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TCM Schedule for Friday, January 22 -- SAG Life Achievement Award Honoree

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Staph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-20-10 08:22 AM
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TCM Schedule for Friday, January 22 -- SAG Life Achievement Award Honoree
The theme for the daytime films today is weddings, with some excellent films, including Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling in Royal Wedding (1951), Spencer Tracy in the best and originial version of Father of the Bride (1950), and 27 year old Julie Harris as a 12 year old bridesmaid in The Member of the Wedding (1952).

In primetime, we're celebrating the work of the winners of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. Though SAG only began handing out SAG Actor awards in 1995, they have awarded Life Achievement Awards since 1962 (but not in 1964 or 1981).

Beginning in 1962, recipients of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Awards include Eddie Cantor, Stan Laurel, Bob Hope, Barbara Stanwyck, William Gargan, James Stewart, Edward G. Robinson, Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Frank Sinatra, Martha Raye, Walter Pidgeon, Rosalind Russell, Pearl Bailey, James Cagney, Edgar Bergen, Katharine Hepburn, Leon Ames, Danny Kaye, Ralph Bellamy, Iggie Wolfington, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Nanette Fabray, Red Skelton, Gene Kelly, Jack Lemmon, Brock Peters, Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Ricardo Montalban, George Burns, Robert Redford, Angela Lansbury, Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Sidney Poitier, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Edward Asner, Clint Eastwood, Karl Malden. James Garner, Shirley Temple Black, Julie Andrews, Charles Durning, and James Earl Jones. This year's recipient is Betty White.


6:15am -- Brides Are Like That (1936)
A young man uses flattery to beat out a romantic rival.
Cast: Ross Alexander, Anita Louise, Joseph Cawthorn, Kathleen Lockhart
Dir: William McGann
BW-67 mins, TV-G

Based on the 1925 play Applesauce by Barry Connors.

7:30am -- Lady For A Day (1933)
A gangster helps an old apple-vendor pose as a society woman to fool her visiting daughter.
Cast: Warren William, May Robson, Guy Kibbee, Glenda Farrell
Dir: Frank Capra
BW-96 mins, TV-G

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- May Robson, Best Director -- Frank Capra, Best Writing, Adaptation -- Robert Riskin, and Best Picture

When Frank Capra was nominated for his first Best Director Oscar in 1933 (for Lady for a Day (1933)), presenter Will Rogers merely opened the envelope and said "Come and get it, Frank!" Already halfway to the stage, Capra realized that Rogers wasn't referring to him, but to Frank Lloyd, who was getting the Oscar for Cavalcade (1933).

9:00am -- Royal Wedding (1951)
A brother-and-sister musical team find romance when they tour to London for Elizabeth II's wedding.
Cast: Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Sarah Churchill
Dir: Stanley Donen
C-93 mins, TV-G

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song -- Burton Lane (music) and Alan Jay Lerner (lyrics) for the song "Too Late Now"

The story was loosely based on the real-life partnership of Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele Astaire. The ship's rocking during "Open Your Eyes" was based on the Astaires' own dancing experience on a voyage to London in 1923. A boat-rocking device was used to create the film effect.

10:45am -- Father Of The Bride (1950)
A doting father faces mountains of bills and endless trials when his daughter marries.
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor
Dir: Vincente Minnelli
BW-93 mins, TV-G

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Spencer Tracy, Best Writing, Screenplay -- Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, and Best Picture

The premiere of this film took place two days after Elizabeth Taylor's real-life marriage to "Nicky" Conrad Hilton Jr.. The publicity surrounding the event is credited with helping to make the film so successful. MGM gave Elizabeth Taylor a wedding gift of a one-off wedding dress designed by Edith Head (a move also designed to promote the film).

12:30pm -- The Catered Affair (1956)
A working-class mother fights to give her daughter a big wedding whether the girl wants it or not.
Cast: Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald
Dir: Richard Brooks
BW-94 mins, TV-G

The television play A Catered Affair, written by Paddy Chayefsky, was first shown on television as part of the Philco Television Playhouse. It was broadcast on May 22, 1955. The cast included Pat Henning, Thelma Ritter, and J. Pat O'Malley. The play has been adapted to a stage musical called A Catered Affair, with book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by John Bucchino. The Broadway cast included Harvey Fierstein, Faith Prince, Leslie Kritzer and Tom Wopat.

2:15pm -- The Bride Wore Red (1937)
A chorus girl crashes an exclusive Swiss resort to snare a rich husband.
Cast: Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Robert Young, Billie Burke
Dir: Dorothy Arzner
BW-103 mins, TV-G

Originally, in 1937, Dorothy Arzner had been assigned by MGM producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1937 to direct Luise Rainer in "The Girl from Trieste," an unperformed Ferenc Molnr play about a prostitute trying to reform herself who discovers the hypocrisies of the respectable class which she aspires to. After the death of Irving Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer was put in charge of MGM. Mayer disliked the perceived exploitation of the female lead's character, and insisted that Molnr's play be rewritten so that it was no longer about a prostitute, but instead a slightly dark Cinderella story with a happy ending. Retitled by Mankiewicz as The Bride Wore Red (1937), Rainer withdrew and was replaced by Joan Crawford.

4:15pm -- The Member of the Wedding (1952)
When her brother marries, a 12-year-old girl faces the awkward pains of adolescence.
Cast: Ethel Waters, Julie Harris, Brandon de Wilde, Arthur Franz
Dir: Fred Zinnemann
BW-89 mins, TV-G

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Julie Harris

Julie Harris, Ethel Waters, and Brandon De Wilde all repeated their roles from the original Broadway production.

6:00pm -- How to Save a Marriage And Ruin Your Life (1968)
A womanizer sets out to end a friend's extra-marital affair but romances the wrong woman.
Cast: Dean Martin, Stella Stevens, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson
Dir: Fielder Cook
BW-102 mins, TV-G

The "other woman" that Eli Wallach is having the affair with is his real-life wife Anne Jackson.


8:00pm -- Tit For Tat (1935)
A Laurel and Hardy sequel to Them Thar Hills - they open an electrical repair shop and discover that their neighbor/grocer are the same couple they had a run in with in Them Thar Hills.
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch.
Dir: Charles Rogers.
BW-19 mins, TV-G

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject, Comedy -- Hal Roach

This was the only Laurel and Hardy sequel: a follow-up to Them Thar Hills (1934).

8:30pm -- The Out-of-Towners (1969)
A man's New York job interview turns into a non-stop nightmare.
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Sandy Dennis, Milt Kamen, Sandy Baron
Dir: Arthur Hiller
C-97 mins, TV-14

Unlike many Neil Simon efforts, which were written as plays and then adapted into a film, Simon wrote this directly for the screen when he realized that a play would have difficulty portraying the many different locations involved.

10:15pm -- A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
A black woman uses her late husband's life insurance to build a better world for her children.
Cast: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands
Dir: Daniel Petrie
BW-128 mins, TV-PG

The title comes from the Langston Hughes poem, "Harlem (What Happens To A Dream Deferred?)".

12:30am -- Last Train From Gun Hill (1959)
A Western Marshall discovers the man who raped and murdered his wife is his best friend's son.
Cast: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones, Earl Holliman
Dir: John Sturges
BW-94 mins, TV-PG

Also known as One Angry Day, and as Showdown At Gun Hill.

2:15am -- Superstition (1985)
A witch executed in 1692 returns to the present for revenge.
Cast: Casey King, Bennett Liss, John Alderman, Robert Symonds
Dir: James W. Roberson
C-85 mins, TV-MA

The ornate iron cross used to keep the spirit of the witch in the pond is a prop that was also used in The Evil (1978) which was also produced by Ed Carlin.

3:45am -- The Blood On Satan's Claw (1970)
When farmers unearth a strange skeleton, their children convert to Satanism.
Cast: Avice Landone, Howard Goorney, James Hayter, Simon Williams
Dir: Piers Haggard
BW-96 mins, TV-MA

Actor Simon Williams said while shooting the scene where he's attacked by the furry claw, "they had a little insert shot of my hand reaching for the dagger and I was doing a lot of business of inching my fingers forward and twitching them. Director Piers Haggard said, 'Cut! Cut! Cut! Simon, don't overact with your fingers."

5:30am -- TCM Presents Elvis Mitchell Under the Influence: Quentin Tarantino (2008)
Celebrities reveal the classic movies that influenced their lives in interviews with acclaimed film critic/interviewer Elvis Mitchell.
C-28 mins, TV-PG

Quentin Tarantino on directing the "ER" (1994) episode "Motherhood": "When I was directing ER, I didn't want to stand out. Everyone else is wearing all that crap. I wanted to fit in. I didn't want to be the odd man out. I wanted to be inside, not on the outside. When I was directing the ER thing, the emergency room guys wore the green scrubs. I wore those for a few days. Then, I wore the blue scrubs, which were the surgeons,' for a few days. When I wore the nurse's pink scrubs, though, that's when I became a hero on the set. The nurses didn't think I was going to throw in with them. I ended the episode, the last two days, wearing the nurses' scrubs. When I walked on the set all the nurses applauded me. They were like, 'Oh my God, he's so cool!'"

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Staph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-20-10 08:24 AM
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1. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
Motion pictures that spring from successful plays are unique in that they already have a lot of mileage on them before the cameras even start to roll. If key members of the cast also played opposite each other before live audiences, they havent just been rehearsing the material, theyve been actively getting under the skin of their characters. The scripts content and the characters motivations have been scrutinized in a manner that simply isnt possible while making a conventionally produced film.

Daniel Petries A Raisin in the Sun (1961), which is based on Lorraine Hansberrys groundbreaking play about a proud African-American family, is a case in point. The very intent of the piece was a matter of great debate while it was being performed on Broadway, and its two leads, Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil, were regularly at each others throats over which approach would work best. The strained mother-son relationship that audiences finally saw on the big screen was the result of considerable tension during the initial phase of the plays successful run. The real-life stand- off between Poitier and McNeil actually grew so heated that, years later, Poitier wrote that he believed the actress hated him. Nevertheless, the two managed to convey a devastating amount of love for each other, both on stage and in Petries acclaimed film version.

Poitier plays Walter Lee Younger, a young black man who stumbles upon an opportunity to improve his standing in a society thats determined to hold him back because of the color of his skin. Walters strong, dignified mother, Lena (McNeil) has received a $10,000 insurance check after the accidental death of her husband. Intent on taking care of her family in the best way she can, Lena decides to buy a new home in a better neighborhood. But Walter, who has a wife (Ruby Dee) and young son, thinks the money would be best spent on opening a liquor store. Walters sister, Beneatha (Diana Sands), on the other hand, hopes that the money will be used to help her pay for medical school. This quandary will open up a painful dialogue among the Younger family, which will eventually lead to an unexpected, hard-won form of redemption.

In his recent Oprah Winfrey endorsed autobiography, The Measure of a Man, Poitier discusses his take on acting in general, and Walter Lee Younger in particular. Even after all these years, he seems utterly convinced that he was right when he insisted that A Raisin in the Sun should focus on Walters plight, rather than Lenas. This didnt sit well with McNeil...especially since she was supported in her belief by Hansberry, the plays author (Hansberry also adapted her work for the screen).

Claudia McNeil, a fine performer, was in complete dominance over most of the other members of the cast, he writes. Naturally enough, she perceived the play as being best when it unfolded from the mothers point of view. I perceived the play as being best when it unfolded from the sons point of view, however, and I argued that position. In fact, we argued constantly.

In my opinion, he says, it was the son who carried the theatrical obligation as the force between the audience and the play. The eyes of those watching were on the son to see if the tragedy would destroy him, would blow him apart beyond recovery. And it was also my opinion that there was no such feeling between the audience and the mother. The audience witnessed the sadness that was visited on her. They saw that her family was in disarray, but also saw her as a force beyond that kind of vulnerability. If they were to vote, they would say, Oh, but shes going to be okay.

By the time Petrie made A Raisin in the Sun, it would seem that Poitier either won the argument by virtue of his dynamic stage interpretation, or because of his standing as one of the more prominent African-American actors in motion pictures. Certainly, the movies emotional focus leans a great deal more toward Walter Lee Youngers plight than anything his mother experiences. McNeils performance is remarkable in its sensitivity; its both big-spirited and heart-breaking. But you leave the film with Poitiers desperate gaze seared into your memory.

Poitier seems to feel that this sort of turmoil is something you have to deal with when youre fully committed to your craft. You simply cant fake your way through good work, Poitier writes. But even the purest devotion to an art or craft doesnt take place in a vacuum. We work with others, with people often very close to our hearts, so convictions that are firmly held can cost a pretty penny indeed.

Producer: David Susskind, Philip Rose
Director: Daniel Petrie
Screenplay: Lorraine Hansberry (based on her play)
Cinematography: Charles Lawton, Jr.
Editing: William A. Lyon, Paul Weatherwax
Music: Laurence Rosenthal
Art Design: Carl Anderson
Set Design: Louis Diage
Makeup: Ben Lane
Principal Cast: Sidney Poitier (Walter Lee Younger), Claudia McNeil (Lena Younger), Ruby Dee (Ruth Younger), Diana Sands (Beneatha Younger), Ivan Dixon (Asagai), John Fiedler (Mark Lindner), Louis Gossett (George Murchison), Stephen Perry (Travis Younger), Joel Fluellen (Bobo), Roy Glenn (Willie Harris).
BW-128m. Letterboxed.

by Paul Tatara

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