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.
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.”
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.
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.
On TCM 10/19/16- Were you ever lucky enough to meet a lifelong best friend when you were interviewing for a job? Street smart Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce (1945) with just a little advice from this new friend Oscar nominated here Eve Arden learns the restaurant business and opens up a very successful restaurant.
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.
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….
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.