TCM THIS WEEK: Arsenic and Old Lace and my final post (for now).

13 Ghosts (1960) is on today at 615pm.  Actually really fun if not a bit goofy.

SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941) is on at 1015pm which is a laugh out loud comedy which changes into a pretty serious drama, but it's great and I highly recommend it.

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944) is on Sunday at 8am and man that is a GREAT movie-- should of been on during Halloween but I don't do the programming I just report it.

And this marks the final post for me for TCM recommendations-- you'll be on your own for at least the rest of the month as I switch over to live blogging starting next week from Japan.

This week on TCM: KEY LARGO

Some great movies on Tuesday starting at 8pm with WHITE HEAT (1949) featuring Jimmy Cagney as a crazed gangster on the loose-- top of the world Ma!

It's followed by THE ROARING TWENTIES (1939) and a bunch of other gangster films from Warner Bros-- this is the night.

Friday at Noon is DEAD OF NIGHT (1945) which is a genuinely creepy little film from England that is regarded by many as one of the best chillers ever made.

KEY LARGO (1949) Is the Essentials this week, and it IS essential, Bogie and Bacall's final team-up is well worth your time and the pic pick of the week.


Tuesday night at eight shut off the lights, unplug the phone and toss the cat out into the street because you're in for some film viewin' Jethro!

THE MALTESE FALCON (1941) is the film that launched Humphrey Bogart's career-- my favorite line in the whole movie?

Bogie is questioned by two tough looking cops.

He looks at one of them and asks:

"What's your boyfriend getting at, Tom?"

I've used that line in tough situations and I can tell you it's elicited both a laugh and an all out fist fight-- but it's still a great line.

MILDRED PIERCE (1945) follows and that's no slouch either!
Joan Crawford's greatest movie.

Do the same thing Friday (if the cat comes back) and get ready for MY MAN GODFREY (1936) at 8pm and BRINGING UP BABY (1938) right after-- if these movies don't make you laugh check your pulse.  And maybe look for the cat.  But not for me, I don't like cats.

THIEF OF BAGDHAD (1940) is on Sunday at 2pm and it's really good.


Whoa!  JAWS (1975) is on tonight at 8pm, while I hate to call it a classic, it certainly is-- I just don't like to think of movies that have been released during my lifetime obtaining classic status.   It's the story of a small town sheriff who hates the water and his hunt for a killer shark!

LADY FROM SHAGHAI (1948) is on at 1115pm and it's a really good movie that COULD have been great, it SHOULD have been great, and it's actually KIND of great-- it's just for some reason Orson Welles decided he needed to have a sort of Irish brogue and he made his wife Rita Hayworth cut her dark hair and bleach it blonde-- just two oddball choices in a movie that grows on me every time I see it.  I won't be seeing it now, since I no longer have cable or satellite but I can always watch the DVD can't I?

STAGE DOOR (1937) is on Saturday just after midnight-- and that's a really great if somewhat stagey film-- but still powerful today.

THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977) is on Sunday at 6pm and it's movie choices like that from my favorite channel that finally led me to say GOODBYE to my satellite service-- I wouldn't watch this mush if you paid me, so I'll put in a Clint Eastwood western instead, but you watch it and keep a box of tissues handy, okay?


FREAKS (1932) is on Wednesday at 12midnight (which is actually Thursday) and it's a bizarre film that is probably over-rated about a group of circus freaks traveling together and how they protect their own.  Earlier in the night at 8pm is the 1939 version of OF MICE AND MEN with Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr. in the best version of Steinbeck's book.

Thursday is Halloween and it's all horror all day long with the vast majority from Hammer Studios or Roger Corman.

I'm not going to go through the 24 hours of programming, but highlights include:

CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957) at 6am-- watch for the scene where Peter Cushing throws the guy off the balcony and wonder (like I do) how the stuntman wasn't killed.
THE MUMMY (1959) at 730am --- the best Hammer film period.
DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1965) the best of the Hammer Dracula films with Christopher Lee.
THE ABOMINABLE DR PHIBES (1971) is on at 1am-- and if you want to know the kind of movie that sent me screaming in blind terror from the Paris Cinema in the mid 70s causing me to run three solid miles without stopping give this one a go.

Friday at 815am has THEATRE OF BLOOD (1973) with Vincent Price and Diana Rigg.
At 10pm is HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) which is the best filmed version of the stage play THE FRONT PAGE with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell and the mad cap business of daily newspapers.  I worked at one and I can tell you it's pretty accurate.

Saturday, sadly is no longer catering to the Matinee crowd, I miss the days of TCM showing things like ZORRO RIDES AGAIN and DICK TRACY or a B-Movie series like The Falcon or The Saint or even for a time Abbott and Costello.  So this week offers a rare no Saturday picks from me.

TCM This Week

Thursday Oct 24
Spotlight is on Vincent Price with a run of his classic horror films starting at 8pm with HOUSE OF WAX (1953) which is actually very good.  It's a remake of MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM (1933) and has some genuinely chilling moments in it.
At 945pm is THE MAD MAGICIAN (1954) which is a rare film and is an above average entry in this series of films tonight.
THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960) is on at 11pm and if you're familiar with the work of director Roger Corman you'll know what you get with this one.
DIARY OF A MADMAN (1963) 1230am
THE TINGLER (1959) 215am hoaky William Castle schlock film with a gimmick.
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959) which is better than you think it will be but still kind of bad.
THE BAT (1959) 515am which is a movie with an amazing cast who still manage to overact and overplay this classic mystery story about a masked killer on the loose in a mystery writer's house.  It's lit like a 50s sitcom so there is seldom any atmosphere and the characters are so one dimensional you expect them to fold in the rain.  Still, it's a movie that's grown on me and I like it better than when I first saw it.

Friday Oct 25
The Vincent Price festival continues at 645am with TOWER OF LONDON (1962) which is vastly inferior to the 1939 version which also featured Price and closes out at 815am with THE RAVEN (1963) which is another Roger Corman blech film.

THE WALKING DEAD (1936) is on at 630pm and is not to be confused with the AMC horror film likely having a marathon this weekend.  Karloff is framed and executed for a crime but a professor brings him back to life causing the now vengeful Karloff to hunt down those who framed him.  It's actually pretty good.

More Horror Films starting at 8pm
A BUCKET OF BLOOD (1959) is about a deranged artist and a beatnik coffee shop-- it could have been called The Andy Fish Story.
Dementia 13 (1963) at 915pm is Frankie Coppolla's directorial debut and it's actually pretty good.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE (1962) is on at 1045pm with Betty Davis and Joan Crawford as insane old ladies in what can only be described as a bio pic.
SPIDER BABY (1964) is on at 3am and it's even more insane than the title implies about a deranged family of hillbillies-- this movie likely is responsible for my intense fear of hillbillies which is why I don't watch Duck Dynasty (well, there are a few more reasons but you get the idea).

Saturday Oct 26
Saturday night is the night for watching--
BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) is the 8pm Essentials, and deservedly so.  James Whale's follow up to his blockbuster hit FRANKENSTEIN is even better than the original opting to go in a dark comedy manner that still delivers some effective scares.
THE MUMMY (1932) is on at 930pm which was Karloff's big follow up to Frankenstein (1931) and interestingly enough is a remake of sorts of DRACULA (1931), it's far more intellectual than the other Mummy films so give it a shot.
CAT PEOPLE (1942) is on at 11pm and it's brilliant.
WHITE ZOMBIE (1932) is Bela Lugosi's follow up to DRACULA (1931) and it explains why his career veered off into B-Films and worse.  It's on at 1230am and I challenge you to watch it live and make it through without falling asleep.  It's actually good if you can get past the opening, which despite the presence of zombies walking around is just very slow.


Wednesday at 1145pm is THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940) which is the movie that made Tyrone Power a star.  This early tale of the Robin Hood of Old California is a good old fashioned swashbuckler with a great cast.

I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943) is on Friday at 215am, which is actually Saturday.  Good movie, don't let the title scare you away.

Saturday's the day though-- starting at 6am is THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1932) which is a terrific horror action film with Boris Karloff as Fu-- the insidious evil villain bent on world domination.

Saturday night's the night though--
8pm FREAKS (1932) is the Essentials this week.  It's an incredible film about Circus Freaks using real life circus performers.
915pm is MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935) with Bela Lugosi in his best vampire role-- this would be a great movie if not for the lousy ending.
1030pm is THE DEVIL DOLL (1936) which is a terrific little thriller that should not be missed.


This week's TCM picks
Mon/Tue morning 3am SEVEN SAMURAI (1955)
Friday 8pm HORROR OF DRACULA (1958)-- it's a Hammer remake of the classic Universal DRACULA, I don't like Hammer remakes but I like this.
It's followed Friday by ISLE OF THE DEAD, DEAD OF NIGHT and THE HAUNTING, if that don't get you in a Halloween mood I don't know what will.

Saturday at 430pm is IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953) and it's better than you think.
Sunday's silent classic is NOSFERATU (1922) and it's a winner and the first real film version of Dracula.


Tonight at 8pm is STAGECOACH which even CJ Kennedy noted artist and lover of all things westerns thinks is overrated-- and I have to agree.  But if you've already seen Duck Dynasty or Two and a Half Men or whatever other piece of trash is on the rest of TV give this a go.

Because then you can stick around until 11:15pm for CITIZEN KANE (1941) and isn't it about time you actually watched this?  I mean you've heard for years how it's the greatest American film ever, blah blah-- and it is-- so watch it.

DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) is on Tuesday at 10pm and amazingly it is one of the greatest film noirs ever featuring Fred MacMurray as a slightly sleazy insurance agent who falls hard for Barbara Stanwyck who just happens to have a husband she'd like to see dead.  If it sounds familiar it's because its been remade so many times which just means it's good.  Watch it.

THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1948) is on Thursday night/Friday morning at 230am-- now this one involves a bit of a story.  Veronica and I were having a debate, I said, in my caveman like way that it's difficult for a man who is a dancer to not come across as gay.  For the record I am neither a homophobe or a dancephobe and I'm just saying skipping and jumping around a bit sometimes comes across a little flippant.

This relates much to my experience with watching the manly Roy Schneider (Batman Editor Denny O'Neil once told me that he would be the perfect Batman) play Bob Fosse in ALL THAT JAZZ and the slinky dancing sort of made me giggle.

She related that Gene Kelly was not gay-- and that he was a manly man who danced.  I agree 100% that Kelly was in Bruce Lee level condition and I'm sure he was straight-- but it was just as she mentioned this that THE THREE MUSKETEERS came on the TV and with their skipping and long feathered hats I was almost launched into convulsions to keep from giggling.

So it's a skipping and jumping with feathers version of the story of three swordsman, watch if you like that stuff.

FRIDAY has HIS GIRL FRIDAY at 6:15pm and that's a hilarious 1940 comedy with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, it's hilarious and it's brilliant.

At 8pm the night really gets rolling with CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962) followed by the movie it inspired NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) at 10pm.  BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) closes out the night at 1:15am and this kind of lineup is why I love October.

Saturday at 2pm we have MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (1993) which is my favorite Woody Allen movie-- its great and it's the must see pic PICK of the week.


TODAY at 8am is CABIN IN THE SKY (1943) which is the best musical I've ever seen-- and I don't like musicals.  Featuring an all black cast that includes Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Lena Horne-- it's the story of good vs evil done in great music.

FRANKENSTEIN (1931) is on at 1245am which is actually Tuesday, but what's it matter?  It's a great movie.

1130pm Friday is THE OMEGA MAN (1971), if you're familiar with Charlton Heston end of the world movies from the 70s this one will feel like a comfy pair of old shoes.  I don't care for that era or style of film, but you should at least see it once.

4pm Saturday is the time for you Lucille Ball fans to plunk yourself down in front of the tube-- Lucy teams with her real life husband and co star of I Love Lucy (Desi Arnaz) in THE LONG LONG TRAILER (1954), interesting to see them in color.  I'm not a fan of the show so I'll pass but watch if you like it.

GUN CRAZY (1950) is the Essentials Saturday at 8pm and that's a great pick.    It's hard hitting and shocking for its day.

Sunday you should lock the doors and take the phone off the hook 'cause it's Hitchcock and there's no looking back.
Starting at 10am with RICH AND STRANGE (1932) and running through to 1015pm with NOTORIOUS (1946) and in between you've got classics like Suspicion (2pm), Strangers on a Train (4pm), Dial M For Murder (6pm) and Rebecca (8pm) all of which are must see's!


Tonight at 8pm is SUNRISE (1927) which is a silent film not to be missed.  It's up there with the greatest movies ever made and it will grab you and not let go.

Thursday features a bunch of westerns from 930 to 8pm, there are some good ones in there too.

TOPPER (1937) is on Friday at 630am which is a farcical little comedy about a pair of ghosts who haunt an uptight little banker.  Really good.

Sunday at 8pm is THE 39 STEPS (1935) which is Hitchcock's best British film, and it's the Must See Pic Pick of the week.


Tuesday at 4pm is HIGH SIERRA (1940) which is the Warners film that made Bogie a star-- okay, Petrified Forest put him on the map but this one actually led to his leading man status and he never looked back.  It's about a gangster who kidnaps a girl and goes on the run.

Wednesday at 730am is VAMPYR (1932) which was shocking for its day but tame by today's standards.  It's still a pretty atmospheric vampire film.

8pm Wed is THE MORE THE MERRIER (1943) and didn't I just make this the must see Pic a week ago?  Well, you should still watch it.

Thursday at 530pm is the film noir classic OUT OF THE PAST (1947) and that is a punch in your face kind of hard drama I like-- you might too.

LIFEBOAT (1944) is the Essentials this week Saturday at 8pm and this minor Hitchcock classic is somewhat heavy in tone, but still worth watching-- so watch it.

Sunday at 8am is KING KONG (1933) and if all you know is the bloated mess that is Peter Jackson's remake then give this a watch.
At 8pm is REAR WINDOW (1954) which is a true Hitchcock classic not to be missed, followed by TO CATCH A THIEF (1956) which is the best Batman movie ever made that's not a Batman movie.


A TRIP TO THE MOON (1902) is on tonight at 1115pm-- it's a silent film and it's only about eight minutes long but it's got some imaginative special effects and is something you should see.

THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE is on Tuesday night actually Wednesday morning at 515am-- this silent masterpiece is from 1922 and is an absolute must see.

THE BLACK SWAN (1942) is on 10pm which is a terrific Tyrone Power movie with George Sanders, so watch it it's good.

LITTLE CAESAR (1931) is on Thursday at 915am with Edward G Robinson as a gangster.

THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940) is on at 130pm and if that one doesn't get to you something's wrong.

VERTIGO is on at 10pm,  it's regarded as Hithcock's Masterpiece by man-- not by me mind you, I think it's a really good movie but it's not as great as it's reputation.  Still worth watching.

METROPOLIS (1927) is on at 8pm Friday-- and THAT is a masterpiece.  Watch it and see for yourself.  After it runs THINGS TO COME (1936) which is a sort of almost retelling of the story-- not as good but still worth your time.

Saturday at 1045pm is PHANTOM RAIDERS (1940) which is a Nick Carter Detective programmer, but you know I like the B-Mysteries so maybe I'm not a good judge of these.

THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) is on at 330am and it should be the Essentials this week but its not.  It's a black comedy from the directing genius James Whale.

TCM THIS WEEK: Torchy Blane on the Six Train

Tuesday at 10pm is THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (1974) with Walter Matthau, Jerry Stiller and Robert Shaw.   If you only know the sequel watch this one-- it's good.  In fact-- it's the must see PIC PICK OF THE WEEK!

Thursday at 545pm is TORCHY BLANE IN CHINATOWN (1938), I'm a sucker for these B-Mystery movies and anything Chinatown is cool by me.  It's short and entertaining.

At 1045pm is I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG (1932) which is a great little melodrama with Paul Muni-- it's good only if seeing the interesting details of the day like ordering a "Hamburger sandwich"-- which makes sense when you think about it but we just call it a hamburger now.

Friday at 6am has OUT OF THE PAST (1947) which is an excellent film noir title with Robert Mitchum-- really great movie.

Saturday's ESSENTIALS is ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM (1946) with Rex Harrison-- not only haven't I seen it-- I've never heard of it-- it's listed as a drama.


Bette Davis is in THE PETRIFIED FOREST Wednesday at 1030am.
SPELLBOUND (1945) is on Thursday at 115am-- it's one of Hitchcock's more bizarre films with a great cast.
MILDRED PIERCE (1945) is on Friday at 8pm-- man that's a great movie-- a bit on the soap opera side and a lot of stuff that will make you go huh?  "My mother-- a waitress!"  Said with venom.

GRAND HOTEL (1932) is the Essentials this week-- good picture with an all star cast.


Johnny Carson gets the spotlight again this Monday-- if you're a fan of the Tonight Show maybe you're enjoying these, I still don't see what they're doing on TCM.

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (1944) is on Tuesday at 10pm-- it's an interesting tale of shipboard passengers coming to the realization, well, you'll have to watch it to see.

Wednesday at 745am is FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940) which is a highly under rated Hitchcock film-- if that's possible.  With Joel McCrea as a Foreign Correspondent and George Sanders as his buddy.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) is on at 2am which is actually Thursday-- I think Mel Brooks is way too broad and vulgar for me-- I don't like Monty Python either but I love The Three Stooges, I'm a complex man-- but this is Brook's best film.

THE BLACK ROOM (1935) is on Thursday at 630am with Boris Karloff as demented twin brothers.  It's good.

More Truffault films on Friday night starting at 8pm-- he's good and so are his movies.  His book on Hitchcock is a must read for film fans.

Saturday starts out with OBJECTIVE BURMA (1945) at 6am which is a neat little Warners War film-- NICK CARTER MASTER DETECTIVE (1939) is on at 1045am as they hoped to start a series based on the pulp character.

CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1964) is on at Noon-- and I can guarantee its not as good as the Mummy film I recommended last week.

SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949) is on at 6pm if you like John Wayne and westerns don't miss this one-- I don't like either so I'll pass.

The essentials this week is TOOTSIE (1982) and I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.  If that's an essentials can MRS DOUBTFIRE be far behind??  I've seen TOOTSIE.   I laughed at some of it.  I've seen it exactly ONCE and that says something for a guy whose seen SHAWSHANK, JAWS and A FEW GOOD MEN several hundred times.

It's NOT an essential.  This series is now officially a sham, and I refuse to pic a film this week in protest.

TCM THIS WEEK: The Mummy Travels with Tony Randall!

RAIN (1932) is on Tuesday at 6am-- it's a kind of thrilling little drama with a great cast including Joan Crawford and some other people set on a tropical island during hurricane season.  Watch it it's good.

Tony Randall is featured Wednesday night-- that puts me in an awkward position-- I knew Tony Randall, I liked Tony Randall, but I've never much cared for his movies.  That might be more the era of film he's from but if you're going to give one a try go with The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao which is on first at 8pm.

SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941) is on at 245pm Thursday-- it's a really great movie that kind of loses its way, but the first half hour is amazing and maybe if you stick to the end you'll like it better than I do-- but that's a bit harsh-- it is a great movie, it could just be a bit greater.

Friday's they're covering the films of FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT who is a brilliant director-- any of his movies are worth your time.

Saturday has THE MUMMY (1959) at Noon which is hands down the BEST of the Hammer films that attempted to capture some of the classic Universal Horror charm-- this one is done well and is downright scary-- with Christopher Lee as a pretty fast moving Mummy and Peter Cushing as the guy he's trying to kill.  MY Pic PICK of the week!

The Essentials this week is GASLIGHT (1944) with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer-- Boyer is trying to convince Ingrid she's going crazy-- you'll think it's a Hitchcock film-- so that means watch it!

TCM: Ray Harryhausen

Light week.

RAY HARRYHAUSEN gets a the retrospective treatment Thursday starting at 8pm with the Jason and the Argonauts movies and looking at some of his other classic work.  Harryhausen was a genius and will be sadly missed.

The Essentials this week is THE WOMEN (1939) and that's a pretty good film with an all star (at least as far as the 1930s goes) cast.