Johnny Eager (1941)-Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Van Heflin

 Johnny Eager (1941)- Did you ever have a close friend you adored that you knew has gone wrong?… Catch 12- 13 birthday today Oscar winning here Van Heflin as Jeff Hartnett with such a difficult conflict with a friend named Johnny Eager played by the great Robert Taylor in this Mervyn LeRoy directed early NOIR also with Lana Turner as Johnny’s girlfriend.

images-eager-oneimages-eager-twoimages-eager-threeimages-046-lana-turner-theredlist

Seven Chances (1925)- Buster Keaton must marry by 7 PM!

Remembering Buster Keaton on his 121th Birthday -In the very funny Seven Chances (1925) Buster plays a man who must marry by 7 PM that day to inherit a fortune. He has no luck finding a bride until his friend prints the story of Keaton’s incoming legacy in the local newspaper. As a result, literally hundreds of women bedecked in veils and bearing bouquets who have read in the newspaper about his upcoming legacy, chase Keaton through the busy streets of Los Angeles.  

images-seven-chances-threeimages-seven-chances-oneimages-seven-chances-two

The Killers (1945) -Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Virginia Christine

A TCM perennial –Brilliant Director Robert Siodmak in The Killers (1945) frames the moment when the Swede played to usual perfection by Burt Lancaster descends on the Noir streetcar to doom in falling for femme fatale Kitty Collins (Ava Gardner)… Catch here the dismay of the Swede’s then nice girlfriend Lilly (Virginia Christine) who had the good sense here to later marry detective Sam Levene and in real life become on TV commercials “Mrs. Olson the Folger Coffee Woman.”

images-killer-oneimages-the-killers-burt-avaimages-killers-three

The Last Hurrah (1958)- John Ford directs Spencer Tracy and Edward Brophy

On TCM 10/26/16- After losing the election in master director’s John Ford’s The Last Hurrah (1958) – Spencer Tracy sadly walks in one direction while his rival’s victory parade marches in the opposite direction. It is another great moment in the history of cinema where John Ford uses his camera and screen direction to express strong emotion about the passing of an era and the change in political leadership. John Ford brilliantly cast Edward Brophy (the actor with the cartoon dopey voice who usually plays dim witted cops, gangsters or sidekicks) as the slow but loyal political crony to Spencer Tracy.  And there is the Irish wake here to beat Irish wakes.

images-last-hurrah-twoimages-last-urrah-fourimages-last-hurrah-oneimages-last-hurrah-wake

Fury (1936) -Fritz Lang directs Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney

On TCM 10/5/16- Fury (1936) – Directed by the great Fritz Lang with screen greats Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney as a lovely hard-working couple deeply in love but cannot get married because of money issues and unjustly become victims of an irrational mob mentality.  A very engrossing film that will make your blood boil and admire on how Tracy nobly stands up for justice.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)- Capra gem with James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Raines

On TCM 10/5/16- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) – Brilliant direction by Frank Capra along with James Stewart’s performance as the idealistic Jefferson Smith make this a standout gem even in the best year for American movies. I love the slow acceptance of Jefferson Smith by Jean Arthur, Harry Carey as the President of the Senate keeping things in order, and the subtle acting of Oscar nominated here Claude Raines as Senator Joseph Paine.

The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)- Jose Ferrer acts and directs

On TCM 10/10/16- The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)- A very interesting war movie based on a true mission with Trevor Howard as a veteran Royal Marine captain and Jose Ferrer (who also is the film’s director) as a WWII commando unit leader who tests the men for his team for a suicide mission via canoes behind German lines by dropping them by parachute 300 miles north in England dressed in German uniforms with neither money nor ID, and telling them to get back to barracks in 48 hours. Each of the men has a different approach to this task and it is a very entertaining sequence filmed at actual Surrey locales.  

 

Around The World in Eighty Days (1956)-Could David Niven and Cantinflas verify location?

On TCM 10/15/16 – Around The World in Eighty Days (1956): Image if world travelers David Niven (Phileas Fogg) and Cantinflas (Passepartout) had Instagram/google maps access, they would have been able to verify location and display on site photo images to the skeptical members of the London Reform Club. Something even Jules Verne did not think of….
images-around-the-world-twoimages-around-the-world-one

The Strawberry Blonde (1941)- James Cagney, Rita Haywood, Oliva De Havilland

On TCM 10/17/16- A saga set in the 1890’s you will be singing aloud about before you know it: Raoul Walsh’s The Strawberry Blonde (1941) where Jack Carson (Hugo Barnstead) crosses James Cagney (Biff Grimes) in love (with local beauty Rita Haywood) and frames him in business for being a Cosigner to some crooked real estate deals. Biff goes to jail (lets the world pass him by for few years) and while being constrained in prison studies Dentistry. Years later now ex-con Biff gets his revenge on Jack Carson by constraining him on the dentist chair-And most of all Cagney wins in love by being happily married to the beautiful and kind Oliva De Havilland. Along the way catch great character actors: George Tobias in yet another ethnic role as a Greek barber; Alan Hale Sr. as yet another colorful movie dad; and later TV Superman George Reeves as a tough neighbor bold enough to pick a fist fight with Cagney.