Classic Movies

I like old movies. Well, some old movies I like better than others. Right now, the only channel I know of that regularly shows classic (and often not so classic) old movies completely uncut and without commercial interruptions is Turner Classic Movies. And I want to mention a few films being shown on TCM this month.

Why? Because I think these (for the most part) are important films, important art, great art that people really should see.

I should point out that August is TCM’s annual “Summer under the Stars” movie festival. Each day in August, from 6:00AM (ET) to 6:00AM, the channel shows movies featuring a single actor.

Today, August 9, 2012, is Toshiro Mifune day. Which is awesome, because it means TCM is going to show some amazing films which are not often shown on television. You may have heard of “Rashomon”, which is good, but I think not quite as good as a couple of other films I want to mention. One is “Seven Samurai”. This is a brilliant film directed by Akira Kurosawa. No matter how good you might think that anime series “Samurai 7” is, or how cool you think “The Magnificent Seven” is (and it is really good), “Seven Samurai” is better. Yes, it is in Japanese. Yes, it is in black and white. It is also brilliant cinematic storytelling.

The other Toshiro Mifune film I want to mention is “Throne of Blood”. This movie, also directed by Akira Kurosawa, is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” set in feudal Japan. Which is really all I should need to say. If that does not prompt you to want to see it, nothing will.

Tomorrow, August 10, is Lionel Barrymore day. (And yes, he is related to Drew Barrymore.) The film I want to mention here is “Grand Hotel”. Great performances by Greta Garbo, John Barrymore (who is Lionel’s younger brother and grandfather to Drew) and a young and still pretty Joan Crawford. Several separate story lines are woven together in an intriguing way. Overall, a beautiful film.

Moving along to Tuesday, August 14, I want to point out James Cagney in “White Heat”. Cagney as gangster was never better than in this movie. It is a brilliant performance. For something completely different, check out Cagney (much) later that day in “One, Two, Three”.

Wednesday, August 15, is Lillian Gish day. Which is just awesome in itself.

I need to get a move on, so I will list some films and talk about some of them in later posts.

Sunday, August 19, “On the Waterfront” and “North by Northwest”.

Wednesday, August 22, “Mister Roberts”, “The Great Race” and “The Apartment”.

Thursday, August 23, “An American in Paris” and “Singin’ in the Rain”.

Wednesday, August 29, “Gaslight” and “Casablanca”.

To see when these and other films will be on, go to http://www.tcm.com/schedule/.

Seriously, if you have not seen these films, you should. These films are made by people at the top of their craft. As much as I appreciate the skill and craft of some modern movies, these old films are often much better storytelling.

4 Responses to “Classic Movies”

  1. Yes I agree that older movies are so much better at story telling than new movies because new movies rely too much on special effects.

  2. I have enjoyed your blog posts very much. I agree with this very much, not much more enjoyable than a classic movie. The last few days I have watched two oldies but goodies People Will Talk and Charade

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