Saturday, July 24, 2021

Film Noir During TCM's Summer Under the Stars 2021

If there is one drawback to Turner Classic Movies' Summer Under the Stars in August, it is that Noir Alley is pre-empted for the whole month. Fortunately there is usually plenty of film noir to be seeing during Summer Under the Stars, and this year is no exception. Below is a schedule of the film noirs and neo-noirs airing next month on Summer Under the Stars.

Tuesday, August 3: Kim Novak
12:45 PM Pushover (1954)

Friday, August 6: Robert Mitchum
6:30 AM The Big Steal (1949)
11:30 AM Angel Face (1953)
1:15 PM Where Danger Lives (1950)
7:00 PM Out of the Past (1947)
9:00 PM Farewell, My Lovely (1975)

Monday, August 16: Robert Young
1:00 AM They Won't Believe Me (1947) (technically the morning of August 17)

Tuesday, August 17: Gloria Grahame
9:30 AM A Woman's Secret (1949)
1:15 PM The Good Die Young (1954)
3:00 PM Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
7:00 PM The Big Heat (1953)
9:00 PM In a Lonely Place (1950)
11:00 PM Crossfire (1947)

Friday, August 20: Van Heflin
11:00 PM Act of Violence (1949)
12:30 PM The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
7:00 PM Johnny Eager (1941)

Sunday, August 22: Tyrone Power
11:15 PM Nightmare Alley (1947)

Monday, August 23: Eve Arden
1:30 PM The Unfaithful (1947)
3:30 PM Whiplash (1948)
8:45 PM Mildred Pierce (1945)

Sunday, August 28: Lee Marvin
5:00 AM I Died a Thousand Times (1955)
7:00 PM Point Blank (1967)

Monday, August 30: James Cagney
3:00 PM White Heat (1949)

Thursday, July 22, 2021

TCM's Summer Under the Stars 2021

Ever since 2003 Turner Classic Movies has devoted  the month of August to the programming block known as Summer Under the Stars. From August 1 to August 31, each day is devoted to the films of a single star. For many TCM fans, Summer Under the Stars is the programming block to which they look forward the most. I must admit I look forward to it every year, although I must also admit I miss seeing Noir Alley this week!

As usual, this year's Summer Under the Stars features days dedicated to top name stars as well as some lesser known ones. For whatever reason this year's Summer Under the Stars schedule didn't denote which stars are being featured on Summer Under the Stars for the first time. That having been said, I think they could be Louis Armstrong, Margaret Rutherford, George Segal, and Setsuko Hara. Of course, there are plenty of big names featured this year, including Bette Davis, Robert Mitchum, Abbott & Costello, Kay Francis, Gregory Peck, Judy Garland, Gloria Grahame, Katharine Hepburn, Eve Arden, Tony Randall, Ingrid Bergman, and James Cagney, among others. 

With regards to this year's schedule, I probably would have placed some movies in different times and for some stars I would have probably included different movies. That having been said, my only major complaint is with Robert Redford's day on August 18. For the life of me, I don't understand why Out of Africa (1985) is at 7:00 PM and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid  (1969) isn't on until 10:00 PM.  The latter movie is not only far better than the former movie, it is far more popular as well.

Below are my picks for each day as to the movies you really don't want to miss. All times are Central.

August 1: Bette Davis
5:00 AM Marked Woman (1937)
9:00 AM The Corn is Green (1945)
11:30 AM What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

August 2: Richard Burton
6:45 AM Look Back in Anger (1949)
4:15 PM Where Eagles Dare (1968)
7:00 PM Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 3: Kim Novak
10:30 AM Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)
12:45 PM The Notorious Landlady (1962)
5:00 PM Picnic (1955)
7:00 PM Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
10:15 PM Vertigo (1958)

August 4: Louis Armstrong
5:00 AM New Orleans (1948)
9:30 AM Cabin in the Sky  (1943)
11:00 AM High Society (1956)

August 5: Margaret Rutherford
10:15 AM The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)
2:00 PM The V.I.P.s (1963)
5:30 PM The Mouse on the Moon (1963)
7:00 PM Murder She Said (1963)
8:45 PM Murder at the Gallop (1963)
10:15 PM Murder Most Foul (1964)
12:00 AM Murder Ahoy (1964)

August 6: Robert Mitchum
6:30 AM The Big Steal (1949)
1:15 PM Where Danger Lives (1950)
7:00 PM Out of the Past (1947)

August 7: Abbott & Costello
3:30 PM The Time of Their Lives (1946)
5:15 PM Buck Privates (1941)
7:00 PM Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

August 8: Esther Williams
9:00 AM Neptune's Daughter (1955)
5:00 PM Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

August 9: Kay Francis
6:15 AM Man Wanted (1932)
10:00 AM Mandalay (1934)
7:00 PM  One Way Passage (1935)

August 10: George Segal
7:00 AM Act One (1963)
11:00 PM Blume in Love (1973)
3:00 PM Bye, Bye Braverman (1968)
7:00 PM King Rat (1965)

August 11: Kathryn Grayson
7:00 PM Kiss Me Kate (1953)
9:00 PM Show Boat (1951) 11:00 PM Lovely Look At (1952)

August 12: Ramon Novarro
5:00 PM The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927)
7:00 PM Ben Hur (1925)

August 13: Jane Fonda
9:15 AM Period of Adjustment (1962)
11:15 PM Any Wednesday (1966)
5:00 PM Sunday in New York (1963)
11:30 PM Barbarella (1968)

August 14: Gregory Peck
12:00 PM Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
10:00 PM The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit (1956)
12:45 AM The Omen (1976)

August 15: Judy Garland
1:30 PM Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
3:45 PM A Star is Born (1954)
7:00 PM Summer Stock (1950)
3:00 AM In the Good Old Summertime (1949)

August 15: Robert Young
1:00 AM They Won't Believe Me (1947)

August 17: Gloria Grahame
5:00 PM Human Desire (1954)
7:00 PM The Big Heat (1953)
9:00 PM In a Lonely Place (1950)
11:00 PM Crossfire (1947)

August 18: Robert Redford
10:00 PM Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

August 19: Setsuko Hara
12:30 Late Autumn (1960)
7:00 PM Late Spring (1949)
11:15 PM Tokyo Story (1953)

August 20: Van Heflin
11:00 PM Act of Violence (1949)
12:30 PM The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
7:00 PM Johnny Eager (1942)

August 21: Katharine Hepburn
11:15 PM Bringing Up Baby (1938)
11:15 PM The Lion in Winter (1968)

August 22: Tyrone Power
2:00 PM The Razor's Edge (1940)
9:15 PM The Mark of Zorro (1940)
11:15 PM Nightmare Alley (1947)

August 23: Eve Arden
5:00 AM Stage Door (1937)
7:00 PM Our Miss Brooks (1956)
8:45 PM Mildred Pierce (1945)
10:45 PM Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

August 24: Maurice Chevalier
10:00 AM Love in the Afternoon (1957)

August 25: Jane Wyman
8:30 AM Brother Rat (1938)
3:00 PM Stage Fright (1950)
7:00 PM Johnny Belinda (1949)
11:00 PM The Yearling (1946)

August 26: Tony Randall
8:45 AM Boys' Night Out (1962)
11:00 PM Pillow Talk (1959)
1:00 PM Lover Come Back (1961)
3:00 PM Send Me No Flowers (1964)
7:00 PM The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)
11:00 PM Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)

August 27: Merle Oberon
5:00 AM The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)
7:00 PM Wuthering Heights (1939)

August 28: Lee Marvin
12:30 PM The Wild One (1953)
2:15 PM Cat Ballou (1965)
4:15 PM The Dirty Dozen (1967)

August 29: Ingrid Bergman
2:45 PM Gaslight (1944)
5:00 PM Casablanca (1942)
7:00 PM Anastasia (1956)

August 30: James Cagney
3:00 PM White Heat (1949)
7:00 PM Footlight Parade (1934)
11:15 PM Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

August 31: Fredric March
5:00 AM Nothing Sacred (1937)
8:30 AM The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)
5:00 PM Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
7:00  PM The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
11:45 PM I Married a Witch (1942)
1:15 AM A Star is Born (1937)

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Late Great William F. Nolan

Writer William F. Nolan, best known for co-writing the novel Logan's Run with George Clayton Johnson and a wide variety of other works, died on July 15 2021 at the age of 93.

William F. Nolan was born on March 6 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri. As a child, he was an avid reader of comic books, pulp magazines, and books, and he loved movies. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute and worked for Hallmark Cards for a time. Not long after World War II, his family moved to Chula Vista, California. It was after he had been in Los Angeles for a time that he discovered the works of Ray Bradbury. He sought Mr. Bradbury out and befriended him. Their friendship eventually led Mr. Nolan to put out his first book, The Ray Bradbury Review. William F. Nolan was an artist for a time before going into writing. He made his first sale of a short story, "The Darendinger Build-Up," to Playboy. It appeared in the June 1956 issue of the magazine. His short stories would be published in a variety of magazines and anthology books.

William F. Nolan's first novel was Logan's Run, co-written with this friend George Clayton Johnson. Published in 1967, the novel was loosely adapted as the movie Logan's Run (1977).  It was followed by two sequel novels (Logan's World and Logan's Search), the novella Logan's Return, and two unpublished sequels. He also wrote four hard-boiled detective novels centred on private eye Bart Challis. His Sam Space series combined the science fiction and hard-boiled detective novel. Mr. Nolan also wrote a series centred on paranormal investigator Kincaid. His series of "Black Mask Boys" mysteries featured Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Erle Stanley Gardner.

William F. Nolan also wrote a number of books on Ray Bradbury, Max Brand, and Dashiell Hammett, as well as biographies on Barney Oldfield, Phil Hill, John Huston, Steve McQueen, and Ernest Hemingway.>br />
William F. Nolan also worked in television. He wrote episodes of the shows Wanted Dead or Alive, Norman Corwin Presents, Darkroom, and 240-Robert. He wrote the TV movies The Norliss Tapes, Melvin Purvis G--MAN, The Turn of the Screw, Sky Heist, The Kansas City Massacre, and Bridge Across Time. He also wrote the teleplays for two of the three stories featured in the classic TV movie Trilogy of Terror, based on the works of Richard Matheson. With regards to feature films, he wrote the screenplay for Burnt Offerings (1976).

William F. Nolan was certainly a remarkable writer. Logan's Run has certainly made an impact on popular culture. That having been said, he wrote many other works and was nothing if not prolific. His works spanned everything from science fiction to horror to hard-boiled detective fiction to non-fiction. He certainly made lasting contributions to literature.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Godspeed Charlie Robinson

Charlie Robinson, who played the level-headed clerk Mac on Night Court and appeared in such movies as Sugar Hill (1974), died on July 11 2021 at the age of 75.  The cause was a heart attack with organ failure brought on by  septic shock and metastatic adenocarcinoma.

Charlie Robinson was born on November 9 1945 in Houston, Texas. When he was a teenager he sang with the Houston based R&B group Archie Bell and The Drells and afterwards a group called Southern Clouds of Joy. Mr. Robinson served in the Army and briefly attended the University of Houston. In the late Sixties, he studied acting at Studio 7, an acting school  ran by Chris Wilson at the Houston Music Theatre.  He later moved to Los Angeles where he joined the Actors Studio.

Charlie Robinson made his television debut in an episode of Owen Marshall, Counsellor at Law in 1971. In the Seventies he guest starred on such shows as Firehouse, Carbie, Cannon, The White Shadow, and Lou Grant. He appeared in the mini-series King and Roots: The Next Generation. He appeared in the TV movies Set This Town on Fire, Nowhere to Hide, A Killing Affair, Buffalo Soldiers, and Haywire. He made his film debut in Drive, He Said in 1971. He appeared in the movies Sugar Hill (1974), The Black Gestapo (1975), Gray Lady Down (1978), and Apocalypse Now (1979).

It was in 1984, during the second season of Night Court, that Charlie Robinson began played the character of Mac, the easy-going, sensible court clerk. He played Mac for the rest of the show's run. He was also a regular on the shows Flamingo Road and Buffalo Bill. He guest starred on the shows Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere and Hotel. He appeared in the TV movies Rehearsal for Murder, Crash Course, and Murder C.O.D. He appeared in the movie The River (1984).

In the Nineties Charlie Robinson was a regular on Love & War, Ink, Home Improvement, and Buddy Faro. He guest starred on the shows CBS Schoolbreak Special, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The John Laroquette Show, In the House, The Crew, Malcolm & Eddie, and Touched by an Angel. He appeared in the TV movies Project: ALF and The Last Dance. He appeared in the movies Set It Off (1996), Land of the Free (1998), Malevolence (1999), Beowulf (1999), and The Playaz Court (2000).

In the Naughts Mr. Robinson had a recurring role on the TV show The Game. He guest starred on the shows Soul Food; First Years; Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place; DAG; The Trouble with Normal; My Wife and Kids; Miss Lettie and Me; Yes, Dear; Abby; Andy Richter Controls the Universe; Carnivàle; The Bernie Mac Show; Committed; Charmed; House M.D.; Cold Case; Still Standing; How I Met Your Mother; The Riches; My Name is Earl; 30 Rock; Big Love; Hank; The Secret Life of the American Teenager; and $#*! My Dad Says. He appeared in the movies Antwone Fisher (2002), Break a Leg (2005), River's End (2005), Easy Money (2006), Mercy Street (2006), Stream (2007), The House Bunny (2008), Jackson (2008), Natural Disasters (2008), and Krews (2010).

In the Teens Charlie Robinson had recurring roles on the TV shows Hart of Dixie, The Guest Book, Mom, and Love in Time of Corona. He guest starred on the shows Harry's Law, The Soul Man, Key and Peele, Reed Between the Lines, Grey's Anatomy, K.C. Undercover, Disjointed, This is Us, NCIS, Better Things, Raven's Home, and Russell Maniac. He appeared in the movies Light, Streets of Redemption (2011), Falling Away (2012), Hoovey (2015), Russell Madness (2015), Sweet Kandy (2015), Heaven Sent (2015), Pee-Wee's Big Holiday (2016), Maybe Someday (2017), and Blindfire (2020).

Charlie Robinson appeared in recurring roles on multiple shows, and there should be no surprise why he was. He was just such a very good actor. As Mac on Night Court he was the show's one practical character among a cast of zany ones, the show's calm centre. On Buffalo Bill he was the brutally honest makeup man Newdell, who tried to keep the show's title character in line. In Sugar Hill he played a character about as far as Mac or Newdell as one can get, the gangster Fabulous, whose tastes in clothing leave a bit to be desired. Throughout his career Charlie Robinson played a wide variety of roles, from law enforcement officers to members of the military to judges. What is more, he did all of them well.