Some notes about what’s showing this upcoming week on Turner Classic Movies:
More Summer Under the Stars with people I’m not sure qualify, or at least those I’m not interested in watching for a day. In order, starting today: Doris Day, Alan Ladd, June Allyson, Ernest Borgnine, Joan Bennett, Elvis Presley, and Maureen O’Hara.
At least there’s a chance to see one of the greatest movies of all time:
Citizen Kane (Sunday, 8/12, 6:00 AM ET) — I’d heard about this for years before I saw it, and I thought nothing could live up to its praise, but this does. The first time I saw it was on a dinky 13″ black-and-white portable TV, and it was still engrossing. It truly is one of the top five films ever made. If you’ve never seen it, you should.
Shane (Sunday, 8/12, 8:00 PM ET) — I’m wondering if I should try this, because it seems (along with High Noon) to be the iconic Western. Shame I don’t care that much for that genre. And thinking about it makes the Batman parody get stuck in my head.
Good News (Monday, 8/13, 8:30 AM ET) — If you’ve ever wondered just how overblown and top-heavy and leaden movie musicals can be, check this out. The 30-year-old June Allyson and the 24-year-old Peter Lawford (but he always looked at least 35) play college kids who fall in love when she (library aide) tutors him (star quarterback and campus stud with British accent) in French. It’s so aggressively white bread it drips mayonnaise.
BUT it is still worth watching just to see Joan McCracken‘s number “Pass That Peace Pipe” (yes, very inappropriate). She was Bob Fosse’s second wife (you can see echoes or influences on his style), and she sadly died relatively young (in her 40s). This is her only movie role, and she’s incredible, athletic and graceful and vibrant and powerful.
The Opposite Sex (Tuesday, 8/14, 2:00 AM ET) — Also on Allyson’s day comes this “what were they THINKING?!?” stinker (so bad it’s not even on DVD). It’s a musical remake of The Women, the all-female classic, only they let guys in (Leslie Nielsen, of all people, plays the straying husband). Allyson is the put-upon good wife, and Joan Collins is the incitement to wander. Should be fun to watch Agnes Moorehead as the much-married countess, although last time I tried, I couldn’t even make it a half-hour.
Eleven Men and a Girl (Wednesday, 8/15, 6:00 AM ET, aka Maybe It’s Love) — I am mentioning this only because of its description. “The daughter of a college president uses her charms to attract All-American football heroes to her father’s campus.” So it’s about daddy pimping his daughter to win at sports?
Sorry I’m talking more about bad movies than good, but I can only work with what I’m given! There are also two versions of Little Women on this week, if you’d rather. Next week starts with Spencer Tracy, so at least that’s looking up.