Jealous. That's how I feel every time I see a TCM guest programmer introducing his or her favorite movies. And while it's bad enough that TCM has guest programmers that aren't me, now they have fan programmers that aren't me either. How fun would that be, chatting about some lovely film with movie know-it-all (in a good way) Robert Osborne?
Stacia at She Blogged by Night has an interview with one of the chosen fan programmers explaining what the experience was like. She was asked to pick 10 films that meant something to her for TCM to narrow down.
What would my picks be?
The Maltese Falcon - A favorite. I especially love watching Sam's little laughs at Brigid's lies and his interactions with the fat man.
The Third Man - Another favorite. Besides the classic ferris wheel scene, there's also the great buildup to the reveal of Orson Welles' character. And you just have to sympathize with Holly Martins and his situation: "That sounds like a cheap novelette." "Well, I write cheap novelettes."
The Philadelphia Story - For the dialogue and characters.
The Muppet Movie - Because Kermit was too modest to mention it when he was a TCM guest programmer. This is also a movie I remember fondly from my childhood, when I used to watch it on our RCA SelectaVision VideoDisc Player (I can still hum the opening music it had before every movie, and I often remember from the movies we owned the scene when we had to flip to the other side of the disc). I also love seeing all the guest stars, particularly Mel Brooks, Steve Martin, and Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy. How can you not love a movie about friendship and dreams? "Life's like a movie, write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending..."
Father of the Bride - Spencer Tracy reminds me of my dad, who got me into classic movies in the first place. When I got married, he quoted some lines from this movie that made me cry.
The Hustler - Incredible performances. (And I could also talk semi-intelligently about the novel.)
The Long Hot Summer - More Newman, which is always nice, and a great look at all different kinds of relationships. Particularly interesting is the pressure on Clara to find a husband to satisfy both her heart and head.
Holiday - One of my Overlooked Oldies, which fits right in with the idea of TCM introducing people to classics they should know.
It's Always Fair Weather - I grew up on musicals, and this is a unique one that I think deserves some more attention.
The Major and the Minor - If I could only pick one film to talk about on TCM, it might very well be this one. It's the first movie I brought up in my Overlooked Oldies for a reason. Not only do I find the whole thing charming, but I also think it's significant as Billy Wilder's debut as a Hollywood director. Imagine if it hadn't gone well, what other movies we might be missing out on -- The Apartment, Some Like it Hot, Sunset Blvd. I find it incredible that he was able to write so well in what was not his first language. He manages to satirize and make fun of people while still getting you to sympathize and care for them. Pretty amazing.
What film(s) would you pick if you had the chance to go on TCM? An all-time favorite, even if it was well-known? A lesser-known movie with a lot of personal meaning? A really obscure gem to show off your film knowledge and try and one-up Mr. O? Share your thoughts, maybe TCM is listening for next time...
(And by the way, happy 15th anniversary, TCM.)
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