Monday, August 29, 2016

Charles Boyer night

Summer Under the Stars is winding down, but we've still got three more stars. First up is Charles Boyer, that suave bilingual actor who could work in both English and French. Prime time contains a couple of movies I haven't seen in years.

First up, at 8:00 PM, is Algiers. Come with Boyer to the Casbah as he does the English-language version of Pepe Le Moko, about a criminal (Boyer) who hides out in the Casbah district of Algiers; at the time, Algeria was still a French province. Hedy Lamarr goes to the casbah, finds Pepe, and falls in love with him; the police realize they have the opportunity to use her to get Pepe out of the Casbah so they can arrest him. I've long thought that it was movies like this that gave Chuck Jones and the rest of the animation department at Warner Bros. the idea for Pepe le Pew.

Algiers is followed at 9:45 PM by Hold Back the Dawn. Boyer plays a Romanian who would like to enter the US what with the war going on over in Europe. But there's a severe quota system, and that forces Boyer to stay in Mexico with his dance partner (Paulette Goddard) in limbo. That is, until he meets an American schoolteacher (Olivia de Havilland) who has never known love. She falls in love with him, and he sees his chance to marry her, thereby becoming a US citizen. After a suitable time, he can divorce her and marry his dance partner. Except that he actually falls in love with the American. This was a Paramount movie, now controlled by Universal, which is why it doesn't show up very often on TCM.

No comments: