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A Great Movie Alert!

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A couple of gems coming tomorrow (Wednesday, January 28) on TCM:


6:00 PM In This Our Life (1942) A neurotic southerner steals her sister's husband then vies with her for another man. Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent. D: John Huston. BW 97m. CC


8:00 PM The African Queen (1951) A grizzled skipper and a spirited missionary take on the Germans in Africa during World War I. Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley. D: John Huston. C 105m. CC


And this Saturday night, two of Hitchcock's best (among others worth watching), though I'm sure everyone here has already seen them;- )

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Tomorrow, Monday, February 2 at 4 PM ET:


Three Comrades, one of the best 10 films of 1938 (according to my new book - Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made by The New York Times), and one which I enjoyed thoroughly when I saw it on TCM last April 24th.


Also, I'd be interested in knowing from those of you who participate here, what your thoughts are regarding the other films being shown tomorrow ... specifically, The Guardsman, Possessed, Marie Antoinette, and A Free Soul. I haven't seen any of these but have heard of them and didn't know if I should tape them or not. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Path, here's a tip if you'd like to try it. If I don't really know if I'm going to want a tape of a movie, I go ahead and tape it anyway on SP, and then if I really like it I keep it and if I don't want it I tape over it the next time a "questionable" movie comes along.


I haven't seen any of the movies you've asked about so I'll be putting this trick to use tomorrow (smile).



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Path, I saw MARIE ANTIONETTE several years ago. It was very good--Shearer's performance is very moving. Definitely one to watch if you like Norma Shearer or are interested in that period in French history. Also, the sets and costumes are quite sumptuous.


Sandy K

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I know it's a little late to reply, but "Marie Antoinette" is DEFINITELY worth seeing. Norma Shearer is great, and the production values could'nt be beat. MGM literally spent a fortune to make that movie. And "A Free Soul" is another great Shearer movie, also starring Clark Gable in a very steamy story where he's a gangster, and she's a "respectable" girl who loves him. Great early 30's pre-code stuff. The other two I haven't seen, but I understand that "The Guardsman" is memorable since it's the only movie that Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontane made, and they were considered the "royal couple" of the theater back in the day since they were both great actors and were married in real life.

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So many great movies to watch this week. In fact, you could just about alert the whole schedule;- ) However, I want to point out a couple of my very favorites of the ones being shown (in case you haven't seen them, you shouldn't miss 'em):


Thursday - 2:00 PM The Corn Is Green (1945) A dedicated teacher sacrifices everything to send a young miner to Oxford. Bette Davis, Nigel Bruce, John Dall. D: Irving Rapper. BW 114m. CC DVS


Friday - 11:00 AM The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) An unscrupulous movie producer uses everyone around him in his climb to the top. Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Dick Powell. D: Vincente Minnelli. BW 118m. CC DVS


Saturday - 7:30 AM The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) A misfired flirtation lands a young lieutenant married to a princess instead of the one he loves. Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins. D: Ernst Lubitsch. BW 89m.

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Thanks paty and ML, I wasn't sure anyone was reading this thread;- ) BTW, I'd love it if others would continue to contribute here as well. I've had the pleasure of seeing many a fine film because someone mentioned it here.

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I watched "The Corn Is Green" This afternoon......man I love that movie.....and boy those coal miners could sing! They should have started the "Coal Miner Boys Choir"........they would have made a lot more money touring and could have kept their hands clean. :)



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  • 2 weeks later...

TCM will complete it's 31 Days of Oscar tribute March 2nd. However, starting in primetime this Thursday through Oscar night (Sunday), 30 out of the 75 previous Academy Award Best Picture winners will be shown, uncut and without commercial interruption (and primarily letterbox too!).


Below is the EST schedule summary with some of my comments ...


Thursday, February 26


8:00 PM Ben-Hur (1959) While seeking revenge, a rebellious Israelite prince crosses paths with Jesus Christ. Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins. D: William Wyler. C 222m. LBX

This biblical remake saved MGM from bankruptcy and won a record eleven Oscars, unequaled until Titanic (1997). Best Actor Charleton Heston solidified his typecasting in biblical epics. The spectacularly constructed chariot race set is the kind of great movie special effects that may never be attempted again (since the advent of CGI). Best Director Wyler's 12th (out of 13, by far the most) nomination.

12:00 AM Lawrence of Arabia (1962) A British military officer enlists the Arabs for desert warfare in World War I. Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness. D: David Lean. C 227m. LBX

216 minutes of film (second only to GWTW) without a single female speaking a line! Check out the other Great Movies from this outstanding year - http://www.filmsite.org/1962.html - if you need another reason to appreciate how great this movie is. A biography of T.E. Lawrence, his adventures, his legend, and AFI's #10 hero.


4:00 AM Midnight Cowboy (1969) A would-be gigolo and an ailing con artist form an unlikely friendship. Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Brenda Vaccaro. D: John Schlesinger. C 113m. LBX

The big deal about this film is the fact that it was the first X-rated movie to win Best Picture (BTW, it was re-rated R in 1971 without being re-edited). Otherwise, it just doesn't hold up. Sylvia Miles 6-minute performance received a Best Supporting Actress nomination?! Though not a strong year for Great Movies, I'd have voted for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid instead.



Friday, February 27


6:00 AM The Broadway Melody (1929) Love and success break up a vaudeville sister act. Charles King, Anita Page, Bessie Love. D: Harry Beaumont. BW 101m.

This is an enjoyable, though dated, musical about two sisters trying to make it on Broadway, and their men. You'll also briefly see two venerated character actors early in their careers, William Demarest and James Gleason.


8:00 AM The Life Of Emile Zola (1937) The famed writer risks his reputation to defend a Jewish army officer accused of treason. Paul Muni, Joseph Schildkraut, Gale Sondergaard. D: William Dieterle. BW 116m.

Very interesting story, a somewhat fictionalized biography (per the opening credits) of Emile Zola, whose story I was not familiar with until now. He was a French muckraking writer in the late 19th century. The film is primarily focused on one particular case (perhaps the most prominent of his life?) in which he is taken to trial (libel) for exposing the Army's conviction of an innocent man for treason, and its cover-up exoneration of the guilty party. Paul Muni does his usual great job portraying this historical figure and there are strong supporting performances by Joseph Schildkraut (who won an Oscar for playing the accused), Gale Sondergaard as his wife, and the ubiquitous (and always excellent) Donald Crisp. The film also won the Academy Award that year for Best Writing, Screenplay (and a nomination for Best Writing, Original Story).


10:00 AM Around The World In 80 Days (1956) A Victorian gentleman bets that he can beat the world's record for circling the globe. David Niven, Shirley MacLaine, Cantinflas. D: Michael Anderson. C 170m.

Jules Verne's novel about modern transportation and the resultant "shrinking globe" was adapted in this year which featured long, epic (& biblical) nominated pictures. Producer (& Elizabeth Taylor's third husband) Michael Todd, whose film technique, Todd-AO, was used for only the second time in this movie, won his only Oscar (he was killed less than a year later in a plane crash).


1:00 PM The Apartment (1960) An aspiring executive lets his bosses use his apartment for assignations, only to fall for the big chief's mistress. Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray. D: Billy Wilder. BW 125m. LBX

Corporate ladder climbing is just one of the storylines in this second (of seven) successful pairing(s) of Director Wilder and Lead Actor Jack Lemmon. Wilder took home three Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing - Screenplay) which may have been an attempt by Academy voters to fix their gaffe the previous year when these two were first paired in Some Like It Hot, which wasn't even nominated for Best Picture!


3:30 PM Marty (1955) A lonely butcher finds love despite the opposition of his friends and family. Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti. D: Delbert Mann. BW 90m.

Paddy Chayefsky's first of three Best Writing Oscars has Best Actor Ernest Borgnine playing against type in the role that Rod Steiger played on TV two years earlier ... a sign that TV had arrived! An insightful story about loneliness, peer pressure, and homeliness. The only BP winner to win the Cannes Film Fest's Palme d'Or, also the shortest (91 minutes) to win.


5:30 PM Oliver! (1968) Musical version of the Dickens classic about an orphan taken in by a band of boy thieves. Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, Mark Lester. D: Carol Reed. C 146m. LBX

"Consider yourself, at home", "Food glorious food" and many other many memorable songs and scenes mark this musical version of Charles Dickens's classic Oliver Twist. In my opinion, you'll find no better character acting than Ron Moody as Fagin (though he lost the Best Actor Oscar to Cliff Robertson's Charly) in this film - OUTSTANDING!


8:00 PM From Here To Eternity (1953) Enlisted men in Hawaii fight for love and honor on the eve of World War II. Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra. D: Fred Zinnemann. BW 118m.

How many times have you seen the scene with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr rolling in the surf? Popular Oscar themes, boxing & the beginning of WW II, serve as backdrops for this film which garnered five acting nominations, winning Supporting Actor Oscars for Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed. Tied Gone With The Wind for the most Academy Awards won (eight) at the time.

10:00 PM West Side Story (1961) A young couple from dueling street gangs falls in love. Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno. D: Robert Wise. 152m. LBX

This updated Romeo and Juliet tale, on the streets of New York, is the only movie so far to share the Best Director Oscar between two directors, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. Can you believe that Elvis was Director Wise's first choice to play the Romeo (Tony) character opposite "Juliet", Maria played by Natalie Wood (whose singing voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon, who later dubbed Audrey Hepburn's singing voice in My Fair Lady)? TEN Oscars out of 11 nominations.


1:00 AM Annie Hall (1977) A comedian and an aspiring singer try to overcome their neuroses and find happiness. Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts. D: Woody Allen. C 93m. LBX

Inexplicably, this relationship film about two neurotic people in love beat Star Wars for Best Picture and Director Woody Allen beat George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), his first nomination, as well;- ) The Turning Point received 11 nominations without winning a single Oscar.


3:00 AM The Last Emperor (1987) China's final emperor, Pu Yi, becomes a pawn of imperial forces, invading Japanese and the Communist government. John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole. D: Bernardo Bertolucci. C 163m. LBX

Pretty good film biography about Pu Yi, the last of the Emperors of China (more interesting than most documentaries;- ) It won all NINE Academy Awards for which it was nominated, like Gigi!


Saturday, February 28


6:00 AM Gigi (1958) A Parisian girl is raised to be a kept woman but dreams of love and marriage. Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan. D: Vincente Minnelli. C 116m. LBX

Of all the films in this post, one has to wonder how this ho hum musical earned all nine Oscars for which it was nominated. Was it just a weak year or did The Defiant Ones and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof cancel each other out as well? It's a mystery.


8:00 AM An American in Paris (1951) An American artist finds love in Paris but almost loses it to conflicting loyalties. Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant. D: Vincente Minnelli. C 114m.

"It's wonderful, it smarvelous", an average musical featuring so many (44!) elaborate sets was the best picture of 1951? Probably not. Instead, it was likely the beneficiary of a split vote between A Streetcar Named Desire and A Place in the Sun.


10:00 AM The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946) Three returning servicemen fight to adjust to life after World War II. Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy. D: William Wyler. BW 170m.

This film about veterans returning home from WW II includes disabled Army veteran Harold Russell, who received two Oscars (Best Supporting Actor and Honorary for bringing hope & courage to his fellow veterans) for his performance, the only time an actor has received two Oscars for the same performance.


1:00 PM It Happened One Night (1934) A newspaperman tracks a runaway heiress on a madcap cross-country tour. Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Walter Connolly. D: Frank Capra. BW 105m.

Frank Capra's first Oscar winner was also the first film to sweep the top five awards (Best Picture, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Director, and Best Writing). The original script was titled "Night Bus" after the book on which the film was based. Includes the famous scene of Claudette Colbert raising her skirt above her knees while hitchhiking, to Clark Gable's astonishment.

3:00 PM You Can't Take It With You (1938) A girl from a family of free-thinkers falls for the son of a conservative banker. Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart. D: Frank Capra. BW 126m.

This story about class distinctions highlighted by a family of eccentrics was Capra's third (and last) Best Director Oscar in five years, though he did receive two more nominations for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) (which, like this film, teams Jean Arthur with James Stewart) and It's A Wonderful Life (1946). Even though it's got a 7.8 rating on imdb.com, it hasn't received enough votes to be listed in their "Top 250 Movies of All-Time", else it'd be somewhere around #200. Grand Illusion was the first foreign language film to be nominated.

5:30 PM Rebecca (1940) A young bride is terrorized by the memories of her husband's glamorous first wife. Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson. D: Alfred Hitchcock. BW 130m.

Manderlay's housekeeper Mrs. Danvers is 31st on AFI's Top Villain list in this movie about expectations & disillusionment. It was the first film Alfred Hitchcock made in Hollywood, his only one to win Best Picture; he never won a Best Director Oscar! David O. Selznick's second straight BP Oscar and the first of only THREE Hitchcock films he produced after initially luring him to Hollywood with a FOUR picture, $800,000 contract. The other two were Spellbound (1945) and The Paradine Case (1947), which both starred recently deceased Gregory Peck. In case you care, Notorius (1946) (produced by Hitchcock himself) was counted as the fourth picture in the contract.


8:00 PM Driving Miss Daisy (1989) When she's forced to hire a driver, a southern matron questions her assumptions about race. Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd. D: Bruce Beresford. C 99m. LBX

Filmed here in Atlanta (another buddy film;- ), it's about a twenty year relationship between an old jewish woman who needs a driver (played by Best Actor nominee Morgan Freeman). A weird year at the Academy Awards - http://us.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Academy_Awards_USA/1990/ - Octogenarian Jessica Tandy wins the Best Actress Oscar on her first nomination. Only the third BP whose director wasn't nominated. Personally, I preferred watching Ray (and Terence Mann) "go the distance".


10:00 PM Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) When his wife leaves him, an ad exec gets a crash course in parenting. Dustin Hoffman, Justin Henry, Meryl Streep. D: Robert Benton. C 105m. LBX

One can learn to hate Meryl Streep (also in 1978's winner), or at least the character she plays, watching this film about divorce, surviving as a single (male) parent, and the custody battle. Do you think the incident with Dustin Hoffman's character and his kid in the bathroom after nailing the interview should have cost him the job? This film was very nearly the 3rd one to win the top five awards, except Streep's was for Supporting Actress.

12:00 AM Rain Man (1988) A con artist discovers he has a wealthy, autistic brother. Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino. D: Barry Levinson. C 134m. LBX

A buddy film: one is a selfish yuppie, the other is his institutionalized savant brother featuring an unforgettable performance from Best Actor Dustin Hoffman (one of his two Oscars, the other was earned in 1979's Best Picture) . Lots of hilarious interplay in this one - http://us.imdb.com/Quotes?0095953


2:15 AM Mrs. Miniver (1942) A British family struggles to survive the first days of World War II. Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright. D: William Wyler. BW 134m.

This terrific film about perseverance & courage helped rally U.S. support for our British allies in WW II. The first film to receive five acting nominations, winning two (one for Lead Actress Greer Garson & one for the comely Teresa Wright, Supporting Actress) and also earned William Wyler his first (out of three) Best Director Oscar. His other two were earned directing the Best Pictures in 1946 and 1959. Walter Pidgeon was also in 1941's BP winner.


4:30 AM Grand Hotel (1932) Guests at a posh Berlin hotel struggle through scandal and heartache. Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford. D: Edmund Goulding. BW 113m.

One of the first big star extravaganzas (Garbo, two Barrymores, Crawford and Beery) which, ironically, failed to earn ANY other Academy Award nominations (the only Best Picture winner with this distinction). It's a story about the lives of several people in a very plush hotel where "nothing ever happens".



Sunday, February 29


6:30 AM Cimarron (1931) A husband and wife fight to survive in the early days of the Oklahoma Territory. Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Edna May Oliver. D: Wesley Ruggles. BW 124m.

See my previous message on this film entitled "Cimarron (1931)"

8:45 AM Chariots Of Fire (1981) Committed long-distance runners strive for the 1924 Olympics. Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Alice Krige. D: Hugh Hudson. C 124m. LBX

I was a hurdler in high school, so this one is special even though it came out after I graduated. Hard to get charged up about the Brits winning track & field gold over the USA in the Olympics though. The first of consecutive Best Picture Oscars taken home by the British (Sir John Gielgud in both). 1982's BP winner was Gandhi.


11:00 AM On The Waterfront (1954) A young stevedore takes on the mobster who rules the docks. Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger. D: Elia Kazan. BW 108m. LBX

Best Director winner Elia Kazan's justification for "ratting" on friends and colleagues to the House Un-American Activities Committee is thinly veiled in this story about the onset Waterfront Crime Commission hearings on union crime and underworld (vs. communist) infiltration. Five acting nominations with Brando (Terry Malloy is #23 on AFI's hero list) winning his first Oscar on his fourth consecutive Best Actor nomination (also a Supporting award for Eva Marie Saint on her only nomination).


1:00 PM In The Heat Of The Night (1967) A black police detective from the North forces a bigoted Southern sheriff to accept his help with a murder investigation. Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates. D: Norman Jewison. C 110m. LBX

This is a great film about prejudice and racism. Terrific performances by Sidney Poitier (Virgil Tibbs is #19 on AFI's hero list) and Rod Steiger, who won his only Best Actor Oscar on (incredibly) his last nomination. It was the first PG movie ever to win the Best Picture Oscar (if you don't count the re-ratings of the earlier films).


3:00 PM The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957) The Japanese Army forces World War II POWs to build a strategic bridge in Burma. William Holden, Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa. D: David Lean. C 162m. LBX

O.K. now, everybody whistle;- ) A long film about "keeping a stiff upper lip", following orders, and leadership earned David Lean his first Best Director Oscar (though Howard Hawks was originally asked to direct it). Can you image Cary Grant (as was originally planned) in lieu of William Holden? Sir (along with Lean) Alec Guinness received his only Best Actor Oscar.


5:45 PM Rocky (1976) A dimwitted boxer fights to prove he can go the distance against a glamorous champ. Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith. D: John G. Avildsen. C 119m. LBX

Boxer Balboa is the #7 hero on AFI's list. What if Stallone had accepted the $150,000 the producers offered him to let Ryan O'Neal play the lead? The fight scene was filmed in reverse order starting with the fifteenth round and Stallone and Weathers in heavy make-up. As filming continued, the make-up was slowly removed until they were at round one. In part, because of this technique, the movie also won an Oscar for Best Film Editing.

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Path, you are absolutely amazing! I've printed out your post here and will definitely be consulting it many, many times in the next few weeks.Your posts are ones I always check out. You've always got something important to say. Do you teach film in college or somethin'? You really know your stuff, my fellow movie buff!

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Thank you so much for your feedback (BTW, did anyone else have trouble logging in today or did I break the megabyte limit or something;- ) And, to answer your question paty:


No, I don't teach film (though I'd love to find work in something related) or anything like it; I'm just a classic movie fan, like all of you fellow contributors here, who happens to like to research, write, and share my passion for film. I very much enjoy reading each of your posts as well and am so glad I found these forums last Summer, where so many kindred souls are found!

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path40a - Let me chime in with a "thanks" for that incredible post. I really enjoyed your commentary on each film, and you made a lot of good points. I would also love to find work in the classic movie genre, however it seems like a tough field to find a niche in. But you should definitely think about teaching classes at a local school, or in a continuing education program for adults. You know your stuff!

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Path, you're so erudite and have so much to share. In your post you mention living in the Atlanta area. Heck, they've got to have a film society in your area, and Turner Classic Movies is over on Techwood Drive. They need 'ya, Path! Thanks for all the interesting comments, and keep 'em coming, please.

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Thanks again for all the positive feedback everyone! It's great to learn from all of you what great movies are out there that I've yet to see AND to discuss those which I have on these message boards as well. There are lots of films which I would have never thought to watch/tape until I heard about them here (e.g. in the 21 questions game) and hopefully I've been able to alert you to some worth seeing as well;- )

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Well, I don't think this is what many would consider a great movie, but it's one I just noticed in the schedule and would like to alert ya'll to...It's The Last Voyage (1960) w/Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone, and it's gonna be on tomorrow at 6 a.m. Eastern. It about escaping a large, aging liner that's sinking because of a boiler explosion. It was filmed aboard what was the Ile de France, which they actually sank during the filming of the movie to add realism. It's interesting to note that just four years earlier, the Ile de France played a big part in the Andrea Doria rescue off the East Coat--the largest peacetime sea rescue operation in history.


Now, I like this movie, mainly because of the Ile de France (called the 'Claridon' in the movie), but I'm actually quite surprised that it's being played during these "31 Days of Oscar". I looked it up and indeed it was nominated for an Best Effects Oscar, surely because of the use of a real ship. Even so, the movie is rather unremarkable and doesn't seem to have Oscar written on it in any area. I dunno, I was just kinda surprised that it got even a nomination for anything.


But anyway, it's gonna be on and ya might wanna check it out if ya haven't seen it already...

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antar I watched this movie a few months ago and I got a kick out of it (a sort of poor man's Poseidon Adventure).

I also liked the idea of using the old ship which was actually on its last voyage and then to be scrapped.

And its always a pleasure to see Dorothy Malone although she was trapped in water throughout most of the movie.



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