miller is an artist wannabe who kills (all accidentally), then plasters over the corpse to pass as a statue. Ratings: See above.

5:15 pm – HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (Allied Artists, 1958): Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart. Millionaire Price offers $10,000 for five people chosen at random to spend a night in his haunted house. B+

6:45 pm – 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

8:00 pm – GIANT (WB, 1956): Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, & James Dean. George Stevens directed this rambling saga about a Texas oil family struggling to adapt to changing times. B

11:30 pm – CIMMARON (MGM, 1960): Glenn Ford, Maria Schell & Anne Baxter. A pioneer couple plays a major role in the settling of Oklahoma. C+

2:30 am – IN COLD BLOOD (Columbia, 1967): Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, & John Forsythe. Two vagrants commit a savage crime in this real-life shocker based on the best seller by Truman Capote. A+

5:00 am – 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+

July 24

6:45 am – ROCKABYE (RKO, 1932): Constance Bennett, Joel McCrea. A Broadway star tries to hold onto an adopted child and a younger man. C-

8:00 am – OUR BETTERS (RKO, 1933): Constance Bennett, Violet Kemble-Cooper. An American heiress marries into the British nobility. C+

11:30 am – DAVID COPPERFIELD (MGM, 1936): Freddie Bartholomew, Basil Rathbone, & W.C. Fields. Dickens’ classic tale of an orphaned boy’s fight for happiness and the characters he meets. A+  

1:45 pm –  SYLVIA SCARLETT (RKO, 1935): Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant. This is a bizarre tale concerning a young woman who passes as a male in order to escape the law in France. B-

5:45 pm  – CAMILLE (MGM, 1936): Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor. Garbo is a kept woman who is dying and Taylor is her young admirer in this finely made soap opera. B+

8:00 pm – BADLANDS (WB, 1973): Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek. Charles Starkweather and Carol-Ann Fugate go on a killing spree in the Dakota badlands in 1958. B+ 

10:00 pm – THE PURCHASE PRICE (WB, 1932): Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent. A nightclub singer on the lam becomes a farmer’s mail order bride. B+

11:30 pm  – A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT (Sony, 1992): Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt & Tom Skerritt. A preacher's sons, one serious, one wild, look out for each other while growing up in rural Montana. B+

2:00 am –  SPENCER’S MOUNTAIN (WB, 1963): Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara & James MacArthur. Wyoming farmer Fonda fights to build a better life for son MacArthur. B

July 25

6:30 am – MODERN TIMES (U.A., 1936): Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard. The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. Chaplin’s final silent. A+

8:00 am –  STRIKE (Mosfilm, 1925): Grigory Alexandrov, Maxim Shtraukh. Russia's Czarist rulers go all out to thwart a factory workers' strike. Silent. A+

9:30 am –  WANDA (Bardene Int’l, 1970): Michael Higgins, Barbara Loden. Loden wrote, directed, and stars in this tale of a rootless working woman who takes up with an abusive criminal. A

1:30 pm –  SALT OF THE EARTH (IPC Distributors, 1954): Juan Chacon, Will Geer. The wives of striking Mexican-American miners fight to keep the union going. Directed by Herbert Biberman of Hollywood 10 fame. B+ 

3:15 pm – OUR DAILY BREAD (UA, 1934): Karen Morley, Tom Keene. King Vidor’s utopian feature about a farmer that inherits a small farm and turns it into a commune. Very daring for the times. B+ 

6:15 pm – SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING (Continental, 1961): Albert Finney, Rachel Roberts. An engrossing drama about a young factory worker and the trouble he brings. A

8:00 pm – THE FOXES OF HARROW (20th Cent. Fox, 1947): Rex Harrison, Maureen O’Hara. A philanderer leaves his wife to seek his riches at the tables of the New Orleans casinos. C

10:15 pm –  TAMANGO (Hal Roach, 1959): Dorothy Dandridge, Curt Jurgens. Graphic portrayal of the horrors on a slave ship. The captain takes a black woman as his mistress and a rebellion is sparked. A

12:15 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+ 

2:30 am  –  MANDINGO (Paramount, 1975): James Mason, Susan George & Ken Norton. A slave owner in the 1840s trains one of his slaves to be a bare-knuckle fighter. B

4:45 am – THE DUKE IS TOPS (Million Dollar Productions, 1938): Ralph Cooper, Lena Horne. A producer must put aside his own success in order to boost the career of a talented singer. B- 

July 26

6:00 am – WHISTLING IN THE DARK (MGM, 1941): Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford & Conrad Veidt. Skelton is a radio detective kidnapped by evil cult leader Veidt and forced to plan the perfect crime. B

7:30 am – WHISTLING IN DIXIE (MGM, 1942): Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford & Rags Ragland. A radio detective's southern honeymoon is cut short by the discovery of a murder. A-

8:45 am – WHISTLING IN BROOKLYN (MGM, 1943): Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford. A radio sleuth infiltrates the Brooklyn dodgers to solve a murder. B-

10:15 am – PETTICOAT LARCENY (RKO, 1943): Ruth Warrick, Joan Carroll. A radio actress researches a role by mixing with gangsters. B

11:30 am – REMOTE CONTROL (MGM, 1930): William Haines, Charles King. A radio announcer discovers that one of his colleagues is working with the mobC+

12:45 pm – GENIUS AT WORK (RKO, 1947): Wally Brown, Alan Carney & Bela Lugosi. Two hapless radio sleuths tackle a real murder case. C-

2:00 pm – BEHIND THE HEADLINES (RKO, 1937): Lee Tracy, Diana Gibson & Donald Meek. A radio station’s reporter rushes to the rescue of his peer, who has been kidnapped by bank robbers. C  

4:30 pm – ONE FATAL HOUR (WB, 1936): Humphrey Bogart, Beverly Roberts. A remake of Five Star Final set at an all-news radio station. Bogart takes over the Eddie G. role as editor. C

5:30 pm – ARE YOU LISTENING? (MGM, 1932): William Haines, Madge Evans. After accidentally killing his wife, a  radio writer/producer attempts to escape an on-air hunt for him. B 

6:45 pm – SUED FOR LIBEL (RKO, 1940): Kent Taylor, Linda Hayes & Morgan Conway. When he’s sued for libeling a murder suspect, a reporter decides to solve the crime himself. C-

8:00 pm – THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (UA, 1968): Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway. Bored tycoon McQueen turns to bank robbery and courts the insurance investigator brought into the case. B+

10:00 pm – THE GETAWAY (Nat’l General, 1972): Steve McQueen, Ali McGraw. A recently released ex-con and his loyal wife go on the run after a heist goes awry. B+

12:15 am – PAPILLON (Allied Artists, 1973): Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman. Two prisoners on Devil’s Island devote all their time to planning their escape. A

3:00 am – AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE (WB, 1978): Steve McQueen, Charles Durning. A scientist stands against an entire town when he discovers their medicinal spa is poisoned in this adaptation of Ibsen’s play. B-

July 27

6:00 am – SMILIN’ THROUGH (MGM, 1932):  Norma Shearer, Frederic March. Shearer is a young woman in turn-of-the-century England who falls for the son (March) of an old family enemy. C+

9:30 am – ROBERTA (RKO, 1935): Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, & Ginger Rogers. A football player inherits a chic Paris fashion house. A-

11:30 am – ANDY HARDY’S PRIVATE SECRETARY (MGM, 1941): Mickey Rooney, Lewis Stone. On the verge of his graduation from Carvel High, Andy decides he needs a social secretary. C+

1:30 pm – THE LITTLE MINISTER (RKO, 1934): Katharine Hepburn, John Beal. A young woman masquerades as a gypsy to win a minister’s love. C 

5:45 pm –  THE WOMEN (MGM, 1939): Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, & Paulette Goddard. A happily married woman (Shearer) lets her catty friends talk her into divorce when her husband straysA

8:00 pm – CONRACK (Fox, 1974): Jon Voight, Paul Winfield. A teacher disagrees with he principal who has convinced the students that they are lazy and unintelligent, and decides to try new ways to reach them. B

10:00 pm – THE GREAT SANTINI (Orion, 1979): Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner & Michael O’Keefe. A marine has problems adjusting to domestic life during peacetime. A

12:15 am – THE PRINCE OF TIDES (Sony, 1991): Barbra Streisand, Nick Nolte, & Blythe Danner. Nolte is a troubled man who sees the shrink (Streisand) of his suicidal sister (Danner) and falls in love with the shrink. B

2:45 am –  WHITE LINE FEVER (Columbia/Sony, 1976): Jan-Michael Vincent, Kay Lenz. A Vietnam vet refuses to smuggle goods for a criminal cartel. C

4:30 am – HIGH BALLIN’ (AIP, 1978): Peter Fonda, Jerry Reed. An independent trucker and his friend stand up to the boss who wants to put all independents out of business. C

July 28

6:15 am –  IT ALL CAME TRUE (WB, 1940): Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan. Gangster Bogart hides in a boardinghouse full of eccentrics. Also starring Jeffrey Lynn and Zasu Pitts. C-

8:00 am –  CYCLONE ON HORSEBACK (RKO, 1941): Tim Holt, Marjorie Reynolds. A young contractor fights off outlaws out to sabotage the telephone line he's building. C

9:30 am – TAILSPIN TOMMY IN THE GREAT AIR MYSTERY: 6. The Crash in the Clouds (Universal , 1935): Clark William,, Jean Rogers. C

10:00 am – TARZAN’S FIGHT FOR LIFE (MGM, 1958): Gordon Scott, Eve Brent. The King of the Jungle helps white doctors fight black magic. C-

2:00 pm – THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY (Eagle-Lion, 1950): Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee. Robinson plays himself in this story of how he became the first man to break baseball’s color barrier. C+

3:30 pm – THE PROFESSIONALS (Columbia, 1966): Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin. A corrupt rancher hires four mercenaries to rescue his wife from kidnappers. B-

5:45 pm – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN (National General, 1972): Paul Newman, Roy Jenson. A self-appointed judge cleans up a corrupt western town twice. B+ 

8:00 pm – PATHS OF GLORY (U.A., 1958): Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou. A military lawyer comes to question the system when her defends three soldiers accused of cowardice. A+

9:45 pm – THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER (Fox, 1982): Kirk Douglas, Jack Thompson. In 1880s Australia, after  a  young  man’s father dies, he takes a job at a cattle ranch, where he is forced to become a man. B-

12:00 am – SCENE OF THE CRIME: (MGM, 1949): Van Johnson, Arlene Dahl. Homicide detective Johnson investigates the shooting of a fellow detective, who was moonlighting as a security guard for a bookie. C- 

2:00 am – THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (UA, 1974): Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, & Martin Balsam. Gunmen hold a New York subway train and its passengers for ransom. A+

July 29

6:00 am – THE BLUE ANGEL (UFA, 1930): Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich. Dietrich became a star in Joseph Von Sternberg’s classic tale about a straight-laced pompous professor and the siren that leads him to ruin. A

8:00 am – KITTY FOYLE (RKO, 1942): Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan. Rogers won an Oscar for her portrayal of a poor girl who suffers scandal and heartbreak after falling in love with a high-society boy. A-

1:30 pm – AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (MGM, 1951): Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, & Nina Foch. An American artist (Kelly) loves Caron, but loyalty to his patron, Foch, almost ruins it all. A+

8:00 pm – PHONE CALL FROM A STRANGER (Fox, 1952): Shelley Winters, Gary Merrill & Bette Davis. The sole survivor of an airplane crash takes it upon himself to contact the families of the various victims. B+

10:00 pm – THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (Fox, 1954): Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire. Three American roommates in Italy wish for the man of their dreams after throwing their coins in a fountain. B+

12:00 am – WAY DOWN EAST (UA, 1920): Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess. A country girl tries to return home after being abandoned by her wealthy seducer. A

3:00 am – THE IDIOT (Hakuchi, Shochiku, 1951): Setsuko Hara, Masayuki Mori & Toshiro Mifune. A former mental patient's romantic involvements lead to tragedy. B

July 30

6:00 am –  MADEMOISELLE FIFI (RKO, 1944): Simone Simon, John Emery. Set during the Franco-Prussian War, a young French laundress refuses to become a Prussian officer’s mistress. A

7:30 am – THE SEVENTH VICTIM (RKO, 1943): Tom Conway, Jean Brooks. A girl's search for her missing sister puts her in conflict with a band of Satanists. A+

8:45 am – THE GHOST SHIP (RKO, 1943): Russell Wade, Richard Dix. An officer on a sailing ship discovers that his captain is a psychopathic killer. B

10:00 am – BEDLAM (RKO, 1946): Boris Karloff, Anna Lee. Val Lewton’s last production for RKO is arguably his best with Karloff in top form as Master Sims, the sadistic ruler of a London asylum. A  

11:30 am –  ISLE OF THE DEAD (RKO, 1945): Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew. This Val Lewton tale about the plague during the Balkan Wars.is generally considered among his worst. C-

1:00 pm – THE LEOPARD MAN (RKO, 1943): Dennis O’Keefe, Margo. When a leopard escapes during a publicity stunt, it triggers a series of murders. B

2:15 pm – PLEASE BELIEVE ME (MGM, 1950): Deborah Kerr, Robert Walker & Peter Lawford. Three men aboard a cruise ship pursue a woman they mistakenly believe to be an heiress. C+

3:45 pm –  YOUTH RUNS WILD (RKO, 1944): Bonita Granville, Kent Smith. Neglected teems on the World War II home front turn to crime. C

5:00 pm – CAT PEOPLE (RKO, 1942): Kent Smith, Simone Simon. Val Lewton produced this horror classic about a woman who fears a ancient family curse will turn her into a snarling beast. A

6:00 pm – VAL LEWTON: THE MAN IN THE SHADOWS (Turner, 2007): Martin Scorsese hosts this look at the life and films of the noted producer. 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+

10:00 pm – ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (WB, 1974): Kris Kristofferson, Ellen Burstyn. A widow with dreams of a singing career ends up waiting tables in Phoenix.  Directed by Scorsese. A-

12:00 am –  WAGON TRAIN (RKO, 1940): Tim Holt, Ray Whitley. Settlers and traders en route to the West fight off Indian attacks. C

1:15 am – DUCHESS OF IDAHO (MGM, 1950): Esther Williams, Van Johnson. During a vacation at Sun Valley a woman tries to solve her roommate’s romantic problems and gets caught up in her own. C+

3:15 am – OCEAN’S ELEVEN (WB, 1960): Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin & Sammy Davis, Jr. The Rat Pack robs a Las Vegas casino. B

July 31

6:00 am – DOWNSTAIRS (MGM, 1932): John Gilbert, Paul Lukas. An evil chauffeur seduces and blackmails his way through high society. A

7:30 am – LOOSE ANKLES (WB, 1930): Loretta Young, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.  A young woman will inherit a fortune if she behaves herself and marries well. B

8:45 am – SHE HAD TO SAY YES (WB, 1933): Loretta Young, Lyle Talbot. Young stars as a stenographer whose boss believes should be used to entertain customers. B-

10:00 am – FAITHLESS (MGM, 1932): Tallulah Bankhead, Robert Montgomery. A spoiled rich girl is wiped out in the Depression. C

11:30 am – HELL’S HIGHWAY (RKO, 1932): Richard Dix, Tom Brown. The leader of a chain gang finds his escape plans thwarted when his younger brother also becomes a prisoner. B-

12:45 pm – SAFE IN HELL (WB, 1931): Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook. Unaware that she is a prostitute wanted for murder in New Orleans, a vicious local police chief of a Caribbean island sets his sights on her. B- 

2:00 pm – JEWEL ROBBERY (WB, 1932): William Powell, Kay Francis. A suave jewel thief falls for one of his victims who he later discovers to be a Baroness. B

3:15 pm – THREE ON A MATCH (WB, 1932): Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, and Ann Dvorak. One of the best Pre-Code dramas as three childhood friends go their different ways and later meet up as adults. A+

4:30 pm – FOOTLIGHT PARADE (UA, 1958): James Cagney, Joan Blondell & Ruby Keeler. Cagney shines in this musical as a Broadway producer and Blondell is equally fine as his loyal secretary. A-

6:30 pm – BLONDE CRAZY (WB, 1931): James Cagney, Joan Blondell. Con artists Cagney and Blondell disguise themselves as a bellhop and chambermaid in order to fleece the guests in this great Pre-Code comedy. A

8:00 pm – SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (MGM, 1954): Howard Keel, Jeff Richards. When their older brother weds, six lumberjacks decide it’s time to go courting. C+

10:00 pm – IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD’S FAIR (MGM, 1963): Elvis Presley, Joan O’Brien. Elvis helps a lost young girl at the Seattle World’s Fair and falls in love with social worker Joan. C

12:00 am – THE SILVER HORDE (RKO, 1930): Evelyn Brent, Louis Wolheim & Joel McCrea. Alaskan fisherman McCrea is caught between brutal competitor Wolheim and dance girl Brent. With Jean Arthur. B-

1:30 am – 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


TCM TiVo ALERT
For
July 15–July 22

DAVID’S BEST BETS:

MEET JOHN DOE (July 15 7:45 am): This is a wonderful film and I've never seen Gary Cooper more relaxed in a role than of the fictitious John Doe, the every-man who is created by fired newspaper columnist Barbara Stanwyck. Stanwyck writes a column with a letter from "John Doe," who is tired of the corrupt system that has left him jobless and bitter, and plans to jump off the roof of city hall on Christmas Eve. The story takes on a life of its own so she convinces the paper's bosses to find a John Doe and write articles about him, thus creating a national movement. The movie is a comedy with an important message about how society ignores the regular guy. Frank Capra's films are often too sentimental for my tastes, but he hits the right notes with this movie. The supporting cast is solid, particularly Walter Brennan as Cooper's tramp buddy, known as the Colonel, and James Gleason as the headline-hungry managing editor. 

THE APARTMENT (July 15, 3:15 pm): Director Billy Wilder's follow-up to Some Like It Hot, this wonderful comedy-drama stars Jack Lemmon as an opportunistic office worker who sort of sleeps his way to the top. Well, he lets his office managers use his apartment as a place to have sex with their various mistresses. Because of that, he gets promoted to the personnel department, where his supervisor, Fred MacMurray, so deliciously sleazy in this role, convinces his new assistant to let him have the apartment on an exclusive basis. MacMurray's latest mistress is the company's elevator operator (Shirley MacLaine), who Lemmon likes a lot, but doesn't say anything to her. A fabulous cast with one of Hollywood's best directors and an intelligent, funny script, and you have 1960's Oscar winner for Best Picture. It was nominated for nine others, winning four of those. Incredibly, MacMurray wasn't even nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

ED’S BEST BETS:

VIVRE SA VIE (My Life to Live - July 15, 2:30 am): A woman from the provinces (Anna Karina) has abandoned her husband and family to try her hand at becoming an actress in Paris. But things don’t exactly work out, and as her funds dry up, she takes a job as a clerk at a record store to make ends meet.  However, the pay is not enough to save her from eviction. Desperate, she turns to prostitution, taking up with Raoul (Saddy Rebbot), a pimp who offers her protection. In time, she meets and falls in love with a man (Peter Kassovitz) who truly cares for her and offers her hope. But when she tries to break away she discovers that Raoul has other plans, plans that lead to tragedy. Director Jean-Luc Godard approaches his film almost as if it was a documentary, using a cinema verite type of approach and dividing the film into 12 brief chapters, each preceded by a written intertitle. Heartbreaking and totally compelling.

NIGHT NURSE (July 16, 2:15 pm): What is it about Barbara Stanwyck Pre-Codes that so intrigues me? She’s great as a nurse who discovers that an alcoholic mother and her chauffeur lover are starving her two children to death by for the inheritance. This is a sordid, well-paced story directed by studio regular William Wellman full of double entendre remarks and plenty of shots of Stanwyck and co-star Joan Blondell running around in their underwear. Clark Gable makes an impression as the evil chauffeur (in a role originally intended for James Cagney before he shot to stardom in The Public Enemy and his scenes with Stanwyck retain their ability to shock even today.

WE DISAGREE ON ... A RAISIN IN THE SUN (July 18, 3:45 am)

ED: A. This groundbreaking, socially conscious screen adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's groundbreaking play, which takes its title from a line in Langston Hughes’ poem, “Africa,” follows the Youngers, an African-American family living together in an apartment in Chicago. Following the death of their patriarch, they try to determine what to do with the substantial insurance payment they'll soon receive, and opinions as to what to do with the money vary. Matriarch Lena (Claudia McNeil) want to buy a house for them all to live in, while son Walter Lee (Sidney Poitier) wants to invest the money in a liquor store. Walter’s wife, Ruth (Ruby Lee) agrees with Lena, and daughter Beneatha (Diana Sands) would like to use some of the money to pay for her medical school tuition. Claustrophobic at times, the film is an American version of the English “Kitchen Sink” dramas of the time. Daniel Petrie’s direction is pedestrian, but the strength of the storyline, combined with the overall excellent performances, keep the audience’s interest, and the film astutely examines such serious issues as assimilation, the pursuit of the American Dream, and pride in one's heritage. Claudia McNeill gives a splendid performance as Lena, and her differences with son Walter give the movie a compelling edge. Poitier also gives a strong performance, one of many he was to give later in his career. Both were nominated for Golden Globes, but the fact no Oscar nominations came their way was all too typical of the age. The film stands as an accurate look not only into the issues of the time, but also illuminates the fact that all families basically have the same problems, be they White, Black, Hispanic or Asian.

DAVID: B. There's no doubt this is a fine film, but it doesn't deserve an "A" grade. A Raisin in the Sun was originally a play – and my issue with it is it feels too much like a play with the small set. That's not always a bad thing such as 12 Angry Men. But A Raisin in the Sun would have benefited from giving the performers more space and less opportunities to overact. Overacting is far too common on Broadway, and it carries over into this film. The premise is simple: the family inherits $10,000 in life insurance after the death of its patriarch and everyone is torn as to how to use the money. The actors work well together with effective performances by most, particularly Sidney Poitier (of course), Claudia McNeil as his mother, and Ruby Dee as his wife. The storyline is touching and tragic though the ending is just not believable. It's a very good film and one worth seeing. But it falls a little short to me as far as being a great film.

Schedule Subject to Change (All Times Eastern)

July 15

6:00 am – KNUTE ROCKNE – ALL-AMERICAN (WB, 1940): Pat O’Brien, Gale Page, & Ronald Reagan. O’Brien shines as the legendary Notre Dame football coach. Reagan became famous playing George Gipp. A-

7:45 am – 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-

11:30 am – CASABLANCA (WB, 1943): Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henried, & Claude Rains. An American saloon owner in Morocco is drawn into World War II when his old flame turns up. A+  

1:15 pm – SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (Columbia, 1952): Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds & Donald O’Connor. A great cast stars in this great musical satire of the early days of sound musicals. A+

3:15 pm – THE APARTMENT (UA, 1960): Jack Lemmon, Fred MacMurray, & Shirley MacLaine. An aspiring executive lets his bosses use his apartment for trysts, only to fall for the big chief's mistress. A

8:00 pm – THE MORE THE MERRIER (Columbia, 1943): Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn star in a witty comedy about the wartime housing shortage in Washington, D.C. A-

10:00 pm – WALK, DON’T RUN (Columbia, 1966): Cary Grant, Samantha Eggar, & Jim Hutton. In Tokyo, during the Olympics, one of three unlikely housemates plays matchmaker for the other two. B-

12:15 am –  THE SEA HAWK (WB, 1940): Errol Flynn, Flora Robson & Brenda Marshall. Flynn protects Queen Elizabeth (Robson) and Good Old England from those pesky Spaniards. B+

2:30 am – VIVRE SA VIE (My Life to Live, Films de la Pliade, 1962): Anna Karina, Saddy Rebbot. Jean-Luc Godard directed this story about a young woman who turns to prostitution to pay the rent. A+

4:00 am – LE PETIT SOLDAT (West End Films, 1963): Michel Subor, Anna Karina. Love inspires a rootless young man to get involved in the battle for freedom in Algiers. A

July 16

6:00 am – GAMBLING LADY (WB, 1934): Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea. Two gamblers fall in love, but one is already married to a possible murderer. B-

7:15 am – THE WOMAN IN RED (WB, 1935): Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Raymond. A professional horsewoman fights prejudice when she marries into society. C

10:30 am – THESE WILDER YEARS (MGM, 1956): James Cagney, Barbara Stanwyck. Wealthy businessman Cagney sets out to find his long lost illegitimate son. B-

12:15 pm – CLASH BY NIGHT (RKO, 1951): Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, & Robert Ryan. Stanwyck seeks happiness by marrying fisherman Douglas, only to have best friend Ryan try to move in. A-

2:15 pm – NIGHT NURSE (WB, 1931): Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell & Clark Gable. Stanwyck is a nurse who discovers the children she’s caring for are being slowly killed to gain control over their trust fund. B

3:30 pm – EVER IN MY HEART (WB, 1933): Barbara Stanwyck, Otto Kruger. In this soaper set during World War I, a woman suspects her husband of being a German spy. C

4:45 pm –  LADY OF BURLESQUE (UA, 1943): Barbara Stanwyck, Iris Adrian, & Michael O’Shea. A star dancer joins forces with a comedian to investigate murders. B+

6:30 pm – THE MAD MISS MANTON (RKO, 1938): Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda. A daffy socialite (Stanwyck) gets her friends mixed up in a murder investigation. C+

8:00 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. A

10:15 pm – ANATOMY OF A MURDER (Columbia, 1959): James Stewart, Ben Gazzara, & Lee Remick. A small town lawyer defends a military man who avenged an attack on his wife. A-

3:45 am – THE FRONT PAGE (U.A., 1931): The original with Pat O’Brien and Adolph Menjou as Hildy Johnson and Walter Burns. It’s prehistoric and highly entertaining. B

July 17

6:45 am – CASS TIMBERLANE (MGM, 1947): Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner. An aging judge creates a scandal when he marries a woman from the wrong side of the tracks. B-

9:00 am – THE JUDGE STEPS OUT (RKO, 1949): Alexander Knox, Ann Sothern. A judge flees the pressures of family and professional life for a job as a short order cook. C+

10:45 am –  WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? (RKO, 1932): Constance Bennett, Lowell Sherman. A dipso director whose career is fading (Sherman) helps a waitress (Bennett) achieve stardom. A

12:30 pm –  NIGHT WAITRESS (RKO, 1936): Margot Grahame, Gordon Jones. A girl just out of prison gets mixed up in murder at the restaurant where she works. C

1:30 pm – THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS BRIDE (WB, 1935): Warren William, Margaret Lindsay. Perry Mason aids a young woman whose supposedly dead husband suddenly returns to life.  C+ 

4:15 pm – OF HUMAN BONDAGE (WB, 1946): Paul Henreid, Eleanor Parker. Edmund Goulding directed this remake of the 1934 Bette Davis/Leslie Howard classic with Henreid and Parker in the leads. B-

6:15 pm – THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (WB, 1940): George Raft, Ida Lupino & Humphrey Bogart. Psycho widow Lupino frames truck driver Raft for murder by in this superior remake of BordertownB

8:00 pm – THE MUSIC MAN (WB, 1962): Robert Preston, Shirley Jones. A lavish adaptation of the Bdw’y musical about a con artist hawking musical instruments and band uniforms to a small town. B+ 

10:45 pm –  MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (MGM, 1944): Judy Garland, Mary Astor. Garland in one of her most famous films about a year in the life of a mid-western family. Directed by Vincente Minelli. A

1:00 am – A FACE IN THE CROWD (WB, 1956): Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal. Griffith makes his film debut in Elia Kazan’s film about a female reporter who turns a drifter into a powerful media star. A+ 

3:15 am – CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (MGM, 1958): Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Burl Ives. Tennessee Williams’ play about an alcoholic ex-football player, his sultry wife, and the family patriarch. C+

July 18

7:15 am – MERTON OF THE MOVIES (MGM, 1947): Red Skelton, Virginia O’Brien. A star-struck hick goes to Hollywood to become a star. C

8:45 am – LOVELY TO LOOK AT (MGM, 1952): Kathryn Grayson, Red Skelton, & Howard Keel. In this all-star remake of RKO’s 1934 Roberta, three Broadway producers inherit a Paris fashion house. A-

11:15 am – SHIP AHOY (MGM, 1942): Eleanor Powell, Red Skelton. A dancer sailing to Puerto Rico hides government messages in her tap routines. C+

1:00 pm – THE YELLOW CAB MAN (MGM, 1950): Red Skelton, Gloria De Haven. An inventor’s unbreakable glass attracts the attention of businessmen and gangsters. A-

2:30 pm – THE CLOWN (MGM, 1953): Red Skelton, Jane Greer & Tim Considine. In this remake of The Champ, a drunken clown tries to hold on to his son. C+ 

4:15 pm – A SOUTHERN YANKEE (MGM, 1948): Red Skelton, Arlene Dahl. A bellboy dreaming of military service ends up behind enemy lines in the Civil War as a spy. C+

6:00 pm – THREE LITTLE WORDS (MGM, 1950): Fred Astaire, Red Skelton, & Vera-Ellen. Fred and Red are just fine in this musical biography about songwriters Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. B+

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

12:00 am – UNCLE TOM’S CABIN (Universal, 1927): James Lowe, Virginia Grey. A gentle slave tries to survive his sale to a vicious plantation overseer. Silent. B+

2:15 am – THE LITTLEST REBEL (20th Century Fox, 1935): Shirley Temple, John Boles. A Confederate officer risks al when he returns home to see his daughter. B

3:45 am – A RAISIN IN THE SUN (Columbia, 1961): Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil & Ruby Dee. A black woman uses her late husband’s life insurance to build a better world for her family. Ratings: See above.

July 19

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 – SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (WB, 1964): Natalie Wood, Henry Fonda. Coy, contrived nonsense about a journalist who is out to expose a female sex expert but winds up falling for her instead. D+

12:00 pm – THE YELLOW ROLLS ROYCE (MGM, 1964): Rex Harrison, Jeanne Moreau, & Edward Purdom. A classic car changes the lives of three owners. B

2:15 pm – ASSAULT ON A QUEEN (Paramount, 1966): Frank Sinatra, Virna Lisi, & Tony Franciosca. Mercenaries salvage a sunken submarine to rob the Queen Mary at sea. C 

4:15 pm – NOT WITH MY WIFE, YOU DON’T (WB, 1966): Tony Curtis, Virna Lisi & George C. Scott. Two fliers during the Korean War compete for a beautiful Italian nurse. C+

8:00 pm – BULLITT (WB, 1968): Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset. When his witness is killed Detective Frank Bullitt (McQueen) takes his own steps to solve the case. B+

10:00 pm – THE SAND PEBBLES (Fox, 1966): Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough. A naval engineer stationed in 1926 China defies local authorities to rescue a group of missionaries. B+

1:30 am – THE CINCINNATI KID (MGM, 1965): Steve McQueen, Edward G. Robinson & Joan Blondell. Steve and Eddie G. are champion poker players who battle it out in New Orleans. B

3:30 am – NEVADA SMITH (Paramount, 1965): Steve McQueen, Karl Malden & Brian Keith. A part-Indian cowboy avenges his parents' murder. B+

July 20

6:00 am – ALIAS THE DOCTOR (WB, 1932): Richard Barthelmess, Marian Marsh. Brothers with different work ethics clash while attending medical school. C+

7:15 am – BEDSIDE (WB, 1934): Warren William, Jean Muir, & Allen Jenkins. A phony doctor builds a lucrative practice among the rich. C+

8:30 am – THE GORILLA MAN (WB, 1942): John Loder, Ruth Ford & Paul Cavanagh. A wounded soldier discovers his hospital is secretly run by the Nazis. C

9:45 am – OBSESSION (Eagle-Lion, 1949): Robert Newton, Sally Gray. A jealous psychiatrist plans to dispose of his wife’s lover with an acid bath. A

11:30 am – THE BODY SNATCHER (RKO, 1945): Henry Daniell, Boris Karloff. Val Lewton produced this classic chiller based on the real life Burke and Hare body snatching case. A+

1:00 pm –  SIGNPOST TO MURDER (MGM, 1965): Joanne Woodward, Stuart Whitman. A convicted murderer, who escaped from a mental institution, hides out in the home of a woman whose husband is missing. B

2:30 pm – DOCTOR X (WB, 1932): Lee Tracy, Lionel Atwill, & Fay Wray. Wonderful old horror film about “the full moon murders.” Directed by Michael Curtiz in two-strip Technicolor. B+

4:00 pm – THE RETURN OF DOCTOR X (WB, 1939): Humphrey Bogart, Wayne Morris. Bogart’s famous punishment film: he plays a vampire with pasty make-up and a white streak through his hair. C-

6:30 pm –  GREEN LIGHT (WB, 1937): Errol Flynn, Margaret Lindsay. A brilliant young surgeon takes the blame for a colleague when a botched surgery causes a patient's death. C-

8:00 pm –  WEST SIDE STORY (U.A., 1961): Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer. This musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, about two youngsters from rival gangs falling in love, won 11 Oscars. C

10:45 pm – ON THE TOWN (MGM, 1949): Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin. Three sailors wreak havoc as they search for love during a whirlwind 24-hour leave in New York City. B

12:30 am – ON THE WATERFRONT (Columbia, 1954): Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, & Eva Marie Saint. Elia Kazan’s classic about a dockworker (Brando) that stands up to the Mob. A+

2:30 am – DREAMSCAPE (Fox, 1984): Dennis Quaid, Max Von Sydow. A psychic is recruited by a government agency to plant an idea into the mind of the U.S. president. C

4:15 am –  THE NIGHT VISITOR (UMC Pictures, Inc., 1971): Max von Sydow, Trevor Howard & Liv Ullmann. A farmer is framed for murder and railroaded into an insane asylum by his sister and her doctor husband. C

July 21

6:00 am – THE SINGING MARINE (WB, 1937): Dick Powell, Doris Weston. Young Marine Powell develops an inflated ego after he wins a singing contest. C+

8:00 am – THE BANDIT TRAIL (RKO,1941): Tim Holt, Ray Whitley. A cowboy turns bad for revenge, but cant stomach his new evil ways. C+ 

9:30 am – TAILSPIN TOMMY IN THE GREAT AIR MYSTERY: 5. Flying Death (Universal , 1935): Clark William,, Jean Rogers. C

10:00 am – TARZAN AND THE LOST SAFARI (MGM, 1957): Gordon Scott, Robert Beatty, Yolande Donlan. The jungle king rescues five survivors of a airplane crash. C-

1:30 pm – NORTH BY NORTHWEST (MGM, 1959): Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint. Cary Grant is an advertising man mistaken for a government agent by spies, triggering a cross-country chase. A+

8:00 pm –  New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts: What Does Music Mean? (1958).

9:15 pm – New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts: Humor in Music (1959).

10:15 pm – New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts: What is a Mode? (1966).

11:30 pm – New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts: Toast to Vienna in 3/4 Time (1967).

12:30 am – DARK PASSAGE (WB, 1947): Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall. A man falsely accused of murdering his wife escapes to find the real killer. A-  

2:30 am –  New York Philharmonic Young People's Concerts: Quiz Concert: How Musical Are You? (1968).

July 22

6:30 am – FIFTH AVENUE GIRL (RKO, 1939): Ginger Rogers, Walter Connolly, & Tim Holt. Unhappy millionaire Connolly takes in homeless waif Rogers in this rather lifeless comedy. C-

8:00 am – THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (MGM, 1945): Hurd Hatfield, George Sanders The best adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s novel about a man who doesn’t age, but a portrait of him kept in his attic does. A+

12:00 am – ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (WB, 1944): Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane. A young man about to be married discovers the two aunts who raised him are poisoning lonely old men. B+

4:15 pm  –  TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN (MGM, 1962): Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson. A washed up movie star is given another chance by a director who himself has seen better days. F

8:00 pm  –  OMNIBUS: LEONARD BERNSTEIN: Beethoven 5th Symphony (1961)

9:30 pm – OMNIBUS: LEONARD BERNSTEIN: World of Jazz (1961)

10:15 pm  –  OMNIBUS: LEONARD BERNSTEIN: The Art of Conducting (1961)

11:15 am – OMNIBUS: LEONARD BERNSTEIN: American Musical Comedy (1961)

12:15 am – OMNIBUS: LEONARD BERNSTEIN: Modern Music: The Music You Love to Hate (1961)

1:45 am – OMNIBUS: LEONARD BERNSTEIN: The Music of J.S. Bach (1961)

2:45 am – OMNIBUS: LEONARD BERNSTEIN: What Makes Opera Grand? (1961)

4:15 am – PETE KELLY’S BLUES (WB, 1955): Jack Webb, Janet Leigh. Jazz bandleader Webb gets mixed up with gangsters in 1920’s Kansas City. C

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2 comments:

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

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  2. With so many great old films to visit and revisit, it is no mystery as to why you never see the Italian sword and sandal epics of the late fifties and early sixties on TV anymore. Granted, these were not films of great merit, owing mainly to the inconsistent dubbing, which was nearly as legendary as Hercules himself. Nonetheless, they were more entertaining than most soft porn films or any Tom Cruise vehicle (His revision of Brendan Fraser's "The Mummy" was popcorn purging gack; any Ed Wood production was Wellesian by comparison). None of them were "Citizen Kane," but all of them were fun. I wish they'd have a Steve Reeves festival some weekend.

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