TCM TiVo ALERT



TCM TiVo ALERT
For
November 15–November 22

DAVID’S BEST BETS:

THE GOODBYE GIRL (November 16, 10:15 pm): This film came during the peak of Richard Dreyfuss' acting career and is one of his best performances. He won an Oscar for Best Actor (becoming, at the time, the youngest to win the award) for this 1977 film. The screenplay, written by Neil Simon, is good, but the acting and interaction between Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason and Quinn Cummings (the latter two were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively) are outstanding. Cummings, who was 10 when the film was released (and flamed out as an actress a couple of years later), is marvelous as Mason's precocious daughter. It's a very charming and entertaining romantic comedy.

BEING THERE (November 17, 9:45 pm): Peter Sellers was known for his versatility as an actor. He often played more than one character in films and could easily go from maniacal to subdued while always being interesting. Being There is one of Sellers' last films and his finest role. He is a simple-minded gardener in this 1979 film who learns everything from watching TV. One circumstance leads to another and Chance (Sellers) ends up being an adviser to the president of the United States with what he says interpreted to be brilliant advice. It is a clever, funny, heartwarming and beautiful. Melvyn Douglas as a wealthy businessman and adviser to the president is outstanding, and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Sellers was nominated for Best Actor, losing to Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer). During his acceptance speech, Hoffman said he couldn't believe he beat Sellers; neither can I.

ED’S BEST BETS:

GUN CRAZY (November 15, 8:15 am): Director Joseph H. Lewis’s ahead-of-its-time noir about two lovers (Peggy Cummins, John Dall) that go on a crime spree. Low-budget specialists Frank and Maurice King, whose only caveat to director Lewis was not to go over budget, produced it. Lewis, as I've noted earlier, was a specialist at saving a penny, as his career was spent in Poverty Row. It also takes a load off when one is working from a terrific script from blacklisted Dalton Trumbo (fronted by Millard Kaufman) and MacKinlay Kantor, who wrote the original story. While it was just another low-budget film here in America, over in France it was discovered by the Cahiers crowd and lionized as one of the great films from America. Such was its power that directors Truffaut, Godard, Melville, and Chabrol all stole from it. Its always great viewing and a Must See.

RIFIFI (November 20, 2:00 am): Leave it to a master craftsman like Jules Dassin to make one of the great Heist-Gone-Wrong films. Four cronies plan the perfect crime and have everything figured out to the letter – except for each other, and this proves to be the fatal mistake. Because it was a low-budget film, Dassin couldn’t afford a star like Jean Gabin, but he does quite fine with the hand he’s dealt. In his review for the French newspaper Arts, Francois Truffaut wrote: “Jules Dassin made the best ‘noir’ film I have ever see from the worst roman noir I have ever read.” The novel’s author, Auguste LeBreton co-wrote the screenplay and later wrote Bob The Gambler, another top-notch crime thriller, for Jean-Paul Melville. It seems LeBreton translated better into film than he did into print.

WE DISAGREE ON ... MEAN STREETS (November 17, 12:15 am)

ED: A-
. This is the film that made critics sit up and take notice of young Martin Scorsese. It has all the hallmarks of a Scorsese film: expressionistic lighting, fluid camerawork, sudden outbursts of violence, and that wonderful eclectic soundtrack. Scorsese would refine these techniques over time, but Mean Streets contains that raw, passionate energy of youth. It’s also a claustrophobic film, set in the confined world of Little Italy, with its main character, Charlie (a superb performance by Harvey Keitel), a lower rank Mafioso who inhabits a dark world of pool halls, cinemas, and bars. We first see him coming out of confession, rather unhappy with his penance. But as we follow him into the bar, symbolically lit in red, and see his chaotic, violent friend, Johnny Boy (another winning performance from Robert DeNiro) stroll in with “Jumping Jack Flash” in the background, we immediately realize that Johnny Boy is the personification of Charlie’s penance. “You send me this, Lord,” Charlie says. Stay tuned for the argument between the two over Johnny Boy’s debts in the back room. Though more than a bit raw, it shows the Scorsese yet to come. Mean Streets is a wonderful character study of a man trapped in his environment with no way out, torn between the entreaties of his girlfriend to leave the life behind and move away with her, and his loyalty to his uncle. One also gets a distinct whiff of the personal in the film, which only adds to its charm. It’s a brilliant film, and though flawed, it’s still better than most directors in their prime.

DAVID: B-. My biggest issue with Mean Streets is I saw it for the first time a couple of years ago (and a friend gave it to me on DVD) and having heard glowing praise – it's on several lists of the greatest films of all-time – I expected to be blown away by this movie. It's good, even very good, but I can't consider it great. I'm sure it was ahead of its time when it was released in 1973, and the talents of director Martin Scorsese and actors Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel are obvious. But having seen so many other Scorsese-DeNiro films, this one just doesn't measure up to Taxi DriverRaging BullThe King of Comedy and Goodfellas, for examples. I'm not going to bother to mention other films directed by Scorsese and/or starring DeNiro and Keitel that are better than Mean Streets as I think you get my point. Ed's description of this film as "more than a bit raw" and "flawed" are accurate. It has moments of brilliance quickly followed by scenes that drag and seem pointless. It's unpolished, which isn't a bad thing, but it comes across at times as lacking focus. While the soundtrack is excellent, there's far too much music in the movie to the point of distraction. Overall, the film is compelling and interesting, the lead actors are fantastic and Scorsese does an admirable job directing just his third film. But, simply put, it could have been better.

Schedule Subject to Change (All Times Eastern)

November 15

6:00 am – CITIZEN KANE (RKO, 1941): Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten & Everett Sloane. The story of newspaper mogul Charles Foster Kane and what made him tick. A+

8:15 am – GUN CRAZY (UA, 1949): John Dall, Peggy Cummins. This ahead-of-its-time sex and guns cult classic, loosely based on Bonnie and Clyde, helped inspire the French New Wave. A+

10:00 am – POT O’ GOLD (UA, 1941): James Stewart, Paulette Goddard. A young man is caught between his music-hating uncle and a pretty girl from a family of musicians. C

11:45 am – NO TIME FOR COMEDY (WB, 1940): James Stewart, Rosalind Russell. A playwright ‘s wife convinces him to give up comedy for tragedy with the usual comedic results. B+

1:45 pm – ZIEGFELD GIRL (MGM, 1941): Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr & Lana Turner It’s a tale of three girls in the Ziegfeld Follies and their romantic trials on the way to the top. B-

4:15 pm – MALAYA (MGM, 1950): Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Sydney Greenstreet, & Lionel Barrymore.  Two men join forces to smuggle rubber out of Japanese occupied Malaya during World War II. B-

6:00 pm – ROPE (WB, 1948): James Stewart, John Dall, & Farley Granger. Two wealthy young men attempt the perfect crime by murdering a friend. B+

8:00 pm – VERTIGO (Paramount, 1958): James Stewart, Kim Novak. Hitchcock’s masterpiece about a detective who falls for a mysterious woman he’s been hired to tail. A+

10:30 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-

1:30 am – THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS (WB, 1958): Jimmy Stewart, Murray Hamilton. Stewart has the title role in the story of Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight to Paris. A

4:00 am – NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY (Fox, 1951): James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich & Glynis Johns. An engineer fights to prove that a new model airplane is not safe. B+

November 16

6:00 am – NOT SO DUMB (MGM, 1930): Marion Davies, Elliot Nugent. A scatterbrained young woman throws a big party to advance her boyfriend's career. A-

7:30 am – DULCY (MGM, 1940): Ann Sothern, Ian Hunter. A scatterbrained beauty tries to help her fiancé's career by throwing a big party. D+

9:00 am – OUR BETTERS (RKO, 1933): Constance Bennett, Violet Kemble-Cooper. An American heiress marries into the British nobility. C+

10:30 am – NO MORE LADIES (MGM, 1935): Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery & Charlie Ruggles. A society girl tries to reform her playboy husband by making him jealous. C+

12:00 pm – YOU CAN’T FOOL YOUR WIFE (RKO, 1940): Lucille Ball, James Ellison. A neglected housewife turns herself into a glamour girl to win her husband back. C

1:15 pm – WE WERE DANCING (MGM, 1942): Norma Shearer, Melvyn Douglas. A Polish princess gives up society for the love of a gigolo in this hokey adaptation of Noel Coward’s TonightC-

3:00 pm – HOLLYWOOD PARTY (MGM, 1934): Jimmy Durante, Lupe Velez. Durante and Velez celebrate the opening of their jungle film. Watch for the scene with Velez, Laurel and Hardy at a bar. B-

4:15 pm – DINNER AT EIGHT (MGM, 1933): Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow. David O. Selznick produced this excellent ensemble about the goings-on behind the scenes during an elegant dinner party. A

8:00 pm – CINDERELLA LIBERTY (Fox, 1973): James Caan, Marsha Mason. A sailor, held over temporarily in a port city, falls for a pool shark/quasi-prostitute and her illegitimate mulatto son. C+

10:15 pm – THE GOODBYE GIRL (WB, 1977): Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason. A dancer discovers her runaway boyfriend as sublet her apartment to an aspiring actor. B+

12:15 am – PROMISES IN THE DARK (WB, 1979): Marsha Mason, Ned Beatty. A doctor numbed by career demands and a recent divorce, is reawakened when she treats a dying 17-year-old cancer patient. C+

2:15 am – AUDREY ROSE (UA, 1977): Marsha Mason, Anthony Hopkins. A married couple fear their daughter is the reincarnation of a girl killed in a terrible accident. C+

November 17

6:30 am – BACHELOR APARTMENT (RKO, 1931): Lowell Sherman, Irene Dunne. Honest working girl Dunne falls for a lazy, skirt-chasing playboy in this comedy.  B-

8:00 am – THE GREAT LOVER (MGM, 1931): Adolphe Menjou, Irene Dunne. A womanizing opera star falls in love with his innocent young protégée. C

9:15 am – SYMPHONY OF SIX MILLION (RKO, 1932): Ricardo Cortez, Irene Dunne. A doctor rises from the slums to Park Avenue. B-

11:00 am – THIRTEEN WOMEN (RKO, 1932): Irene Dunne, Ricardo Cortez, & Myrna Loy. Loy is an evil Eurasian seeking revenge on the classmates who forced her to leave school. C+

12:15 pm – ANN VICKERS (RKO, 1933): Irene Dunne, Walter Huston. Social worker Dunne’s fight for reform is corrupted by her love for dishonest judge Huston. C+

1:45 pm – NO OTHER WOMAN (RKO, 1933): Irene Dunne, Charles Bickford. A newly rich couple finds their wealth driving them apart. B-

3:00 pm – THE SECRET OF MADAME BLANCHE (MGM, 1932): Irene Dunne, Lionel Atwill & Una Merkel. A woman and the son she was forced to give up years ago are brought together by a murder. B-

4:30 pm – THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (RKO, 1934): Irene Dunne, John Boles, & Lionel Atwill.  A young attorney risks his career for love of a glamorous divorcee. C

6:00 pm – ROBERTA (RKO, 1935): Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, & Ginger Rogers. A football player inherits a chic Paris fashion house. A-

8:00 pm – THE WIND (MGM, 1928) Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson. A sheltered southern girl must adapt to the wild and wooly Old West. Silent.  A+

9:45 pm – BEING THERE (Lorimar/U.A., 1979): Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine. The bigwigs and their political circle take a dispossessed idiot gardener’s ramblings as wisdom. A

12:15 am – MEAN STREETS (WB, 1973): Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel. A small time hood must choose between love, friendship, and the chance to rise in the mob. Ratings: See above.

2:30 am – McCABE AND MRS. MILLER (WB, 1971): Warren Beatty, Julie Christie. A gambler and a prostitute become partners in a remote Old West mining town. B-

4:45 am – THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (Societe Generale Des Films, 1928): Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain. Director Carl Dreyer’s acclaimed account of the trial and execution of Joan of Arc. Silent. A

November 18

6:15 am – STINGAREE (RKO, 1934): Irene Dunne, Richard Dix. An Australian bandit falls in love with the opera singer he has kidnapped. B-

7:30 am – ALL THIS, AND HEAVEN TOO (WB, 1940): Bette Davis, Charles Boyer. A French nobleman falls in love with his children’s governess. B-

10:00 am – ADAM’S RIB (MGM, 1949): Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, David Wayne, & Judy Holliday. Tracy and Hepburn are husband and wife lawyers on opposite sides in a murder case. B

2:00 pm – DONOVAN’S BRAIN (UA, 1953): Lew Ayres, Gene Evans & Nancy Davis. A scientist keeps an unscrupulous tycoon's brain alive and falls under its influence. B

6:15 pm – WESTWORLD (MGM, 1973): Yul Brenner, Richard Benjamin. A futuristic amusement park turns deadly when its robot workers go on a killing spree. B+

8:00 pm – REAR WINDOW (Paramount, 1954): James Stewart, Grace Kelly. Stewart is a photographer with a broken leg who uncovers a murder while spying on the other tenants in his building. A+

10:15 pm – HIGH SOCIETY (MGM, 1956): Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly.  Sinatra and Crosby shine in this musical remake of The Philadelphia StoryA-

12:15 am – GREEN FIRE (MGM, 1955): Stewart Granger, Grace Kelly. An emerald prospector clashes with a beautiful plantation owner in South America. B-

2:00 am – BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA (AIP, 1973): Pam Grier, Margaret Markov. A Black hooker in jail on trumped-up charges is chained to a political prisoner. Together, they escape their island penal colony. C-

3:45 am – HIT MAN (MGM, 1972): Bernie Casey, Pam Grier. A racketeer shoots up L.A.’s underworld searching for his missing brother in this remake of Get CarterD+

November 19

6:00 am – DOUBLE HARNESS (RKO, 1933): Ann Harding, William Powell. After tricking a playboy into marriage, a woman sets out to win his love honestly. B+

7:30 am – THE RAZOR’S EDGE (Fox, 1946): Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter & Gene Tierney. A young man's quest for spiritual peace threatens his position in society. A-

12:00 pm – SHOW BOAT (MGM, 1951): Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel. Grayson and Keel lead an all-star cast in MGM’s splashy remake of the 1936 musical about life on a Mississippi showboat. B-

2:00 pm – PLYMOUTH ADVENTURE (MGM, 1952): Spencer Tracy, Gene Tierney, & Van Johnson. An all-star cast in this superficial dramatization of the Pilgrims’ landing. C+

8:00 pm – FORBIDDEN PLANET (MGM, 1956): Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, & Anne Francis. Interesting adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest recast as a space opera. Beware the Id. A

10:00 pm – THE INVISIBLE BOY (MGM, 1957): Richard Eyer, Philip Abbott. A boy’s robot playmate (Robby the Robot) is taken over by aliens. C+

12:00 pm – THE SINGLE STANDARD (MGM, 1929): Greta Garbo, Nils Asther. A free-spirited debutante tries to prove that women can love as carelessly as men. Silent. C

2:15 am – MARKETA LAZAROVA (Filmové studio Barrandov, 1967): Josef Kemr, Magda Vásáryová. In medieval times, as Christianity replaces paganism, a minor Czech clan falls afoul of the king. A+

November 20

6:00 am – MY FAVORITE WIFE (RKO, 1940): Irene Dunne, Cary Grant & Randolph Scott. Dunne is excellent as a shipwrecked woman rescued in time for her husband’s re-marriage in this screwball comedy. A

7:45 am – PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART (RKO, 1933): Ginger Rogers, Norman Foster, & ZaSu Pitts. A radio star’s pure image leads to a fake engagement to a hayseed. C

9:15 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

10:45 am – BACHELOR MOTHER (RKO, 1939): Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn. A shop-clerk is mistaken for the mother of a foundling in this lively comedy written by Norman Krasna. A

12:15 pm – THE FEMININE TOUCH (MGM, 1941): Rosalind Russell, Don Ameche, & Kay Francis. A psychology professor writing a book on jealousy finds his wife is an expert on the subject. B

2:00 pm – 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

6:00 pm – BRINGING UP BABY (RKO, 1938): Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn. Howard Hawks directed this great screwball comedy about a naïve professor who is pursued by a dizzy heiress with a pet leopard. B

8:00 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+

10:00 pm – THE BRAVE ONE (RKO, 1956): Michel Ray, Rodolfo Hoyos. A Mexican boy saves his pet bull from death in the bullring by securing a pardon from the president. B+

12:00 am – CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY (British Lion, 1952): Canada Lee, Sidney Portier. A simple country minister journeying to Johannesburg in search of his son meets a wealthy, bigoted white landowner. A

2:00 am – RIFIFI (Pathe Consortium Cinema, 1955): Jean Servais, Carl Mohner & Robert Manuel. Jules Dassin’s brilliant crime caper about four men who plan the perfect jewel heist, but forget human frailty. A+

4:15 am – THE BIG NIGHT (UA, 1951): John Barrymore, Jr, Preston Foster. An emotional teenager takes on the mob when gangsters beat up his father. B-

November 21

6:30 am – SHADOW IN THE SKY (MGM, 1952): Ralph Meeker, Nancy Davis. A shell-shocked veteran tries to recover his sanity while living with his sister. C+

8:00 am – TERESA (MGM, 1951): Pier Angeli, John Ericson. An Italian war bride has problems dealing with her husband's possessive mother. C

10:00 am – GLORY ALLEY (MGM, 1952): Ralph Meeker, Leslie Caron. Meeker is a boxer whose drinking seriously affects his performance in the ring. C+

11:30 pm – CODE TWO (MGM, 1953): Ralph Meeker, Robert Horton, and Jeff Richards train to become motorcycle cops. Keenan Wynn is their drill instructor. D

12:45 pm – JEOPARDY (MGM, 1953): Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan & Ralph Meeker. Stanwyck tries to save hubby Sullivan from drowning, but is kidnapped by killer-on-the-lam Meeker. C+

2:15 pm – RUN OF THE ARROW (Universal, 1957): Rod Steiger, Ralph Meeker. An embittered Confederate soldier (Steiger) heads west and joins the Sioux in their fight to keep their lands. C+

6:00 pm – WALL OF NOISE (WB, 1963): Suzanne Pleshette, Ty Hardin & Dorothy Provine. Story of an ambitious horse trainer working at the Hollywood Race Track. C-

8:00 pm – FRIENDLY PERSUASION (Allied Artists, 1956): Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire. When Southern troops pass through Indiana, a Quaker family finds its pacifist principles are tested. C+

10:30 pm – THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (Columbia, 1957): Alec Guinness, William Holden. David Lean directed this epic story of POWS forced by the Japanese to build a bridge in Burma. A+

1:30 am – 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+

3:30 am – THE LAW VS. BILLY THE KID (Columbia, 1954): Scott Brady, Betta St. John & Paul Cavanagh. The young outlaw tries to go straight. Directed by William Castle. C

5:00 am – ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE (UA, 1954): Daniel O’Herlihy, Jaime Fernández. A shipwrecked Englishman fights to survive on a desert island. A+

November 22

9:15 am – THUNDER BAY (Universal, 1953): James Stewart, Joanne Dru & Gilbert Roland. Oil men battle fishermen for the rights to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. A-

11:15 am – THE MOUNTAIN ROAD (Columbia, 1960): James Stewart, Lisa Lu & Glenn Corbett. An American officer helps villagers against the Japanese during WWII. C+

1:15 pm – THE F.B.I. STORY (WB, 1959): James Stewart, Vera Miles. Mervyn LeRoy directed this romanticized history of the organization as seen through one agent’s eyes. B

4:00 pm – CARBINE WILLIAMS (MGM, 1952): James Stewart, Jean Hagen. Stewart is wonderful in this true story of the bootlegger who fought for his freedom by inventing a new rifle. A-

6:00 pm – SHENANDOAH (Universal, 1965): James Stewart, Doug McClure. A Virginia farmer fights to keep his family together during the Civil War. B

8:00 pm – THE GLENN MILLER STORY (MGM, 1954): James Stewart, June Allyson. Stewart stars in this biopic of the famed bandleader whose plane went down over the English Channel during World War II. A-

10:15 pm – HARVEY (Universal, 1950): James Stewart, Wallace Ford & Victoria Horne. A wealthy eccentric prefers the company of an invisible six-foot rabbit to his family. A

12:15 am – 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-

2:15 am – THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (Paramount, 1956): James Stewart, Doris Day. Hitchcock’s remake of his 1934 thriller is not as good as the original. It’s most notable for Day ‘s “Que Sera, Sera.” B

4:15 am – REAR WINDOW (Paramount, 1954): James Stewart, Grace Kelly. Stewart is a photographer with a broken leg who uncovers a murder while spying on the other tenants in his building. A+


TCM TiVo ALERT
For
November 8–November 14

DAVID’S BEST BETS:

THE MORTAL STORM (November 8, 10:00 pm): It's surprising that this hard-hitting anti-Nazi film was made in 1940 and released about 18 months before the United States got involved in World War II. It's an extraordinarily powerful movie about what happens to a group of friends in a small Bavarian town when the Nazis take over Germany and attempt to conquer Europe. Not only is the acting outstanding, particularly Jimmy Stewart as an anti-Nazi, and Robert Young, who become a Nazi zealot, but the story is uncompromising and tragic. It's one of Stewart's finest roles. It still holds up well.

SUMMER WITH MONIKA (November 12, 2:45 am): It's directed by Ingmar Bergman with Harriet Andersson in the starring role. Need I write more? Even if Bergman films aren't your thing – and if that's the case, it's time to review your cinematic priorities – this is well-worth seeing. Andersson's portrayal of the adventurous, wild and sexy Monika is unforgettable. Monika and Harry (Lars Ekborg) are working-class teenage lovers who steal Harry's father's boat and spend a memorable summer together. Monika gets pregnant, but isn't interested in the family live while Harry embraces it. The film explores topics such as lost innocence, responsibility, freedom, oppression, hopelessness and abandonment. 

ED’S BEST BETS:

THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (Nov. 8, 8:00 pm): Ernest Lubitsch was at his absolute best when he directed this wonderful gem about two feuding co-workers at a Budapest notions store who do not realize that they are secret romantic pen pals. Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan, as the employees, bring the concept of charm to its ideal. They are aided and abetted by a sterling cast, including Frank Morgan (in one of the best performances), Joseph Schildkraut, Sara Haden, Felix Bressart, William Tracy, and Inez Courtney. It boasts a superb script by Samson Raphaelson, who adapted it from Nikolaus Laszlo’s play, Parfumerie. In fact, the film was so compelling that it was later remade as a Judy Garland musical, In the Good Old Summertime (1949), a Broadway musical, She Loves Me (1963, revived in 1993), and the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan vehicle, You’ve Got Mail (1998), where the lovers correspond via e-mail. However, the original still stands head and shoulders above the remakes and is an essential.

SCARFACE, SHAME OF A NATION (Nov. 14, midnight): Director Howard Hawks and screenwriter Ben Hecht’s tour de force about the rise and fall of a violent gangster (based on Al Capone) took over a year to get past the censors but it was well worth the trouble. Muni is predictably hammy, but mesmerizing, as Tony Camonte, a small time hood who rises to the top of the heap. Ann Dvorak and Karen Morley also shine as Tony’s sister and main squeeze, respectively. And who can forget George Raft, flipping that nickel, as Camonte’s loyal gunsel. It’s way better than Brian DePalma’s ultra-violent 1983 remake. The only fun of watching both back to back is to see who chews the most scenery, Paul Muni or Al Pacino.

WE AGREE ON ... JULES AND JIM (Nov. 10, 3:15 pm)

ED: A+. It was only the third feature film he directed, but it is one of the most influential and heralded films of the French New Wave. The movie follows the relationship between two friends, Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) and the object of their mutual and lasting obsession, Catherine (Jeanne Moreau) over the course of 25 years. Though it may seem like a story of an enduring love triangle, it is actually a sublime and moving story about what happens when an uncompromising friendship meets uncontrollable love. Set in the period between the two world wars, we see the friendship of Jules and Jim develop and later put to the test when they meet and fall for Catherine. At first she marries Jules and they move to Austria. They have a daughter and all seems well. But Jules confesses to Jim that Catherine has run away repeatedly during their marriage and had several affairs. To keep her happy he suggests sharing her with Jim. But what no one realizes is that the happy youth and freedom they shared is gone and no accommodation in adulthood will bring it back. While Jules and Jim try to come to terms with this change, Catherine simply cannot and she acts out in an unforgettable manner. The title may be Jules and Jim, but this is Catherine’s film and Moreau makes the most of it. Other actresses might have portrayed Catherine as insane, but Moreau understood that the key to her complex character is her unpredictability. Insanity may be boiling below the surface, but she hangs onto a basic principle of never acting as expected and she uses this unpredictability to test the love the men both have for her. It is only when Jim finally refuses one of her requests that she snaps, and her final words to Jules (“Jules, watch us carefully!”) are only made sadder by their poignancy. Considering he was 29 and this was only his third feature, Truffaut does a marvelous job of direction, using narration to move the story along quickly and painlessly without lingering. Raoul Coutard’s cinematography is almost flawless, blending smooth tracking shots with shaky hand-held camera shots. Combined with Truffaut’s use of jump cuts and freeze frames, it gives us an emotional connection with the characters, which heightens our shock and intensifies our sadness in the final scenes. Jules and Jim is an abject lesson is what happens when obsession and the longing for freedom take the place of love as seen in the characters’ basic inability to love one another, even though they profess to be in love.

DAVID: A+. This is one of the finest films ever made and while I don't have a favorite movie, this one is definitely in the top five. It is as much a piece of art as a master painting, a captivating song or a brilliant poem. The plot takes place over a period of about 25 years before, during and after World War I, depicting the intense friendship between two men – Jules (Oskar Werner), an Austrian, and Jim (Henri Serre), a Frenchman – that is stronger than many marriages, and how it evolves because of the presence of Catherine (Jeanne Moreau, one of cinema's all-time best actresses), an impulsive, captivating and enchanting woman. Catherine loves both men, marrying Jules before the war – he and Jim are fighting for opposing countries and are fearful they'll meet in combat. After the war, Jim visits Jules and Catherine, who have a daughter. But things aren't good between the couple and Catherine, who's had several affairs, falls for Jim. Jules' love for her is so great that he agrees to divorce Catherine so she can marry Jim with all three of them, and the child, living together. But that marriage also has its problems. Jim leaves, but plans to return when Catherine becomes pregnant with his child. They don't get back together because of a miscarriage with Jules and Catherine becoming a couple again. That too is short-lived when the three meet years later and Catherine wants to get back together with Jim, who loves her but realizes there's no future for them as a happy couple. The acting is extraordinary, the voice-over narration by Michel Subor greatly enhances the storyline – narration can easily kill a movie – and everything works to perfection from the beautiful cinematography that uses photos, freeze-frame, archived footage and tracking shots to the storyline adapted from Henri-Pierre Roché’s book to Georges Delerue’s soundtrack. Passion and the impact it has on people is something director Francois Truffaut focuses on in a number of films, including The Woman Next Door. While the ending to that 1981 film is outstanding and memorable, the conclusion of Jules and Jim is even better. 

Schedule Subject to Change (All times Eastern)

November 8

6:30 am – NAVY BLUE AND GOLD (MGM, 1937): Robert Young, James Stewart, Tom Brown, & Lionel Barrymore. Three Midshipmen buddies adjust to life and football at the Navel Academy. B-

8:15 am – BORN TO DANCE (MGM, 1936): Eleanor Powell, James Stewart. Stewart sings! Entertaining nonsense about a sailor who meets a girl at the Lonely Hearts Club and falls in love. C

10:15 am – SMALL TOWN GIRL (MGM, 1936): Janet Gaynor, Robert Taylor. After marrying a drunken playboy, his bride tries to win his heart while he’s sober. B-

12:15 pm – IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD (MGM, 1939): Claudette Colbert, James Stewart. Runaway poet Colbert helps unjustly accused Stewart prove his innocence. C

1:45 pm – THE SHOPWORN ANGEL: (MGM, 1938): Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart. Showgirl Sullivan gives up life in the fast lane for a young soldier on his way to the front in World War I. B+

3:30 pm – OF HUMAN HEARTS (MGM, 1938): Walter Huston, James Stewart. A rebellious son neglects his parents after enlisting in the Civil War. C+

5:30 pm – YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU (Columbia, 1938): James Stewart, Jean Arthur. Capra’s adaptation of the Kaufman-Hart play about a man from a staid family engaged to a woman from an eccentric family. A-

8:00 pm – THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER  (WB, 1940): James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan. Bickering co-workers Stewart and Sullavan do not know that they are secret romantic pen pals. A+

10:00 pm – THE MORTAL STORM (MGM, 1940): James Stewart, Frank Morgan & Margaret Sullavan. An uncompromising look at what occurs in a small town in Germany when the Nazis come to power. A

12:00 am – THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (MGM, 1940): Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn & James Stewart. Society lady Hepburn finds herself being wooed by ex-husband Grant and tabloid reporter Stewart. A-

2:00 am – CALL NORTHSIDE 777 (20th Century Fox, 1948): James Stewart, Richard Conte, & Lee J. Cobb. Convinced the man is innocent, reporter Stewart re-opens a ten-year old murder case. B+

4:00 am – THE STRATTON STORY (MGM, 1949): James Stewart, June Allyson. Based on the true story of pitcher Monty Stratton, who made a comeback after losing a leg in a hunting accident. B

November 9

6:00 am – THE BIG PARADE (MGM, 1925): John Gilbert, Renee Adoree. King Vidor’s powerful film on the horrors of World War I made John Gilbert a major star. A+

8:45 am – CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (Alpine Productions, 1967): Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau. Welles directed and starred in this film about Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff, the roistering companion to young Prince HalA

10:45 am – THE DIRTY DOZEN (MGM, 1967): Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine & Charles Bronson. A renegade officer trains a group of misfits for a crucial mission behind enemy lines. A-

2:00 pm – THE STEEL HELMET (Lippert, 1951): Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie. American trapped behind North Korean lines must fight their way back. Directed by Samuel Fuller. A

3:30 pm – THE BURMESE HARP (Nikkatsu, 1956): Rentaro Mikuni, Shoji Yasui. A Japanese private sent to convince his comrades in Burma to surrender at the end of WW2 undergoes a religious experience. A  

5:30 pm – THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (MGM, 1945): Robert Montgomery, John Wayne. A Navy commander fights to prove the seaworthiness of PT boats at the start of World War Two. B+

8:00 pm – ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM (20th Century Fox, 1946): Irene Dunne, Rex Harrison. This is the original film about the English teacher who travels to Siam to tutor the king’s children. A+

10:30 pm – KISMET (MGM, 1944): Ronald Colman, Marlene Dietrich. From the Arabian Nights: the king of the beggars enters high society to help his daughter marry a handsome prince. B-

12:30 am – LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Filmgroup, 1960): Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph. A nerdy young man nurtures a bloodthirsty plant that must constantly be fed. B-  

2:00 am – AUNTIE MAME (WB, 1958): Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker, & Coral Browne. An orphaned young boy goes to live with his free-spirited aunt (Russell). A-

4:00 am – GIGI (Codo, 1949): Gaby Morlay, Jean Tissler. A Parisian girl raised to be a kept woman has dreams of love and marriage. This is the original French version. B+

November 10

6:15 am – PAGAN LOVE SONG (MGM, 1950): Esther Williams, Howard Keel. American tourist Keel romances local beauty Williams while on vacation in Tahiti. C

9:30 am – WILD ORCHIDS (MGM, 1929): Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone & Nils Asther. A married woman falls for another man while on a trip to Indonesia. Silent. C+

11:15 am – VACATION FROM MARRIAGE (MGM, 1945): Robert Donat, Deborah Kerr. A couple changed by their service in World War II dread their reunion. B+

1:00 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+

3:15 pm – JULES AND JIM (Les Films du Carrosse, 1962): Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner. Francois Truffaut directed this story of a tempestuous beauty that comes between two college friends. A+

5:15 pm – LOLITA (MGM, 1962): Peter Sellers, James Mason, & Sue Lyon. Stanley Kubrick’s classic about middle-aged man Mason in love with teenager Lyon. B

8:00 pm – CINEMA PARADISIO (Miramax, 1988): Philippe Noiret, Jacques Perrin. A boy coming of age in WWII Italy begins a love affair with the movies. A+

10:00 pm – LONELY ARE THE BRAVE (Universal, 1962): Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands & Walter Matthau. Modern-day cowboy Douglas defies the law to live as a free man. B

12:30 am – THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (Paramount, 1966): Natalie Wood, Robert Redford. A small-town girl fights her mother's opposition when she falls for a big-city businessman. C+

2:45 am – THE FOUR FEATHERS (London Film, 1939): John Clements, Ralph Richardson. A disgraced officer risks his life to help his childhood friends in battle. A-

5:00 am – FREE AND EASY (MGM, 1941): Robert Cummings, Ruth Hussey & Judith Anderson. A father and son compete in the search for rich wives. B+

November 11

6:00 am – ONE MAN’S JOURNEY (MGM, 1933): Lionel Barrymore and Joel McCrea play father and son doctors who disagree over the son’s materialism. B

9:00 am – STRATEGIC AIR COMMEND (Paramount, 1955): James Stewart, June Allyson. A baseball star takes to the air to help plan the U.S. aerial defense. C+

2:00 pm – WHERE EAGLES DARE (MGM, 1969): Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood. An Allied team sets out to rescue an American officer held prisoner in a mountaintop castle. B+

5:00 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+

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

10:15 pm – SERGEANT RUTLEDGE (WB, 1960): Jeffrey Hunter, Constance Towers & Woody Strode. A 19th-century lawyer tries to clear a black man of rape and murder charges. A

12:15 am – SERGEANT YORK (WB, 1941): Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan. Howard Hawks directed this morale film based on the true story of Alvin York, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War I. B+

2:45 am – RED SONJA (MGM, 1985): Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brigitte Nielsen & Sandahl Bergman. A woman seeks revenge on the evil queen by stealing her magic orb. D

4:30 am – THE BEASTMASTER (MGM, 1982): Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts. Armed with supernatural powers, the handsome hero and his animal allies wage war against marauding forces. C-

November 12

6:30 am – 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-

11:15 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+

1:00 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+

5:45 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 am – NIGHT AND THE CITY (20th Century Fox, 1950): Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney. A low-level hustler tries his hand promoting professional wrestling in London. A+

8:00 pm – APRIL LOVE (Fox, 1957): Pat Boone, Shirley Jones. A young man visiting his relatives in Kentucky falls in love with their neighbor. C+

10:00 pm – BERNADINE (Fox, 1957): Pat Boone, Terry Moore & Janet Gaynor. A gullible boy meets the girl of his dreams. C

12:00 pm – LAILA (Lunde Film, 1929): Mona Martenson, Tryggve Larssen. A spirited Norwegian Lass is torn between two suits and two cultures. Silent. A

2:45 am – SUMMER WITH MONIKA (Svensk Filmindustri, 2007): Harriet Anderson, Lars Ekborg. A working-class couple’s affair leads to marriage and a family. Directed by Ingmar BergmanA+

4:30 am – ALL THESE WOMEN (Svensk Filmindustri, 1964): Jarl Kulle, Georg Funkquist. A critic's efforts to write a biography are hampered by all the women in his subject's house. B-

November 13

6:00 am – 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

8:00 am – 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+

10:00 am – THE AGE OF INNOCENCE (Columbia, 1993): Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer. 19th century lawyer Day-Lewis risks his standing in society when he falls for his fiancée’s married cousin. A-

12:30 pm – AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (20th Cent. Fox, 1957): Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr. A playboy and singer agree to meet in six months at the Empire State Building though engaged to others. C+

6:00 pm – SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (MGM, 1964): Rod Taylor, Jane Fonda. A philandering pilot changes his ways fast when his sister contemplates a premarital fling. C+

8:00 pm – FORCE OF EVIL (MGM, 1949): John Garfield, Thomas Gomez & Marie Windsor. A crooked lawyer tries to protect his numbers running brother from a ruthless crime boss. A-

9:45 pm – THE MAN I MARRIED (Fox, 1940): Joan Bennett, Francis Lederer & Lloyd Nolan. An American woman learns that her German husband is a Nazi sympathizer. A

11:15 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

1:00 am – HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (Columbia, 1941): Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains. A prizefighter who died before his time is reincarnated as a tycoon with a murderous wife. A+

3:00 am – THE NAKED CITY (Universal-International, 1948): Barry Sullivan, Don Taylor. A story, told in semi-documentary style, about the search for the killer of beautiful model Jean Dexter. B

5:00 am – HONKY TONK (MGM, 1941): Clark Gable, Lana Turner. Turner is a young girl who falls in love with gambler Gable. Chill Wills is Gable’s sidekick and Albert Dekker as the heel. A-

November 14

7:00 am – THE KING’S VACATION (WB, 1933): George Arliss, Marjorie Gateson. A monarch thinks he can find a simpler life with his former wife. C+

10:00 am – IT HAPPENED TOMORROW (UA, 1944): Dick Powell, Linda Darnell & Jack Oakie. A newspaper editor writes headlines that predict the future. A

11:30 am – CORNERED (RKO, 1945): Dick Powell, Walter Slezak. A great noir with Powell as an ex-WWII POW hunting down the Nazi collaborators responsible for the death of his wife. A-

1:30 pm –  A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM (WB, 1935): James Cagney, Joe E. Brown & Mickey Rooney. Director Max Reinhardt’s staging of the Shakespeare play. Cagney (Bottom) and Rooney (Puck) are excellent. B+

4:00 pm – THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (MGM, 1952): Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner & Dick Powell. A ruthless producer whose career is now on the rocks needs the help of those he’s crossed over the years. A-

6:15 pm – MURDER, MY SWEET (RKO, 1944): Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, and Mike Mazurki. Powell is Raymond Chandler’s private eye Philip Marlowe in this adaptation of Farewell, My LovelyA+

8:00 pm – HE RAN ALL THE WAY (UA, 1951): John Garfield, Shelley Winters. A crook on the run hides out at an innocent girl’s apartment. C+

9:30 pm – ANTHONY ADVERSE (WB, 1935): Frederic March, Olivia DeHavilland. March is an orphan that runs off to a life of adventure before returning to France to find the girl he left behind. A

12:00 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

2:00 am – A LETTER FOR EVIE (MGM, 1946): Marsha Hunt, John Carroll. A timid soldier sends his buddy's picture to a romantic pen pal. C

3:45 am – A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (WB, 1951): Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh. Fading southern belle Leigh tries to build a new life when she moves in with her sister and brutish brother-in-law. A+

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1 comment:

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

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