East of Eden (1955)-James Dean, Jo Van Fleet, Timothy Carey

On TCM 1/2/17 -Elia Kazan’s East of Eden (1955)- Catch the well-deserved Oscar winning performance of Jo Van Fleet as James Dean’s long thought dead mother Kate whom he discovers to be alive and well running a brothel in Salinas Ca with screen great crazy Timothy Carey as her bouncer.

Norman Lloyd-In Saboteur (1942), Spellbound (1945) and Trainwreck (2015)

Actor Norman Lloyd featured as the mysterious Frank Fry chased to the Statue of Liberty by Robert Cummings in Hitch’s Saboteur (1942) and as a mental patient in Spellbound (1945) has literally hung on in real life to age 101 and not retire from acting –Catch his current supporting role in the very wise and funny Trainwreck (2015) written by Amy Schumer.

House on Haunted Hill (1958) –Vincent Price and Elisha Cook Jr.

On TCM Halloween 10/31/16- House on Haunted Hill (1958) – perfect selection for the season directed by William Castle where Vincent Price as a millionaire offers a group of interesting strangers a fortune if they survive a night sleeping over his haunted isolated house.  I would not recommend betting on Elisha Cook Jr. making it to morning alive as he (after a long period of whining) is probably the screen’s most prolific murder victim-if you have seen a lot of movies you know that Elisha’s character rarely comes out alive!


Gettysburg (1993) – Jeff Daniels as Col. Joshua Lawrence

Catch Jeff Daniels in a brilliant Oscar overlooked performance as the very personable Col Joshua Lawrence of the 20th Maine who successfully defends the Union Army’s extreme left flank at Little Round Top at Gettysburg (1993) even though his command ran out of ammunition. He tells his troops: “We are at the extreme left of our army—there is no one to our left.” And then orders a successful bayonet charge to bluff the opposing army in a retreat!


The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) -William Wyler directs Teresa Wright and Dana Andrews!

Remembering Teresa Wright (1918-2005) on her 10/27 birthday –William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) -In the history of classic cinema one of the most heartfelt romantic moments is when Peggy (Teresa Wright) and Fred (Dana Andrews) dine in a local Italian restaurant — Catch that after lunch kiss in the parking lot.


Leo G. Carroll – Key role in North by Northwest (1959)! 

10/25 was the birthday of great British Actor Leo G. Carroll (1886-1972) one of the most accomplished character actor in screen history and later TV’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Cast by Alfred Hitchcock in North by Northwest (1959) as a the very cool, mysterious intelligence head (FBI, CIA, ONI… we’re all in the same alphabet soup.) ‘The Professor’ who keeps an eye on Cary Grant as he mistaken by foreign agents to be an American spy named George Kaplan, Leo adds to the suspense!  Catch Carroll in other key roles in Hitchcock films: as Senator Morton in Strangers on a Train (1951), Suspicion (1941) as Captain Melbeck, the employer who fires Cary Grant as Johnnie, and most of all as Dr. Murchison, the retiring head of a mental asylum to be replaced by screen greats Gregory Peck and where Ingrid Bergman practices as Dr. Constance Petersen-All very Hitchcockian roles!


Marty (1955)-Ernest Borgnine with Frank Sutton!

In one of my all-time favorite movies Marty (1955)-catch Frank Sutton as Ralph one of Ernest Borgnine’s “bored and lonely” friends who overextended his credit limit with even generous Marty— “poor Ralph—plenty of girls-but no money.”  Frank Sutton (1923-1974) who would have been 93 today 10/23 was better known as Sgt. Vince Carter on Gomer Pyle: USMC.


James Cagney – Family man in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and White Heat (1949)!

On TCM 11/4/16- Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) – where James Cagney as in any genre is always a family man-loyal to his show business parents (Walter Huston and Rosemary DeCamp) and lovely wife Mary (Joan Leslie) -“My father thanks you, my mother thanks you and I thank you!!”-and if you dare to test his attachment to his crime business family and Ma Jarrett (Margaret Wycherly) in White Heat (1949) make out your last will and testament!