Welcome to another edition of Fedya's "Movies to Tivo" thread, for the week of May 13-19, 2019. The European football season ends this Saturday, so with less to do in the way of sports, why not spend some time with some good movies? Once again, I've used my good taste to select a bunch of movies I know you'll all like. There's more from TCM Star of the Month Paul Newman, and good stuff on other movie channels, too. As always, all times are in Eastern, unless otherwise mentioned.
This week's TCM Import is My Life as a Dog, which will be on TCM at . Anton Glanzelius plays Ingemar, a 12-year-old boy in 1950s Sweden whose life is a bit of a mess because he doesn't get along with his brother, his dad is always away on business, and his mom is likely dying of whatever chronic illness she has. So to make peace for Mom, Ingemar is sent away to a small town in the provinces to spend time with his uncle, even though he won't be able to take his beloved dog. In his new home Ingemar meets a variety of interesting characters, such as the man who wants Ingemar to read to him – from the lingerie catalog! Or the young girl Saga (Melinda Kinnaman) who's a bit of a tomboy, except that she's about to reach puberty which means putting away all those boyish things. But at least in that case there's sexual development, and she and Ingemar take the first innocent steps towards discovering their adult identities. Meanwhile, Ingemar's namesake, boxer Ingemar Johannsson, is about to fight for the world heavyweight title.
Monday night on TCM sees several Orson Welles movies, with his greatest work Citizen Kane showing up 2:15 AM Tuesday. I'm mentioning the night, however, since it's kicking off with a new documentary at 8:00 PM called The Eyes of Orson Welles that may be of interest to some of you.
For this week's entry from StazEncore Westerns, you get another Audie Murphy movie: The Duel at Silver Creek, at 8:00 AM Tuesday. Murphy plays Luke Cromwell, a man who saw his own father die at the hands of a nasty bunch of crooks. Dad was a gold prospector, and the crooks went around extorting people's claims and then shooting the people! Luke insists on getting revenge, so he becomes a gunfighter, and mighty quick on the draw, too. Meanwhile, in Silver City, Marshal "Lightning" Tyrone (Stephen McNally) is trying to catch the claim jumpers, too, and gets in a gunfight with them that fails as he suffers an injury to his trigger finger that leaves him not so lightning. Eventually, Luke, now calling himself The Silver Kid, shows up in Silver City, and when the Marshal learns about Luke, he decides that this man would be perfect to have as a deputy. Complicating things is that the Marshal has fallen for Opal Lacy (Faith Domergue) who, unbeknownst to him, is actually passing information to the claim jumpers!
TCM is running some romantic comedies on Tuesday night, including the really fun The Bride Came C.O.D., at 10:00 PM Tuesday. James Carney plays Steve Collins, a pilot in need of money, so he takes a job from oil tycoon Lucius Winfield (Eugene Pallette). Winfield's daughter Joan (Bette Davis) is planning to elope with a bandleader (Jack Carson), and Dad doesn't want the marriage to go ahead, so Steve should abscond with Joan and bring her to him. When Joan figures out what's up, she starts struggling with Steve, causing the plane to crash somewhere along the California/Nevada border. They need to make it back to safety, but at least they're lucky to have crash-landed near a ghost town where prospector Pop Tolliver (Harry Davenport) lives. As you can probably guess, being stranded together causes Steve and Joan to start falling in love, a relationship which gets complicated when her dad and her suitor show up. I believe this was the only pairing of Cagney and Davis, and they're quite good together.
For those of you who like more recent movies, I'll mention one that's only 35 years old: Romancing the Stone, which you can catch on StarzEncore Action at 11:40 AM Wednesday. Kathleen Turner plays Joan, a romance novelist whose real life is the complete opposite of the sexy adventures she writes about. But her life is about to start imitating her art. Joan learns that her sister Elaine has been kidnapped in Colombia by two thieves (Danny DeVito and Zack Norman) who are looking for a treasure map that Elaine's husband had and was killed for. Joan's brother-in-law sent her the map, so she flies down to Colombia to try to free her sister and find out what really happened. Elaine's husband was killed not by the two thieves, but in the jungle by military officer with his own private army. Joan winds up getting help from American mercenary Jack (Michael Douglas), and begins to fall in love with him the way Joan's characters fall in l0ve in her romance novels.
Wednesday brings another night of Paul Newman films to TCM. It wasn't until late in his career that he won his Oscar, but he certainly helped other people win theirs, as is the case with Patricia Neal's win for Hud, which will be on TCM at 8:00 PM Wednesday. Newman plays the titular character, who works the Texas ranch his father Homer (Melvyn Douglas, who won a Supporting Actor Oscar) owns, while Hud's nephew Lonnie (Brandon De Wilde) also lives there. Lonnie idolizes Hud, which causes no end of consternation to Homer and the housekeeper Alma (Patricia Neal) because Hud is definitely not a good role model what with his fighting, drinking, womanizing, and trying to get the ranch out from under Dad's ownership. Hud wants to drill for oil, while Dad thinks that will destroy any possibility of cattle ranching. Meanwhile, Hud and Lonnie both have the hots for Alma, with Hud eventually driving Alma away. Matters come to a head when the cattle are diagnosed with hoof-and-mouth disease.
FXM brought a couple of new-to-me movies out of the vault at the beginning of the month. One of them is The Third Secret. It's going to be on again this week at 9:35 AM Thursday, so I DVRed it and watched. Dr. Whitset is a prominent psychologist in London working mostly at a research institute although he's got a few private patients. One morning Whitset is found by his maid dying with a gunshot wound to the head. The inquest concludes it's suicide, but one of his patients, American correspondent Stedman (Stephen Boyd), isn't so sure, so he starts to investigate on his own. Unsurprisingly, the authorities don't quite approve, but Stedman meets someone who's going to become an unlikely ally: Whitset's adolescent daughter Catherine (Pamela Franklin), who also knows something isn't right. Stedman tries to find the other patients to see if 0nd of them might know something. There's a fine cast of British actors in this film that Fox picked up for distribution in the US, including Richard Attenborough, Jack Hawkins, and a young Judi Dench.
TCM is running a spotlight on World War II homefront movies on Thursday night, and one of them is an interesting British movie that is shown all too rarely: Millions Like Us, at 12:30 AM Friday. When World War II started in Britain, the men went off to fight, which left a vast labor shortage back home. Celia (Patricia Roc) dreams about being a nurse to the soldiers, but the labor agency decides that she would be of more use to the country as an assembly line worker in a part of the country she's never been to, separating her from her widower father Jim (Moore Marriott) who does his part by serving in the Home Guard. Celia tries to make the best of it, doing as good a job as possible and trying to make friends with her lady co-workers, who come from all sorts of different backgrounds and have various views on the work they're doing. Celia also meets Fred (Gordon Jackson), an airman, and starts a romance with him, but who knows if he's going to survive the war? This was commissioned by the British government and directed by the team of Launder and Gilliat who are known for their screenplays to classic British movies like The Lady Vanishes.
Friday is the birth anniversary of actress Maureen O'Sullivan, so naturally TCM is showing some of her movies on Friday. I'll mention one of her movies I'm not certain I've recommended before: The Bishop Misbehaves, at 6:30 PM. Obviously, Maureen doesn't play the bishop, since they didn't have lady clergy back in those days. O'Sullivan plays Hester, a young Englishwoman whose father has been cheated out of a large sum of money by Mr. Waller (Reginald Owen), or so she claims. When she meets a man from Chicago named Donald (Norman Foster) who's visiting England, she enlists him for help since those big-city Americans know more about crime. He's taken with her good looks, so they set up a meeting in a pub with Waller to swindle the money back. But then the Bishop (Edmund Gwenn) shows up, and when he hears about the alleged crime at the pub, he decides that a mystery would be just the thing for him so he decides to play the part of sleuth and start investigating it himself.
I haven't mentioned Voyage of the Damned recently. It's going to be on Cinemax at 6:00 AM Sunday (and three hours later if you've got the west coast feed). The SS St. Louis is a transatlantic liner setting sail in 1939 to go from Hamburg to Havana. Now, if you know your history, you'll know that the ship is sailing from Nazi Germany. The ship has a passenger list consisting of a whole bunch of Jews, many of whom see this as their chance to escape Nazi Germany and get portrayed by an all-star cast: Oskar Werner is a professor married to Faye Dunaway; Luther Adler is another professor married to Wendy Hiller; Lee Grant gets an Oscar nomination for cutting off part of her hair; and so on. The Nazi crew is unhappy about having a bunch of Jews, while ship's captain Schroeder (Max von Sydow) tries to keep the peace. Eventually the ship gets to Havana -- but the Cuban authorities won't let the passengers disembark. They know the passengers plan to become refugees. Eventually the ship sails on, and other destinations in the Americas are similarly reluctant to take the passengers in either. It's all based on a true story.
If you need a good laugh after Voyage of the Damned, try The Awful Truth, at noon Sunday on TCM. Cary Grant plays Jerry Wariner, married to Lucy (Irene Dunne). Unfortunately, each of them has told a minor lie about what they've been doing, and when the lies are found out, the two get so stubborn about being right that the argument goes all the way to divorce court. The divorce is eventually granted, although there's a period of 30 days before it becomes final. Each half of the couple starts seeing people: Lucy takes up with country boy Daniel (Ralph Bellamy) and Jerry sees nightclub singer Dixie (Joyce Compton). They both begin to realize that they should have stayed married, but are just too damn stubborn to admit it, so instead they set about breaking up each other's new relationships. You know they'll eventually see the light and wind up back together in the last reel, but seeing how they get there is the fun. The dog is the same on that played Asta in the Thin Man movies.