Love old or unusual movies but never know when they're on? Here are several I recommend:
Ice Station Zebra (1968): These days, people have forgotten what a big deal Scottish novelist Alistair MacLean used to be. At least 15 films were made based on his books, including The Guns of Navarone and Where Eagles Dare. Zebra is a sturdy, ambitious and entertaining big-budget military Cold War thriller that is easy to recommend. Rock Hudson plays a nuclear submarine commander on a mission to rescue the crew of a weather station at the North Pole, but sabotage and treachery may be afoot. Put on your parka and enjoy this adventure from the same director who brought us The Great Escape.
Turner Classic Movies, 10:30 a.m. Friday
Pat And Mike (1952): Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin wrote the screenplay and George Cukor directs Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in one of their very best pairings. Hepburn plays a talented golfer who falls in with Tracy's sports promoter. The dialog pops with wit, as do the sparks between the stars. Aldo Ray and Charles Bronson, near the very beginning of their careers, also appear.
Turner Classic Movies, 9 p.m. Saturday
Tickled (2016): OMG, this movie. A jaw-dropping story of journalism leading to unexpected places, Tickled tells the story of a New Zealand television reporter who starts digging into what seems to be a new kink: competitive endurance tickling. Yeah, not a misprint. But when he begins to dig into the story, it turns out that what's going on is much, much weirder than he expected. Oh, did I mention that this is a documentary? So it's all real. And it leads to one of the most memorably authentic villains I've seen in a movie in quite some time. You're not going to believe your eyes.
Now available on HBO GO / HBO NOW.
The Social Network (2010): Here's the movie that really should have won the Best Picture Oscar for 2010. On paper, it sounds really boring: It's basically about a deposition in a lawsuit over who owned the rights to Facebook. But the mega-talented team of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher turn the story into one of the most dazzling commercial films in years. Jesse Eisenberg is mesmerizing as a fictionalized version of Zuckerberg, and Justin Timberlake provides snap as Napster founder Sean Parker. The script is simply a breathtaking wonder. You'll want to rewind the movie again and again to listen the cracklingly smart (and fast) dialog. The film won Oscars for editing, screenplay, and score.
Now streaming on Netflix.
Trivia Question #739: Can you name another Alistair MacLean movie that takes place in a snowy and icy setting?
Answer to Trivia Question #737: Peter Capaldi (from Local Hero) has starred on television as Doctor Who.