Thursday, January 29, 2009

DVR-TiVo-Or whatever recording device strikes your fancy-Alert!

Because I’m determined to never…ever…let TCM out of my clutches after suffering from withdrawal for nearly seven years, I make it a point to check the programming schedule from time to time only because they're often a tad tardy in announcing what shorts will be shown after the scheduled main features (in order to keep that train Brad Pitt is riding on running on time). Here’s a couple that I thought TDOY readers might want a heads-up on:

How to Watch Football (1938) – You can’t go wrong with a Robert Benchley short, and TCM will show this little gem tomorrow before Saturday’s Heroes (1937)—a short-but-sweet college football B-pic that features Van Heflin in one of his earliest roles and Richard “Whooooaaa Nellie!” Lane, one half of Columbia’s comedy duo Schilling and Lane. (If you’ve never experienced the sublime pleasures of a Robert Benchley one-reeler, this is a good place as any to start. If you refuse to have anything to do with one of America’s premier funnymen, I may have to get a restraining order to keep you away from the blog.)

So You Want to Play the Horses (1946) – Joe McDoakes (the incomparable George O’Hanlon) is addicted to laying money down on the gee-gees, and drives this point home with a funny parody of The Lost Weekend (1945). This short gets a workout between two chapters of Zorro Rides Again (1937) Saturday morning, sometime around 8:43am.

Torture Money (1937)/’Don’t Talk’ (1942) – The Crime Does Not Pay series is always a welcome treat at Rancho Yesteryear; in Money, police go after a fraud operation that stages automobile accidents to swindle insurance companies—this one will be shown after It Should Happen to You (1954) on Sunday, February 1st. ‘Talk’ is familiar WW2-propaganda (the whole “loose lips sink ships” deal) but is still entertaining—besides, it features Barry Nelson in an early role as a Fed and will be a refreshing tonic after finishing Take a Letter, Darling (1942). (Money nabbed an Oscar for Best Short and 'Talk' was nominated, to bring this all around to the “31 Days of Oscar” theme; I believe ‘Talk’ is also available on the Random Harvest [1942] DVD.)

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