Friday, January 29, 2010

For the Weekend: Here and There

Hello, everyone. Thank goodness it's Friday again. And time to relax with a few great movies as well...

We lost a great actress last Friday, Jean Simmons.  No, not the KISS singer, but the 50s and 60s actress who starred in movies like "Guys and Dolls" and "Spartacus."  I'm going to talk more about her on Monday, but TCM has changed it's schedule tonight in memory of her.  They will be showing three of her films - "Great Expectations" (1946), from which she got the part of Ophelia in Laurence Olivier's "Hamlet;" "Elmer Gantry" (1960), with Burt Lancaster about a drifter-turned-evangelist; and "The Happy Ending" (1969), about a married woman's attempt to find happiness without her family, for which Simmons recieved an Oscar nomination.  The trio of movies starts at 8pm EST.

Also on TCM this weekend is the film that I mentioned inspired the design of the pirate ship in "The Goonies" - Errol Flynn's "The Sea Hawk" from 1940.  A true swashbuckler in every sense of the word, it tells the tale of Geoffrey Thorpe, the Sea Hawk himself.  Hired by Queen Elizabeth I to defend the seas against the Spanish, Thorpe falls for one of his captives (Brenda Marshall).  Plenty of romance and adventure soon follow.  Also costarring Claude Rains, it airs Saturday, 1/31, at 11:30 pm EST.

And for my sister-in-law and everyone in need of a good romantic comedy, I recommend "Born Yesterday" (1950).  The ever-cheerful Judy Holliday stars in what I believe to be her best film ever, with great costars like William Holden and Broderick Crawford.  Holliday plays a corrupt tycoon's (Crawford) mistress who starts to be tutored by Holden, only to become smarter than anyone thought.  In the process she falls for Holden and discovers Crawford's true character.  It's a wonderful part that she orginated on Broadway in 1946.  And no one could have played it better.  "Born Yesterday" can be streamed instantly on Netflix or seen here.

Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you Monday! 

(Post-tidbit: Flynn's costumes in "The Sea Hawk" were actually reused costumes from his previous year's film, "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex," about the romance between Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex.)

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