Welcome to another edition of Fedya's "Movies to Tivo" Thread, for the week of August 20-26, 2018. I see over in the Brewers forum that a lot of you seem to be giving up on the season, so why not comfort yourself with some good movies? TCM has seven new stars in Summer Under the Stars, and there's interesting stuff on other channels as well, so I've used my good taste to pick out a bunch of movies I know you'll all be interested in. I even selected something from the 90s, and I don't mean 1890s. As always, all times are in Eastern, unless otherwise mentioned.
Monday's star on TCM is Stewart Granger, and I'll mention one of his lesser-known movies, Soldiers Three, at 10:00 AM. Based on stories by Rudyard Kipling, the movie stars Granger as Pvt. Ackroyd, one of three privates along with Sykes (Robert Newton) and Malloy (Cyril Cusack) who have been together under the command of Col. Brunswick (Walter Pidgeon) and Capt. Pindenny (David Niven) in 19th century India. Brunswick eventually gets promoted to general, and that's a framing device for the main action of the movie. Although the three privates are best friends, they're also a constant headache for Brunswick – and after 18 years together you'd think one or all three of them would have been promoted at some point. In fact, it's eventually decided by the higher-ups that the way to deal with these three is to promote one of them, so Ackroyd is made a sergeant, not that he wants it. The regiment then gets sent to defend a backwater fort against some native commander which is really a ruse to prevent a bigger war.
A movie on FXM Retro I haven't recommended in a while is Rio Conchos, at 10:10 AM Monday and again at 11:30 AM Saturday. It's some time after the end of the Civil War, and you've got folks who can't let go of the Lost Cause and people who are just trying to put their lives back together. In the latter group is former Confederate Major Lassiter (Richard Boone), who has since also suffered the loss of his wife and kid to an Apache attack, so he's become a bitter drunk and absolutely hates the Apaches. Anyhow, a bunch of repeating rifles have been stolen from the US Army, and Lassiter eventually winds up in possession of one, which brings him to the attention of the authorities. Eventually, he's given a chance to clear his name by taking part in a mission led by Capt. Haven (Stuart Whitman) to find the stolen guns. Also on the mission is Rodriguez (Tony Franciosa), who's trying to escape a murder rap; and the captain's Sgt. Franklyn (Jim Brown in his first movie). They eventually discover that the rifles have been stolen by a Confederate military officer (Edmond O'Brien) who is still fighting the Lost Cause.
Tuesday's honoree on TCM doesn't get much mention: Anita Louise. Among her movies is Green Light, which will be on at 12:15 AM Wednesday (that's still late Tuesday LFT). The star here is Errol Flynn, playing Dr. Newell, second in the pecking order at a hospital to money-conscious Dr. Endicott. Hospital benefactress Mrs. Dexter (Spring Byington) is due for surgery, and Newell eventually agrees to do it because Endicott is out raising money. Endicott eventually shows up and joins in on the surgery, but his incompetence kills Mrs. Dexter. Newell takes the fall for it at the inquest, and tries to redeem himself by going off to Montana to do research on tick-borne illnesses. Anita Louise plays Mrs. Dexter's daughter, and one or two l0ve interests in the movie, the other a nurse played by Margaret Lindsay. The movie has a strong g Christian ethic of "no man is an island", represented by an Episcopal bishop played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke.
It may be hard to believe, but it's been over a quarter century since the premier of Passenger 57. You can see the movie this Wednesday at 8:20 AM on HBO Signature. Wesley Snipes, years before problems with the tax man, plays John Cutter, an Secret Service agent who has recently suffered the death of his wife. Since then, he's been teaching self defense to airline stewardesses. One of his friends, thinking a change would be good, gets him a job as chief of security for an airline, which will entail flying out to Los Angeles for the introduction to all the corporate bigwigs and whatnot. Also on the plane is Charles Rane (Bruce Payne), a master terrorist who was captured by the authorities and is being transported by a couple of US Marshals to Los Angeles for trial. But it turns out that Rane has several of his men on board, and while John is using the facilities, they take over, so when John comes out, he finds a hostage situation and he has to try to figure a way out of it.
Meanwhile, back on TCM, Wednesday brings us 24 hours of Dana Andrews movies. Among the well-known movies is one less remembered: Curse of the Demon, at 3:15 PM. Andrews plays John Holden, a professor of the paranormal who's headed for a conference in London. In fact, Holden wants to debunk the phonies, and is going to the conference to meet Prof. Harrington (Maurice Denham), with the two planning to debunk Dr. Karswell (Niall Macginnis). But Holden arrives and finds that Harrington has died suddenly, with his niece Joanna (Peggy Cummings) claiming it was the result of black magic on Karswell's part. Not that Holden believes, but he goes to Karswell's place to investigate. It turns out that perhaps that old black magic is real, and Karswell really can conjure demons. Worse, he's conjured one to do away with Holden. Holden has to work fast to foil Karswell's scheme.
I think a lot of you will enjoy Play Misty for Me, at 8:33 AM Friday on StarzEncore Classics. Clint Eastwood, in his directorial debut, cast himself as Dave, an overnight DJ at a radio station in Carmel, CA. He's got one caller who calls every night requesting that he play the song "Misty", hence the title of the movie. One night after his show, he goes to a bar, where he meets the caller, a woman named Evelyn (Jessica Walter). The two eventually get into a one-night stand, which is fine by Dave since he's still getting over his old girlfriend Tobie (Donna Mills) walking out on him. But Tobie, as it turns out, has regrets about leaving Dave, so she returns and trie to patch things up, something which Dave is willing to do. Evelyn, however, is extremely unhappy about that. She wants Dave for herself, and she starts following Dave around, trying to interfere with his life in all sorts of ways from irritating to downright violent. How is he going to deal with this psychopath?
On Friday, we'll be treated to a full day of Peter Lorre. Since he was at Warner Bros. in the 1940s, he got paired quite a bit with Sydney Greenstreet. One of those movies, The Verdict, will be on at 1:30 AM on Saturday. Greenstreet is the star here, playing Scotland Yard detective Grodman circa 1890, who was good at what he did until he screwed up his final case. Unfortunately, that murder case sent an innocent man to the gallows, and when the innocent man's alibi was found, Grodman is forced to retire in shame, replaced by his rival Buckley (George Coulouris). And then another murder with echoes to the old one takes place. A man is murdered, and the landlady (Rosalind Ivan) just happens to be the niece of the murder victim whose case cost Grodman his job. Peter Lorre plays Emmric, a friend and neighbor of Grodman living in the same building as the murdered man, and Grodman realizes he can use Emmric to get back at Buckley.
I don't think I've mentioned Branded in quite some time. It's going to be on StarzEncore Westerns at 12:52 AM Saturday (the very end of Friday LFT). Alan Ladd plays Choya, a gunman who is recruited for a job by Leffingwell (Robert Keith). Only this job isn't shooting anybody, but impersonating a man. The Laverys (Charles Bickford and Selena Doyle) are wealthy cattle ranchers who many years ago had their son kidnapped. Choya could pass for the kidnapped son, and if he does, he's in line to inherit half the ranch, which is why he's been asked to impersonate the son. But things get complicated as Choya begins to fall for the Laverys' daughter Ruth (Mona Freeman), which is a problem as he's supposed to be her brother. So he tells the truth and decides to redeem himself by finding out what really happened to the son and rescuing him if possible.
Saturday on TCM means a whole bunch of Carroll Baker movies. This week, I'll pick one of Baker's movies in which she only has a supporting role: Star 80, at 4:15 AM Sunday. This is the story of Dorothy Stratten (played by Mariel Hemingway), a young Canadian girl who, at the start of the movie, is a high school student working at a Dairy Queen, which is where she's spotted by the rather older Paul Snider (Eric Roberts). He thinks she's beautiful, and throws her some BS about how she could really be a model and perhaps he could help her. In fact he's really looking for somebody he can ride to glow in their fame, and getting Dorothy into modeling would do just fine. In fact, Paul's grooming works well enough that Dorothy gets the call to do a spread in Playboy (Hugh Hefner played by Cliff Robertson), ultimately becoming Playmate of the Year. But as Dorothy's stardom rises, she finds she wants Paul in her life less and less, and this really gets him ticked off, leading to.... Well, if you know the Dorothy Stratten story you'll know how this ended since Stratten was a real person. Carroll Baker plays Dorothy's mother.
Finally, on Sunday we get a day of Anthony Quinn on TCM. The day includes what I believe is the TCM premiere of A High Wind in Jamaica, at 6:15 PM Sunday. Quinn plays Chavez, the captain of a pirate ship, but more on him later. The story starts off in Jamaica in the Victorian era, when it was still a British colony. The Thorntons (Nigel Davenport and Isabel Dean) think it might not be the best place for the kids to grow up, so they decide to send their children back to England to get a proper education. However, on the way back to England their ship is waylaid by Chavez's pirate ship, and during the confusion, the kids board the pirate ship. Worse, the pirates leave without realizing they've taken on a cargo of children! Chavez and first mate Zac (James Coburn) like the eldest child Emily, so they decide they'll try to get to a safe port like Tampico and drop the kids off there with the only women they know, who just happens to be brothel madams. But one of the kids dies in an accident in Tampico, putting the British Navy on Chavez's tail and really complicating matters.