Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How many times can I recommend Casablanca?

TCM is showing Casablanca once again, at 10:00 PM ET tonight, as part of the Star of the Month Salute to Humphrey Bogart. I've mentioned Casablanca quite a few times before, and am really only pointing it out today because tonight's entire TCM lineup is a good one for introducing people who don't know so much about classic movies to he topic. The night starts off with The Maltese Falcon at 8:00 PM ET, which is another movie that even the casual fan should have heard of. In addition to Bogart, it has Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet (both of whom show up in Casablanca), as well as Mary Astor as the girl. The characters are wacky enough, and the story engaging enough, for the movie to be good and nearly timeless. It is, of course, a remake of a 1930s movie, and both are based on the novel by Dashiell Hammett. Plus, it's got the iconic line about "the stuff that dreams are made of".

The night continues aftre Casablanca with two more equally good (and fairly well-known) Bogart movies: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre at midnight, and The African Queen at 2:15 AM. They're all good for the not-so-big fan of old movies. And, as I've argued a few times before, it's good that TCM spends some nights doing this, and not just programming the more obscure stuff like The Return of Doctor X. After all, how many people would realize they might want to try something like The Return of Doctor X without realizing that old movies can be a lot of fun in the first place?

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