Love old or unusual movies but never know when they’re on? Here are several I recommend:
Kiss Me Kate (1953): You really shouldn’t need your Uncle Ray to tell you about this gem, but just in case you’ve never seen this movie, take my word for it: Set your TiVos and VCRs! Probably Cole Porter’s best musical (which is saying a lot), it’s given the super deluxe studio treatment with a spectacular cast including Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn, James Whitmore, Bob Fosse, Bobby Van, Carol Haney and Kurt Kasznar. Choreographed by the legendary Hermes Pan, the show’s exhilarating songs — Brush Up Your Shakespeare, I Hate Men, True To You in My Fashion and many others— get a spectacular visual treatment. Oh, in case you didn’t know, it’s about two divorced actors playing Kate and Petruchio in a production of The Taming of the Shrew. Please don’t miss this one, folks!
Turner Classic Movies, 3 p.m. Monday
Kicking And Screaming (1995): I really like this movie about that uncomfortable moment between when college ends and real life begins. Or is supposed to begin. Josh Hamilton (who I’ve always loved) and a group of his friends can’t quite get up the energy to leave their college lives behind, and so they just sort of … stay put. Now, this sounds really boring, but it’s not. There’s something hilarious and sad about world-weary 22 year olds. Check this one out.
Now available on Amazon Prime.
127 Hours (2010): James Franco stars in this thriller with an unusual premise: What happens when you go solo canyoneering and get your arm stuck after a fall? I mean, so stuck that you cannot extract yourself to escape? That’s the problem Franco faces in this tight little movie from master director Danny Boyle. It’s also a true story. Franco received his only Oscar nomination (so far) for his vivid performance in this harrowing role.
Now streaming on HBO GO / HBO NOW.
Modern Times (1936): OK, so I’m not much of a Charlie Chaplin fan. I know this makes me a bad person. But thanks to my shiny new Criterion Channel subscription, I’m trying to watch more of his films. I was impressed by Modern Times, however. It was the last major film to be filmed in the style of old silent films (until modern pastiches like Silent Movie and The Artist). Even though it was made in 1936, long after movies had started to talk, it still mostly looks like a silent picture. There is sound, though, including a very funny nonsense song performed by Chaplin near the end of the movie. I am a big fan of Paulette Goddard, and her presence in the movie adds much charm and humor.
Now streaming on The Criterion Channel.
Trivia Question 812: Which of this week’s performers came the closest to playing Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind?
Answer to Trivia Question 810: The Blair Witch Project is generally considered to have originated the “found footage” genre of movie.