Macaulay Connor: It can’t be anything like love, can it?
Tracy Lord: No, no, it can’t be.
Macaulay Connor: Would it be inconvenient?
Tracy Lord: Terribly.
The Philadelphia Story, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1940
It Had to Be You
The holidays have faded in the rear view mirror, and it’s time to look ahead. As I squint through the January sleet and snow, I’m happy to report some early sightings of my April digital release, It Had to Be You, for pre-order at online retailers Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (Still sans cover art, though. As soon as it’s available, you better believe I’ll post it here.)
In the meantime—how about a ridiculously short synopsis?
It Had to Be You … An ambitious tabloid reporter stumbles upon the story of her career when she joins up with a jaded homicide detective to solve the Central Park murder of a notorious bootlegger in 1920s Manhattan.
“Excited much?” you ask? Yeah, maybe a little. 🙂
Classic Movie Junkie
This week’s watch list includes two George Cukor-directed films—The Philadelphia Story and Gaslight. Known best for his comedies, Cukor’s directing career also included dramas and musicals that spanned from 1930 to 1981. He won an Oscar for 1964’s My Fair Lady.
Sunday, January 12
10:00 p.m. Gaslight (1944) Mystery/Suspense. TCM. A newlywed fears she’s going mad when strange things start to happen at the family mansion. [TCM] Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotton.
Why? I never saw this, and it’s time that changed. (I mean, how many movies get a verb named after them? Gaslighting…) Bergman never disappoints, Boyer is smooth, sneaky and creepy, and an 18-year old Angela Lansbury makes her film debut. Gaslight was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
Friday, January 17
10:00 a.m. Escape From New York (1981) Futuristic Action/Adventure. AMC. A convict is sent on a do-or-die mission to rescue the president, who is being held hostage by criminals in the maximum security prison that is Manhattan Island. Kurt Russell, Adrienne Barbeau, Ernest Borgnine.
Why? This cult classic is one of my guilty pleasures—like pizza with pepperoni. (At midnight with beer. And chips.) From the theme music to the plot premise to the murky dystopian sets to the spot-on casting, Escape From New York scores for the simple reason that it never takes itself too seriously. Kurt Russell is pitch perfect (and easy on the eyes) as deadpan anti-hero Snake Plissken.
12:00 a.m. Silkwood (1983) Biography/Drama. TCM. A laborer at a nuclear power plant risks her life to report unsafe practices. [TCM] Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher.
Why? I haven’t seen this movie in years, but this is what I remember: Meryl Streep morphing into her role as the painfully imperfect but courageous Karen Silkwood and Cher turning in a performance that won her an Oscar. Silkwood is riveting and disturbing in a way that matters. Well worth another watch.
Saturday, January 18
4:15 p.m. The Philadelphia Story (1940) Romantic Comedy. TCM. A Philadelphia socialite’s plans to remarry are complicated by the arrival of her glib ex-husband and an attractive tabloid reporter. [Wikipedia] Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, James Stewart.
Why? If Escape from New York is pizza and beer, The Philadelphia Story is a box of Godiva truffles. I love this movie. Three of the brightest stars of 20th century cinema play a romantic triangle in this well-written, impeccably performed film. Jimmy Stewart still makes my heart patter.
Available on Amazon Prime: Escape from New York and The Philadelphia Story
Trivia Corner: Escape from New York has a terrific tag line: “Once you go in, you don’t come out.”
Who is the uncredited female narrator who reads those words as the movie opens?
Have a great week!
Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule. Or here for AMC.)
Trailer screenshots (The Philadelphia Story trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Trailer screenshot (Gaslight trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons