Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New month, old movies back on FXM, and some stuff coming up on TCM

Tomorrow is February 1 already, which means the start of the annual 31 Days of Oscar on TCM. But before that, we have to get through one final night of the prison movies spotlight on TCM. There are two movies that I've blogged about before, one of which I thought I hadn't and which was going to be the subject of a post today.

At 10:45 PM, there is The Prisoner of Shark Island. This is about Dr. Samuel Mudd (played by Warner Baxter; don't call him Harcourt), a confederate sympathizer in Maryland who treated John Wilkes Booth's broken leg after the assassination of Lincoln. For that, Mudd was sent to prison in the Dry Tortugas, west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico and a pretty forbidding place.

That will be followed at 12:30 AM by 20,000 Years in Sing Sing, which pairs Spencer Tracy and Bette Davis for the only time. Tracy plays a prisoner at Sing Sing; Davis his girlfriend. This is based on the memoir of a warden at the prison who had come to believe that current prison practices were too dehumanizing, and is the sort of social commentary movie that Warner Bros. was so good at making in the 1930s.

As for the "back on FXM" movies, there's We're Not Married!, which will be coming up tomorrow at 10:25 AM (and again Thursday at 9:00 AM). This one is one of Fox's anthology movies from the era, telling the stories of five couples who were married by a justice of the peace who, it turns out, was jumping the gun in marrying couples as his license wasn't going into effect for another week. The five have varying reactions, although there is the plot problem that all these couples would probably be considered common-law marriages considering how long they'd been together. The stories obviously aren't as well developed as in, say, Alfred Hitchcock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but you can't expect that from two-reel length anthology stories.

No comments: