It's almost Super Bowl Sunday! Time for all of America to sit in their homes and watch large, burly men in shoulder pads purposely run into each other over a little ball. So, for this weekend, I thought I'd suggest some movies with more tough men to keep the spirit going.
On Saturday, TCM is playing movies full of tough men all day long, starting with "How the West Was Won" (1962) at 9:30 am EST and ending with "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) at midnight. If you can't watch all day because you have to go shopping for your own Super Bowl party, try at least to catch "The Great Escape" (1963) and "Bullitt" (1968), starting at 5 pm EST. Both star one of the manliest of film stars, Steve McQueen. In "Escape," he plays a prisoner-of-war trying to escape a German camp, aided by a large cast of talented costars, including James Garner, Richard Attenborough, and James Coburn, to name a few. In "Bullitt," he plays a policeman determined to find the mobster that killed the witness he was protecting, and includes one of the greatest car chases on film. Actually filmed through the streets of San Francisco, the chase took 3 weeks to complete. The filmmakers wanted to use the Golden Gate Bridge as well, but the city wouldn't give them permission.
If you're in the mood for your men on a lighter side this weekend, check out "McLintock!" (1963) on Hulu. John Wayne plays McLintock, the cattle baron of his small town. When his estranged wife (Maureen O'Hara) comes back for the homecoming of their daughter (Stefanie Powers), hilarity and mayhem ensue. Inspired by Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew," it is a delightful knockabout comedy, and the fourth film to team Wayne and O'Hara together, one of the great pairings in screen history.
So, go enjoy your finger foods this Sunday, but be sure to enjoy some more powerhouses too. And "GO [insert team of choice here]!!"
(Post-tidbit: "Bullit" was the first mainstream film to use the word "bullshit" in its script.)