TCM Week: March 19-25

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, March 19
8:00 p.m. This Sporting Life (1963)
10:00 p.m. Billy Liar (1963)
***TCM PARTY***  Guest hosted by @mercurie80
TCM continues the month-long British New Wave celebration tonight with our TCM Party selections This Sporting Life and Billy Liar, followed by Tom Jones (1963), Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) and Only Two Can Play (1962). Billy Liar is another of Morrissey’s favorites that I’ve never seen. He used lines from it in Smiths’ songs “The Queen Is Dead” and “Vicar in a Tutu” and adapted another line for the album title Strangeways, Here We Come, among many borrowings. I’m recording all of these but the one I’ll probably watch right away is Tom Jones. I first saw it when I was in high school and over the years, I’ve come to realize that it pretty much defines the term “lighthearted romp.” Also, based on my AP English grade, it’s a pretty darn faithful adaptation of the novel.

Tuesday, March 20
6:15 p.m. The Moon and Sixpence (1942)
George Sanders Alert
Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent in this film, which was “loosely inspired by the life of” painter Paul Gauguin. George Sanders plays a middle-class Brit who dumps his family and runs off to Paris to paint. He’s so callous and coldhearted that even I had trouble liking him…until he is redeemed by the love of a good Tahitian woman. Sanders at his worst, and for him that means best. If you don’t have cable, fear not…some nice person put the whole thing on YouTube.

Aline MacMahon, Ginger Rogers, Joan Blondell, and Ruby Keeler of Gold Diggers in 1933.

8:00 p.m. Gold Diggers of 1933
***TCM PARTY***  Guest hosted by @strbuk
Sassy Joan Blondell leads a trio of showgirls trying to become stars. They won’t turn down any marriage proposals from rich guys either. Did I mention it’s pre-code? It’s not all fun and games though—this film has a surprisingly dark undertone epitomized by the number “Remember My Forgotten Man.”

3:00 a.m. (Weds.) The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)
I’m only vaguely aware of what this film could be about, but it stars Barbara Stanwyck and is directed by Frank Capra, and that’s good enough for me.

"On California's magnificent Big Sur shoreline, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are the artist and minister who must meet in secret."

Wednesday, March 21
It’s Karl Malden Day but I confess I’m not too interested in the Westerns of his they’ve got scheduled for tonight. I still miss Elizabeth Taylor and evidently someone at TCM does too; they’ve got seven of her movies in chronological order, beginning at 6:15 a.m. with Cynthia (1947) and continuing with Conspirator (1949), Love Is Better Than Ever (1952), Rhapsody (1954), Butterfield 8 (1960), The Sandpiper (1965) and The Comedians (1967). In Sandpiper and Comedians she stars with Richard Burton so I’ll be recording those. Tonight is also Casablanca Night, aka the biggest TCM Party in the world, brought to you by the channel and Fathom Events 🙂

Thursday, March 22
TCM has Radioactive Calamities and a couple of monster movies until 8 p.m. when they take a look at the films of Rosalind Russell’s later career.

Friday, March 23
8:00 p.m. Wuthering Heights (1939)
***TCM PARTY*** Guest hosted by @kimmiechem
Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff and Merle Oberon as Cathy in what many argue is the definitive version of Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel about a a poor boy brought up in a wealthy family and the foster sister with whom he falls hopelessly, passionately, violently in love. Followed by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1944) at 10 p.m. and the Brontë family biopic Devotion (1946) with Ida Lupino as Emily, Olivia de Havilland as Charlotte, and Arthur Kennedy as Branwell, along with Sydney Greenstreet as another of my favorite writers, William Makepeace Thackeray, at 12:00 a.m. (Sat.).

Saturday, March 24
8:00 p.m. The Goodbye Girl (1977)
Can you picture Robert de Niro in the role played by Richard Dreyfuss in this? I can’t really, but it almost happened. Sort of, it’s complicated.

Sunday, March 25
6:00 a.m. That Certain Woman (1937)
Bette Davis plays a mother who sacrifices all so that her son can have a better life in this remake of a 1929 picture starring Gloria Swanson, The Trespasser. Davis requested Henry Fonda as her leading man.

Noon Key Largo (1948)
One of my essential film noirs, in which a gangster (Edward G. Robinson) holds a bunch of people, including a war veteran (Humphrey Bogart), and a hotel owner (Lionel Barrymore) and his daughter (Lauren Bacall), hostage during a storm.

Midnight La Roue (1922)
“In this silent film, a railway worker and his son fall in love with the same beautiful woman.” French, directed by Abel Gance.



10 thoughts on “TCM Week: March 19-25

  1. Oh God, Key Largo, Gold Diggers, Wuthering Heights, all great, great films .

    Jeez, and Tom Jones, I had such a crush on Albert Finney when that one came out. Shows you how old I am!

    1. I had a crush on him too by the end too. It’s difficult to reconcile the wild Tom Jones Albert Finney with the parts he plays in his later movies.

  2. Hi, Paula and company:

    It’s been a good couple of nights, film wise.

    Karl Malden doesn’t get enough love. Swinging for the fences and connecting, as the rest of the cast of ‘On The Waterfront’. Then turning in an admirable effort directing ‘Time Limit’. A tight little drama about Korean War POWs with Richard Widmark, Rip Torn and Richard Basehart.

    Brit Night was also very good with Richard Harris in ‘This Sporting Life’. As it explained the whys and wherefores of a mule headed, kind of unlikeable character with no apologies.

    Always looking forward to ‘Casablanca’ and ‘Key Largo’.

    1. I know Malden is sadly neglected! He is great in On The Waterfront. It’s just that most Westerns aren’t my favorites 🙂 Never heard of Time Limit! Actors usually make decent-to-great directors though. Basehart & Widmark are two of my favorite noir actors as well.
      I must confess, I didn’t like Frank in This Sporting Life, and I thought it was pretty depressing. Pretty much everyone in it is doomed…his income will cease when he’s too beat up to play, and the cycle will repeat with the two children. Harris showed courage though in playing someone so truly unlikeable.
      Thanks as always Jack, I always learn something from your comments! Are you going to see Casablanca?

      1. Hi, Paula:

        I’ll miss out on traveling to the theater to catch ‘Casablanca’. Though I do have the film on DVD.

        One of my favorite little known Men Behind Bars/Prison pictures is coming up on TCM late (10pm, est) Sunday night, the 25th. ‘Brute Force’ with Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn and a passel of then, up and coming talent. I did a review of it a few months ago for Ruth’s ‘FlixChatter’. Definitely worth staying up for, or to DVR.

        Been kicking around a guest review of ‘He walked by Night’ with Richard Basehart, Scott Brady and Jack Webb. A great police procedural that probably set the stage for Webb’s ‘Dragnet’ years later.

        1. re: Casablanca, I think we have it on DVD too, and it’s not like TCM doesn’t show it often! But I find that even a movie I’ve seen several times on TV looks really different on a big screen. That could just be me though 🙂

          Never seen either of those, though I have seen another noir, They Drive By Night. I’ll DVR Brute Force, and also add it to my picks for the week. I’d be happy to link to your review if you don’t mind?

          I think you should write it, I’ve never seen that one & your reviews are always great 🙂

          1. Raft & Bogey worked well together.
            I like your review! I’ll link to that instead of TCM’s article.
            I love The Leopard as well…Lancaster is awesome in it of course, but I also love Alain Delon.
            & I subscribe to Flix Chatter so i’ll keep an eye out for your review of He Walked By Night 🙂

  3. I’m so excited for the biggest TCM Party tonight! 😀

    Oh I’ve been meaning to check out Wuthering Heights w/ Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff for so long. I’ve only seen the Timothy Dalton version and he kinda resembled Olivier a bit 🙂

    1. I think they do look a bit alike! I admit I’m not the hugest fan of the book and I haven’t seen all the Olivier version. Maybe you can join us tonight at 8 on Twitter for the TCM Party 🙂

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