Some notes about what’s showing this week on Turner Classic Movies:
What a Sunday afternoon — one of the best movies of all time, and one of the worst.
North by Northwest (Sunday, 9/23, 12:00 PM ET) — Cary Grant in one of the best Hitchcock movies of all. Grant is a businessman caught up in a plot that takes him into a world he’d never guessed at existing. Of course, there’s a cool blonde to guide him: Eva Marie Saint. The biplane chase through a cornfield is justifiably one of the most famous film scenes for its suspense.
Plan 9 From Outer Space (Sunday, 9/23, 4:30 PM ET) — Not the worst film ever made (contrary to what The Golden Turkey Awards says), but known for being bad because it’s so darn easy to laugh at. Directed by the infamous Ed Wood, Jr and featuring Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson (lumplike pro wrestler), and Vampira (TV host who probably inspired Elvira). The original title, Grave Robbers From Outer Space, gives a better idea of the plot, what there is.
To Catch a Thief (Tuesday, 9/25, 6:00 PM ET) — A good week for Grant/Hitchcock pairings, this is. Grant’s a bit old to be cat-burglaring the way he does, and there’s a bit of oddness in seeing him romantically paired with Grace Kelly, but the real bit of age magic comes with Jesse Royce Landis, who here plays Kelly’s mother and in North by Northwest plays Grant’s mom. In real life, she was all of eight years older than he. Ah, the wonders of film.
Arsenic and Old Lace (Friday, 9/28, 6:00 AM ET) — What the hey, let’s wrap up the week with another Grant favorite, a hoary old stage play about two wacky old women who kill men for kindness’ sake. It’s impossible to see this local theater favorite with fresh eyes, but at least Grant going apart at the seams is still entertaining.
Am I the only one who’s finding less of interest to watch on TCM these days? There were two or three other movies this week I could recommend, but it seems that I’ve just talked about them within the last few weeks or months. Maybe it’s just me, expecting more programming to my taste, which is pointless.