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Monday, April 5, 2010

Carter Stevens' Guide to TCM This Week (April 7-14)


Yo ho ho and a bottle of Rum. It's pirate night on TCM. Tyrone Power in THE BLACK SWAN. Paul Henreid in THE SPANISH MAIN, Errol Flynn in CAPTAIN BLOOD, and Gene Kelly??? in THE PIRATE. Now all together, lets play which of these things is not like the others.


A Slightly Dangerous night at TCM. DANGEROUS, SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS, SLIGHT CASE OF MURDER and DANGEROUSLY HEY LIVE, all followed by SLIGHTLY FRENCH. Again a case of which of these things is not like the others?


6:00pm Philadelphia Story, The (1940)
Tabloid reporters crash a society marriage.
Cast: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey Dir: George Cukor BW-112 mins, TV-G

I know it's a classic, I know it's a killer cast, I know, I know, but I still prefer HIGH SOCIETY. But it's still worth watching.

8:00pm Hang 'Em High (1968)
A mysterious drifter survives a lynching then goes back for revenge.
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Ed Begley, Pat Hingle Dir: Ted Post C-115 mins, TV-14

The least of the Clint Eastwood westerns but even so it's still a Clint Eastwood western.


6:00am Captain Kidd (1945)
An infamous pirate tries to double cross the King of England.
Cast: Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, John Carradine Dir: Rowland V. Lee BW-81 mins, TV-G

How can you miss anything with old stone face (Randolph Scott) and old rubber face (Charles Laughton) in the same movie.

4:00pm Fistful Of Dollars, A (1964)
A mysterious stranger plays dueling families against each other in a Mexican border town.
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, Gian Maria Volontè, Wolfgang Lukschy Dir: Sergio Leone C-100 mins, TV-14

Clint Eastwood, Sergio Leone, and Dashell Hammet source material set in the old west. A triple threat that should not be missed.

6:00pm Shootist, The (1976)
A dying gunfighter tries to set his affairs in order.
Cast: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, James Stewart Dir: Don Siegel C-99 mins, TV-14

John Wayne's last and to my mind BEST performance. This is the real Lion in Winter.


4:15am Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Detective Mike Hammer fights to solve the murder of a beautiful hitchhiker with a mysterious connection to the Mob.
Cast: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez Dir: Robert Aldrich BW-106 mins, TV-PG

Not a great film but watching it I'm transported back to those days when I was a teenager sneaking a Mike Hammer book up to my room to read.

3:00pm West Side Story (1961)
A young couple from dueling street gangs falls in love.
Cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno Dir: Robert Wise C-152 mins, TV-PG

So what if it's a bad version of Romeo and Juliet. The music, the music! And the dancing! It never gets old.


A day full of minor 40s musicals. A couple with Ann Miller tapping her heart out. A good day for spring cleaning with TCM on in the background.


12:30pm Singin' In The Rain (1952)
A silent-screen swashbuckler finds love while trying to adjust to the coming of sound.
Cast: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen Dir: Stanley Donen C-103 mins, TV-G

The best musical ever made about the movies. Kelly, O'Connor and Reynolds are great but Jean Hagen steals the show without ever singing a note or dancing a step.


12:00am Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
Billie Holliday fights drug addiction to make a name for herself as a jazz singer.
Cast: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James Gallahan Dir: Sidney J. Furie C-144 mins, TV-MA

Diana Ross carved out a great career with this film but never lived up to it. A shame cause she really nails it.

2:30am Big Chill, The (1983)
A friend's death brings together a group of former college activists.
Cast: Glenn Close, Tom Berenger, William Hurt, Jeff Goldblum Dir: Lawrence Kasdan C-105 mins, TV-MA

A prepackaged dose of 60s nostalgia which is so dated now that the film has become 80s nostalgia. But the funny thing is it's still totally watchable and enjoyable.

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