...Not very far, I assure you. Yes, dear Shelfers, we have been on somewhat an unintended hiatus. I could go into the many fascinating reasons, but will not- instead I humbly apologize for my absence and hope you can forgive old Uncle Loophole. Having been consumed with work and various other projects that have demanded my attention, I still have been taking snippets of time to check in on our fellow bloggers and try to keep up with the many things going on.
It is Memorial Day weekend, and I will re-post one or two favorite related articles from the past over the course of the next couple of days. I hope you will enjoy them. We have always supported and have great respect for our troops and I know that many of you out there do as well. So I wouldn't be surprised to know that while there will be many cookouts, etc- many of you will also be displaying the flag, thanking troops, attending parades, and some will be visiting the gravesides or memorials lost in thought. Let us all say a prayer and give a thought to those we've lost and all those out there still serving and defending.
Meanwhile, allow me to point your television clickers to several things being shown this weekend on TCM:
72 Hour Memorial Day Weekend Movie Marathon: Well that just says it all, doesn't it? Many of your favorites will be on this weekend, as well as a few that don't get too much play very often. Here is the schedule (all times est), plus one or two highlights for the old DVR:
Friday May 28th:
6 am: The Lost Patrol (1934): John Ford's film has been both heavily knocked and praised by critics and Ford fans alike. I happen to really enjoy of lot of Ford's earlier work. While not certainly not polished like later films, this one is full of raw edge and nerves. A British patrol is riding through the desert, when their leader (who is the only one who knows their mission) is killed by a sniper. Although a sargeant is able to lead them to an oasis, no one knows where they are to go next, and they becomed pinned down by the mysterious sniper. Featuring great performances from Boris Karloff and Ford troop regular, Victor McLaglen.
7:15 AM Dive Bomber (1941)
9:30 AM Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
12:00 PM Command Decision (1948)
2:00 PM God Is My Co-Pilot (1945)
3:30 PM Battleground (1949): William Wellman directs this wonderfully taut and thoughtful (yes, I said it) film about a group of men from the 101st Ariborne, trapped in the Bastogne in 1944- commonly known as the Battle of the Buldge. Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, James Whitmore and John Hodiak lead a cast portraying a group of men, different from one another, but working together to survive the snow and the Germans.
5:30 PM Sergeant York (1941)
8:00 PM Stalag 17 (1953)
10:15 PM The Great Escape (1963)
1:15 AM The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)
4:00 AM King Rat (1965)
Saturday May 29th:
4:21 AM U.S. Army Band (1943)
6:30 AM You're In The Army Now (1941)
8:00 AM Buck Privates (1941): Always a Loophole household favorite, two street hustlers (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello) mistakenly join the Army while trying to evade a policeman, who turns out to be their drill sargeant. This film really brought Bud and Lou into the spotlight and led to them becoming one of the biggest box office draws of the 1940s. Buck Privates also laid the groundwork and became a template for so many more wartime comedies. The film also features an always welcome performance by the Andrews sisters as well.
9:30 AM In Harm's Way (1965)
12:30 PM Battle Of The Bulge (1965)
3:30 PM The Battle Of Britain (1969): Sir Laurence Olivier, Trevor Howard, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer star in this greatly compelling film about the defense of England against the Nazi Blitz. This film is a technical marvel as well. Months were spent assembling the cast, crew, extras, vintage planes, and even had several veteran flying aces, German and British, from the actual blitz itself as technical advisors. Some felt the film contained too much, and was almost overbearing in it's story structure- but it delivered such a visually intense drama and story, that's hard to overlook. Directed by Guy Hamilton and produced by Harry Saltzman, the team who were responsible for Goldfinger and several of the James Bond films of the time.
5:45 PM Midway (1976)
8:00 PM The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)
11:00 PM Pride of the Marines (1945)
1:15 AM Birdy (1984)
3:30 AM Let There Be Light (1946)
4:45 AM The Secret Invasion (1964)
Sunday, May 30th:
6:30 AM Battle Cry (1955)
9:00 AM Short Film: Picturesque New Zealand (1952)
9:17 AM Short Film: Nostradamus And The Queen (1953)
9:30 AM Darby's Rangers (1958)
11:50 AM Short Film: Operation Dirty Dozen (1967)
12:00 PM The Dirty Dozen (1967) You know the names and faces: Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Richael Jaeckel, Telly Savalas and more. This was one of the first World War II era films I ever saw, and it is one of my grandfather's favorites. I know I saw it at least 5 or 6 times just with him- more on my own.
2:45 PM The Guns of Navarone (1961)
5:30 PM The Green Berets (1968)
8:00 PM Mister Roberts (1955)
10:15 PM Operation Petticoat (1959)
12:30 AM Four Sons (1928)
2:45 AM Paisan (1946)
5:00 AM Nazty Nuisance (1943)
Clint Eastwood Marathon
On Monday, May 31st, TCM will air a marathon in tribute to Clint Eastwood's 80th birthday and will feature many of his films including: The Man with No Name Trilogy, Where Eagles Dare, Hang 'Em High, Kelly's Heroes and more. The star attraction of the day will be the TCM premiere of the recent documentary about Clint: The Eastwood Factor. This was included in the massive Warner Brother's DVD set: Clint Eastwood: 35 Films, 35 Years at Warner Bros. I watched an advance copy of the film and it's terrific- many film clips and interviews, talks with Clint at home and at work, giving a glimpse into the man and also into his ideas and thoughts on not just his films, but the industry as well. Very much worth your time, and space on your DVR, especially if you (like me) aren't able to get the mega DVD giftset.
Well Shelfers- I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day and this weekend. There is plenty to see on TCM, but there is plenty of time to spend with family and loved ones and time to remember those who gave their lives to defend us and our country. After all, you can always DVR and record the movies- precious time with others only gets recorded in our hearts after we have spent it.
Throw your chest out! Go on! Throw your chest out! - I'm not through with it yet!