Saturday, November 23, 2013

Briefs for November 23

I get to complain about the IMDb's search algorithm again. As part of the salute to Ralph Meeker this past Thursday, they showed the movie Shadow in the Sky, one of those Dore Schary-era message pictures from MGM that certainly has some things to recommend about it but also goes hilariously wrong in places. I wanted to check on IMDb whether it was on DVD at all (it doesn't seem to be), but my first search got the title slightly wrong: You'll note the "on" instead of "in". Even with a small mistake like that, you'd think the movie I was looking for would be near the top, but it's way down. I can understand some of the Shadow on the [something or other] movies being above it, but many of the choices are baffling, especially those where there's [something or other] in the Sky before Shadow in the Sky. That having been said, it's fairly clear that the algorithm spits out movies in part due to popularity: the 1953 John Wayne version of Island in the Sky shows up, but not the 1930s Gloria Stuart movie. As for, it does helpfully return the movie I was loking for right at the top. But this one also returns only the John Wayne version of Island in the Sky.

Jean-Luc Godard's feature film debut Breathless is showing up again as this week's TCM Essential tonight at 8:00 PM. It's not my favorite film, as I find it drags terribly once the police corner the Jean-Paul Belmondo character. But I'm sure some of you will like it.

The Four Feathers is on again tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM on TCM. This is a rousing adventure, even though it's got a wildly implausible plot. As I mentioned last September, it's another one that's not quite my type of film, but I can't deny the quality of it. It's also got lovely color.

I've mentioned the Pete Smith short Let's Talk Turkey several times. With Thanksgiving coming up, it'll be coming up twice in the following week, once on Thanksgiving, and once tomorrow afternoon around 5:45 PM following Plymouth Adventure, which begins tomorrow at 4:00 PM.

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