Coming Up on TCM

Discussion of programming on TCM.

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Jezebel38
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Post by Jezebel38 »

moirafinnie wrote:

I'd like to add that at 4AM on Jan. 6th, TCM is airing the seldom seen
Pennies From Heaven (1981), based on the old movie and a British mini-series from the '70s. It's very good and very dark...just wish that the 1936 version with Bing Crosby and Madge Evans would turn up someday too.

4:00 AM
Pennies From Heaven (1981)
A traveling salesman's music-inspired dreams lead to tragedy. Cast: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jessica Harper. Dir: Herbert Ross. C-108 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format
Moira - you beat me to it! I just recently revisted this film, which I find enthralling and creepy at the same time. I remember seeing it on screen transfixed, while others in the audience were walking out. My tap dance teacher had told us about hearing of the casting calls for this film - they were trying to round up tons of hoofers for this. I was also so startled to see visual depictions of Edward Hoppers paintings as they popped up on screen. General feelings are that this film was ahead of it's time - I agree. You can tell that each and all artists involved in this were sincere in their reveranceof old hollywood musicals. Here is a clip of director Herbert Ross' inspired homage:

[youtube][/youtube]
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Moraldo Rubini
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Post by Moraldo Rubini »

Moira wrote:I'd like to add that at 4AM on Jan. 6th, TCM is airing the seldom seen Pennies From Heaven (1981), based on the old movie and a British mini-series from the '70s. It's very good and very dark...just wish that the 1936 version with Bing Crosby and Madge Evans would turn up someday too.
Wait. Are you saying that Pennies From Heaven is a remake of the 1936 version? So the British television series was based on it too? I thought the only thing they had in common was the title and song. Now I'm most curious to see the earlier. The brightest memory for my first viewing of the Steve Martin/Bernadette Peters version was the surprise of seeing Christopher Walken's tour-de-force tap dance number! He was terrific. It's nice to see Tommy Rall (Bill Calhoun/Lucentio in Kiss Me Kate; Frankencence in Seven Brides...) back on the screen too. And I was tickled by the homage to Astaire and Roger's Follow the Fleet melancholy pas de deux.
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

I put it clumsily, Moraldo.
I think that to be more precise, the title, music and somewhat unusual touch of darkness found in the 1936 Bing Crosby movie is what links the mini-series and the '81 film. I meant to say that I'd like to see the '36 movie and the '81 flick as a double feature on TCM sometime. Of course the earlier film has a blind optimism running through its sentimental veins that is missing from the much more dramatically truthful later movie. I like both.
Happy New Year. :wink:
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Post by jdb1 »

Happy New Year, all.

Moira, on Thorne Smith - I do hope anyone who enjoys reading will take a look at his very funny books. They are all in that breezy, ironic, tongue-in-cheek style that was so popular in the 1920s and 30s.

Your mention of Smith's brother, Skyring, makes me remember that I saw something about his name in the online research I did on Smith last summer, but I can't remember exactly what it was, and I can't find it now.

But I did find several fan sites that claim that Smith's mother was a granddaughter (or in some, great-granddaughter) of "Don Jose Maxwell, the founder of Maxwell House Coffee." That made me larf. 'Taint so, children. There's no such person. Maxwell House Coffee was named for the Maxwell House hotel in Nashville (which was itself named for the founder's wife). The coffee served there came from a local company and was called originally Cheek-Neal Coffee. How do these things get started?
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

But I did find several fan sites that claim that Smith's mother was a granddaughter (or in some, great-granddaughter) of "Don Jose Maxwell, the founder of Maxwell House Coffee." That made me larf. 'Taint so, children. There's no such person. Maxwell House Coffee was named for the Maxwell House hotel in Nashville (which was itself named for the founder's wife). The coffee served there came from a local company and was called originally Cheek-Neal Coffee. How do these things get started?
I think that the studio publicity departments made up all kinds of things that are difficult to correct once they are recorded in the record books and perpetuated by others to this day. Also, from what I've read about Thorne Smith, he was completely capable of making this up himself, just to be mischievous and more colorful.
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Post by jdb1 »

moirafinnie wrote:
But I did find several fan sites that claim that Smith's mother was a granddaughter (or in some, great-granddaughter) of "Don Jose Maxwell, the founder of Maxwell House Coffee." That made me larf. 'Taint so, children. There's no such person. Maxwell House Coffee was named for the Maxwell House hotel in Nashville (which was itself named for the founder's wife). The coffee served there came from a local company and was called originally Cheek-Neal Coffee. How do these things get started?
I think that the studio publicity departments made up all kinds of things that are difficult to correct once they are recorded in the record books and perpetuated by others to this day. Also, from what I've read about Thorne Smith, he was completely capable of making this up himself, just to be mischievous and more colorful.
I think you may be right, Moira - after all, Smith was in advertising, and loved to make fun of the profession in his books.
melwalton
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Thorne Smith

Post by melwalton »

Judith
I don't know much about Thorne Smith but did read several of his books. Turnabout and the Topper series. I still laugh when I think of The Bishop's Jaegers.
Was it Smith who called himself, the world's foremost realist? Sounds like him. I confuse him with Tiffany Thayer.
Here's a cutie from one of his books ( I forget which one ): A conversation between two seagulls. goes like this:

What time is it?
What?
( louder ) What time is it?
What?
(screaming ) WHAT TIME IS IT?
WHAT TIME IS WHAT?

I'd heard that Smith had severe health problems all his life and died quite young. His works are very funny. ..... mel
melwalton
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Post by melwalton »

On TCM tonight ( 5 AM ) , 'Til We Meet Again' a moody weeper with mesmerizing music. Highly recommended ( by me ).... mel
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Post by jdb1 »

I'm not too excited about February's offerings, but TCM is presenting us with some really good cinema in the month of March. There are probably at least a few of everyone's favorites. Below are some I'd like to point out to you:

March 1 - At 7 AM The Actress (1953), with Jean Simmons as Ruth Gordon, in the story of how Gordon got her father to let her go on the stage. Father is played by Spencer Tracy. This was the first movie of Tony Perkins, who plays Ruth's boyfriend - a boy ingenue role for him.
At 9 AM you can see Stage Door (1939). I think this works very well as an ensemble piece, and although it's said that Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers didn't click very well in person, on screen they make a very good yin/yang pair of Broadway hopefuls.
At 8 PM, Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) - my favorite Woody Allen drama. A wonderfully played story of "ends and means" that raises issues you can discuss for weeks afterwards.
Later that night The Dresser (1982, or is it 87?) Anything with Tom Courtenay in it is worth looking in on.

March 3 - At 10:30 AM TCM is showing a very nice little movie called A Man to Remember, about a small-town doctor over the years. The excellent character actor Edward Ellis co-stars with Anne Shirley and Lee Bowman.

March 4 - at 12:30 AM, Pressure Point (1962). Bobby Darin as a psychotic, bigoted convict, and Sidney Poitier as his calm and assertive shrink. The movie is rather artsy and pretentious in its small way, but the performances are good. With a better director to rein Darin in some, it could have been first-rate.

March 5 - The young and remarkably talented Dean Stockwell is featured in the morning and afternoon. Some notable films are The Boy with the Green Hair (1948) (which also features the great song "Nature Boy"); Kim (1950) and especially The Secret Garden (1949). In this one, Stockwell co-stars with Margaret O'Brien, who is his equal in every way. (The movie will be shown again on March 21.)

March 6 - At 2:45 PM a movie called The Merry Frinks (1934)will be aired. I know nothing about it, but I love the title. It stars Aline MacMahon and Guy Kibbee as members of an eccentric family. Has possibilities.
At 2:30 AM, The Rainmaker (1957). I know, I know - Hepburn was much too old, etc., but I think she's good here, and despite animosity between her and Burt Lancaster on the set, the two pros make it work. Earl Holliman is adorable as Hepburn's baby brother, and this is the one and only movie wherein I don't dislike Wendell Corey.

March 7 - At 6:15 PM you can see the late and seriously undervalued Suzanne Pleshette portray a nymphomaniac in Rage to Live (1965).

March 9 - At 6:15 PM the magnum opus Where The Boys Are (1960). Friends, if you want to see just how far women have progressed in society, watch this movie, and weep for those of us who were raised on this [expletive deleted].

March 10 - The much more kind to girls movie Billie (1965) airs at 1:45 PM. Patty Duke plays a teenage tomboy who finally gets attention from her father when she excels at sports. But she's in love, too. Gee, Pop, what's a girl gonna do?

March 13 - The Girl with the Green Eyes (1964) at 10 PM. A naive and overly romantic girl gets involved with a married man. It's English - one of the first of the "sexual revolution" flicks.

March 15 - Try not to miss film historian Robert Youngson's The Golden Age of Comedy (1957) at 2:45 AM (a ridiculous time slot). This is a great introduction to the comic stars of the silent era, and a wonderful compilation in its own right, even if you've seen it before. Very informative, and very entertaining.

[Continued in next post]
Last edited by jdb1 on January 29th, 2008, 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jdb1 »

More from TCM in March:

March 17 -The Great Rupert (1950) at 9:30 AM. Jimmy Durante as a paterfamilias. A few months ago, one of my local cable stations ran this, in a very poor colorized version. This movie is so strange - it's actually not all that good, but the oddness made me stick with it. I forgot to mention that there's a performing squirrel who drives the plot. I don't know . . . .
At, I think 8 PM, They Live By Night (1949), Nicholas Ray's great chase drama, with Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell as the young fugitive lovers. Very strong.

March 19 - In the morning, the wonderful melodrama Tomorrow is Forever (1946), with Orson Welles and Claudette Colbert as star-crossed lovers. We've discussed this at length on this site - if you haven't seen it yet, you should.
At 2:30 PM Hitchcock's Sabateur (1942), another great chase. Worth seeing, but IMO could have been better with better leads. I think Norman Lloyd steals the show.

March 21 - The truly great Dodsworth (1936) airs at 1:45 PM. One of the best ever.

March 22 - At 6 AM, if you're up (or your recorder is on), you can see John Garfield in Pride of the Marines (1945), a very moving story of a disabled vet trying to adjust to Back Home. Garfield is excellent.

March 24 - I forgot to note the time, but Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado, in a 1939 British production, is on today. G&S are out of favor these days, but I've always enjoyed their operettas. This one is done in the original, D'Oyly Carte Company style, that is, no attempt to update it from its original 19th Century production. If you bear in mind that it's not about Japan, it's really about Victorian England, and it's making fun of same, maybe you might like to take a look.

March 26- Another showing of Val Lewton's The Seventh Victim (1943). Strange, ultimately unsatisfying, but also ultimately compelling.

March 29 - At 1 AM TCM is broadcasting Ken Murray's Hollywood Without Makeup (1966). Ken Murray's "Hollywood home movies" claim to show the stars unscripted and unadorned. Don't you believe it. I remember that these movies were a fixture of TV in the 1950s and 60s, and I never saw any star in them hung over, in his bathrobe, shuffing over to the garbage cans. Everyone is dressed, coifed and made up, and they are doing all the usual publicity picture things. But it's fun to watch them, anyway.

March 31 - The morning and afternoon are filled with the lovely Shirley Jones, in comedies and dramas. At 3 PM there's one called A Ticklish Affair (1963), in which Jones co-stars with Gig Young. It's a silly piece of fluff, but I recall that Shirley looks especially gorgeous in it.
At 10:15 PM TCM is running Cooley High (1975). This is a wonderful indie flick about a group of young African-Americans in Chicago who have just finished high school and are, for the most part, completely directionless. It's got some comedy, but it's mostly drama. The cast is excellent, led by Glynn Turman (who, although no spring chicken here, plays one of the recent graduates).

I wish you happy viewing.
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movieman1957
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Post by movieman1957 »

Judith, thanks for taking the time to put all this together. It will be nice to revisit some movies I haven't seen in a long time. "The Mikado" will be interesting as my son has been playing in a local production of "Pirates of Penzance." I've also seen clips of when Groucho played in "The Mikado."
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
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Post by jdb1 »

I had a great-uncle who was a G&S fan, and in his retirement would travel all over the country to attend mostly amateur productions (sometimes to be in them, as well). He and his wife would then give us scathingly funny reviews of the non-professional shows. Sometimes they would recreate those performances for us. Of course, when a professional troupe put on some G&S somewhere, they were in hog heaven. I attended a few performances with him when I was a girl, and his enthusiasm (and explanations) helped make me a fan.

When I was in college, I took a wonderful course in Victorian literature, which taught me a lot about the things that G&S were satirizing, and that helped me to appreciate the shows even more. The stylized stuffiness of the proceedings are part of the satirization, but that's what puts a lot of people off. Suffice it to say that Cole Porter and Rogers & Hart, among others, owe a great debt to G&S.
melwalton
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Post by melwalton »

Judith
Good of you to take the trouble to list the upcoming movies. Thanks for reminding me about 'The Mikado'.
I'd like to mention a couple for February.
"The Member of the Wedding' 1952 ( Thursday, 2 / 28 / 08, 7:45 - 9:15 AM ), I know how you love Julie Harris but it is a grade A movie,
And even better, "Seance on a Wet Afternoon', 1964 ( Friday, 2 / 29/08, 2 - 4 AM ) a great one with stellar performances by Kim Stanley and Richard Attenborough,
mel
melwalton
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seance

Post by melwalton »

Hi, John.
We saw it at a theater in 1964
. Far as I know, this is the first time it's been on TV. I kept looking for it.
Hope you get to see it, next month. it's a great one.
mel
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