From Casablanca, Warner Brothers, 1943
Fall Forward… Or “She got the Left-Over Halloween Peanut Butter Cup Blues”
Are peanut butter cups getting smaller? Or am I getting bigger?
The answer, I fear, is… yes.
There’s an old mnemonic: Spring forward. Fall back.
We set the clocks back a couple weeks ago. (Or has it been a month? I can’t remember.) We sell ourselves cheap. In exchange for one extra hour of sleep, it’s now getting dark too early. Way too early.
I find myself pondering lofty left-over Halloween peanut butter cup questions much too soon in the evening simply because we’re being plunged into darkness by 6:00 p.m. I’m developing a vitamin D deficiency, and my brain is getting fuzzy before toddlers go to bed.
Can you tell I’m blue?
Why do we do this? Do we live in the Land of the Midnight Sun? Can we see Russia from our back yards? No! So, why can’t we just keep Daylight Savings Time for a wee bit longer? Or, better yet…
Wait a minute. Yeah… Let’s fall forward. Think about it. Days getting shorter? Duh. Make ‘em longer. That would put us on DDST (Double Daylight Savings Time). How cool is that?
Fall forward. Be happy! Who doesn’t love sunshine?
I’m going to get lapel pins and lawn signs made up. And I’m writing a suggestion letter to the governor. We just got a new one here in the Keystone State. He’s all fresh and perky and he’ll need something snazzy to do when he gets to the office on January 2nd. My letter will be Right on Top.
Wow. I feel much better now. My mind is beginning to clear.
Pass me some sunscreen, will you? :)
Classic Movie Junkie’s November Blow Out
Even a casual perusal of the TCM schedule this month turns up several heavyweight, multiple Academy Award winners and iconic genre classics. I certainly can’t do these films justice in a thumbnail review, but, dang it, here’s my best shot. Don’t miss a one!
Saturday, November 15
8:00 pm On the Waterfront (1954) Drama. TCM. A young longshoreman defies the powerful and violent mobster who controls the city docks. Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger.
Why? Witness Brando in his prime and Eva Marie Saint in a stunning film debut that won her an Oscar. I love this story about the triumph of the human spirit. I adore the characters—including Malden’s waterfront crusading priest—and a fist-pump-worthy ending that makes me want to queue this up and watch it all over again. The sweet romance between Brando and Saint is sublime and is at the heart of this classic drama.
Nominated for twelve Academy Awards, it won eight, including Best Picture, Best Director (Kazan), Best Actor (Brando), Best Supporting Actress (Saint), and Best Score (Leonard Bernstein).
Tuesday November 18
8:00 pm Casablanca (1942) Drama/Romance. TCM An expatriated American nightclub owner is drawn into WWII when his former love walks into his club on the arm of an Allied underground leader. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Raines,
Why? Set in Africa at the outset of WW II and filmed soon after America joined the war, Casablanca is a five-star Best of the Best Academy Award winner that will never age and never disappoint. Bask in the matchless romantic chemistry of Bogart and Bergman that, according to behind-the-scene sources, was wholly accidental and would never be recreated. (They barely spoke off screen.)
Casablanca features some of the most instantly recognizable lines and timeless songs ever recorded on film. “Play it, Sam… Play ‘As Time Goes By’.”
Sunday, November 23
2:00 pm The Big Sleep (1946) Film Noir/ Mystery / Romance TCM. Private eye Philip Marlowe is hired by a wealthy retired general to pay off his daughter’s blackmailer. He stumbles instead into a puzzling case of murder. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers.
Why? The twisting-turning mystery is of secondary interest in this film noir classic. This is a Hollywood-sanitized Hays Code version of Raymond Chandler’s detective novel, The Big Sleep, but it makes up for what’s glossed over with clever Chandleresque dialogue and smart romance. Watch Bogie and Bacall burn up the screen without removing a stitch. Excellent from start to finish.
Friday, November 28
6:00 pm Psycho (1960) Suspense/Horror. TCM. A woman on the run from the law checks in to a remote motel run by a timid young man and his domineering mother. Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, Martin Balsam.
Why? For the first-time viewer—are there any out there?—the red herring opening is only the beginning of a creepy, suspenseful chill-ride with a twisted ending that’s unforgettable. This is arguably Hitchcock’s finest film—certainly his most universally recognized—in which the Master of Suspense shows exactly how it’s done. That is, scare the bejeebers out of an audience while showing very little actual violence on screen.
I wonder… who could pull off that sort of artistry today?
Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.
Casablanca By Trailer screenshot (Casablanca trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
On the Waterfront - By Trailer screenshot (On the Waterfront trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Bogard & Bacall – Promotional photograph by Warner Bros. [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Promotional photograph of actor Anthony Perkins (1960s) - [Public domain], via Wikimedia Common – Author Unknown