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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 05:56 PM

TCM Schedule for Thursday, December 6 -- What's On Tonight: TCM Guest Programmer: Lee Child

In the daylight hours TCM is celebrating the works of star of the month, Barbara Stanwyck. In prime time, the guest programmer is Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series of thrillers. Before his novel writing days, Child worked at Granada Television, writing trailers, commercials and news stories for the broadcast side of the company. With the Jack Reacher film scheduled to premiere on December 21, it's perfect timing to see the kind of films this author enjoys. (And I'd love to hear his candid opinion of Tom Cruise playing his 6' 5" tall hero!) Enjoy!

6:45 AM -- So Big (1932)
A farmer's widow takes on the land and her late husband's tempestuous son.
Dir: William A. Wellman
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Dickie Moore
BW-81 mins, TV-G,

Also filmed in 1924, with Colleen Moore as Selina, and in 1953, starring Jane Wyman.

8:15 AM -- The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)
An American missionary falls in love with a Chinese warlord.
Dir: Frank R. Capra
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Nils Asther, Toshia Mori
BW-87 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Chinese officials in Washington, D.C. complained about the depiction of the treatment of war prisoners in this film (which were toned down a bit) and some dehumanizing language about the Chinese people, such as "Human life is the cheapest thing in China," (which remains in the film).

9:45 AM -- Baby Face (1933)
A beautiful schemer sleeps her way to the top of a banking empire.
Dir: Alfred E. Green
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Donald Cook
BW-76 mins, TV-PG, CC,

In spring of 1933 this film was submitted to the New York State Board of Censors, who rejected it, demanding a number of cuts and changes. Warner Brothers made these changes prior to the film's release in July 1933. In 2004, a "dupe negative" copy of the film as it existed prior to being censored was located at the Library of Congress. This uncensored version received its public premiere at the London Film Festival in November 2004, more than 70 years after it was made.

11:15 AM -- Golden Boy (1939)
A crooked promoter lures a young violinist to give up music for boxing.
Dir: Rouben Mamoulian
Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, William Holden
BW-99 mins, TV-PG,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Score -- Victor Young

William Holden was considered not to be up to the role in the film, however Barbara Stanwyck urged producers to keep him in the picture, and succeeded. In 1978, at the The 50th Annual Academy Awards, before starting the presentation of the sound award, Holden publicly thanked Stanwyck for what she did.

1:00 PM -- Meet John Doe (1941)
A reporter's fraudulent story turns a tramp into a national hero and makes him a pawn of big business.
Dir: Frank Capra
Cast: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold
BW-122 mins, TV-G, CC,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story -- Richard Connell and Robert Presnell Sr.

Director Frank Capra tested the film in different areas of the US with four different endings to determine which one to keep. In one, John Willoughby commits suicide. In another, Ann Mitchell persuades him not to leap from City Hall. Inspired by a letter signed "John Doe," Capra filmed a fifth and final ending in which Mitchell talks some sense into Willoughby and then faints into his arms.

3:15 PM -- Executive Suite (1954)
When a business magnate dies, his board of directors fights over who should run the company.
Dir: Robert Wise
Cast: William Holden, June Allyson, Barbara Stanwyck
BW-105 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Nina Foch, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White -- Cedric Gibbons, Edward C. Carfagno, Edwin B. Willis and Emile Kuri, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- George J. Folsey, and Best Costume Design, Black-and-White -- Helen Rose

This was one of the few Hollywood films of the era not to have a musical score. The opening credits are shown to the accompaniment of traffic noises and the tolling of a bell.

5:00 PM -- Walk On The Wild Side (1962)
A penniless farmer tracks the woman he loves to a New Orleans brothel.
Dir: Edward Dmytryk
Cast: Laurence Harvey, Capucine, Jane Fonda
C-114 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song -- Elmer Bernstein (music) and Mack David (lyrics) for the song "Walk on the Wild Side"

The first Hollywood film to openly feature lesbianism. By appearing in the movie, Barbara Stanwyck became the first American actress to portray a lesbian character in a feature film.

7:00 PM -- Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire (1991)
Barbara Stanwyck's multi-faceted career reveals uncanny reflections of her off-screen life.
Dir: Richard Schnickel
Cast: Sally Field,
C-46 mins, TV-G,

Features footage from The Miracle Woman (1931), Shopworn (1932), The Purchase Price (1932), Ladies They Talk About (1933), Baby Face (1933), His Brother's Wife (1936), Banjo on My Knee (1936), Stella Dallas (1937), Golden Boy (1939), The Lady Eve (1941), Meet John Doe (1941), Ball of Fire (1941), Lady of Burlesque (1943), Double Indemnity (1944), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947), Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), The Furies (1950), Quo Vadis (1951), Clash by Night (1952), Blowing Wild (1953), Cattle Queen of Montana (1954), The Violent Men (1955), Forty Guns (1957), The Big Valley (1965) (TV Series), and The Thorn Birds (1983) (TV Mini-Series)

7:53 PM -- 42nd Street Special (1933)
As part of the publicity campaign for 42nd Street (1933), Warner Bros. and General Electric sent a train full of contract players around the country.
Cast: Leo Carrillo, Bette Davis, Claire Dodd
BW-6 mins,

Included in Warner Home Video's 2006 6-disc DVD release "The Busby Berkeley Collection".


8:00 PM -- Casablanca (1942)
An American saloon owner in North Africa is drawn into World War II when his lost love turns up.
Dir: Michael Curtiz
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
BW-103 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Won Oscars for Best Director -- Michael Curtiz, Best Writing, Screenplay -- Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch, and Best Picture

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Humphrey Bogart, Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Claude Rains, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- Arthur Edeson, Best Film Editing -- Owen Marks, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture -- Max Steiner

The Allies invaded Casablanca in real life on 8 November 1942. As the film was not due for release until spring, studio executives suggested it be changed to incorporate the invasion. Warner Bros. chief Jack L. Warner objected, as he thought that an invasion was a subject worth a whole film, not just an epilogue, and that the main story of this film demanded a pre-invasion setting. Eventually he gave in, though, and producer Hal B. Wallis prepared to shoot an epilogue where Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains hear about the invasion. However, before Rains could travel to the studio for this, David O. Selznick (whose studio owned Bergman's contract) previewed the film and urged Warner to release it unaltered and as fast as possible. Warner agreed and the premiered in New York on November 26. It did not play in Los Angeles until its general release the following January, and hence competed against 1943 films for the Oscars.

10:00 PM -- The Third Man (1949)
A man's investigation of a friend's death uncovers corruption in post-World War II Vienna.
Dir: Carol Reed
Cast: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles
BW-104 mins, TV-14, CC,

Won an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- Robert Krasker

Nominated for Oscars for Best Director -- Carol Reed, and Best Film Editing -- Oswald Hafenrichter

The huge ferris wheel that Martins and Lime ride on in the Prater was erected in 1897. Sigmund Freud claimed to have used it to induce seasickness in patients while experimenting with cocaine as a treatment.

12:00 AM -- Days Of Heaven (1978)
Young lovers pose as brother and sister to survive on the American frontier during the early 20th century.
Dir: Terrence Malick
Cast: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard
C-94 mins, TV-MA, CC, Letterbox Format

Won an Oscar for Best Cinematography -- NÚstor Almendros

Nominated for Oscars for Best Costume Design -- Patricia Norris, Best Music, Original Score -- Ennio Morricone, and Best Sound -- John Wilkinson, Robert W. Glass Jr., John T. Reitz and Barry Thomas

After filming for a short time, Terrence Malick threw out the script altogether and filmed for a close to a year allowing the actors to "find the story" for the film as they went along.

1:45 AM -- The Dam Busters (1955)
British flyers try to cripple the Nazis by taking out their dams.
Dir: Michael Anderson
Cast: Michael Redgrave, Ursula Jeans, Charles Carson
BW-125 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Effects, Special Effects -- (Associated British Picture Corporation Ltd.).

This is one of the films that George Lucas used clips from to edit the rough cut of Star Wars (which utilizes many features of the finale of this film quite closely, notably the briefing, the ground staff waiting for news, the troika formation of the attacking aircraft and so on). In Addition, the following exchange from this film is reproduced almost verbatim (with the exception of the characters' names) in "Star Wars": Gibson: "How many guns d'you think there are, Trevor?" Trevor: "I'd say there's about 10 guns - some in the field and some in the tower".

4:00 AM -- The One That Got Away (1958)
A downed German flier escapes from every prison camp he's put into.
Dir: Roy Ward Baker
Cast: Hardy Kruger, Colin Gordon, Michael Goodliffe
BW-111 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

This is the true story of Oberleutnant Franz Von Werra, the only German prisoner of war taken in Britain who escaped from captivity and got back to Germany.

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Reply TCM Schedule for Thursday, December 6 -- What's On Tonight: TCM Guest Programmer: Lee Child (Original post)
Staph Dec 2012 OP
CBHagman Dec 2012 #1

Response to Staph (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:44 PM

1. That's an interesting evening's viewing.

And I too would like to know what Lee Child thinks of that casting decision!

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