TCM TiVo ALERT



TCM TiVo ALERT
For
July 1–July 7

DAVID’S BEST BETS:

THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLE (July 4, 1:30 pm): Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas co-starred in a number of excellent films, but besides Seven Days in May, this is their best. The Devil's Disciple is a delightfully funny and fun story of a straight-laced preacher (Lancaster) and a colonial rebel (Douglas) during the Revolutionary War. Add Sir Laurence Olivier as British General John Burgoyne and a screenplay based on the George Bernard Shaw play and you've got an outstanding film that's a must-see for anyone who considers themselves a film fan. The chance to see Lancaster, Douglas and Olivier together is reason enough to see this. On top of that, it's lively, filled with action and incredibly entertaining.

THE GREAT DICTATOR (July 5, 9:30 pm): TCM shows this 1940 Charlie Chaplin masterpiece on a regular basis so it often gets overlooked. As he did in so many of his roles, Chaplin brilliantly portrays the film's protagonist, known as "a Jewish barber," with great empathy and humility while still being funny. And when you mention funny, his impersonation of Adolph Hitler - the character in the film is named Adenoid Hynkel - is spot-on and highly entertaining. The film, made before the United States was at war with Nazi Germany, has several iconic scenes, including Hynkel playing with a bouncing globe, and a chase scene between the barber and storm troopers. Chaplin's brilliance lied in his ability to make people think about the world while making them laugh. There is no finer example of that than The Great Dictator. The ending is beautiful. It's too bad life rarely turns out to have a happy Hollywood ending, but that doesn't diminish from the entertainment and importance of this landmark film. 

ED’S BEST BETS:

1776 (July 4, 1:30 am): A musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence? You’re kidding, right? No, we’re not kidding, and furthermore, it’s quite good. Based on the play, it retains many of those originally performed it. William Daniels is splendid as John Adams, Ken Howard makes for a most effective Thomas Jefferson, and Howard DaSilva is the spitting image of Ben Franklin. Throw in Virgina Vestoff as Abigail Adams and Blythe Danner as Martha Jefferson, and the film really rocks. Watch out, however, for John Cullum as Edward Rutledge of South Carolina. He brings down the house with “Molasses to Rum to Slaves.” Other numbers to look for include “But Mr. Adams,” “Cool Cool, Considerate Men” (my favorite), and the heart tugging “Mama Look Sharp.” American history was never this much fun.

DUCK SOUP (July 5, 8:00 pm): There are very few comedic masterpieces in film history. This is one of the best and probably the best antiwar movie ever made. Imagine - Groucho becomes dictator of Fredonia at the whim of Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont), to whom the government owes large sums of money. Chico and Harpo work as spies for Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern) of neighboring Sylvania, which has its eyes on Fredonia. Trentino hopes to marry Mrs. Teasdale and take over Fredonia, but Groucho stands in his way. Eventually their rivalry leads to war. And what a war! Every vestige of nationalism is lampooned, from Paul Revere’s ride to the draft. It has great dialogue and sight gags galore, each managing to top the previous one. It’s incredible to believe, but this film bombed at the box office so badly that Paramount cancelled the Marx Brothers’ contract. Today it’s a classic of the genre. With the gorgeous Raquel Torres and the hysterical Edgar Kennedy, whose encounters with Chico and Harpo are truly side-splitting.

WE DISAGREE ON ... THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (July 7, 9:30 pm)

ED: A. This is a remarkable fantasy film, all the more so in that it was made in the days before CGI, using incredible Technicolor photography by Georges Perinal and Osmond Borradaile. (Oscar winning, by the way.) The production design by Vincent Korda is just as impressive. This is not a remake of the Douglas Fairbanks silent, but introduces a totally new story, also drawing from the Thousand-and-One-Nights tales. And the story chosen is both remarkable and enthralling, starring producer Alexander Korda’s discovery, Indian actor Sabu, who plays Abu, a thief amongst the many merchants that make up the marketplace of Bagdad. He and Prince Ahmad (John Justin), the rightful ruler of Bagdad who was overthrown by his evil Grand Vizier, Jaffar (Conrad Veidt) fight to vanquish Jaffar, who also has designs on the Prince’s love, the sultan’s daughter (June Duprez). Along the way we are treated to such visual delights as a flying carpet, a deadly six-armed dervish, a full-size mechanical horse, a stolen all-seeing ruby eye, and the Genie of the Lamp, played by the great Rex Ingram, who walks away with the picture despite the best efforts of Veidt. It’s one of the few pre-1960 films parents can show their children, as it’s made in Technicolor and is one helluva an adventure. And the score by Miklos Rozsa fits the film perfectly and enhances our viewing pleasure.

DAVID: B-. This is one of those films that should be great fun with colorful characters and costumes in an exotic location with a story filled with action and adventure. Don't get me wrong, it came close, but fell short of my expectations. Conrad Veidt as the evil Jaffar is wonderful as is Rex Ingram as the genie. Sabu is also quite charming as Abu, the boy thief. The biggest problem with this film is the love story between Ahmad the Prince (John Justin) and the Princess (June Duprez). Movies like this have the cliche love story between the naive, beautiful princess and the handsome prince who's been wronged as a central focus. The film is supposed to be exciting, but it sacrifices some action for romantic scenes – the kind that make kids say, "Eww, that's gross," and make adults wonder "What is this silly love story doing in a film for kids?" So it loses points because of that. However, there are plenty of great moments as Ed mentioned. The flying carpet is cool as is the ruby eye and the genie. Lose the love story focus, edit it down another 15 minutes and you'd have a real winner of a movie.

Schedule Subject to Change (All Times Eastern)

July 1

6:00 am – PAYMENT DEFERRED (MGM, 1932): Charles Laughton, Maureen O’Sullivan. A milquetoast almost gets away with murder and an affair until his wife brings him to justice. B+

7:30 am – THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET (MGM, 1934): Norma Shearer, Frederic March. March and Shearer are poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning in this film about their romance. A+

9:30 am – THE TUTTLES OF TAHITI (RKO, 1942): Charles Laughton, Peggy Drake. A South Seas family will go to any lengths to avoid work. A-

1:15 pm – THE CANTERVILLE GHOST (MGM, 1944): Charles Laughton, Robert Young. Laughton stars as a cursed ghost whose modern-day relative has to perform a brave act to break the curse. B

3:00 pm – PASSPORT TO DESTINY (RKO, 1944): Elsa Lanchester, Gordon Oliver, & Lenore Aubert. British war widow Lanchester travels to Berlin to assassinate Hitler. C

4:15 pm – CAPTAIN KIDD (U.A., 1945): Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott.  Laughton is superb in this rather unhistorical look at the life and career of the notorious pirate. B

5:45 pm – YOUNG BESS (MGM, 1953): Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, & Stewart Granger. A fine cast adds to this sumptuous costumer about Elizabeth and her ascension to the throne. A-

8:00 pm – JEREMIAH JOHNSON (WB, 19723): Robert Redford, Will Geer, & Delle Bolton. An ex-soldier moves to the Colorado wilderness but cannot escape civilization. B

10:00 pm – LITTLE BIG MAN (National General Pictures, 1970): Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway. An American pioneer raised by Cheyenne ends up fighting with Custer. B+

12:30 am – 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+

2:45 am THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (UA, 1936): Randolph Scott, Binnie Barnes & Bruce Cabot. A frontier scout rescues the daughters of a British colonial commander from renegades. A

4:30 am – THE PALEFACE (Paramount, 1948): Bob Hope, Jane Russell. Calamity Jane winds up married to a hapless correspondence school dentist as part of her cover. C+

July 2

8:00 am – THE WIZARD OF OZ (Chadwick Pictures, 1925): Dorothy Dwan, Oliver Hardy. Hardy is the Tin Woodsman in this silent version of L. Frank Baum’s book. B

9:15 am – THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED (UFA, 1926): Animated fantasy about a handsome prince who visits far-away lands on his flying horse. Silent. A

10:45 am – DAY OF WRATH (Palladium A/S, 1943): Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin. Repressed passions lead to tragedy when a conservative minister’s second wife falls for his adult son. A

12:30 pm – BEWITCHED (MGM, 1945): Edmund Gwenn, Phyllis Thaxter. A girl enlists a psychic to get rid of her murderous alternate personality. C

1:45 pm – 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+

3:00 pm – BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (Columbia, 1958): Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak. A witch who despises her neighbor’s fiancée enchants him to love her instead, only to fall in love with him. B-

4:45 pm – THE DEVIL’S OWN (Fox/Hammer, 1966): Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh. After a horrifying experience with the occult in Africa, a teacher moves to a small English village, only to discover black magic there also. C

6:30 pm – THE TERROR (AIP, 1963): Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson. Roger Corman directed this tale of a lost soldier who discovers a mysterious beauty in a half-deserted castle. D+

8:00 pm – BEACH PICNIC (Walt Disney, 1939): Donald Duck and Pluto fight a nest of ants that are trying to hijack the picnic lunch. A

8:30 pm – JOHNNY TREMAIN (Buena Vista, 1957): Hal Stalmaster, Luana Patten, & Jeff York. After injuring his hand, a silversmith's apprentice joins the fight for American independence. A

12:15 am – THE GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE (Buena Vista, 1956): Fess Parker, Jeffrey Hunter, & Jeff York. A Union spy tries to destroy the Confederacy's rail system. A

2:00 am – TREASURE OF MATECUMBE (Disney, 1976): Robert Foxworthy, Joan Hackett. After the Civil War, a young Southerner races to find his family's treasure, buried on a swampy Florida island. C+

4:00 am – RASCAL (Buena Vista, 1969): Steve Forrest, Bill Mumy, Elsa Lanchester, & Pamela Toll. A lonely boy adopts a baby raccoon. C

July 3

8:00 am – KEY LARGO (WB, 1948): Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore, & Lauren Bacall. Gangster-on-the-run Eddie G. commandeers Barrymore’s hotel on Key Largo. Bogart must stop him. A+

11:30 am – THE BRIBE (MGM, 1949): Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, & Charles Laughton. A sultry singer tries to detour a federal agent from completing his mission. C-

1:15 pm – 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-

3:00 pm – THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (RKO, 1948): Farley Granger, Cathy O’Donnell, & Howard DaSilva. Granger and O’Donnell play lovers on the run from the law in Nicholas Ray’s directorial debut. B+

4:00 pm – THE THREAT (RKO, 1949): Michael O’Shea, Virginia Grey & Charles McGraw. An escaped con kidnaps those he thinks put him behind bars. B+

6:00 pm – WHITE HEAT (WB, 1948): Jimmy Cagney, Margaret Wycherly, Edmund O’Brien, & Virginia Mayo. T Man O’Brien is hot in the trail of mommy-obsessed and psycho gangster Cagney. A+

8:00 pm – 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-

9:45 pm – THE WINDOW (RKO, 1949): Barbara Hale, Paul Stewart. A boy known throughout the neighborhood as a liar can’t get anyone to believe him when he witnesses a real murder. A

11:15 pm – SHADOW ON THE WALL (MGM, 1950): Ann Sothern, Zachary Scott. A child is left mute by the sight of her stepmother's murder. A-

12:45 am – HIGH WALL (MGM, 1948): Robert Taylor, Audrey Totter & Herbert Marshall. Shrink Totter proves flier Taylor innocent of the murder of his wife. B+

2:30 am – THE LONG GOODBYE (UA, 1973): Elliot Gould, Nina Van Pallandt. Detective Phillip Marlowe investigates shady characters involved in a long-lost friend's murder. C+

July 4

8:00 am – ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (MGM, 1950): Betty Hutton, Howard Keel. Hutton dazzles in this musical take on sharpshooter Annie Oakley. B+

10:00 am – 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. B

11:45 am –  THE SCARLET COAT (MGM, 1955): Cornel Wilde, George Sanders. An American officer goes undercover top unmask a Revolutionary War traitor. C+

1:30 pm – THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE (U.A., 1959): Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, & Laurence Olivier. A preacher (Lancaster) and a rebel leader (Douglas) change places during the American Revolution. Olivier steals the film as General John “Gentlemanly Johnny” Burgoyne. Based on the play by George Bernard Shaw. A

3:00 pm – 1776 (Columbia, 1972): William Daniels, Howard DaSilva. The long-running Broadway musical about the events that led to the Declaration of Independence comes to film. The director’s cut. A+

6:00 pm – MISS FIRECRACKER (Corsair, 1989): Holly Hunter, Mary Steenburgen, & Alfre Woodard. A small-town girl pins all her hopes on winning a local beauty pageant. B+

8:00 pm – YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (WB, 1942): James Cagney, Walter Huston, & Joan Leslie. Cagney won the Oscar (and deservedly so) for his portrayal of song-and-dance man George M. Cohan. It’s a wonderful film, spoiled only by the fact that it was not shot in Technicolor. A+

10:15 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+

1:00 am – ROSALIE (MGM, 1937): Nelson Eddy, Eleanor Powell. West Point cadet Eddy falls for European princess Powell. C

3:15 am -- CLEOPATRA JONES (WB, 1973): Tamara Dobson, Shelley Winters, & Bernie Casey. A female drug agent locks horns with a violent drug dealer. C

4:45 am – CLEOPATRA JONES AND THE CASINO OF GOLD (WB, 1975): Tamara Dobson, Stella Stevens. A drug agent hunts down two colleagues taken hostage by a ruthless casino owner. C

July 5

6:30 am – A FAMILY AFFAIR (MGM, 1936): Lionel Barrymore, Mickey Rooney. The first Hardy Family film finds Judge Hardy running for re-election while dealing with family problems. B

7:45 am – STRIKE UP THE BAND (MGM, 1940): Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland. A high school band sets out to win a national radio contest. B

10:00 am – THE BAND WAGON (MGM, 1953): Fred Astaire, Nanette Fabares, Oscar Levant, & Cyd Charisse. Astaire is a Hollywood song and dance man whose transition to Broadway proves painful. A+

12:00 pm – THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (Goldwyn/RKO, 1946): Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy. William Wyler’s classic about the trials of three veterans trying to readjust after the war. A+

5:15 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. B

8:00 pm – DUCK SOUP (Paramount, 1933): The Marx Brothers. Groucho is dictator of Freedonia and Chico and Harpo are spies for rival Sylvania. Zeppo just stands around. A++

9:30 pm – THE GREAT DICTATOR (UA, 1940): Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard. Chaplin is both a dictator and a Jewish barber that bears a striking resemblance to the dictator. A+

12:00 am – THE THANHOUSER STUDIOS AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN CINEMA (2014): The story of the trail-blazing studio that released over 1,000 films between 1910 and 1917.

1:00 am – PETTICOAT CAMP (Thanhouser, 1912): William Garwood, Florence La Badie. Several married couples go camping together, but the women realize that the men expect them to do all the dirty work. Silent. C

2:15 am – DONKEY SKIN (CIC, 1970): Catherine Deneuve, Jean Marais & Jacques Perrin. A princess masquerades as a commoner to escape her evil father. A-

4:00 am – THE UNIVERSE OF JACQUES DEMY (Canal +, 1995): A look at the life and career of the talented director, written and directed by his widow, Agnes Varda. A

July 6

7:00 am – THE ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE (MGM, 1947): Van Johnson, Thomas Mitchell & Janet Leigh. A farmer's daughter falls in love with a man who fought against her family in the Civil War. A-

9:00 am – IF WINTER COMES (MGM, 1948): Walter Pidgeon, Deborah Kerr & Janet Leigh. A scandal breaks out when a well-meaning, innocent man takes in a pregnant girl. B+

12:30 pm – HOLIDAY AFFAIR (RKO, 1949): Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, & Wendell Corey. A young widow finds herself having to choose between her stodgy boyfriend and a poor clerk she had fired. B

2:15 pm – THAT FORSYTE WOMAN (MGM, 1949): Errol Flynn, Greer Garson. This is a rather lifeless adaptation of the Galsworthy novel about a faithless woman (Garson) who falls in love with her niece’s fiancée. C-

8:00 pm – LITTLE MISS MARKER (Paramount, 1934): Adolphe Menjou, Dorothy Dell & Shirley Temple. A big-time gambler picks up a young girl as security on an IOU. A-

9:30 pm – NOW AND FOREVER (Paramount, 1934): Gary Cooper, Carole Lombard & Shirley Temple. A young swindler tries to mend his ways when he's reunited with his daughter. B-

11:00 pm – BRIGHT EYES (Fox, 1934): Shirley Temple, James Dunn. Society snobs get more than they bargained for when they take in their late housekeeper’s orphaned daughter. C+

12:30 am – CURLY TOP (Fox, 1935): Shirley Temple, John Boles, & Rochelle Hudson. Wealthy Boles adopts two orphaned sisters. B-

2:00 am – THE POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL (Fox, 1936): Shirley Temple, Alice Faye, Gloria Stuart, & Jack Haley. A lost rich girl takes up with a pair of musical performers. A

3:30 am – JOURNEY FOR MARGARET (MGM, 1942): Robert Young, Laraine Day. An American correspondent tries to adopt two children orphaned during the London Blitz. B+

July 7

7:00 am – THE VIKING (MGM, 1929): Donald Crisp, Pauline Starke. This silent two-strip Technicolor opus concerns two Norse brothers who vie for the throne and the same woman. B-

8:30 am – 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+

10:00 am – MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (WB, 1933): Fay Wray, Lional Atwill & Glenda Farrell. Sculptor Atwill creates the most lifelike wax statues. Or are they? A-

11:30 am –   NOTHING SACRED (U.A., 1937): Frederic March, Carole Lombard. When a small-town girl is diagnosed with a rare, deadly disease, a newspaperman turns her into a national heroine. A

1:00 pm – A STAR IS BORN (Selznick International, 1937): Frederic March, Janet Gaynor. A fading alcoholic leading man (March) marries the young beginner (Gaynor) he mentored to stardom. A+

3:00 pm – WINGS OF THE MORNING (Fox, 1937): Annabella, Leslie Banks. A young horse trainer reignites an old family feud when he falls for a Gypsy girl. C+

4:30 pm – THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (WB, 1938): Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Olivia DeHavilland, & Basil Rathbone. Errol Flynn as Robin Hood battles Prince John and Sir Guy of Gisbourne. A+

6:15 pm – THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER (UA, 1938): Tommy Kelly, Jackie Moran & May Robson. An orphan in 1850 Missouri gets into a variety of scrapes, including a murder mystery. A+

8:00 pm – THE GARDEN OF ALLAH (U.A., 1936): Marlene Dietrich, Charles Boyer.  A monk deserts his calling to be with a beautiful woman he met in the Sahara. B

9:30 pm – THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (UA, 1940): Conrad Veidt, Sabu. Sabu must battle monsters and an evil wizard to restore the King of Baghdad back to his throne. Filmed in Technicolor. Ratings: See above.

11:30 pm – THE RED SHOES (J. Arthur Rank, 1948): Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring. Michael Powell’s beautiful drama of a ballerina who must choose between career and the man she loves. A++

2:00 am – THIS HAPPY BREED (Eagle-Lion/Universal, 1944): Robert Newton, Celia Johnson. Noel Coward wrote this study about the lives of the Gibbons family between the two world wars. B

4:00 am – 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



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