Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Upcoming programming of note: April 22-23, 2015

This being a Wednesday in April, we're getting another night of Star of the Month Anthony Quinn on TCM. This fourth Wednesday in April is bringing a bunch of westerns, which will probably be a bigger pleasure for some of you than it is for me. Not that I particularly dislike westerns, it's just that they've never been my favorite genre. That having been said, I've watched a lot more westerns since I've started blogging, and I'd probably have to qualify those views somewhat. It might just be some of the westerns that always put me off the genre a bit. Stagecoach is excellent, but I tend to find it a bit difficult to get into John Ford movies and to a lesser extent John Wayne's westerns and war movies. Anthony Mann and Budd Boetticher, as well as reading some of the westerns bloggers, have certainly softened my views of westerns.

Thursday, April 23, sees an interesting schedule on TCM. There will be four pairs of movies in which TCM is showing the "original" (or an early version; I'm not quite certain whether any of these stories were first done in the silent era; technically, some of them are adaptations of books or Broadway shows anyway) followed by a remake. All of the originals are worth mentioning but two of them are more worth a mention because I haven't really discussed them before. First, at 10:45 AM, is the 1931 version of Waterloo Bridge. Mae Clarke (she of the grapefruit in the face courtesy of James Cagney in The Public Enemy) plays an American chorine in London in World War I who thinks her husband dies in the war and winds up descending into prostitution because it's the only way to support herself. one of the things that makes it interesting is the presence of Bette Davis in one of her earliest movies. TCM is also showing not the 1940 remake with Vivian Leigh, but the 1956 remake Gaby with Leslie Caron.

The other original I don't think I've mentioned before is 1929's Rio Rita, at 4:45 PM. This is the first of some two dozen appearances for the comedy duo of Wheeler and Woolsey. They had been paired in the Broadway play, although they weren't the stars of that. They weren't supposed to be the stars of the movie either, but their comedy must have struck a nerve with the public or else we wouldn't have gotten all those other Wheeler and Woolsey movies in the 1930s. The other thing that's interesting about this one is that, like a couple of other early Wheeler and Woolsey movies, there's a two-strip Technicolor musical number at the climax of the movie. The remake, at 6:30 PM, stars Abbott and Costello.

For the record, the other two originals are the 1934 Bette Davis version of Of Human Bondage at 7:30 AM (TCM will be running the 1964 Kim Novak remake, not the 1940s Eleanor Parker version); and 1933's Mystery of the Wax Museum at 2:00 PM.

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