May 1–May 7


FURY (May 3, 9:45 pm): Director Fritz Lang's first American film, this is filled with suspense, revenge, mob rule, hostility, intolerance and action. Spencer Tracy plays Joe Wilson, 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 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 obsessed with anger and vengeance. The film moves from a love story to suspense to a courtroom drama.

SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (May 6, 6:30 am): In Seven Days in May, Burt Lancaster teams up with Kirk Douglas (the two co-starred in seven movies during their cinematic careers) to make a memorable and outstanding film. Lancaster is the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is leading several of its members in a conspiracy to remove the president (Fredric March) from office because he signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union. Douglas is a Marine Corps colonel and military adviser who finds out about the proposed coup and tells the president. It's among the best political thrillers ever made. An interesting tidbit: the shots taken outside the White House were done with the permission of President John F. Kennedy (those scenes were done in 1963 before his assassination that year), but Pentagon officials weren't cooperative, refusing to permit Douglas to be filmed walking into that building. 


THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (May 7, 6:15 pm): The 1951 original, of course, is one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made and a courageous retort to the hysteria of the day. Michael Rennie is pitch perfect as Klaatu, an alien who comes here on a good will mission and is shot for his troubles. He wants to convene a confab of scientists and world leaders. The government, on the other hand, want to keep him prisoner in order to pump information from him. There are two things they hadn’t considered, however. One is that he is a vastly superior being, able to see through our heavy-handed trickery, and his robot, Gort, capable of burning the planet to a cinder. Klaatu easily escapes the government’s attempts at imprisonment, and grabbing a briefcase with the initials “J.C.” (How’s that for symbolism?), ventures out into the world to contact the people he needs to see by himself. It’s when he stops at a rooming house run by Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee!) that he meets young war widow Patricia Neal and her son, Billy Gray. They provide the humanity and drama as the government launches a manhunt for Klaatu. Director Robert Wise captures the hysteria of the times perfectly, and the film is the first to feature a rational being from outer space who is not out to kill or enslave us, though he does give the nations of Earth a stern warning at the end. If you haven’t seen this one, catch it by all means – and ignore the lame 2008 remake.

ALL ABOUT EVE (May 7, 8:00 pm): One of the great films about the theater with knockout performances from leads Bette Davis, Gary Merrill, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm and George Sanders. Sanders won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role. Sophisticated and cynical with a brilliant script by director Joseph Mankiewicz based on the short story “The Wisdom of Eve” by Mary Orr. Life ended up imitating art when Baxter pulled strings to be nominated for Best Actress in addition to Davis. If she had stayed in the category of Best Supporting, it is likely both she and Davis would have taken home statuettes. It's one of those films that can be watched again and again with no lessening of enjoyment.


ED: A. This is a most unusual film, to say the least. A meditation on suicide in an Islamic country where, by Islamic law, suicide is verboten. A brooding man rides on the outskirts of Tehran in his Range Rover looking for someone who will accept a large fee to bury him after he commits suicide. His encounters with several candidates comprise the story of the film, for the film is a meditation on death. The protagonist, faced with his countrymen’s rejection of his proposals, offers a gamut of rationalized arguments and enticements, from philosophical to pathetically humorous. Slowly the film turns into a celebration of life and all the heartaches and irrupting errands it entails, such as death. The ending is left intentionally ambiguous – was the director inviting us to muse on the characters in the film and their arguments, or was the director leaving it unfinished to escape the inevitable consequences to which the film was leading, and by this ambiguity, escape the wrath of the Iranian authorities? It’s left to the viewer to come to terms in this most interesting introspective film.

DAVID: C. This is a film I really want to like as it appears on many lists and in several books as being a classic though it's less than 20 years old. It won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997, and the subject matter – a guy trying to find someone to toss dirt on his body after he commits suicide and instead meets people who want to save him – is fascinating in concept. However, the execution falls short, leaving me uninspired and disappointed with the end result. It could be so much better. I don't hate it as passionately as Roger Ebert did when he described it as "excruciatingly boring" and a "lifeless drone." The reason is I'm not interested in the characters in the film, including the man trying to find someone to cover him up after he commits suicide. I honestly don't care if he lives or dies. I just want the film to either be better or be over. Some of the dialogue – done in Persian – is interesting, but there really isn't much of a quality film to watch. The story evolves at a snail's pace and by the time we get to the finale, I'm left feeling nothing. If that's the film's goal then mission accomplished. But I can't imagine that was the intention.

Schedule Subject to Change (All Times Eastern)

May 1

6:30 am – ANDY HARDY GETS SPRING FEVER (MGM, 1939): Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, & Ann Rutherford. Andy gets a serious crush on his new drama teacher. B-

8:00 am – THE BIG CLOCK (Paramount, 1948): Charles Laughton, Ray Milland.  Excellent mystery about publisher Laughton trying to frame editor Milland for a murder he committed. A-

10:00 am – DESIGN FOR LIVING (Paramount, 1933): Frederic March, Gary Cooper, & Miriam Hopkins. An independent woman has trouble choosing between the two men she loves. A

11:45 am – GIRL HAPPY (MGM, 1965): Elvis Presley, Harold J. Stone, & Shelley Fabares. Rock singer Elvis is hired to chaperone gangster Harold J. Stone’s daughter (Fabares) in Fort Lauderdale. C

1:30 pm – THE REMAINS OF THE DAY (Sony, 1993): Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson. A wonderful character study – a proper English butler sacrifices his happiness in order to remain faithful to his position. A+

4:00 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-

6:00 pm – A PATCH OF BLUE (MGM, 1965): Sidney Poitier, Shelley W inters, & Elizabeth Hartman. A blind white girl falls in love with a black man. A

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. B

10:00 pm – A STOLEN LIFE (WB, 1946): Bette Davis, Glenn Ford. Davis plays twin sisters, one of whom takes her sister’s place as the wife of the man (Ford) they both love. C+

12:00 am – THE GODLESS GIRL (Pathe, 1929): Lina Basquette, Marie Prevost, & George Duryea. A young couple's flirtation with atheism leads to disaster. B+

2:15 am – TASTE OF CHERRY (Pandora, 1997): Homayoun Ershadi, Abdol Hossain Bagheri. An Iranian tries to find someone to help him commit suicide. Ratings: See above.

May 2

6:00 am – FOUR DAUGHTERS (WB, 1938): Claude Rains, John Garfield. Garfield made his film debut in this soap opera about a rebellious musician that marries into a happy family of musicians. B

7:45 am – FOUR WIVES (WB, 1939): Claude Rains, Priscilla Lane. Three married women play matchmaker for their widowed sister. B-

9:30 am – STEEL AGAINST THE SKY (WB, 1941): Alexis Smith, Lloyd Nolan, & Craig Stevens. Steelworker brothers compete for the same woman. C

10:45 am – ALL THE BROTHERS WERE VALIANT (MGM, 1953): Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, & Ann Blyth. Taylor and Granger are two whaling brothers both in love with the same woman (Blyth). C

12:30 pm – SEVEN SWEETHEARTS (MGM, 1942): Kathryn Grayson, Cecilia Parker. A father insists that his seven daughters marry in order, from oldest to youngest. C+

4:00 pm – LITTLE WOMEN (RKO, 1933): Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett. The four March sisters fight to keep their family together and find love while their father is off fighting the Civil War. B+

6:00 pm – 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-

8:00 pm – CINEMA’S EXILES: FROM HITLER TO HOLLYWOOD (PBS, 2009): Documentary examining the work of the more than 800 German filmakers who fled to America in the 1930’s. A+

10:15 pm – 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+

12:15 am – THREE SMART GIRLS (Universal, 1937): Binnie Barnes, Charles Winninger. The daughters of a divorced couple try to keep their father from remarrying. A-

2:00 am – NINOTCHKA (MGM, 1939): Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas. A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest. A+

4:00 am – CARNEGIE HALL (U.A., 1947): Marsha Hunt, William Prince. A woman pushes her son to become a classical pianist. Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. B-

May 3

6:30 am – THE SCARECROW (Metro Pictures Corporation, 1920): Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline. Two inventive farmhands compete for the hand of the same girl. Silent. A+

9:15 am – BEHIND OFFICE DOORS (RKO, 1931): Mary Astor, Robert Ames. An under-appreciated secretary finds a new job and takes her boss’s success with her. B

10:45 am – THE LASH (WB, 1930): Richard Barthelmess, Mary Astor. A Spanish nobleman in Southern California turns to robbery to help the peasants. C

12:15 am – OTHER MEN’S WOMEN (WB, 1931): Grant Withers, James Cagney, & Mary Astor. A railroad worker falls for his co-worker’s wife. C+

2:45 pm – THE SIN SHIP (RKO, 1931): Louis Wolheim, Mary Astor. Wolheim directs and stars in this tale of a ship’s captain who fights to protect a female passenger from his crew. C

4:00 pm – SMART WOMAN (RKO, 1931): Mary Astor, Robert Ames. A woman plots to make her cheating husband jealous. A-

5:15 pm – MEN OF CHANCE (RKO, 1932): Ricardo Cortez, Mary Astor. Gamblers go after a man with a knack for picking horses. C

6:30 pm – A SUCCESSFUL CALAMITY (WB, 1932): George Arliss, Mary Astor. A family pulls together to help a member in financial trouble. C+

8:00 pm – MUSIC IN THE AIR (Fox, 1934): Gloria Swanson, John Boles. Constantly quarreling couple decide to try the jealousy angle when a naive young couple comes along. B-

9:45 pm – FURY (MGM, 1936): Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney. When a prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to frame the mob for his murder. A

1:45 am – MAD LOVE (MGM, 1935): Peter Lorre, Colin Clive. A mad doctor grafts the hands of a murderer on to a concert pianist's wrists. A

3:00 am – ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT (WB, 1942): Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Judith Anderson, & Conrad Veidt. Gloves Donahue and his gang turns patriotic to track down a Nazi spy ring. A-

5:00 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+

May 4

7:15 am – THE NUN’S STORY (WB, 1959): Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch. Director Fred Zinneman captures the struggle between faith and authority in the life of a nun. A-

9:45 am – LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON (Allied Artists, 1957): Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn. An aging American tycoon overcomes his inhibitions to date a young Parisian. Directed by Billy Wilder. B

12:00 pm – ROBIN AND MARIAN (WB, 1976): Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, & Robert Shaw. An older Robin Hood returns to home to renew his relationship with Marian and battle the Sheriff of Nottingham. C+
2:00 pm – WAIT UNTIL DARK (WH, 1967): Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, & Richard Crenna. A blind woman fights against drug smugglers who've invaded her home. B

4:00 pm – SABRINA (Paramount, 1954): William Holden, Humphrey Bogart, & Audrey Hepburn. Two wealthy brothers fall for the chauffeur's daughter. A

6:00 pm – BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (Paramount, 1961): Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard. Hepburn stars as carefree party girl Holly Golightly in this adaptation of Truman Capote’s novel. C

8:00 pm – THE SEVENTH CROSS (MGM, 1944): Spencer Tracy, Hume Cronyn. Tracy leads a group of seven men that escape from a concentration camp and escape to freedom. A-

10:00 pm – THE KILLERS (Universal, 1946): Edmond O’Brien, Burt Lancaster. Insurance investigator O’Brien opens up a can of worms when he tries to find the beneficiaries of murdered boxer Lancaster. A

12:00 am – A FOREIGN AFFAIR (Paramount, 1948): Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich. A prim congresswoman (Arthur) gets caught in the romantic decadence of Postwar Berlin. A-

2:00 am – FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (UA, 1940): Joel McCrea, Laraine Day. On the eve of World War II a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London. A+

4:15 am – COMRADE X (MGM, 1940): Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr. Gable is a reporter who warms up icy Russian streetcar conductor Lamarr. B

May 5

6:00 am – AT WAR WITH THE ARMY (Paramount, 1950): Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis. A song-and-dance team finds it difficult to adjust to Army life. C+

7:45 am – ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD (WB, 1952): Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, & Charles Laughton. Two waiters stumble upon a treasure map and meet the famous pirate. C+

9:00 am – LOST IN A HAREM (MGM, 1944): Abbott & Costello, Marilyn Maxwell. Two bumbling magicians help a Middle Eastern prince regain his rightful throne from his despotic uncle. C+

10:30 am – BLOCKHEADS (MGM, 1939): Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy. Stan is a WWI veteran rescued from the soldier’s home by Hardy and brought to Ollie’s house – without Ollie’s wife’s permission. A-

11:30 am  – THE BIG PARADE OF COMEDY (MGM, 1964): Les Tremayne. Film clips highlight the funniest scenes and brightest comic stars in MGM's history. A

1:00 pm – A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (MGM, 1935): The Marx Brothers, Allan Jones. The Marxs turn an operatic performance upside down in their effort to promote their protégé and his romance with the leading lady. A

3:15 pm – THE DEVIL’S BROTHER (MGM, 1933): Laurel & Hardy, Dennis King, Thelma Todd. Two wannabe bandits are hired as servants by the real thing. A

5:00 pm – ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN HOLLYWOOD (MGM, 1945): Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, & Frances Rafferty. Two bumbling barbers act as agents for a talented but unknown singer. C

6:30 pm – 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. B-

8:00 pm – THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (AIP, 1955): John Ireland, Dorothy Malone. A wrongly convicted man takes a young woman hostage while fighting to clear his name. C+

9:30 pm – THE BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES (AIP, 1955): Paul Birch, Lorna Thayer. An alien lands in a desert town bent on controlling humans through mind control and making docile animals into attacking beasts. C

11:00 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. B-

12:15 am – HIGH SCHOOL HELLCATS (AIP, 1958): Yvonne Lime, Brett Halsey. A new student befriends an all-female gang bent on bucking authority and terrorizing their school. C+

1:45 am – THE GHOST OF DRAGSTRIP HOLLOW (AIP, 1959): Jody Fair, Russ Bender. A group of drag-racing fanatics move into an old deserted mansion. F

3:00 am – ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE (AIP, 1958): John Agar, John Hoyt, & June Kenny. A scientist shrinks humans so they can be his puppet friends. D+

4:30 am – TARZAN AND THE VALLEY OF GOLD (AIP, 1966): Mike Henry, Nancy Kovack. The jungle king fights to protect a lost city of gold from unscrupulous fortune hunters. D+

May 6

6:30 am – SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (Paramount, 1964): Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, & Frederic March. John Frankenheimer’s thriller about a military officer who discovers a coup is being planned. A

11:00 am – THE WOMAN ON THE BEACH (RKO, 1947): Joan Bennett, Robert Ryan. A coast guardsman begins to think his mistress's blind husband can really see. D+

12:15 pm – THE WOMAN ON PIER 13 (RKO, 1950): Robert Ryan, Laraine Day. Communists blackmail a shipping executive into spying for them in this “better dead than red” melodrama. C

1:30 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-

3:15 pm – THE RACKET (RKO, 1951): Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, & Robert Ryan. It’s Mob head Ryan versus Mitchum, the last honest police captain on the force. Enough said. B

6:15 pm – BORN TO BE BAD (RKO, 1950): Joan Fontaine, Robert Ryan, & Zachary Scott. Bad girl Fontaine ruins the lives of both novelist Ryan and millionaire Scott. C

8:00 pm – BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (MGM, 1954): Spender Tracy, Lee Marvin, & Robert Ryan. A one-armed veteran uncovers secrets when he tries to visit a Japanese-American war hero's family. A

9:30 pm – CROSSFIRE (RKO, 1947): Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, & Robert Young. A man is murdered by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But who done it and why? B

11:15 pm – ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (U.A., 1959): Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters, & Harry Belafonte. A bank robbery brings unexpected results in this fast-paced and violent film. B+

1:00 am – ON DANGEROUS GROUND (RKO, 1952): Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan. A tough cop sent in to aid a mountain manhunt falls for the quarry’s blind sister. B+

2:30 am – BEWARE, MY LOVELY (RKO, 1952): Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan. Widow Lupino discovers her handyman (Ryan) is an escaped looney. C+

4:00 am – THE SET-UP (RKO, 1949): Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, & George Tobias. Ryan is an aging boxer who defies the gamblers that have ordered him to throw his last fight in this well-written and acted story. A+

May 7

7:00 am – ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (Columbia, 1939): Cary Grant, Jean Arthur. Howard Hawks directed this tale of a small freight airline risking the mountains of South America. A

9:15 am – THE NOTORIOUS LONE WOLF (Columbia, 1946): Gerald Mohr, Eric Blore, & Janis Carter. Michael Lanyard tracks a stolen gem to clear his name. C

10:30 am – BOWERY BATTALION (Monogram, 1951): The Bowery Boys. The gang joins the army to break up a spy ring. C-

12:00 pm – DARK OF THE SUN (MGM, 1968): Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux. A mercenary band fights to get refugees and a fortune in diamonds out of the Congo. B

4:30 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+

6:15 pm – THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (Fox, 1951): Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal. An alien finds his message of peace is embraced by the people but rejected by their governments. A

8:00 pm – ALL ABOUT EVE (20th Century Fox, 1950): Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, & Gary Merrill. An ingénue insinuates herself into the company of an established stage actress and her circle of friends. A+

10:30 pm – THE CATERED AFFAIR (MGM, 1956): Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, & Debbie Reynolds. A working-class couple is determined to give their daughter a lavish wedding – whether she wants it or not. A-

12:15 am – ANOTHER MAN’S POISON (U.A., 1951): Bette Davis, Gary Merrill, & Emlyn Williams. A mystery writer’s real life turns to intrigue when her criminal husband escapes from prison. B-

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1 comment:

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