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TCM On Demand (Comcast)

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TCM On Demand for May 7, 2016

 
The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

1. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) -- Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, John Ericson, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin, Russell Collins, Walter Sande. Tracy received his fifth of nine Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in this drama set in a remote Arizona town in 1945. He stars as John J. McCreedy, a one-armed veteran who arrives in Black Rock on a train -- and receives a frosty reception from the townspeople.

 

 

 

Directed by John Sturges ("The Magnificent Seven," "The Great Escape"), the film also received Oscar nominations for Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay (Millard Kaufman).

 

Tracy wound up losing the Best Actor award to co-star Borgnine, who was honored for his performance as the title character in Paddy Chayefsky's "Marty." 

 

Expires May 14, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 8, 2016

The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

Them! (1954) -- James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens, Sean McClory, Chris Drake, Sandy Descher, Mary Alan Hokanson, Don Shelton, Fess Parker, Olin Howland. Uncredited: Leonard Nimoy, Richard Deacon, John Beradino, Ann Doran, Willis Bouchey, William Schallert, Dub Taylor. Directed by Gordon Douglas ("In Like Flint," "Robin and the 7 Hoods"), this sci-fi drama pits American ingenuity and firepower against giant mutant ants in New Mexico. 

 

 

The film received an Academy Award nomination for its special effects.

 

Arness was a year away from major stardom when this film was released on June 19, 1954. Fifteen months later -- on September 10, 1955 -- John Wayne introduced him as the star of the new CBS TV Western "Gunsmoke." Arness had co-starred with Wayne in the screen dramas "Big Jim McLain" (1952) and "The Sea Chase" (1955).

 

Walt Disney watched this film with an idea that Arness might be perfect for the television role of frontiersman Davy Crockett. But he became impressed by Parker, who had a small role as a highway patrolman.

 

Expires May 15, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 8, 2016

The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

1. The Catered Affair (1956) -- Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor, Robert F. Simon, Madge Kennedy, Dorothy Stickney, Carol Veazie, Joan Camden, Ray Stricklyn, Jay Adler, Dan Tobin, Paul Denton, Augusta Merighi. Uncredited: Mae Clarke, Harry Hines. Gore Vidal adapted his screenplay for this drama from Paddy Chayefsky's 1955 teleplay starring Thelma Ritter. Directed by Richard Brooks ("Elmer Gantry," "The Professionals"), this version features Davis as a struggling Bronx housewife determined to throw an elaborate wedding for her young daughter (Reynolds) -- despite the bride's objection to her mother's plans. Borgnine, fresh off his 1955 Best Actor Oscar win for "Marty," co-stars as Davis's husband, a longtime cab driver.  

 

 

Expires May 15, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 9, 2016

 

The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:


 

3. L'Avventura (1960) -- Gabriele Ferzetti (Sandro), Monica Vitti (Claudia), Lea Massari (Anna), Dominique Blanchar (Giulia), Renzo Ricci (Anna's Father), James Addams (Corrado), Dorothy De Poliolo (Gloria Perkins), Lelio Luttazzi (Raimondo), Giovanni Petrucci (Prince Goffredo), Esmeralda Ruspoli (Patrizia), Jack O'Connell (Old man on the island), Angela Tommasi Di Lampedusa (The princess), Renato Pinciroli (The journalist). Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni ("Blow-Up") co-wrote and directed this mystery/drama about a fateful boat excursion in the Mediterranean that goes wrong. This was the first of four early 1960s films by Antonioni that starred Vitti, his longtime muse. The others: "La notte" (1961), "L'eclisse" (1963) and "Il deserto rosso" -- "Red Desert" -- (1964).

 


 

"The plot of 'L'Avventura' became famous because, it was said, nothing happened in the movie," wrote film critic Rogert Ebert, who added the picture to his "Great Movies" list in 1997. "What we saw was a search without a conclusion, a disappearance without a solution. The title in English means 'The Adventure,' and it was not hard to imagine Antonioni's dry smile as he penned those words on the first page of his screenplay."

 

Ebert also wrote: "When 'L'Avventura' was released, it became a joke to refer to 'Antonioniennui.' At its premiere at the Cannes festival, the audience booed, but it won the Jury Prize and became a box-office success all over the world. It was the most pure and stark of several films about characters who drifted in existential limbo. In America, it came at a time when beatniks cultivated detachment, when modern jazz kept an ironic distance from melody, when it was hip to be cool. That whole time came crashing down later in the 1960s, but while it lasted, 'L'Avventura' was its anthem."

 

Expires May 16, 2016.


 

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TCM On Demand for May 9, 2016

 

The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:


 

2. Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) -- Sir Laurence Olivier, Carol Lynley, Keir Dullea, Martita Hunt, Anna Massey, Clive Revill, Finlay Currie, Lucie Mannheim, Sir Noel Coward, Adrienne Corri, Megs Jenkins, Delphi Lawrence, Jill Melford, Suzanne Neve, Kika Markham, Percy Herbert, The Zombies. Uncredited: Oliver Reed. Otto Preminger directed this suspense thriller about an American woman (Lynley) whose daughter disappears without a trace after their move to London. Olivier plays the British police investigator who tries to figure out the mystery.

 


 

Expires May 16, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 9, 2016


 


The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:


 


1. Blow-Up (1966) -- David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle, Jane Birkin, Gillian Hills, Peter Bowles, Veruschka, Julian Chagrin, Claude Chagrin. Italy's Michelangelo Antonioni directed his first complete English-language film with this suspense thriller set in London during the Swinging Sixties. Hemmings plays an ace fashion photographer whose Nikon camera may (or may not) have inadvertently documented a murder in an outdoor park. As a result, he becomes obsessed with the photos he took of the two lovers (one of them played by Redgrave) who were there. In his pursuit of the truth, he enlarges many of his photos -- hence the title -- to examine them for clues. 


 



 


Memorable moments: There are many in the film, including a lively photo session with budding models Birkin and Hills; an offbeat tennis match in which mimes watch mimes "playing" on a court; and an abbreviated club performance by The Yardbirds (featuring Jeff Beck and a pre-Led Zeppelin Jimmy Page). At one point, Redgrave's character shows up and offers herself to the photographer in exchange for the film he shot in the park.


 


Hemmings' character reportedly was modeled after British Vogue photographer David Bailey, who once was married to the French actress Catherine Deneuve. Bailey has said he would have preferred Terence Stamp in the lead role.


 


The incidental music in the film was assembled by jazz great Herbie Hancock, who would go on to win an Oscar for his score in Bernard Tavernier's 1986 drama " 'Round Midnight."


 


Redgrave received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, but it was for her performance in the offbeat comedy "Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment."


 


Birkin's daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg is an internationally renowned actress who has starred in several films by the controversial Danish director Lars von Trier, including the two-part 2014 release "Nymphomaniac."


 


Movie crossover reference: The American filmmaker Brian De Palma is known for his screen homages to master directors, including Sir Alfred Hitchcock and Sergei Eisenstein. In his 1981 political thriller "Blow Out," John Travolta plays a motion picture sound technician whose life is endangered after he records a murder.


 



 


 

Expires May 16, 2016.


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TCM On Demand for May 10, 2016

 

The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

1. Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946) -- Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, Joan Leslie, Janis Paige, S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall, Patti Brady, Rosemary DeCamp, Tom D'Andrea, John Ridgely, Patrick McVey, Franklin Pangborn, Francis Pierlot. Uncredited: Lex Barker, Patricia Barry, Lilly Christine, Joel Fluellen. Screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond, who later became an important collaborator with filmmaker Billy Wilder between 1957 and 1981, co-wrote this comedy (with Charles Hoffmann). The film stars Morgan as a Balkan prince whose country is about to decide whether to remain a monarchy or become a republic. Meanwhile, the prince  -- who is touring the United States after his father's abdication -- decides he wants to see the real America while incognito. While in New York, he strikes up a friendship with an affable cab driver named Buzz (Carson) -- and promptly goes off the grid.

 

 

Bogie's Baby: The prince is a big Lauren Bacall and becomes intrigued when he discovers that Buzz's girl Connie (Leslie) attended the same New York high school as the actress. In real life, Bacall and Leslie were both 21 years old when this film was released, so they actually could have gone to high school together. 

 

Expires May 17, 2016.

 

 

2. The Youngest Profession (1943) -- Virginia Weidler, Edward Arnold, John Carroll, Ann Ayars, Marta Linden, Dick Simmons, Agnes Moorehead, Jean Porter, Raymond Roe, Dorothy Morris, Scotty Beckett, Marcia Mae Jones, Sara Haden, Beverly Tyler (billed as Beverly Jean Saul), Marjorie Gateson, Thurston Hall, Jessie Grayson. Appearing as themselves: Lana Turner, Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Robert Taylor, William Powell. Uncredited: Ray Teal. Weidler, the young actress remembered for her performances in "The Women" (1939) and "The Philadelphia Story" (1940), made her penultimate screen appearance in this M-G-M comedy. She headlines the film as Joan Lyons, the head of a starry-eyed group of teens who collect autographs and write fan letters to stars.

 

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Weidler and Arnold

 

Weidler was 16 when this film appeared in theaters during the summer of 1943. Several months later, her final film -- the Lucille Ball musical "Best Foot Forward" -- was released. She retired from acting and remained out of the public eye until her death in July 1968 at the age of 41.

 

Expires May 17, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 11, 2016

 
The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

2. The Maltese Falcon (1941) -- Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Barton MacLane, Lee Patrick, Sydney Greenstreet, Ward Bond, Jerome Cowan, Elisha Cook, Jr., James Burke, Murray Alper, John Hamilton. Uncredited: Walter Huston, Charles Drake, William Hopper. This third screen version of Dashiell Hammett's 1929 crime novel was an auspicious directorial debut for John Huston and the film that solidified Bogart's status as a cinematic superstar.
 
The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Greenstreet, for his screen debut) and Best Writing, Screenplay (Huston).
 
The story earlier was told onscreen in a 1931 version that starred Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels. In 1936, a revised version titled "Satan Met a Lady" starred Bette Davis and Warren William.
 
 
In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked this film No. 23 on its list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. When AFI updated the list in 2007, the film dropped eight notches to No. 31.
 
In another AFI survey, a 2005 ranking of the greatest movie quotes of all time, Bogart's last line came in at No.14:
 
 
Other memorable lines from the film:
  • "You're good, you're very good." -- Spade to Shaughnessy.
  • "When a man's partner is killed, he's supposed to do something about it. It doesn't make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you're supposed to do something about it." -- Spade to Shaughnessy.
  • "When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it." -- Spade to Joel Cairo
  • “I hope they don't hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. . .The chances are you'll get off with life. That means if you're a good girl, you'll be out in 20 years. I'll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I'll always remember you.” -- Spade to Shaughnessy.
Astor, who co-starred as femme fatale Brigid O'Shaughnessy, won the 1941 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. But it was for her performance in "The Great Lie" as Sandra Kovak, a vain concert pianist who has a romantic rivalry with Maggie Patterson (Bette Davis). Astor's reaction to the award? ''I would have preferred getting my Oscar for 'The Maltese Falcon,' " she wrote later. 
 
The late Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times added the film to his list of "Great Movies" and declared that the drama "stands as a great divide" 
 
He continued: "Consider what was true after its release in 1941 and was not true before:
 
(1) The movie defined Humphrey Bogart's performances for the rest of his life; his hard-boiled Sam Spade rescued him from a decade of middling roles in B gangster movies and positioned him for 'Casablanca,' 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre,' 'The African Queen' and his other classics.

(2) It was the first film directed by John Huston, who for more than 40 years would be a prolific maker of movies that were muscular, stylish and daring.

(3) It contained the first screen appearance of Sydney Greenstreet, who went on, in 'Casablanca' and many other films, to become one of the most striking character actors in movie history.

(4) It was the first pairing of Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, and so well did they work together that they made nine other movies, including 'Casablanca' in 1942 and 'The Mask of Dimitrios' (1944), in which they were not supporting actors but actually the stars.

(5) And some film histories consider 'The Maltese Falcon' the first film noir. It put down the foundations for that native American genre of mean streets, knife-edged heroes, dark shadows and tough dames."

 
Expires May 18, 2016.

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Continued from the previous section:

 

Media crossover referenceA flashback shows an 8-year-old Kane (Swan) playing in the snow outside the Colorado boarding house owned by his parents (Moorehead, Shannon). Inside, his mother makes an arrangement with banker Walter P. Thatcher (Coulouris) that will change the boy's life forever.

 


 

The scene inspired the 1989 Madonna video for "Oh Father," which was directed by future heavyweight Hollywood filmmaker David Fincher ("Gone Girl," "Fight Club," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Social Network"). The cinematographer for the video was Jordan Cronenweth ("Blade Runner").

 


 

Expires May 18, 2016.



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TCM On Demand for May 11, 2016

 
The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

1. Citizen Kane (1941) -- Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead, Ruth Warrick, Ray Collins, Erskine Sanford, Everett Sloane, William Alland, Paul Stewart, George Coulouris, Buddy Swan, Harry Shannon, Philip Van Zandt. Uncredited: Alan Ladd. The 25-year-old Welles (1915-1985) produced, directed and starred in this stylish and innovative film about the death and life of a flamboyant newspaper publisher. The film wunderkind also claimed co-writing credit for the original screenplay, which will be addressed later. The black-and-white drama, which was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, is considered by many to be the greatest film of all time. In two different surveys, in 1998 and 2007, the production was ranked No. 1 by the American Film Institute on its lists of the 100 greatest movies in history. Since 1952, the respected British film magazine Sight & Sound has asked critics to select the all-time greatest films. Welles' debut effort was No. 1 in every decade from 1962 to 2002. In the 2012 poll, it was No. 2, supplanted at the top spot by Sir Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo."

 

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Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane

 

The movie's central figure is Charles Foster Kane (Welles), a controversial "yellow journalism" practitioner based on the powerful media tycoon William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951). Through some addition, subtraction and guesswork, it appears that Kane was born the same year as Hearst, although the movie's protagonist died 10 years before his real-life counterpart. It is Kane's death at age 78 that captures the media's fascination in 1941. The mogul expires at his ostentatious Florida Gulf Coast estate Xanadu (modeled after the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California). Kane's last utterance, which the AFI ranked No. 17 on its Top 100 list of greatest movie quotes, inspires one media outlet to dispatch reporter Jerry Thompson (Alland) to find out what it meant.

 

Hearst turned his wrath on the RKO picture, and did all he could to block its release. As a result, the film was not a financial success on its initial run. But it was always an artistic triumph, thanks to Welles and his cast and crew. Many of the actors were a part of the Mercury Theatre repertory company that Welles used for stage and radio presentations. As for the crew members, the film benefited enormously from the photographic brilliance of cinematographer Gregg Toland, who forever will be remembered when the words "deep focus" are used.

 

The movie's editor was Robert Wise, who went on to a long and distinguished career as a director. He won four Academy Awards for producing and directing the movie musicals "West Side Story" (1961) and "The Sound of Music" (1965). One of the montage creators was Don Siegel, who also turned to directing and enjoyed many popular film collaborations -- including "Dirty Harry" and "Escape from Alcatraz" -- with Clint Eastwood in the 1960s and 1970s.

 

And then there was composer Bernard Herrmann, who later provided some of the great music for Hitchcock films in the 1950s and 1960s. He died on Christmas Eve in 1975, after completing his work on the memorable score for Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (1976).

 

This movie's only Oscar win was for Best Original Screenplay, which Welles supposedly wrote with Herman J. Mankiewicz (grandfather of Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz). On Father's Day in 2013, Ben and his father Frank discussed the credit controversy for a TCM presentation of the film. Frank Mankiewicz contended that Welles did not write a single word of the screenplay, but persuaded Herman Mankiewicz to share the credit. "It was done that way because Welles had a contract with RKO that required him to do all four things [produce, direct, act and write], or he wouldn't get paid at all," Frank Mankiewicz said.

 

In a conversation with Ben Mankiewicz that aired May 29, 2014 on TCM, filmmaker Henry Jaglom, Welles' friend and confidant, said the film great never took credit for the screenplay, although he admitted to some revisions. "He always claimed that he gave [Herman] Mankiewicz the credit," Jaglom said.

 
The film's other Oscar nominations were for Best Director and Best Actor (Welles), Best Black-and-White Cinematography (Toland), Best Black-and-White Art Direction-Interior Decoration (Perry Ferguson, Van Nest Polglase, A. Roland Fields and Darrell Silvera), Best Film Editing (Wise), Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture (Herrmann) and Best Sound (John Aalberg).

Memorable Scene No. 1: A flashback featuring a series of flashforwards that sums up the relationship between Kane and his first wife Emily (Warrick). Each segment shows the Kanes at a dining-room table, ranging from their early days as lovebirds to a time when they're not speaking at all.
 
 
Memorable Scene No. 2: This is one particularly admired by the late film critic Roger Ebert, who once said he had seen the movie at least 50 times. Here is how he described it: "There is a master image in 'Citizen Kane' you might easily miss. The tycoon has overextended himself and is losing control of his empire. After he signs the papers of his surrender, he turns and walks into the back of the shot. Deep focus allows Welles to play a trick of perspective. Behind Kane on the wall is a window that seems to be of average size. But as he walks toward it, we see it is further away and much higher than we thought. Eventually he stands beneath its lower sill, shrunken and diminished. Then as he walks toward us, his stature grows again. A man always seems the same size to himself, because he does not stand where we stand to look at him."
 
 
Memorable quote No. 1: "It's the only disease, Mr. Thompson, that you don't look forward to being cured of." -- Kane's longtime employee Mr. Bernstein (Sloane), talking about old age in a conversation with reporter Jerry Thompson.
 
Memorable quote No. 2: "It isn't enough to tell us what a man did. You've got to tell us who he was." --Mr. Rawlston (Van Zandt), producer of the "News on the March" movie newsreel.
 
A Man for All Seasons: Welles, who died in 1985, has been portrayed a few times on the big and small screens. The late Paul Shenar played him in the 1975 ABC made-for-television movie "The Night That Panicked America," which was a re-creation of the Mercury Theatre's infamous 1938 Halloween Eve radio presentation of "The War of the Worlds." In 1999, Liev Schreiber appeared as Welles in "RKO 281," an HBO TV-movie that recounted the behind-the-scenes controversies during the making of "Citizen Kane." And Zac Efron and Christian McKay co-starred as the title characters, respectively, in "Me and Orson Welles," Richard Linklater's 2008 feature film about the Mercury Theatre in 1937.
 
Continued in the next section:

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TCM On Demand for May 12, 2016

 
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

2. The French Connection (1971) -- Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi, Frédéric de Pasquale, Bill Hickman, Ann Rebbot, Harold Gary, Arlene Farber, Eddie Egan, André Ernotte, Sonny Grosso, Benny Marino, Patrick McDermott, Alan Weeks, Al Fann, Irving Abrahams, Randy Jurgensen, William Coke, The Three Degrees. William Friedkin's suspenseful police action-drama won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It also earned Hackman the first of his two Oscars for dramatic performances. Based on a true story, the film stars Hackman as Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle, a brash New York undercover police detective who tries to pinpoint the source of an illegal drug pipeline between the United States and France.
 
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Hackman as Popeye Doyle
 
The film's other Oscar wins were for Best Adapted Screenplay (Ernest Tidyman) and Best Film Editing (Gerald B. Greenberg). The drama also received nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Scheider), Best Cinematography (Owen Roizman) and Best Sound (Theodore Soderberg and Christopher Newman).
 
Memorable moments: Doyle drives frantically through Brooklyn in pursuit of a fleeing suspect in an elevated train.
 
 
Hackman played Doyle a second time in the 1975 sequel "French Connection II." The film was directed by John Frankenheimer.
 
Producer Philip D'Antoni reunited with actors Scheider and Lo Bianco for "The Seven-Ups," a 1973 police action-thriller about a dedicated unit of undercover cops. D'Antoni also directed the film, which was based on a story by former New York City detective Grosso.
 
The Distinguished Dozen: Hackman's second Oscar victory was for his supporting performance as a hard-nosed sheriff in Clint Eastwood's 1992 Best Picture-winning Western "Unforgiven." Hackman is one of 12 people to win Academy Awards in both leading and supporting categories. The others: Helen Hayes, Jack Lemmon, Ingrid Bergman, Dame Maggie Smith, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, Kevin Spacey, Denzel Washington and Cate Blanchett.
 

Media crossover reference: In September 1986, Ed O'Neill played the New York detective in "Popeye Doyle," an NBC made-for-television movie. The project was not picked up as a series, and so O'Neill went on to television stardom the next year on the fledgling FOX Network. He starred as the harried husband Al Bundy in "Married with Children," which ran from 1987 to 1997.

 
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O'Neill in "Popeye Doyle" (1986)
 
Expires May 19, 2016.
 

 

3. To the Ends of the Earth (1948) -- Dick Powell, Signe Hasso, Maylia, Ludwig Donath, Vladimir Sokoloff, Edgar Barrier, John Hoyt, Marcel Journet, Luis Van Rooten, Fritz Leiber, Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger (as himself). Uncredited: Ivan Triesault, Victor Sen Yung, Richard Loo, Henry Kulky, Nacho Galindo. Robert Stevenson -- best known for his Disney films ("Mary Poppins," "The Love Bug," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks") -- directed this film noir effort about a West Coast-based U.S. Treasury agent (Powell) and his war against ruthless opium smugglers.

 
Expires May 19, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 12, 2016

 
The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

1. Borderline (1950) -- Fred MacMurray, Claire Trevor, Raymond Burr, José Torvay, Morris Ankrum, Roy Roberts, Don Diamond, Nacho Galindo, Pepe Hern, Grazia Narciso. Uncredited: Charles Lane, Chris-Pin Martin. Trevor, a 1948 Academy Award winner for her supporting performance as a gangster's moll in "Key Largo," stars as Los Angeles policewoman Madeleine Haley. In the biggest case of her career, she goes undercover to investigate a drug smuggling operation in Mexico. Burr plays the drug kingpin; MacMurray is an underworld figure who isn't all that he appears to be.
 
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Trevor and MacMurray
 
The drama was directed by William A. Seiter ("You Were Never Lovelier," "One Touch of Venus").
 
Expires May 19, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 13, 2016

 
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

1. Holiday (1938) -- Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres, Edward Everett Horton, Henry Kolker, Binnie Barnes, Jean Dixon, Henry Daniell. Uncredited: Ann Doran. George Cukor's romantic comedy was a remake of a 1930 film that starred Ann Harding, Mary Astor, Robert Ames, William Holden and Horton, who played Nick Potter in both versions. The source material for both films was a 1928 play by Philip Barry, who later wrote "The Philadelphia Story," a stage production that became a 1940 Oscar-winning film starring Hepburn, Grant and James Stewart. Hepburn stars as a wealthy family's black-sheep daughter who falls for a Wall Street financier (Grant) engaged to her sister (Nolan).
 
 
The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Art Direction (Stephen Goosson and Lionel Banks). 
 
Expires May 20, 2016.
 
 
2. The Philadelphia Story (1940) -- Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey, John Howard, Roland Young, John Halliday, Mary Nash, Virginia Weidler, Henry Daniell, Lionel Pape, Rex Evans. Uncredited: Hillary Brooke. Stewart won his only competitive Academy Award for his performance in this romantic comedy based on the 1939 stage play by Philip Barry. Directed by George Cukor ("The Women"), the movie's screenplay was adapted by Barry, who won an Oscar for his efforts.
 
Hepburn, who starred in the Broadway play, reprises her role of spoiled Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord, whose upcoming remarriage has become a noteworthy event. To Tracy's surprise, her ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (Grant), shows up for the event. Stewart plays Macaulay Connor, who has been assigned to cover the nuptials for a publication.
 
On March 25, 1985, Stewart received an honorary Academy Award "for his fifty years of memorable performances. For his high ideals both on and off the screen. With the respect and affection of his colleagues."
 
 
In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked the picture No. 52 on its list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. When AFI updated the list in 2007, the film climbed to No. 44.
 
In 1999, AFI released its survey of history's 50 greatest screen legends -- the top 25 actresses and top 25 actors of all time. Hepburn was the was the No. 1 female. Grant was the No. 2 male, followed by Stewart as the No. 3 male (No. 1 was Humphrey Bogart). 
 
This was the last of four films that Grant and Hepburn did together between 1935 and 1940. The others: "Sylvia Scarlett" (1935), "Bringing Up Baby" (1938) and "Holiday" (1938).
 
The story was remade in 1956 as the musical "High Society," which starred Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and (in her last screen appearance) Grace Kelly.
 
Expires May 20, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 14, 2016

 
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

1. The Boy with Green Hair (1948) -- Pat O'Brien, Robert Ryan, Barbara Hale, Dean Stockwell, Richard Lyon, Walter Catlett, Samuel S. Hinds, Regis Toomey, Charles Meredith, David Clarke, Billy Sheffield, Johnny Calkins, Teddy Infuhr, Dwayne Hickman, Eilene Janssen, Curtis Loys Jackson Jr., Charles Arnt. Uncredited: Charles Lane, Dale Robertson, Peter Brocco, Russ Tamblyn, Ann Carter, Anna Q. Nilsson, William Smith. Stockwell, who turned 80 on March 5, 2016, has had a long and distinguished acting career that dates back to his boyhood in the mid-1940s. This message film, the first ever directed by the eventually blacklisted Joseph Losey, stars Stockwell as a World War II orphan who becomes the talk of his adopted American small town. As the title suggests, it's all because he wakes up one day with a full head of green hair. 
 
 
The movie's haunting theme song, "Nature Boy," became something of a signature tune for Nat King Cole. It was later covered by actor John Leguizamo at the beginning of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 musical "Moulin Rouge."
 
Expires May 21, 2016.
 
 
2. Erskine Caldwell's 'God's Little Acre' (1958) -- Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Tina Louise, Buddy Hackett, Jack Lord, Fay Spain, Vic Morrow, Rex Ingram, Michael Landon. Anthony Mann, known for his memorable 1950s Westerns starring James Stewart, directed this film version of Caldwell's controversial 1933 novel about a Southern farming family.
 
godslittleacre1958_76557_678x380_1028201
Ryan, Louise and Hackett
 
In the years after the movie's release, Landon ("Bonanza"), Morrow ("Combat!"), Louise ("Gilligan's Island") and Lord ("Hawaii Five-0") became top television stars. 
 
Expires May 21, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 15, 2016

 

The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 


1. The Awful Truth (1937) -- Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Alexander D'Arcy, Cecil Cunningham, Molly Lamont, Esther Dale, Joyce Compton, Robert Allen, Robert Warwick, Mary Forbes. Leo McCarey won the first of his two Best Director Oscars -- the other was for "Going My Way" (1944) -- via this screwball comedy about a divorcing couple (Dunne and Grant) that somehow can't refrain from meddling in each other's new romances. Based on a 1922 play by Arthur Richman, the film also received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress (Dunne), Best Supporting Actor (Bellamy) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Viña Delmar).

 


 

Dunne and Grant would reunite for two other films -- "My Favorite Wife" (1940) and "Penny Serenade" (1941). Mr. Smith, the wire-haired terrier in the film, was the same dog that appeared as Asta in "The Thin Man" (1934) and "After the Thin Man" (1936).

 

Expires May 22, 2016.

 

 

2. The Marrying Kind (1952) -- Judy Holliday, Aldo Ray, Madge Kennedy, Sheila Bond, John Alexander, Rex Williams, Phyllis Povah, Mickey Shaughnessy, Griff Barnett. Uncredited: Charles Bronson, Peggy Cass, Frank Ferguson, Joan Shawlee, Gordon Jones, Nancy Kulp, Christopher Olsen, Harry von Zell (as voice of radio show host). This comedy/drama marked Holliday's third collaboration with director George Cukor and screenwriter Garson Kanin. They previously worked on "Adam's Rib" (1949) and "Born Yesterday" (1950). The latter film earned the actress an Academy Award. Ruth Gordon, Kanin's wife and occasional writing partner, co-wrote this film as well as "Adam's Rib."

 

It stars Holliday and Ray as a married couple with children whose relationship goes on the rocks. The picture focuses on a divorce court judge (Kennedy) who listens to their marital tales in order to reach a legal decision.

 


 

This was Ray's first major role in a motion picture. Four months after its release, he appeared in the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn hit "Pat and Mike," which was another film directed by Cukor and written by Kanin and Gordon.

 


Expires May 22, 2016.

 

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TCM On Demand for May 16, 2016
 
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

2. White Heat (1949) -- James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly, Steve Cochran, John Archer, Wally Cassell, Fred Clark. Uncredited: Jim Thorpe, Robert Foulk, Harry Lauter, Sid Melton, Ray Montgomery, Ford Rainey. Directed by Raoul Walsh ("The Roaring Twenties"), this was Cagney's last great gangster film. He plays Cody Jarrett, a stone-cold killer with a soft spot for his mother (Wycherly). 

 

Memorable scene: Jarrett finds out in prison that his devoted mother has died. He gets the news at a mess hall table when the information is passed down to him from inmate to inmate. He then proceeds to have a fit, forcing prison guards to restrain him. 

 

 

Movie notes: Based on a story by Virginia Kellogg, the screenplay was written by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, who later created the late-1970s television sensation "Charlie's Angels." Archer, who appears as the ill-fated T-Man Philip Evans, was married to actress Marjorie Lord of TV's "The Danny Thomas Show." Their daughter Anne Archer co-starred with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close in the 1987 hit "Fatal Attraction." The 1986 Madonna album "True Blue" features a song titled "White Heat," dedicated to Cagney. It begins with Jarrett's lines from the movie: "A copper. A copper. How do ya like that boys? A copper..."

 

Jarrett's final words in the film ranked No. 18 on the American Film Institute's 2005 list of the 100 greatest movie quotes of all time. 

 

 

Expires May 23, 2016

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TCM On Demand for May 16, 2016


 


The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time: 


 


Le Roue (1923) -- Séverin-Mars (Sisif), Ivy Close (Norma), Gabriel de Gravone (Elie), Pierre Magnier (Jacques de Hersan), Max Maxudian (Kalatikascopoulos), Georges Térof (Machefer), Madame Gil-Clary (Dalilah). This version of French director Abel Gance's silent film -- translated as "The Wheel" in English -- clocks in at about four-and-a-half hours. Written, directed and co-produced by Gance, this is the tragic tale of a romantic triangle involving a train engineer (Séverin-Mars), his son (De Gravone) and a young woman (Close) adopted as an orphaned child by the engineer.


 



 


Gance's original version is believed to have had a running time of nine hours. He eventually whittled it down to two-and-a-half hours for its original run.


 


Expires May 24, 2016.


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TCM On Demand for May 17, 2016


 


The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time: 


 


Bell, Book and Candle (1958) -- James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Hermione Gingold, Elsa Lanchester, Janice Rule, Philippe Clay, Bek Nelson, Howard McNear, The Brothers Candoli. Stewart and Novak followed their performances in Sir Alfred Hitchcock's drama "Vertigo" with this romantic comedy directed by Richard Quine ("The World of Suzie Wong," "How to Murder Your Wife"). Novak plays Gillian Holroyd, a bona fide witch who finds herself falling in love with a human -- publisher Shep Henderson (Stewart).


 



 


The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Cary Odell and Louis Diage) and Best Costume Design (Jean Louis). 


 


Expires May 24, 2016.


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TCM On Demand for May 18, 2016


 


The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time: 


 


The Fallen Sparrow (1943) -- John Garfield, Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak, Patricia Morison, Martha O'Driscoll, Bruce Edwards, John Banner, John Miljan, Hugh Beaumont. Uncredited: Nestor Paiva, Lee Phelps. Set during the outbreak of World War II, this drama stars Garfield as Kit McKittrick, a weary American veteran of the Spanish Civil War who has been recovering back in the States. When he returns to his native New York to investigate the mysterious death of a longtime friend, Kit finds himself besieged by Nazi agents interested in information he might have.


 



 


Directed by Richard Wallace ("Tycoon," "A Kiss for Corliss"), this film was based on the 1942 novel by Dorothy B. Hughes.


 


The picture received an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (C. Bakaleinikoff and Roy Webb). 


 


Morison, who plays Barby Taviton, observed her 101st birthday on March 19, 2016.


 


Memorable dialogue:


 


Whitney "The Imp" Parker (O'Driscoll), wearing a low-cut gown at a special occasion: Don't sit on me. You'll muss my dress!


 


McKittrick: I was going to suggest you go home and put one on.


 


Expires May 25, 2016.


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Comcast TCM On Demand has only one film listed:  "The Fallen Sparrow."  

 

Is there a problem again with the vendor that uploads films?

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TCM On Demand for May 19, 2016


 


The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time: 


 


2. The Last Frontier (1955) -- Victor Mature, Guy Madison, Robert Preston, James Whitmore, Anne Bancroft, Russell Collins, Peter Whitney, Pat Hogan. Uncredited: Guy Williams, Terry Wilson. Anthony Mann, who collaborated with James Stewart on some of the best Westerns of the 1950s, directed this tale based on the novel by Richard Emery Roberts. The movie's screenplay was adapted by Philip Yordan and Russell S. Hughes. 


 



 


 

Expires May 26, 2016.


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Comcast TCM On Demand has only one film listed:  "The Fallen Sparrow."  

 

Is there a problem again with the vendor that uploads films?

Sure seems that way.  The updates are occurring far less often, with the list of films being allowed to decrease down to one or two before more films are added.  Today, with Fallen Sparrow now unavailable, we have Hoop Dreams but no other films as of early this morning.

 

Comcast calls this a technical issue, but it's odd how the technical issue seems to be consistently resolved once a week and only when the list consists of one film that will become unavailable for viewing within a day.  Then the list repopulates, slowly but surely, with many of the newly listed films available for less than a week.  This is the pattern that has developed over the last month or so.  

 

Assuming Comcast is correct and that this technical issue originates with TCM, I can't shake the feeling that "uh-oh, we're down to one film again; we better get a bunch more over to the cable company" may be the technical element in the phrase "technical issue." 

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TCM On Demand for May 19, 2016

 

 

 

 

The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time: 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Eyes Without a Face (1959) -- Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel, Edith Scob, François Guérin, Alexandre Rignault, Béatrice Altariba, Charles Blavette, Claude Brasseur, Michel Etcheverry, Yvette Etiévant, René Génin, Lucien Hubert, Marcel Pérès. Titled "Les Yeux Sans Visage" in French, this thriller was directed by film archivist-turned filmmaker Georges Franju. It stars Pierre Brasseur as an accomplished plastic surgeon who becomes obsessed with restoring the beauty of his daughter (Scob), whose face was disfigured in an automobile accident. In Frankenstein-like fashion, he and his assistant  Louise (Valli) abduct young women in desperate attempts to surgically graft their facial features onto his daughter. Franju's film influenced numerous productions over the years, including "Faceless," a 1987 remake by Spanish director Jesús Franco and "Face/Off," John Woo's 1997 thriller about face transplants starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta.

 

 

 

 

 

eyes-without-a-face-1959-dr-genessier-ge

 

 

Brasseur as the obsessed surgeon Dr. Genessier

 

 

 

 

 

It also inspired rocker Billy Idol, who in 1984 had a Top 10 hit song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Eyes Without a Face." The video was directed by David Mallet, who also shot Idol's "White Wedding." The background performer -- Idol's then-girlfriend Perri Lister -- sings the title in French. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expires May 26, 2016

 

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TCM On Demand for May 20, 2016

 

The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

4. The Wild Angels (1966) -- Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd, Buck Taylor, Norman Alden, Michael J. Pollard, Lou Procopio, Joan Shawlee, Marc Cavell, Coby Denton, Frank Maxwell, Gayle Hunnicutt, Gina Grant, Art Baker, Dick Miller, Kim Hamilton, Hal Bokar, Jack Bernard, Frank Gerstle. Uncredited: Peter Bogdanovich, Barboura Morris. After years of doing suspense films based on Edgar Allan Poe titles, independent producer Roger Corman changed directions with this examination of a Hell's Angels biker group in San Pedro, California.

Dern and Ladd were married at the time they appeared in this film. Their daughter Laura Dern grew up to become an actress and an Academy Award nominee like her parents. 

 

Expires May 27, 2016.

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TCM On Demand for May 20, 2016

 

The following feature is now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:

 

3. The Trip (1967) -- Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper, Salli Sachse, Barboura Morris, Judy Lang, Luana Anders, Beach Dickerson, Dick Miller, Caren Bernsen, Katherine Walsh, Michael Nader, Barbara Ransom, Michael Blodgett, Tom Signorelli, Boyd Santell, Mitzi Hoag, Luree Holmes, Earl Finn, Roger Arroyo. Uncredited: Peter Bogdanovich, Brandon De Wilde, Gram Parsons, Angelo Rossitto. Jack Nicholson, who cut his teeth in many 1960s independent films by producer-director Roger Corman -- wrote the screenplay for Corman's daring picture about one man's experimentation with psychedelic drugs. The film's protagonist -- Paul Groves, a director of television commercials in the Los Angeles area -- is played by Fonda. Hopper appears as a drug dealer. Two years later, Fonda and Hopper collaborated on the counterculture tale "Easy Rider," which became one of the major films of the "New Hollywood" era of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

 

 

 

Expires May 27, 2016.

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