It’s time once again for the Summertime Movietime picks and I have way too many this week, but there were some good movies on the Turner Classic Movies schedule. By the by, that is the channel on which you will find all these movies. If you do not have TCM then rent or Netflix these movies.
First we start out on Friday June 22 at 2:15 PM EASTERN with Stalag 17. This is a WWII movie about American soldiers being held in a German prison camp. It stars William Holden as a man who is trying to prove he isn’t an informer. This is a great war movie without much war. It is directed by the great Billy Wilder. Holden does a great job of seeming to not care about anything while caring about everything and wanting to be hated by the audience but ends up being loved by the audience. Because of his teriffic performance, Holden won an Oscar.
At 4:30 PM EASTERN on June 22 we see William Holden again in Sunset Boulevard. This movie has been said by many to be the greatest example of film noir. Holden is a failed screenwriter who ends up at the beck and call of an old Hollywood legend. The creep factor is very high in this movie, especially the ending. It is also 16 on the updated AFI 100 movies list.
On June 23 at 8 AM EASTERN The Killers will be on TCM. The Killers is a great film noir movie that is told through flashbacks from those involved in the life of a murdered boxer. This movie stars Burt Lancaster in his first big movie role and is one of the few Lancaster movies I really enjoyed. Ava Gardner also stars as just plain bad news. If you like noir films, this is a must see.
Also on June 23 at 2 PM EASTERN we have number 19 on the updated AFI list, On the Waterfront. This movie stars the actor’s actor Marlon Brando as a washed up boxer mixed up with the mob and his dilemma of keeping quiet or telling the truth. I can’t even explain how great this movie is. Brando is so good you forget he is acting. This is my personal favorite Brando film and if you only see him once, see him in this.
Later on at 8 PM EASTERN The Lost Weekend will be shown as a part of TCM’s Essentials. This movie starts Ray Milland who is struggling to fight his alcohol addiction. This movie is so sad, dark and real that it is hard to believe it was made in 1945.
After The Lost Weekend you will need a pick me up and on June 24 at 8 PM EASTERN you can check out Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Besides the Stooges, Abbott and Costello are my favorite comic team. Knowing the plot of this film is not necessary. The coolest thing about this movie is that Bela Lugosi appears as Dracula and Lon Chaney Jr. appears as the Wolfman. And for those fans of Vincent Price, Price makes an uncredited appearance as the voice of the Invisible Man. Hijinks ensue.
On June 25 at 1:30 PM EASTERN you can see Humphrey Bogart in In a Lonely Place. Bogie plays a writer who is suspected of murder by his girlfriend. This is also a dark film more in a noir vein. Any movie with Bogie in it is going to be awesome so check it out.
On June 26 at 11 PM EASTERN we have a movie called The Hitch-Hiker. This movie seems to have been made and remade a thousand times. In this noir classic two men on a fishing trip pick up a psychotic killer who intends to use them and then kill them. This was based on a true story. The killer, Myers, has a creepy dead eye and is just bat crap crazy. This is not a classic in a normal sense, but a great noir film.
Here comes Bogie again on June 27 at 5:30 PM EASTERN in The Desperate Hours. In this movie Bogie and his escaped convict pals hold a family hostage as they wait for transportation out of town. This is a tense suspenseful movie and as always Bogart is great.
On June 28 at 8 PM EASTERN you can see Cary Grant in Gunga Din. This is a movie about three British soldiers who are searching for treasure who become caught in an Indian uprising. This is an action movie all the way and is definitely worth checking out.
On June 29 at 8 PM EASTERN Witness for the Prosecution will be shown on TCM. This is a great movie. It is smart, funny, and has great trial scenes. It stars Charles Laughton as a British lawyer who gets caught up in a couple’s marital affairs as he defends the husband charged with murder. This movie also stars Tyrone Power, a big star in his time, and the still big Marlene Dietrich. I must say I am not a huge Dietrich fan but she is wonderful in this role. It was also directed by Billy Wilder and that is how you can know it will be good. Ask Dr. Jesse how good this film is.
On June 30 at 2 AM EASTERN you can watch a great Lon Chaney silent film called West of Zanzibar. In this film Chaney is a man who plots revenge on the man who stole his wife. It takes place in Africa and is hardcore for a movie from 1928, very dark. Tod Browning was the director so it should be no surprise that the man who brought us the movie Freaks would make a dark film.
Well, there’s enough there to keep your DVR filled for a while. If you only watch one or two of these, I suggest Witness for the Prosecution because it is soooooo good. And I would also recommend highly On the Waterfront. It’s a mob movie starring Marlon Brando, those are always good. And one more to watch would be The Lost Weekend, it really gets into alcoholism and roots around for a while. That’s it, I’m finished. Until next time, keep your hand in the popcorn and your feet stuck to the floor.