This Week on TCM
July 21, 2007

Some notes about what’s showing this upcoming week on Turner Classic Movies:

Complicated Women (Sunday, 7/22, 5 AM ET) — I’m late on putting this up today, so you may not see this in time, but one of my favorite movie documentaries is showing late tonight, early tomorrow morning. Complicated Women explores the variety of roles for women (and the scandalous subjects shown) in pre-Code films (1929-1934). It’s a wonderful introduction to some of the most intriguing old movies around and the stunning women who starred in them.

Dead Poets Society cover
Dead Poets Society
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Dead Poets Society (Monday, 7/23, 3:45 AM ET) — It’s always a trifle disconcerting when a film I saw in the theatre shows up on a classic movie station. I remember being inspired and disturbed by this originally; I don’t plan to rewatch it for fear it doesn’t hold up (although time can’t change the good young cast).

Raffles (Monday, 7/23, 6 AM ET) — The times on all of these so far is why I have TiVo. This is a trifle, in which a young David Niven has one of his best roles as a gentleman cricket star and thief. Last time I mentioned it, I said:

It’s a shame that the film is so mediocre. I suspect the innate conflict between “wanting to support law and order” and “wanting to give the hero a happy ending” couldn’t be resolved in any satisfactory way. The slow pacing suits the picture of another time and place, with weekend house parties among the titled set.

The Big Sleep cover
The Big Sleep
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The Big Sleep (Monday, 7/23, 7:15 AM ET) — See what I mean? This noir classic shouldn’t be shown while people are waking up and getting ready for work. Cue Rupert Holmes in my head: “We had it all… just like Bogey and Bacall… starring in our own late late show…” Ok, that was a different movie, but this one’s better, even if the plot is incomprehensible. Contains one of my favorite Bogart scenes, just because it’s so different from his usual image, where he flips up his hat and lisps to get information at a bookstore. He marvelously brings to life Chandler’s existential private eye, and Bacall adds more romance.

To Have and Have Not cover
To Have and Have Not
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To Have and Have Not (Wednesday, 7/25, 4 PM ET) — Here’s another Bogey/Bacall, this time with politics and Walter Brennan. (Never cared much for his folksy sidekicks.)

Wednesday evening is devoted to 70s musicals, which means you get odd choices for stars (Robert DeNiro in New York, New York? Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood in Paint Your Wagon?) and mismatched material (a dated view of Jesus’ life in Godspell and the downbeat NYNY with its unlikeable characters). They’re also showing Tommy, which I can’t say anything about (it makes me physically ill because I saw pieces of it too young but my husband is a huge fan of Pete Townshend).

Hmmm, light week. I’m glad that Aviation Month is almost over, since I don’t care about movies about flyers.

2 Responses  
Justin writes:  

It’s the Big Sleep for me too. This one made me a Bogey fan. I watched it late in the evening on PBS a while ago, and I still think it is great. I remember feeling pretty silly thinking that the first arc of Desolation Jones might have drawn some inspiration from the film.

I won’t catch TCM’s time slot for it, but I will pull out my copy soon, I think.

Chris G. writes:  

I try to avoid rewatching Dead Poets, for fear that my high school teacher who insisted Robin Williams’ character was recklessly irresponsible will turn out to be right…


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