Happy January and happy 2015! I hope you had a nice holiday season. After all of the chaos of December, it’s time to relax with some TCM.
Overall, it’s a pretty calm month, but still has a lot to offer. January’s Star of the Month is Robert Redford, whose movies will be featured every Tuesday night this month. The theme for this month’s Friday Night Spotlight is movies based on the works of Neil Simon. On January 22nd, TCM will show a night of Debbie Reynolds movies in recognition of her receiving the Life Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild.
Ram Bowen (Paul Newman) and Eddie Cook (Sidney Poitier) are a couple of American musicians living in Paris. They each have their own reasons for living there instead of America. In Paris, Eddie doesn’t face the kind of discrimination he would in America and Ram thinks living there is good for his career. The two of them play in a nightclub, stay out all night, and Ram is hard at work writing a concerto.
The two of them are quite content with their lives, but that all changes when two American tourists, Lillian Corning (Joanne Woodward) and Connie Lampson (Diahann Carroll), come to Paris for a two-week vacation. They meet up with Ram and Eddie and Ram starts dating Lillian and Eddie dates Connie. However, Connie and Lillian don’t seem to share the guys’ enthusiasm for Paris. Connie acknowledges that there may be less racial discrimination in Paris, but she wants to stay close to her roots in America. And even though Ram has fallen in love with Lillian, he doesn’t want to leave his career opportunities behind to go to America with her. Both men are left to choose which they love more — Paris or their girlfriends.
Paris Blues was pretty disappointing. With a cast like this, I was definitely expecting something more substantial. I just felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of meat to the story, nothing I could really grab hold of. I think it had the potential to be something more and I could tell this movie really wanted to be something more, but it just didn’t quite hit the mark. However, it isn’t a bad movie and it isn’t poorly acted, either, it’s just very middle-of-the-road. All of the key actors have had finer moments. I found myself being most interested in the soundtrack, which features a lot of great jazz music by Duke Ellington. This is one of those movies that I’ll probably like to have playing in the background while I’m busy with something just because it’s so nice to listen to.
How is it already time for another round of Summer Under the Stars?! As usual, TCM has done a great job of coming up with a nice blend of stars who are no strangers to the SUTS schedule and stars who have never been featured before. The more I look at the schedule, the more excited I get to start my Blogging Under the Stars marathon.
Some of the days I’m most looking forward to are: Myrna Loy (August 2), Marilyn Monroe (August 4), Toshiro Mifune (August 9), Ginger Rogers (August 12), James Cagney (August 14), Lillian Gish (August 15), Jack Lemmon (August 22), Gene Kelly (August 23), Kay Francis (August 21), and Warren William (August 30). I have seen woefully few Akira Kurosawa films, so I am really looking forward to Toshiro Mifune’s day. As a fan of silents and pre-codes, I was thrilled to see Lillian Gish, Kay Francis, and Warren William got spots on this year’s line-up. Lately, I’ve been really getting into Tyrone Power movies, so I’m glad to see he got a day this year. And since I’ve always wanted to see more Jeanette MacDonald movies, I’ll definitely be tuning in a lot for her day.
The complete Summer Under the Stars schedule is available to be download here.