TCM Week: Feb 27-March 4

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.

Monday, February 27
As I’ve been saying all month, with the 31 Days of Oscar (ending March 2), it’s really difficult to go wrong. There’s a lot of well-known ones on the schedule for today, so I wanted to spotlight 1947’s Boomerang (3:00 p.m.), a lesser-known film noir considered by its director Elia Kazan to be his “breakthrough film,”  in which he applied newsreel-style documentary techniques to Hollywood storytelling. However, he didn’t really value his star, Dana Andrews, so I’m interested to see how it all worked out. Nominated for Best Screenplay.


Tuesday, February 28

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
***TCM PARTY***
John Huston directs a story by Rudyard Kipling in which a couple of ne’er-do-well British Army officers (Sean Connery and Michael Caine) are mistaken for gods and live it up…until the day they’re found out. Nominated for Best Art Direction, Costume Design, Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. Check out #TCMParty on Twitter…watch and tweet along!

Wednesday, February 29
6:00 a.m. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
I was so surprised to read about the tortuous production of this film. If it had a Facebook profile, its relationship status would be “It’s complicated.” And yet it turned out perfectly. Starring Conrad Veidt as the evil Jaffar and Sabu as the titular thief; directed by Ludwig Berger, Michael Powell and Tim Whelan (see what I mean?)

Gene Tierney as Poppy in The Shanghai Gesture.

8:00 p.m. The Shanghai Gesture (1941)
“[A] tale of murder and mayhem in a Chinese bordello” directed by Josef von Sternberg of The Blue Angel and Morocco fame. Nominated for Best Art Direction and Musical Score.

Thursday, March 1
10:30 p.m. From Here to Eternity (1953)
***TCM PARTY***
Various military personnel (Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra) and their wives/girlfriends (Donna Reed, Deborah Kerr) experience trials and tribulations in the days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Won Best Picture, Director (Fred Zinneman), Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Sinatra), Supporting Actress (Reed), Cinematography, Editing, and Sound Recording. Nominated for Best Actor (Clift and Lancaster), Actress (Kerr), Costume Design, and Score. Check out #TCMParty on Twitter…watch and tweet along!

Friday, March 2
2:00 p.m. A Guy Named Joe (1943)
WWII pilot Pete (Spencer Tracy) is shot down and sent back to Earth to show a newbie flyer (Van Johnson) the ropes. Complications ensue when Ted begins courting civilian pilot Dorinda (Irene Dunne), who was Pete’s girl. I love this movie…guaranteed waterworks. Nominated for Best Writing (Original Story).

11:30 p.m. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
***TCM PARTY***
Check out #TCMParty on Twitter…watch and tweet along!

Saturday, March 3
8:00 p.m. Some Like It Hot (1959)
***TCM PARTY***
I watch this every time it’s on and I think I recommend it every time. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis play musicians on the run from gangsters; the only band they can join is women-only. The grand-daddy of Tootsie, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Bosom Buddies. The 31 Days of Oscar ends on Friday, but I just want to point out that Hot won Best Costume Design and was nominated for Best Director, Actor (Lemmon), Art Direction, Cinematography, and Writing. Check out #TCMParty on Twitter…watch and tweet along!

Sunday, March 4
12:15 a.m. (Mon.) The Temptress (1926)
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t know too awful much about silents. But I’m learning. This is one and it stars Greta Garbo as a, um, temptress.

4:00 a.m. (Mon.) La Jetée (1962)
A short film about time travel, created almost entirely from still photos, La Jetée influenced works as varied as a Sigue Sigue Sputnik video and 12 Monkeys.

18 thoughts on “TCM Week: Feb 27-March 4

  1. A Guy Named Joe was the “big break” for Van Johnson. Unfortunately, he was in a horrific car accident that severely damaged his face. He was going to be dropped from the movie, and his scenes reshot, but Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne would have none ofvthat, and forced the movie to be postponed until Van recovered to continue his role. It’s relatively easy to tell which scenes were shot before and after. BTW, although Van usually wore heavy makeup to conceal them, he showed his scars in a couple of his best movies, Battleground and The Caine Mutiny.

    1. Wow, I never knew. It’s difficult to imagine it with someone else in the Ted role. I guess I thought he was wearing makeup in The Caine Mutiny. Very interesting Bernie, thanks for this info!

  2. Ah, Some like it hot, an old classic, great funny film. And anything that Spencer Tracy stars in I”m there.

  3. From Here To Eternity is one of my all-time favorite films, and is absolutely worth all of the honors it received. However, if it had followed the book, the character played by George Reeves would have been the main character. George was a well-regarded actor, and this movie was to have been a major showcase for him. Unfortunately, for him, a movie serial he’d made a couple of years earlier, and which he thought was a dead end, took early television by storm. The Adventures of Superman made George Reeves a superstar with the Baby Boomers, but it also resulted in most of his scenes in From Here to Eternity being cut, as test audiences could only see him as Superman. Supposedly, this limitation on his career lead to his alleged suicide a few years later, but the real story of his death will, most likely, never be known. It was the subject of the movie Hollywoodland, with Ben Affleck portraying Reeves.

    1. Wow…that is some really severe typecasting. I sort of remembered from Hollywoodland that his identification with Superman hurt his film career, I didn’t realize that From Here To Eternity was the film concerned. IIRC they showed a cinema full of people at a test screening laughing when he’s onscreen. It sort of hedged on how he actually died. So interesting because I remember him as one of Tarleton twins in Gone With The Wind. To me, Superman is Christopher Reeve. Once again, great info and context Bernie! Thanks so much 🙂

    1. Plus Oscar winner Christopher Plummer as Kipling. yes…i agree, you might want to. Let me know what you think if you do 🙂 it’s more violent than I remembered though, it had been like 5 years. Stray thought…I think if they were going to remake it, Russell Crowe should play the Connery role and Ewan McGregor the Caine role.

      1. So it’s Bond, Alfred AND Captain Von Trapp?? I’m in! 😀

        Say, I’d love to hear what you think about my latest pitch. You like film noir right? Well it’s kinda my attempt to create something in that genre, crime drama specifically, set in the 60s.

  4. Hi, Paula and company:

    Good looking weekend!

    Caught ‘In Harm’s Way’ late last night. One of the better ‘Big Picture’ WWII in the Pacific flicks. The scene where Kirk Douglas slaps around Patrick O’ Neal for being Patrick O’ Neal is always worth staying up for.

    Have everything ready for ‘The Right Stuff’ tonight and ‘Some Like it Hot’ tomorrow night.

    1. Thanks Jack! Lots of good viewing in store. In Harm’s Way was way past my bedtime LOL I’ll have to look for that one at some point. I like The Right Stuff as well, what a solid ensemble cast that has. Maybe you can stop by the #TCMParty for Some Like It Hot?

      1. Hi, Paula:

        The strong point of ‘The Right Stuff’ is its dead ringer cast of then unknown or little known cast of Astronauts. Excellent model work as well in a time when CGI was still in its infancy and cost prohibitive.

        The ‘Some Like It Hot’ party sounds like fun. Alas, I neither text or tweet. Though I may add a comment or two here.

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