TCM Week: March 12-18

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.

Familiar to millions: A Taste of Honey author & Louder Than Bombs cover star Shelagh Delaney

Monday, March 12
A Kind of Loving (1962)
TCM’s British New Wave Mondays continue with five films tonight, beginning with A Kind of Loving at 8 p.m., followed by The L-Shaped Room (10 p.m.), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (12:15 a.m.), and A Taste of Honey (2:15 a.m. Tues.), all released in the US in 1962, and Girl with Green Eyes (1964) at 4:00 a.m. (Tues.). These films promise to be a treasure trove of references for fans of English singer-songwriter Morrissey, who borrowed freely from them during his time with the Smiths and his solo career. As early as 1984, Morrissey was shouting out A Taste of Honey and The L-Shaped Room, and it has always frustrated me that these two films, along with quite a few other British works mentioned by Morrissey as favorites or influences, haven’t been available in the US. The writer Shelagh Delaney, who wrote the book upon which A Taste of Honey is based, definitely provided a lot of inspiration to him. It seems as if nearly every line was appropriated by Moz in some form. In 2006, he told Mojo magazine, “I know I overdid it with Shelagh Delaney. It took me a long, long time to shed that particular one.” Guest hosted by @mercurie80

Tuesday, March 13
1:30 a.m. (Weds.) The Lodger (1944)
George Sanders Alert
This is not the 1926 version directed by Alfred Hitchcock; this one was directed by John Brahm and stars the gorgeous Merle Oberon as a dance hall girl who lives with her aunt and uncle in Victorian London. Jack the Ripper is on the loose but the family is broke and must take in a lodger, a sinister-seeming weirdo (Laird Cregar). George Sanders is the detective on the case. Foggy, atmospheric and creepy old-school thriller.

Wednesday, March 14
EDIT: 8:00 p.m. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
It’s old-school vs. Method as Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando star in Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

2:00 a.m. (Thursday) Hotel (1967)
I love this movie so I was happy to see that no less an august personage than Martin Scorsese has given it his imprimatur…sort of. He wrote in this month’s Now Playing, “it’s actually become more interesting over the years….it’s like a snapshot of the shared American cultural horizon in the late ’60s, or at least a piece of it.” And who am I to argue? With Elizabeth Taylor, Karl Malden, Merle Oberon and a cast of, um, tens.

Thursday, March 15
10:00 p.m. The Whole Town’s Talking (1935)
Edward G. Robinson plays a hardware clerk who is a little on the meek side. He also happens to have a lookalike who is an infamous gangster wanted by the law. A series of plot twists lead him to take on the gangster’s identity. I haven’t seen this in a while but I remember being disturbed by the underlying message. Basically the hardware clerk is much happier and better off when he’s acting the thug. Carl Jung himself couldn’t have come up with a better representation of the “shadow” self though. Also starring the lovely and talented Jean Arthur; directed by John Ford.

Friday, March 16
8:00 p.m. Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Clash of the Titans (1981)
Greek mythology done right, with effects by Ray Harryhausen, “the father of modern special effects pictures.” Guest hosted by @DraconicVerses

Saturday, March 17
Stereotypes Alert
TCM is apparently in violation of the Federal statute that dictates that they must show The Quiet Man on St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, they’ve got some lesser-known Irish-themed movies today until 8:00 p.m. The most interesting-looking one is scheduled at 10:45 a.m., The Irish In Us (1935). It’s one of only three films that James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland did together (not counting documentaries…the other two are A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935) and The Strawberry Blonde (1941)). Directed by Lloyd Bacon (42nd Street).

Sunday, March 18
8:00 p.m. Born Free (1966)


10 thoughts on “TCM Week: March 12-18

  1. I remember watching all those English films on Million Dollar Movie in the afternoon after school. I loved every one of them and watched them several times

    1. That’s really cool Val….I started looking for them a few years ago and they’re not on DVD here. So I’m looking forward to seeing them 🙂

  2. TCM seems to do the same Irish-themed marathon every year, though I have to admit you picked the one I like best as your focus. For once I’ll come out of my 30’s cocoon and get a little wild with Hotel … I just set the DVR to record this one last night. I seem to remember it only as what I assumed was a trashy novel on my grandmother’s bookshelf, but the movie does look intriguing! Thanks for the round-up!

    1. You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy Hotel. It is a little trashy. But what always interests me is, the central character, the hotel owner played by Rod Taylor, is fighting off a big chain that’s going to take over his hotel and ruin it. That part seems so modern to me. You’ll have to let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by, Cliff 🙂

  3. George Sanders tracking down Jack the Ripper? I’m sold. And the double feature of Ray Harryhausen will be good to see. I still think that the 1981 *Clash of the Titans* is much better than the more recent version.

  4. Hi Paula, how’re you?

    Can’t believe I still haven’t seen ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and it escaped me that it starred Vivien Leigh. I have to rectify that situation soon!

    1. Doing well, thanks very much! I can’t remember if you have cable or not? If not, Netflix has it. It was nominated for 10-12 Oscars & it’s like an acting class! Vivien Leigh won Best Actress, Kim Hunter won Best Supporting Actress, Karl Malden won Best Supporting Actor. (Brando was nominated but Bogart won that year for The African Queen.)

  5. Hi, Paula and company:

    Great choices!

    ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ is one of the first and best British ‘Angry Young Men’ films. Definitely shows the difference in cultures and how badly
    the UK was beat up on in WWII and how slowly its recovery played out.

    Oh, and ‘The Lodger’ rocks out loud! A film swirling in a thick London fog Atmosphere. Some of George Sanders’ (Oh. How Hollywood needs another actor of his stature in playing either a heel or a hero!) best work!

    1. Thanks Jack! I recorded Loneliness, it was on way past my bedtime. I’ve really been enjoying the Angry Young Men films, they are a look into a culture that I really don’t know that much about, though I describe myself as an Anglophile. WWII had some different effects on the US & the UK it seems.

      I agree, The Lodger is awesome! I’m so happy to see you say that about George Sanders…I love him, hero or heel…have you ever seen the movie he did with Lucille Ball, before she was famous or on TV, called Lured? Douglas Sirk directed it. It’s quite odd but very entertaining.

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