Saturday May 25, 2013
On Sunday, Turner Classic Movies will continue its all-weekend salute to veterans by showcasing a string of John Wayne war movies throughout the day.
Starting in the early morning hours, viewers can see Wayne play a downed Air Force flyer trying to escape the Nazis with the help of a French woman (Joan Crawford) in Jules Dassin's Reunion in France (1942). After playing an anti-Nazi Prussian sea captain in The Sea Chase (1955), be sure to catch Wayne in one of his better World War II movies, Back to Bataan (1945), where he was an Army colonel who leads a guerrilla campaign against the Japanese.
In the afternoon, TCM will air John Ford's flag-waving war drama They Were Expendable (1945), which will be followed by Wayne's second and last directing effort, The Green Berets (1968), and Nicholas Ray's Flying Leathernecks (1951), which featured The Duke as a hard-driving Marine officer who pushes his men to the brink during the battle for Guadalcanal.
For prime time, Turner will break away from Wayne films to showcase William Wellman's Battleground (1949), a gritty look at American soldiers fending off a Nazi assault, and Ken Annakin's excellent war epic Battle of the Bulge (1965), starring Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, and Robert Ryan.
If you're up during the late night hours, be sure to catch Mervyn Le Roy's romantic war drama Homecoming (1949), starring Clark Gable and Lana Turner, Reginald Barker's silent-era film The Coward (1915), and the Russian-made melodrama The Cranes Are Flying (1957).
John Wayne in 'Back to Bataan' (1945)/Warner Bros.; Wayne in 'They Were Expendable' (1945)/MGM Home Entertainment; and Henry Fonda and Robert Ryan in 'Battle of the Bulge' (1965)/Warner Bros.
Friday May 24, 2013
This weekend, Turner Classic Movies will air one great war movie after another, which will be listed here in three parts over the course of the next few days.
Tomorrow, May 25th, TCM will start Memorial Day weekend off with a Hell Below (1933), a tense film about a submarine captain clashing with his crew during World War I, starring Robert Montgomery and Walter Huston.
Following the war comedy Thunder Afloat (1939), be sure to catch Cary Grant and John Garfield in Destination Tokyo (1943), followed by Glenn Ford and Ernest Borgnine in Torpedo Run (1958).
In the afternoon, TCM will air Robert Wise's classic Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) featuring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster, Gordon Douglas' Up Periscope (1959) with James Garner and Edmond O'Brien, and Operation Pacific (1951), starring John Wayne as a hard-driving submarine commander who risks everything to defeat the Japanese.
During prime time, be sure to see Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire in William Wyler's Civil War-set drama Friendly Persuasion (1956), which will be followed by Howard Hawks' classic biopic Sergeant York (1941).
Night owls and insomniacs can spend the wee hours with airings of Edgar Selwyn's Men Must Fight (1933), The Deep Six (1958) starring Alan Ladd and Dianne Foster, and Alfred Hitchcock's wartime spy thriller Foreign Correspondent (1940).
Ernest Borgnine and Glenn Ford in 'Torpedo Run' (1958)/MGM Home Entertainment; Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable in 'Run Silent, Run Deep' (1958)/MGM Home Entertainment; and Joel McCrea and Laraine Day in 'Foreign Correspondent' (1940)/Warner Bros.
Monday May 20, 2013
For more than 80 years, the gangster flick has been a staple at Warner Bros. So it should come as no surprise that the studio plans to release two gangster collections as part of their 90th anniversary celebration.
The first set, The Ultimate Gangster Collection: Classic, will contain several great Warner productions from the classic era, some of which make their debuts on Blu-ray. Included are Little Caesar (1931) starring Edward G. Robinson in his defining role; William A. Wellman's The Public Enemy (1931) featuring James Cagney as ruthless Chicago mobster Tom Powers; and The Petrified Forest (1936) with Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart. The classic collection will also contain another Cagney classic, White Heat (1949), directed by Raoul Walsh, as well as the feature-length documentary Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film.
The second box set, The Ultimate Gangster Collection: Contemporary, has several gangster films from more recent decades. Naturally, Martin Scorsese is well represented with three films covering different eras, including his breakout film Mean Streets (1973); Goodfellas (1990), arguably his best movie; and the Oscar-winning crime saga, The Departed (2006), which finally earned him the Academy Award for Best Director. Also in the set are Michael Mann's moody crime thriller Heat (1995) and Brian De Palma's Depression Era classic The Untouchables (1987).
Both collections will be released tomorrow, May 21st.
Blu-ray covers for 'The Public Enemy' (1931) and 'Goodfellas' (1990)/Warner Bros.
Sunday May 12, 2013
This weekend, Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary classic The Great Gatsby over-performed at the box office with a $52 million take, though the comic book sequel Iron Man 3 still came in first place in its second week of release.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as mysterious Jazz Age millionaire Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as self-absorbed flapper Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as Gatsby's optimistic neighbor Nick Carraway, Luhrmann's Gatsby featured lavish costumes, extraordinary sets, and an anachronistic hip-hop soundtrack from Jay-Z that helped lure a younger audience.
The film received a mixed reception from critics, however, while becoming the fourth adaptation of Fitzgerald's book to hit the big screen. The first was a silent version from Paramount Pictures in 1926 starring Warner Baxter as Gatsby, Lois Wilson as Daisy, and Neil Hamilton as Nick Carraway. William Powell had a supporting role as doomed mechanic George Wilson.
In 1949, Paramount made the first sound version with Alan Ladd as Gatsby and Betty Field as Daisy, though certainly the most famous adaptation came in 1974 with Robert Redford playing Gatsby, Mia Farrow as Daisy, and Sam Waterston as Carraway. Directed by Jack Clayton from a script by Francis Ford Coppola, that film was walloped by negative reviews despite praise for its adherence to the source material.
While Lurhamann's version undoubtedly speaks to the current times while remaining true to its source, filmmakers are sure to find inspiration in Fitzgerald's novel years from now and make a fifth film for a newer generation.
The cast of Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby' (2013)/Warner Bros.