Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Set Your Timers for TCM Tomorrow

Just a quick note to alert my readers that tomorrow is an important day on Turner Classic Movies. Scheduled for 9:00 am est is Terence Fisher's SO LONG AT THE FAIR (1950) with Jean Simmons and Dirk Bogarde. The story bears a close resemblance to the Marian B. Cockrell story adapted five years later as "Into Thin Air," one of the select episodes of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS to be directed by Hitchcock itself. It starred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia. It's unusual for any of Fisher's pre-Hammer work to surface on American television, but this Gainsborough Pictures production is masterfully done and suspenseful, so essential viewing for Fisher devotees.

Later in the afternoon TCM is hosting a Tab Hunter triple feature. The third offering at 3:45 pm est, RIDE THE WILD SURF (which TCM is claiming was co-directed by William Castle!), is a frequent enough sighting on TCM. However, scheduled between 12:30pm and 3:45pm are two Tab Hunter pictures never shown before on cable television to my knowledge. OPERATION BIKINI (1963) is an American International produced, serious WWII drama starring Hunter, Frankie Avalon and Jody McCrea; it's directed by Anthony Carras, an AIP AD who directed more of the BEACH PARTY films than he's credited for doing.

Scheduled right after OPERATION BIKINI is THE GOLDEN ARROW, the Arabian Nights fantasy that Hunter made for director Antonio Margheriti in 1962. When I mentioned this film on this blog some time ago, I received an e-mail from a French correspondent who was incredulous that I had seen this "lost" film. I explained that it wasn't lost, merely hard to see, so with this in mind, I would urge any of you with a strong interest in the Golden Age of Italian Fantasy to tune in or record the broadcast. This is a scope film (Technirama, actually), and while the TCM website doesn't list it as a letterboxed showing, neither are any of their other widescreen offerings for tomorrow so described. My guess (at least my hope) is that it will be letterboxed. Go here to preview the film's scrumptiously colorful, widescreen trailer.

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