Saturday, January 27, 2018

“Top o’ the World!” TCM Gives a 21-Tommy Gun Salute to Crime Pictures Starring the Great Jimmy C., Ginnie Mayo, Eddie O’Brien and Ruth Roman, Supported by Steve Cochran, Neville Brand, et al. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning!




By David in TN
Friday, January 26, 2018 at 5:44:00 P.M. EST


Jimmy Cagney and Edmond O’Brien


On Saturday night, January 27, at 8 p.m. ET, TCM features White Heat (1949) with James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O’Brien, and Steve Cochran.

Virginia Mayo, Margaret Wycherly as "Ma," and Cagney

This is one of Cagney’s most famous roles, as a mother-fixated psycho killer (“Top of the World!”). Edmond O’Brien is an undercover T-man who hooks up with Cagney in prison and joins a breakout, followed by a major heist.

Virginia “Ginnie” Mayo said that Jimmy Cagney was “such a dynamic actor” that he “should have won five Oscars.” This is surely one of the “Oscars” she was thinking of. Unfortunately, Cagney was not even nominated for White Heat. He was only nominated three times—for Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), and Love Me or Leave Me (1955)—but at least won one Oscar as Broadway titan George M. Cohan, in Dandy. Some of his many memorable performances were in The Public Enemy (1931), The Roaring Twenties (1939), Come Fill the Cup (1951), A Lion is in the Streets (1953), Tribute to a Bad Man (1956) and Man of a Thousand Faces (1957). Jimmy was married to his beloved Frances for over 63 years.


Immediately following, at 10:15 ET, is D.O.A. (1950). Edmond O’Brien stars in perhaps his most famous role as a businessman who travels to San Francisco for a week of fun away from his girlfriend. At a night club, someone spikes his drink. The next day doctors tell him he has only a day or two to live.


O’Brien then goes on a quest to find his killer. He does a lot of running around. Our friend Eddie Muller previously called Edmond O’Brien the “master of perspiration.”


Neville Brand plays the psycho henchman who enjoys punching the dying man in the stomach (“Bigelow can’t take it in the belly!”).

That's Neville Brand on the left


Good location shots, shows what San Francisco looked like in 1950.




On Sunday, January 28 at 10 am ET, TCM's Film Noir of the Week is Tomorrow is Another Day (1951). Not GWTW, it stars Ruth Roman and Steve Cochran.


Roman (in a blonde wig) is a hardened taxi dancer who has ex-con Cochran fall for her.


Roman’s lover, a jealous cop, slaps her around, Cochran intervenes, and a typical Noir follows.





David In TN said...

TCM's Sunday Film Noir of the Week is on hiatus for February, which is TCM's "31 Days of Oscar (despite February not having 31 days) Month." Our Host Eddie Muller says, "The Oscars didn't go for Noir."

If you want a Noir fix, TCM shows The Naked City (1948) early Monday morning, February 5, at 3:15 am ET, set your DVR.

The Naked City was the first police procedural with detectives played by Barry Fitzgerald (in his Irish persona) and Don Taylor investigating the murder of a Manhattan playgirl.

It was filmed on location in 1947 and gives a great look at New York City.

David In TN said...

TCM's Sunday Film Noir of the Week returns on Sunday, March 4, at 10 am ET with Fritz Lang's The Big Heat (1953).

Glenn Ford stars as a police detective who goes vigilante after his wife (Jocelyn Brando) is killed by a bomb meant for him. Ford's main target is mob boss (in these films every town has one) Alexander Scourby and his sadistic goon, Lee Marvin, in one of his best/worst bad guy roles.

Gloria Grahame is a good-hearted femme fatale. This is the film were Marvin throws hot coffee in her face.

A theme is Ford's detective character takes on the mentality of the criminals he pursues.