Love old or unusual movies but never know when they’re on? Here are several I recommend:
The Big Parade (1925): Here’s one of the great classics of the silent screen. King Vidor’s The Big Parade tells the story of a privileged young aristocrat who joins the army during World War I. The film traces his experiences, from his budding friendships with army buddies to his romance with a young French woman. Filmed in a grand, operatic manner, the movie is full of extraordinary scenes and grand moments. The movie made John Gilbert a star, and the shot in which his French sweetheart collapses in the road while watching him return to the front is absolutely unforgettable.
Turner Classic Movies, Monday at 10:45 p.m.
The Owl and the Pussycat (1970): Director Herbert Ross and screenwriter Buck Henry took Bill Manhoff’s two-person Broadway play and created a fun vehicle for rising star Barbra Streisand. It was her first non-musical film, and she shows tremendous comic chops as her character, a tacky broad who just might be a prostitute, spars and bickers with a nerdy aspiring writer (George Segal). The material is dated, funny and charming. It’s nice to remember Barbra when she seemed to be able to do just about anything.
Turner Classic Movies, 7 p.m. Tuesday
Puss in Boots (2011): As the Shrek franchise was winding down, this fresh and very funny spinoff showed up. Long before meeting the big green guy, Puss (once again beautifully voiced by Antonio Banderas) has to clear his name after being falsely accused of a crime. Like the Shrek films, the movie deftly references fairy tale and nursery rhymes, from Jack and Jill to Jack and Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty and beyond. Zach Galifianakis and Salma Hayek co-star as Humpty and Kitty Softpaws. The movie is gorgeous to look at and laugh-out-loud hilarious.
Now streaming on HBO GO / HBO NOW.
Black Narcissus (1947): This stunningly beautiful movie comes from directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the team who created The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death. This time around their story takes place high in the Indian Himalayas, where a group of nuns (led by Sister Superior Deborah Kerr) are trying “help” the local heathens. The problem is, the innate sensuality and stark beauty of their surroundings create temptations that are difficult to deal with. Also starring Jean Simmons and Sabu. Academy Awards to Jack Cardiff for his amazing cinematography and Alfred Junge for art direction.
Now streaming on the Criterion Channel.
Trivia Question #793: On a particularly outrageous boudoir outfit worn by Barbara Streisand’s character in The Owl and the Pussycat, cutouts of what image are strategically placed on the bra portion?
Answer to Trivia Question #791: Rachel Weisz (star of The Constant Gardener) was nominated for an Academy Award for the 2018 film The Favourite.