Friday, July 15, 2022

Film Noir During TCM Summer Under the Stars 2022

The Asphalt Jungle (1949)

I think I can speak for most Turner Classic Movie fans when I say we love Summer Under the Stars. TCM dedicates every day in August to a specific star, with 24 straight hours of their films. If there is one disadvantage to Summer Under the Stars it's that TCM's usual programming is pre-empted for the whole month. This means for the whole month of August there is no Noir Alley. Fortunately, film noir fans do not have to to go without their noir fix on TCM the whole month, as during Summer Under the Stars Turner Classic Movies usually shows several film noirs. This August is no different. Here then is a list of the film noirs, neo-noirs, and noir related movies airing during this Summer Under the Stars.

August 3, Sidney Poitier:
5:00 AM Edge of the City (1957)

August 4, Ruth Roman:
7:00 AM The Window (1950)
9:00 PM Tomorrow is Another Day (1951)
10:45 PM Down Three Dark Streets (1954)
12:30 AM Five Steps to Danger (1957)

August 5, Orson Welles:
11:30 AM Journey into Fear (1942)
1:00 PM The Stranger (1946)
7:00 PM The Third Man (1949)
9:00 PM The Lady from Shanghai (1948)

August 18, Shelley Winters:

12:15 PM I Died A Thousand Times (1955)
2:15 PM Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960)
9:15 PM The Night of the Hunter (1955)
1:00 AM He Ran All the Way (1951)

August 19, Toshiro Mifune:
12:30 AM High and Low (1963)

August 20, Joan Crawford:
10:15 AM Possessed (1947)
7:00 PM Mildred Pierce (1945)
1:00 AM The Damned Don't Cry (1950)
3:00 AM This Woman is Dangerous (1952)

August 23, Mickey Rooney:
5:15 PM The Strip (1951)

August 27, Marilyn Monroe:
6:30 AM The Asphalt Jungle (1949)
3:00 AM Clash by Night (1952)

Thursday, July 14, 2022

TCM Summer Under the Stars 2022

Starting in 2003, Turner Classic Movies has dedicated the month of August to the programming block known as Summer Under the Stars. TCM dedicates each day of August to a different star during Summer Under the Stars. Many TCM fans, including myself, look forward to Summer Under the Stars each year (although I do miss seeing Noir Alley each week).

This Summer Under the Stars devotes days to many top stars, as well as some lesser known ones. This year TCM did not indicate which stars are being featured during Summer Under the Stars for the first time, and I really can't hazard a guess as to which ones they are.  Regardless, I am glad to see Turner Classic Movies has days dedicated to Jean Arthur, Ruth Roman, Jane Powell, Randolph Scott, Raquel Welch, Toshiro Mifune, Constance Bennett, and Jack Carson. My only real complaint with this year's Summer Under the Stars it that TCM is showing some of my favourite movies at awkward times. For instance, on Jean Arthur's day they are showing The More the Merrier (1943) at 1:30 AM, even though it is one of her most popular movies. On Gene Kelly's day they are showing Singin' in the Rain (1952), arguably his most popular movie of them all, at 3:00 in the afternoon. With other stars there are important movies missing from their days. Why isn't TCM showing Jailhouse Rock (1957) on Elvis's day? I know they showed it this month, but then they also showed Viva Las Vegas (1964). And Lilies in the Field (1963) is conspicuously missing from Sidney Poitier's day.

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

August 1, Elvis Presley:
7:00 PM Viva Las Vegas (1964)

August 2, Jean Arthur:
12:15 PM The Talk of the Town (1942)
7:00 PM Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
9:15 PM Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
11:30 PM The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)
1:30 AM The More the Merrier (1943)

August 3, Sidney Poitier:
5:00 AM Edge of the City (1957)
6:30 AM The Blackboard Jungle (1955)
5:00 PM A Warm December (1972)
7:00 PM A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
9:15 PM A Patch of Blue (1955)

August 4, Ruth Roman:
7:00 PM Strangers on a Train (1951)
10:45 PM Down Three Dark Streets (1954)

August 5, Orson Welles:
11:30 AM Journey into Fear (1942)
1:00 PM The Stranger (1946)
7:00 PM The Third Man (1949)
9:00 PM The Lady from Shanghai (1948)
10:45 PM Citizen Kane (1941)

August 6, Audrey Hepburn:
5:00 AM Wait Until Dark (1967)
5:00 PM Charade (1963)
7:00 PM Roman Holiday (1953)
9:15 PM How to Steal a Million (1966)

August 7, Gene Kelly:
7:00 AM Les Girls (1957)
3:00 PM Singin' in the Rain (1952)
7:00 PM On the Town (1949)
9:00 PM An American in Paris (1951)

August 8, Maureen O'Sullivan:
9:45 AM The Devil Doll (1936)
7:00 PM Tarzan, The Ape Man (1932)
9:00 PM Tarzan and His Mate (1934)
11:00 PM The Big Clock (1948)

August 9, William Holden:
3:00 PM Born Yesterday (1950)
7:00 PM Sunset Blvd. (1950)
10:45 PM Network (1976)

August 10, Greta Garbo:
1:30 PM Anna Karénina (1935)
3:15 PM Ninotchka (1939)
12:00 PM Queen Christina (1933)

August 11, Laurence Harvey:
9:00 AM Life at the Top (1965)
7:00 PM The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
9:15 PM Walk on the Wild Side (1962)
11:15 AM A Room at the Top (1959)

August 12, Jane Powell:
5:00 AM A Date with Judy (1948)
7:00 PM Royal Wedding (1951)
9:00 PM Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

August 13, Marlon Brando:
7:00 PM A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
9:15 PM The Wild One (1954)

August 14, Elizabeth Taylor:
10:45 AM Father of the Bride (1950)
7:00 PM Giant (1956)
10:30 PM Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

August 15, Randolph Scott:
7:00 AM My Favourite Wife (1940)
7:00 PM Ride Lonesome (1959)
8:30 PM Buchanan Rides Alone (1958)
10:00 PM Ride the High Country (1962)

August 16, Raquel Welch:
3:00 PM The Three Musketeers (1973)
5:00 PM The Four Musketeers (1974)
7:00 PM One Million Years B.C. (1966)
9:00 PM Bandolero! (1968)

August 17, Spencer Tracy:
5:00 PM Fury (1936)
3:00 PM Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
7:00 PM Adam's Rib (1949)

August 18, Shelley Winters:
4:15 PM Lolita (1962)
9:15 PM Night of the Hunter (1955)

August 19, Toshiro Mifune:
7:00 AM Throne of Blood (1957)
3:00 PM Yojimbo (1961)
5:00 PM Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (1970)
7:00 PM Rashomon (1950)
8:45 PM Seven Samurai (1954)
12:30 AM High and Low (1963)

August 20, Joan Crawford:
2:00 PM The Women (1939)
4:30 PM What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
9:00 PM Grand Hotel (1932)

August 21, Clint Eastwood:
2:30 PM Coogan's Bluff (1968)
7:00 PM The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

August 22, Constance Bennett:
5:00 PM Topper (1937)
7:00 PM Merrily We Live (1938)

August 23, Mickey Rooney:
5:00 AM A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)

August 24, Jacqueline Bisset:
6:45 AM The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
5:00 PM Bullitt (1968)

August 25, Gilbert Roland:
9:00 AM The French Line (1954)
5:00 PM The Bad and the Beautiful (1946)
11:30 PM Thunder Bay (1953)

August 26, Vivien Leigh:
10:00 AM Anna Karenina (1948)
2:00 PM The Ship of Fools (1965)
7:00 PM Gone with the Wind (1939)
11:00 PM Waterloo Bridge (1940)
1:00 AM That Hamilton Woman (1941)

August 27, Marilyn Monroe:
6:30 AM The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
3:00 PM How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
5:00 PM Monkey Business (1952)
7:00 PM The Seven Year Itch (1955)
9:00 PM Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953)
11:00 PM Some Like It Hot (1959)

August 28, Cary Grant:
8:15 AM Gunga Din (1939)
12:30 PM The Philadelphia Story (1940)
4:30 PM North by Northwest (1959)
11:00 PM His Girl Friday (1940)

August 29, Myrna Loy:
2:00 PM The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
5:00 PM The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (1947)
7:00 PM The Thin Man (1934)
9:00 PM After the Thin Man (1936)
1:00 AM Libelled Lady (1936)

August 30, Jack Carson:
6:45 AM The Male Animal (1942)
5:15 PM It's a Great Feeling (1949)
9:00 PM The Good Humour Man (1950)

August 31, Peter Sellers:
9:00 AM The Mouse That Roared (1959)
7:00 PM Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Godspeed Lenny Von Dohlen

Lenny Von Dohlen, who starred in the movie Electric Dreams (1984) and played diarist, orchid lover, and agoraphobe Harold Smith on Twin Peaks, died on July 5 2022 at the age of 63 following a long illness.

Lenny Von Dohlen was born on December 22 1958 in Augusta, Georgia. He grew up in Goliad, Texas. As a child he wanted to become a jockey. He attended the University of Texas where he majored in drama. After graduating from college he moved to New York City to pursue acting.

Lenny Von Dohlen made his television debut in the television movie Kent State in 1981. It was in 1990 that he appeared as Harold Smith on Twin Peaks. He also appeared in the prequel movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992). In the Eighties he guest starred on the shows Miami Vice, American Playhouse, ABC Afterschool Specials, Tales from the Darkside, The Equalizer, Thirtysomething, The Young Riders, and Grand. He made his film debut in Tender Mercies in 1983. In the Eighties he appeared in the films Electric Dreams (1984), Billy Galvin (1984), and Dracula's Widow (1988).

In the Nineties Mr. Von Dohlen played Mr. Cox on the TV show The Pretender. He guest starred on the shows The Flash; Red Dwarf; Picket Fences; Walker, Texas Ranger; The Lazarus Man; Chicago Hope; and The Magnificent Seven. He appeared in the movies Cold Heaven (1991), Leaving Normal (1992), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; Blind Vision (1992), Eyes of the Beholder (1992), Jennifer Eight (1992), Tollbooth (1994), Amberwaves (1994), Bird of Prey (1995), One Good Turn (1996), Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996), Cadillac (1997), Home Alone 3 (1997), and Frontline (1999).

In the Naughts he guest starred on the shows CSI: Miami, Ghost Whisperer, Criminal Minds, and Psych. He appeared in the movies Breathing Hard (2001), Teeth (2007), Beautiful Loser (2008), and Downstream (2010). In the Teens Lenny Von Dohlen appeared in the movies Choose (2011), Camilla Dickinson (2012), Annie and the Gypsy (2012), Dark Power (2013), Broken Horse (2015), Threshold (2016), Ray Meets Helen (2017), Just Within Reach (2017), The Maestro (2018), Near Myth: The Oskar Knight Story (2018), and For the Weekend (2020). He guest starred on The Orville.

 Lenny Von Dohlen was extremely talented. As Miles Harding in Electric Dreams he bought new life to the age-old trope of the sweet guy who falls in love with a beautiful woman (although his rival was a computer...). Harold Smith, with all his eccentricities, could easily have been a one-note character on Twin Peaks, but Mr. Von Dohlen turned him into one of the show's most memorable characters. On The Pretender he played a character as far from Miles Hardin in Electric Dreams as one could get. Mr. Cox was a truly sinister figure, certainly one of the show's creepiest villains. Lenny Von Dohlen played a wide array of characters in leading roles and in roles that only appeared for a few minutes on the screen. And he turned in a good performance every time.

Monday, July 11, 2022

The Late Great L. Q. Jones

Legendary character actor L. Q. Jones died on July 9 2022 at the age of 94. On television he had a recurring role on The Virginian and he was a regular on the short-lived nighttime soap opera The Yellow Rose, in addition to many guest appearances on other shows. He worked with Sam Peckinpah on the films Ride the High Country (1962), Major Dundee (1965), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973). He also appeared in a diverse number of movies, from Love Me Tender (1956) to Casino (1995). L. Q. Jones also directed the post-apocalyptic cult film A Boy and His Dog (1975).

L. Q. Jones was born Justus Ellis McQueen on August 19 1927 in Beaumont, Texas. His mother was killed in an automobile accident when he was very young and he was raised by relatives, He learned to ride a horse while he was very young and was surrounded by rodeo performers while he was growing up. From 1945 to 1946 he served in the United States Navy. He attended Lamar Junior College in Beaumont and Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas. He studied law at the University of Texas in Austin. His roommate there was Fess Parker, who would later play Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on television. Following his stint in college, L. Q. Jones tried work as a stand-up comic and briefly played both professional baseball and football. He tried ranching in Nicaragua, but the venture did not go well.

His former college roommate, Fess Parker, had moved to Hollywood to pursue a film career. He sent a copy of the novel Battle Cry by Leon Uris, which was set to be adapted as a movie by Warner Bros. an to be directed by Raoul Walsh. Fess Parker would play the role of Private Speedy in the film. Fess Parker encouraged L.Q. Jones to try out for the film. Ultimately, Justus Ellis McQueen was cast as Private L.Q. Jones in the film. He took the name of his character, "L. Q. Jones," as his stage name. Battle Cry was released in 1955.

The same year L. Q. Jones was cast in the role of Cheyenne Bodie's sidekick Smitty on the Western Cheyenne. Unfortunately, when producer Roy Huggins overhauled the show, his role was cut. L. Q. Jones then only appeared in three episodes of Cheyenne. In the late Fifties he guest starred on the shows Annie Oakley, On Trial, The Silence Service, Jefferson Drum, Flight, Men of Annapolis, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Black Saddle, Tightrope, This Man Dawson, Lassie, Wichita Town, Johnny Ringo, Lock Up, Buick-Electra Playhouse, Klondike, and The Rebel. He appeared in the movies An Annapolis Story (1955), Target Zero (1955), Santiago (1956), Toward the Unknown (1956), Between Heaven and Hell (1956), Love Me Tender (1956), Men in War (1957), Operation Mad Ball (1957), Gunsight Ridge (1957), The Young Lions (1958), The Naked and the Dead (1958), Buchanan Rides Alone (1958), Torpedo Run (1958), Warlock (1959), Battle of the Coral Sea (1959), Hound-Dog Man (1959), Ten Who Dared (1960), Cimarron (1960), and Flaming Star.

In the Sixties L. Q. Jones had the recurring role of ranch hand Andy Belden on The Virginian. He guest starred on the shows The Detectives, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Americans, Two Faces West, Death Valley Days, Tales of Wells Fargo, Lawman, Lassie, Wide Country, Ben Casey, Have Gun--Will Travel, Route 66, Laramie, Empire, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Wagon Train, Slattery's People, Branded, Rawhide, My Favorite Martian, A Man Called Shenandoah, Pistols 'n' Petticoats, The Jean Arthur Show, ABC Stage 67, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, Cimarron Strip, Hondo, The F.B.I., The Big Valley, Hawaii Five-O, and Lancer. He appeared in the movies Ride the High Country (1962), Hell is for Heroes (1962), Showdown (1963), The Devil's Bedroom (1964), Iron Angel (1964), Apache Rifles (1964), Major Dundee (1965), Nevada Smith (1966), Stay Away, Joe (1968), Hang 'Em High (1968), The Counterfeit Killer (1968), The Wild Bunch (1969), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), and The McMasters. He directed the movie The Devil's Bedroom (1964) under his given name of Justus McQueen.

In the Seventies Mr. Jones guest starred on the shows The F.B.I., Cade County, Gunsmoke, The Delphi Bureau, The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, Alias Smith and Jones, Assignment: Vienna, Cannon, The Magician, The Manhunter, Ironside, Kung Fu, Matt Helm, Movin' On, McCloud, CHiPs, Columbo, The Eddie Capra Mysteries, How the West Was Won, The Sacketts, The Runaways, The Incredible Hulk, Young Maverick, Wild Times, Vega$, Charlie's Angels, and Enos. He appeared in the movies The Hunting Party (1971), The Brotherhood of Satan (1971), 43: The Richard Petty Story (1972), Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), A Boy and His Dog (1975), White Line Fever (1975), Winterhawk (1975), Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), and Fast Charlie...the Moonbeam Rider (1979). He directed the movie A Boy and His Dog (1975).

In the Eighties, L.Q. Jones was a regular on the TV shows The Yellow Rose. He guest starred on the shows Walking Tall, Riker, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Fall Guy, Voyagers!, Matt Houston,and The A-Team. He appeared in the movies He appeared in the movies The Beast Within (1982), Melanie (1982), Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982), Sacred Ground (1983), Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), Bulletproof (1987), River of Death (1989), and The Legend of Grizzly Adams (1990).

In the Nineties he had a recurring role on the TV show Renegades. He guest starred on the shows The New Adam-12; Shades of LA;  and Walker, Texas Ranger. He appeared in the mini-series In Cold Blood. He appeared in the movies Lightning Jack (1994), Casino (1995), The Friends of Harry (1995), The Edge (1997), The Patriot (1998), and The Mask of Zorro (1998).

In the Naughts he appeared in the movies Route 666 (2001) and A Prairie Home Companion (2006). He guest starred on the show Dr. Vegas.

The average person might not recognize L. Q. Jones's name, but I am sure they would recognize his face. He was one of the best character actors of the late Twentieth Century and appeared in many movies and on many TV shows as well.  He was the bounty hunter T.C. in The Wild Bunch. In The Ballad of Cable Hogue he played Taggart, one of the two men who left the title character for dead. L. Q. Jones played so many heavies in Westerns that someone could be forgiven if they thought that was all he played.  Even so, he played his share of good guys as well.  After all, he played Andy Belden on The Virginian for several years. He also played Texas Ranger Dakota Brown in Lone Wolf McQuade and Sheriff Bill Poole in The Beast Within. Over the years L. Q. Jones played a wide variety of roles on television, from ranchers to con men to servicemen to politicians. He also worked in a variety of genres beyond Westerns. He appeared in mysteries, horror movies, war movies, and even sci-fi movies. He worked with everyone from Sam Pekinpah to Elvis Presley. Although he may be best known for playing heavies in Westerns, but L. Q. Jones played a wide variety of roles and played all of them well.