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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Carter Steven's Guide To TCM This Week (1/10-1/24)

A family emergency prevented me from posting Carter's picks from last week (still worth a read), despite Carter getting it in early. My apologies-Ian

Jan 10

5:15am Private Screenings: Ann Miller (1997)
The screen's fastest-tapping lady dancer shares memories of her career. Hosted by Robert Osborne.
Cast: Robert Osborne, Ann Miller C-48 mins, TV-G

The lady was probably the worst actress ever to appear in so many movies but DAMN the lady could tap

8:00pm Plaza Suite (1971)
A New York hotel room is the setting for three stories of romantic squabbles.
Cast: Walter Matthau, Lee Grant, Barbara Harris, Maureen Stapleton Dir: Arthur Hiller C-114 mins, TV-14

I must have directed this play half a dozen times for as many little theater groups before I went into films. Still love the writing but must admit I think I could have done a better job directing the movie. Walter Matthau is all wrong for the lead but what the hell it's Neal Simon.

4:00am This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
A filmmaker documents the history of Spinal Tap, the world's loudest rock band.
Cast: Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner Dir: Rob Reiner C-83 mins, TV-MA

The movie that proved Rob Reiner was a genius and invented a genre all it's own, the mockumentary. I give it an 11.

JAN 11

7:45am Time Machine, The (1960)
A turn-of-the-century inventor sends himself into the future to save humanity.
Cast: Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux, Sebastian Cabot Dir: George Pal C-103 mins, TV-G

The second half of the film once he arrives in the future is a bore but like they say getting there is half the fun. The trip through time and that mannequin across the street are worth watching every time.

11:30am 36 Hours (1965)
Nazis kidnap a key American intelligence officer and try to convince him that World War II is over.
Cast: James Garner, Rod Taylor, Eva Marie Saint, Werner Peters Dir: George Seaton BW-115 mins, TV-PG

A damn paper cut saved the world for democracy. I love it.

10:15pm Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951)
A fading southern belle tries to build a new life with her sister in New Orleans.
Cast: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden Dir: Elia Kazan BW-125 mins, TV-PG

BRANDO...KAZAN. If you need more reason than that the hell with you.

12:30am East Of Eden (1955)
Two brothers compete for their father's approval and a woman's love.
Cast: Julie Harris, James Dean, Raymond Massey, Burl Ives Dir: Elia Kazan C-118 mins, TV-PG

Watch and see why James Dean is still an icon with so few films and so many years after his death. Oh, yea and ...KAZAN

Jan 14

6:00am Most Dangerous Game, The (1932)
A big game hunter decides to stalk human prey.
Cast: Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Leslie Banks Dir: Ernest B. Schoedsack BW-63 mins, TV-PG

There is a reason I believe this is the most remade film in history. But this one was the first (and I still think one of the best). Said to have been shot at night on the Skull Island sets for King Kong, if true then Fay Wray should get an award for doing both pictures. One during the day and one at night.

3:30pm Anatomy Of A Murder (1959)
A small-town lawyer gets the case of a lifetime when a military man avenges an attack on his wife.
Cast: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell Dir: Otto Preminger BW-161 mins, TV-PG

Damn it I just watched this not two weeks ago and I know damn well I'm going to watch it again.

8:00pm Bridge On The River Kwai, The (1957)
The Japanese Army forces World War II POWs to build a strategic bridge in Burma.
Cast: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa Dir: David Lean C-162 mins, TV-PG

Bet you $10 bucks you find yourself whistling the Colonel Boigie March the next day.

David Lean at the top of his form, Bill Holden at his top form. Guinness at his top form. Sessue Hayakawa top of his form, Jack Hawkins top of his...wait do I sense a pattern here?

Jan 15

12:45am Friends Of Eddie Coyle, The (1973)
An aging hood turns police informer, with deadly results.
Cast: Robert Mitchum, Richard Jordan, Steven Keats, Peter Boyle Dir: Peter Yates C-99 mins, TV-14

NOT to be missed gangster film. Directed by the much underrated Peter Yates and Starring Robert Mitchum in his best role.

Jan 16

8:30am Murder She Said (1961)
When nobody will believe she witnessed a murder, elderly sleuth Miss Marple takes a job as a maid to ferret out clues.
Cast: Margaret Rutherford, Arthur Kennedy, Muriel Pavlow, James Robertson-Justice Dir: George Pollock BW-86 mins, TV-G

Not to be confused with the TV series, Starring the magnificent Margaret Rutherford. What a great way to wake up and start the weekend.

Jan 17

10:00am Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
An ambitious young man sets out to kill everyone who stands between him and a fortune.
Cast: Alec Guinness, Dennis Price, Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson Dir: Robert Hamer BW-106 mins, TV-PG

Long long ago in a galaxy not so far away there was an Actor who was well worth watching before he became Obi Wan Kanobi.

8:00pm Roxanne (1987)
A fireman with an abnormally long nose tries to match the woman he loves with a young friend.
Cast: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Shelley Duvall, Rick Rossovich Dir: Fred Schepisi C-107 mins, TV-14

followed by

10:00pm Cyrano De Bergerac (1950)
A swordsman and poet helps another man woo the woman he loves.
Cast: Jose Ferrer, Mala Powers, William Prince, Morris Carnovsky Dir: Michael Gordon BW-113 mins, TV-PG

In my opinion these two films should be shown in the opposite order to really enjoy Steve Martin's wit showcased in his modern day retelling. But both are worthy of being watched on their own.

2:15am Wild Strawberries (1957)
On his way to an awards ceremony, a distinguished professor thinks back on his loveless life.
Cast: Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Victor Seastrom Dir: Ingmar Bergman BW-91 mins, TV-PG

One of Bergman's best buried at 2 in the morning. I almost missed the listing. Don't you miss it.

Jan 18

1:45pm Raisin in the Sun, A (1961)
A black woman uses her late husband's life insurance to build a better world for her children.
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands Dir: Daniel Petrie BW-128 mins, TV-PG

There is a reason Sidney Poitier is the most respected black actor of all time. This is it.

6:00pm To Sir, With Love (1967)
A substitute teacher changes the lives of the slum children in his class.
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Christian Roberts, Judy Geeson, Suzy Kendall Dir: James Clavell C-105 mins, TV-PG

There is a reason Sidney Poitier is the most respected black actor of all time. This is NOT it.

Jan 19

11:15pm Sunset Boulevard (1950)
A failed screenwriter falls into a mercenary romance with a faded silent-film star.
Cast: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson Dir: Billy Wilder BW-110 mins, TV-PG

The finest Hollywood movie ever made about Hollywood. (PERIOD!) I'm ready for my closeup now Mr. DeMille.

Jan 20

4:15am Some Like It Hot (1959)
Two musicians on the run from gangsters masquerade as members of an all-girl band.
Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft Dir: Billy Wilder BW-121 mins, TV-PG

TeVo time. I know, I know you've seen it before. See it again, it's still funny as hell.

8:00pm Point Blank (1967)
A gangster plots an elaborate revenge on the wife and partner who did him dirty.
Cast: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn, Carroll O'Connor Dir: John Boorman C-92 mins, TV-14

Based on Donald Westlake's Parker character. Parker has been played many times in many movies (Duval in The Outfit, Gibson in Payback (in basically the same story), et al) and for some reason never called Parker. I always wondered why. I think this was his first incarnation and well worth watching.

Jan 21

10:15pm Raisin in the Sun, A (1961)
A black woman uses her late husband's life insurance to build a better world for her children.
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands Dir: Daniel Petrie BW-128 mins, TV-PG

If you missed it on the 18th catch it now.

3:45am Blood On Satan's Claw, The (1970)
When farmers unearth a strange skeleton, their children convert to Satanism.
Cast: Avice Landone, Howard Goorney, James Hayter, Simon Williams Dir: Piers Haggard BW-96 mins, TV-MA

Never seen it. Don't know a thing about it. But what a great title.

Jan 22

10:00am Operation Mad Ball (1957)
A peacetime soldier plots to throw a party under his strict captain's nose.
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Kathryn Grant, Arthur O'Connell Dir: Richard Quine BW-104 mins, TV-G

I was a young teenager when I saw it. I remember it as being funny (although I think Ernie Kovacs genius was wasted.) I've got to see if it still makes me laugh. Still remember Mikey Rooney's cry of “SKEE-BALL”

2:15pm Treasure Island (1950)
A young boy and a pirate clash over buried treasure.
Cast: Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton, Basil Sydney, Walter Fitzgerald Dir: Byron Haskin C-96 mins, TV-G

Still the best Long John Silver ever. Too good perhaps, as he was typecast from there on out.

10:45pm Ice Station Zebra (1968)
A sub commander on a perilous mission must ferret out a Soviet agent on his ship.
Cast: Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine, Patrick McGoohan, Jim Brown Dir: John Sturges C-152 mins, TV-PG

The best Cinerama picture ever made. It had a plot. Not a great plot, but a plot. But I'm sure it loses on the small screen. (gee, remind anyone of Avatar?)

Jan 24

8:00am Guy Named Joe, A (1943)
A downed World War II pilot becomes the guardian angel for his successor in love and war.
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond Dir: Victor Fleming BW-120 mins, TV-G

Remade by Speilburg in his second most boring piture ever. Catch this original.

10:30am Animal Crackers (1930)
Three zanies try to recover a stolen painting during a madcap house party.
Cast: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx Dir: Victor Heerman BW-97 mins, TV-G

It's the Marx Brothers. You either love them or you...are an idiot.


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