Tuesday, May 22, 2007
week of the duke, pt. I
It's John Wayne's 100th birthday this week and the celebration is being embodied in the many DVD releases and re-releases of many of his films on DVD. Turner Classic Movies is also celebrating with a week-long schedule of many unforgettable John Wayne classics. So to give you a heads up on all things John Wayne and to include so many great flicks coming to DVD, we've decided to break up this week's roundup in several parts. First off, our look at some of the things hitting the small screen.
Television: (as always, check local listings for times)
This is the week for several season finales. Our beloved NCIS is having it's finale, The Unit and Numb3rs each had finales last week. Mrs. Loophole is looking forward to the end of The Bachelor (and so I am I, although for a different reason) and she's excited to see who wins Dancing with the Stars. Me? I just wish they still had Circus of the Stars...
Turner Classic Movies:
Being that this is the week of the Duke, naturally we'll present the Shelf's picks for TCM with a John Wayne heavy schedule, with a couple of other great films thrown in for good measures. Here are our picks for the week:
Don't miss this updated documentary by Peter Bogdanovich on the maverick filmmaker, who helped make John Wayne a star: Directed By John Ford (2006). Also today are several of John Wayne westerns that have become legendary classics: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Red River (1948), El Dorado (1967) and The Sons of Katie Elder (1965).
Today's schedule includes a wide range of John Wayne films. You'll see him in the kind of western you've come to expect such as with Gabby Hayes in Tall In The Saddle (1944), or with Gail Russell in the underrated Angel And The Badman (1947), or in Hondo (1954). You'll also see him from some of the better films from his own production company Batjac, like the historical drama, The Alamo (1960) or the always fun McLintock! (1963). For John Wayne in a different kind of adventure see Island In The Sky (1953) and don't miss the high drama of The High and the Mighty (1954).
For a change of pace don't miss the wonderful small romantic comedy/drama with James Stewart: The Shop Around The Corner (1940). Then catch the Duke as military leader and all around tough guy with In Harm's Way (1965) and The Fighting Seabees (1944).
Start off with a little film noir with Robert Mitchum as he tries to figure a way out of The Racket (1951). Then you'll want to see some of the best films from late in John Wayne's career (aside from True Grit). First is Big Jake (1971) then The Cowboys (1972). Finish off the night with a bit of a fright: Tod Browning's Freaks (1932).
The John Wayne marathon may be over, but the parade of great films continue. See Andy Griffith as you've never seen him before in A Face In The Crowd (1957). Then try a thriller double biller: King Kong (1933) and Mighty Joe Young (1949). Then make sure you see a film that doesn't make it around very often: a comedy starring The Ritx Brothers and Bela Bela Lugosi: The Gorilla (1939).
It's one of the best musicals to come out of the Dream Factory, with the unrivaled Fred Astaire and lovely Cyd Charisse: The Band Wagon (1953). Then it's Disney brand adventure and comedy: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954) and The Absent Minded Professor (1961). Later, it's the classic political drama All the King's Men (1949).
Memorial Day Movie Marathon. Don't forget to thank a soldier and the veterans.
Here's the full day's schedule:
Command Decision (1948)
Action In The North Atlantic (1943)
From Here To Eternity (1953)
Sergeant York (1941)
The Battle Of Britain (1969)
Where Eagles Dare (1969)
A Soldier's Story (1984)
Stalag 17 (1953)
The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)
Wake Island (1942)
This is only part I of the roundup, kiddies. Next in part II we'll cover the Duke's DVD releases for the week- and believe me, there is a bunch of 'em! Stay tuned....
If I felt cynical, this would be a good opportunity to observe that we're about to see a perfect example of "an eye for an eye", et cetera. Unfortunately, I can't quote chapter and verse... and I'm too tired to be cynical.