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TCM On Demand (Comcast)


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TCM On Demand for October 1, 2014


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


1. Hearts of the West (1975) -- Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, Donald Pleasence, Blythe Danner, Alan Arkin, Richard B. Shull, Herbert Edelman, Alex Rocco, Frank Cady, Anthony James, Burton Gilliam, Matt Clark, Candice Azzara, Thayer David, Wayne Storm, Marie Windsor, Anthony Holland, Dub Taylor, Raymond Guth, Herman Poppe, William Christopher, Jane Dulo. Uncredited: Fred Ward, Anne Seymour, Bill Quinn, Woodrow Parfrey, Susan Hendershot. Directed by Howard Zeiff ("Private Benjamin"), this comedy about early Hollywood filmmaking stars Bridges as a writer who accidentally becomes a star of B-movie Westerns. Expires October 7, 2014.



2. MGM Is On the Move! (1964) -- Promotional short subject that showcased Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's lineup of films for 1964. Among the productions previewed: "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (Debbie Reynolds, Harve Presnell), "A Global Affair" (Bob Hope), "7 Faces of Dr. Lao" (Tony Randall) and "The Americanization of Emily" (James Garner, Dame Julie Andrews). Expires October 7, 2014.


3. The Way We Were (1973) -- Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles, James Woods, Patrick O'Neal, Sally Kirkland, Susan Blakely, Viveca Lindfors. Directed by Sydney Pollack, this very popular romantic drama is about opposites (Streisand, Redford) who fall in love and marry despite their differences. She's a liberal Jewish activist; he's a golden boy and an apolitical WASP. Their relationship begins at a college just before World War II. The film reaches its climax during the politically tumultuous McCarthy era of the early 1950s.



Marvin Hamlisch won two Academy Awards for this movie: Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song (for the title tune, shared with lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman). Hamlisch picked up a third award on Oscar Night 1974, winning in the Best Original Song Score and/or Adaptation category for his use of Scott Joplin rags in "The Sting." Streisand's version of the title song became a No. 1 pop hit and a standard.


On March 24, 2002, Redford was presented an honorary Oscar, not only for his significance as an actor, director and producer, but also as the "creator of Sundance, inspiration to independent and innovative filmmakers everywhere." The award was presented to him by Streisand.


Redford and Kirkland also appeared together in "The Sting," which won the 1973 Best Picture Oscar and produced the onetime Sundance Kid's only Best Actor nomination. A year later, Redford co-starred with Chiles in the much-hyped remake of "The Great Gatsby," based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel.


Pollack and Redford were young actors when they met during the filming of "War Hunt," a 1962 drama about the Korean conflict. It was the first feature film for both of them. After Pollack turned to directing in the mid-1960s, he and Redford collaborated on six other projects, including "Jeremiah Johnson" (1972), "Three Days of the Condor" (1975), "The Electric Horseman" (1979) and the Oscar-winning Best Picture of 1985, "Out of Africa." 


Expires October 7, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 2, 2014


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


1. If Winter Comes (1947) -- Walter Pidgeon, Deborah Kerr, Dame Angela Lansbury, Binnie Barnes, Janet Leigh, Dame May Whitty, René Ray, Virginia Keiley. Reginald Owen, John Abbott, Rhys Williams, Hugh French, Dennis Hoey, Nicholas Joy, Halliwell Hobbes. This was the second film in the fruitful career of Leigh, honored as Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month for October 2014. She co-stars as Effie Bright, an unwed mother-to-be who is looked after by a married writer-publisher (Pidgeon) in an English village just before World War II. The drama was directed by Victor Savile ("Green Dolphin Street"), based on the 1921 by A.S.M. Hutchinson. 


Expires October 8, 2014.



2. Little Women (1949) -- June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien, Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh, Rossano Brazzi, Mary Astor, Lucile Watson, Sir C. Aubrey Smith, Elizabeth Patterson, Leon Ames, Harry Davenport, Richard Wyler, Connie Gilchrist, Ellen Corby. Uncredited: Will Wright. Second MGM sound version of Louisa May Alcott's beloved 19th-century tale of four New England sisters coping with the absence of their father during the Civil War. The first, directed by George Cukor and released in 1933, starred Katharine Hepburn (as Jo), Joan Bennett (Amy), Jean Parker (Beth), Frances Dee (Meg) and Spring Byington (as Mrs. March). In this Technicolor edition by director Mervyn LeRoy, the sisters are played by Allyson (Jo), O'Brien (Beth), Taylor (Amy) and Leigh (Meg). Mrs. March, affectionately called "Marmee" by the girls, is played by Astor. In Alcott's novel, Amy is the youngest daughter, but in this version, the preteen O'Brien's Beth is the baby of the family. 



The film won the Academy Award for Best Color Art Direction-Set Decoration (Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis and Jack D. Moore). It also was nominated for Best Color Cinematography (Robert H. Planck, Charles Edgar Schoenbaum).


This was the final screen appearance of the veteran British actor Smith, who plays Mr. Laurence. He died December 20, 1948, three months before the movie's release. He was 85. This also was Taylor's final role as an adolescent. She turned 18 during the production of the film.


The actresses who played the March sisters became such good friends during the filming of the movie, they apparently drove Astor to distraction. “My approach to the part of Marmee was not an enthusiastic one,” Astor wrote years later. “Everybody else had fun.” After production ended, Astor, who had become typecast as matriarchs in MGM movies, opted out of her contract.


A 1994 version of the story, directed by Australian filmmaker Gillian Armstrong, earned three Academy Award nominations: Best Actress (Winona Ryder as Jo), Best Costume Design (Colleen Atwood) and Best Original Score (Thomas Newman). The other members of the March family were played by Kirsten Dunst and Samantha Mathis (in the role of Amy at different stages), Claire Danes (Beth), Trini Alvarado (Meg) and Susan Sarandon (Marmee).


Expires October 8, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 3, 2014


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


1. Beyond Tomorrow (1940) -- Harry Carey, Sr., Sir C. Aubrey Smith, Charles Winninger, Alex Melesh, Maria Ouspenskaya, Helen Vinson, Rod La Rocque, Richard Carlson, Jean Parker, J. Anthony Hughes, Robert Homans, Virginia McMullen, James Bush, William Bakewell. Uncredited actor: Hank Worden. Directed by former Keystone Kop A. Edward Sutherland ("The Invisible Woman," "Abie's Irish Rose"), this Christmas fantasy film stars Carey, Smith and Winninger as industrial engineering partners who tragically are killed in an airplane crash. They return to Earth as ghosts determined to bring together a young couple (played by Carlson and Parker) they befriended before the crash. Madame Ouspenskaya co-stars as the engineers'

housekeeper, who can sense their presence in ghostly form. Expires October 9, 2014.


2. The Time of Their Lives (1946) -- Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marjorie Reynolds, Binnie Barnes, John Shelton, Gale Sondergaard, Lynn Baggett, Jess Barker, Anne Gillis, Donald MacBride, William Hall, Robert Barrat, Rex Lease. Uncredited actors: Kirk Alyn, Selmer Jacwekson. Directed by Charles Barton ("Toby Tyler"), this ghostly tale doesn't emphasize Abbott and Costello as a comedy team. Costello stars as Horatio Prim, a master tinker wrongly suspected of being a traitor to the American cause during the Revolutionary War. In fact, he and his companion Melody Allen (Reynolds) are killed by colonial troops as the result of a mistake. As a result, the two souls are condemned to haunt a New England estate for the next two centuries until their innocence can be proved. Abbott plays a dual role in the film -- an 18th century butler named Cuthbert Greenway, and Greenway's 20th-century descendant. Expires October 9, 2014.


3. Topper (1937) -- Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young, Billie Burke, Alan Mowbray, Eugene Pallette, Arthur Lake, Hedda Hopper, Virginia Sale, Theodore von Eltz, J. Farrell MacDonald, Elaine Shepard, Doodles Weaver, Si Jenks, Three Hits and a Miss. Uncredited actors: Lana Turner, Ward Bond, Hoagy Carmichael. Directed by Norman Z. McLeod, this comedy stars Young as Wall Street banker Cosmo Topper, who makes the acquaintance of the fun-loving ghosts of socialites George and Marion Kerby (Grant, Bennett). Burke co-stars as Topper's wife Clara; Mowbray is the faithful servant.

The movie received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Young) and Best Sound, Recording (Elmer A. Raguse).

The box-office hit was followed in 1938 by a sequel (without Grant) titled "Topper Takes a Trip." Another sequel, "Topper Returns," was released in 1941 -- also without Grant.

The film trilogy inspired the 1950s television series that starred Leo G. Carroll as Topper, Lee Patrick as Clara, and Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys as George and Marion, respectively.


Expires October 9, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 4, 2014
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time: 


1. The African Queen (1951) -- Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Theodore Bikel, Walter Gotell, Peter Swanwick, Richard Marner. Uncredited actor: Errol John, Gerald Onn, John von Kotze. Bogart won his only Academy Award for Best Actor in John Huston's screen adaptation of the 1935 novel by C.S. Forester. Hepburn received a nomination for Best Actress, while Huston earned nods for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay (with James Agee). Set in central Africa during World War I, the drama stars Bogart as boat captain Charlie Allnut who teams with revenge-minded missionary Rose Sayer (Hepburn) to sink a strategic German gunboat. 




In 1998, the American Film Institute ranked the drama No. 17 on its list of the greatest movies of all time. When AFI updated the list in 2007, the film dropped to No. 65.


In 1999, AFI televised its survey of history's 50 greatest screen legends -- the top 25 actors and top 25 actresses of all time. Bogart was the No. 1 male and Hepburn was the No. 1 female. Huston's film was the only project in which they appeared in together.


In 1987, Knopf published Hepburn's memoir about her experiences on the film and her budding friendship with Bogart's wife Lauren Bacall, who was present for the shoot. The book was titled "The Making of 'The African Queen,' or: How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind." It was a best seller.
German author Peter Viertel, who worked on the screenplay, wrote a fictional version of his experiences with Huston titled "White Hunter Black Heart." The 1953 roman à clef was turned into a 1990 feature film starring Clint Eastwood as John Wilson, the film director based on Huston. Eastwood also produced and directed the picture.
Expires October 10, 2014.
2. Beat the Devil (1953) -- Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre, Edward Underdown, Ivor Barnard, Marco Tulli, Bernard Lee, Mario Perrone, Giulio Donnini, Saro Urzi, Juan de Landa, Aldo Silvani. Directed by John Huston, who adapted the screenplay with Truman Capote from James Helvick's novel. Helvick was the pen name of British writer Claud Cockburn, grandfather of actress Olivia Wilde. The film was a reunion of three collaborators from "The Maltese Falcon" a decade earlier -- Huston, Bogart (who produced this one) and Lorre. Bogart and Lollobrigida play a couple in Italy who encounter an untrustworthy group of schemers hoping to strike it rich in Africa.
Expires October 10, 2014.
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TCM On Demand for October 5, 2014


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


1. The Lady Vanishes (1938) -- Margaret Lockwood, Sir Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty, Cecil Parker, Linden Travers, Naunton Wayne, Basil Radford, Mary Clare, Emile Boreo, Googie Withers, Sally Stewart, Philip Leaver, Selma Vaz Dias, Catherine Lacey, Josephine Wilson, Charles Oliver, Kathleen Tremaine. Sir Alfred Hitchcock's British mystery thriller aboard a train is considered to be one of the best productions from his pre-Hollywood years. The film stars Lockwood as Iris Henderson, a well-to-do British tourist returning home to marry her fiancé after a vacation in an Alpine country. On the train, she becomes acquainted with a matronly English governess and music teacher named Miss Froy (Whitty). But when the woman mysteriously disappears, Iris is the only person who seems to remember ever seeing her. Redgrave co-stars as Gilbert, a fellow passenger who gradually begins to believe Iris is telling the truth.



Hitchcock's film was written by Sidney Gilliatt and Frank Launder, based on the novel "The Wheel Spins" by Ethel Lina White. This was the director's penultimate British picture. After finishing "Jamaica Inn" (1939), he was brought to America by producer David O. Selznick to do a film version of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 best-selling novel, "Rebecca." The movie Hitchcock made received the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1940, and so the director rarely did pictures in Britain after that. This film has been remade for the screen and television several times. A 1979 Hammer Films version starred Elliott Gould, Cybill Shepherd, Herbert Lom and Angela Lansbury as Miss Froy.


Memorable scene: During a search for clues about Miss Froy's disappearance, Iris tells Gilbert there's something awfully strange about the nun (Lacey) sitting in a train compartment. She's wearing high heels!


Hitch's traditional cameo: The director makes an appearance in the film's final five minutes. Just before Iris and Gilbert disembark in London, Hitchcock can be seen walking alongside the train while smoking a cigarette.


Expires October 11, 2014.



2. The Mummy (1959) -- Peter Cushing, Sir Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, Eddie Byrne, Felix Aylmer, Raymond Huntley, George Pastell, Michael Ripper, George Woodbridge, Harold Goodwin, Denis Shaw, Gerald Lawson, Willoughby Gray, John Stuart, David Browning. Directed by Terence Fisher ("The Curse of Frankenstein," "House of Dracula"), this is the Hammer Films version of the return of Kharis (Lee), the ancient high priest of Karnak who becomes a menacing mummy in the 1890s. Furneaux plays the wife of archaelogist John Banning (Cushing). As it happens, she is a dead ringer for Princess Ananka, Kharis' great love interest in the old days. Expires October 11, 2014.



3. A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) -- Written, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker and author Laurent Bouzereau, this one-hour special was the first of a Turner Classic Movies series about different movie genres. Other installments included epic pictures, political films, Christmas movies and tales about crime and crimefighters. The French-born Bouzereau was the man responsible for the 2013 TCM documentary "Don't Say No Until I Finish Talking: The Story of Richard D. Zanuck." Expires October 11, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 6, 2014


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


1. Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010) -- This appreciation of the career of the late British cinematographer and filmmaker (1914-2009) was directed by Craig McCall, who co-produced it with Richard McGill. Cardiff, who provided commentary throughout the documentary, was celebrated for his mastery of Technicolor filmmaking, particularly during his eventful collaboration with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Among their efforts together: "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" (1943), "A Matter of Life and Death" (1946), "Black Narcissus" (1947) and "The Red Shoes " (1948). Cardiff also worked with other filmmakers, including Sir Alfred Hitchcock ("Under Capricorn," 1949); John Huston ("The African Queen," 1951); Albert Lewin ("Pandora and the Flying Dutchman," 1951); Sir Laurence Olivier ("The Prince and the Showgirl," 1957); and Richard Fleischer ("The Vikings," 1958). Cardiff distinguished himself as a director, too. His version of D.H. Lawrence's "Sons and Lovers" earned seven 1960 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Trevor Howard) and Best Supporting Actress (Mary Ure). It won an Oscar for Freddie Francis' black-and-white cinematography. Expires October 12, 2014.


2. The Jungle Book (1942) -- Sabu, Joseph Calleia, John Qualen, Frank Puglia, Rosemary DeCamp, Patricia O'Rourke, Ralph Byrd, John Mather, Faith Brook, Noble Johnson. Director Zoltan Korda's live-action film version of Rudyard Kipling's tale preceded Walt Disney's animated hit by 25 years. The film stars Sabu as Mowgli, the boy raised in the jungle by wolves who copes with a new life among humans in civilization.



The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Color Cinematography (W. Howard Greene), Best Color Art Direction-Interior Decoration (Vincent Korda, Julia Heron), Best Special Effects (Lawrence W. Butler, photographic; William A. Wilmarth, sound) and Best  Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Miklós Rózsa). Expires October 12, 2014. 

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TCM On Demand for October 7, 2014
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:
1. Back to the Drawing Board: Animated Shorts (2014) -- Turner Classic Movies devoted its prime-time schedule on Monday, October 6, 2014 to early animated films. The special evening focused on the works of:
  • Winsor McCay (1869-1934), who created the comic strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland" and became an animated film pioneer. Among his projects aired by TCM: "Little Nemo" (1911), "How a Mosquito Operates" (1912), "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1914) "The Sinking of the Lusitania" (1914) and "Bug Vaudeville" (1921). Expires October 13, 2014.
  • Bray Studios -- Founded by animator J.R. Bray (1879-1978), the production company created such films as "The Artist's Dream" (1913). Among the shorts aired by TCM: "Farmer Al Falfa Sees New York" (1916) and "Bobby Bumps' Pup Gets the Flea-enza" (1919). Expires October 13, 2014.
  • The Van Beuren Studios -- This segment did not air as scheduled on TCM, although it is available on demand. The production company, which had its heyday from 1928 to 1936, originally was called Aesops Fables Studio because it created a series cartoons based on the old Greek morality tales. For a time, producer Amedee J. Van Beuren was in a partnership with cartoonist Paul Terry. When they parted in 1929 over the issue of making cartoons with sound, Terry went on to create Terrytoons, which eventually introduced such popular characters as Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle. Among the film shorts available to TCM is a 1933 version of "The Wizard of Oz." Expires October 13, 2014.

2. Magic Boy (1959) -- Directed by Akira Dailubara, this animated film from Japan is set during that country's medieval period. It tells the story of Sarutobi Sasuke, a youngster who lives in a forest with his sister Oyū and their animal friends. When their peaceful existence is threatened by a witch, the youth sets out to study magic with a teacher named Hakuunsai before doing battle with the sorceress. Expires October 13, 2014. 



3. To Be or Not to Be (1942) -- Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart, Lionel Atwill, Stanley Ridges, Sig Ruman, Tom Dugan, Charles Halton, George Lynn, Henry Victor, Maude Eburne, Halliwell Hobbes, Miles Mander. Lombard's final screen appearance was in Ernst Lubitsch's brilliant World War II comedy about the aftermath of Hitler's takeover of Poland. On January 16, 1942, less than two months before the film's release, the 33-year-old actress was killed in a plane crash near Las Vegas. She was on her way back to California after raising money in Indiana for the American war effort. Set in Warsaw, the film stars Lombard and Benny as stage thespians Maria and Josef Tura, respectively, whose professional and private lives are upended by the Nazi invasion in 1939. Stack plays a Polish flier who becomes enamored of Maria. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Werner R. Heymann). In 1983, Mel Brooks remade the comedy with his wife, actress Anne Bancroft, and a cast that featured Charles Durning (a Best Supporting Actor nominee), Christopher Lloyd, Tim Matheson and José Ferrer. Expires October 13, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 8, 2014





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






1. In the Cool of the Day (1963) -- Peter Finch, Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury, Arthur Hill, Constance Cummings, Alexander Knox, Nigel Davenport, John Le Mesurier, Alec McCowen, Valerie Taylor, Andreas Markos. Robert Stevens, who directed Finch and Susan Hayward in the 1962 British crime drama "I Thank a Fool," reunited with the Australian actor for this tale of an illicit romance. Based on the 1960 novel by British author Susan Ertz, the film stars Finch as Murray Logan, an English publisher who falls in love with Christine Bonner (Fonda), the wife of his friend Sam (Hill). Logan's life is further complicated by his rocky relationship with his wife Sibyl (Lansbury). This was one of five pictures starring Finch  that Turner Classic Movies aired beginning in prime time on Tuesday, October 7th.






Expires October 14, 2014.









2. Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) -- Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Tony Britton, Maurice Denham, Bessie Love, Vivian Pickles, Frank Windsor, Thomas Baptiste, Richard Pearson, June Brown, Hannah Norbert, Harold Goldblatt, Marie Burke. Jackson's performance in John Schlesinger's film earned her the second of three Best Actress Oscar nominations she received in a five-year period. She won for the movies "Women in Love" (1969) and "A Touch of Class" (1973). In this film, she stars as Alex Greville, a British woman who becomes part of a romantic triangle of sorts with a bisexual artist (Head) and a homosexual physician (Finch). The drama also received Academy Award nominations for Best Director (Schlesinger), Best Actor (Finch) and Best Original Screenplay (Penelope Gilliatt).






Jackson left acting to run for political office, and was elected a Member of Parliament in 1992. Now 78 years old, she currently represents the London constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn as a member of the Labour Party. She has announced she will not run for re-election in 2015.
In April 2013, Jackson made worldwide headlines after the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. During a special debate in the House of Commons, she harshly criticized Thatcher's policies, and said that greed and selfishness were seen as virtues during the late PM's administration.
Five years after his Oscar nomination for "Sunday Bloody Sunday," Finch received another for his performance as television sensation Howard Beale in Paddy Chayefsky's "Network," which was directed by Sidney Lumet. Finch died of a heart attack on January 14, 1977, two months before the Academy Awards ceremony for 1976 films. He became the first actor to win an Academy Award posthumously.



Head, who doubled as a singer, was the original Judas Iscariot on the 1970 "Jesus Christ Superstar" concept album by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Head's performance of the song "Superstar" was an international hit that reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1971. He had another worldwide hit song in 1984 -- "One Night in Bangkok," a musical selection from the concept album "Chess."



Expires October 14, 2014.


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TCM On Demand for October 9, 2014


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


1. Angels in the Outfield (1951) -- Paul Douglas, Janet Leigh, Keenan Wynn, Donna Corcoran, James Whitmore (voice of the Angel) Lewis Stone, Spring Byington, Bruce Bennett, Marvin Kaplan, Ellen Corby, Jeff Richards, John Gallaudet, King Donovan, Don Haggerty, Paul Salata, Fred Graham. Cameo appearances: Bing Crosby, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner. Uncredited: Barbara Billingsley, Douglas V. Fowley, Amzie Strickland. Clarence Brown ("The Human Comedy," "National Velvet") directed this baseball fantasy in the which the Pittsburgh Pirates -- who really were the doormats of the National League in the 1950s -- contend for a World Series berth, thanks to some heavenly intervention.





At the time of Crosby's cameo appearance in this film, he was a part-owner of the Pirates. Thanks to him, we now have a pristine copy of the telecast of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, in which Pittsburgh -- apparently without celestial assistance -- upset the New York Yankees 10 to 9 with a dramatic walk-off home run by Bill Mazeroski. Crosby had arranged to have a kinescope made of the telecast while he was in Paris. The copy of the "Best Game Ever" was discovered in a wine cellar in December 2009, and televised by the Major League Baseball Network a year later. 


Kaplan, cast as Timothy Durney, died on August 25, 2016 at the age of 89.


Movie crossover reference: Walt Disney Pictures remade this film in 1994 with a cast that included Danny Glover, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brenda Fricker, Tony Danza, Ben Johnson and Christopher Lloyd. The updated version  focused on the then-California Angels, who had never appeared in a World Series since their inception in 1961. Two future Academy Award winners played members of the ballclub: Adrien Brody (Best Actor, 2002) and Matthew McConaughey (Best Actor, 2013).


In 2002. the American League team -- then known as the Anaheim Angels -- won their first World Series title, defeating the San Francisco Giants in seven games.


Expires October 15, 2014.



2. Bye Bye Birdie (1963) -- Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Maureen Stapleton, Paul Lynde, Mary LaRoche, Jesse Pearson, Bobby Rydell, Michael Evans, Robert Paige, Gregory Morton, Bryan Russell, Milton Frome, Ed Sullivan. Cameo appearance: John Charles Daly. Uncredited: Trudi Ames, Linda Kaye Henning, Peter Menefee, Kim Darby. Directed by George Sidney ("Anchors Aweigh," "The Harvey Girls"), this film was based on the 1961 Tony Award-winning musical inspired by Elvis Presley's induction into the U.S. Army in 1958. In this version, a teen Ohio schoolgirl named Kim McAfee is chosen to give drafted rock 'n' roll idol Conrad Birdie (Pearson) a live goodbye kiss on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Van Dyke, reprising his Tony-winning stage role, plays a songwriter who must come up with a final song for Birdie. Along for the ride is his longtime fiancée (Leigh) and his clinging vine of a mother (Stapleton).


The screenplay was co-written by Michael Stewart, who was responsible for the book of the stage play, and Irving Brecher. Alhough it was only Ann-Margret's third film, her performance made the Swedish-born actress-singer a star, and launched her career as a screen sex symbol. The next year, she starred opposite Presley in "Viva Las Vegas," also directed by Sidney. Her charisma in "Birdie" was the subject of a Season 3 episode of TV's "Mad Men."


The movie musical is chock full of memorable songs by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse, including the title tune, "The Telephone Hour," "We Love You Conrad," "Hymn for a Sunday Evening (Ed Sullivan)" "Put on a Happy Face," "Kids," "One Last Kiss" and "A Lot of Livin' to Do." Interestingly, "Put on a Happy Face" was used as the theme song of "The Hollywood Palace," ABC's Sullivan-like variety show that aired on Saturday nights from 1964 to 1970.



Cast notes: Daly, who appears as a news reporter at the beginning of the movie, hosted the long-running CBS panel game show "What's My Line?" It aired for years on the same Sunday night lineup with Sullivan's variety series. Pearson later appeared on an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" as a TV music star who ruins a song written by Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) and Clara Edwards (Hope Summers). Rydell, who plays Kim's boyfriend Hugo Peabody, was a major teen idol during the early 1960s. But his career was eclipsed in the middle of the decade by Beatlemania and the British Invasion.


In 1995, a revised, made-for-television version of "Bye Bye Birdie" starred Vanessa L. Williams and Jason Alexander (George in "Seinfeld") in the roles played by Leigh and Van Dyke, respectively. Chynna Phillips, one-third of the pop music trio Wilson Phillips, played Kim McAfee. Songwriters Adams and Strouse won Primetime Emmys for a new tune written for the TV production -- "Let's Settle Down."



Van Dyke, who also starred with Dame Julie Andrews in the 1964 screen musical "Mary Poppins," observed his 90th birthday on December 13, 2005. He celebrated it with an organized party at Disneyland.


Expires October 15, 2014.


3. Two Tickets to Broadway (1951) -- Tony Martin, Janet Leigh, Gloria DeHaven, Edie Bracken, Ann Miller, Barbara Lawrence, Bob Crosby, Joe Smith and Charles Dale, Taylor Holmes, Buddy Baer, The Charlivels. Uncredited actors: Vera Miles, Dabbs Greer, Mamie Van Doren, George Nader, Billy Curtis, Donald MacBride, Joi Lansing, Gail Davis, Mara Corday, Joan Shawlee, Naura Hayden. Howard Hughes produced this RKO Technicolor musical about smalltown girl Nancy Peterson (Leigh) who hopes to become a showstopping star on the Great White Way.

Smith and Dale, the longtime vaudeville comedy team who play bickering delicatessen operators, were the inspirations for the 1975 Neil Simon film comedy "The Sunshine Boys." Simon's film earned George Burns an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.


Expires October 15, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 10, 2014


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


1. A Guy Named Joe (1943) -- Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson, Ward Bond, James Gleason, Lionel Barrymore, Barry Nelson, Esther Williams, Henry O'Neill, Don DeFore, Charles Smith, Addison Richards. Uncredited: Kirk Alyn, Arthur Space, Frank Faylen, Blake Edwards. This World War II fantasy was one of the young Steven Spielberg's favorite films. He liked it so much that he remade it as "Always" (1989), which starred Richard Dreyfuss and Holly Hunter, and featured Audrey Hepburn in her final screen appearance. The original version, directed by Victor Fleming ("Gone With the Wind"), is about the romance between American flier Pete Sandidge (Tracy) and Dorinda Durston (Dunne), a civilian pilot involved in the war effort in the United Kingdom. When Pete is tragically killed on a flying mission, he returns as a spirit and watches over Dorinda in the style of a true guardian angel.



Dunne and Tracy


This film marked the first major role for Johnson, who plays pilot Ted Randall. During the filming of the picture, the actor was seriously injured in a car crash and unable to finish his scenes. Tracy and Dunne persuaded Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to suspend production until Johnson could return.


As a result, Johnson completed the picture and went on to become one of the studio's biggest stars of the 1940s and early 1950s.


The movie also featured the competitive swimmer Williams in one of her first movie roles. She, too, went on to become one of MGM's brightest stars.


Expires October 16, 2014.



2. Murder, My Sweet (1944) -- Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, Mike Mazurki, Miles Mander, Douglas Walton, Donald Douglas, Ralf Harolde, Esther Howard. Powell takes a turn as detective Philip Marlowe in Edward Dmytryk's stylish film noir tale based on author Raymond Chandler's 1940 novel "Farewell, My Lovely." The complicated story revolves around Marlowe's search for the onetime girlfriend of hulking ex-con Moose Malloy (Mazurki), who has just completed an eight-year prison sentence. Malloy is anxious to be reunited with his sweetie, Velma Valento, but Marlowe keeps running into roadblocks and misinformation about the woman. 


The film marked the final screen appearance of the 26-year-old Shirley, who retired after a 20-year career that began when she was a child actress. 



Robert Mitchum, who played Marlowe twice in the 1970s, starred in a 1975 remake under Chandler's original title, "Farewell, My Lovely." That film co-starred Sylvia Miles (who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress), Charlotte Rampling, John Ireland, Anthony Zerbe, Harry Dean Stanton and Jack O'Halloran. It also featured an early screen appearance by Sylvester Stallone.


Memorable quote No. 1: "I caught the blackjack right behind my ear. A black pool opened up at my feet. I dived in. It had no bottom. I felt pretty good -- like an amputated leg." -- Marlowe's voiceover as he recalls being hit from behind by an unknown assailant.


Memorable quote No. 2: "The black pool opened up at my feet again. And I dived in." -- Marlowe's voiceover about the second time he was knocked unconscious.


Memorable dialogue:


Ann Grayle (Shirley): You know, I think you're nuts. You go barging around without a very clear idea of what you're doing. Everybody bats you down, smacks you over the head, fills you full of stuff. And you keep right on hitting between tackle and end. I don't think you even know which side you're on.


Marlowe: I don't know which side anybody's on. I don't even know who's playing today.


Expires October 16, 2014.



3. Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) -- James Mason, Ava Gardner, Nigel Patrick, Sheila Sim, Harold Warrender, Mario Cabré, Marius Goring, John Laurie, Pamela Kellino, Patricia Raine, Margarita D'Alvarez, La Pillina, Abraham Sofaer, Francisco Igual, Guillermo Beltrán, Lila Molnar. Phoebe Hodgson, Gabriel Carmona, Antonio Martin. Albert Lewin ("The Moon and Sixpence," "The Picture of Dorian Gray") directed this exquisite-looking romantic fantasy, inspired by the legend of the Flying Dutchman.



This was one of many films starring Gardner that either were filmed or set in her beloved Spain. The stunning cinematography was the work of the great Jack Cardiff.


Kellino was Pamela Mason, who was married to James from 1941 to 1964. Their son Mason became an actor, producer and aide to President Reagan. In 1986, he married Belinda Carlisle, the former lead singer of The Go-Go’s. 


Expires October 16, 2014.



4. TCM Twenty Classic Moments (2014) -- Ben Mankiewicz hosts this retrospective of some of the top moments from Turner Classic Movies' first 20 years. Among the highlights is the network's first George Foster Peabody Award in 2008 for its commitment to "the place of film in social and cultural experience." On April 2, 2014, TCM was honored with a second Peabody award for its 15-part presentation in 2013 of Mark Cousins' documentary "The Story of Film: An Odyssey." 

Another highlight: A 1997 "Private Screenings" interview that the late Mickey Rooney did with Robert Osborne. The actor almost frightened the TCM host to death while recounting a particularly heated argument with an abusive director. As Mankiewicz says in the special: "Robert would later confess that he was genuinely afraid Mickey might hit him."


Expires October 16, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 11, 2014


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


1. The Battle of Algiers (1966) -- Jean Martin, Brahim Haggiag, Saâdi Yacef, Samia Kerbash, Ugo Paletti, Tommaso Neri, Fusia El Kader, Omar, Mohamed Ben Kassen. Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo won praise for his realistic re-creation of the Algerian War (1954-1962), the bloody conflict in which nationalists in Algeria used guerrilla tactics aimed at expelling French colonials from the North African country. The semi-documentary style effort received a 1966 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. It later qualified for 1968 Oscar nominations for Best Director (Pontecorvo) and Best Original Screenplay (Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas).

The storyline focuses on two figures from opposing sides. Martin plays Col. Mathieu, a French miltary commander with extensive battle experience dating back to World War II.  Haggiag (also known as Brahim Hadjadj) is Ali La Pointe, an Algerian thief who becomes a passionate revolutionary. Yacef, a real-life Algerian freedom fighter during the war, plays a character very close to what he was in the mid-to-late 1950s.

"Pontecorvo announces at the outset that there is 'not one foot' of documentary or newsreel footage in his two hours of film," wrote Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert in 1968. "The announcement is necessary, because the film looks, feels and tastes as real as Peter Watkins' The War Game.' Pontecorvo used available light, newsreel film stock and actual locations to reconstruct the events in Algiers. He is after actuality, the feeling that you are there, and he succeeds magnificently..."


Expires October 17, 2014


2. Zulu Dawn (1979) -- Burt Lancaster, Peter O'Toole, Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott, Sir John Mills, Nigel Davenport, Michael Jayston, Peter Vaughan, James Faulkner, Christopher Cazenove, Simon Sabela, Dai Bradley, Bob Hoskins, Anna Calder-Marshall, Freddie Jones, Nicholas Clay, Ronald Lacey, Donald Pickering, Paul Copley, Ken Gampu, Ronald Pickup, Phil Daniels, Ian Yule, Peter J. Elliott, Brian O'Shaughnessy, Jan Bruyns, Sydney Chama, Len Sparrowhawk. This historically based drama is a prequel to the 1964 film "Zulu," which featured Stanley Baker and Sir Michael Caine in its large cast about the 1879 siege of Rorke's Drift, in which British soldiers fended off attacks by Zulu warriors in South Africa. The first film was directed, co-produced and co-authored by Cy Endfield ("Mysterious Island," "Sands of the Kalahari"), a blacklisted American filmmaker based in the United Kingdom. Endfield also co-wrote the prequel -- directed by Douglas Hickox ("Theatre of Blood") -- which takes place just before the attacks at Rorke's Drift.

Hoskins, probably best remembered for his performance as private eye Eddie Valiant in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (1988), died of pneumonia on April 29, 2014 at the age of 71.


Expires October 17, 2014


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TCM On Demand for October 12, 2014


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


1. Blacula (1972) -- William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Thalmus Rasulala, Gordon Pinsent, 

Charles Macaulay, Emily Yancy, Lance Taylor, Sr., Ted Harris, Rick Metzler, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Logan Field, Ketty Lester, Elisha Cook, Jr., Eric Brotherson. This vampire film with an African-American twist stars Marshall, an actor with a  Shakespearean background, as the title character. Fans of the 1980s Saturday morning TV show "Pee_-wee's Playhouse" will remember him as the "King of Cartoons." Marshall returned for the 1973 sequel, "Scream Blacula Scream," which teamed him with Pam Grier, queen of the '70s blaxploitation films. Expires October 18, 2014.



2. The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964) -- Terence Morgan, Ronald Howard, Fred Clark, Jeanne Roland, George Pastell, Jack Gwillim, John Paul, Dickie Owen, Jill Mai Meredith, Michael Ripper, Harold Goodwin, Jimmy Gardner, Vernon Smythe, Marianne Stone. Uncredited actor: Bernard Rebel. Produced and directed by Michael Carreras ("The Lost Continent," "Prehistoric Women"), this horror tale from Hammer Film Productions is about a group of Egyptologists who discover a mummy during an excavation. Naturally, they will regret unearthing it. Morgan, who starred in the 1960s television series "The Adventures of Sir Francis Drake," stars as Adam Beauchamp, a man with a great secret.

Carreras also wrote the screenplay using the pen name Henry Younger. 


Expires October 18, 2014


3. Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman (1940) -- Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig, Eduardo Ciannelli, Ernest Cossart, Gladys Cooper, K.T. Stevens. After a decade of glitzy musical comedies and memorable teamings with frequent screen partner Fred Astaire, Rogers won a Best Actress Oscar for dramatic fare. It was the great star's only Academy Award nomination in her almost four decades in feature films. The award was presented for her portrayal of a hard-luck 1930s working girl who has a doomed relationship with the scion of a Philadelphia "Main Line" family.

Directed by Sam Wood ("King's Row," "For Whom the Bell Tolls"), the film was based on a 1939 novel by Christopher Morley. The movie also received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Dalton Trumbo) and Best Sound (John Aalberg).

One of the other actresses nominated in the 1940 Best Actress category was Rogers' 1937 "Stage Door" co-star Katharine Hepburn, with whom she had a lukewarm relationship. Hepburn's nomination was for "The Philadelphia Story."

Kitty's friend Molly is played by Stevens -- billed as Katharine Stevens in the credits. She was the daughter of director Wood, and may best be remembered for her long run as the veiled schemer Vanessa Prentiss on TV's "The Young and the Restless." 


Memorable quote: "They may want to break away bad enough, but...they always finish up by marrying one of their own kind" -- Kitty's father, Pop Foyle (Cossart). 


Expires October 18, 2014.



4. Stella Dallas (1937) -- Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale, Sr., Marjorie Main, George Walcott, Ann Shoemaker, Tim Holt, Nella Walker, Bruce Satterlee, Jimmy Butler, Jack Egger, Dickie Jones, Hattie McDaniel. Stanwyck received the first of her four Academy Award nominations for Best Actress thanks to her performance in this picture, based on the 1920s novel by Olive Higgins Prouty.

Stanwyck's other nominations were for "Ball of Fire" (1941), "Double Indemnity" (1944) and "Sorry, Wrong Number" (1952). She never won a competitive Oscar, but on March 29, 1982, she received an honorary statuette "for superlative creativity and unique contribution to the art of screen acting."

Directed by King Vidor ("The Big Parade," "Duel in the Sun"), the film stars Stanwyck as a hard-luck working class woman determined to make a better life in an upper social class for her adoring daughter Laurel (played by Shirley, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress).

A silent film version of this story was released in 1924 and starred Ronald Colman, Belle Bennett, Jean Hersholt and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. In 1990, Bette Midler headlined a remake titled "Stella," which also starred Trini Alvarado, John Goodman, Stephen Collins, Marsha Mason, Eileen Brennan and Ben Stiller.


Expires October 18, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 13, 2014


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


1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) -- Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff, Fay Bainter, Ann Rutherford, Thurston Hall, Gordon Jones, Florence Bates, Konstantin Shayne, Reginald Denny, Henry Corden, Doris Lloyd, Fritz Feld, Frank Reicher, Milton Parsons, The Goldwyn Girls. Uncredited: George Chandler, Christine McIntyre, John Hamilton, Chris-Pin Martin, Sam McDaniel, Minerva Urecal, Hank Worden. Norman Z. McLeod ("Topper," "Road to Rio") directed this screen version of James Thurber's short story about an average man (Kaye) who's prone to daydreaming about great feats.


In 2013, Ben Stiller directed and starred in an updated version of the tale.


Expires October 19, 2014.



2. The Thief of Bagdad (1940) -- Conrad Veidt, Sabu, June Duprez, John Justin, Rex Ingram, Miles Malleson, Morton Selten, Mary Morris, Bruce Winston, Hay Petrie, Adelaide Hall, Roy Emerton, Allan Jeayes. Three Academy Awards went to this visually delightful Technicolor film, which was produced by Sir Alexander Korda and directed by several people, including the great British filmmaker Michael Powell. The fantasy won Oscars for Best Color Cinematography (Georges Périnal), Best Color Art Direction (Vincent Korda) and Best Special Effects (Lawrence W. Butler, photographic; Jack Whitney, sound). The film also received a nomination for Miklós Rózsa's original score. 

A remake of the 1924 silent film that starred early movie great Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., this version is said to have influenced the 1992 Disney animated feature film "Aladdin." Veidt stars as Jaffar, the scheming Grand Vizier to Ahmad (Justin), the young ruler of Bagdad. Through guile and deception, Jaffar gains control of the kingdom, while Ahmad is forced to flee, accompanied by a skillful young thief named Abu (played by Sabu).


Ingram, who played De Lawd in "The Green Pastures" (1936) and the Devil in "Cabin in the Sky" (1943), appears as a magic genie who provides three wishes to Abu, who freed him from a bottle.



Roger Ebert, the late Chicago Sun-Times film critic, added the production to his Great Movies list. He wrote in 2009: "Although the film had so many directors (including Michael Powell, two Kordas and [production designer William Cameron] Menzies), it seems the work of one vision and that must have been Korda's. It remains one of the greatest of fantasy films, on a level with 'The Wizard of Oz.' To see either film is to see the cinema incorporating every technical art learned in the 1930s and employing them to create enchanting visions. Today, when dizzying CGI effects, the Queasy-Cam and a frantic editing pace seem to move films closer to video games, witness the beauty of 'Thief of Bagdad' and mourn."


Expires October 19, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 14, 2014


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


1. La Strada (1954) -- Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart, Aldo Silvani, Marcella Rovere, Livia Venturini. This was the first of three projects by Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (the two others were "Nights of Cabiria" and "8 1/2"). Directed by Fellini and co-written with Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano, the film stars Quinn as Zampano, a performing strongman who travels from town to town. Masina (who was Signora Fellini in real life) plays Gelsomina, a young girl who becomes Zapano's companion after he buys her from her mother. Basehart co-stars as a circus high-wire expert who attracts Gelsomina and infuriates Zampano. By the way, the title is Italian for "The Road." Expires October 20, 2014.


2. A Night at the Opera (1935) -- Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Walter Woolf King, Sig Ruman, Margaret Dumont, Edward Keane, Robert Emmett O'Connor. Uncredited: Gino Corrado, Billy Gilbert, Rodolfo Hoyos, Sr., Selmer Jackson. Directed by Sam Wood ("A Day at the Races," "Kitty Foyle"), this first Marx Brothers comedy for M-G-M combines the comedy team's riotous antics with the highbrow world of opera. It was written by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind (with an uncredited assist by Al Boasberg).


The movie was not ranked in 1998 when the American Film Institute revealed its list of the 100 greatest movies of all time. But when AFI updated the list in 2007, the film appeared as No. 85. It was one of 23 films included in the survey for the first time. 


This was one of five Marx Brothers romps that made AFI’s 2002 list of the 100 funniest comedies of all time. It came in at No. 12, behind the 1933 gem "Duck Soup" ( No. 5). Their other films on the list: 1934's "A Day at the Races" (No. 59), 1932's "Horse Feathers" (No. 65) and 1931's "Monkey Business" (No. 73).


Memorable scene: A segment on a transatlantic voyage to New York on an ocean liner features one of the movies' great sight gags. It takes place in a stateroom that becomes progressively overcrowded.



Memorable dialogue: A "sanity clause" becomes a point of contention when Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho) looks over contracts with Fiorello (Chico).



Media crossover reference: The British rock group Queen, fronted by lead singer Freddie Mercury, named its 1975 album "A Night at the Opera." The biggest hit from the release was the single "Bohemian Rhapsody," which was promoted with a pre-MTV music video.


The LP was followed a year later by the Queen album "A Day at the Races."


This was one of four selections by Turner Classic Movies' special celebrity Guest Programmer David Steinberg. It aired in prime time on Monday, October 13th.


Expires October 20th, 2014.



3. Nights of Cabiria (1957) -- Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Amedeo Nazzari, Franca Marzi, Dorian Gray, Franco Fabrizi, Aldo Silvani, Ennio Girolami. This production (Italian title: "Le Notti di Cabiria") was the second of three projects by Italy's Federico Fellini that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The two others: "La Strada" (1956) and "8 1/2" (1963). Directed by Fellini and co-written with Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano and Pier Paolo Pasolini, the film stars Masina (who was Signora Fellini in real life). She stars as Cabiria Ceccarelli, a hard-luck but always optimistic Italian streetwalker. For her performance in the film, Masina won the Best Actress award at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. The film inspired the 1960s American stage musical "Sweet Charity," which was directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse and starred his wife at the time, Gwen Verdon. Fosse also directed and choreographed a 1969 screen version of the musical, which starred Shirley MacLaine. Fellini's film was selected for TCM by special celebrity Guest Programmer David Steinberg. It aired in the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 14th. Expires October 20, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 15, 2014


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


Mutiny On the Bounty (1935) -- Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, Herbert Mundin, Eddie Quillan, Dudley Digges, Donald Crisp, Henry Stephenson, Francis Lister, Spring Byington, Movita, Mamo Clark, Byron Russell, Percy Waram, David Torrence. Uncredited extras: James Cagney, David Niven. This fact-based screen version of the "Bounty" trilogy by authors Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall received the Academy Award for Best Picture, but it failed to win any other awards despite seven other nominations. It also became the first and only film to have three of its stars nominated in the Best Actor category (Laughton, Gable and Tone). They lost to Victor McLaglen's performance in "The Informer."

Nordhoff and Hall's "Bounty" trilogy consisted of the books "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1932), "Men Against the Sea" (1934) and "Pitcairn's Island" (1934).

The drama focuses on the H.M.S. Bounty, a British vessel that leaves England in 1787 on a mission to procure breadfruit trees from the Pacific island of Tahiti as a food source for colonies in the West Indies. On the return voyage in 1789, Captain William Bligh (Laughton) is deposed by a band of mutineers led by Fletcher Christian (Gable), Bligh's second in command. At issue are Bligh's cruel and abusive methods of punishing crew members. Bligh and several loyal seamen are set adrift in a lifeboat, as the captain swears vengeance against the mutineers. Meanwhile, the remaining crew members of the Bounty dump the breadfruit trees in the ocean and head back to a Tahitian paradise.


In the following scene, Christian (Gable, without a mustache) decides to take action against Bligh for his harsh punitive measures aboard the ship:



Movita, who appears as the Tahitian girl named Tehani, later became the second wife of actor Marlon Brando. During their marriage from 1960 to 1962, Brando accepted the role of Mr. Christian in a big-budget MGM remake of "Mutiny on the Bounty." He then became involved with -- and eventually married -- Tarita (born Tarita Teri'ipaia), the Tahitian actress who played Christian's wife in the remake. A Mexican-American actress whose real name was Maria Castaneda, Maria was the last surviving member of the 1935 film. She died on February 12, 2015 at the age of 98.


In addition to its Best Picture win and trio of Best Actor nods, the film received Academy Award nominations for Best Director (Frank Lloyd), Best Writing, Screenplay (Jules Furthman, Talbot Jennings and Carey Wilson, who adapted the Nordhoff and Hall material), Best Film Editing (Margaret Booth) and Best Music, Score (Nat W. Finston, the head of MGM's music department). Although the movie's score actually was composed by Herbert Stothart, Oscar nominations or awards went to studio music department heads from 1934 to 1937. Stothart eventually won a 1939 Oscar for his score from "The Wizard of Oz."


In addition to the troubled Best Picture-nominated remake starring Brando and Trevor Howard (as Bligh), the mutiny tale was retold in "The Bounty," a 1984 version starring Mel Gibson as Christian, Sir Anthony Hopkins as Bligh and Sir Laurence Olivier as Admiral Hood.



Expires October 21, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 16, 2014


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


1. The Naked Spur (1954) -- James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker, Millard Mitchell, Denver Pyle (uncredited). Stewart starred in five Westerns directed by Anthony Mann in the early 1950s. This film was their third collaboration in the genre -- after "Winchester 73" (1950) and "Bend of the River" (1952) and before "The Far Country" (1955) and "The Man from Laramie" (1955). They also worked together on "The Glenn Miller Story" (1954), the musical film biography of the late orchestra leader.

Set in 1868 in the Rocky Mountain country of Colorado, the Western stars Stewart as Howard Kemp, a Civil War veteran and bounty hunter determined to bring in the killer of a U.S. marshal. His intended target is Ben Vandergroat (Ryan), who is accompanied by a fetching young woman (Leigh) and not at all willing to surrender himself easily.

The movie's original screenplay by Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom received an Academy Award nomination. Rolfe later created the 1950s television Western "Have Gun -- Will Travel" and developed the 1960s spy series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Bloom co-created (with Jack Webb and R.A. Cinader) the 1970s TV drama about firefighters and paramedics -- Emergency!" Expires October 22, 2014.


2. Scaramouche (1952) -- Stewart Granger, Eleanor Parker, Janet Leigh, Mel Ferrer, Henry Wilcoxon, Nina Foch, Richard Anderson, Robert Coote, Lewis Stone, Elisabeth Risdon, Howard Freeman, Curtis Cooksey, John Dehner, John Litel, Jonathan Cott, Dan Foster, Owen McGiveney, Hope Landin, Frank Mitchell, Carol Hughes, Richard Hale. Uncredited actors: Barrie Chase, Douglas Dumbrille, Frank Wilcox, Henry Corden, Barbara Ruick. George Sidney (director of the 1948 version of "The Three Musketeers") shot this Technicolor adventure film, set in late 18th-century France and based on the 1921 novel by Rafael Sabatini. The tale has been filmed many times, including a 1923 silent version that starred Ramón Novarro.

Granger stars as André Moreau, the illegitimate son of a deceased count. After the murder of his best friend (Anderson), Moreau seeks vengeance and evolves into a political force. Parker co-stars as Moreau's lady love; Leigh, Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month for October 2014, is an appealing young heiress who may be Moreau's half sister.


The film's climax is a lengthy, exquisitely choreographed swordfight at a theater between Moreau and his archenemy Noel, the Marquis de Maynes (Ferrer). In an earlier swordfight -- call it Round 1 -- Moreau uses Indiana Jones-like common sense to escape from a tight spot. 



Expires October 22, 2014.


3. Safari (1956) -- Victor Mature, Janet Leigh, John Justin, Roland Culver, Liam Redmond, Earl Cameron, Orlando Martins, Juma, Lionel Ngakane, Harry Quashie, Slim Harris, Cy Grant, John Wynn, Arthur Lovegrove, Estelle Brody. This independent British film was co-produced by Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, who went on to become the guiding force behind the James Bond films. After his death in 1996, the series has been continued by his daughter, Barbara Broccoli, and stepson Michael G. Wilson. Directed by Terence Young ("Dr. No," "From Russia, with Love," "Thunderball"), the drama stars Mature as Ken Duffield, a U.S. big-game hunter who agrees to lead a British nobleman (Culver) and his Amerian fiancée (Leigh) on a Kenyan safari. But there is another reason for Duffield's participation. He hopes to track down the undercover Mau Mau leader (Cameron) who murdered his son and his aunt.


The Bermuda-born Cameron, who turned 99 on August 8, 2016, played Pinder, the right-hand man of Sir Sean Connery's Bond in "Thunderball" (1965). He later co-starred as a powerful African dictator in the 2005 Sean Penn-Nicole Kidman political thriller "The Interpreter."


Expires October 22, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 17, 2014


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


1. The Ghost Breakers (1940) -- Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Willie Best, Pedro de Cordoba, Virginia Brissac, Noble Johnson, Anthony Quinn, Tom Dugan, Paul Fix, Lloyd Corrigan. Uncredited: Robert Ryan. This second teaming of Hope and Goddard -- they previously co-starred in "The Cat and the Canary" (1939) -- is a laugh riot about a mysterious castle on an island near Cuba. Hope stars as Larry Lawrence, a New York radio crime reporter who inadvertently winds up on the isle, where he is bedeviled by unearthly creatures. Goddard plays the glamorous American woman who inherits the property. The horror-comedy was directed by George Marshall ("Destry Rides Again," "My Friend Irma"), a frequent collaborator with Hope from the early 1940s to the mid-1960s. In 1953, he remade "The Ghost Breakers" as the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis comedy "Scared Stiff." It featured cameo appearances by Hope and Bing Crosby.

Hope and Goddard appeared in a third movie together the year after this one -- the comedy "Nothing But the Truth" (1941).


Look for Ryan about 19 minutes into the film as a hospital worker who emerges from an ambulance in front of a hotel. It was the first screen appearance of what would become a distinguished career. Before he became a two-time Academy Award winner in the 1950s, Quinn, who plays a shadowy character named Mederes, also was a memorable foil for Hope in the comedies "Road to Singapore" (1940) and "Road to Morocco" (1942).


On March 2, 1944, almost three years after his appearance as the sinister Mr. Parada in this comedy, the Hungarian-born Lukas won the 1943 Academy Award as Best Actor for his performance in "Watch on the Rhine."


In a recent Esquire magazine piece, Dan Aykroyd acknowledged this film as one of the inspirations for the 1984 blockbuster hit "Ghostbusters." He recalled: "In about 1981, I read an article on quantum physics and parapsychology in The Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research. And it was like, bang-- that’s it. It was also a combination of my family’s history-- my great-grandfather was an Edwardian spiritualist, and my mother claims she saw an apparition of my great-great-grandparents while nursing me -- and watching films like the Bowery Boys’ 'Ghost Chasers' and Bob Hope’s 'The Ghost Breakers.' I thought, 'Wouldn’t it be great to update the ghost movies from the ’40s?' "


Expires October 23, 2014.


2. The Ghost Goes West (1935) -- Robert Donat, Jean Parker, Eugene Pallette, Elsa Lanchester, Ralph Bunker, Patricia Hilliard, Everley Gregg, Morton Selten, Chili Bouchier, Mark Daly, Herbert Lomas, Elliott Mason, Hay Petrie, Quentin McPhearson. French filmmaker René Clair directed and co-write this fantasy tale

about a Scottish ghost (Donat) that finds itself in America when a wealthy U.S. businessman (Pallette) purchases the castle it haunts in Scotland and moves the manor brick by brick to Florida.



Donat plays a dual role in this film


Donat, who appeared in this film four years before his Oscar-winning performance in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1939), also plays the role of Donald Glourie, whose 18th-century ancestor Murdoch Glourie became the ghostly figure. The Glourie ghost is condemned to haunt the castle until a descendant of a rival clan --  the MacClaggans -- makes up for a centuries-old slight.


Expires October 23, 2014.


3. The Old Dark House (1963) -- Tom Poston, Robert Morley, Janette Scott, Joyce Grenfell, Mervyn Johns, Fenella Fielding, Peter Bull, Danny Green, John Harvey. Uncredited: Amy Dalby. Poston, who played the Stratford Inn handyman George Utley on the CBS sitcom "Newhart" (1982-1990), stars in this remake of a 1932 James Whale horror film. This one was produced and directed by horror genre filmmaker William Castle (the original "House on Haunted Hill," "The Tingler," "13 Ghosts"). Poston stars as Tom Penderel, an American who finds himself among the Femm family, eccentric residents of a creepy British mansion.


Cecily Femm is played by the onetime British child star Scott ("No Highway in the Sky," "The Day of the Triffids"), who was married to the great singer Mel Tormé from 1966 to 1977. She will turn 76 on December 14, 2014. Johns, who plays the ark-building Uncle Potiphar, was the father of actress Glynis Johns. Fielding, cast as sexpot Morgana Femm, was a veteran of Britain's "Carry On" series of films. She will celebrate her 86th birthday on November 17, 2014.


The creepy artwork in the opening title sequence was done by Charles Addams, the artist who specialized in drawing macabre cartoons. Some of his characters inspired the television and movie versions of "The Addams Family." 


Expires October 23, 2014.


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TCM On Demand for October 18, 2014


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


1. Raintree County (1957) -- Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint, Nigel Patrick, Lee Marvin, Rod Taylor, Agnes Moorehead, Walter Abel, Jarma Lewis, Tom Drake, Rhys Williams, Russell Collins, DeForest Kelley. Elizabeth Taylor received the first of her four consecutive Academy Award nominations as Best Actress for this Civil War drama (she would win for "BUtterfield 8" on her fourth nomination). The film was in production during a difficult period for Clift that would forever change his life and career.


Directed by Edward Dmytryk ("The Caine Mutiny"), the movie was based on Ross Lockridge, Jr.'s 1,000-page 1948 novel about the war's impact on the residents of Raintree County, Indiana. In addition to Elizabeth Taylor's acting nomination, the picture received Academy Award nods for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (William A. Horning, Urie McCleary, Edwin B. Willis and Hugh Hunt), Best Costume Design (Walter Plunkett) and Best Music, Scoring (Johnny Green).


The movie's haunting theme song, written by Green with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, is performed by Nat King Cole.



During the filming of the movie, Clift sustained serious facial injuries as the result of an automobile accident on May 12, 1956. Although he underwent surgery to repair the damage, his visage and his health were never the same again. He continued to work in several high-profile projects, including Stanley Kramer's "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), for which he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination. But his health had begun to deteriorate, and he died of a heart attack at the age of 45 on July 23, 1966 -- a little more than 10 years and two months after his fateful auto accident.


Saint, who plays Nell Gaither, turned 92 years old on July 4, 2016. She followed this film with her sexy performance as undercover spy Eve Kendall opposite Cary Grant and James Mason in Alfred Hitchcock's "North By Northwest" (1959). 


Memorable moment No. 1: After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in April 1865, the train transporting the late president's body from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois passes through Raintree County.


Memorable moment No. 2: The Indiana county is named for a legendary golden tree supposedly planted there in the early 1800s by Johnny Appleseed. Be sure to pay attention because it shows up when you'd least expect it.


Expires October 24, 2014



2. The Young Lions (1958) -- Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin, Hope Lange, Barbara Rush, May Britt, Maximilian Schell, Dora Doll, Lee Van Cleef, Liliane Montevecchi, Parley Baer, Arthur Franz, Hal Baylor, Richard Gardner, Herbert Rudley. Uncredited actors: L.Q. Jones, John Banner, Paul Comi, Robert Ellenstein, Vaughn Taylor, Milton Frome, Michael Pataki, Ivan Triesault, Norman "Woo Woo" Grabowski. Edward Dmytryk directed this screen adaptation of Irwin Shaw's 1948 novel about soldiers in World War II. Shaw reportedly disliked the movie because Brando's character, a Nazi officer named Christian Diestl, was made more sympathetic. The film would seem to have been a golden opportunity to watch Method actors Brando and Clift performing together, but their only interaction is a minimal scene near the end of the movie. The drama also marked a pivotal career move for Martin, who enjoyed his first screen success since his 1956 breakup with longtime comedy partner Jerry Lewis.

The picture was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Black-and-White Cinematography (Joseph MacDonald), Best Sound (Carlton W. Faulkner, 20th Century-Fox SSD)  and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Hugo Friedhofer). 


After filming this movie, May Britt -- the Swedish-born beauty whose real name was Maybritt Wilkens -- starred in a remake of "The Blue Angel" (1959) and Murder, Inc. (1960). She retired from acting to marry entertainer and actor Sammy Davis, Jr. in November 1960. The marriage lasted eight years. Here is a scene in which her character meets Brando's for the first time:



By the way, if you've never noticed that Brando was a Method actor, check out his final scenes in this movie.


Expires October 24, 2014

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TCM On Demand for October 19, 2014
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:
1. Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) -- Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer, Martin West, Tony Burton, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Loomis, Peter Bruni, John J. Fox, Marc Ross, Alan Koss, Henry Brandon, Kim Richards. Before his success with the 1978 horror thriller "Halloween," John Carpenter created this low-budget but highly regarded story about a crime gang's bold attack on a Los Angeles police station in its final hours of operation.
The film was remade in 2005 by French director Jean-François Richet with a cast that included Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Gabriel Byrne, Maria Bello, Drea de Matteo, John Leguizamo, Brian Dennehy and rap star Ja Rule.
Richards, who was a preteen when this movie was filmed, has been a regular since October 2010 on the Bravo television reality series "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Her younger sister, actress Kyle Richards ("Halloween"), also stars in the series. Her older sister Kathy Hilton is the mother of hotel heiresses Paris and Nicky Hilton.
Loomis, who plays Julie, also served as the film's wardrobe mistress under her real name, Louise Kyes. She and Cyphers appeared in the first two "Halloween" movies. She was teen Annie Brackett; he played her father, the sheriff of Haddonfield, Illinois. Expires October 25, 2014
2. The Black Stallion (1979) -- Kelly Reno, Mickey Rooney,Teri Garr, Clarence Muse, Hoyt Axton, Michael Higgins, Ed McNamara, Doghmi Larbi, John Burton, John Buchanan, Kristen Vigard, Fausto Tozzi, John Karlsen, Leopoldo Trieste, Frank Cousins. Rooney received the last of his four Academy Award nominations for his performance in Carroll Ballard's beautifully translated film version of Walter Farley's 1941 children's novel. The drama also was nominated for Best Film Editing (Robert Dalva).
Ballard was tapped for the directing assignment by Francis Ford Coppola, who served as the film's executive producer. Ballard later directed two other productions about animals -- "Never Cry Wolf" (1983) and "Fly Away Home" (1996).
This film revolves around a boy named Alec Ramsey (Reno) and his gradual love for an impressive horse (the Arabian stallion Cass Ole) after they are shipwrecked together on a deserted island.
Rooney, who played a jockey-turned-trainer in "National Velvet" (1944), has a similar role as horseracing enthusiast Henry Dailey.
The movie legend, who died April 6, 2014 at the age of 93, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor when he was almost 60 years old. He previously had earned Oscar nominations as a teen (Best Actor for "Babes in Arms"), when he was in his 20s (Best Actor for "The Human Comedy") and when he was in his late 30s (Best Supporting Actor for "The Bold and the Brave"). He was presented an honorary Academy Award on April 11, 1983 "in recognition of his 60 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances."
A special achievement Academy Award was voted to sound editor Alan Splet, who achieved instant fame when he did not show up to collect the award at the 52nd Oscars ceremony on April 14, 1980. Emcee Johnny Carson made a running gag of his absence. "It always happens," Carson said. "First George C. Scott doesn't show, then Marlon Brando and, now, Alan Splet." The longtime "Tonight Show" host even provided occasional "Alan Splet updates," including an alleged missed freeway exit diverting the sound editor to Ensenada in Baja California, and purported carburetor trouble at a gas station near Barstow. When veteran actor Melvyn Douglas was not present to pick up his Best Supporting Actor award for "Being There," Carson said, "He's in a carpool with Alan Splet."  In reality, Splet was in London working on sound effects for David Lynch's film version of "The Elephant Man.
This film featured the last screen appearance in the long career of Muse, cast as Snoe, a New York horse owner. The veteran actor started in films during the silent era and died October 13, 1979, the day before what would have been his 90th birthday. The film was released four days after his death.
The movie's adapted screenplay was credited to Melissa Mathison, Jeanne Rosenberg and William D. Wittliff. Mathison, who was married to actor Harrison Ford from 1983 to 2004, later received a Best Original Screenplay nomination for "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1982). Caleb Deschanel -- whose daughters headline their own FOX television series (Zooey stars in "New Girl," Emily is in "Bones") -- provided the stunning cinematography. Expires October 25, 2014.

3. The Mummy's Shroud (1967) -- André Morell, John Phillips, David Buck, Elizabeth Sellars, Maggie Kimberly, Michael Ripper, Tim Barrett, Richard Warner, Roger Delgado, Catherine Lacey, Dickie Owen, Bruno Barnabe, Toni Gilpin, Toolsie Persaud, Eddie Powell, Andreas Malandrinos, Tim Turner (prologue narrator). Co-written and directed by John Gilling ("Odongo"), this is another horror tale from Britain's Hammer Film Productions about an ancient mummy wreaking havoc on modern civilization. The film focuses on a 1920s British archaeological dig in Egypt that uncovers the resting place of a child pharaoh named Kah-to-Bey (Persaud). As it turns out, the servant who protected the boy in life returns to avenge him thousands of years after his death.

Sellars, who co-stars as Barbara Preston, played Humphrey Bogart's supportive wife, Jerry in "The Barefoot Contessa." Lacey, who appears as a sinister fortune teller named Haiti, always will be remembered as the mysterious nun in high heels in Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 suspense thriller "The Lady Vanishes."


 Expires October 25, 2014.

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TCM On Demand for October 20, 2014
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:
1. Don't Say No Until I Finish Talking: The Story of Richard D. Zanuck (2013) -- This Turner Classic Movies documentary about the life and career of the Oscar-winning producer and film executive (1934-2012) was written, produced and directed by the French-born filmmaker and author Laurent Bouzereau. It details how Zanuck succeeded in the motion picture industry despite starting out in the shadow of his legendary father, 20th-Century Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck. The film blends archival footage with comments by the film's subject, plus reminiscences by such intimates, friends and industry insiders as producer Lili Fini Zanuck, the filmmaker's widow, Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Sherry Lansing, William Friedkin, Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman and Michelle Pfeiffer. 
Expires October 26, 2014
2. High Anxiety (1977) -- Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Ron Carey, Howard Morris, Dick Van Patten, Jack Riley, Charlie Callas, Ron Clark, Rudy De Luca, Barry Levinson, Lee Delano, Richard Stahl, Darrell Zwerling. After successfully spoofing Westerns ("Blazing Saddles"), horror movies ("Young Frankenstein") and the pre-sound era ("Silent Movie"), Brooks produced, directed, co-wrote and starred in this parody of the films of Sir Alfred Hitchcock. There are references to more than a dozen Hitchcock pictures, including "Vertigo," "North By Northwest," "Rear Window," "Notorious," "Spellbound" and "Dial M for Murder." There also are gags involving the Master of Suspense and his style, including his fondness for clever camerawork and cool blondes (Kahn's platinum-tressed character wears clothing that matches her car).
At one point in the film, Brooks re-creates the famous schoolyard scene from "The Birds" (1963). There is still danger from the air, but a few twists have been added:
Brooks' co-writers did double duty in the film, appearing briefly as actors in some scenes. Levinson, who would go on to become an influential director with such 1980s movies as "Diner," "The Natural" and "Rain Man," appears as a hotel employee with a rolled-up newspaper in a "Psycho" reference.
Expires October 26, 2014
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TCM On Demand for October 21, 2014
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:
1. Kings Row (1942) -- Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan, Betty Field, Charles Coburn, Claude Rains, Dame Judith Anderson, Nancy Coleman, Kaaren Verne, Maria Ouspenskaya, Harry Davenport, Ernest Cossart,  Ilka Grüning, Pat Moriarity, Minor Watson, Ludwig Stössel, Erwin Kalser, Egon Brecher, Ann E. Todd, Scotty Beckett, Douglas Croft, Mary Thomas, Julie Warren, Mary Scott. Based on Henry Bellamann's 1940 novel, this drama about the underside of a small American town earned three Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Sam Wood) and Best Black-and-White Cinematography (James Wong Howe). It also marked Reagan's best performance in a film. 
The film's score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (a 1938 Oscar winner for "The Adventures of Robin Hood") is said to have inspired John Williams' 1977 opening theme for "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope."
Memorable quote: It is interesting that Reagan's two most famous movie lines were delivered while his characters were bedridden. The "win one for the Gipper" line from "Knute Rockne, All American" (1940) was uttered by a doomed Notre Dame running back. In this film, Drake McHugh, Reagan's character discovers that he has become a double amputee.
Reagan used the five-word line as the title of his 1965 autobiography, which was published just before he began the political career that would make him governor of California and the 40th U.S. president.


Postscript: Is it just me, or does Field look a lot like Sheridan in this movie?


Expires October 27, 2014



2. Lili (1953) -- Leslie Caron, Mel Ferrer, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kurt Kasznar, Amanda Blake, Alex Gerry, Ralph Dumke, Wilton Graff, George Baxter. At the age of 22 1/2, Caron received her first Academy Award nomination for her performance as the title character, a young French girl who joins a traveling circus. The actress and dancer, whose film debut was in "An American in Paris" (1951), was nominated for Best Actress. The award went to Audrey Hepburn for "Roman Holiday." Caron would receive a second nomination 10 years later for a dramatic performance in "The L-Shaped Room."

This film was nominated for five other Academy Awards, including Best Director (Charles Walters), Best Writing Screenplay (Helen Deutsch), Best Color Cinematography (Robert H. Planck), and Best Color Art Direction-Set Decoration (Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis, Arthur Krams). An Oscar went to Bronislau Kaper's music score, which includes the song "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo."  


Expires October 27, 2014

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TCM On Demand for October 22, 2014


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


On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, Turner Classic Movies devoted its prime-time schedule (and the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 22) to the works of Edgar G. Ulmer (1904-1972). The Eastern European filmmaker (he was born in Austria-Hungary) rarely worked on major studio projects, but his smaller, low-budget productions have achieved cult status. Four Ulmer-related films are available on demand until October 28, 2014:


1. The Amazing Transparent Man (1960) -- Marguerite Chapman, Douglas Kennedy, James Griffith, Ivan Triesault, Boyd "Red" Morgan, Cormel Daniel, Edward Erwin, Jonathan Ledford, Norman Smith, Patrick Cranshaw, Kevin Kelly, Denis Adams, Stacy Morgan. This sci-fi tale is about a megalomaniacal former Army officer (Griffith) who plans to achieve great wealth and world domination through a machine designed to create an invisible army.


2. Detour (1945) -- Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald, Tim Ryan, Esther Howard, Pat Gleason. Uncredited: Don Brodie, Roger Clark, Eddie Hall, Harry Strang. Based on the 1939 novel "Detour: An Extraordinary Tale " by Martin Goldsmith, the film follows the misadventures of a musician (Neal) who decides to hitchhike from New York to California. He hopes to be reunited with his girlfriend (Drake), who departed earlier to pursue a career in Hollywood. But a chance meeting with a manipulative woman (Savage) threatens to disrupt his plans. The movie's screenplay was adapted by Goldsmith from his novel.


3. Edgar G. Ulmer --The Man Off-Screen (2005) -- Michael Palm, a filmmaker from Ulmer's Austrian homeland, wrote and directed this documentary tribute to the B-movie director. Among the people interviewed for the production: Ulmer's daughter, Arianne, independent producer-director Roger Corman and directors Peter Bogdanovich, Wim Wenders, John Landis and Joe Dante.


4. Her Sister's Secret (1946) -- Nancy Coleman, Margaret Lindsay, Phillip Reed, Felix Bressart, Regis Toomey, Henry Stephenson, Fritz Feld, Winston Severn, George Meeker, Helene Heigh, Frances E. Williams, Rudolph Anders, Douglas Fowley, Pierre Watkin. Based on the 1934 novel "Dark Angel" by Gina Kaus, this drama stars Coleman as an unwed mother who agrees to let her sister (Lindsay) take responsibility for the child. It is a decision she ultimately will regret. 

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TCM On Demand for October 23, 2014


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


1. The Perfect Furlough (1958) -- Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Keenan Wynn, Linda Cristal, Elaine Stritch, Marcel Dalio, Les Tremayne, Jay Novello, King Donovan, Gordon Jones, Alvy Moore, Lilyan Chauvin, Troy Donahue, Dick Crockett, Eugene Borden, James Lanphier. Uncredited actors: Frankie Darro, Norman "Woo Woo" Grabowski, Carey Loftin. Directed by Blake Edwards, this romantic comedy was one of five motion pictures that Curtis and Leigh did together during their marriage from 1951 to 1962. The others: "Houdini" (1953), "The Black Shield of Falworth" (1954), "The Vikings" (1958) and "Who Was That Lady?" (1960). 

Curtis stars in this film as an Army corporal assigned to a remote base in the Arctic. When he wins a lottery to experience "the perfect furlough," he ends up in Paris for some quality time with a popular Argentine movie star (Cristal). Leigh co-stars as the Army psychologist assigned to serve as a chaperone of sorts.

Edwards would go on to direct Curtis and Cary Grant in the 1959 Navy comedy "Operation Petticoat." Jamie Lee Curtis, the youngest daughter of Curtis and Leigh, later co-starred in a short-lived ABC sitcom version of that film during the 1977-78 season. October 29, 2014


2. The Vikings (1958) -- Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh, James Donald, Alexander Knox, Maxine Audley, Frank Thring, Eileen Way, Edric Connor, Dandy Nichols, Per Buckhøj, Orson Welles (uncredited narrator). Douglas and Curtis star as battling Viking half-brothers, although they aren't aware at first of their familial connection. In addition to their personal power struggle, they become rivals for the affections of a beautiful Welsh maiden (played by Leigh). Borgnine co-stars as their boisterous father Ragnar, leader of a Viking horde. Based on the 1951 novel "The Viking," the film was directed by Richard Fleischer ("Fantastic Voyage") and photographed by the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff. 


Memorable scene: Condemned to a particularly gruesome death, Ragnar asks his son Eric (Curtis) to let him die with a sword in his hand so that he can enter the afterlife in Valhalla. 



October 29, 2014

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TCM On Demand for October 24, 2014
The following features are now available on TCM On Demand for a limited time:
1. The 39 Steps (1935) -- Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Sir Godfrey Tearle, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, John Laurie, Helen Haye, Frank Cellier, Wylie Watson, Gus McNaughton, Jerry Verno, Peggy Simpson. This exciting and suspenseful tale from Sir Alfred Hitchcock's British period follows one of his favorite formulas. A man is accused of a crime he did not commit and goes on the lam in search of evidence that will prove his innocence. Cary Grant appeared as two such characters in Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief" (1955) and "North By Northwest" (1959). It also was the situation for characters played by Robert Cummings in "Saboteur" (1942) and Jon Finch in "Frenzy" (1972). Based on a 1915 novel by John Buchan, the film stars Donat as Robert Hannay, a Canadian temporarily residing in London. He meets a German woman (Mannheim) -- who calls herself Annabella Smith -- during a disturbance at a music hall. Fearing for her safety, she asks to accompany him to his flat. She turns out to be an espionage agent for the British, and hints of an urgent matter that must be prevented. Before she can elaborate further, she is murdered, forcing Hannay to flee. Naturally, he becomes the subject of a nationwide search, but through luck and his resourcefulness, he manages to elude authorities.

Remembering clues from Annabella, Hannay makes his way to Scotland for possible answers to the mystery. Along the way, he winds up with an unwilling companion named Pamela (played by Carroll, the first of Hitchcock's cool blondes). When they meet on a passenger train, she tries to turn him in, but he escapes. When their acquaintance is renewed later on the road, they end up handcuffed together. When she eventually realizes the truth about Hannay, she becomes an ally.


Donat went on to star in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1939), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor over fellow nominees Clark Gable, Mickey Rooney, James Stewart and Sir Laurence Olivier. Another future Oscar winner: Ashcroft, cast as a Scottish farmer's wife who helps Hannay evade authorities. Fifty years after appearing in this film, she became the oldest winner of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was 77 years and 93 days old on March 25, 1985, when she won the Oscar for her performance as Mrs.Moore in Sir David Lean's 1984 drama "A Passage to India."


The screenplay for Hitchcock's film was adapted from Buchan's novel by Charles Bennett and Alma Reville (the director's longtime collaborator and wife). The tale has been remade several times. A 1959 version starred Kenneth Moore and Taina Elg, while a 1978 edition was headlined by Robert Powell, David Warner, Sir John Mills and Karen Dotrice (who as a child played Jane Banks in "Mary Poppins"). In 2005, a stage version put together by Patrick Barlow opened in north England with the humorous approach that four actors should play all of the character parts, resulting in lightning-fast wardrobe changes. The production opened in London in 2006 and on Broadway in 2008, where it was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play (Maria Aitken). It won Tonys for Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.
Memorable dialogue:
Annabella Smith: Do you want to know more about me? What do you think I do for a living?

Hannay: Actress?          

Annabella Smith: Not in the way you mean.
Memorable Scene No. 1 -- When Annabella is murdered while hiding in Hannay's flat, he tries to think of a way to elude her killers outside. Then he notices the friendly neighborhood milkman making his early morning rounds... 

Memorable Scene No. 2: As sinister henchmen and authorities begin closing in on Hannay, he evades them for a time by showing up at a political rally. But he is mistaken for a guest speaker named Captain Fraser and finds himself delivering an off-the-cuff speech -- which rouses the people in the audience.
Memorable Scene No. 3 -- When Hannay discovers the identity of the film's No. 1 villain, it turns out to be a seemingly respectable Scottish gentleman (played by Tearle) who looks an awful lot like the man who was the American president when the movie was released. Was this Hitchcock's devilish sense of humor at work?
Hitch's traditional cameo: Look for the director during the scene in which Hannay and Annabella board a bus. He's the litterbug in the foreground. Expires October 30, 2014
2. The Uninvited (1944) -- Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Dorothy Stickney, Barbara Everest, Alan Napier, Gail Russell. Uncredited: John Kieran (prologue narrator). This film about the supernatural marked the feature debut of director Lewis Allen ("Appointment with Danger," "Suddenly"). Set in southwest England, the picture stars Milland and Hussey as siblings who purchase an uninhabited coastal house and decide to live there. Unfortunately for them, the place has an undesirable history.
The film earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Black-and-White Cinematography (Charles Lang). 
The drama provided an early role for Russell, who memorably went on to co-star with John Wayne in the dramas "Angel and the Badman" (1947) and "Wake of the Red Witch" (1948). Her film project after this one was another 1944 Allen production, "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay." That movie was based on the book by author and actress Skinner, whom Russell portrayed as a young woman.
Stickney, who plays Miss Bird, was a great stage actress married to playwright and producer Howard Lindsay (of Lindsay and Crouse). She did not appear in many feature films after the 1940s. An exception was the 1970 drama "I Never Sang for My Father," in which she co-starred with Gene Hackman and Melvyn Douglas.
Expires October 30, 2014.
3. The Woman in White (1948) -- Alexis Smith, Eleanor Parker, Sydney Greenstreet, Gig Young, Agnes Moorehead, John Abbott, John Emery, Curt Bois, Emma Dunn, Matthew Boulton, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Clifford Brooke, Barry Bernard. Mystery film based on the 1859 book by Wilkie Collins, who also wrote "The Moonstone" (1868) -- considered the first English-language detective novel. Parker, who died December 9, 2013 at the age of 91, plays a dual role -- the heiress of Limmeridge House in northwest England and a mysterious woman who roams the estate. The film version was directed by Peter Godfrey ("Christmas in Connecticut," "The Two Mrs. Carrolls"). Expires October 30, 2014.
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TCM On Demand for October 25, 2014

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

1. The English Patient (1996) -- Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, Naveen Andrews, Colin Firth, Julian Wadham, Jürgen Prochnow, Kevin Whately, Clive Merrison, Nino Castelnuovo, Hichem Rostom, Peter Rühring, Geordie Johnson, Torri Higginson. Based on the 1992 novel by Michael Ondaatje, Anthony Minghella's film won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Binoche, who became the first French actress since Simone Signoret to win an Oscar).

The production also won awards for Best Cinematography (John Seale), Best Original Dramatic Score (Gabriel Yared), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan), Best Costume Design (Ann Roth), Best Film Editing (Walter Murch), and Best Sound (Murch, Mark Berger, David Parker and Christopher Newman). 

Told frequently in flashbacks, the drama revolves around the title character (Fiennes), a badly burned amnesiac in World War II Italy who is being cared for by a French-Canadian nurse (Binoche). As he begins to remember things -- he isn't English, for one thing -- the man reveals the story of his great romance with a married British woman (Scott Thomas) in 1930s North Africa. He also recalls the fateful outcome of his decision to keep a promise to his true love.

Oscar nominees Fiennes and Scott Thomas were reunited for the 2013 British film "The Invisble Woman," in which he starred as Charles Dickens and she played the mother of the author's young lover (Felicity Jones).
Movie crossover reference: This was one of two 1990s Best Picture winners in which a character played by Firth loses the leading lady to one of the Fiennes brothers. In "Shakespeare in Love" (1998), Joseph Fiennes (as a young William Shakespeare) wins the heart of a would-be actress played Gwyneth Paltrow.
The "Lost" connection: Andrews was one of four regulars from the cast of the Emmy Award-winning television series "Lost" who also appeared in an Oscar winner for Best Picture. The others: Dominic Monaghan, who starred in "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003); Daniel Dae Kim, who appeared in "Crash" (2005); and Evangeline Lilly, who was in "The Hurt Locker" (2009). 
This was one of three Best Picture winners to feature Fiennes. He also starred in "Schindler's List" (1993) and "The Hurt Locker" (2009).
Poor Elaine: In a March 1997 episode of "Seinfeld" titled "The English Patient," Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) winds up losing a boyfriend, three girlfiends and her job because of her dislike of the film. She even loudly criticizes the movie while watching it in a theater. "It's too long," she exclaims. "Quit telling your stupid story about the stupid desert and just die already. Die!"
Expires October 31, 2014.


2. Out of Africa (1985) -- Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michael Kitchen, Malick Bowens, Joseph Thiaka, Stephen Kinyanjui, Michael Gough, Suzanna Hamilton, Rachel Kempson, Graham Crowden, Leslie Phillips, Shane Rimmer, Mike Bugara, Job Seda, Mohammed Umar, Donal McCann, Kenneth Mason, Tristram Jellinek, Stephen B. Grimes, Annabel Maule, Benny Young, Iman. Sydney Pollack's film version of autobiographical material by the Danish author Isak Dinesen (and other sources) won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay (Kurt Luedtke). It also won for John Barry's original score and for Best Cinematography (David Watkin), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Stephen B. Grimes and Josie MacAvin) and Best Sound (Chris Jenkins, Gary Alexander, Larry Stensvold and Peter Handford).

In 2005, the American Film Institute selected the Top 25 film scores of all time. Barry's romantic composition for this movie was ranked No. 15. 
Streep, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, portrays Karen Blixen (1885-1962), who wrote about her experiences in early 20th-century colonial Kenya under the pen name of Dinesen. The film details her unhappy marriage to a roguish Swedish baron (portrayed by Brandauer, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor). And it focuses on her involvement with a dashing British aviator and hunter Denys Finch-Hatton (played by the All-American Redford).
This was one of many film collaborations between Pollack and Redford, who met as young actors during the filming of "War Hunt," a 1962 drama about the Korean conflict. After Pollack turned to directing in the mid-1960s, he and Redford teamed up for other projects, including "Jeremiah Johnson" (1972), "The Way We Were" (1973), "Three Days of the Condor" (1975), "The Electric Horseman" (1979) and "Havana" (1990).
Memorable quote: "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills." -- This was the opening sentence of Dinesen's 1937 book "Out of Africa," and it is one of the first lines of the movie, spoken by Streep as Blixen in a voiceover.
Expires October 31, 2014.


NOTE: Filmmakers Minghella and Pollack were co-producers of the HBO comedy/drama series "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," set in Botswana and based on the series of books by author Alexander McCall Smith. Seven episodes of the television series, which starred Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose, aired in 2008 and 2009. Unfortunately, Minghella died during cancer-related surgery on March 18, 2008. Pollack died two months later, on May 26, 2008, of stomach cancer.  

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