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Fri Jun 11, 2021, 01:15 AM

TCM Schedule for Saturday, June 12, 2021 -- Primetime Theme: A Lean Night

In the daylight hours, TCM has the usual Saturday matinee lineup of films and shorts. Then in primetime, TCM is celebrating A Lean Night, with director David Lean's classic film Doctor Zhivago (1965). Enjoy!

6:00 AM -- Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)
1h 50m | Musical | TV-G
Backstage problems jeopardize a Broadway musical.
Director: Roy Del Ruth
Cast: Robert Taylor, Eleanor Powell, George Murphy

The song "Dear Mr. Gable" was a birthday present for Clark Gable's 36th birthday. Composer and arranger Roger Edens adapted the old song "You Made Me Love You" by James V. Monaco. It was sung at Gable's birthday party by a young Judy Garland. Producer Louis B. Mayer was so impressed by it, that he gave order to let Garland sing it again in the next great musical MGM was going to produce.

8:00 AM -- Billy Boy (1954)
6m | Comedy
A baby goat is left at the doorstep of a wolf farmer.
Director: Tex Avery, Dick Avery (uncredited)
Cast: Daws Butler

Tex Avery trademark: The theme song is Kingdom Come, or Year of Jubilo, a minstrel show tune written in 1862 by Henry Clay Work. The original song sympathetically recounts an heroic American slave revolt against the Southern plantation system, with plenty of humorous slapstick for comic relief. The tune is very catchy and rollicking, so it is not surprising that many humorous American movies including this cartoon series as well the Christmas movie Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) employ it in their soundtracks. However, you will never hear the original song lyrics sung anymore except as part of an educational lesson or an historically accurate context in a movie. This is because, while the song expresses a commendably benevolent and progressive viewpoint, the writing style sounds quite offensive to modern ears. To wit, the very first line of the song reads "Say darkey, have you seen de massa, wif de moustache on his face?" and it only goes downhill from there.

8:08 AM -- The Seesaw and the Shoes (1945)
10m | Short | TV-G
This short film shows how two objects, the seesaw and a pair of shoes, led to important discoveries.
Director: Douglas Foster
Cast: Sheldon Jett, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., Helen Dickson

Another entry in MGM's Passing Parade.

8:19 AM -- Ontario "Land of Lakes" (1949)
10m | Documentary | TV-G
This travel short takes the viewer to the province of Ontario.
Cast: James A. Fitzpatrick

8:30 AM -- No Place to Go (1939)
57m | Drama | TV-G
An aging man clashes with his social-climbing daughter-in-law.
Director: Terry Morse
Cast: Dennis Morgan, Gloria Dickson, Fred Stone

Fred Stone was 65 years old when this film was made - of note due to his acrobatic display when he demonstrates his wrestling moves to Tommy. Stone had been a circus acrobat, clown, and vaudeville performer earlier in his career.

9:30 AM -- Batman: Slaves of the Rising Sun (1943)
18m | Suspense/Mystery | TV-G
Batman investigates a fake fortuneteller working with Japanese spies.
Director: Lambert Hillyer
Cast: Lewis Wilson, Douglas Croft, J. Carroll Naish.

It's often misstated that Batman became a government agent due to "serial regulations," but there were no such regulations; Batman was given status as a government operative in no small part due to the increased patriotism brought on by WWII. This was commonplace in serials. In the comics, by this time Batman was officially recognized and deputized by Commissioner Gordon and the local authorities in "Batman" #7 (October-November, 1941) and the Bat-Signal came along in "Detective Comics" #60 (February 1942). A platinum badge appeared in "Detective Comics" #70 (December 1942) to commemorate this situation.

10:00 AM -- The Fistic Mystic (1946)
6m | Comedy | TV-PG
Popeye matches his energy-packed can of spinach against the super-natural powers of an oriental mystic.
Director: Seymour Kneitel, Graham Place (uncredited)
Cast: Jackson Beck, Harry Welch, Mae Questel

First regular appearance of the newly-designed Olive Oyl.

10:08 AM -- The Falcon in Danger (1943)
1h 13m | Suspense/Mystery | TV-G
A society sleuth tracks a lost plane carrying $100,000.
Director: William Clemens
Cast: Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Elaine Shepard

This marks the first Falcon film in which he has no sidekick or servant.

11:30 AM -- Hit and Run Driver (1935)
20m | Crime | TV-PG
In this short film, a man runs over a young couple on a deserted road, then tries to cover up the incident.
Director: Edward L. Cahn
Cast: Sam Flint, William Gould, Jonathan Hale

Number five in the Crime Does Not Pay series from MGM.

12:00 PM -- The Saint in New York (1938)
1h 12m | Suspense/Mystery | TV-G
The Saint goes undercover to get the goods on New York's mob kingpins.
Director: Ben Holmes
Cast: Louis Hayward, Kay Sutton, Sig Rumann

The first of nine classic RKO movies featuring Simon Templar, The Saint.

1:30 PM -- Buck Privates (1941)
1h 24m | Comedy | TV-G
Two small-time con artists enlist in the Army to avoid the police.
Director: Arthur Lubin
Cast: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lee Bowman

Nominee for Oscars for Best Music, Original Song -- Hugh Prince (music) and Don Raye (lyrics) for the song "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B", and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture -- Charles Previn

Arthur Lubin later admitted he did very little to direct Abbott and Costello. They showed him the routines they wanted, and he chose the camera set-ups. Their constant ad-libbing made even this difficult, as Lubin never knew how far, or where, they would take a gag. Nonetheless, the picture made so much money that Universal gave him a bonus, extended his contract, and assigned him the next four Abbott and Costello starring vehicles.

3:00 PM -- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
1h 57m | Horror/Science-Fiction | TV-PG
A deformed bell ringer rescues a gypsy girl falsely accused of witchcraft and murder.
Director: William Dieterle
Cast: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke

Nominee for Oscars for Best Sound, Recording -- John Aalberg (RKO Radio SSD), and Best Music, Scoring -- Alfred Newman

The scene in which Quasimodo rings the cathedral bells for Esmeralda was shot the day World War II began in Europe. The director and star were so overwhelmed, the scene took on a new meaning, with Charles Laughton ringing the bells frantically and William Dieterle forgetting to yell "cut." Finally, the actor just stopped ringing when he became too tired to continue. Later, Laughton said, "I couldn't think of Esmeralda in that scene at all. I could only think of the poor people out there, going in to fight that bloody, bloody war! To arouse the world, to stop that terrible butchery! Awake! Awake! That's what I felt when I was ringing the bells!"

5:15 PM -- Ship of Fools (1965)
2h 29m | Drama | TV-14
Passengers on a steam ship in the '30s struggle with their tangled relations and the rise of Nazism.
Director: Stanley Kramer
Cast: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, Jose Ferrer

Winner of Oscars for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- Ernest Laszlo, and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White -- Robert Clatworthy and Joseph Kish

Nominee for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Oskar Werner, Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Simone Signoret, Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Michael Dunn, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium -- Abby Mann, Best Costume Design, Black-and-White -- Bill Thomas and Jean Louis, and Best Picture

Director Stanley Kramer carefully photographed Vivien Leigh in a gentle soft focus throughout the film, leading up to her climactic Charleston sequence, which he then shot in a cold, unforgiving sharp focus.


8:00 PM -- Doctor Zhivago (1965)
3h 17m | Epic | TV-PG
Illicit lovers fight to stay together during the turbulent years of the Russian Revolution.
Director: David Lean
Cast: Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin

Winner of Oscars for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium -- Robert Bolt, Best Cinematography, Color -- Freddie Young, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color -- John Box, Terence Marsh and Dario Simoni, Best Costume Design, Color -- Phyllis Dalton, and Best Music, Score - Substantially Original -- Maurice Jarre

Nominee for Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Tom Courtenay, Best Director -- David Lean, Best Sound -- A.W. Watkins (M-G-M British SSD) and Franklin Milton (M-G-M SSD), Best Film Editing -- Norman Savage, and Best Picture

The book and movie were banned by the Soviet Communist Party until 1994 when Gorbachev allowed excerpts to be published and the movie started circulating in limited release. Because the book and movie showed the violent control and censorship of thought and expression by the emerging Communist Party, the Soviet Union banned all Pasternak's work, not just his Dr. Zhivago.

12:00 AM -- Walk a Crooked Mile (1948)
1h 31m | Crime | TV-G
The FBI and Scotland Yard join forces to stop security leaks at a nuclear power plant.
Director: Gordon Douglas
Cast: Louis Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe, Louise Allbritton

Remade as David Harding, Counterspy (1950).

2:00 AM -- Time After Time (1979)
1h 52m | Horror/Science-Fiction | TV-MA
When Jack the Ripper steals his time machine, author H.G. Wells travels to modern-day San Francisco.
Director: Nicholas Meyer
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen

This film has three connections to the Star Trek franchise:
  • David Warner and Malcolm McDowell went on to become Star Trek guest stars. Warner played three different characters in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chain Of Command, Part I (1992)/Star Trek: The Next Generation: Chain Of Command, Part II (1992). McDowell played Dr. Tolian Soran in Star Trek: Generations (1994).
  • Both this film and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) were written by Nicholas Meyer. This film features a time traveler from the past who arrives in modern day San Francisco while The Voyage Home features time travelers from the future who arrive in modern day San Francisco. Both films feature the time travelers experiencing several instances of fish-out-of-water scenarios for comedic effect as well as selling antique items they have in their possession in order to raise money. In both films, a modern day woman decides to join the time travelers as they return to their own time periods.
  • A deleted scene featured Wells meeting a punk who was playing extremely loud boom-box music on a bus in San Francisco. Nicholas Meyer later reused this idea in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).
  • H.G. Wells says, "I have all those books to write, whatever they are". Mark Twain would say the same thing in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Time's Arrow, Part II (1992). Both take place in San Francisco.

4:00 AM -- The Time Machine (1960)
1h 43m | Horror/Science-Fiction | TV-G
In this adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel, a scientist in 1880s Victorian England builds a time machine.
Director: George Pal
Cast: Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux

Winner of an Oscar for Best Effects, Special Effects -- Gene Warren and Tim Baar

Rod Taylor fights a Morlock right outside the time machine and then sends the device into the future, which causes rapid decay of the body. This effect was achieved by making a wax figure of a Morlock, then melting it with intense heat, and speeding up the footage, thus giving the illusion of decomposing flesh.

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