ANDY FISH

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Monday, May 7, 2012

TCM This Week: MOST DANGEROUS GAME

After several weeks of light programming interest with the Beach Blanket Bingo and Doris Day films TCM kicks in the door with a jam packed week of great movies.

The Big Steal is on this morning at 930am-- nice to start your week with a film noir classic with Bob Mitchum and William Bendix.



At 8pm tonight is CRIME IN THE STREETS directed by Don (Dirty Harry) Siegel and featuring a stellar cast including John Cassavettes in which a social worker tries to end a street gang-- might be worth watching-- I've never seen it, but I have enough respect for Siegel and Cassavettes that I'll give it a chance.

At 10pm is WEST SIDE STORY (1961) which is obviously a classic musical-- and longtime readers will know I don't like musicals for the most part, but this one, about a bunch of skipping street thugs having a gang war is pretty good.

Tuesday night at 8pm is THE ROARING TWENTIES (1939) which is a gangster classic with Jimmy Cagney-- I get all these 30s Cagney movies mixed up- he's either a WWI vet who comes home to find very little work so he falls in with the wrong elements or he's mixed up with a bunch of no good kids, either way-- it's a solid yarn and one that's well worth watching.  These late 30s Warner films were very polished but portrayed "real life" in a way that MGM just couldn't touch.

Wednesday at 130pm is ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938), speaking of polished WB films, with Errol Flynn as the swashbuckling tight wearing hooligan of the forest.  Nice cast, and it's in full color for you small minded folks who don't like black and white.  It would be the must see this week if THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932) weren't on the same night at 8pm.  Filmed on the same sets as KING KONG (1933) with almost the same cast (they shot at night) Joel McCrea is shipwrecked on the island of a crazed big game hunter-- and he becomes the prey.  It's cliched now because it's such a classic-- THE MUST SEE PIC PICK OF THE WEEK.  The only way it could have been better is if they cast Bela Lugosi in the Leslie Banks part, but Banks does a pretty suitable Lugosi impression to make it all okay.

McCrea is on the rest of the night too-- following GAME with a great Hitchcock WWII propaganda film FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940) and a few other equally good films.  McCrea is an underrated everyman who should have been a bigger star.

Thursday night at 8pm we have a night of some lesser known film noirs-- all of them solid programmers including THE PHENIX CITY STORY (1955).

Friday at 2pm we've got the single most ridiculous movie about a cartoonist with HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE starring Jack Lemmon-- don't use this as a guide to either knock off your spouse or to find a career in funnybooks.

Abbott and Costello MEET THE MUMMY (1955) Saturday at 745am-- this is the period when the classic comedy duo were getting a little long in the tooth, but it's still fun and any A&C is worth your time.

The Boston Blackie this week is BOSTON BLACKIE AND THE LAW (1946) with the coming end of this long running series starring Chester Morris-- a decent entry in the series.

BRINGING UP BABY (1938) is on at 115pm with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in one of the funniest movies ever made.  If you haven't seen this, now's your chance.

DIABOLIQUE (1955) is the essential this week with hosts Robert Osborne and Alec Baldwin.  This one is terrific although it builds very slowly-- stick with it and you won't be sorry.