TCM Genre movies schedule...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My stepdad calls them "by the gods!" movies, because that line always appears at least once in every one... he saw them as a kid in NYC a lot. I like them though I'm not sure I've made it all the way through one either, at least not with the sound on.
     
  2. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I think I've seen Hercules and the Moon Men on TCM On Demand. I don't remember much about it, which I guess says it all. :rommie:
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I borrowed Airplane! from the library so I could watch it right after Zero Hour! and compare the two. The main spine of the story of Airplane!, the majority of the "serious" dialogue, and a number of the shot compositions are directly from ZH, although there are some differences too. In ZH, Ted is on the plane to talk his wife Ellen out of leaving him and taking their son with her. The stewardess is a different character altogether (and is really pretty). It's Ted's son who goes into the cockpit and talks to the pilot, who's played by a prominent football player named "Crazylegs" Hirsch (this is what the casting of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane! was parodying, though Hirsch played the Peter Graves character, the pilot). And it's Sterling Hayden's character, the equivalent of Robert Stack's, who has the "I picked the wrong day to quit smoking" line. (And Elaine's dialogue to Ted in the terminal is taken from the dialogue of a potential employer in ZH, rather than Ellen.)

    What was perhaps most revealing was what parts of A! were not from ZH. Subplots like the heart patient and some of the flashbacks evidently owed more to Airport 75 and the like. ZH is structured much more linearly: it opens with the scene of Ted's aerial battle in WWII (narrated by William Conrad!), and for the first several minutes, the film seems to be trying to trick people into thinking it's a war movie. Then suddenly it jumps forward twelve years and it's a completely different story. In its defense, it does present its storyline in a more focused way than Airplane! did; there's a clearer throughline from the botched decision Ted had to make in WWII and the parallel decision he has to make now with the passenger plane (i.e. whether to risk braving the fog to fulfill the primary objective or take the more cautious route with less reward).


    I tried watching The Blob, but I lost interest in it pretty quickly. This is considered a classic? Its production values were MST3K-worthy, Steve McQueen apparently hadn't learned how to act yet and was downright creepy, Aneta Courseault seemed to be sedated for much of what I saw -- or was maybe just half-asleep from having nothing to do but sit there passively. Just when the plot started to kick in with McQueen delivering the first Blob victim to the doctor, who asked him to go back and check the scene for anyone who knew the victim, suddenly McQueen and the movie got sidetracked by taunting teenagers and the world's longest, most boring drag-race sequence, and then they just stood around exchanging gossip for what felt like several minutes and I wondered what had happened to the story. At that point I just gave up and deleted it from my DVR.

    I did watch the other blob-monster movie this month, X the Unknown, which Hammer Films originally intended as a Professor Quatermass sequel, but changed when Nigel Kneale refused to share the character. They replaced him with an American scientist played by an actor named Dean Jagger, whom I found bland and one-note. I disliked him even more when I read that he'd gotten the original director, who'd moved to Britain to avoid the Hollywood blacklist, fired because he didn't want to work with an alleged Communist sympathizer. What a jerk. Maybe that's why his performance was so dull, though, because apparently the replacement director was uninterested in the project. That aside, though, it's an adequate if somewhat slow British monster movie, with the kind of laughably bad science you expect or even want from a movie like this. But it's mainly notable for some of its cast. Leo McKern is the biggest draw, playing an inspector for the UK's atomic energy agency or whatever it's called; he's essentially the hero's sidekick, but he's more charming than the hero or most of the rest of the cast, even though he isn't really trying too hard. There's also a pair of comic-relief Army guards played by Anthony Newley (who I gather became kind of a big name later on) and future Monty Python's Flying Circus supporting player Ian McNaughton. And I was intrigued when I saw the name of future Doctor Who companion Frazer Hines in the credits -- but it turns out he was only 12 years old when this was made, and he was barely recognizable.

    Speaking of Who connections, one of my favorite bits was where the moustachioed army major made a long-suffering remark about how scientists always want to make things too complicated, and how he preferred the easy solution of just blowing stuff up. He could almost have been the Brigadier!
     
  4. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for the background for "X, the Unknown". It's interesting to discover how personal philosophies can reshape a production, sometimes for the better, many times for the worse. Amusing observation about the Major. I too thought about the Brigadier, even before he made that particular comment. In fact, I mentally replaced Dean Jagger with Jon Pertwee and the thing played out like a prototypical Barry Letts era UNIT story. About the only thing missing was the Jo Grant role. Well, the plant director's son could have been Liz Shaw in a few scenes where exposition was presented.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Which just goes to show how much the Third Doctor era drew on Professor Quatermass.
     
  6. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I could have sworn I saw X the Unknown, but now I'm not so sure.

    I do like The Blob, though. It's a hilarious 50s era teenager movie with a monster. And Steve McQueen cracks me up. I love his TV series Wanted: Dead Or Alive, because his character is such an idiot and he plays him so convincingly. I wish there could have been a meeting between Josh Randall and Paladin. :rommie:
     
  7. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the true message of The Blob, which I also found amusing when I watched it a while back, was "don't be a punk because when the monster lands the adults won't believe you"... the disbelieving adults/authority figures are a hoary trope of this genre of course, but in The Blob they're particularly obtuse.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Moving on to August, we've got slim pickings ahead, and I had to stretch to include some of them:

    MON 8/5:
    3:30 PM: Soylent Green (1973)

    SAT 8/10:
    4:30 AM: The Blob ('58) again
    9:00 AM: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (the inferior '41 version)

    SUN 8/11:
    10:30 PM: Fail-Safe ('64): Henry Fonda film about a nuclear crisis.

    TUE 8/13:
    4:15 AM: The Hunger ('83): David Bowie/Susan Sarandon vampire movie.
    7:15 AM: A Midsummer Night's Dream ('35): Star-studded Shakespeare fantasy.

    FRI 8/23:
    2:00 AM: Clash of the Titans ('81): Harryhausen's last film.

    SAT 8/24:
    6:00 PM: Heaven Can Wait ('43): Ernst Lubitsch comedy unrelated to the '78 film of that name. Looks like the fantasy element is minimal, just a framing section set in Hell.
     
  9. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is why I liked the 80s version better. The authority figures ended up being more reasonable and had better reasons for not believing the kids right away (the Government guys intervening).
     
  10. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Normally I'm the last person in the world to complain about production values, but Soylent Green is tough to watch. It's a great concept and great story, but it just looks bad. I've been watching old episodes of Night Gallery on MeTV and I was reminded of why I always considered it low-tier when I was a kid-- the stories are great, but I can't stand all the hand-held camerawork, the horrible dubbing, the cringe-worthy day-for-night shots and so on.
     
  11. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    So, who watched Dr. Lao last night?

    I DVR'd it months ago, but never got around to watching it since at that time DirecTV only provided a "standard resolution" signal. Not terribly long after recording it, we got a high-def feed, so I opted to wait until TCM played it again.

    Oh, I've seen the movie, but that was years ago on commercial sponsored television (likely TBS) and it was "pan and scan". What I saw last night was probably the closest to a theater presentation without actually going to a movie house.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  12. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I saw it a few months ago, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I also read the book around the same time.
     
  13. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I watched it last time they aired it too, and never having seen much about it other than the title I found it diverting... an odd mixture of adult and child themes with some interesting performances by Tony, and watching Barbara Eden is always a pleasure. :D
     
  14. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Yeah, I love both Tony Randall and Barbara Eden.
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I've actually been listening to the soundtrack album a lot recently.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The September schedule has some weekly themes, including a Hitchcock marathon every Sunday starting at 10 AM and a "Future Shock!" spotlight on dystopian SF films. I won't list the Hitchcock films unless they have an SF/fantasy element, which pretty much reduces it to The Birds.

    SUN 9/1
    6:00 AM: Tarzan the Ape Man (1932): The original Weissmuller film!
    8:00 AM: The Land That Time Forgot ('75)
    5:45 PM: The Birds ('63)

    MON 9/2
    11:15 PM: A Trip to the Moon (1902): George Melies!

    TUE 9/3
    4:15 PM: Around the World in 80 Days ('56): The David Niven version.

    WED 9/4
    5:15 AM: The Phantom Carriage ('22): Silent supernatural-ish Swedish film.
    5:46 PM: The King of the Duplicators ('68): Documentary short about makeup artist William Tuttle. Might have some bits about his SF work.

    FRI 9/6
    8:00 PM: Metropolis ('27): The Fritz Lang classic. TCM says it's 149 minutes, which suggests it's the 2010 restoration, the most complete version to date.
    10:45 PM: Things to Come: The movie H.G. Wells wrote!

    SAT 9/7
    12:30 AM: Escape from New York ('81)
    2:15 AM: Brazil ('85): Apparently the 132-minute US cut, not Gilliam's definitive cut.
    4:50 AM: On Location With Westworld ('73): Behind-the-scenes promotional short.
    9:00 AM: Battle in Outer Space ('60): Aka The Great Space War, a Japanese SF film from the makers of Godzilla.

    SUN 9/8
    2:00 AM: The Awful Dr. Orloff ('64): Spanish horror film.
    3:30 AM: Bride of Frankenstein ('35)

    TUE 9/10
    9:15 PM: The Thief of Bagdad ('24)

    WED 9/11
    7:30 AM: Vampyr ('32)
    8:45 AM: Brigadoon ('54): I guess this counts as fantasy.
    1:00 PM: Finian's Rainbow ('68): Leprechaun musical.
    3:30 PM: Tom Thumb ('58): George Pal film.
    5:30 PM: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ('68)

    FRI 9/13
    8:00 PM: Soylent Green ('73)
    9:45 PM: Minority Report (2002): Yes, TCM is showing a 21st-century movie!

    SAT 9/14
    12:15 AM: Logan's Run ('76)
    2:30 AM: Mad Max ('79)
    9:30 AM: The Night the World Exploded ('57): Seismological disaster movie!

    SUN 9/15
    8:00 AM: King Kong ('33)

    TUE 9/17
    3:30 AM: Metropolis again

    THU 9/19
    8:00 PM: Bell, Book and Candle ('58)

    FRI 9/20
    6:30 AM: Topper ('37)
    8:00 PM: La Jetee ('62): The basis for 12 Monkeys.
    8:45 PM: Rollerball ('75)
    11:00 PM: A.I. (2001): Yep, another post-2000 Spielberg film.

    SAT 9/21
    1:45 AM: Total Recall ('90)
    3:45 AM: The Satan Bug ('65): Ooh, with Anne Francis!
    6:00 AM: First Men in the Moon ('64): H.G. Wells adaptation.
    7:45 AM: The Man Who Could Work Miracles ('36): Another Wells adaptation, with Ralph Richardson.
    9:15 AM: Valley of the Dragons ('61): Loose adaptation of Jules Verne's Off on a Comet, recycling dinosaur footage from One Million B.C. ('40).

    TUE 9/24
    12:45 AM: Frankenstein ('31): Why not show this back-to-back with Bride?
    5:30 AM: The Adventures of Prince Achmed ('27): Interesting -- a "silhouette film" based on the Arabian Nights, which may have been the first animated feature film.

    FRI 9/27
    8:00 PM: The Time Machine ('60)
    10:00 PM: World Without End ('55): Astronauts fall through a time warp and find post-apocalyptic mutants! Sounds like a cross between The Time Machine and Planet of the Apes, and actually co-stars TTM's Rod Taylor. Should be an interesting companion piece.
    11:30 PM: The Omega Man ('71): The Charlton Heston version of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend.

    SAT 9/28
    1:30 AM: A Boy and His Dog ('74): Film version of Harlan Ellison's post-apocalyptic tale.
    9:30 AM: Creature With the Atom Brain ('55): Atomic Nazi zombies!!!

    Wow, that's a pretty full month.
     
  17. cylkoth

    cylkoth Commodore Commodore

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    LOL....Oh my. Wish TCM were part of my cable package tier.

    Let's hope Syfy doesn't see that one...They'd probably throw in a shark for good measure. :D
     
  18. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, kick-ass month. I wonder how the print of Total Recall will be because the Blu-Ray leaves a lot to be desired. I'm hoping TCM HD has acquired a nice copy.

    Minority Report is over ten years old now, man, time flies.
     
  19. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The new Blu-Ray of the film has a superlative restoration on it (and a nice interview with Paul Verhoeven). Hopefully, that's the source they use. I think it's called the Mind-Bending Edition.

    The older Blu-Ray, however, looks terrible (the DVD doesn't look great, either).
     
  20. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't realize there was a new Blu for TR, might have to check for that...

    EDIT: Just for shits and giggles...
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncR2_pnzngM[/yt]