Citizen Kane (1941)-Everett Sloane and Joseph Cotten

On TCM 10/13/16- The Orson Welles directed Citizen Kane (1941)- There is nothing like a flashback in a 1940’s movie – I love the flashbacks told to Thompson (the reporter trying to get at the bottom of the Rosebud story) by Kane’s newspaper colleagues and personal friends: First Bernstein played to perfection by the great Everett Sloane tells us (to the beat of the Bernard Herrmann score) about the early days of building a newspaper empire – and then the great Joseph Cotten as Leland reminisces from a hospital roof about Kane’s loves and failures-all the storytelling is masterly enhanced by Gregg Toland’s camera and Robert Wise’s perfect editing. What a masterpiece in filmmaking and acting!  

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Humphrey Bogart – Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) & The Caine Mutiny (1954)

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) Bogie as gold prospector Fred Dobbs flies off the handle mistrusting everybody –and in The Caine Mutiny (1954)—you would think the missing strawberries were made of gold!

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Hombre (1967)- Paul Newman holds no grudge!

On TCM 10/12/16- Hombre (1967)- A variation on the Stagecoach story directed by Martin Ritt and photographed on location by James Wong Howe starring the great Paul Newman as John Russell, as a resourceful, noble white man of few words who has been unjustly discriminated against because he was raised by Apaches.  But John Russell holds no grudge and strives to save a great supporting cast of Fredric March, Diane Cilento, Barbara Rush and Martin Balsam against bad guy Richard Boone.  

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So Big (1953)- Robert Wise directs Jane Wyman, Sterling Hayden, Nancy Olsen, Richard Beymer

A TCM perennial – So Big (1953)-“She is like the woman who came over on The Mayflower and crossed America on a covered wagon.” Master director Robert Wise with great artistry and perfect casting in tune with a great Max Steiner score adapted Edna Ferber’s Pulitzer Prize winning story of Selina DeJong (Jane Wyman), an influential teacher in a turn-of-the-century farming community near Chicago. Great performances here by: Sterling Hayden (as Selina’s Dutch farmer husband), Steve Forrest (real life brother of Dana Andrews) as their son Dirk and Tommy Rettig as Dirk, age 8; Richard Beymer as Selina’s devoted student Roelf Pool and Walter Coy (Recognize him as John Wayne’s brother Aaron Edwards in The Searchers?) as the very successful adult Roelf and Nancy Olsen as great artist Dallas O’ Mara— When Selina years later is attending a Roelf Pool concert, we are treated to a touching tour de force in direction and film editing (remember  Mr. Wise edited Citizen Kane) and Jane Wyman acting via a superimposed flashback recalling when Selina gave the young Roelf a piano lesson!

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The Young Philadelphians (1959) -Paul Newman rescues Robert Vaughn

On TCM 10/12/16- The Young Philadelphians (1959) –Catch the touching Oscar nominated here performance of Robert Vaughn as society rich boy Chester Gwynn disabled in the Korean War and outcast by family snobs but close personal friend/young successful attorney Tony Lawrence played to perfection by screen icon Paul Newman comes to his rescue. 

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Time After Time (1979)-Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen

On TCM 10/26/16- Time After Time (1979) – Brilliant Miklos Rozsa score amplifies the suspense and romance as H. G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) chases Jack the Ripper (David Warner) on his time machine from Victorian England to 1979 San Francisco rendezvousing with the loveable 20th century down to earth Mary Steenburgen.images-time-after-time

Frankie Avalon – Remembers The Alamo (1960)

On 10/6/15- Reminiscing with Frankie Avalon at his book (Italian Family Cookbook) signing on how he was cast in John Wayne’s The Alamo (1960) as the only male survivor and how it was great working with Duke!   A cooking tip: To quote Frankie on page 170: “Eggplant marinara may look like eggplant Parmesan, but the difference is in the cheese, as this not have any mozzarella”-freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese was used by his mom.

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Wuthering Heights (1939) – William Wyler directs Olivier and Oberon!

On TCM 10/9/16- Wuthering Heights (1939) – the romantic novel by Emily Bronte brought to the screen with the usual perfect direction of William Wyler and the Oscar winning here camera of Gregg Toland capturing the romance of Heathcliff and Cathy played by screen great Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. Catch the great performances here by David Niven, Oscar nominated here Geraldine Fitzgerald, Donald Crisp as a doctor, and Leo G. Carroll as the servant Joseph.

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