Happy April, everybody! TCM has a pretty fun schedule this month, but it’s organized a little differently than usual. Usually things like the Star of the Month nights get one night each week. But this month, those nights are all in one week from Monday to Friday. Doris Day is the April Star of the Month so her movies will be on every night from April 2-6. TCM will also be doing a spring break week this month from April 16-20, so every night will be fun, beachy movies like Gidget and Frankie and Annette Beach Party movies. Now, onto the schedule:
Posted in TCM
Tagged Anthony Perkins, Barbra Streisand, Charlie Chaplin, Doris Day, Edward G. Robinson, Gregory Peck, Harold Lloyd, Hope Lange, Jean Negulesco, Kay Francis, Laurel & Hardy, Liza Minnelli, Marlon Brando, Peter O'Toole, Shirley MacLaine, Sophia Loren
We’re down to the last month of 2011 already! TCM will be closing out the year in top form. December’s star of the month is William Powell, which I am very excited about since I’m a big fan of his. It also means we get two nights of movies featuring him with Myrna Loy, one night being the entire Thin Man series and another night featuring their other collaborations. His movies will be showcased every Thursday night this month. TCM will also be celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens a little early (his birthday isn’t actually until February) by devoting Monday nights to showing various film adaptations of his work. And of course there are Christmas classics galore to look forward to!
Posted in NaBloPoMo 2011, TCM
Tagged Anne Francis, Cary Grant, Edward G. Robinson, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, Irene Dunne, Jackie Cooper, Jane Russell, Katharine Hepburn, Leo McCarey, Marlene Dietrich, Myrna Loy, Peter Falk, Sidney Lumet, The Marx Brothers, Warren William, William Powell
After World War II, Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) is hard at work rounding up Nazi war criminals and seeing that they are punished. One Nazi in particular who has evaded his reach is Franz Kindler (Orson Welles). In hopes of finding Kindler, Wilson releases Kindler’s old friend Konrad Meinike thinking that Meinike will go to see Kindler, wherever he is. Sure enough, he does and Wilson follows him to Harper, Connecticut where Kindler has assumed the identity of Professor Charles Rankin and is engaged to Mary Longstreet (Loretta Young), the daughter of a Supreme Court justice.
In fact, Meinike and Wilson arrive in Harper on the day Mary and Charles are set to be married. Meinike knows he’s being followed and evades Wilson long enough to find Charles, but obviously, this is not a happy reunion. Meinike has seen the error of his ways and tries to convince Charles to turn himself in, but Charles isn’t about to give up his new life so easily. He strangles Meinike and buries the body in the woods before going on with the wedding. But what Charles doesn’t realize is that Meinike had talked to Mary about where to find him. Over the next few days, Wilson does some investigating and concludes that Charles is really Kindler. He even recruits Mary’s brother Noah (Richard Long) to help him nab Charles. But the only person who can definitely tie Charles to Meinike is Mary. Meanwhile, there’s someone else posing a threat to Charles’ new identity — Mary’s dog. When Charles takes Mary’s dog for a walk in the woods, it starts digging at the area where Charles buried Meinike, so he poisons the dog. When Noah finds the dog dead, he and Wilson start investigating more and Meinike’s body is found.
Charles really starts getting nervous when Wilson questions Mary about whether or not she’d seen Meinike. Charles tries to keep her quiet by concocting a story about how Meinike had been trying to blackmail him so he killed him to protect her. Mary desperately wants to believe her husband and protect him, but it gets harder when Wilson shows her horrifying footage from concentration camps and tells her about how her husband was responsible for all that suffering. Even then, Mary doesn’t want to believe this about her husband. But Wilson knows that Charles is very likely to try to kill Mary next and he’s right. At last, Mary is able to accept the awful truth about the man she married.
There isn’t a single thing about The Stranger that I didn’t like. The cast was great all around. Loretta Young totally nailed the innocence and naivety her character needed. It’s got plenty of suspense, I didn’t think there was a dull moment in the movie. I know Orson Welles didn’t think very highly of this movie, largely because he wasn’t given as much creative control as he would have liked. But I think this is a case where limitations may have worked to the film’s advantage. There were about 20-30 minutes worth of scenes that Welles had wanted in the film that were cut by the studio. Although I’d love for those lost scenes to surface someday, I thought the movie was just right in terms of length. For how outstanding The Stranger is, it’s a somewhat underrated Orson Welles movie. It’s awfully hard not to be overshadowed by The Third Man, Citizen Kane, or The Lady From Shanghai and I wouldn’t put The Stranger on par with any of those, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a fantastic movie.