Thursday, June 25, 2015

Heads up for a pair of movies I don't particularly care for

TCM's prime time lineup for tonight is people's final films; specifically, it's people who died before the movie became a commercial success. I briefly mentioned Saratoga yesterday; that's the movie that Jean Harlow was making when her untimely uremia killed her at the young age of 26. Her fans wanted to see the footage that was already in the can, so MGM got a stand-in to be in some remaining scenes and then released the movie.

But that's not the movie I don't particularly care for. Instead, that would be Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, which is kicking off the prime time lineup at 8:00 PM. As I mentioned back in 2009, I find the movie to be terribly unsubtle, and that makes it hard to watch. Still, I know there are people out there who like it.

During tomorrow's Summer of Darkness look at noirs, TCM is showing Lady in the Lake at 11:00 AM. Robert Montomery stars as detective Philip Marlowe in this murder mystery. He also directed himself, and perhaps because of that he tried out a gimmick: the movie is told almost entirely from Marlowe's point of view. Not in the first-person sense that he shows up in all the scenes, but in the sense that the camera angles we get are from his eyesight. It's a lot like the first portion of Dark Passage, in which we see everything from Humphrey Bogart's point of view largely so the producers don't have to make him up after he gets plastic surgery. It's mildly laughable in Dark Passage; in Lady in the Lake it really gets in the way of the movie.

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