The Cinema Cafe

Serving Cinema's Tastiest Treasures

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Just some thoughts on current happenings:




Classic film screenings from around the world this month include:

Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard

Sullivan’s Travels

Sullivan’s Travels

The Lady Eve

The Lady Eve

Scarlet Street

Scarlet Street

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Tokyo Story

Tokyo Story

In Santa Monica, California, The American Cinematheque Aero Theatre will continue with The Cinematheque’s programme “Highballs and Screwballs” featuring a double bill of Sunset Boulevard (1950, a 35mm print) followed by Sullivan’s Travels (1941, also a 35mm print) on Friday, August 2. Another double bill in this series worth seeing is The Lady Eve (1941, a 35mm print) and Scarlet Street (1945, a digital presentation care of Kino Lorber) on Saturday, August 17.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967, a 35mm print) will be presented on Wednesday, August 14. Finally, one of cinema’s greatest artistic triumphs Tokyo Story (1953, a 35mm print) will screen Tuesday, August 20 at 1pm only.

For more information specifically on each of these programmes, click on the corresponding above image. To see the entire month of August’s programming for both The Egyptian (in Hollywood) and Aero Theatre (in Santa Monica) click on the American Cinematheque banner.


In Yokohama, Japan The Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra will present Jaws with live musical accompaniment featuring John Williams’ exciting score on Saturday, August 3.

Click on the above image for more information.






In London, United Kingdom The Prince Charles Cinema will present Heat (1995) Saturday, August 3, The Long Goodbye (1973) on Tuesday, August 6, To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) also on Tuesday, August 6, L.A. Confidential (1997) on Wednesday, August 7, Chinatown (1974) on Thursday, August 8, The Conversation (1974) on Tuesday, August 27. The Game (1997) also on Tuesday, August 27 and Blue Velvet (1986) on Saturday August 31. All of the film presentations will be 35mm.

Click on the respective image for more information. To see the rest of 2019’s programming, click on The Prince Charles Cinema banner above.



In theatres across the U.S. Flashback Cinema is presenting Top Gun on August 4 and 7, Big Trouble in Little China August 11 and 14, The Big Lebowski on August 18 and 21 and South Pacific August 25 and 28.

Click on the respective image for more information.

Throughout various locations in Australia, Event Cinemas will host Hollywood Classics On the Big Screen. This month's showings will include To Catch a Thief on Monday, August 12 and Meet Me in St Louis on Monday, August 26.

For a list of the theatres hosting these films, and their complete schedule throughout the remainder of the year, click on the banner image above.

Also throughout various locations in Australia, Event Cinemas will host In The House. This month's showings will include Aliens on Monday, August 5 and Deliverance on Monday, August 19. 

For a list of the theatres hosting these films, and their complete schedule throughout the rest of the year, click on the image above.

In Los Angeles, California The Beverly Cinema will present two films starring Doris Day, Pillow Talk (1959, a 35mm print) on Wednesday, August 7 at 2pm only and the star’s excellent dramatic turn in Love Me or Leave Me (1955, also a 35mm print) on Wednesday, August 21 at 2pm only. In addition, David Fincher’s mesmerising account of San Francisco’s notorious serial killings occurring in the late 60s to early 70s, Zodiac (2007, a 35mm print) will screen Monday, August 26 at 2pm only.

For more information, including the entire month of August’s exciting programme, click on any of the above images.

In theatres across the U.S., TCM and Fathom Events are presenting Hello Dolly (as part of the film’s 50th Anniversary) on August 11 and 14 and Woodstock: The Director’s Cut (also in celebration of this film’s 50th Anniversary) on August 15.

Click on the respective image for more information.

In Hong Kong, China The City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong will present Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with live musical accompaniment featuring John Williams’ sensational score on Saturday, August 31. Click on the above image for more information.

There are 18 recommended films to watch on Turner Classic Movies in the U.S. this month:

John Huston's Reflections in a Golden Eye is a film I have mixed feelings about. The rather strange inhabitants of these southern Gothically-tinged surroundings may remain underdeveloped but the performances from a superbly chosen cast compensate by genuinely conveying their characters' frustrations and desires making this an engrossing film-watching experience. It is a previous TCM recommendation here, and is worth eyeing Saturday, August 3 at (early morning) 5am PST.

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando

Showcasing the above star’s versatility is a completely different kind of role in the wonderful Guys and Dolls, a previous TCM recommendation here. Both guys and dolls will show at TCM Saturday, August 3 at 8:30pm PST.

(From left) Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra

(From left) Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra

Next is one of the western genre's finest and another excellent pairing of star James Stewart with director Anthony Mann: The Man from Laramie.

James Stewart

James Stewart

This was the last western the duo made together and perhaps their finest. Previously they collaborated on Winchester '73, Bend of the River, The Naked Spur and The Far Country in that order. In this film, Mann's by now familiar themes of buried hostility, vengeance, familial loyalty and expectation seem developed in a more complex fashion, therefore affording the director a deeper exploration of his characters' conflicts, motives and desires. As always the situations are masterfully presented and infinitely captivating. The Man from Laramie has been previously reviewed as Top Ten Western #7 and will appear Wednesday, August 7 at 11am PST.

Following The Man from Laramie, there is another film starring James Stewart that displays that actor’s impressive versatility: the more light-hearted but still highly recommended, Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner.

James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan

James Stewart, Margaret Sullavan

Beneath an inventive situation comedy veneer, however, there is a serious underlying message concerning relationships and how concepts often get in the way of a more fulfilling union based on care and concern for one another. The Shop Around the Corner, previously praised here, will open Wednesday, August 7 at 11am PST.

Finally there’s a third TCM recommendation showcasing the incredible acting chops of James Stewart, Anatomy of a Murder, one of the most authentic and enthralling courtroom dramas of all time. Previously reviewed here, the trial will begin Wednesday, August 7 at 7pm PST.

MGM's 1952 musical Singin' in the Rain was not adapted from a stage production, though the film was later turned into one, being first presented on stage in 1983. Its abundant creativity, innovation and driving energy place this film at the top of all cinematic musicals ever produced. Singin' in the Rain has been reviewed as a past Blu-ray selection here and will joyously dance its way onto TCM Saturday, August 10 at (early morning) 5am PST.

(From left) Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly

(From left) Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly

Despite its ridiculously hard to follow plot, this film's wildly entertaining detective yarn is worth getting up for. Previously reviewed here, The Big Sleep will awaken Sunday, August 11 at 11am PST.

Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Louis Jean Heydt

Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Louis Jean Heydt

John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is indeed an unforgettable American treasure and a prior TCM recommendation here. Its cinematic storytelling riches can be uncovered on TCM Sunday, August 11 at 1pm PST.

Don't miss Nicholas Ray's character study In a Lonely Place with Humphrey Bogart perfectly cast as Dixon Steele whose unpredictable explosions of anger make him a prime suspect for the killing of a young ingénue. This highly probative film noir, was previously recommended here and will be delved into Sunday, August 11 at 3:15pm PST.

(From left) Humphrey Bogart, Don Hamin

(From left) Humphrey Bogart, Don Hamin

"Complaining about the far-fetched circumstances in films noir is like objecting to the lack of realism in a Picasso painting. What I mean is that lovers of these criminally rich cinematic delights oughtn’t to bother picking out the implausibilities, since it is practically a hallmark of noir's style."

I wrote this when introducing Split Second, a film noir that presented some unlikely occurring situations, and it certainly applies to my next recommendation, still another airing today starring Humphrey Bogart: Dark Passage. This wildly engrossing yarn combines the best of romance with the best of noir in the best location for both: San Francisco. Previously endorsed as a Blu-Ray release here, Bogart will make his dark passage on TCM Sunday, August 11 at 9:15pm PST.

That's San Francisco's Coit Tower on top of the hill behind Bogart

That's San Francisco's Coit Tower on top of the hill behind Bogart

A few years after the theatrical premiere of Dark Passage, another not so well known film noir with murder on its mind was released, 1949’s Impact. The two films share an additional feature: their atmospheric use of San Francisco locations. Taking up residence in Nob Hill’s famous Brocklebank Apartments is actress Helen Walker’s Irene Williams, whose prime objective is to see her husband deader than a lug wrench. One can experience this captivating little cinematic explosive, previously reviewed here, Tuesday, August 13 at 12pm PST.

Charles Coburn, Helen Walker

Charles Coburn, Helen Walker

Raoul Walsh's Colorado Territory is the impassioned director's artistically superior western remake of his previous film noir High Sierra. Readers can discover why I make this claim here, and for those familiar with the earlier Humphrey Bogart vehicle, decide for themselves when Colorado Territory is explored Wednesday, August 21 at 1:30pm PST.

Virginia Mayo, Joel McCrea

Virginia Mayo, Joel McCrea

Another highly recommended film starring Joel McCrea is Sullivan's Travels. Preston Sturges masterfully wrote and directed Sullivan's Travels, a prior Blu-ray endorsement here. The fun-filled journey will begin Wednesday, August 21 at 5pm PST.

Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake

Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake

Completing Wednesday’s Joel McCrea trifecta is Sam Peckinpah's elegiac Ride the High Country, number 4 on the list of Top Ten Westerns here and will ride into TCM territory Wednesday, August 21 at 11:15pm PST.

Randolph Scott as Gil Westrum (on the left) and Joel McCrea as Steve Judd

Randolph Scott as Gil Westrum (on the left) and Joel McCrea as Steve Judd


Next is Todd Browning's shockingly bold and terrifying 1932 film Freaks, previously reviewed here. They will appear on TCM Thursday, August 22 at 5pm PST.

My next TCM recommendation is a fairly well known thriller from the 1970s starring Dustin Hoffman. Marathon Man also happens to be one of this site’s Top Ten Guilty Treasures here and will run on TCM Sunday, August 25 at 7pm PST.

Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman

Also from the '70s but not so well known is Straight Time which showcases the above star’s versatility in a completely different kind of role. 

(From left) M. Emmet Walsh, Dustin Hoffman

(From left) M. Emmet Walsh, Dustin Hoffman

This is Hidden Gem #51 and benefits greatly from its strong authenticity due to having been made from ex-con Edward Bunker's novel, the author's participation in writing the screenplay and consultation during production. Plus, director Ulu Grosbard provides his customarily derived natural performances from an incredible ensemble cast (chosen by the film's star Dustin Hoffman). The prisoner is being released on TCM Sunday, August 25 at 11:15pm PST. 

Returning to films noir made during the classic time period, we have Hidden Gem #10, They Won't Believe Me, with its fascinating, twisted plot and antithetically noir central character. This was my very first entry (linked here) for the Cinema Cafe Site with some kind words from the "Czar of Noir" himself, Eddie Muller, in the comments section below the review. If you're a TCM noir fan and haven't seen this unusual motion picture, please believe me, you don't want to miss this major opportunity. My last TCM recommendation this month will emerge from the shadows Friday, August 30 at 11:30am PST.

Jane Greer, Robert Young

Jane Greer, Robert Young

TCM's current monthly schedule can be confirmed by clicking on any of the above images. For those who live in parts of the U.S. other than the western region, the time zone can be adjusted in the upper right-hand corner of TCM's programme.

This month's Happy Birthday shout-out goes to the amazingly talented actor Timothy Bottoms who turns 68 on August 30th.

timothy.jpg

His ability to communicate such natural sincerity was instantly apparent early in his career when he brought to life such emotionally potent portrayals in Johnny Got His Gun, The Last Picture Show, The Paper Chase, The White Dawn and Rollercoaster all films from the 1970s. He’s also known for his leading role in Tobe Hooper’s remake of the sci-fi classic Invaders from Mars (1986), recreating Sonny in 1990’s Texasville (a sequel to The Last Picture Show) and as George W. Bush in the TV series That’s My Bush! (2001).






The Soundtrack recommendation this month is Planet of the Apes - Original Film Series Soundtrack Collection,

a compilation of the first five film soundtracks in the series beginning with Planet of the Apes (1968, composed by Jerry Goldsmith) followed by Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970, composed by Leonard Rosenman), then Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971, composed by Jerry Goldsmith) followed by Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972, composed by Tom Scott) and finally Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973, composed by Leonard Rosenman). This is a special, limited edition, 5-CD Box Set collection of the restored and remastered motion picture scores produced by La-La Land Records, 20th Century Fox, Fox Music and Varèse Sarabande containing some of the most exciting and creative film music to be heard on the planet. More information, including international ordering from Screen Archives Entertainment, can be obtained by clicking on the soundtrack image.


The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950) is not alone. Discerning viewers might feel a bit that way since the shared emotion between our central couple hardly justifies the lengths a police officer will go to cover-up a murder his lover committed.

Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb

Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb

At least Lee J. Cobb’s Lt. Ed Cullen doesn’t actually participate in the killing but it’s as if the only ties between him and Jane Wyatt’s wealthy socialite Lois Frazer are the ones she might have selected for him to wear. The word “passion” is more applicable to its namesake’s fruit than to the relationship depicted here. And that’s a shame because everything else in this film noir is fascinating including its premise, a riff on The Big Clock, whereby the chief investigator of a crime is summoned to find the culprit increasingly suspected by others to be himself. Besides The Big Clock with Ray Milland, the same type of setup has been used effectively in other films such as Scandal Sheet (Broderick Crawford), Police Python 357 (Yves Montand) and No Way Out (Kevin Costner) with the lead actors in all five films successfully conveying a solemn and resourceful subterfuge at keeping their fellow investigators at bay. Felix (Tomorrow is Another Day) Feist’s efficient direction, Russell Harlan’s shadowy cinematography and David Weisbart’s crisp editing including some advantageous use of San Francisco locations, keep the proceedings absorbing especially at the film’s climax (a landmark soon to be discovered by directors Hitchcock and Boorman).

10+-+hideout+1.jpg

So despite a lack of chemistry between its two leading stars, The Man Who Cheated Himself may also include those noir aficionados who miss out on this creative, intriguing and suspense laden film noir. My Blu-Ray recommendation for the month was recently restored by UCLA and The Film Noir Foundation and can be ordered from Amazon.com by clicking on the image below.   


A.G.