Good Movies on TCM, Turner Classic Movies

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Good Movies on TCM, Turner Classic Movies

If you’re a fan of older movies, there’s no better destination that Turner Classic Movies. With no commercials and a wide range of programming options, it has continued to grow in popularity since its debut in 1994. They’ve even started an annual TCM film festival in Hollywood, dedicated to showing older films on the big screen for audiences of all ages to enjoy.

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So the next time you’re looking to enjoy films from a bygone era, be sure to give these good movies on TCM, Turner Classic Movies a try. You’ll be amazed at the craftsmanship and quality of acting, and your potential movie choices will be increased substantially.

The Mating Game (1959) – Tony Randall stars as an IRS agent assigned to investigate a rural family who’ve never filed a tax return. But soon his button-down mentality is disrupted by his growing attraction to their daughter, the lovely Mariette (Debbie Reynolds). According to the film’s poster, it was “filmed on location in the haystack.” Also includes the final screen appearance of veteran actor Paul Douglas.

Frankenstein (1931) – The classic horror film about a mad scientist (Colin Clive) obsessed with conquering death. His experiments result in a monstrous creation (Boris Karloff) that would return in countless sequels and crossovers. Based on the novel by Mary Shelley and directed by James Whale.

The Dresser (1983) – Nominated for five Academy Awards, this film stars Tom Courtenay as Norman, the personal assistant to an aging actor (Albert Finney) who desperately tries to keep his employer’s life together despite numerous complications. Written by Ronald Harwood and adapted from his play that enjoyed celebrated runs on both Broadway and the West End.

Kiss Me Deadly (1955) – Ralph Meeker gets all kinds of gritty as Mike Hammer, the famous private eye from the works of Mickey Spillane (who also wrote the screenplay). When he’s nearly murdered after picking up a terrified hitchhiker (Cloris Leachman in her debut), Hammer decides to get a little payback and satisfy his own curiosity. Filled with tough-guy antics, desperate women, and a suitcase that emits a golden glow, Kiss Me Deadly was a definite influence on filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino.

Giant (1956) – Adapted from the novel by Edna Ferber, Giant tells the story of a wealthy Texas ranching family, their eventual conflict with a former employee (James Dean in his last role), and the loves and conflicts experienced in the years after World War II. The impressive cast includes Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Dennis Hopper, Carroll Baker, Sal Mineo, and Earl Holliman. George Stevens won the Oscar for Best Director, and the film was nominated for nine other awards (including a posthumous nomination for Dean who died in a car crash prior to the film’s release).

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The General (1926) – A legendary silent film from Buster Keaton, The General tells the story of a Southern railroad conductor during the Civil War and his efforts to chase down the Union spies who have stolen his train (as well as the love of his life, who happens to be on board). Keaton shows his affinity for physical gymnastics, and it’s little wonder that he would serve as a major inspiration for Jackie Chan decades later. The film failed at the box office, but it has now come to be regarded as one of the best motion pictures ever made. If you’ve never experienced a silent film, then start here.

In the Heat of the Night (1967) – Taking a close look at race relations in the South, this Best Picture Oscar winner stars Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, a vacationing police officer from Philadelphia who’s picked up as a murder suspect in Mississippi by the local bigoted sheriff (Rod Steiger). Things heat up even more when the murdered man’s widow insists that Tibbs be allowed to assist in the investigation. Nominated for seven Oscars, the film would win five (including Best Actor for Rod Steiger).

The Pirate (1948) – Featuring songs from the legendary Cole Porter, this musical features Judy Garland as a young woman who dreams of being swept away by a legendary pirate. Instead she’s forced to choose between the fat town mayor (Walter Slezak) and a circus performer (Gene Kelly). But things get more interesting when it turns out that one of the men really is the pirate of her dreams, leading to lots of romance, intrigue, and a hilarious finale that includes a pie fight. Great fun for viewers of all ages.

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) – Widely considered as one of the best British films ever made, this dark comedy follows the son (Dennis Price) of an aristocratic woman shunned by her prestigious family for marrying a commoner. Vowing revenge and obsessed with one day ascending to rule over the family, our anti-hero begins to kill off all those family members standing in his way (all played by Alec Guinness and ranging from a suffragette to an octogenarian). But those are just the start of his problems, as he must also contend with the affections of two women at the same time.

Them! (1954) – One of the first films about giant monsters created by nuclear testing, Them! begins as a suspense story about police investigating a number of mysterious murders. Then it changes directions, pitting humanity against giant irradiated ants. Starring James Whitmore, James Arness, Edmund Gwenn, and Joan Weldon. A classic science fiction film, and one of my favorite good movies on TCM, Turner Classic Movies.

The next time you’re feeling nostalgic or looking to experience a whole new world of filmmaking, be sure to give these good movies on TCM, Turner Classic Movies a try. Many older films have a distinctive style about them, but once you get used to it you’ll find that they’re every bit as good as today’s blockbusters…just without the CGI and 3D effects.

And if you’re really passionate about films, I suggest you look into becoming a member of Netflix. They have over 100,000 movies to choose from, and many of them can be streamed right over your computer. We also get a commission when you sign up through our site, which helps us pay the bills and stay in business.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2011 at 4:19 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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