Love old or unusual movies but never know when they’re on? Here are several I recommend:
Home From The Hill (1960): This excellent melodrama is (for 1960) a frank and clear-eyed look at family dynamics and the effects of infidelity. Robert Mitchum plays a powerful landowner who dominates his Texas town like he dominates his family. Eleanor Parker plays his estranged wife, who’s raised their son (George Hamilton) to depend on her, not his father. When Mitchum attempts to “make a man out of him,” he involves George Peppard, a young employee who embodies all he considers appropriate in a son. There’s only one problem with this plan: It turns out that Peppard is actually Mitchum’s illegitimate son. Sit back and watch the sparks fly.
Turner Classic Movies, 6:15 a.m. Tuesday.
The More The Merrier (1943): My beloved Jean Arthur got her one Oscar nomination for this extremely funny, charming little romcom that uses the wartime housing shortage in Washington, D.C., as its plot device. Jean is a working girl with a tiny apartment who ends up with two unwanted roommates: a quirky old meddler (Charles Coburn) and a dashing young aeronautics engineer (Joel McCrae). Coburn decides to play Cupid, and things get complicated and messy and adorable. Coburn won an Oscar for his delightful turn, and Arthur lets out all the stops. I’m so glad I finally saw this classic.
Now streaming on The Criterion Channel.
October Sky (1999): Based on NASA engineer Homer Hickam’s memoir Rocket Boys, this lovely movie tells the true story of Hickam’s youth as the son of a coal miner. After the launch of Sputnik in 1957, young Homer gets interested in building rockets, but his father (Chris Cooper) expects he will follow him into the mines. Laura Dern plays the proverbial good teacher who encourages Homer’s dreams. Jake Gyllenhaal shines in his first lead role at age 18.
Now streaming on Hulu.
Unsane (2018): Don’t you just hate it when you get falsely committed to an insane asylum? Particularly when you’re being stalked and, naturally, no one will believe you? That’s the unenviable position poor Claire Foy (The Crown) finds herself dealing with in this tight, scary thriller from Steven Soderbergh. It’s great to see Amy Irving again as Claire’s mom, and Joshua Leonard is creepy as the man who might be her stalker… or might just be a figment of her tormented imagination.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Trivia Question 850: Which of this week’s performers once played the only survivor of a massacre at her high school prom?
Answer to Trivia Question 848: Victor Jory played an evil slave overseer in Gone With the Wind.