Thursday, March 14, 2013

A couple of repeats of Fox films that I've blogged before

TCM's prime-time lineup for tonight is a look at double agents. The night kicks off at 8:00 PM with what I believe is a TCM premiere, 13 Rue Madeleine, which I blogged about back in July 2009. James Cagney does well as the spy trainer who has to go undercover and complete the mission himself when it's found there's a double agent in the group of spies he's been training. I think it's rather a different role from anything Cagney had done to that point, and certainly the Fox style following World War II is much different from the Warner Bros. style of movies Cagney had been making for the first 15 years of his career.

13 Rue Madeleine will be followed at 9:45 PM by The House on 92nd Street, which was the subject of a May 2010 blog post. Looking back on my post from nearly three years ago, I think I'd have to give this movie an even higher grade than I would have back then. Yes, the voiceovers can be irritating, but the actual story more than overcomes that, and the fact that there's no star on the level of a James Cagney is a plus for a movie like this.

The final selection is The Man Who Never Was, which shows up over on the Fox Movie Channel tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM for the first time in several years. (It's due for another airing sometime in April.) Clifton Webb is outstanding in this telling of the story of Operation Mincemeat, to which I apparently did not link back in July 2008. The story is slightly incomplete, but that's because some of the details of Operation Mincemeat would not have been public knowledge at the time the movie was made.

All three movies have been released on DVD, although The House on 92nd Street is apparently out of print as it's only available on Amazon and not from the TCM Shop.

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