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 PARTY***
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)
***TCM PARTY***
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)
***TCM PARTY***
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)
***TCM PARTY***