Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

Risky business


The ‘rents are officially out of town as of this posting…which means I’m pretty much on my own here at Rancho Yesteryear until tomorrow evening. (They need prescriptions filled, and have journeyed to Savannah for the doctor’s appointment needed to accomplish this.) My mother has been staying with me since my release from the hospital and will probably keep it up until my April 28th surgery. It’s nice having her as a houseguest; for example, the food is a heck of a lot better than the grub I dish out…and my laundry gets done quicker.


I told Mom the other day that when she wants to watch a particular TV program to go ahead and do so, but she usually defers to what I want to watch…and that puts a lot of pressure on me. Late Saturday night, TCM showed Robert Altman’s film of Thieves Like Us (1974) and I recorded it to revisit later…but then I remembered that Mom hadn’t seen the original, so I put that on the backburner and we watched They Live by Night (1948) yesterday afternoon. She thought it was pretty swell; Mom is about the only person in the family (besides me) with the temperament to watch classic movies in black-and-white—my father won’t watch them unless someone’s on a horse (he did express an interest in Three Godfathers [1936], which I was recording this morning) and my two sisters avoid them like intestinal flu. (Sister Kat will often toss the remote to her TV in my direction and crack, “Here…you can put on your black-and-white.”)

So I decided to spend today getting caught up on cataloging my movie collection and recording a few films from CharredHer’s On Demand service—TCM On Demand is showcasing a couple of films I don’t currently have in my collection: Alien (1979) and Yojimbo (1961) (how’s that for a double feature?), and though I haven’t checked out the movies available on Sundance Channel or IFC On Demand I might be able to find something worth taping. According to my Movie Collector software, I have—both recorded and pre-recorded—a total of 1,889 movies in the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives…so it’s safe to say I won’t be bored anytime soon. Then at 4pm, I’ll sit down with TCM and watch a pair of Walter Brennan films (the channel is running a tribute to him, though it’s not his birthday), Nobody Lives Forever (1946) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). Sometime in the middle of this, though, I know I’m going to get a phone call from my mother…reminding me to take my pills at 12 noon.

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