Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Shadows Fade: Last Night of TCM Fest Brings My Son John
All right, so if you recorded absolutely nothing else for this festival, My Son John, at 8 pm EST, is the one to take a look at. Leo McCarey's impassioned anti-communist film is half a great movie, and better than you think it will be, I'll wager. Even the second half, cobbled together from Strangers on a Train outtakes after Robert Walker's terrible death, has its moments.
And if the Siren's word isn't good enough for you, there's someone else recommending it too.
The late, great Robin Wood had a piercingly accurate take on this film's great and not-great moments, here in a Google Books excerpt.
Vince of Carole & Co. has posted a preview at his Carole & Co. blog
John McElwee's piece at Greenbriar Picture Shows is well worth revisiting.
And my comrade-in-programming Lou Lumenick has posted his own complete rundown at his New York Post blog.
And for the rest of the evening, TCM is winding up things with a barrage that goes well into the wee hours. The other films are:
I Was a Communist for the FBI at 10 pm. The Siren found this one a chore, but if you're a Frank Lovejoy fan it's a must.
A short called Four Minute Fever (1956), which wasn't on our shortlist and which I haven't seen, but I am eager to check it out.
The Manchurian Candidate, the greatest of all Cold War paranoia thrillers, at midnight.
The Bedford Incident; the Siren saw this as a youngter deeply infatuated with Sidney Poitier. She still is, actually. At 2:15 am.
Scarlet Dawn (1932), which the Siren is dying to catch for the underrated Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Nancy Carroll, with whom she is criminally unfamiliar.
The Doughgirls (1944), at 5:15 am. I know nothing about this one, but all I need to know is Jack Carson and Eve Arden are in it.