It’s that time again, network TV is officially done and you haven’t got anything to keep you from going outside or reading a book. Well, I have the movie picks that will help you continue your sedentary lifestyle through the summer. It’s my summertime movie picks o’ the week. Please keep in mind that all these picks will appear on Turner Classic Movies, if you don’t have that channel call and yell at your cable or satellite providers.
Let’s start with June 9th at 8 PM Eastern, this will be The African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, two of my all time faves and number 17 on the AFI 100. In this great film, Bogart the ornery boat captain and Hepburn the missionary battle each other and the Germans while traveling down a river in Africa. This isn’t the classic Bogie that you may have come to know and love, and some do not like this movie for that reason, but I think his performance is great and should not be missed.
Speaking of Katherine Hepburn, on June 10th at 8 PM Eastern we have the great screwball comedy, Bringing Up Baby. This film also stars the quintessential movie star, Cary Grant and is number 97 on the AFI 100. This movie is about a tiger named Baby and a missing bone. You don’t need to know anything else about this movie. This movie is one the funniest, wackiest movies I have ever seen. After watching this, you will wonder why Hollywood can’t make a decent comedy today when they were making Bring Up Baby in 1938.
On June 11th it looks like prison movies all night long. And not just any kind of prison movies, but women in prison movies. I haven’t seen any of the movies that are being shown, but I know what I like. That’s caged heat!!!
I know it seems like I have a thing for Katherine Hepburn (and by the way, I do) because I have another Hepburn movie for you. It’s called Suddenly, Last Summer and it comes on June 13th at 10 PM Eastern. This movie also stars the gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, sort of a quasi-Brando. In this movie Hepburn tries to get a doctor, Clift, to lobotomize Taylor to keep her quiet about a murder. I was surprised at how edgy and out there this movie was for the time. It touched on quite a few touchy and taboo themes. It is a great psychological mystery.
On June 14th at 2 AM Eastern we have the movie Gilda. There is only one reason to see this movie and that is Rita Hayworth. There has never been anyone sexier in any role ever than Hayworth was in this movie. Hayworth plays Gilda who is married to a casino owner who employs an old flame of hers and she begins to torture him. I am telling you, when Hayworth is on this screen your TV will melt. She does a strip tease in which she basically removes one glove and it is the most insane thing you will have ever seen. I love this movie and I love Rita Hayworth and I need a cold shower.
Also on June 14th right after Gilda at 4 AM Eastern you can watch The Maltese Falcon. Humphrey Bogart stars in this movie as the private detective Sam Spade and he gets caught in the middle of a dangerous race to acquire a priceless statue. There is nothing to say about this movie except WATCH IT! It’s one of the all time greats and number 23 on the AFI 100. Peter Lorre, Sidney Greenstreet and Mary Astor also star and there is no reason to not watch.
Again on June 14th at 10 PM Eastern, we have The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn in the title role. This movie is one of the first big action adventure movies that led to what we have today. There are no dull moments in this one and even by today’s standards it has some of the best sword fighting action you will see. You can’t help but like Flynn as Robin and root for him to bring down Prince John. If you see only one Errol Flynn movie, then this must be it.
On June 15th at 12 AM Eastern you can watch maybe the best onscreen pair in movie history, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in The Big Sleep. Bogart plays Private eye Phillip Marlowe who investigates a society girl’s involvement in the murder of a pornographer, or something like that. I watched this movie and by the end I had no idea about what actually happened. It is a movie that requires two or three watches to get the story down, but one thing you do know when it is finished is that Bogart and Bacall are hot. In fact, director Howard Hawks shot extra scenes after the movie was finished and ready to go because the studio saw the chemistry of Bogie and Bacall in To Have and Have Not and wanted more of that in The Big Sleep. It sounds like a bad idea, but it works. It is a must see movie.
Also on June 15th at 8:15 AM Eastern we have 12 Angry Men. This movie stars Henry Fonda and a bunch of “Hey, you’re that guy!” guys. It focuses on a jury that has to decide the fate of a young man who is accused of murdering his father. Henry Fonda is the one holdout who is not so sure the man did it and he tries to convince the other jurors to at least take their time and analyze the evidence. This movie is intense and it pretty much takes place in one room and the acting is great. You really get a feel for who these people are in the space of an hour and a half. You especially get a very powerful and complex performance from Lee J. Cobb. Dustin and I have watched this movie many times and it is just as good as the last time we saw it.
Well, that ought to hold to for a bit. If you can only watch a couple out of that big list, go for Bringing Up Baby and The Maltese Falcon. Those are two very different movies that will give you two very different viewing experiences. And it will give you two notches on your TV from the AFI 100 movies list. So until next week, keep your hand in the popcorn and your feet stuck to the floor.