The Mick, going all crazy as the scat-talking MSgt. Yancy Skibo in Quine's deliriously funny "Operation Mad Ball" and doing the jive (below) with fellow cut-ups Dick York and Jack Lemmon.The unsinkable Mickey Rooney - exactly how long has he been in movies anyway? - has been Turner's highlighted star this month and among the neat discoveries of this invaluable 70-title retrospective is the fact that Rooney made four films with the wonderful Richard Quine, a filmmaker largely know for his appealing output with Jack Lemmon.
Three of the titles will air on 23 December - "All Ashore" (1953), a bit of singing-sailor silliness at 7:30 a.m. (est.); "Sound Off" (1952), at 10:30 a.m., in which Rooney plays a song-and-dance man drafted into the Army, and "Operation Mad Ball" (1957), an antic farce that predated Altman's "M*A*S*H" in gleefully deflating the military. It screens at noon. And at 7:30 a.m. on 30 December, don't miss the vivid "Dricve a Crooked Road" (1954), with Kevin McCarthy and Diane Foster backing up the Mick.
You can't go wrong with Quine. Particularly when Rooney is in tow.