This Week on Turner Classic Movies

This Week on Turner Classic Movies

Blog PhotoIt’s no secret that I have a great affinity for classic films, so it should come as no surprise that Turner Classic Movies, the greatest channel in the history of cable television, is constantly on in my home. Not only does it run well-known classics but little-seen gems that often fly under the radar. As part of most general cable packages, TCM is accessible to most everyone and as a service, every Monday you’ll find a new weekly column on the Cinemascoping Blog, This Week on TCM.  Here you’ll find my recommendations of the key films being shown on the channel over the next seven days, each significant in their own way.  Set your DVRs accordingly.

Monday - July 28th – TCM’s regularly scheduled programing has been replaced by a 24-hour salute to the late James Garner.  What with the vast library of films at their disposal the programmers at TCM are able to present not only some of the actor’s better known movies, but those from the beginning of Garner’s career as well.  

Blog PhotoThe tribute starts at 5:00 AM with the actor’s big screen debut Toward the Unknown (1956), a William Holden feature about air force test pilots and is followed by the Randolph Scott oater Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1957) at 7:00 am.  While Garner is only a supporting player in each, seeing him as a young up-and-coming actor is a treat.  Other highlights during the day include: Mister Buddwing (1966) at 5:15 pm with the actor in the title role as an amnesiac lost in New York City, trying to find out who he is; The Children’s Hour (1961) at 11:00 pm finds Garner as a doctor whose engagement to a local teacher (Audrey Hepburn) is threatened when she’s accused of being in a lesbian relationship with a colleague (Shirley MacLaine); Victor/Victoria (1982) at 1:00 am, the Blake Edwards’ gender-bending farce that finds Garner as a businessman confused by the object of his affection and finally Marlowe (1969) at 3:30 am, an effective modern update of the Raymond Chandler gumshoe that features a dynamite fight scene with Garner and Bruce Lee. 

Blog PhotoThursday – July 31st – If you in need of a good laugh, you’re in luck as a slate of Mel Brooks’ comedies are on tap starting with his second feature as a director The Twelve Chairs (1970) at 7:00 pm, a delightful romp in which a con artist, priest and aristocrat (Ron Moody, Frank Langella and Dom DeLuise) search for the title pieces of furniture, one of which contains a cache of hidden jewels.  This is followed at 8:45 pm by Silent Movie (1976), the director’s comedic homage to the early days of cinema, while his brilliant parody of Alfred Hitchcock films, High Anxiety (1977) screens at 10:30 pm.  The evening’s tribute ends at 1:15 am with Brooks’ remake of the World War II comedy To Be or Not to Be (1983) about an acting troupe trying to scratch out a living as well as evade the Nazis, while the 1942 original with Jack Benny and Carole Lombard, a biting satire that was underappreciated at the time of its release and proved to be the actresses’ final film completed just before her tragic death, finishes out the evening at 3:15 am.

Blog PhotoFriday – August 1st – Today begins TCM’s Summer Under the Stars program, a feast-or-famine proposition in which the programming for each day is devoted to a single performer.  The work of Jane Fonda kicks off this festival with the highlight being Klute (1971) at 11:15 pm.  Donald Sutherland stars in the title role as a small town police officer that goes to New York City in an effort to solve a murder, his only clue a letter the victim wrote to a prostitute (Fonda) who he tracks down.  Though the duo do not get along, they set out to unravel the mystery of the dead man, concluding with what is still a shocking conclusion.  Fonda won her first Academy Award for her work here, while this compelling thriller is as fresh today as it was during its initial release.

Blog PhotoSaturday – August 2nd – This day’s programming, devoted to actor David Niven features one of the first and best of the small-group-on-a-mission movies, The Guns of Navarone (1961) at 12:15 am.  Based on the Alistair MacLean bestseller, this genuinely exciting adventure film follows the efforts of a group of saboteurs whose mission is to destroy a massive Nazi fortress.  The on-screen chemistry between Niven and his co-stars Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn ran counter to the behind-the-scenes tension between the actors. The action sequences still hold up splendidly and director J. Lee Thompson keeps things moving at a crisp pace, while the film’s epic scale helped make it the top grossing film of 1961.   


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welive wrote on July 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

thank you chuck i myself love older movies they have a story not just some crazy chase in front of a blue sceen.