The Mummy, playing on TCM on Friday. I freaking love this pulp poster style.
There is a bunch of new stuff this week to go along with a good mix of previously featured films. Don’t miss Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night on Wednesday, one of his more delightful and accessible films, then Thursday TCM has a bunch of what I’ll call second-tier Hitchcock films, but second-tier Hitchcock is still pretty damn good. Also on Thursday, check out The Claim on IFC – I talk a lot about bad Milla Jovovich films (because I enjoy even the bad ones), but this one is actually good. TCM continues their series of Hammer horror films on Friday with four Mummy films, then carries us through Saturday and Sunday with early Dietrich-von Sternberg collaboration The Blue Angel, the 1960 version of The Time Machine, the silent version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and caps it off with Infernal Affairs, the Hong Kong film remade in 2006 as The Departed. Lots of variety, and of course lots of repeats that are well worth watching or rewatching.
Monday, October 11
6:00am – IFC – Before Sunrise
Before Sunrise may be little more than an extended conversation between two people (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) who meet on a train in Europe and decide to spend all night talking and walking the streets of Vienna, I fell in love with it at first sight. Linklater has a way of making movies where nothing happens seem vibrant and fascinating, and call me a romantic if you wish, but this is my favorite of everything he’s done.
1995 USA. Director: Richard Linklater. Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy.
(repeats at 11:25am)
8:00pm – TCM – The Big Sleep
One of the greatest detective/mysteries/films noir ever made. Humphrey Bogart is the definite hard-boiled detective, Lauren Bacall is the potential love interest/femme fatale. Don’t try to follow the story; whodunit is far less important than crackling dialogue and dry humor. Watch out for future Oscar-winner Dorothy Malone (Written on the Wind) in the small but extremely memorable part of the bookshop girl.
1946 USA. Director: Howard Hawks. Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers, Elisha Cook Jr., Dorothy Malone.
10:00pm – TCM – His Girl Friday
This is a remake of the 1931 film The Front Page about newspaper buddies who go after a major story – Howard Hawks takes it to a whole new level by turning one of the men into a woman, and setting reporters Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant as a former couple, now divorced who can’t seem to stay apart, either personally or professionally. The dialogue is a stroke of genius, as well, overlapping in a maelstrom of words that’s overwhelming and delightful all at the same time. I call this one of the greatest American films ever made.
1940 USA. Director: Howard Hawks. Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy.
12:00M – IFC – Shadow of the Vampire
What if actor Max Schreck, who played the vampire in F.W. Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu, actually WAS a vampire and kept eating various members of the cast and crew? That’s the premise set forth by this slight but entertaining film, with John Malkovich as Murnau and Willem Dafoe as the eccentric Schreck.
2000 USA. Director: E. Elias Merhige. Starring: John Malkovich, Willem Dafoe, Cary Elwes, Catherine McCormack.
2:00am (12th) – TCM – Hail the Conquering Hero
After being discharged from the Army as 4F, Eddie Bracken is pressured into pretending to be a war hero by a group of marines when he returns to his small home town; as things escalate in his honor, he tries to set things straight, but can’t get anyone to listen. This is one of Preston Sturges’ best-known absurd comedies, and he has quite an impressive string of absurd comedies, so that’s saying a lot.
1944 USA. Director: Preston Sturges. Starring Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Raymond Walburn.
4:00am (12th) – TCM – The Palm Beach Story
Similar in tone but less consistent than The Lady Eve, this Preston Sturges film follows bickering couple Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert as she leaves him to gold dig for a richer man. He follows her, pretending to be her brother, and they get all entangled with a wealthy brother and sister. The ending is a weak bit of trickery, but there are enough moments of hilarity to make it worth watching.
1942 USA. Director: Preston Sturges. Starring: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor.
Would you like to know more…?