“Oh, my Dear Friend, my heart was trembling as I walked into the post office, and there you were, lying in Box 237. I took you out of your envelope and read you…read you right there…”
From The Shop Around the Corner Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1940
On Those Cold Winter Days …
As I write this, below-freezing temperatures continue to keep cold weather wusses (such as myself) mostly indoors and securely wrapped in our Snuggies. The upside? This has been a winter tailor-made for classic movie junkies (such as myself) who are on the look-out for guilt-free excuses to heat up some spiced wine and park ourselves in front of the tube.
How about you? Staying warm? Here’s this week’s watch list.
Tuesday January 28
2:15 pm The Shop Around the Corner (1940) Romance/Comedy/Drama. TCM. Sparks fly between a no-nonsense salesman in a Budapest gift shop and a sharp-tongued new salesgirl while, unbeknownst to them both, the two are falling in anonymous love by mail. Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan.
Why? This is a story about the faces we put on for the world and the treasures that lie beneath. This understated gem goes from amusing to heartwarming to jaw-droppingly romantic as Stewart is the first to discover his secret love’s true identity. Five stars and a half!
Thursday, January 30
10:15 pm What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) Horror/Suspense. TCM. A disturbed aging vaudeville child star torments her crippled former movie star sister in their Hollywood mansion [TCM]. Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono.
Why? Holy indelibly imprinted image, Batman! Talk about movies scenes that creeped me out when I was a kid. Think… parakeet. (Eeek!) This film features can’t-look-away, over-the-top performances by two of the strongest willed actresses in 20th century cinema. Bette and Joan were professional rivals in real life. Gee… can you tell? 😉
Saturday, February 1
1:00 pm True Grit (1969) Western/Adventure. AMC. A willful 14-year old girl, a boastful Texas Ranger, and a hard-drinking U.S. Marshal travel through rugged, lawless territory in pursuit of a murderous fugitive. John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell.
Why? John Wayne won his only Academy Award for his superb performance as the cantankerous, one-eyed, intemperate U.S. Marshal Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn. The cast is rounded out nicely by Kim Darby as determined adolescent Mattie Ross and Glen Campbell as Texas Ranger La Boeuf.
6:00 pm The Wizard of Oz (1939) Musical/Fantasy. TCM. A Kansas farm girl and her dog are swept away in a tornado that leaves them stranded in a magical land called Oz. Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, Margaret Hamilton.
Why? No explanation necessary, right? Perhaps the most beloved, most watched family film of all time.
Two of this week’s picks happen to feature an Academy Award winning star whose prolific film career spanned from 1916 to 1950. His is a face we still recognize today, but how many of us remember his name? Frank Morgan. What’s the role he’s most famous for?
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.)
By Trailer screenshot (The Shop Around the Corner trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Trailer screenshot, from the film Category:Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (film) from Warner Home Video DVD. (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Wizard of Oz by trailer screenshot. [Public domain or CC0], via Wikimedia Commons