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Friday, April 11, 2008
Charlton Heston films on TCM April 11th
Friday, April 11, 2008
Meant to post this on Wednesday night shortly after South Beach Hoosier received an email from Turner Classic Movies, letting me know about these schedule changes due to the recent passing of Charlton Heston http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000032/ and Jules Dassin, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0202088/ .
In fact, I just watched The Greatest Show on Earth from 1952 a few weeks ago, so when the news came the other morning that Heston had died, his great authentic performance was still very fresh in my mind. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044672/
In the TCM Private Screenings that he filmed with TCM's Robert Osborne about ten years ago, Heston makes reference to the fact that one of the best reviews he ever got was when someone -De Mille?- showed him a letter written by someone who'd really loved the film, particularly Jimmy Stewart as the clown with a secret and Betty Hutton as the strong-willed high-wire aerialist.
But the letter writer said the performance he liked most was the real circus manager working with the actors -Heston's role.
He joked that when they think you're not an actor, that's when you know you've turned in a good performance. Agreed!
I especially commend two of the Heston films to you.
Khartoum, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060588/#comment , a 1966 film that many people thought Charlton Heston deserved to win an Academy Award for and for which Ralph Richardson won a BAFTA, and Sam Peckinpah's Moby Dick-like Major Dundee from the year before. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059418/
I remind you, too, that TCM has also re-scheduled two films by Jules Dassin, including Naked City, the terrific crime film entirely set in 1948 New York City. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040636/
It's often seems to media maven South Beach Hoosier that it's almost impossible to go a month without some TV program doing their homage to noir -often for the flimsiest of reasons- even if we'd prefer they wouldn't.
While sometimes amusing if done with the appropriate level of both and humor and purposefulness, as was usually the case with some episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092455/ , when Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) assumes his 1930's San Francisco detective persona in the Enterprise's Holodeck, more often than not, it's resulted in some perfectly awful faux noir in other TV programs or historic flashbacks.
That list is too long to mention here!
Like so many great films I've enjoyed, the first film of Dassin's that I ever saw was on TCM, Reunion in France, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035250/ starring John Wayne and Joan Crawford.
Naked City is so fantastic and compelling, that the first time I saw it, the documentary style made me recall the afternoon I first saw Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City (Roma, città aperta) at the National Gallery of Art's film auditorium, when they had an Italian-themed film series one summer.
To see this film again is to be powerfully reminded of what noir really tastes and smells like, and I heartily recommend you get your VCR/TiVo/DVR ready to go.
South Beach Hoosier was a very devout film go-er to the NGA's film series, where I saw so many dozens of great and influential films over the years I lived in Washington, often bringing friends along to help build their film education. http://www.nga.gov/programs/film/
I'd even schedule my Oriole games every year up at Camden Yards around the better films, so that I wouldn't miss them, since so many of the French and Italian films I saw at the NGA -on great prints!- especially the New Wave films, weren't available on videotape or DVD.
That it was all FREE only made it harder to resist!
"We're making the following changes on Friday, April 11th to honor Charlton Heston:
Add: (All times ET)
2:30 PM Private Screenings: Charlton Heston
3:30 PM The Buccaneer (1958)
5:30 PM The Hawaiians
8:00 PM Private Screenings: Charlton Heston
9:00 PM Ben-Hur
1:00 AM Khartoum
3:30 AM Major Dundee
The schedule on April 20th is also changing to honor the great director Jules Dassin:
8:00 PM Naked City (1948)
9:45 PM Topkapi (already scheduled)
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