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19 November 2012

Great Adaptations Tonight on TCM

Turner Classic Movies has planned out an amazing schedule for this Thanksgiving week. The week kicks off with a continuation of TCM’s month of “GreatAdaptations: Novel to Film.” Monday primetime and Tuesday morning will feature films based on Russian and French Literature. For tonight I can recommend the following classics:

8:00 pm:       DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965), directed by DavidLean and starring Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Alec Guinness, Rod Steiger, and Ralph Richardson. A romance unfolds despite the turbulence of the Russian Revolution. This epic film chronicles a part of history, as well as a part of the human spirit. Stunning cinematography and a beautiful score make this one of the greatest films of the latter half of the 20th century.

11:30 pm:      ANNA KARENINA (1948), directed by Julien Duvivier and starring Vivien Leigh and Ralph Richardson. A married woman must struggles with her head, heart, and conscience when she falls in love with another man. KeiraKnightly stars in the most recent adaptation of the Tolstoy novel, but this earlier version is well worth seeing before you rush out to the cinema.

5:30 am:        GIGI (1958), directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan, Hermione Gingold, Eva Gabor, and Jacques Bergerac. A flighty Parisian girl dreams of love and marriage, though her family has other things in mind for her future with men. This colorful Lerner and Loewe musical can feel more French than the French themselves, but it is a fun movie with spirit.

Earlier in the evening (5:45 pm), you might try to catch another of my favorite musicals, Blake Edwards’ VICTOR VICTORIA (1982), starring the incomparable Julie Andrews and James Garner. Andrews plays a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman in a drag show in Depression-era Paris. This film contains some catchy musical numbers and a lot of laughs. If you get up early enough tomorrow morning, you can catch my favorite Lon Chaney silent film horror, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925) at 7:30 am.
TCM knows how to start the week off right! Later in the week we have my favorite Constance Bennett classic to look forward to - TOPPER (1937), co-starring Cary Grant, Billie Burke, and Roland Young, will be on Tuesday at 11:15. Wednesday is a day chock full of musicals, while the evening is devoted to two adaptations of Southern literature, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) and GONE WITH THE WIND (1939). 

On Thanksgiving Thursday we have a whole day of children's classics to be grateful for, including ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (1934), THE YEARLING (1946), THE SECRET GARDEN (1949), LITTLE WOMEN (1949), CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (1950), LIFE WITH FATHER (1947), and FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND (1951).

Most of Friday will be devoted to the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock, but the evening will be a little less stressful with two Lerner and Loewe musical classics, George Cukor's MY FAIR LADY (1964) and Joshua Logan's CAMELOT (1967).

I hope you are able to fit some of these films into your increasingly busy holiday schedule! I would be interested to hear which films you made time for and which were simply overshadowed by the magnificent bird on you dining room table and the family sitting round it!

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