The Misfits (1961)-Enhanced by Eli Wallach

On TCM this afternoon 8/6/2016 – John Huston’s The Misfits (1961) – I love the performance of Eli Wallach as Guido the cowboy pilot who so touchingly misses his late wife-a very important role that enhances here the legendary performances of screen greats Thelma Ritter, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift—Notice how director Huston always keeps the sad sorrowful Wallach on screen!


An upbeat guy-Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy almost always plays an upbeat guy even when faced with adverse conditions. Catch him in John Ford’s The Last Hurrah (1958) where he stands up for his friends and makes losing an election look like a victory. He also eventually makes the town in The Bad Day at Black Rock (1954) on TCM 8/11/16 see a better day and brings happy tears to Katharine Hepburn’s eyes at the end of his last movie Guess Who is Coming to Dinner (1967) as he brings an upbeat resolution to a family crisis.

Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) – Bogie flies off the handle!

It is comforting to know that cool screen idol Humphrey Bogart like any one of us can sometimes have bouts of paranoid and insecurity: In the brilliant John Huston’s Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) on TCM 8/9/16 Bogie as gold prospector Fred Dobbs flies off the handle mistrusting everybody even his trustworthy pals (Tim Holt and Oscar winning here Walter Huston) –and in The Caine Mutiny (1954)—you would think the missing strawberries were made of gold!

From Here to Eternity (1953)-love meter reading

On TCM 8/6/16- Photo of Oscar winning here cinematographer Burnett Guffey (a believer in simple source and fill lighting) on the set of Fred Zinnemann’s masterpiece From Here to Eternity (1953) taking a light meter reading- Look at how successfully the results catch the passion and chemistry radiating between screen greats Burt Lancaster/Deborah Kerr and Montgomery Clift/Donna Reed.

On The Waterfront (1954) -“more pigeons in those days.”

On TCM Friday 8/5/16 – I don’t like the country-the crickets get me nervous.”- In Elia Kazan’s masterpiece On the Waterfront (1954) city tough guy Terry Malloy (Oscar winner here Marlon Brando) fights to survive in a tough urban waterfront environment of the real life location of Hoboken, NJ just across the river from Manhattan. As a former resident during the 1980’s of this square mile city it was heartening to see Brando and the also Oscar winning here Eva Maria Saint get to know each other in the urban park in front of Our Lady Of Grace Church on Willow Ave and in Elysian Park on Hudson St. and for the action to unfold (which also included the Oscar nominated here Karl Malden as Father Barry) in front of that striking wrought iron fence bordering the New York cityscape. And note that in the early 1950’s there were only a handful of rooftop TV antennas so close to the Empire State building-there were more pigeons in those days!

The Country Girl (1954)- A nervous Bing

On TCM 8/3/16- George Seaton’s The Country Girl (1954) – Screen greats William Holden as the director of a play, Bing Crosby as the problem star, and Grace Kelly in an Oscar winning role as Bing’s down to earth strong wife all give great performances in one of my favorite backstage movies. The usually cool relaxed Bing Crosby is very convincing as Frank Elgin, an alcoholic has-been musical stage actor nervously trying to make a comeback-unlike the Bing we know there is tension at every note!