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Wed Nov 7, 2012, 11:08 PM

TCM Schedule for Friday, November 9 -- What's On Tonight: The Man With No Name

We're celebrating the 99th birthday of Hedy Lamarr (that's Hedy, not Hedley!), born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler on
November 9, 1913, in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria). She wasn't just a pretty face -- she was co-inventor (with composer George Antheil) of the earliest known form of the telecommunications method known as "frequency hopping", which used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or to jam. The method received U.S. patent number 2,292,387 on Aug. 11, 1942, under the name "Secret Communications System". Frequency hopping is now widely used in cellular phones and other modern technology. However neither she nor Antheil profited from this fact, because their patents were allowed to expire decades before the modern wireless boom. She received an award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997 for her pioneering work in spread-spectrum technology.

In the evening, we've got a trio of films where Clint Eastwood plays the Man With No Name, presumably without the empty chair. Enjoy!

6:00 AM -- Lady Of The Tropics (1939)
An American playboy in Saigon has to fight to get his Eurasian wife out of the country.
Dir: Jack Conway
Cast: Robert Taylor, Hedy Lamarr, Joseph Schildkraut
BW-92 mins, TV-G,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- Norbert Brodine

Leslie Fenton filled in as director for some added scenes when Jack Conway became ill.

7:45 AM -- H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941)
A stuffy businessman livens things up by having a fling.
Dir: King Vidor
Cast: Hedy Lamarr, Robert Young, Ruth Hussey
BW-120 mins, TV-PG,

Favorite film of Hedy Lamarr.

9:45 AM -- Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
Three showgirls in the Ziegfeld Follies face romantic trials on their way to the top.
Dir: Robert Z. Leonard
Cast: James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr
BW-133 mins, TV-G, CC,

This was James Stewart's last performance before serving military service in World War II. He would only come back 5 years later in the classic It's a Wonderful Life.

12:00 PM -- Crossroads (1942)
A French diplomat who's recovered from amnesia is blackmailed over crimes he can't remember.
Dir: Jack Conway
Cast: William Powell, Hedy Lamarr, Claire Trevor
BW-83 mins, TV-G, CC,

Since John H. Kafka was in Hollywood in the 1940s and even wrote some MGM films, it is not known if his onscreen credit for original story is based on his direct contribution to this film, or was due solely to his work on the original 1938 French version.

1:30 PM -- The Conspirators (1944)
A guerilla leader falls in love with a mysterious woman in World War II Lisbon.
Dir: Jean Negulesco
Cast: Hedy Lamarr, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet
BW-101 mins, TV-PG, CC,

A song, "Orchard Moon" with music by Max Steiner and lyrics by Albert Stillman was published in connection with the picture.

3:15 PM -- Experiment Perilous (1944)
A small-town doctor tries to help a beautiful woman with a deranged husband.
Dir: Jacques Tourneur
Cast: Hedy Lamarr, George Brent, Paul Lukas
BW-91 mins, TV-G,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Black-and-White -- Albert S. D'Agostino, Jack Okey, Darrell Silvera and Claude E. Carpenter

The title is a common variation of a line from Hippocrates, the Greek Father of Medicine: "Life is short, art is long, decision difficult, and experiment perilous." The line is recited by Nick Bederaux in the film.

5:00 PM -- A Lady Without Passport (1950)
A secret service agent falls in love with an illegal immigrant.
Dir: Joseph H. Lewis
Cast: Hedy Lamarr, John Hodiak, James Craig
BW-74 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Feature film debut of Steven Hill. I remember him best as D.A. Adam Schiff, in 230 episodes of the original Law & Order, from 1990 to 2000.

6:30 PM -- The Swordsman (1947)
A couple tries a hand at romance while their respective families are busy feuding.
Dir: Joseph H. Lewis
Cast: Larry Parks, Ellen Drew, George Macready
C-82 mins, TV-PG,

Larry Parks' big role was as Al Jolson, in both The Jolson Story (1946) and Jolson Sings Again (1949). Within a few years, however, his bright new world crumbled courtesy of the House Un-American Activities Committee after the actor admitted under pressure that he was once affiliated with the Communist Party. Although he unwillingly testified in 1951, he was still (unofficially) blacklisted. Never-say-die Larry managed to continue his career in years to come - both here and abroad, on stage and in nightclubs - alongside steadfast wife Betty Garrett. His film career, however, literally came to a standstill and would never be the same again.


8:00 PM -- A Fistful Of Dollars (1964)
A mysterious stranger plays dueling families against each other in a Mexican border town.
Dir: Sergio Leone
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, Gian Maria Volontè
C-100 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format

Clint Eastwood helped in creating his character's distinctive visual style. He bought the black jeans from a sport shop on Hollywood Boulevard, the hat came from a Santa Monica wardrobe firm and the trademark black cigars came from a Beverly Hills store. Eastwood himself cut the cigars into three pieces to make them shorter. Eastwood himself is a non-smoker.

9:45 PM -- For a Few Dollars More (1965)
Two bounty hunters join forces to bring an outlaw to justice.
Dir: Sergio Leone
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè
BW-132 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format

Although Clint Eastwood's poncho was never washed during the production of the "Dollar" trilogy, it was mended. In the final scene of A Fistful of Dollars, the poncho is pierced by seven bullets from Ramon's Winchester. In the sequel, Eastwood wears the same poncho back-to-front and the mending of the bullet holes is clearly visible in several scenes. The mended area, originally on the left breast, is now worn over the right shoulder blade.

12:00 AM -- The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966)
Three men seek hidden loot during the Civil War.
Dir: Sergio Leone
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
C-179 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format

In the theatrical trailer, Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) is "The Ugly" and Tuco (Eli Wallach) "The Bad," which is the reverse of their designations in the actual film. This is because the Italian title translated into English is actually The Good, the Ugly, the Bad, not The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and the Italian trailer had "The Ugly" and "The Bad" in that order. When the trailer was transferred to English, The Ugly and The Bad were not reversed to coincide with the altered title, causing the incorrect designations.

3:15 AM -- Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)
A skeptical college professor discovers that his wife has been practicing magic for years.
Dir: Sidney Hayers
Cast: Janet Blair, Peter Wyngarde, Margaret Johnston
BW-89 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format

When Norman hides in the classroom "I Do Not Believe" is written on the chalk board with other key words related to witchcraft. Something off screen appears to him and he backs up to the chalkboard in fear. After the PA system is silenced, he walks back to the door. The blackboard has been smudged, creatively revealing the phrase "I Do...Believe".

5:15 AM -- Booked For Safekeeping (1960)
In this short documentary, police officers are trained in the assistance and management of mentally ill and confused persons.
Dir: George C. Stoney
Narrator: James Daly
BW-32 mins, TV-14,

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