I can already tell, not a lot of time this week. It's sad too because I just spent the last couple hours working on a big to-do list of things I'm sure I won't get done and I had something like 10 different specific post ideas I want to write, but I'm not sure when I'll get to them.
In the mean time, in a small attempt to add something new, even if it's old, to this site ... it's the end of TCM's magnificent month of August, a/k/a "Summer Under the Stars." This month became dangerous for me on two occasions: First, there was that night when I just couldn't turn off Fred & Ginger; and then this weekend it happened again as I found myself spellbound by Spencer Tracy, especially Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, which I don't think I had seen in roughly a decade. But see, that's one of these other posts I hope to get to.
Meanwhile, after days little romp with Constance Bennett, there are only two days and two stars left: the lovely and talented Scottish actress Deborah Kerr on Tuesday and the legendary Humphrey Bogart on Wednesday. The month started with Bogie's longtime love and leading lady Lauren Bacall, so it only makes sense that he closes it out.
My original capsules for both of these days are after the jump. The only thing that makes the end of this wonderfully programmed month worthwhile is that September looks just as good. Michael Powell anyone? If you're pissed that there's no Black Narcissus on Deborah Kerr-day, don't fret too much. You can catch it on Sept. 18. But then, that's yet another one of those other posts.
Aug. 30 -- Deborah Kerr was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar six times without ever winning, most famously for From Here to Eternity and The King and I (neither being shown by TCM). Her final nomination was for The Sundowners (10:15 PM), but my pick for this day is a movie that didn't earn her any major awards kudos, the 1964 John Huston film The Night of the Iguana (2:15 PM), a fantastic directed adaptation of the great Tennessee Williams play also starring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner.I haven't seen it in quite a long time, but I remember its grittiness and sensuality ... and sweatiness. You certainly get a feel for the humid Mexican locale even though you're separated from it by your TV screen.
Aug. 31 -- Humphrey Bogart: Well now this only makes sense. You start with Bacall (at least TCM did; I missed her) and you finish with Bogart. For some reason, TCM decided to program Bogart: The Untold Story, a 1996 documentary made by the actor's son Stephen, at 6 AM. That's OK -- let the performances tell you all you need to know (or just set your DiVo). The rest of the day contains a selection of some of Bogey's best, including many of those you might expect. Bogart wasn't always a troubled good-guy. In a large number of his earlier roles, he played merciless gangsters. His first major screen role was in The Petrified Forest (11 AM) as gangster Duke Mantee, a character he reportedly based on former Public Enemy John Dillinger. In fact, the studios loved his performance as the sociopath Mantee so much that he basically became typecast as this type of gangster for much of the next five years until he really broke-out in The Maltese Falcon (10:15 PM) and Casablanca (12 AM). Another film TCM is showing which I simply must make note of is Nicholas Ray's brilliant noir, In a Lonely Place in which Bogart plays an obsessive screenwriter who falls for his neighbor, a beautiful actress played by Gloria Grahame. I only saw this film for the first time about a year ago, and it absolutely blew me away. For one thing, the movie has some great lines (thanks to screenwriters Edmund Noth and Andrew Solt), delivered as only Bogart could. My favorite? Not sure, but probably this one: "It was his story against mine, but of course, I told my story better."