It’s that time again, your guide to great summer movies that you can find on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) or your local Netflix. So let’s do it.
On July 9 at 3:30 AM EASTERN you can see a Charlie Chaplin classic called Modern Times. This is for the most part a silent film and Chaplin plays his Little Tramp character to perfection. The Little Tramp meets a girl and tries to start a life with her and they run into many bumps on the road. This is my favorite silent film and there is plenty of fun stuff in it. It is number 78 on the AFI 10th anniversary 100 films. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
Also on July 9 at 9:30 PM EASTERN we have the movie that started the blockbuster craze, Jaws. I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t seen this movie, but if you haven’t SEE IT NOW! This movie works so well on many levels, horror, suspense, drama, it has it all. Even if you have seen it, it doesn’t hurt to watch it again. My favorite part is Quint’s tale of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. It gives you chills. By the by, this movie is number 56 on the AFI 10th anniversary 100 films.
On July 11 at 9 PM EASTERN you can see one of the all time greats, The Philadelphia Story. This movie stars three of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen, Cary Grant, James Stewart and Katherine Hepburn. It doesn’t get much better than that. This movie concerns Hepburn’s character getting married and Stewart is a tabloid reporter who tries to crash the wedding with his partner. Grant is Hepburn’s ex-husband who just tries to sabotage everything. This is a great example of what a romantic comedy should be. This is a must see and be sure to pay special attention to the scene in which Stewart is drunk and is writing a letter with Grant’s character. In this scene Stewart hiccups and you can clearly see Grant begin to lose it. I couldn’t believe that it was left in the final cut, but it is so cool to see how much fun the actors seem to be having with each other. It is number 44 on the AFI 10th Anniversary 100 films and you have to see this movie.
On July 12 at 12 AM EASTERN we have the sexploitation classic, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! This movie is full of bad acting and big boobs. In this cult classic three go-go dancers search for a family’s treasure, while some in the family have their own bad intentions. As I said the acting is bad and way over the top, but it is so funny and campy and it looks very cool. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like to take chances or like to enjoy the art of bad films then you should definitely watch Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! It is also a great introduction to Russ Meyer who is THE greatest sexploitation director.
Also on July 12 at 12 AM EASTERN you can watch a movie called Dark Passage. This is not an all time great but it features the greatest onscreen pair in Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. In this movie Bogie plays a man who is framed for his wife’s murder and he goes on the run to try and find the truth. One of the interesting things about this movie is that it starts out completely from Bogie’s first person perspective. It’s as if Bogie’s eyes are the camera and we see everything through his eyes. It is a nourish film and any fan of Bogart who hasn’t seen it should see it.
Okay, the next two movies will require a refined palate to enjoy. On July 14 at 2 AM EASTERN on the great TCM Underground series you can watch Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula. I know, this sounds stupid and it is. In this movie Billy the Kid is a good guy and he fights a vampire to save his fiancé. This is as bad a movie as you will see, but it is also hilarious. There is only one name in this movie that you might recognize and that is John Carradine. Besides being a great character actor of his time (before this movie anyway) he is the father of David, Robert, and Keith Carradine. If you like crap movies, or grindhouse style movies this is a classic.
Directly after that movie on July 14 at 3:30 AM EASTERN you can watch Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. When this movie first came out it was paired with Billy the Kid Vs. Dracula as a double feature for drive-ins and grindhouse theaters. If you are going to watch the first, you might as well watch this one. In this movie Jesse James plays a good guy who is on the run from the law and runs into Frankenstein’s daughter who turns his partner into a monster. I am not exactly sure which of the last two is the crappier, but this one may get it because it has no actors anyone has ever heard of and for good reason.
Well, there you go, I have given you three classics, one great Bogie-Bacall movie and three cult classics, what more do you people want from me? So, until next week, keep your hands in the popcorn and your feet stuck to the floor.