TCM Week spotlights a highly subjective selection of the week’s essential or undiscovered films on the Turner Classic Movies channel to help plan movie viewing, DVR scheduling or TCM Party attendance. All times are EST.
I’m having trouble limiting myself during the 31 Days of Oscar…if I could, I’d call in every day for the month and just watch TCM. But that’s out of the question, so here are my highlights for the week. Remember though, you can’t really go wrong with anything on the channel this month.
Monday, February 13
8:00 p.m. Z (1969)
This French political thriller is a thinly veiled depiction of the 1963 assassination of a Greek pacifist politician and doctor, Grigoris Lambrakis (played by Yves Montand), and the subsequent cover-up by the military dictatorship in power at the time. Any resemblance actual persons and events, the disclaimer reads, is entirely intentional. It has been a while since I saw this, but the questions and fears it raises are still relevant today.
Tuesday, February 14
8:00 p.m. Top Hat (1935)
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ biggest hit is perfect for Valentine’s Day. Mistaken identity leads to true love. It’s also the excuse for great dancing, awesome songs and elaborate sets. Don’t blink or you might miss Lucille Ball in a cameo. Find us on Twitter with hashtag #TCMParty…watch and tweet along!
Wednesday, February 15
1:00 p.m. Air Force (1943)
Just when I think I’ve seen every film Howard Hawks ever directed, I see this in the schedule. And if there ever was a sucker for WWII movies, I am it. With John Garfield and Harry Carey Sr.
Thursday, February 16
9:00 a.m. Sundown (1941)
In Kenya, a couple of British officers are basically sitting out the war, enjoying the “best part of the day, sundown. Nothing more to do in a place where there’s nothing to do anyway.” That all changes when rules-oriented Major Coombs (George Sanders) takes over the casually-run outpost and Zia (Gene Tierney), a beautiful trader, shows up, eventually helping the British fight the Nazis. Known for “the sumptuous [and Oscar-nominated] black-and-white cinematography of Charles Lang” and the nominated score by Miklós Rózsa.
Friday, February 17
10:30 p.m. Gone with the Wind (1939)
There’s nothing I can say about this film that hasn’t already been said, except that, although parts of it make me very uncomfortable, I really like it quite a bit; that it was my grandmother’s favorite movie so I’ve seen it so many times that I can recite it from memory; and that I was very proud a few years back when a Facebook quiz told me that the GWTW character I’m most like is Mammy, who I think is the only character with consistently good sense. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. Then come back and watch this clip from The Carol Burnett Show (below). I think it was done with a lot of love. Find us on Twitter with hashtag #TCMParty…watch and tweet along!