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Wed Nov 24, 2021, 10:10 PM

TCM Schedule for Friday, November 26, 2021 -- What's On Tonight: Dean Martin, Part II

In the daylight hours, enjoy the Lubitsch Touch. As described in the IMDB entry on Ernst Lubitsch, "In most of his comedies, he took up serious subjects and spiced them with elegance, sophistication, cynicism and witty lines - It became known as 'the Lubitsch Touch.'"

Then in prime time, it's the second of two nights with the King of Cool, Dean Martin. Enjoy!

6:00 AM -- The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
1h 42m | Comedy | TV-G
A misfired flirtation lands a young lieutenant married to a princess instead of the one he loves.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins

Nominee for an Oscar for Best Picture

A French version with dialogue and lyrics by Henri Bataille was shown in New York on 15 October 1931 and was also a big hit in Paris. It had the same three leading actors and was filmed at the same time as the English language version, as dubbing had not yet been invented.

8:00 AM -- The Merry Widow (1934)
1h 39m | Musical | TV-PG
A prince from a small kingdom courts a wealthy widow to keep her money in the country.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette Macdonald, Edward Everett Horton

Winner of an Oscar for Best Art Direction -- Cedric Gibbons and Fredric Hope

This was the only film teaming Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald in which they never sang together. Aware that her classical style was poorly matched to his popular vocalizing, Ernst Lubitsch even inserted a joke about the musical mismatch. At one point Chevalier seemed to be serenading MacDonald with a cultured baritone voice, only for Lubitsch to reveal the voice belonged to one of his orderlies.

9:45 AM -- Ninotchka (1939)
1h 50m | Comedy | TV-G
A coldhearted Soviet agent is warmed up by a trip to Paris and a night of love.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire

Nominee for Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Greta Garbo, Best Writing, Original Story -- Melchior Lengyel, Best Writing, Screenplay -- Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch and Billy Wilder, and Best Picture

Ernst Lubitsch only signed on as director after George Cukor decamped for Gone with the Wind (1939). As part of his deal for directing, MGM agreed to make The Shop Around the Corner (1940) for Lubitsch afterwards.

11:45 AM -- That Uncertain Feeling (1941)
1h 24m | Comedy | TV-G
A happily married woman sees a psychoanalyst and develops doubts about her husband.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Merle Oberon, Melvyn Douglas, Burgess Meredith

Nominee for an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture -- Werner R. Heymann

Despite the indifferent reception the film received, the cast treasured its experience with director Ernst Lubitsch and the atmosphere he created on set. Burgess Meredith enjoyed working on the production and years later recalled, "I don't know when I had a better time in my whole career than during that period." Of Lubitsch, Meredith said, "He was very psychic. I'd fall down laughing because right away he'd improvise, in the middle of a scene he was doing for me, some very personal thing about my life, with his big cigar in his mouth, and he knew I'd come over and say, 'How did you know about that?' and he'd say, 'I have ways of knowing.' "

1:15 PM -- The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
1h 37m | Romance | TV-G
Feuding co-workers do not realize they are secret romantic pen pals.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan

Soon after wrapping principal photography, Ernst Lubitsch talked to the New York Sun in January 1940. "It's not a big picture, just a quiet little story that seemed to have some charm. It didn't cost very much, for such a cast, under $500,000. It was made in twenty-eight days. I hope it has some charm."

3:00 PM -- Trouble in Paradise (1932)
1h 21m | Comedy | TV-G
A love triangle ignites trouble between two jewel thieves and their intended victim.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Herbert Marshall

Cary Grant was also considered to play the leading part, but in 1932 he was still too young for the part. Ernst Lubitsch wanted the touch of experience in the actor face, so he chose the 42-year-old Herbert Marshall and 33-year-old Kay Francis to supply that look.

4:30 PM -- Design for Living (1933)
1h 30m | Comedy | TV-G
An independent woman can't chose between the two men she loves.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins

Ernst Lubitsch originally wanted to cast Ronald Colman and Leslie Howard as the male leads, but Colman wanted too much money and Howard wanted to avoid being compared to the original Broadway cast. Lubitsch then asked Douglas Fairbanks Jr. to play George, and he accepted, but he contracted pneumonia just before filming was to start and he was replaced by Gary Cooper. Lubitsch then cast Fredric March as Tom.

6:15 PM -- To Be or Not to Be (1942)
1h 39m | Comedy | TV-PG
A troupe of squabbling actors joins the Polish underground to dupe the Nazis.
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Cast: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack

Nominee for an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture -- Werner R. Heymann

The biggest problem early in the shoot was Jack Benny's insecurity about acting the central role in such an important production by a major filmmaker. He seemed dumbfounded that Ernst Lubitsch had not only cast him but was building the film around him. Finally Lubitsch set him straight: "You think you are a comedian. You are not even a clown. You are fooling the public for 30 years. You are fooling even yourself. A clown - he is a performer what is doing funny things. A comedian - he is a performer what is saying funny things. But you, Jack, you are an actor, you are an actor playing the part of a comedian and this you are doing very well. But do not worry, I keep your secret to myself."


8:00 PM -- Ocean's Eleven (1960)
2h 7m | Comedy | TV-14
A group of friends plot to rob a Las Vegas casino.
Director: Lewis Milestone
Cast: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.

During Dean Martin's scene with Shirley MacLaine, after she calls him "Ricky Nelson", Martin replies "I used to be Ricky Nelson but now I'm Perry Como." In real life, early in his singing career, music critics used to derisively refer to Martin as a knock off of Perry Como. In addition, Martin had just done "Rio Bravo (1959)" co-starring Ricky Nelson.

10:15 PM -- Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964)
2h 3m | Musical | TV-PG
A Chicago gangster stumbles into philanthropic work during a gang war.
Director: Gordon Douglas
Cast: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.

Nominee for Oscars for Best Music, Original Song -- Jimmy Van Heusen (music) and Sammy Cahn (lyrics) for the song "My Kind of Town", and Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment -- Nelson Riddle

This was a "Rat Pack" movie. The Rat Pack was comprised of different entertainers, the core group being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. All Rat Pack movies had two or more of the above stars in the lead roles, excluding The Cannonball Run (1981) which had Davis, Jr. and Martin as part of the ensemble cast in supporting roles.

12:30 AM -- King of Cool (2020)
The story of Dean Martin
Director: Tom Donahue
Cast: Jerry Lewis, Bob Newhart, Angie Dickinson

2:15 AM -- Lust In The Dust (1984)
1h 27m | Comedy | TV-MA
A group of unscrupulous characters seek buried treasure in the old west.
Director: Paul Bartel
Cast: Tab Hunter, Divine, Lainie Kazan

The title comes from the famous production nickname of Duel in the Sun (1946).

3:45 AM -- Polyester (1981)
1h 23m | Comedy | TV-MA
An oppressed housewife struggles to get her life back on track.
Director: John Waters
Cast: Edith Massey, Divine, Tab Hunter

First John Waters movie to garner an 'R' rating in the USA. All of Waters' previous pictures stateside had been X-rated or unrated.

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Reply TCM Schedule for Friday, November 26, 2021 -- What's On Tonight: Dean Martin, Part II (Original post)
Staph Nov 24 OP
oldtime dfl_er Thursday #1
Staph Thursday #2

Response to Staph (Original post)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 12:28 PM


Great lineup, but Ninotchka is THE BEST. If you've never seen it, get thee to the teevee immediately!

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Response to oldtime dfl_er (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 25, 2021, 01:25 PM

2. I loooooove Ninotchka!

IMDB has a great bit of trivia about how the movie came to be:

The tagline "Garbo laughs!" came before the screenplay was written; the film was built around that single, now legendary, slogan. This slogan was itself a reference to another legendary advertising slogan about Greta Garbo. Garbo, a famous leading lady of the silent film era, made her first talking picture, Anna Christie (1930). That film was advertised, to great success, with the slogan "Garbo Talks!" When she made this comedy the "Garbo Laughs!" tagline resonated with her fans.

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