Wednesday, Nov. 13:
11:30 p.m., Ch. 7:
James Dean: Memories of a Gentle Rebel: Iconography and film clips on a brilliant, smoldering actor who probably would not have grown up to be Marlon Brando, but who got lucky and didn’t have to try.
Thursday, Nov. 14
8 p.m., Ch. 5: The Waltons: John-Boy sells his stories to a big New York publisher, but doesn’t read the fine print on the contract and ends up spending the rest of his life hacking out porno. Mama Walton leaves home to become a prostitute and the rest of the family is burned out by a fire that spreads while they’re saying goodnight to each other.
Saturday, Nov. 16
10:30 p.m., Ch. 9: The Persuasions: They sing accapella, and at their best, they’re transcendent.
Sunday, Nov. 18
9:30 p.m., Ch. 5: Vibrations For a New People With Rev. Cecil Williams. Don’t watch, God forbid, but check out what Ishmael Reed has to say about Rev. Cecil (“Rev. Rookie”) on pp. 66-75 of The Last Days of Louisiana Red. It’s hard to believe the Jackie Gleason of hip priests is still showing his face in public.
Tuesday, Nov. 19
8:30 p.m., Ch. 4: TV Movie: The Virginia Hill Story. Dyan Cannon as the innocent farm girl who leaves to seek her fortune in the city and ends up with Bugsy Siegel’s instead. Very promising.
10 p.m., Ch. 7: Marcus Welby, MD: Welby’s writers spent all week poring through medical encyclopedias and finally came up with a brain operation that has to be performed while the patient is awake. Might be fun, but keep the kids out of the room.
Thursday, Nov. 21
8:30 p.m., Ch. 5: The Waltons: John-Boy accepts a part time job reading his porno books to a blind woman who resents his intrusion into her life, which sounds logical. However, after Papa Walton kicks her ass, she shuts up, and the show ends with the Waltons enslaving the local colored folk and forcing them to rebuild the house that was burned to the ground in the last installment.
Saturday, Nov. 23
9 p.m., Ch. 7: Marlo Thomas & Friends in Free To Be… You and Me: Repeat of the excellent show for kids and their parents: funny, smart, rarely condescending. Watch, and buy the album too.
Thursday, Nov. 14
11:30 p.m., Ch 44: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town: Deeds (Gary Cooper) inherits a fortune and nearly gets sent to the loony bin when he tries to give it all away. The usual Frank Capra hokum, but Jean Arthur, as the reporter who makes a fool of Cooper and then falls in love with him is worth seeing anytime. (1936)Friday, Nov. 15
9 p.m., Ch. 5: Change of Habit: Elvis as a doctor, with Mary Tyler Moore, as a nun. By the last shot the identification between Elvis and Jesus Christ is complete and everybody goes home happy. (1969)
Saturday, Nov. 16
A great lineup!!!!
2:30 p.m., Ch. 2: The Black Cat: Karloff and Lugosi in an extremely gruesome horror show complete with every torture device Edgar Allen Poe ever thought up. A sure winner (1934, dir. by cinema maudit hero Edgar G. Ulmer).
8 p.m., Ch. 7: Where Eagles Dare: One of the most absurd and exciting WWII movies ever made, with Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, and several dozen Nazi corpses; an all-action thriller about the days when you could root for your own side when your country got into a war. (1969)
9 p.m., Ch. 44: From Here to Eternity: The classic that unfolds on the eve of Pearl Harbor. Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster as the heroes, Ernest Borgnine as the ogre, and Sinatra as the victim. (Dir. Fred Zinneman, 1953).
11 p.m., Ch. 44: The Scarlet Claw: Good Sherlock Holmes flick, with Basil Rathbone digging a haunt out of the Canada swamps. (1944)
11:45 p.m., Ch. 7: The Prize: Extremely funny version of the endless Irving Wallace tome, with Paul Newman not even bothering to pretend he’s a Nobel-winning author but giving his all to save Edward G. Robinson from the commies instead.
Sunday, Nov. 17
9 p.m., Ch. 4: The Godfather (Part 1, cont. Monday, Nov. 18, 9 p.m.). For its scope, its momentum, and its intensity, this stands as one of the finest American movies of the last 20 years. Whether it will come across on TV is another question, but I wouldn’t miss the chance to find out.