Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Apparently, list posts don't have to be lazy

I've commented in the past that one of the reaons for this blog is to be in the habit of writing every day. Some days, of course, there's not much on worth mentioning, or else a bunch of stuff on that I've already blogged about. So on some of those days, I come up with "list" posts mentioning several movies that all fit a certain topic. It's probably a bit lazy, but it's better than nothing. Besides, you can argue that such lists are good enough for TCM at times.

Consider this mont's Star of the Month, which isn't a star. Instead, they're doing a month of movies about "Tough Guys". Now, the movies in the lineup are all worth watching, more or less. Also, it really does take some thinking to come up with the movies to fit a lineup like this, even if it does seem like little more than a list: think of a bunch of actors who played tough guys, and show those movies. To be honest, though, such lists are really the backbone of most of TCM's programming, with themes in prime time every night and a fair portion of the time during the day too, even if the daytime themes are often just birthday salutes. (I tend to feel I'm lazy when I'm doing a birthday post, but the lesser-known people deserve their birthday honors on TCM, too.)

At any rate, there's some interesting stuff in tonight's TCM lineup of tough guys, which starts at 8:00 PM with The Asphalt Jungle.
That's followed at 10:00 PM by Crossfire, which according to the TCM schedule is not in print on DVD, as you can't get it in the TCM shop.
The third movie is Out of the Past at 11:30 PM, a movie I thought I had done a full-length blog post about, but apparently not. Robert Mitchum plays a man trying to live a normal life whose pasts involves a job he did for gangster Kirk Douglas; Douglas comes looking for him again and Douglas' girl (Jane Greer) tries to double-cross everybody. I've always had a bit of a problem with this movie in that the past part and the present part don't seem to mesh too well together to me.
The last of the movies in the official salute to tough guys is Out of the Fog at 1:45 AM, with John Garfield as the tough guy playing a racketeer harassing the fishing community, until he meets and falls in love with fisherman's daughter Ida Lupino.

In between Out of the Past and Out of the Fog, a little after 1:20 AM, is The Tanks Are Coming, which looks interesting in that it was produced by the military's motion picture arm. The hook is George Tobias wanting to drive his taxicab in the military instead of a tank, but the army shows him the importance of tanks to the military effort.

Following the "tough guy" films, we get The Naked City at 3:15 AM, which does have some tough guys in it although they're not the stars of the film. Finally, at 5:00 is an interesting little B movie called Hideaway. The plot sounds a bit reminiscent of Hide-Out, with criminals trying to hide out in the country. The difference is that this time, several of the gang show up at what they expect to be their hideaway that they purchased a long time ago, but thanks to the Depression, there are squatters living in the place now. The movie is also played a bit more for comic effect, if memory serves. I can't remember the last time TCM even showed this movie. I've got the monthly schedules for TCM going back to July 2007 on my computer, and a search through them only brings up one other use of the word "hideaway", which was in December 2009 in the brief synopsis for the Humphrey Bogart movie The Big Shot.

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