Peter: Why didn’t you take off all your clothes? You could have stopped forty cars.
Ellie: Well, oooh, I’ll remember that when we need forty cars.
From It Happened One Night, 1934, Columbia Pictures
When it’s too cold to go out…
Happy 2014! We who dwell in the northeastern U.S. are enjoying the first deep freeze of the new year. The temperature yesterday morning when I left to attend my first writers’ group meeting of the new year was a toasty one degree.
Roofs are covered with snow, sidewalks are sprinkled with salt, and my dog looks at me with big, weepy puppy dog eyes every time I Velcro her into her flannel San Diego Chargers cape (a whole other story) to put her out in this Arctic freeze to do her puppy dog business.
There is one thing, though, that this frigid weather is good for–bundling up on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket and a cup of hot tea to watch some great movies.
What’s on your watch list this week?
Sunday January 5
2:30 pm The Magnificent Seven (1960) Western. TCM. Seven American gunslingers agree—each for reasons of his own– to defend a small Mexican town against a ruthless gang of bandits. Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn.
Why? Pure entertainment for fans of pre-Clint/spaghetti Westerns. It’s also fun to watch Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson before they became box office stars. McQueen took second billing after Yul Brynner, who turned in an excellent performance as the heroic leader of this magnificent seven.
Monday, January 6
1:00 pm The Postman Always Rings Twice. (1946) Drama/Film Noir. TCM. A drifter takes a job at a rural diner only to become entranced by the owner’s beautiful wife, who entices him to commit murder. Lana Turner, John Garfield.
Why? Never have two more beautiful, unlikable characters been more impossible not to watch. (Got that?) Be sure not to overdress–the chemistry between Turner and Garfield will heat up the room aplenty.
Tuesday, January 7
12:15 pm His Girl Friday (1940) TCM. Screwball Comedy. A shameless, fast-talking tabloid editor schemes to keep his star reporter (and ex-wife) from leaving his paper to marry a mild-mannered insurance salesman. Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy.
Why? Hands-down, one of the best screwball comedies to come out of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The inimitable Roz Russell gives the glib Cary Grant a run for his money in this sassy film adaptation of the play The Front Page.
Saturday, January 11
8:00 pm It Happened One Night (1934) Romantic Comedy. TCM. An out of work reporter stumbles onto a story that could jump-start his career when he meets a runaway heiress. Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert.
Why? Ever wonder when the modern romantic comedy genre was born? Look no further. Gable and Colbert may have introduced to film half the tropes we still love today. They also won two of the five Academy Awards this movie garnered while they were at it. The other three? Best Picture, Best Director and Best Writing.
This week’s Amazon Prime pick: His Girl Friday
Keep warm and have a great week!
(Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.)
Trailer screenshot, from DVD It Happened One Night, Columbia (It Happened One Night trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Trailer screenshot (The Postman Always Rings Twice trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Promotional Picture for the film His Girl Friday – [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (Author Unknown)