TCM Week – April 2-8

Monday, April 2
6:45 a.m. Born to Dance (1936)
Eleanor Powell and James Stewart in a good old-fashioned (by that I mean, sorta corny) musical full of mistaken identity and misunderstandings.

8 p.m. Doris Day Block
TCM salutes the Star of the Month Doris Day with 28 movies beginning tonight at 8 p.m. with her musicals. I never knew that Day idolized Ginger Rogers and wanted to become a dancer. She thought her dream was lost when she was injured in a car wreck as a teenager. She learned to sing while recovering and was soon a huge recording star, but she was quite nervous about dancing in Tea for Two because she hadn’t danced in years.
8:00 p.m. The Lullaby of Broadway (1951)
9:45 p.m. By The Light of the Silvery Moon  (1953)
11:30 p.m. My Dream Is Yours (1949)
1:15 a.m. (Tues.) On Moonlight Bay (1951)
3:00 a.m. (Tues.) Romance on the High Seas (1948)
4:45 a.m. (Tues.) Tea for Two (1950)

Tuesday, April 3
9:45 a.m. The Fugitive Kind (1960)
Film version of Tennessee Williams’ play Orpheus Descending, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani and Joanne Woodward. A really weird movie.

8:00 p.m. Lover Come Back (1961)
***TCM PARTY***
Tonight’s Doris Day block begins with this ad-biz comedy in which Day and Rock Hudson play account execs for rival agencies. Their work philosophies and client relations skills are drastically, hilariously different (to say the least). Guest hosted by @mercurie80. Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty.

Wednesday, April 4
Doris Day Block
Tonight TCM spotlights Doris Day’s dramatic talents in four films: Midnight Lace (1960), Storm Warning (1951), The Winning Team (1952), and Julie (1956). Disturbingly she is beset by creepers in two of them.

Thursday, April 5
8:00 p.m. Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960)
***TCM PARTY***
A drama critic and his wife have a difficult period of adjustment when they decide to move from New York City into the suburbs. Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty.

Friday, April 6
9:45 a.m. Jewel Robbery (1932)
Don’t miss William Powell as a well-mannered jewel thief who’s fallen in love with his mark (Kay Francis). Their chemistry is pretty close to what he had going with Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy. Did I mention it’s a pre-Code?

12:45 p.m. The Man with Two Faces (1934)
This sounds really interesting. Edward G. Robinson plays an actor trying to shield his sister from her murderous husband, who seems to have her under some kind of hypnotic spell.

Saturday, April 7
3:00 p.m. The Great Escape (1963)
***TCM PARTY***
It is well-known to you all that I have a thing for World War II movies; not all of them are good, but this one is. A bunch of Allied soldiers try to dig their way out of a German POW camp — it’s the sworn duty of every British officer to attempt to escape! Based on a true story, it stars Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson and James Coburn. Find us on Twitter with #TCMParty.

6:00 p.m. 4 for Texas (1963)
Rat Pack Western.

Rita Hayworth Block
I’ve seen the first two of these and not the others but I doubt you can really go wrong.
8:00 p.m. Gilda (1946)
10:00 p.m. The Lady From Shanghai (1948)
11:45 p.m. Fire Down Below (1957) With Robert Mitchum and Jack Lemmon. Personally I’d tune in just for that.
2:00 a.m. (Sun.) The Happy Thieves (1961)

Sunday, April 8
TCM features mostly Christian-themed films today. One that caught my eye airs at midnight, Leaves from Satan’s Book (1919), a Danish silent film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. It depicts various historical events from the point of view of the “disheartened” Satan.

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.

 

January Movies (whew!)

I seem to be perpetually short on time so I thought I’d make a nice list instead of those long, drawn-out posts I like so much 😉

Dude, get out of there! Hurry!

I really liked Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (4 out of 5 stars). I usually like espionage movies, and of course there is the cast (some of whom are wearing some pretty great suits). Even if just any two of these guys was in it, I’d have gone, plus I am no longer ignorant of Benedict Cumberbatch. (Don’t judge the gaps in my knowledge! OK, go ahead…but at least leave a comment.) There isn’t a lot of shoot-’em-up behavior, but it is suspenseful nonetheless, especially if you get nervous when spies are spying on each other. Shoot-’em-up is fine too, though. This Means War? I’m so there.

I really liked Shame, but in a different way (4.5 out of 5 stars). It’s nearly perfect in itself but I don’t think I could see it again. I found it as depressing as I thought it would be from reading the script, although a lot of stuff in the version I read didn’t make it into the finished film. There’s no question that Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan deserved Oscar nominations. Both actors suggested so much in a non-showy way, without much dialogue, and I believe those performances are actually what kept Academy voters away (in addition to the subject matter). I’d have given it 5 stars if there had been just a little bit more backstory about Brandon and Sissy. What is the significance of “New York, New York?” Why is Brandon obsessed with the Standard Hotel? You know that cool girl in your high school that wore vintage years before it was cool and always looked fabulous? That’s Sissy…but what happened to her after that? You won’t find out in this interview Fassbender did on Canadian TV show The Hour but I’m throwing it in here because it’s pretty interesting.

Charlotte Rampling as Mary (center)

I really liked The Mill and The Cross (4 out of 5 stars). I wish there was a movie like this for every painting. It’s difficult to describe it. Again…not a lot of dialogue. It basically shows Brueghel’s (Rutger Hauer) inspiration for each figure and situation in the work. It’s a meditation on the creative process, a record of the human condition in Flanders in the 16th century (hint: lousy), an invective on humanity’s inhumanity, and a powerful statement in favor of the separation of church and state. If you get a chance to see this on the big screen, definitely go. Much will be lost on even the biggest home TV.

I loved The Artist (5 out of 5 stars), it’s just brilliant. It’s also laden with homages and tributes to Old Hollywood and the early 20th-century silents — a feast for classic movie fans. Still working on a larger post on this theme.

This month I also decided there should be ejector seats in cinemas (5 out of 5 stars). People who are talking/yelling, chomping loudly on gum, crinkling candy wrappers, talking on a cell phone, texting, tweeting or IMing can be removed in a speedy and efficient manner. Alternatively, should ejector seats prove too costly, perhaps two auditoriums can show the movie at the same time — talkers in one, silent types in the other. I’m kidding…sort of 😉 The stillness of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Mill and The Cross was almost wrecked. That was my non-classic moviegoing month of January 2012, how was yours?