Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Five Came Back

I'm not certain if it's taking the place of the normal Friday Night Spotlight for September, but this month there's going to be a special spotlight on Tuesday nights on TCM. It's called "Five Came Back", taking its name from the title of a book released last year by Mark Harris. In the book (disclaimer: I haven't read the book), Harris discusses five directors who served in World War II and how the war affected them and their filmmaking. Every Tuesday night in September, Harris will be sitting down with Ben Mankiewicz to discuss a different one of the directors and show one of their films. Obviously, since there are five directors and only four Fridays this month, they couldn't do it justice on Fridays.

This first Tuesday in September brings Frank Capra, with Meet John Doe on at 8:00 PM. The other four directors spotlighted will be, in order, John Huston (Sept. 8); John Ford (Sept. 15); William Wyler (Sept 22.); and George Stevens (Sept. 29).

What might be just as interesting will be the movies showing up after the feature films. TCM will be running at least part of an evening of films made at the behest of the government, sometimes as propaganda for the home front, and sometimes for the men in uniform. Coming on immediately after Meet John Doe will be Coming!! Snafu at 10:10 PM. You may know that the word "snafu" comes from the acronym "Situation Normal All F***ed Up", and the Snafu movies (disclaimer: I haven't seen any of these either) show Private Snafu, the most incompetent soldier in the entire US military. There are several of these shorts sprinkled throughout the Tuesdays this month.

Unfortunately, it looks as though Resisting Enemy Interrogation is not on the September schedule.

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