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TCM Schedule for Thursday, September 29 -- TCM Spotlight -- 50 Years of Merchant Ivory

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Staph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-11 08:39 PM
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TCM Schedule for Thursday, September 29 -- TCM Spotlight -- 50 Years of Merchant Ivory
It's the last night of the films of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, but we seem to be down to the dregs, mostly documentaries. Of course, the dregs of Merchant and Ivory are pretty darn good! Enjoy!

7:00 AM -- Will Rogers Roaming the Emerald Isle (1927)
Will Rogers visits people and places in Ireland.
Dir: Carl Stearns Clancy
Cast: Will Rogers, Cal Tinney
11 min

Originally a silent film, but narrated by Tinney in the 1934 re-issue.

7:15 AM -- One Third of a Nation (1939)
After rescuing a boy from a tenement fire, a wealthy young man learns he owns the run-down building.
Dir: Dudley Murphy
Cast: Sylvia Sidney, Leif Erikson, Myron McCormick.
76 min

This film marks the first time Sidney Lumet worked on a film, and only one (of two) of his acting appearances. He wouldn't appear in a feature-film until the 2004 remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" in an unrecognizable cameo appearance.

8:36 AM -- One Reel Wonder: Ireland "The Emerald Isle" (1934)
In this "Traveltalk," we see the people, land, and culture of rural Ireland.
Dir: Ruth Fitzpatrick
C-8 min

The soundtrack includes the traditional Irish tunes Danny Boy and When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.

8:45 AM -- Will Rogers in Dublin (1927)
Dir: Carl Stearns Clancy
Cast: Will Rogers
11 min

In 1922, Rogers' weekly articles for the New York Times became so popular that they appeared in more than 500 U.S. newspapers daily. The articles dished out down-to-earth, biting criticism of politics, politicians, big business and the imbalance of the wealthy and the poor. In all, Rogers wrote more than 2,800 daily articles up until his death. H.L. Mencken labeled him "the most dangerous man alive" because of the power his comments had on an adoring public. We need another Will Rogers!

9:00 AM -- The Man From Planet X (1951)
A space visitor uses hypnotic powers to enslave a Scottish island.
Dir: Edgar G. Ulmer
Cast: Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond.
71 min, TV-PG, CC

To stretch his meager budget, director Edgar G. Ulmer was able to use sets from the big-budget epic Joan of Arc.

10:15 AM -- Towed in a Hole (1932)
Comic legends Laurel and Hardy decide to go into the fishing business for themselves. Trouble ensues when they must fix up dilapidated boat bought from a junk yard.
Dir: George Marshall
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
21 min, TV-G, CC

Other than a very brief appearance by Billy Gilbert, Laurel and Hardy are the only characters in the film.

10:45 AM -- Heat Lightning (1934)
A lady gas station attendant gets mixed up with escaped murderers.
Dir: Mervyn LeRoy
Cast: Aline MacMahon, Ann Dvorak, Preston Foster.
64 min, TV-G

Condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency just before they changed their name to the National Legion of Decency in April, 1934.

12:00 PM -- Taxi! (1932)
A feisty independent cab driver fights off a crooked syndicate.
Dir: Roy Del Ruth
Cast: James Cagney, Loretta Young, George E. Stone.
69 min, TV-PG, CC

For the scene where Matt Nolan hauls his wife Sue across the room by her hair and throws her out the door, James Cagney taught Loretta Young an old stage trick. When Cagney grabbed her hair, Young reached up and grabbed Cagney's wrist with both hands. As Cagney pulled her screaming across the room, Young was actually hanging from Cagney's wrist. This trick, and Young's performance, made the gag look quite real, but prevented Cagney from pulling her hair out.

1:15 PM -- The Killers (1946)
An insurance investigator uncovers a string of crimes when he tries to find a murdered boxer's beneficiary.
Dir: Robert Siodmak
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien.
102 min, TV-14, CC

Nominated for Oscars for Best Director -- Robert Siodmak, Best Film Editing -- Arthur Hilton, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture -- Mikls Rzsa, and Best Writing, Screenplay -- Anthony Veiller

The musical theme by Mikls Rzsa, heard whenever the killers appear, was later used in expanded form as the theme music for the TV series Dragnet and its revival Dragnet 1967.

3:00 PM -- Jammin' The Blues (1944)
In this short, prominent jazz musicans of the 1940s get together for a rare filming of a jam session.
C-11 min

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Subject, One-reel -- Gordon Hollingshead

Guitarist Barney Kessel is the only white performer in this film. He was seated in the shadows to shade his skin, and for close-ups, his hands were stained with berry juice.

3:15 PM -- Naked City (1948)
A step-by-step look at a murder investigation on the streets of New York.
Dir: Jules Dassin
Cast: Barry Fitzgerald, Howard Duff, Dorothy Hart.
96 min, TV-14, CC

Won Oscars for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- William H. Daniels, and Best Film Editing -- Paul Weatherwax

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story -- Malvin Wald

Film debut of James Gregory, Nehemiah Persoff, and John Randolph.

5:00 PM -- Street Scene (1931)
A husband's violent reaction becomes the talk of the neighborhood when he catches his cheating wife in the act.
Dir: King Vidor
Cast: Sylvia Sidney, William Collier Jr., Estelle Taylor.
79 min, TV-14

The play opened in New York City, New York, USA, on 10 January 1929 and had 601 performances. Eight performers in the movie originated their roles in the play: T.H. Manning, Beulah Bondi, Conway Washburne, John Qualen, Matt McHugh, Ann Kostant, Eleanor Wesselhoeft and George Humbert. The play won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929 for best drama.

6:20 PM -- One Reel Wonder: Governor C.C. Young Hails Greater Talkie Season (1928)
Ronald Colman introduces the governor of California, who urges moviegoers to attend the cleaner, wholesome talkie films.
Cast: Clement C. Young, Ronald Colman
C-3 min

Three minute short film was not only an early talkie but an early color picture as well.

6:30 PM -- American Madness (1932)
A banker fights to keep his independence and protect his customers.
Dir: Frank R. Capra
Cast: Walter Huston, Pat O'Brien, Kay Johnson.
77 min, TV-G, CC

Walter Huston (on loan from MGM) worked 4 weeks and 6 days on this production. Louis B. Mayer exercised a provision in his 1931 contract extending it for his participation in this film.


8:00 PM -- Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures (1980)
Collectors converge on a remote palace housing a long unseen art collection.
Dir: James Ivory
Cast: Peggy Ashcroft, Victor Banerjee, Larry Pine.
C-83 min, TV-PG, CC

Filmed in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.

9:30 PM -- The Sword and the Flute (1959)
Cameras trace the development of Indian miniature painting.
Dir: James Ivory
C-24 min, TV-PG, CC

Narrated by Saeed Jaffrey.

10:00 PM -- Adventures of a Brown Man in Search of Civilization (1972)
Scholar Nirad C. Chaudhuri shares his views on culture and society.
Dir: James Ivory
Cast: Nirad Chaudhuri
C-52 min, TV-PG

Chaudhuri's masterpiece, The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, published in 1951, put him on the short list of great Anglo-Indian writers. He courted controversy in the newly independent India due to the dedication of the book, which ran thus:
To the memory of the British Empire in India,
Which conferred subjecthood upon us,
But withheld citizenship.
To which yet every one of us threw out the challenge:
"Civis Britannicus sum"
Because all that was good and living within us
Was made, shaped and quickened
By the same British rule."

11:00 PM -- Courtesans of Bombay (1983)
Cameras visit a Bombay compound noted for its female musicians and prostitutes.
Dir: Ismail Merchant
Cast: Saeed Jaffrey, Zohra Segal, Kareem Samar.
C-74 min, TV-PG, CC

Filmed in the Pavan Pool, Mumbai, India.

12:30 AM -- Autobiography of a Princess (1975)
An Indian princess in London visits her father's former tutor.
Dir: James Ivory
Cast: James Mason, Madhur Jaffrey, Keith Varnier.
C-58 min, TV-PG, CC

Written, as many of the Merchant-Ivory films were, by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

1:45 AM -- Jane Austen in Manhattan (1980)
Two teachers compete for stage rights to a long lost play by Jane Austen.
Dir: James Ivory
Cast: Anne Baxter, Robert Powell, Michael Wager.
C-111 min, TV-PG

Sean Young's film debut.

3:45 AM -- In Custody (1994)
A teacher tries to get past a great poet's feuding wives to interview the man.
Dir: Ismail Merchant
Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi.
C-125 min, TV-PG

Based on the novel by Anita Desai. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1984.

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