Heads-up re: TCM, 5/26

Quite a schedule TCM’s got lined up for this afternoon and evening. First, a quartet of B-westerns starring John Wayne (this is already underway so forgive me if I decline to provide titles and times), leading up to the Duke’s breakthrough role in John Ford’s “Stagecoach” (1939), which will be on at 5. (If you can’t wait until then or if you anticipate getting stuck in traffic on your way home from work, you might want to rent or otherwise procure Criterion’s new “Stagecoach” two-disc set, which is now available at Four Star Video Heaven. All signs point to it being seriously great.)

Following “Stagecoach” at 7 is Fred Zinneman’s “From Here to Eternity” (1953), which I’ve never seen but you probably have. The synopsis on TCM’s website makes the film sound kinda bloated, overly star-powered and facilely sentimental—but again, I haven’t seen it.

What I’d be more inclined to watch is Ford’s “They Were Expendable” (1945), starring Wayne alongside Robert Montgomery and Donna Reed (who’s also in “From Here to Eternity”). “They Were Expendable” begins at 9:15. I’m sure it’ll be all kinds of macho, patriotic and poetic.

Two Ford films in such a short span of time is hardly anything to be mad at.

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