Nehemiah Persoff- Little Bonaparte in Some Like It Hot (1959)

On TCM Sat 9/17/16 – The Billy Wilder Essential Some Like It Hot (1959)-the great underrated character actor Nehemiah Persoff cast as mob chief Little Bonaparte opens the mob reunion (disguised as Friends of Italian Opera Lover’s meeting) with the following Wilder/I.A.L. Diamond eloquence: “Thank you, fellow opera-lovers. It’s been ten years since I elected myself president of dis organization… an’ if I say so myself, you made duh right choice. Let’s look at duh record: In duh lass fissel year we made a hundred an’ twelve million dollars before taxes… only we didn’t pay no taxes!”  You also might remember Persoff in On The Waterfront (1954) playing the cab driver/mob informant in the famous Brando/Steiger who reported the action back to bad guy John Friendly (Lee J Cobb).  Look for Nehemiah playing many diverse roles in many movies and TV.

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Bud Abbott and Lou Costello meet Frankenstein (1948) – three for the price of one

On TCM 10/30/16 – Three for the price of one special–In Bud Abbott and Lou Costello meet Frankenstein (1948) we are faced with the ultimate horror trinity of all 3 famous movie horrors- Dracula (Bela Lugosi), the Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange), and the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney Jr.).  There is even a bonus of Vincent Price as the Voice of the Invisible Man. It was even a better deal for me viewing this comedy/horror classic at the Saturday Children Matinee of a neighborhood local Brooklyn theatre in the 1950’s for 35 cents and to boot there was a second feature. I could still hear the kids laughing and screaming!

Mogambo (1953)- John Ford directs Clark Gable, Grace Kelly, and Ava Gardner

Mogambo (1953) on TCM 9/23/16–John Ford masterfully integrates striking gorilla documentary footage with his romantic triangle on a safari tale cast with screen greats: Clark Gable as big game hunter Victor Marswell; Grace Kelly as his married client (In Clark’s words: “You know how it is, the woman always fall for the white hunter.” ) and Ava Gardner as the down on her luck Eloise not having a good safari with the Clark/Grace fling (In the future she: “Only wants to see the two lions in the front of the public library.”) With the same genius Ford composes his shots in Monument Valley, he frames these superstars capturing the beauty and godliness of Kenya’s landscape.

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Something of Value (1957)-Rock Hudson and Sidney Poitier in heartbreaking performances

On TCM 11/17/16- Something of Value (1957) written/directed by Richard Brooks is a powerful well-acted film about how the close since childhood friendship between Rock Hudson and Sidney Poitier is challenged in revolution torn Kenya. Great supporting cast with the beautiful Dana Wynter, screen great Wendy Hiller, Ivan Dixon, and the underrated Juano Hernandez with Michael Pate convincing as a hateful farmer.  The perfect soundtrack by Miklos Rozsa intensifies the love, friendship and tragic conflict and adds even more dramatic impact.

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The Lusty Men (1952)-Robert Mitchum directed by Nick Ray

The Lusty Men (1952)- A modern western where brilliant director Nick Ray’s sensitive camera tells us the unspoken thoughts of both Robert Mitchum as rodeo star Jeff McCloud and Susan Haywood as ranch housewife Louise via their introspective facial expressions. Love the scene towards the beginning where Mitch as Jeff McCloud seeking meaning about his past returns to his decaying boyhood home presently owned by familiar face old timer Burt Mustin- memories are written all over Mitch’s face!