TCM watch, February 11-17

Okay, I’ve only gotten to two of the five movies I recorded last week from the 31 Days of Oscar lineup, but here’s what I’ve got my eye on to add to the queue this week:

1. Born Yesterday (1950) Monday, 10:45 AM. All I need to know about this is that the leading man is William Holden. Couldn’t love him more.

2. Theodora Goes Wild (1936) Tuesday, 4:45 AM. What a title! The great comedienne Irene Dunne got a Best Actress nomination here as a small town pillar of the community who secretly writes a romance novel that scandalizes her neighbors.

3. The Circus (1928) and Speedy (1928) Friday, 5:00/6:30 AM. A Charlie Chaplin film followed by a Harold Lloyd, how lovely! It’s a joy to watch both of these masters of silent comedy, like watching a great cartoon and simultaneously getting a lesson in film history.

4. My Favorite Year (1982) Sunday 1:15 AM. Set in the 1950s, Peter O’Toole is a faded movie star, and a young comedy writer is desperate to keep him sober for an important live television appearance. Hmm, I’ve got a hunch these two will form some sort of bond, maybe learn a life lesson or two…I usually love it when legendary actors play actors (Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, Bette Davis in All About Eve, Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, etc etc), so that makes me curious to see this.

And what am I most recommending for others? Three absolute essentials:

1. It Happened One Night (1934) Monday, 5:00 PM. This wonderfully funny romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert is one of the few comedies to have won Best Picture, and was in fact the first film to get the Oscar “grand slam” of Best Picture, Actress, Actor, Director, and Screenplay (only One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Silence of the Lambs have done that since). The great thing is that Hollywood legend says no one thought the film would do well, and Clark Gable was actually being punished by his contract studio, MGM, for bad off-screen behavior by being forced to do this minor Columbia Pictures production.

2. The Apartment (1960) Tuesday, 12:45 PM. Writer/director Billy Wilder could do no wrong, so of course this film is a classic. Jack Lemmon is superb as Bud Baxter, a lowly clerk trying to get ahead in business by loaning out his apartment to superiors so they can conduct clandestine affairs. Things get complicated when he falls for his boss’s mistress. Part sex comedy, part dark romantic drama, this won Best Picture, and rightfully so.

3. The African Queen (1951) Saturday, 12:45 PM. Humphrey Bogart’s only Oscar was for this movie, also his only collaboration with Katherine Hepburn, which I find sort of remarkable considering how well they play together. This is the classic opposites-attract romance (she’s a prim missionary, he’s a scruffy riverboat captain) combined with a great adventure story.

Go forth and view!


1 Response to “TCM watch, February 11-17”

  1. 1 Carly February 13, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    do you actually know people who haven’t seen It Happened One Night, The Apartment, or The African Queen. I mean, the African Queen is a highlight in Katherine Hepburn’s career, and the woman essentially made nothing but brilliant movies, so that’s quite a distinction. Plus, you make awful faces/noises at people when they haven’t seen something you feel they ought to have seen…

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