Strait-Jacket, playing Saturday on TCM.
With TCM already filling every Friday night this month with Hammer horror, I wondered what they were going to save for Halloween itself, but I shouldn’t have worried. What they’ve got all weekend (Friday-Sunday) is a treasure trove of 1930s-1950s horror – everything from early Technicolor horror like Doctor X and The Mystery of the Wax Museum to Val Lewton to Hammer’s Frankenstein films on Friday to a whole raft of William Castle films throughout most of Saturday, another round of Lewton late Saturday early Sunday, then most of Sunday devoted to Roger Corman and Vincent Price. I didn’t single out all of these films, mostly only the ones I’ve – but suffice it to say that if you’re a fan of this style of horror, just keep your TV tuned to TCM all weekend and you’ll be more than happy.
Monday, October 25
6:30am – TCM – Black Orpheus
This reimagining of the Orpheus/Eurydice myth set amidst the Rio de Janeiro Carnival won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
1959 Brazil/France. Director: Marcel Camus. Starring: Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn, Marcel Camus, Léa Garcia, Lourdes de Oliveira.
8:30am – TCM – Summertime
I haven’t seen this David Lean drama, but Kurt and rot were talking about it in some comments recently, and made me more interested in it than I ever have been before. So maybe I’ll check it out.
1955 USA/UK. Director: David Lean. Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Rosanno Brazzi.
12:45pm – IFC – Pan’s Labyrinth
One of my absolute favorite films of the past decade (or ever, really), an absolutely beautiful and terrifying fantasy that juxtaposes the gruesome horrors of the Spanish Civil War with an equally horrifying fantasy world that provides, if not escape, at least some measure of importance and control to the film’s young heroine. Guillermo Del Toro solidified my view of him as a visionary filmmaker with this film, and it still stands to me as a testament to what fantasy can and should do.
2006 Spain/Mexico. Director: Guillermo Del Toro. Starring: Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Meribel Verdú, Doug Jones.
2:15pm – TCM – One Two Three
Billy Wilder directs James Cagney in fast-talking near mania as a Coca-Cola manager in Berlin tasked with keeping tabs on the boss’s daughter. This comedy moves at breakneck speed, showcasing Wilder and screenwriting partner I.A.L. Diamond’s genius for dialogue. Not as memorable as many of Wilder’s others, perhaps, but a hidden gem.
1961 USA. Director: Billy Wilder. Starring: James Cagney, Pamela Tiffin, Arlene Francis, Horst Buchholz.
4:15pm – TCM – Roman Holiday
Audrey Hepburn’s first lead role, and the one that immediately catapulted her into stardom. She’s a princess who runs away to try out being normal, and spends an adventurous day exploring Rome with incognito journalist Gregory Peck. Pretty much delightful right the way through.
1953 USA. Director: William Wyler. Starring: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert.
11:30pm – TCM – Mickey One
This is not a particularly great film, but it is interesting as a pre-Bonnie and Clyde collaboration between Arthur Penn and Warren Beatty, where they’re trying to do some of the same things in terms of bringing European style to an American story. It’s not nearly as successful as Bonnie and Clyde, but it does have its moments.
1965 USA. Director: Arthur Penn. Starring: Warren Beatty, Alexandra Stewart, Hurd Hatfield, Franchot Tone.
3:15am (26th) – TCM – 42nd Street
By 1933 when 42nd Street came out, the Hollywood musical had already died. So excited by the musical possibilities that sound brought in 1927, Hollywood pumped out terrible musical after terrible musical until everyone was sick of them. 42nd Street almost single-handedly turned the tide and remains one of the all-time classic backstage musicals. It may look a little creaky by later standards, but there’s a vitality and freshness to it that can’t be beat.
1932 USA. Director: Lloyd Bacon. Starring: Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, George Brent, Bebe Daniels, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, Una Merkel.
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