TMP Recommends: Five Films on TCM, February 18 – 24

Welcome to this week’s installment of TMP recommends! Here are five films you should keep an eye out for in the next seven days on TCM.

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
Airing on TCM: February 19, 3:00 AM EST
Jack Lemmon gives one of his best dramatic performances as Joe Clay, an advertising man who is an alcoholic. He meets and falls in love with a woman named Kirsten (Lee Remick), who isn’t a drinker… until he introduces her to alcohol, that is. The two marry, and their life heads on a downward spiral as they both struggle with alcohol addiction. I reviewed this film last month and gave it a score of 4.5/5. It certainly isn’t a light or fun watch, but it’s very much worth watching.
Also available on DVD, for rental or purchase on Amazon Instant Video, and for DVD rental on Netflix.

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
Airing on TCM: February 20, 10:00 AM EST
In my opinion, one of the best crime dramas ever made. Paul Muni is the fugitive in question, and he gives a stellar performance in the leading role. He’s fully immersed in his character, and his dedication to the part helps the film keep a firm grip on the viewer. This film is also worth a watch for its historical significance: the story is so powerful that it led to a large discussion within society about the ethics of the American justice system, and led to some reform. (The film is based on a real man, who was able to successfully appeal his conviction after the film’s release, as were others like him.)
Also available on DVD, and for rental or purchase on Amazon Instant Video.

(Image via Film Noir Photos)

(Image via Film Noir Photos)

Caged (1950)
Airing on TCM: February 20, 1:30 PM EST
Another crime drama, this time about a woman’s experience in prison rather than a man’s experience on the chain gang. And it’s another crime drama with a fantastic lead performance, this time delivered by Eleanor Parker. Parker plays a young woman who is sent to prison as accessory to an armed robbery committed by her husband. Eleanor is a naive, uncorrupt and innocent woman when she enters the prison, but the experience changes her, as it would anyone. Stellar supporting performances from Agnes Moorehead, Hope Emerson, Betty Garde, and Jan Sterling add to the film, but it’s just a great watch in all respects.
Also available on DVD, and for DVD delivery on Netflix.

Auntie Mame

(Image via threedollarbillcinema.org)

Auntie Mame (1958)
Airing on TCM: February 21, 3:45 PM EST
You simply can’t go wrong with Roz! This film, which I’ve discussed many times on the blog, is a total riot… thanks in large part to Rosalind Russell’s energetic portrayal of the eccentric-but-charming title character. “Auntie Mame” takes in her nephew, Patrick, after her brother passes away. The film follows decades of their lives, from Mame’s first days as Patrick’s new mother-figure to the days when he has grown up, moved out, and started to build a family of his own. The film’s got plenty of visual appeal, in addition to its incredibly-fun-to-watch characters.
Also available on DVD, for rental or purchase on Amazon Instant Video, and for DVD rental on Netflix.

(Image via Mean Gentlemen)

(Image via Mean Gentlemen)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Airing on TCM: February 22, 10:30 PM EST
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest doesn’t exactly fall under TMP’s usual definition of “classic” due to its 1975 release date, but it’s a wonderful film. It may even be my favorite film of the 1970s! The film tells the tale of a small-time criminal/con man who pretends to be “crazy” so he’ll be transferred from jail to a state mental hospital. Misguidedly, he believes life will be a lot more comfortable there. Perfect casting (and great performances) make this adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel a great one.
Also available on DVD, for rental or purchase on Amazon Instant Video, and for DVD rental on Netflix.

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