Films in 2017: August

August was mostly filled with watching movies from TCM’s annual Summer Under the Stars festival, though towards the end of the month I wasn’t able to keep up with every star honored (and there’s still a few movies I still want to catch on the Watch TCM app). There were, of course, a few other movies outside of that program that I saw this month, but as you’ll see the ones that stuck with me the most were a couple of good ol’ classic, black-and-white films.

New-to-Me: 28

Re-Watched: 2

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 1
  • 1930s – 3
  • 1940s – 9
  • 1950s – 4
  • 1960s – 6
  • 1970s – 0
  • 1980s – 0
  • 1990s – 0
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 5

List of New-to-Me Films:

  • Lilies of the Field (1963)
  • Ladies of the Chorus (1949)
  • Love Nest (1951)
  • Alias Nick Beal (1949)
  • He Who Gets Slapped (1924)
  • Crack-Up (1946)
  • Dunkirk (2017)
  • Pilot #5 (1943)
  • When Strangers Marry (1944)
  • The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
  • The Naked Jungle (1954)
  • Today We Live (1933)
  • That Funny Feeling (1965)
  • The Bedford Incident (1965)
  • Chance at Heaven (1933)
  • Jeopardy (1953)
  • Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966)
  • Two Weeks with Love (1950)
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
  • The Feminine Touch (1941)
  • Logan Lucky (2017)
  • Contempt (1963)
  • I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
  • Experiment in Terror (1962)
  • Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (2015)
  • The Very Thought of You (1944)
  • Blonde Crazy (1931)
  • Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star (2016)
  • A Few Favorite Discoveries:

    Experiment in Terror (1962), directed by Blake Edwards

    This noir-esque thriller was featured on Glenn Ford’s day for TCM’s Summer Under the Stars. He’s one of my favorite actors, and one who I feel is underappreciated because he has such a natural presence that it almost doesn’t seem like he’s acting out a role. And here he’s no different, playing an FBI agent helping out Lee Remick, who’s being anonymously threatened to help steal money from the bank she works for. While director Blake Edwards is best known today for his lighter, comedic films, he was also great at directing more dramatic films like Experiment in Terror, which he made the same year with Remick in the harrowing film Days of Wine and Roses. The film also features a terrific score by Edwards’ frequent collaborator Henry Mancini, who is also one of my all-time favorite film composers.

    The Very Thought of You (1944), directed by Delmer Daves

    The Very Thought of You was featured in Dennis Morgan’s line-up, and it’s a lovely wartime romance movie. Morgan often starred opposite Hollywood’s finest leading ladies as their love interest, such as with Ginger Rogers in Kitty Foyle and Barbara Stanwyck in Christmas in Connecticut. This time around he gets top billing, as future Oscar nominee Eleanor Parker was still on the rise (another great talent featured in TCM’s Summer Under the Stars this year). They both have wonderful chemistry in this film, showing in earnest the joys and challenges of falling in love during that time period, given the situation. While a lot of wartime romance movies from the period revelled in the whirlwind courtship of soldiers marrying after a few short days on leave, this film shows it’s not quite as easy as all that, with much of Parker’s family not being too keen on the idea. Overall, it’s a very sweet, romantic movie that isn’t afraid to look at the realities of the time. I also have to mention how delightful Dane Clark is in a supporting role as Morgan’s friend, as well as Henry Travers and Beulah Bondi as Parker’s parents, who have interestingly opposite takes on their daughter’s blossoming relationship.

    Contempt (1963), directed by Jean-Luc Godard

    I posted another entry for the 2017 Blind Spots series a few days ago on Contempt, another great movie discovery from the past month. My thoughts on the film can be found here.

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