Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Since you were up at 3:30 this morning....

TCM aired Dersu Uzala this morning at 3:30. The next movie to recommend is another one coming up overnight at 3:30 AM ET: The Rake's Progress.

To be honest, this is one of those movie that, like Brighton Rock I don't remember quite as well as I should. (Indeed, there are all of five IMDb comments on the movie.) I remember watching it the last time it was on TCM, and being rather impressed with it, though. Rex Harrison is the star as the rake, the son of a wealthy man who would rather lead a wasteful playboy lifestyle than do real work. This causes him first to get thrown out of Oxford, sent to South America to work on a wealthy friend's coffee plantation, and various other adventures that cause him to go through women and money as if there were no tomorrow.

In some ways, it turns out that there is no tomorrow: the movie was released in 1945, but most of the action is set in the 1930s, which of course implies before World War II. Eventually, the Nazis are going to invade Poland and start the Battle of Britain, which means that good British men are going to be needed to fight the evil Nazis. And our former heel sees that he might just have a chance to become a hero. That having been said, we also know that there's no tomorrow since the movie is told as a flashback.

One of the signs if you haven't seen it that this is probably going to be a good movie is that it was directed and written by Sidney Gilliat. Although he directed this and about a dozen other movies, he's probably better known as a writer, having been responsible for screenplays like The Lady Vanishes, Night Train to Munich, and Green For Danger.

Apparently The Rake's Progress has not made its way to DVD which, along with its being British, is one of the reasons why it isn't very well-known. So you'll have to catch the rare TCM showing, which is something you should do.

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