Showing posts with label Turner Classic Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turner Classic Movies. Show all posts

Thursday, July 17, 2014

2014 TCM Summer Under the Stars

August is my favorite month of the year. Not only is it still summer here, often times less hot and humid than July, but it’s also that special time when TCM airs their best programming: Summer Under the Stars. They clear their schedule to do day-long tributes to 31 different classic movie stars while TCM fans rejoice! It’s a wonderful way to find a new actor or actress to enjoy, to relish the familiar favorites of a beloved star and to delve into a star’s career. I’m hardly ever disappointed with TCM’s line-ups for Summer Under the Stars and I even will take vacation time during certain parts of August so I can be at home to watch some of the programming!

Here’s what TCM has to say about this year’s Summer Under the Stars

“Turner Classic Movies' (TCM) enormously popular Summer Under the Stars is coming back for its 12th year as the network dedicates each day in August to saluting a different film star. This year, 14 stars will receive their first Summer Under the Stars salutes, including such favorites as Paul Muni (Aug. 6), William Powell (Aug. 9), Faye Dunaway (Aug. 15) and Betty Grable (Aug. 30). They will join such returning favorites as Jane Fonda (Aug. 1), Judy Garland (Aug. 4), Barbara Stanwyck (Aug. 5), James Stewart (Aug. 7), Charles Chaplin (Aug. 14), Claudette Colbert (Aug. 18), Ernest Borgnine (Aug. 23) and Alan Ladd (Aug. 31). TCM's 2014 edition of Summer Under the Stars will include 20 TCM premieres, including the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Jane Fonda on Aug. 1 and How Chaplin Became the Tramp (2014), a new documentary in honor of the 100th anniversary of the "Little Tramp" on film, on Aug. 14. Summer Under the Stars not only includes some of the best-known films by each star, but also some stellar performances from movies that haven’t been easily accessible in recent times, have enjoyed a change in critical evaluation since their original release, or might simply benefit from closer viewing.

Additional newcomers on the Summer Under the Stars lineup include Europe’s eternal femme fatale Jeanne Moreau (Aug. 8); Hitchcock’s rugged discovery in Lifeboat (1944), John Hodiak (Aug. 17); the woman who kept Bogart busy trying to knock off various movie wives, sultry Alexis Smith (Aug. 12); the distinguished Herbert Marshall (Aug. 16); perpetual scene stealer Thelma Ritter (Aug. 20); the fast-talking, scandal-plagued Lee Tracy (Aug. 21); Oscar®-winning character actor Edmond O’Brien (Aug. 27); the brilliant, underappreciated Gladys George (Aug. 24); and actor, crooner, film noir tough guy, director, producer, movie exec Dick Powell (Aug. 25).

"There’s so much great stuff going on in August here on TCM, this is not a good time to even consider being anywhere but within the immediate vicinity of the Turner Classic Movies 'on' button," Osborne wrote in this month's issue of the TCM Now Playing guide."

This year’s line-up includes:
August 1 – Jane Fonda #FondaTCM

August 2 – David Niven #NivenTCM

August 3 – Walter Pidgeon #PidgeonTCM
August 4 – Judy Garland #GarlandTCM
August 5 – Barbara Stanwyck #StanwyckTCM
August 6 – Paul Muni #MuniTCM
August 7 – James Stewart #StewartTCM
August 8 – Jeanne Moreau #MoreauTCM

August 9 – William Powell #WPowellTCM

August 10 – Carole Lombard #LombardTCM
August 11 – Marlon Brando #BrandoTCM
August 12 – Alexis Smith #SmithTCM
August 13 – Cary Grant #GrantTCM
August 14 – Charlie Chaplin #ChaplinTCM
August 15 – Faye Dunaway #DunawayTCM 
August 16 – Herbert Marshall #MarshallTCM
August 17 – John Hodiak #HodiakTCM
August 18 – Claudette Colbert #ColbertTCM
August 19 – Paul Newman #NewmanTCM
August 20 – Thelma Ritter #RitterTCM
August 21 – Lee Tracy #TracyTCM
August 22 – Audrey Hepburn #HepburnTCM
August 23 – Ernest Borgnine #BorgnineTCM
August 24 – Gladys George #GeorgeTCM
August 25 – Dick Powell #DPowellTCM
August 26 – Sophia Loren #LorenTCM
August 27 – Edmond O’Brien #ObrienTCM
August 28 – Arlene Dahl #DahlTCM
August 29 – Joseph Cotten #CottenTCM
August 30 – Betty Grable #GrableTCM
August 31 – Alan Ladd #LaddTCM

I’m particularly interested in watching the days dedicated to Jane Fonda, David Niven, Walter Pidgeon, William Powell, Alexis Smith, Herbert Marshall, Thelma Ritter, Ernest Borgnine and Edmond O’Brien. My only frustration with Summer Under the Stars is not being able to take the whole month off and not having a DVR! What’s really good about this year is the Watch TCM app. I haven’t used it as much as I’d like but I think it’ll come in handy in August when I miss a few key films during Summer Under the Stars.

You can find the full schedule as a PDF download here. Make sure to take a look at the dedicated site for Summer Under the Stars I'm hoping they'll update that page soon because there isn't much on it right now.

Here are some films from the schedule that I personally recommend:

Period of Adjustment (1962) with Jane Fonda – A very funny and very silly film. Stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with plenty of laughs.
Bachelor Mother (1939) with David Niven – It’s my favorite film of all-time. No other film has filled me with more joy than this one and my only hope for other people who see it is that it makes them smile.
How Green Was My Valley (1941) with Walter Pidgeon – I had a wonderful experience watching this at the last TCM Classic Film Festival. It’s an epic family saga that is a must-see, if anything to find out why it got the Oscar for Best Picture the same year Citizen Kane came out.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) with Judy Garland – A tender-hearted and fun family musical.
Jewel Robbery (1932) with William Powell – It’s a treasured favorite of Pre-Code enthusiasts like myself.
Double Wedding (1937) with William Powell – It is such a funny film and I consider it the best of the Powell-Loy pairings. Lots of Art Deco and lots of hilarious antics.
Three Days of the Condor (1975) with Faye Dunaway – Set aside your no-1970s films rule and give this one a shot. Terrific performances by Dunaway, Robert Redford and Max von Sydow.
The Secret Garden (1949) with Herbert Marshall – Excellent adaptation of the classic children’s novel. The technicolor sequences are dazzling.
Harper (1966) with Paul Newman – A fun film to watch if you like your detectives rogue and damaged.
Marty (1955) with Ernest Borgnine – If you don’t fall in love with Borgnine after watching this film there is something wrong with you!
He Ran All the Way (1951) with Gladys George – Clear your schedule for this one. It’s a fine film, John Garfield’s last, great suspense and cinematography and not available on DVD.
D.O.A. (1950) with Edmond O’Brien – Fantastic and suspenseful noir. It’s what got me hooked on O’Brien who is now one of my favorite actors!
I’ll Be Seeing You (1944) with Joseph Cotten – Charming and melancholy. Wonderful performances by Cotten and Ginger Rogers.

Here are just some of the films I’d love to watch during Summer Under the Stars:

Stella Dallas (1937) with Barbara Stanwyck
The Good Earth (1937) with Paul Muni
The 400 Blows (1959) with Jeanne Moreau
The Wild One (1953) with Marlon Brando
Hot Saturday (1932) with Cary Grant
Riptide (1934) with Herbert Marshall – I haven’t seen this one in a long time!
Cold Hand Luke (1967) with Paul Newman
Perfect Strangers (1950) with Thelma Ritter
The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932) with Lee Tracy
The Roarting Twenties (1939) with Gladys George
Quo Vadis (951) with Sophia Loren
The Bigamist (1953) with Edmond O’Brien
The Bride Goes Wild (1948) with Arlene Dahl
Gaslight (1944) with Joseph Cotten
Down Argentine Way (1940) with Betty Grable
The Blue Dahlia (1946) with Alan Ladd

Which stars are you looking forward to watching during Summer Under the Stars?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Catching Up with Quelle (13)

Happy Sunday! How are all of you? I am finally getting around to another edition of Catching Up with Quelle.

TCM Classic Film Festival - It looks almost certain that Carlos and I will be attending the TCM Classic Film Festival in April. We have our tickets and our hotel booked. All we need is to buy plane tickets. There is still a chance we won't be able to go but it looks more certain that we will than it did before. I am excited to go, to see Hollywood, to meet a lot of classic film fans and of course to watch some great movies!

New Robert Mitchum iPhone Case - Remember the Robert Mitchum iPhone case I had custom made in September? Well it broke. I have a tendency to drop my iPhone a lot. So I got a new one and am determined to not abuse my iPhone as much so I can keep this case a lot longer. Otherwise this will be an expensive new hobby of mine!

I like this iPhone case better than the last one. It's a great colorful of image of Robert Mitchum's 1953 visit to Hawaii. If you want to create your own custom iPhone case, I recommend using CafePress. You can get one made for $25 but I suggest you wait for a sale or a good coupon code. I ended up getting a few dollars knocked off the price with a custom iPhone case sale.

Sidney Poitier's letter to President Roosevelt - I love the blog Letters of Note which shares real letters from notable figures. They include a scan of the real letter along with the text typed out for those who may not be able to read the handwriting. I have read some of the most fascinating and endearing letters on that blog. Recently they posted a letter from a young Sidney Poitier to President Roosevelt. Poitier wrote the letter before he became a famous actor and when he was poor living in the U.S. and hoping to get a loan from President Roosevelt so he could go back to his family in Nissau. It's a very intriguing letter given the time period and also how Poitier became such a successful actor in the U.S. afterwards. You can find it here:

Classic Film Books on Goodreads - Do you love books on classic films as much as I do? Please come join me on Goodreads and add to my Classic Film Books list and vote for your favorites. I'm thinking of starting a book club but am not sure if there is enough interest. So I thought I'd start off with a list to see how it goes:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

5 films you can watch for free on

Did you know that TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has 5 full-length feature films from the 1930s available to watch for free on their website? I have listed the films below and have included the video. The links are to the IMDB pages and the Media Room - TCM page for each movie.

This is nothing new. These films have been available for years in the Media Room of the TCM website but I am not sure how many people are aware of them. So I thought I'd post them here. They are free and available to watch at anytime. I'm not sure about country restriction but these should be available for anyone in the U.S. at least.

I highly recommend Double Harness (1933). I have seen that film a couple times and it's a good pre-code starring William Powell and Ann Harding. Also, Topper (1937) is just a delight and I enjoyed Living on Love (1937) too.

I hope TCM will consider posting a few more of these in the future!

Update: I tried to embed all the movies on this page but it wasn't working. So I left up just one of them: Double Harness.

Monday, December 13, 2010

At what point do you start to cry during TCM Remembers?

I usually start to bawl towards the end. I try to keep a brave face and make it through the whole thing without a tear but it's usually the big name towards the end, the one they dwell on for a little more time that gets to me. This year it was a bit different. As soon as they showed Dennis Hopper towards the beginning of the tribute, the waterworks started. When I saw Tony Curtis, Patricia Neal, and Leslie Nielsen, I was all out sobbing. This year has been a difficult year. In fact, ever year since 2003 has been especially difficult for me. The more I fall in love with classic films the harder it is to let go of those stars who are reaching the end of their time on earth. TCM Remembers tribute is always very well done. They are fair, they give time to everyone, the visuals are always stunning, they chose appropriate and beautiful music and they are willing to edit in case someone passes at the end of December. Way to keep it classy TCM! We really appreciate it. Because the Oscar tributes become more and more offensive every year, it's nice to have the genuinely touching tributes you consistently provide us. Thank you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

TCM iPhone App

Turner Classic Movies came out with an iPhone app a few months ago and I was super excited to get it. It would be a little TCM that I could take with me everywhere I go. So I shelled out the $2.99 for it as soon as it hit the App Store and downloaded it on to my iPhone. What I thought would be a portable turned out to be something completely different.

I equate the TCM iPhone app to going on a date with a really hot guy only to have your mother come along. While it's a great opportunity to hang out with that guy you've been lusting after, the date would be a million times better if mom wasn't around watching your every move. And if there is a second date, chances are it will be better and sans mom.

The app could be a lot more enjoyable if they opened up the possibilities but instead they restrict, restrict, restrict. This app could go from sucky to awesome if they added just one function: Search.

Let's take a little tour of the App.

The Home page highlights the four major sections (Schedule, Video, Photos and Blog) and includes a banner above showcasing that month's theme. It's updated regularly and each item is always the newest for each section. A click (tap) on the arrow button brings you to another screen with the full content.

If you watch TCM religiously, the Schedule feature is pretty nice. You can view all the films that will be shown within the next 7 days and you can click/tap through to any given film for more information. You can also view what's showing during the next two months. You can even set it to your time zone or switch to Canada for their listings. It won't however allow you to set reminders or alerts for future showings. 

Let's say you really wanted to watch Horse Feathers (1932) (which seems to be on heavy rotation on TCM lately). A click through to the information page gives you pretty much all the info the film's TCMDB page would have: An overview, TCM article, Video, Notes, Full Credits, Full Synopsis and even user comments.


Video section gives you a select showcase of widescreen videos, trailers, movie clips and promos. TCM picks the videos based on the current and upcoming schedule.

Now we come to the Photo section which features a regularly changing list of images from lobby cards, posters, press books, production photos and publicity photos. TCM picks the images based on the current and upcoming schedule. You can't search for pics or do anything with them other than look.

Finally, there is the Blog section. Don't get too excited, it's only the Movie Morlocks blog. This is probably the most useful section because it's a regular updated feed of the highly active official TCM blog. You can get a full RSS of the blog anywhere else but here. However, you can only view the last 10 postings. 

What you can't do on the app:

1) SEARCH for films, photos, videos or anything AT ALL!
2) Set reminders/alerts for future showings of films
3) Play games.
4) Send any of the info, video, pictures, etc. to yourself or to a friend via any sharing method (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
5) Download any pictures to your phone (most apps won't let you do that anyways).
6) Read biographies on stars or directors
7) View Archives of the Movie Morlocks Blog

I don't think the TCM app is going to change any time soon but it would be worth their investment to enhance the app with search functionality. It would even be worth paying $4.99 instead of $2.99. As it stands, the TCM app doesn't seem complete. If you are hesitant to pay money for an app, I would suggest downloading the free IMDB app instead (which has Search functionality) and accessing TCDMB through Safari. But if you are a super TCM freak/addict who happens to be glued to your iPhone (or iTouch or maybe even iPad), this app may be worth your while.

Anyone else have this app? Thoughts on it?

And thanks to @AddieReed who asked about this app on Twitter which inspired me to do this post.

Full Disclosure: I bought this app for my iPhone.

Monday, March 1, 2010

TCM comes to a city near you. Whether you like it or not.

TCM is doing a 5-City Tour called Road to Hollywood that will lead up to their first Classic Film Festival. I think TCM might have a vendetta against me (I don't know why that is because I love them). First of all, I haven't been able to afford the channel (that will change later in the year though, I hope). Then, they hold an awesome Classic Film Festival on the other side of the continent and make it so prohibitively expensive that I can't afford to go. Then they give me the ultimate tease. They tell me they are coming to Boston for a day. Really? Yay! Their visit will comprise of Ben Mankiewicz and a movie from 1982? Boo. That really sucks TCM. Couldn't you send me Robert Osborne and a pre 1970 movie instead? The only good thing I can see in all of this is that it will bring people to the Brattle, my favorite repertory theatre. If you are in Boston and you like the 1980s and you like things that are free, this one is for you!

Here is the press release if you want to read it.
For Release: March 1, 2010

Turner Classic Movies Heads to Five Cities for Road to Hollywood Tour,

Leading Up to Launch of First-Ever TCM Classic Film Festival

All Screenings Free to Public;

Tickets Available Beginning March 1 at

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is taking its love of great movies to five cities nationwide with the Road to Hollywood tour, a slate of special free screenings building up to the launch of the first-ever TCM Classic Film Festival. In the weeks before the festival, which will take place in Hollywood April 22-25, TCM will travel to Boston (March 18); New York (March 23); Chicago (March 30); Washington, D.C. (April 8); and San Francisco (April 21) for presentations of five outstanding films, each set in the city in which it will be screened.

Most of the films will be introduced by TCM host Robert Osborne or weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz. In addition, TCM is planning celebrity appearances for each screening. OscarÒ and EmmyÒ-winning actress Eva Marie Saint (On the Waterfront) is scheduled to appear in Chicago for the presentation of the Hitchcock classic North by Northwest (1959). Broadway legend Elaine Stritch (Company) will be on-hand for the screening of All About Eve (1950) in New York. Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show) and popular San Francisco film critic and show business reporter Jan Wahl of KRON, will introduce the Orson Welles thriller The Lady from Shanghai (1948) in San Francisco. Producer George Stevens Jr., founding director of the American Film Institute, will take part in the screening of his father’s film The More the Merrier (1943) in Washington, D.C. And Boston Herald film critic James Verniere will take part in the Boston screening of The Verdict (1982).

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that we’ll be able to bring the excitement of our first TCM Classic Film Festival to folks in these five great cities,” said Osborne. “This is a great opportunity for us to connect directly with the TCM community across America. We look forward to meeting our fellow movie lovers and sharing our passion for great films.”

Below is a complete schedule of TCM’s Road to Hollywood screenings. Although the screenings are free to the public, tickets are required for entry. Tickets will be available beginning March 1 at

The Brattle Theatre in Boston – Thursday, March 18, at 8 p.m. – The Verdict (1982)

Ben Mankiewicz and Boston Herald film critic Jim Verniere will introduce this emotionally powerful legal drama directed by Sidney Lumet and written by David Mamet. Paul Newman earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as an alcoholic lawyer who is having difficulty keeping clients. He lands a dream case, however, when he is hired to sue a hospital for negligence.
 The Music Box Theater in Chicago – Tuesday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. – North by Northwest (1959)

Robert Osborne will by joined by Oscar and Emmy winner Eva Marie Saint (On the Waterfront) in Chicago for this presentation of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s biggest and most enduring hits. Cary Grant plays an everyman mistaken as a double agent and chased across the country by people on both sides of the law. Saint plays the woman unwittingly roped into helping him. James Mason, Leo G. Carroll and Martin Landau co-star.

The Avalon Theatre in Washington, D.C. – Thursday, April 8, at 8 p.m. – The More the Merrier (1943)

Ben Mankiewicz and producer George Stevens Jr., founding director of the American Film Institute, will introduce this highly entertaining film directed by Stevens’ father. Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea star as a pair forced to share a D.C. apartment during a wartime housing shortage. Charles Coburn won an Oscar for his deliciously comic performance.

The Castro in San Francisco – Wednesday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. – The Lady from Shanghai (1948)

Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show), who is an expert on the films of Orson Welles and was a close friend of the director, will be joined by popular San Francisco film critic and show business reporter Jan Wahl of KRON as they introduce this memorable thriller. The story involves a fake murder plot that turns out to be all too real. Welles stars along with Rita Hayworth, Everett Sloane and Glenn Anders. The film’s extraordinary imagery includes an exciting hall-of-mirrors sequence that remains a cinematic masterpiece.

About the TCM Classic Film Festival

The first-ever TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 22-25, 2010, in the heart of Hollywood. The network is inviting fans from around the country to join this new festival and share their passion for great movies. This landmark celebration of the history of Hollywood and its movies will be presented in a way that only TCM can, with major events, celebrity appearances, panel discussions and more. The four-day festival will also provide movie fans a rare opportunity to experience some of cinema’s greatest works as they were meant to be seen – on the big screen.

The festival will involve several venues in a central area of Hollywood, including screenings at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Oscar ceremony, will be the official hotel for the festival as well as a key venue for festival passholders.

The central gathering point for the TCM Classic Film Festival community will be Club TCM. This area, which is open exclusively to festival passholders, will be abuzz with activity during the entire festival, providing fans with unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Among the events slated for Club TCM are a book signing and display of original art by Tony Curtis; a special screening of Joan Crawford’s home movies, hosted by her grandson, Casey LaLonde; a presentation by special effects artist Douglas Trumbull; and numerous scheduled conversations with festival guests. Club TCM will also feature several panel discussions, including Casting Secrets: The Knack of Finding the Right Actor; A Remake to Remember: Hollywood’s Love Affair with Updating Movie Classics; The Greatest Movies Ever Sold: Classic Movie Marketing Campaigns; Location Location Location; Film Continuity: When Details Count; and TCM: Meet the People Behind the Network.

Club TCM will be headquartered in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. This lavish room is steeped in Hollywood history as the site of the original Academy Awards banquet.

The TCM Classic Film Festival is being produced by TCM. Serving as festival consultants are Bill and Stella Pence, who are well-known in industry circles as co-founders of the Telluride Film Festival.

The TCM Classic Film Festival is sponsored by Vanity Fair, the official festival partner and host of the opening night gala; Buick®, the official automotive sponsor; Delta Air Lines, the official travel partner; and Fekkai, official luxury hair care sponsor of the Vanity Fair’s Tales of Hollywood program.
Festival passes and additional information are available at

Turner Classic Movies is a Peabody Award-winning network celebrating 15 years of presenting great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 80 million homes, TCM features the insights of veteran primetime host Robert Osborne and weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include The Essentials, 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also stages special events and screenings, such as the upcoming TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood; produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs; and hosts a wealth of materials at its Web site, TCM is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How To Be a Classic Film Fan without TCM

I do not have Turner Classic Movies and extenuating circumstances prevent me from getting the channel. I'm not going to explain why because from the reaction I've been getting from people, it's very unlikely you will understand. I love TCM and the channel played a pivotal role in the early development of my love for classic movies. I hope to have the channel again someday soon, but it's just not in the books right now.

Does this make me any less of a classic film fan? Absolutely not and I resent anyone who implies that. It just forces me to be more creative. It makes me sad that I miss things like The Siren's Shadows of Russia series  (watch it please if you have TCM!). But in the end, I'll survive.

Here are a few ways to be a classic film fan without TCM.

1) Netflix

Althought Netflix gets a bad rap for hurt DVD sales, it's by far the best way of watching classic films on DVD. Their selection is enormous and I like to mix up my queue with classics, indie flicks, contemporary comedy and foreign films. Plus you can watch Documentaries and TV shows on here too. It's relatively inexpensive, with the 1-DVD-at-time monthly cost being only $8.99 or you can even rent 2 DVDs a month for $4.99. Blockbuster does not support classic films like Netflix does and Blockbuster also censors what they will or will not rent, so Netflix is really your best bet for variety.

2) Classicflix

Netflix doesn't have some of the more obscure DVDs and they don't carry the Warner Archive collection like Classicflix does. With rates starting at $9.99 a month for 1-DVD-at-a-time, you can watch as many Warner Archive movies as your heart desires (without having to buy all the DVDs yourself). It's a great deal and a good supplement to Netflix. If you live on the East Coast however, there is a significant delay since the distribution point is in California. But it's a mom-and-pop organization and those are always good to support.

3) DVDs owned/Movies taped

If you take TCM away from a classic film fan for a whole month, I bet you they probably can fill said month with tons of films they haven't seen. Your average classic film enthusiast has tons and tons of movies on DVD or taped on DVR, TiVo, burned DVDs or VHS tapes. What's great about having your own library of films, is the ready access to some great classics and the comfort of knowing you can re-watch your favorites any time you want. Don't take your personal library for granted though. So many unseen films collect dust in our homes and really they deserve to be watched. Take some time out to watch from your own collection!

4) Libraries

You can find lots of great classics through your local library and best of all it's free. Some libraries will let you loan from other libraries from other towns through their sharing networks. If you are a college student and your school has some kind of film program, then you've just hit the jackpot. Chances are your school's library or the film department has lots of films for viewing. Most will let you take them out, others will require youto watch them there or that you be part of their film program. It depends on the school. I could never borrow from my Grad school but I remember watching The Quiet Man (1952) at my Undergrad school in a little booth in their film library.

5) Books on Classic Films

Why not extend the pleasure of watching a great classic by reading about it? Or reading about the life of one of your favorite actors or actresses? It's not enough to just watch the classic films, you need to learn about them too. There are so many great books on classic films and biographies on stars out there and new books are published every year. Peel yourself away from your TV and cuddle up with a good book.

6) Borrow/Share with Friends

Sharing films with friends is a great way to watch movies you wouldn't normally see and to share your favorites with those people that are close to you. Sharing like this is totally free and it widens your film horizons. You have to be open-minded to do this. Don't shun a film just because of some strange excuse you may have (like your distaste for perfectly fine actors such as Edmond O'Brien, you know who you are). If a friend recommends it, try it out!

7) Buy new DVDs

The DVD industry is a faltering business with most people preferring to rent than to buy. If you have a classic that you absolutely love, support it by buying it on DVD. You can get some great deals online. Just don't buy so many that you end up in the poorhouse. Just buy the DVDs that are most important to you. And watch online stores for clearances and sales!

8) Watch movies online

YouTube,, Internet Archive, etc. There are even some not-so-legal movie sharing websites that you can access or be invited to. I don't care for watching movies on my computer but some folks have really come to depend on this for their regular classic film viewing repertoire.

9) Obscure Films at Online DVD Stores

Again, another venue I'm not all that familiar with but lots of people have come to depend on these sites. Two examples are Yammering Magpie and Vintage Classic Movies . eBay is also a great source. Contact your favorite classic film blogger if you want to find more! I know for a fact that Katie of Obscure Classics , Jonas of All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing!, Kate from Silents and Taklies and Elizabeth from Oh By Jingo! Oh By Gee! are all experts on finding some really rare gems online. Kate just posted her personal library of films online and you can buy copies from her at $8 a piece or $5 per for 15 or more. Great deal!

10) Repertory Theatres and Other Venues

I've seen classic films at my local repertory theatre, a local university, an art museum and even at a park and an armory. Watching films in these venues gets you out of the house and out with friends (or strangers). You get to watch the film on the big screen which is always a treat and it's a surprise to see how the audience reacts. Sometimes it's negative but for the most part the people who go to these venues genuinely want to be there. I'm lucky that I live in a metropolitan area like Boston and that this community fully supports history and the arts so it's easy to watch classic films in my area. However, if you don't have these options available to you have a regular movie night at your place (or someone else's place) with friends. Don't delegate all your classic film watching to isolated and private consumption in your own home. Get out! Share!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Latino Images in Film Schedule for 5/28

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1983)

Lonestar (1996)

Popi (1969) - read Tommy Salami's take on this here.

My Family (1995) - superb contemporary Latino family drama

Terror in a Texas Town (1958)

While I'm not writing a proper review about this, I would like to post a little something about this Western being shown on TCM tonight. It's a very interesting little movie about Swedish and Mexican immigrants in a small Western town being run by corrupt and dangerous men. Sterling Hadyen stars as a George Hansen, a Swede, who comes to visit his father's farm only to find out that his father has been killed. A wealthy tycoon had hired a professional hitman/gunfighter to kill anyone who refused to give up their land, which it has been discovered to be oil-rich. His father's best friend, Jose Mirada (Victor Millan), a Mexican, witnessed the murder but is reluctant to give George information about the hitman who was hired to kill him. Hayden's character is determined to avenge his father and the corrupt men in the town, especially the gunfighter/hitman Johnny Crale (Ned Young), is worried that George knows too much and that his freedom as a gun wielding murderer is at stake.

I like the bond between the Swedes and the Mexicans. I think this has to do with me being a Latina and having formed a really great friendship with Jonas from All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing!, who happens to be a Swede. If you get a chance to watch this/DVR it tonight, please do! Otherwise, it's available on DVD as well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Latino Images in Film Schedule for 5/26 & Winners of Giveaway

And the winners of the fabulous giveaway (as chosen by are...

Frank ~ Guest Blogger
Jonas ~ All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing!
Mercurie ~ A Shroud of Thoughts
Tommy Salami ~ Pluck You Too!
Casey ~ Noir Girl

I will be e-mailing the winners today. Thank you to everyone who participated. If you missed out, there is still time to enter the sweepstakes at TCM's Latino Images in Film website.

Here is tonight's schedule for TCM:

Stand and Deliver (1988)
Walk Proud (1979)
Boulevard Nights (1979)
Badge 373 (1973)
Strangers in the City (1962)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Latino Images in Film ~ Greenwich Village (1944)

Greenwich Village (1944) is a Technicolor musical featuring the iconic talent Carmen Miranda. Don Ameche plays Kenneth Harvey, a composer who has got "sucker" written all over him. He visits New York in hopes of interesting composer Kavosy in his concerto. Instead, he gets sidetracked by the cast of characters that inhabits a Greenwich Village speakeasy. First there is owner Danny O'Hare (played by the wonderful William Bendix) who sees Kenneth's money and talent as a major draw. Then there is dancer/singer/entertainer Princess Querida (Carmen Miranda) who is tickled pink by "Kennys". Finally there is Bonnie (Vivian Blaine), the speakeasy singer who is the only person not trying to pull one over on Kenneth. Kenneth and Bonnie begin to fall in love but things get complicated when Kenneth is swindled out of money and his concerto. What's a good-looking, talented and in love man to do?

I hadn't realized that Carmen Miranda was born in Portugal and raised in Brazil until I researched her after watching the film. Confession: I don't consider Portuguese or Brazilian people to be Latino/Hispanic. Second Confession: While I am 1/2 Dominican, I'm also 1/2 Portuguese. So while some would consider me 100% Latina, I only consider myself technically 50% (but at heart I'm that full 100%). For me, Latino culture is intrisincally tied in with the Spanish language.

With that said Carmen Miranda is simply charming in this film as the Portuguese Princess Querida whose wiggle hypnotizes, whose personality dazzles and whose misuse of the English language absolutely charms. This is a quaint film. The storyline is pretty basic musical fare. It's fairly predictable and the only surprises seem to come out of the blue with almost no prior warning. I do however recommend this film highly to anyone who has been interested in watching a Miranda film but didn't know where to start. I was going to talk about the TCM clip in which Rita Moreno talk about Carmen Miranda's career. She calls Miranda "sad lady" and that she had much more potential but this was the hand she was dealt. Casey over at Noir Girl did such an excellent post, which spurred discussion among her readers including myself, that I direct you over to her site to read it. This was my first Carmen Miranda film and I saw her vibrant and electric and not sad or pathetic. I will definitely see more Miranda films in the future.

TCM Latino Images in Film Line-Up for Thursday May 21st

Greenwich Village (1940)
West Side Story (1961)
La Bamba (1987)
The Mambo Kings (1992)
Cuba (1979)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Latino Images in Film ~ The Young Savages (1961)

The Young Savages (1961) stars Burt Lancaster as Hank Bell an assistant D.A. put on the case of three teenage Wops (Italians) that stabbed a blind teenage 'Spic (Puerto Rican) to death. At first the case seems really clear, this innocent blind kid out of nowhere gets brutally murdered by rageful strangers. However, the story unfolds and things are more complicated than they seemed. District Attorney is lusting after the governor's position and wants Bell to get the death penalty. Bell, who grew up in the slums with his fellow Wops, at first wants the same but starts to sympathize with old fiancee Mary DiPace (Shelley Winters) whose son was one of the three boys involved in the crime. Bell gets caught between two violent gangs Thunderbirds (Italians) and the Horsemen (Puerto Ricans), blood thirsty newspapermen, incapable cops, the loves of his life, and the list goes on and on. The film ends with riveting court scenes as the three Italian boys face their sentencing.

This is director John Frankenheimer second film and first with legendary actor Burt Lancaster. The cinematography is gorgeous. Many shots are layered and the mise-en-scene is dramatic with objects and faces frozen in the foreground and action happening in the background. The film deals with social issues in a way that only a '60s movie can do. The decade really opened filmmakers up to explore human nature more freely and with less restriction as the Code's reign was nearing it's demise. I place The Young Savages at the upper-echelon of superb dramatic movies! (Please read the excellent article on TCM's website about the film. Lots of great trivia and facts to be found there!)

I'm a bit torn about how the Puerto Ricans are represented in this film and find myself more ambivalent than offended. At first, the blind Puerto Rican boy is the epitome of innocence. His family, friends and neighbors all seem angelic in their mourning. However, as the story progresses the separation balance of evil on both sides changes with the Italians looking better and the Puerto Ricans looking worse and worse. We initially hate those three Italian boys but then we pity them. I'm not sure if this story would have worked in reverse with three Puerto Rican teens killing a blind Italian boy or if Bell would have been Puerto Rican, and in that case we wouldn't have had the wonderful Burt Lancaster in the starring role. This is such a great film than I really don't want to think to think ill of it but really in the end the representation of Latinos in this film can be considered poor at best. If you have any thoughts on these, please share!

Level of Brown Face ~ 0 out of 5 shades. 100% real Hispanic actors. Woot!

TCM Latino Images in Film Line-Up for Tuesday May 19th

The Lawless (1950)
Trial (1955)
Cry Tough (1959)
The Young Savages (1961)
Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Latino Images in Film ~ Giant (1956)

Giant (1956) is a superb film which is often overshadowed by the fact that it was the iconic James Dean's 3rd and final picture. While Dean's performance is nothing short of amazing, I feel that this film has many other merits which are often overlooked. The family saga follows the story of the Benedicts and their Texas ranch Reata. Jordan Benedict (Rock Hudson) runs the ranch with the same old-fashioned sentiment that was handed down to him by his ancestors. He marries fiery and compassionate Leslie (Elizabeth Taylor) who balances him out and also butts heads with him in the best way a wife can. Together they raise three children and we see how the family, ranch and the world evolves over the years. The family's story parallels the story of Jett Rink (James Dean) Jordan's arch-nemesis and the oil tycoon with a trouble soul.

I believe that Giant (1956) may be one of the best films ever made, and that is no hyperbole on my part. The first time I watched it I broke down in tears as I was so moved by the story. This epic is one of the best treatments on the social issue of racism and prejudice against Mexican-Americans or even Latinos in general. It exposes the prejudice while at the same time humanizing Mexican immigrants in a way that very few films have done. Jordan Benedict (Rock Hudson) has a clear idea about the separation between white Texans and Mexican "wetbacks". They work the same land but their lives are kept separate and social interaction is discouraged. When Leslie moves to Reata, she brings a compassion to her fellow human beings that disturbs Jordan. Many years later, when Jordan's son, Jordy (Dennis Hopper) marries Mexican nurse Juana, Jordan has to come to terms with his irrational prejudices.

Spoiler Alert - My favorite scene comes towards the end when Jordan Benedict takes Leslie, Luz and Juana to a restaurant. The owner of the restaurant makes a big fuss about serving Mexicans like Juana and her young son. When a Mexican family tries to eat there, the owner kicks them out. This angers Jordan who now sees all Mexicans as part of his family and Jordan and the owner get into a fistfight which results in the whole family being kicked out. This is quite a momentous scene as we see Jordan come full-circle.

For how wonderful this film is, it is big on "brownface". Sal Mineo is one of the worst cases. He is almost irrecognizable with his heavy brown pancake makeup. Even the Hispanic actors such as Elsa Cardenas (Juana) were given extra foundation for some ethnic enhancement. This film goes a bit overboard with almost everyone's make-up and I think that it in part has to do with it being shot in Technicolor. Several characters get specialized makeup to show the advancement of years and with the brownface, I feel like this film was in part an experiment on the use of makeup in film to enhance the visual elements. The merits of the story as a whole I believe outdo the offense of the brownface. It's lucky that the Best Make-Up Oscar was still a few decades away, as this film may have been a contender for that time!

Level of Brown Face ~ 5 out of 5 Shades.

TCM Latino Images in Film Line-Up for Thursday May 14th

Mexican Spitfire (1940)
My Man and I (1952)
Giant (1956)
The Texican (1966)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Latino Images in Film ~ The Garment Jungle (1957)

The Garment Jungle (1957) is an industry-specific film noir focuses on the shady dealings in NYC's garment business circa mid-1950s. Walter Mitchell (Lee J. Cobb) of Roxton Fashions has a major dispute with his business partner over the formation of a union to protect the company's workers, many of whom are Latinos. Shortly thereafter the business partner dies in a freak elevator "accident". Mitchell has been paying gangsters to help protect his business from the union but is too busy to realize that they have killed his partner and best friend. Mitchell's son Alan (Kerwin Matthews) becomes part of his father's business right at the moment when the tension between the union and the workers, the executives and the thugs is about to get out of control. Alan meets worker Tulio, a frustrated union leader desperate for change even if it means neglecting his wife Theresa (Gia Scala) and child. When Tulio is killed by the gangsters, Alan is determined to make his deluded father see what's really going on and to cut the company's ties with the gangsters for good.

The screenplay was inspired by an expose written by Lester Velie and published in the July 1955 issue of Readers Digest called "Gangsters in the Dress Business". The Hispanic workers at the garment factory and represented in the film are overworked, underpaid and fed up with it. When they try to fight back, they are oppressed with extreme violence. In real life, a union worker was killed by gangsters and the footage of the funeral is used in the film. The exploitation of Hispanic workers is still an ongoing problem today so this film could definitely open up the opportunity to have some round table discussions.

This is a film in which the execution is poor yet the cultural concept is interesting enough it makes it worth viewing. The acting is so-so and the story is weighed down by poorly written dialogue and weak romantic sub-plots. I was a bit disturbed by the widow Theresa being passed off to a new man before the first husband was even dead. It's not something that happens in the story per-say but as the audience member you know that it's coming. I also found the inclusion of racism a little forced. It's as though someone said "hey we need some derrogatory terms thrown at these Latino characters, let's say ''spic bum' a few times, that should do it!" Otherwise, culturally this film is representative of a volatile time in American history and serves well as a vehicle of looking at the present through the past.

Level of Brown Face: 1 out of 5 shades. Italian is Hispanic enough in this film...

TCM Latino Images in Film Line-Up for Tuesday May 12th

Tortilla Flat (1942)
... And Now Miguel (1943)
The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)
Salt of the Earth (1954)
The Garment Jungle (1957)

Friday, May 8, 2009

TCM Latino Images in Film Giveaway

I'm very blessed to be able to do another TCM related giveaway, this time in conjunction with their Latino Images in Film festival. This festival is by far my favorite and very close to my heart since I am a Latina who loves classic films. I really hope that you'll take the time to watch some of the films in the festival and really think about the representation of Latinos in these movies.

I will be giving away some Latino Images in Film themed composition notebooks to the winners of this contest.

How to Enter:

1) Check out the TCM's Latino Images in Film line-up and the TCM Originals video clips.

2) Add a comment on this post about which film in the line-up you want to see and why or have seen and what you thought of it. Or tell me something interesting you learned watching the video clips.

3) Bloggers, add a link or write an entry on your blog about TCM Latino Images in Film festival. If you are on Twitter, tweet about it to your followers.

4) Entries must be in by midnight Sunday May 24th. You can also e-mail the entries to Quellelove at Gmail dot com.

Winners will be announced Tuesday May 26th. They will be chosen at random. This contest is open to everyone. If you chose not to participate, you can always enter TCM's contest on their website for the same prize. You do however have a better chance of winning a notebook here!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Latino Images in Film ~ Border Incident (1949)

Border Incident (1949) is a gripping noir about the illegal smuggling of braceros (Mexican workers) into the US. Ricardo Montalban stars as Pablo Rodriguez, a Mexican undercover agent who is posing as a paisano/bracero in order to infiltrate a band of devious smugglers. Pablo befriends bracero Juan Garcia (James Mitchell) and the two form a close bond. As Pablo and Juan get smuggled across the border, American agent Jack Bearnes (George Murphy) who is posing as a dealer in forged immigration papers. However, the network of bandits are violent and determined to get their way and things get to get complicated and ugly really quickly.

I have to say, this was a very uncomfortable film to watch. It's very violent, not in terms of gore but with torture and murder. Plus there is also a pit of death where the illegal braceros are thrown in to die once they are no longer needed (yikes!). Some folks don't think it's technically a noir but it's got all the elements of a noir just in an atypical setting. This films merits I think lie in the performances of Ricardo Montalban and James Mitchell. They are our heroes and we root for them all the way.

You mean, you can make a film about Latinos with Latino actors?! No!!! The Mexican characters in this film are mostly played by Latinos, which makes a welcome change from Caucasian actors with olive complexions (or extra make-up). The only exception is James Mitchell, who I don't think is actually Hispanic but I could be wrong. The theme of illegal immigration and the exploitation of Mexican workers makes this film incredibly relevant today. The situations in the story are disturbingly real and I think this is a good movie for sparking some political discussions.

Level of Brown Face: 1 out of 5 Shades.

TCM Latino Images in Film Line-Up for Tuesday May 7th

Bordertown (1935)
Border Incident (1949)
Right Cross (1950)
Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)
Revenue Agent (1950)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Latino Images in Film ~ The Mark of Zorro (1920)

In The Mark of Zorro (1920), Douglas Fairbanks Sr. plays the title role of Zorro, a masked crusader out to defend and fight for the interests of the oppressed. In his world, this is everyone who is subject to the law (governor, soldiers, sargeants, etc) which is corrupt. By day, he is a soft, jaded rich boy with a delicate education from Spain, the motherland, but whenever the oppressed people of his community needs him, he transforms into the masked Zorro, a genuine hero full of masculine bravado and good intent. No one knows Zorro's true identity, not even his love interest Lolita who he is wooing as both versions of himself. Can he save his townspeople from oppresion and win the heart of Lolita? Zorro can do anything!

This silent classic was produced by Douglas Fairnbanks' production company and was the first feature film release of United Artists, which Fairbanks started with Chaplin and his wife Pickford among others. This was the first in a series of swashbuckling movies that Fairbanks did, which made him vastly popular. Fans of his son Douglas Fairbanks Jr. might remember him mocking his father's performance in the film Our Dancing Daughters. In the cast is also Noah Beery, brother of Wallace Beery and Walt Whitman, although no relation to the poet (darn!).

I thoroughly enjoyed this silent film. Fairbanks was quite acrobatic and his stunts were enjoyable to watch. The representation of Mexican/Spanish people in the film I thought was done very respectfully. What I found interesting is that although the main division is between the townspeople and the law, there is a cultural division between the light-skinned noble Spanish blood which is higher in ranking than the dark-skinned natives. As I am fascinated with early Dominican culture, these kind of cultural divisions always fascinate me.

Level of Brown Face: 2 out of 5 shades

Oh my! Those pants are rather tight, aren't they Mr. Fairbanks?

TCM Latino Images in Film Line-Up for Tuesday May 5th

Ramona (1910)
The Mark of Zorro (1920)
Old San Francisco (1927)
Big Stakes (1922)
In Old Arizona (1929)
The Gay Desperado (1936)

Friday, May 1, 2009

TCM's Latino Images in Film Festival

After successful runs with their Asian Images in Film, Screened Out: Gay Images in Film and African-American Images in Film, Turner Classic Movies is giving my people their due with Latino Images in Film festival for the month of May. I have been super excited about this festival since I heard about it a few months ago on the TCM message boards. On Tuesday and Thursdays, TCM will air 5 films that deal touch upon Latino culture and issues. They also have a snazzy new site devoted to the festival (check it out here).

Why am I excited about this? Because I'm a Latina. I'm first generation American and my mother is 100% full-blooded Hispanic from the Dominican Republic. I am fluent in Spanish, I eat my arroz con habichuelas and have the cadera to prove it. What does it mean to be a Latina? For me it means maintaining the culture, learning about my heritage and embracing that Latina fire and passion that runs through my veins.

Classic films are predominantly Caucasian but it has been surprising to find out over the years how many films either have Latino characters or showcase Latino actors. With TCM's list of films for their festival, I have discovered even more!

In honor of Latino Images in Film, I'll be doing a month long series on this blog. For the first three weeks I'll be posting a review of one film on Mondays and Wednesdays before it airs the next day and will also include the following day's full schedule. I'll be reviewing a total of 6 films and all of them happen to be available on DVD just in case you don't have TCM. I hope this will encourage you to watch the films or at least be aware of the films that are out there. For the last week, I tentatively have planned a Latino Images in Film contest.

Each review will contain a summary, background information and what I think about the representation of Latinos in the film. I'll also include a rating level of "Brown Face". Brown face is what I call the Hispanic equivalent to Black face. This is when they take Caucasian actors and put some dark make-up on them to make them look more ethnic. They also used Mediterannean and olive-skinned European actors to look Latino and I also consider this a form of Brown face. I'll point out along the way the level of brown face in each film.

Disclaimer - I'm doing this purely because I want to and not because I was asked to.

I hope you'll enjoy the series!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Killers (1946) @ the Brattle

I finally got an opportunity to take my mother to The Brattle Theatre yesterday. They had a 1 pm screening of the classic film noir The Killers (1946) and not only did it work for both of our schedules, neither of us had seen this gem and getting to watch it on the big screen was a treat.

For every 1 classic film I watch, my mother watches 3. She's just the consumate consumer of old movies and she gave up Mexican telenovelas permanently to catch flicks on Turner Classic Movies. We both approach classic films in different ways. My mother watches, enjoys, discards and moves on to the next film. I, however, pore over minute details, do research and try to stretch out the film experience as much as I can. I think we both get different things out of classic films but bond over our mutual love for them.

So on Saturday I took my mom to Harvard Square, where we had a quick lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant and picked up coffee and macaroons at a new coffee joint. We headed over to the theater to pick up our tickets.

I directed my mom up to my favorite seats in the theater (balcony, last row, far right corner) and we did some pre-show bonding as she snacked on some popcorn.

When the lights dimmed, we were in for a treat. The Killers (1946) is an engrossing and suspenseful film noir. Burt Lancaster plays Swede, a former boxer and con artist who is killed by two hit men. Insurance investigator James Riordan (Edmond O'Brien) traces the complex trail of clues to piece together the events that led up to Swede's murder. Swede had been caught up with femme fatale Kitty Collins (Ava Gardner) and various other con artists in a heist that went terribly wrong, in the way that heists do in film noirs. I highly recommend this film to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

Mom's reaction to the movie in her own words: It was good. Very suspenseful. It was interesting that they start with the murder and worked backwards.

After the film, we headed back to my car which required a subway trip outbound (parking in Harvard Square is a nightmare!). Funny enough, I saw my favorite T guy at the station. I introduced him to my mom and he was gracious enough to let us through for free! Come to find out, he's a big film fan and watches old movies on AMC and TCM! Us classic film fans are everywhere I guess.


If you live in the Boston area, make sure you check out The Brattle Theater if you haven't already done so. Here are some upcoming showings that film noir enthusiasts will want to see.

The Killers (1946) - 4 showings today Sunday April 18th
Criss Cross (1949) - 2 showings Tuesday April 21st
Phantom Lady (1944) - 2 showings Tuesday April 21st
The File on Thelma Jordan (1950) - 3 showings Thursday April 23rd

Thursday, April 9, 2009

TCM's 15th Anniversary ~ Favorite Promos

I've been having fun playing around on Turner Classic Movies' 15th Anniversary celebratory website. You can flip through the timeline and see the promos they have used over the years. I thought it would be fun to list my favorite promos TCM has aired and I would love to hear which ones are your favorites too. My top favorite is the Sunny Side of Life promo which single-handedly introduced me to Edward Hopper's paintings and Chet Baker's music. Click on the picture of that promo for a special treat. Enjoy!

Sunny Side of Life
(I cried when they retired this!)

One Reel Wonders
(the original version)

Darkness After Dawn

Open All Night

Silent Sunday Nights

Private Screenings
(The ending credits)

This Week in Hollywood History

Happy 15th TCM!

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