How about that spiffy logo I came up for this? Anyway, another month and a new TCM Top 12. In terms of the twelve I mentioned watching for May, I have almost all of them taped and waiting for me. Somehow I missed taping Waterloo Bridge (I don’t actually remember seeing it played despite the schedule) and Baby Face ended up conflicting with something else so I’ll be sure to get them as soon as they air again. I’ll be reviewing the movies of May as soon as I can but either way…here’s what I’ll be seeking out in June!
Top Twelve Movies (in order of air date; note that schedule is subject to change at discretion of TCM)
I probably shouldn’t admit this but a few months back I saw the Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston film Just Go With It. It was okay, nothing special, but I read later on it was based on this 1969 film. Starring Walter Matthau, Goldie Hawn, and Ingrid Bergman of all people, the movie tells of a dentist trying to impress his young girlfriend by having his dental assistant impersonate his non-existent wife. The premise of both movies appeals to me and I love young Goldie Hawn and Ingrid Bergman! It airs early tomorrow morning so be sure to set your recording devices.
I’m sad I haven’t seen this classic film. I take that back, I’ve seen about ten minutes and unfortunately the copy I had really muffled sound and I couldn’t watch it (it was legal I swear!). Either way I’ve seen clips of some of the snarky one-liners in this movie, pretty racy stuff, and I’ll be interested in seeing a Norma Shearer film as I haven’t seen any yet and I’ve only seen Rosalind Russell in her older years…be nice to see her young. This is supposedly a seminal film for those looking at women in film so that’s another boost in my book. This airs early in the morning on June 4th!
As mentioned in the Leading Man post on Errol Flynn, and a few other places on this blog, I love stories about the Tudors (the family, although the show was great)! I saw The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex with Errol Flynn and Bette Davis but it seems Davis played Queen Elizabeth after that. The Virgin Queen tells of her relationship with Sir Walter Raleigh which, according to history, was just as tempestuous as the one with the Earl of Essex (Flynn). I’m on the fence about Davis as Elizabeth, I remember her being a bit too over-the-top, but I’m all for a good period drama. It airs as part of the amazing Essentials Jr. series (and right after The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex!) with the night devoted to Robert Osborne’s picks on June 4th.
It seems June 4th is where to be on TCM! Right after The Virgin Queen is the 1973 film The Sting. A long-time fan of my now defunct podcast asked that I review this and I’m hoping to pay him back. I know that this movie was a controversial Best Picture winner and it stars Robert Redford and Paul Newman as con-men. Either way I’ll be seeing a classic piece of Hollywood history! It airs, again, on the Essentials Jr. on June 4th.
I’m interested in seeing work from director Edgar G. Ulmer (specifically his film noir masterpiece Detour). Ulmer’s filmography is diverse, to say the least, and The Black Cat intrigues me simply because I originally thought it was connected to Cat People (an AMAZING film in its own right). Instead this is the film that boasts two horror titans,
Dracula and Frankenstein Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff! The film is also based on an Edgar Allan Poe story and tells of a Satanist going after a man whose kidnapped his wife and daughter. You had me at Satanist…you know I love crazy plot summaries! The Black Cat will air on a great night to stay in, June 8th during an evening devoted to creepy old mansion movies.
In honor of Judy Garland‘s 90th birthday TCM is devoting the Essentials Jr. on June 10th to her! The odd thing is I didn’t put down any of her movies to watch but a documentary about the making-of her most iconic role. Apparently this documentary, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic, is on one of the DVDs but who wants to go searching their DVD copy (although it is worth it). I’ve decided I want to include one documentary a month (people should watch them more!) and this is it. A documentary focused on an amazing film that will hopefully dispel some of those pesky urban legends (hanging Munchkin anyone?).
As with Edgar G. Ulmer I’m slowly working through the films of director Sidney Lumet. This is one of his earlier ones detailing the lives of eight friends from a women’s college living through the Great Depression. I’ve heard it’s a great movie with a strong female cast and by the looks of it, it delivers on that front. The movie stars Candice Bergen and Elizabeth Hartman who I didn’t know did any other films aside from A Patch of Blue (the film I first saw her in). It looks like a solid ensemble film and I’m all for feminist movies…and being set during the Great Depression should present some feminist urges! The Group will air during a look at the films of Larry Hagman on June 11th.
I’m not sure if I mentioned this but I read a lot of celebrity biographies. Sometimes, okay well a lot of times, I’ve never actually seen any films starring the person I’m reading about. This brings us to Sandra Dee. I know a lot about Sandra Dee after reading the fantastic biography Dream Lovers about her marriage with Bobby Darin. I’ve also watched the great biopic Beyond the Sea where Dee was played by Kate Bosworth. All this and yet I’ve never seen Dee as an actress herself. A Summer Place is cited as one of her most iconic works and boy does it have a great soapy plot an adulterous couple who discover their children are having sex! Considering the film was made in 1959…that’s gotta be pretty scandalous! I’m excited to see Dee in general and the movie seems like good fun. It airs June 14th as part of TCM’s Star of the Month: Teen Idols series.
Yes Robert Redford makes another appearance on this list! I know a lot of movies and television shows that reference The Way We Were…and that’s obviously why I never catch them until I go to IMDb or something and read it’s referring to this film! I refuse to be out of the loop. I know three things about The Way We Were: It stars Redford, it stars Barbra Streisand, and it’s sad. Obviously I need to fix this. The Way We Were airs June 16th during The Essentials devoted to “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” (did I mention I love they do themes now).
This is the film I’m most wary about watching. I’ve seen the two big Fellini films, La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2 and honestly…I can’t make heads or tails on whether I liked them or not. They’re confusing, surreal, and Italian. I did understand 8 1/2 better having seen the musical Nine but I’m sure someone will tell me that’s the worst way to view a classic. Either way I’m going to attempt to watch La Strada and hopefully make a decision on Fellini once and for all! La Strada will air June 24 along with a slate of films devoted to clowns (that’s terrifying).
The Two Mrs. Carrolls took me by surprise because I had no idea Barbara Stanwyck and Humphrey Bogart made a movie together. Add in to that the idea that a woman believes her husband is a deranged killer. Is the husband Bogart (I’m assuming so)? And Bogey as a killer? Sign me up! It airs June 29th with a series of films looking at how to murder your wife.
Speaking of Barbara Stanwyck the last film is The Lady Eve! If you have Netflix Watch Instantly (or Netflix in general) you know all about the recommendations scroll. Well The Lady Eve is ALWAYS being recommended to me and at this point I think Netflix is getting angry that I haven’t seen it so I’ll watch it just to remove it from my recommendation list. Haha, it’s also considered a classic piece of screwball comedy and airs June 30th along with several other films directed by Preston Sturges.
I’m cheating a bit but there’s two “honorable mentions” I wanted to include. These two were thisclose to making the top 12 and I’ll still probably tape them but I wanted to create some priority. Either way the two honorable mentions are:
I just like the name (seriously). It airs June 9th.
Another film with a great name this film hits several things I want to see, namely I’d like to see Garbo in a film (yes I know…I’m a terrible film reviewer) and a film directed by Ernst Lubitsch. Ninotchka airs June 22nd.
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.