Monday, January 25, 2016

Briefs for January 25-26, 2016

TCM's prime time theme for tonight is spy movies of the 1960s. I thought it was people who get reluctantly involved in the spy game, but that is not in fact the case. One of the movies running is The Ipcress File, at 10:00 PM. In this one, Michael Caine plays already-a-spy Harry Palmer, who has to investigate a series of brainwashings. I'm sorry to say that the one time I saw this I had a hard time getting into it, and have never been bothered to watch it again when it shows up. So since I don't really care for it and haven't seen it in ages, anyway, it's not something I'd be comfortable doing a full-length post on. That having been said, watch the movie and judge for yourself.

The night kicks off at 8:00 PM with another movie I haven't seen in quite a few years, Arabesque. In this one, Gregory Peck plays a professor of Middle Eastern studies who gets involved in some plot involving a piece of ancient hieroglyphics, which supposedly contain the key to the political intrigue going on in one or another Middle East hotspot. Sophia Loren plays the female lead. My memory of this is that it was a good example of 60s style, although I have to admit that the plot details are rather fuzzy, since a lot of those 60s spy movies tend to blend into one another.

TCM, I think, made a slight mistake in scheduling the movies, however. At 4:00 AM tomorrow, you can catch The Prize, followed at 6:30 AM by Our Man in Marrakesh (also known as Bang! Bang! You're Dead!). In the latter movie, Tony Randall plays the man who gets roped into some plot involving somebody trying to bribe delegates to the United Nations. I haven't seen it, so I can't comment on it. In The Prize, which is entertaining, Paul Newman plays a writier who is in Stockholm to pick up his Nobel Prize for Literature; while meeting with the other Nobel laureates, he gets the distinct feeling that one of them Edward G. Robinson has been kidnapped and replaced by a double.

I think these two movies should have been flipped in the TCM schedule. That's because tomorrow, January 26, is the birth anniversary of Paul Newman. TCM are running a bunch of his movies in the morning and afternoon, beginning at 8:15 AM after Our Man in Marrakesh. So if they had flipped that and The Prize on the schedule, you'd have The Prize ending the night of 60s spy films and beginning the day of Paul Newman movies.

Over on FXM Retro, you've got two chances to catch Captain From Castile, tomorrow at 4:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Who says FXM doesn't repeat its films often enough?

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