Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dean Stockwell night on TCM

Dean Stockwell turned 77 back on March 5. That probably would have been a good time for TCM to put the spotlight on him, but a lot of TCM's prime time spotlights, unlike those in the morning and afternoon (such as tomorrow's salute to Karl Malden) are not birthday salutes. At any rate, part of the reason I'm posting about Stockwell is because there's two more movies which I believe are TCM premieres, and show TCM is having more luck getting movies from the 20th Century Fox library to show on TCM. That's never a bad thing.

First up at 8:00 PM is Compulsion, which I blogged about back in September 2009. I thought this one aired some time back when TCM had its look at true crim stories, but I just did a search of the TCM schedules for Compulsion, and the only match I got was for tonight's airing. It's based on the Leopold and Loeb "thrill killings" of the 1920s, with Orson Welles playing a supporting role as the killers' attorney.

That's followed at 10:00 PM by Down to the Sea in Ships at 10:00 PM, a movie that I saw way back when on the Fox Movie Channel, but one that I think hasn't aired in ages, so it's another of those movies of which I only have fuzzy memories. Stockwell plays the grandson of Lionel Barrymore, who for his part plays an elderly, disabled 19th century ship's captain. (In real life, of course, Barrymore had been confined to a wheelchair for a good ten years due to his arthritis by the time this movie was made.) Grandpa intends to teach his grandson about whaling, and takes Richard Widmark on as a first mate for their voyage to the Antarctic. Widmark has studied biology at college, so there's a natural conflict between Barrymore's and Widmark's views on whaling and seamanship. There's a pretty good scene of the ship scraping against an iceberg, and Harry Morgan rounding out the cast.

Some people may enjoy The Boy With Green Hair, airing overnight at 2:15 AM. Stockwell plays the titular character, although we don't see the hair until later in the movie. Told in flashback, the story involves Stockwell's character waking up one morning to find he's got green hair, and deciding to use it as a way to highlight the horrors foced by children in war zones. It's one that, the last time I watched it, found to be incredibly slowly-paced, although that was several years ago, so perhaps my memory is being overly harsh.

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