The Siren is happy to remind her patient readers that tonight at 10:15 pm EDT, Turner Classic Movies will be screening Max Ophuls' superb, hard-to-come-by Caught. The movie boasts Barbara Bel Geddes in the best screen role she ever got, Robert Ryan playing a marvelously sick spin on Howard Hughes, and James Mason as a gentle doctor. Mason always makes the Siren hyperventilate at least a touch, but this character appeals to her romantic side as do few others. Also, watch for a marvelous sequence in a jazz club, Ophuls' direction underscoring a casual nonsegregated atmosphere that's a wonderful surprise in a film from 1949. And the ending shocked the Siren right down to her ankle straps. (To anyone who knows the film--no spoilers in comments, please! The end really should be seen cold.)
The reason we're getting to see Caught on TCM: my old friend Lee Tsiantis of the Turner legal rights department. Lee is demonstrating his amazing taste by requesting this as his choice for TCM's Employee Picks series. Some time back, as part of the first film-preservation blogathon, I interviewed Lee about his crucial role in unlocking the RKO Six, films that had been in legal limbo for some time.
Well, Lee has not been lounging around Atlanta in the meantime. There are two longed-for titles that he has recently helped bring to our eager embrace. They'll both be screened at the TCM Film Festival next month, before slipping into rotation on the channel itself. One of them is Clarence Brown's Night Flight from 1933.
And the other? Well, a little 1943 title that's been mentioned here from time to time:
The Constant Nymph. The Siren can now confess that a rather elliptical question at the end of her prior interview with Lee was her not-terribly-subtle way of inquiring after the Nymph's preservation health. The happy answer? She's doing swell.
Tovarich Lou Lumenick has a great interview with Lee at his New York Post blog. By all means, go and read it.