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FLICK PICKS: TCM's Back in Gear
March 2, 2011  | By Diane Werts
 
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Now here's why I love Turner Classic Movies. Besides no cuts and no commercials, TCM does quality stack-ups like the two don't-touch-that-dial nights coming up this weekend.

Saturday night starts with Cool Hand Luke (Saturday at 8 p.m. ET), where hard-labor convict Paul Newman has a '60s "failure to communicate" with drawling jailer Strother Martin. It's this week's installment of "The Essentials," with hosts Robert Osborne and Alec Baldwin back after the (increasingly annoying) "31 Days of Oscar" event.

Following Newman on TCM Saturday night are two other chain gang must-sees from very different moviemaking eras -- Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones (10 p.m. ET; photo above), a 1958 polemic on race relations from issue-driven producer-director Stanley Kramer, followed by Paul Muni's 1932 talkie classic I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (midnight ET), a prime example of Warner Bros.' studio-era cinema of grit, grime and social concerns. (Three similar sagas from TCM's deep library follow: 1932's Hell's Highway at 1:45 a.m. ET, 1950's Chain Gang at 3 a.m. ET, and 1947's Deep Valley at 4:15 a.m. ET.)

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Sunday's TCM schedule lines up five varied and very watchable delights covering a 70-year span. Sherlock Holmes figures in 1976's The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (8 p.m. ET) -- and so does Freud -- with Nicol Williamson and Alan Arkin. His image is back in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (10 p.m. ET), the 1975 comedy with Gene Wilder starring and directing.

TCM's "Silent Sunday Nights" franchise then reaches back to 1920 for John Barrymore's two-in-one chiller Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (midnight ET; photo at right). Immediately after, "TCM Imports" moves forward to reference another dynamic duo in Federico Fellini's 1986 Ginger and Fred (2 a.m. ET),

The final TCM twosome of the night (morning?) pairs Walter Matthau and George Burns as The Sunshine Boys (Monday morning at 4:15 a.m. ET), in Neil Simon's 1975 film of a feuding vaudeville team reunited after decades apart for late-in-life squabbles.

 

1 Comments

 

Sherman said:

Arrgghh... I don't if I should laud Diane or curse her. I'm finally clearing off the DVR from February sweeps and now there are all these tempting movies, most of which have been on my "someday to-see" list.

But seriously, thanks! I love TCM and don't check their schedule as often as I'd like. Posts like this one are why TV Worth Watching is the first site I check in the morning.

[Diane here: Thanks for lovin' us! You might want to check back later in the day, too -- David and I both have "paying" jobs that can keep us from posting as early as we'd like. And enjoy all the cinematic greatness coming your way . . . ]

 
 
 
 
 
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