Turner continues to to unearth difficult-to-see movies, including two Joan Crawford films in February that show her in top form - Hall Bartlett's “The Caretakers” (1963), in which she plays everyone's worst nightmare, the director of a mental asylum, and Ranald MacDougal's “Queen Bee” (1955), in which Crawford more or less taunts her supporting cast as a woman who dominates, and demoralizes, her relatives. The films air at 8 p.m. (5 a.m., pst) on February 2 and and 9:15 a.m. (6:15 a.m., pst) on February 3, respectively.
Other titles worth seeking out include:
“The Best Man” (1964), Franklin J. Schaffner's film version of the Gore Vidal play (starring Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson as Presidential Republic and Democratic candidates, respectively), in which one character quips, "For a liberal, you sure think like a good American." Some things haven't changed. "The Best Man" airs on TCM at 10 a.m. (7 a.m., pacific time) on Monday, February 5.
“The Bachelor Party” (1957) and "Separate Tables” (1958) are two Delbert Mann films based on plays. The first features Don Murray, Jack Warden, Larry Blyden, Philip Abbott and e.g. Marshall among others, as guys carousing, or trying to, during an all-night bachelor party in New York. The stand out in the cast is Carolyn Jones, billed only as The Existentialist who talks a blue streat when Murray tries to pick her up. Paddy Chayefsky wrote the brilliant, sardonic script. "Separate Tables," based on the Terence Rattigan play , boasts an all-star cast - Burt Lancastger, Rita Rayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Cathleen Nesbitt, Gladys Cooper, Wendy Hiller and Rod Taylor. You can see "The Bachelor Party" (not to be confused with the disposable Tom Hanks comedy) airs Monday, February 12 at 7:15 a.m. (4:15 a.m., pst), while "Separate Tables" can be seen Tuesday, February 13 at 8:15 a.m. 5:15 a.m., pst).
In the "Don't Miss" category, there's the John Cromwell-Paddy Chayefsky collaboration "The Goddess" - airing Wednesday, February 28 at 10 a.m. (7 a.m., pst), which offers the great Kim Stanley's mesmerizing interpretation of Marilyn Monroe. Don't miss it.
Finally, you'll get a rare chance to see George Sidney's celebration of Cantinflas, “Pepe” 1960), on Monday,February 19 at 9:45 a.m. (6:45 a.m., pst) and the wonderful Kim Stanley in a rare screen appearance in John Cromwell's “The Goddess” (1958), airing Wednesday, February 28 at 10 a.m. (7 a.m., pst).
Note: This will be a regular monthly feature, highlighting, well, the highlights on Turner Classics' schedule.
(Artwork: top: A still shot of Constance Ford and Joan Crawford in United Artists' "The Caretakers" and middle: the movie tie-in cover for the softback for U.A.'s "The Bachelor Party.")
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