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A Great Movie Alert!


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Plenty more TCM premieres in the coming week (August 17-23; see my website), but don't forget Richard Dix's The Whistler (1944) tonight or Joseph Cotten's Love Letters (1945) tomorrow night.


Several more on Thursday (Carole Lombard), in addition to the ones we already know and love

Friday is Bela Lugosi, which includes Island of the Lost Souls (1933) followed by Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

On Saturday, you can see an Audrey Hepburn (Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier - Billy Wilder) film not often shown, Love in the Afternoon (1957)

Sunday, you owe it to yourself to check out The Rack (1959) on Lee Marvin's day (even though it's really a Paul Newman film)

Monday is David Niven's day, and it's filled with a lot of terrific films, from The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) through Dodsworth (1936) (and few misses in between)

Rita Hayworth's Tuesday includes her signature film (Gilda (1946)), naturally, which is preceded by the TCM premiere of The Loves of Carmen (1948)

Next Wednesday celebrates Van Johnson's many different roles, that morning's programming and his war movies being shown are excellent; I like the lighter fare choice in prime time too, Two Girls and a Sailor (1944) featuring the beautiful Gloria DeHaven; check out The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947) too, if you've never seen it (Janet Leigh's screen debut includes a timely message about choosing sides in a conflict)

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I'm glad they're showing The Whistler tonight. I was planning to use it in the next challenge (if there is one), and wasn't sure if I could, under the rules. There's a radio station on iTunes that plays the old radio show, amongst others, every night. Great stuff.

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Too bad you missed the beginning, it did lay the groundwork but also, you missed the signature opening narration, "I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, many secrets hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak." I hope they show the rest of the series.

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The Whistler radio show lasted from 1942 to 1955 and it was influenced by The Shadow. Actually, of the original Shadow who was the host of the stories and never really took part in them, until he became the main character on the radio show version. Anyway, The Whistler narrates the stories with a touch of dark humor, asking rhetorical questions of the characters, setting up the unfolding story, like he did in the movie. The Whistler was the forerunner to the original Alfred Hitchcock Presents with its unexpected twists and surprise endings. If you want to check it out, go to radio.macinmind.com and check the schedule out. You can link up to the online radio show if you have one of the supporting applications.

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A handful of TCM premieres (details on my website) help to complete this month's last week of Summer Under the Stars, which begins with:


Ann Sothern, Thursday - don't miss Shadow on the Wall; also good is Brother Orchid

James Stewart on Friday (a good variety of his many film roles)

Cary Grant Saturday (ditto)

John Wayne Sunday - Stagecoach (1939) at 6 AM ET; also try to catch Hondo and McLintock! if you've never seen them

Hedy on Monday - including Algiers, Come Live With Me, Ziegfeld Girl, Tortilla Flat, and H.M. Pulham, Esq.

Ingrid Bergman next Tuesday with For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)

Sidney Poitier next Wednesday, and Barbara Stanwyck on Thursday, August 31st

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A movie of Ingrid Bergman's to watch is Joan of Arc. She does the role very well. I like it for the times she hears her voices when she prays, and for the encouragement she gives the French troops during the battles. You can feel the despondency she goes through at the end of the movie, but her death at the stake is her triumph.

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The first week of September (starting Friday) has some notables worth mentioning:


I haven't seen The Mouse That Roared (1959) with Peter Sellers, and will be looking forward to this TCM premiere Friday night in prime-time (unless I'm watching the U.S. Open instead;-)


Saturday's lineup is very good from 10 AM to 3:30 AM ET with only a few bumps (early) in between.


Sunday's lineup includes what was to be the TCM premiere of Robert Duvall's Oscar winning performance in Tender Mercies (1983), but this one actually aired earlier this month when he replaced Doris Day during Summer Under the Stars; Silent Sunday Night is back with one of the best - The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928).


Late Monday night/early Tuesday AM you may want to give director Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960) a look, especially if you missed its TCM premiere a year ago (I think this is only the second time it's been shown). So infamous, it effectively ended his career before Martin Scorsese 'found & rescued' him.


The 50th Anniversary of Janus Films is celebrated next Tuesday with two films each from Ingmar Bergman and Federico Fellini; a dark and depressing tone to be sure, recommended though not for the faint of heart.


An unannounced tribute to Billie Burke begins the day (next Wednesday) which ends with the first night of SOTM William Holden's films, kicked off appropriately with Golden Boy (1939).

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This film could be called RKO's Heaven's Gate because it was a flop in 1937 and they had put so much money into it.





The Toast of New York (1937)

TCM Sep 03 06:00am


*** (Rated NR)


Jim Fisk and his partner fleece Cornelius Vanderbilt, then prompt Black Friday 1869 with a run on gold.

Cast: Edward Arnold, Cary Grant, Frances Farmer, Jack Oakie, Donald Meek, Clarence Kolb, Billy Gilbert, Stanley Fields.

Director: Rowland V. Lee.

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Tomorrow night marks the first airing of the Dick Cavett interviews, beginning with his brand new 2006 discussion with Mel Brooks, a TCM premiere!


Friday morning, you don't want to miss Lee Tracy's only Oscar nominated performance opposite Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson in Gore Vidal's The Best Man (1964), nor the great Ruth Gordon & Bud Cort in Harold and Maude (1971) that evening


This weekend's TCM Essential is Brief Encounter (1945); Sunday features TCM's tribute to Glenn Ford, followed that night by Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), which is definitely worth a look.


TCM will mark five years since 9/11 with a lineup of prison movies until Robert Osborne's picks begin primetime


Next Tuesday continues this month's 50th Anniversary of Janus Films celebration with two terrific Jean Renoir classics followed by two from Russian director Sergei Eisenstein including the TCM premiere of Alexander Nevsky (1939)


And next Wednesday morning, TCM will honor Claudette Colbert's birthday with a terrific lineup of her films which is followed by the second evening of SOTM William Holden's work, including director Blake Edwards only Western Wild Rovers (1971)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that tomorrow at 7 PM ET, as part of its day of shorts, TCM will air Star in the Night (1945) (especially since I'd requested it so much last December;-)


Other films to look out for in the coming week's schedule, the TCM premiere of Angel in My Pocket (1969) on Saturday night; Hud (1963), The Miracle Worker (1962), Sunrise (1927), Tom Jones (1963), and Blowup (1966) on Sunday; a Garbo birthday tribute on Monday; some great Janus films on Tuesday; and Stalag 17 (1953) next Wednesday!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am plugging PBS tonight for any one here who is a history fan. I am recording this off of air to DVD while watching it in HD-TV.


Marie Antoinette


PBS Sep 25 09:00pm

Special/Other, 120 Mins.


One of the most controversial monarchs in history, the queen thrives in the Austro-Hungarian Empire; Blair Brown narrates.

Original Airdate: September 25, 2006.


When betrothed to King Louis XVI, the na?ve and beautiful, Austrian-born Marie Antoinette enters the opulent French court, which is steeped in conspiracy and scandal. Without guidance, adrift in a dangerous world, the young girl rebels against the isolated atmosphere of Versailles and becomes France's most misunderstood monarch. Stripped of her riches and finery, imprisoned, and ultimately beheaded by her own subjects, the Queen of France became a toxic symbol for the wanton extravagance of the 18th century monarchy that incited to the French Revolution.


Future Airings:

# Marie Antoinette, PBSXD Sep 26 09:00pm

# Marie Antoinette, PBSXD Sep 27 01:00am

# Marie Antoinette, PBSXD Sep 27 04:00am

# Marie Antoinette, WNET Sep 28 01:30am


Check your local listing.

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While not a movie per se, I stumbled onto this PBS documentary around 9:15 last night after coming home from a long day. My first reaction to Marie Antoinette was "Boy, what a bubblehead. She sounds like the Paris Hilton of her day."


Fortunately, I stayed with the story of her life, and found myself drawn into her wrongheaded and tragic story---realizing gradually that as a poorly educated member of the Austrian aristocracy & a very young girl at the time of her ill-starred marriage, she really can't be entirely blamed for her situation. After all, as one of the historians mentioned, she and Louis were living through some unprecedented history without a playbook. They weren't just prisoners of the revolutionaries, but of history and their own, very human limitations. Having read quite a bit about the revolution and revolutionaries without delving much into the lives of these Bourbons, it was really riveting, and, ultimately moving as a human story.


I also thought that the historians' comments about the streak of misogyny at work in the demonizing of Marie Antoinette was an interesting and unexplored aspect of the hatred that spewed forth within French society toward the queen.


I'd never cared for the Norma Shearer biopic of Marie Antoinette's life, but I was glad to see that Count Axel de Fersen (Tyrone Power) does seem to have been genuinely altruistic in his motives for helping the family attempt to escape fate---albeit in a brand new, way too conspicuous carriage complete with a compartment for a crown & a wine rack, among other accoutrements. I hope that others can catch this excellent doc. I think that they'd enjoy it too.

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