Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thursday Night Spotlight

TCM has been running a Friday Night Spotlight for about two years now, mostly as a way to cut down on Robert Osborne's workload. This month, of course, that spotlight is on Orson Welles since this month (specifically yesterday, May 6) sees his 100th birth anniversary. However, TCM is running another series that would have made a good Friday Night Spotlight: disaster movies.

On the first three Thursdays of the month, TCM is running a fairly broad range of disaster movies. You may think of disaster movies as being a staple of the 1970s, with a bunch of films that brought together a vast number of old-time Hollywood stars with some of the bigger names of the day, using that as the hook to try to draw people into the theaters. Indeed, this first Thursday of the month brings us a couple of those 1970s films, starting at 8:00 PM with Airport, kicking off a night of movies about airborne disasters.

But, there are going to be more than just those overblown but enormously fun all-star disaster films. The second night brings a bunch of natural disasters, with fires, floods, earthquakes, and a volcanic eruption. Only Earthquake (10:00 PM on May 14) is one of those 70s films. In fact, the rest of them date from the 1930s.

The final night of the lineup brings disasters at sea, including what I think is the TCM premiere of Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, at 10:15 PM on May 21. Where the original Poseidon Adventure movie saw everybody trying to get off the ship, the sequel sees people trying to get back into the ship, now on the bottom of the sea, because of what it was supposedly carrying in its cargo.

It's all a topic that would have been good enough for a Friday Night Spotlight, although with the thematic scheduling of the movies, there's probably only enough for three nights. I suppose they could have come up with a few more natural disasters -- the flood in The Temptress comes to mind, as does the one in Green Dolphin Street. So on the final Thursday night we're going to get something different: time travel movies.

No comments: