Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TCM's Ernest Borgnine tribute

TCM's tribute to the late Ernest Borgnine is tomorrow, consisting of ten films plus two airings of the Private Screenings interview that Borgnine did with Robert Osborne back in 2009:

The Catered Affair at 6:00 AM;
The Legend of Lylah Clare at 8:00 AM;
Pay or Die at 10:30 AM;
Torpedo Run at 12:30 AM;
Ice Station Zebra at 2:30 PM;
The Dirty Dozen at 5:15 PM;
Private Screenings at 8:00 PM;
Marty at 9:00 PM;
From Here to Eternity at 10:45 PM;
The Wild Bunch at 1:00 AM;
Bad Day at Black Rock at 3:30 AM;
Private Screenings at 5:00 AM.

For some brief comments: Borgnine only had a supporting role in several of these, notably The Dirty Dozen, From Here to Eternity, and Bad Day at Black Rock, but Borgnine does a good job in all three and they're well worth watching for reasons beyond Borgnine's presence.

Marty, of course, is really Borgnine's movie. It's the one that made him a star, as he delivers an outstanding performance in what isn't your typical Hollywood love story.

Borgnine may be the nominal male lead in The Catered Affair, but the film really belongs to Bette Davis and Debbie Reynolds. Reynolds plays a young engaged woman who just wants to get married, while her mother (Davis) wants a big celebration, even if it means using the money Borgnine was saving up to buy his own taxicab.

The Legend of Lylah Clare is a train wreck, although that's not Borgnine's fault; I'd blame a lousy script and a wooden performance from Kim Novak. To be fair to Novak, however, she's playing two parts, and the second one, a Doppelgänger of the first one, is supposed to be a lousy actress.

I'm really looking forward to Pay or Die, which I don't think I've seen before. Borgnine plays a policeman in circa-1900 New York who investigates the Black Hand, the forerunner of the Mafia.

All of the movies, with the exception of Torpedo Run, are available on DVD.

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