Classic Movie Junkie

Classic Movies

Classic Movie Junkie

Watch any good movies lately?

It’s official. The holiday season has begun. As I write this, we’re still gorging on one holiday’s leftovers as we turn our attention to the next. Those of us who indulge in gift-giving traditions will now be plunged into the thick of list-making, shopping, wrapping, party-hopping, and prowling mall parking lots looking for open spaces.

As for me, I plan to sneak in some movie time while I put up our Christmas tree and make out gift lists. Here are a few picks from what’s playing on cable and Amazon Prime this week.

(Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule. Or here for AMC.)

Sunday Dec 1

1:30 pm  Thrill of It All (1963)  Romantic Comedy. TCM. A doctor has trouble coping with his wife’s stardom as a TV pitch woman for “Happy Soap.”  Doris Day, James Garner.

Why? This comedy was wildly popular the year it was released (a few months before JFK’s assassination).  The on-screen chemistry between Day and Garner simply hums.

Monday  Dec 2

10:00 pm   Gladiator (2000) Epic. TCM. A Roman officer betrayed by the emperor leads a gladiator’s rebellion.  Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix.

Why? I must be getting old if this one’s already a classic. Russell Crowe at his good-guy best.

Tuesday  Dec 3

6:30 pm  The Public Enemy (1931) Pre-code Crime. TCM.  An Irish-American street punk tries to make it big in the world of 1920s organized crime.  James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Mae Clark.

Why?  Pre-code means this is chock-full of post-code no-nos… like a certain famous grapefruit scene.  And I never tire of watching the charismatic Jean Harlow (the original blond bombshell), who died in 1937 at age 26.

Thursday Dec 5

12:00 am   In The Heat Of The Night (1967)  Drama/mystery.  TCM. Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger. A black police detective from the North forces a bigoted Southern sheriff to accept his help with a murder investigation.

Why?  Sidney Poitier. Rod Steiger. Five academy awards, including Best Picture of 1967.

Friday Dec 6

9:00 pm  Men in Black (1997) Sci-Fi Comedy. AMC. A straight-laced veteran secret agent and a fast-talking rookie protect mankind from dangerous and not-so-dangerous extraterrestrials. Tommie Lee Jones and Will Smith

Why?  Pure fun. A plethora of entertaining aliens and an end-of-the-world plot keep Jones and Smith busy in this charming sci-fi buddy picture from the 90s.

12:00 am  Casablanca (1942)  Romance. TCM. A cynical American saloon owner in North Africa is reluctantly drawn into World War II when his lost love turns up. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid.

Why?  One of the best-loved, oft-quoted movies of all time. Play it, Sam…

Saturday Dec 7

8:00 pm  Key Largo (1948) Drama/Noir. TCM. A returning veteran tangles with a ruthless gangster during a hurricane. Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson , Lauren Bacall.

Why?  I’ve never seen this, but—Bogart and Bacall– how bad could it be?

This week’s Amazon Prime Pick:  Casablanca

Casablanca trivia question: Name the song Dooley Wilson is playing during the first scene that opens on Rick’s Café Americain. 

What will you be watching for fun this week? 🙂


Photo credit: Scott Catron (Sunset on Hollywood  Uploaded by zaui) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons