Turner Classic Movies
Here are my picks for the eight best things about late night TV right now. The stuff to watch with a bag of Doritos in one hand and the remote in the other.
1. Letterman's desk chat. This is the ten or fifteen minutes that starts after the first commercial break. It's Dave being his most Dave-est, when he just talks to the audience and to the camera and banters with Paul, usually telling a story about something that happened to him (such as that recent scandal) or going on a riff about something that irritates him. It's also the part of 'The Late Show' where we see some of the best comedy bits: on-the-street shenanigans, interaction with the audience, Stupid Pet Tricks, Lyle the Intern, visits with Rupert, Jay Thomas and his Lone Ranger story. This is the best part of the show.
To honor the prolific career of Clint Eastwood,Turner Classic Movies will devote the day to him. On May 31, the network will give us 24 hours of Eastwood, including 'The Eastwood Factor,' a documentary that has previously only been available as part of the boxed set 'Clint Eastwood: 35 Films.'
It's a hunka hunka burning schedule that true Elvis fans will not want to miss.
1. Mad Men. I hate to be boring by picking the same thing as I did last year as my number one thing I'm thankful for, but did you see that season finale? Holy crap. It was the capper to a fantastic season. This is the best show on television (and a thanks-within-a-thanks for this being on AMC and not some other network).
The movie network has announced that they're doing a classic film festival in April 2010.
It's that time of year when we get all the deliciously creepy shows and movies haunting our TV sets as we head into Halloween. Turner Classic Movies is airing some great ones this weekend, including Poltergeist, Dr. X, and The Blob. Check out their schedule to see when they're airing.
I have to agree with John that sometimes the ghost hunter shows don't always deliver. Then again, sometimes just the idea of where they're going is frightening. Last night, I watched an episode of Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel, and the guys took their gear into the bowels of an abandoned insane asylum. I happened to grow up in a town with an abandoned insane asylum (converted to very nice retail/business now), and I know firsthand that these places are pretty creepy.
Also in the news today: Paris Hilton books 'Supernatural,' while James Earl Jones is in the 'House.'
See more of today's top TV headlines after the jump.
They're celebrating the 40th anniversary of the moon landing on Monday, July 20 with classic, revered movies you'd expect, like The Right Stuff and From The Earth To The Moon, but they also have the sense of humor to also show They Came From Beyond Space, a ridiculous (but entertaining), low-budget 60s sci-fi movie about aliens who come to take over Earth but can't control one scientist because he has a metal plate in his head.
Here's the full schedule for the all-day TCM marathon.
8PM: On The Waterfront
10PM: A Streetcar Named Desire
12:15AM: Birdman of Alcatraz
This will be a good chance for people who only know Malden from The Streets of San Francisco or American Express ads to see what he was like as an actor on the big screen. I think they should be showing more though. TCM must own more movies that feature Malden.
Overall, it seems like the Writer's Strike really hurt the business. Shows that might have survived, didn't. New shows have been stuck in development longer than usual. But despite all that, there were moments that were thrilling, shows that are terrific ... and those that weren't.
I'll get my chance to enroll at such a school this February, when Turner Classic Movies presents its annual "31 Days of Oscar" film schedule (there aren't 31 days in February - maybe it leaks into March?). This year the festival will be devoted to a "classroom" of 350 different films, hosted by Robert Osborne. Each day Osborne will introduce each movie theme and tell us a little bit about the theme and the movies.
The "courses" include Mass Media, Nuclear Physics, Farm Planning and Management, Military Law, Reproductive Biology, and other courses that will be represented by classic Oscar-winning movies, from My Fair Lady and The China Syndrome to Hannah and Her Sisters and The Caine Mutiny. Other movies will include Network, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Casablanca, Poltergeist, and The Great Escape.
They should hold classes in Space Exploration and Technology and show Plan 9 From Outer Space.
Whatever he envisions for a professional life away from acting, if that's to be the case, Alec Baldwin has signed on to co-host Turner Classic Movies' The Essentials, a weekly analysis of a classic movie with co-host Robert Osborne. The show, which airs every Saturday at 8 p.m., most recently featured actress Rose McGowan, and before her Carrie Fisher and Molly Haskell shared the duties with Osborne.
It's one of my favorite TCM programs, giving the hosts a chance to set up a great movie, offer commentary and stimulate conversation. Considering the fact that Alec is very opinionated and pretty funny, he should add a lot to The Essentials.
The cable channel going to present five movies about politics, and if you want to see how the world of running for public office has changed in the 20th century, these films are a fantastic reflection of the times.
On Wednesday, September 3, starting at 8 PM ET, the night begins with The Last Hurrah, and includes The Candidate (10:15 PM), The Best Man (12:15 AM), Nashville (2 AM) and The Dark Horse (1932).
Like I said, these pictures are all really interesting choices. The Candidate, released in 1972, for instance, is not so different from today's campaign pitting Senator Barack Obama versus Senator John McCain.
It's a young candidate espousing change, up against an experienced, wizened establishment candidate. Robert Redford plays Bill McKay, the up and comer, while Don Porter is the popular, long-time incumbent senator. Check out these photos, because Porter even looks like McCain!
Of course, every week is a great week to watch Turner Classic Movies. If you're not a regular viewer of TCM, you're really missing out.
But looking over their schedule for tomorrow, I noticed several movies are playing that you really must see, especially if you haven't seen them before. In fact, two of the movies are ones I haven't seen before myself, though I've always wanted to. Many of these movies aren't shown on TV that often, and when they are it's only on TCM, another reason to watch the channel regularly.
Now she's taking on a new role; she'll be guest programmer at Turner Classic Movies in July, and having gotten a look at her choices, I have to say to Sally, "I like you, I really like you" -- at least your taste in movies.
Sally will be joined by TCM host Robert Osborne introducing and discussing her four films. The Field four are Love With a Proper Stranger, The Awful Truth, All About Eve and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, and every one of them features great performances by women.
To those of you who aren't movie buffs, here's a bit more information about these films -- why I like them, and I mean, I really like them.
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