TCM is showing the goods today


FilmEdge is big fan of Turner Classic Movies (if only they’d join the HD era), and today they boast a solid lineup of cinematic goodness:

On right now is Walt Disney‘s wonderful adaptation of TREASURE ISLAND starring Bobby Driscoll and Robert Newton as Long John Silver.  Long before Captain Jack Sparrow sailed the seas, this was the film that got me hooked on pirates.  Newton’s accent alone is worth the price of admission, but keep a weather eye open for F.A. Young‘s superb cinematography.  Director Byron Haskin‘s vision of this R.L. Stevenson’s classic be smart as paint.

Following is another fun blast from the past, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS with Todd Armstrong and Nancy Kovack… but of course, you’ll be watching for the stop-motion animation of effects wizard Ray Harryhausen.  Harpies, Talos and hydra, oh my!   And yes, this is the one with the skeleton sword fight.  Terrific retro fun from Ray’s golden age.

One creature Harryhausen didn’t animate was a certain pastel-hued cat in THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN, the 1976 entry in the popular series starring Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau.  Sellers was a handful for director Blake Edwards during production, yet nothing but hilarity and comic genius show on the screen.  After driving Chief Inspector Dreyfus (hilarious Herbert Lom) utterly insane, Clouseau survives a gauntlet of unlucky assassins to confront his former boss who threatens to destroy the world.  Burt Kwouk drops in as Cato of course, and Leslie-Anne Down adds a sexy turn as a Russian agent who falls for Clouseau.  The last truly great and funny film in the PANTHER franchise, fans of Sellers and silly comedy shouldn’t miss it.

TCM Prime Time ends Saturday with a foursome of Alistair Maclean film adaptations beginning with THE GUNS OF NAVARONE.  An all-star cast inspires this classic World War II thriller including Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn and Anthony Quayle just for starters.  ICE STATION ZEBRA follows starring Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan and Ernest Borgnine in this Cold War mission — hardly as great a film as NAVARONE, but a splendid time capsule-film of its era and an enjoyable reminder of how studio films were made in 1968.   Next Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood go WHERE EAGLES DARE to free a soldier held captive in a mountaintop Nazi castle. The Maclean filmfest ends with BREAKHEART PASS, starring Ben Johnson, Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland in a treacherous train ride through the West as a Marshal attempts to bring his captive outlaw to justice.

That’s a good day of classic films in anyone’s book, so stop down amid your Saturday errands for your favorite or buckle up for the long haul, and good viewing to you.

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