Some interesting films on US television, September 12-18

Asterisk indicates a film of exceptional interest

Saturday, September 12

*12:00 a.m. (TCM)--A LESSON IN LOVE (1954)--An obstetrician starts an affair, and so does his bored wife, with her husband's best friend, in Ingmar Bergman's film. With Gunnar Bjornstrand, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson.

*2:00 a.m. (AMC) --SPRINGFIELD RIFLE (1952)--Andre de Toth's film about a Union officer (Gary Cooper) who goes undercover to expose a Confederate horse stealing ring. Dark and spare, with an exemplary performance by Paul Kelly as the chief villain.

*2:00 a.m. (TCM)--PERSONA (1966)--Liv Ullmann is an actress, now mute, cared for by nurse Bibi Andersson. They exercise extraordinary influence over one another. With Gunnar Björnstrand. Directed by Ingmar Bergman.

*4:00 a.m. (TCM)--ALL THESE WOMEN (1964)--Somewhat heavy-handed Ingmar Bergman comedy, in which a womanizing musician agrees to have a biography written about him. The women in his life intrude on the process. With Jarl Kulle, Harriet Andersson, Bibi Andersson.

5:30 a.m. (AMC)--THE LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER (1935)--Gary Cooper and Franchot Tone star as British soldiers in colonial India. Reactionary as history, but a lively and colorful film, directed by Henry Hathaway. With Richard Cromwell, C. Aubrey Smith and Douglas Dumbrille.

9:00 a.m. (TCM)--CAPTAIN HORATIO HORNBLOWER (1951)--Raoul Walsh directed this sea epic set in the Napoleonic wars, based on the C.S. Forester novels, in his vivid, muscular style. Some remarkable sequences. The normally dull Gregory Peck is well cast as Hornblower.

12:30 p.m. (TCM) --RANDOM HARVEST (1942)--Ronald Colman is a World War I veteran who loses his memory. Greer Garson is a music-hall entertainer who brings him back to life. Hard to take in parts, but it has perceptive moments. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy.

5:00 p.m. (TCM)--WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957)--Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power and Charles Laughton in Billy Wilder's filming of an Agatha Christie courtroom pot-boiler. Power's last film.

9:00 p.m. (History)--THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)--Gene Hackman is fine as a New York City policeman chasing drug traffickers. William Friedkin directed the proceedings at a breakneck pace. His subsequent work shows that this film was overrated at the time. With Roy Scheider, Tony LoBianco.

10:00 p.m. (Family)--ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)--Clever look at the theater world, with Bette Davis as a star who takes in an adoring fan and discovers the young woman wants to supplant her. With Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill. Written and directed by Joseph Mankiewicz

*10:15 p.m. (TCM)--THE APARTMENT (1960)--Billy Wilder's cynical-sentimental comedy-drama about a corporate lackey (Jack Lemmon) who tries to climb the company ladder by loaning his apartment to his bosses for their trysts. He falls for Shirley MacLaine. Fred MacMurray is memorable as a particularly unpleasant company executive.

Sunday, September 13

12:00 a.m. (History)--THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)--See Saturday, at 9:00 p.m.

*12:30 a.m. (TCM)--THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)--John Huston directed this bitter version of the B. Traven story about three prospectors searching for gold in Mexico. Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt and Huston's father, Walter, make up the trio.

2:15 a.m. (Bravo)--AFTER HOURS (1985)--Griffin Dunne is a young upwardly mobile professional who has a rough night in lower Manhattan in Martin Scorsese's not terribly funny comedy. 2:45 a.m. (TCM)--MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)--Jon Voight is a would-be gigolo from a small town who develops a strong bond with lowlife Dustin Hoffman in John Schlesinger's film. Both actors chew up the scenery, but mean well.

*10:00 a.m. (TCM)--99 RIVER STREET (1953)--The underrated Phil Karlson directed this crime drama. John Payne is a taxi driver who gets mixed up with jewel thieves and has to clear himself of a murder charge. With Evelyn Keyes, Frank Faylen.

12:00 p.m. (Bravo)--EMPIRE OF THE SUN (1987)--Steven Spielberg directed this version of the J.G. Ballard autobiographical novel about a young British boy during World War II stranded in China. With Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson. Tom Stoppard wrote the script.

4:00 p.m. (TCM)--LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER (1963)--Natalie Wood is pregnant and Steve McQueen is her musician boy-friend in this occasionally affecting film shot on location in New York's Greenwich Village. Directed by Robert Mulligan.

6:00 p.m. (AMC)--NIAGARA (1953)--Marilyn Monroe is an adulterous wife planning to kill her husband (Joseph Cotton) on their honeymoon at Niagara Falls, in this somewhat overwrought, but tense film, directed by Henry Hathaway.

8:00 p.m. (TCM)--SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)--Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Billy Wilder's black comedy about musicians and gangsters during Prohibition.

9:00 p.m. (Bravo)--DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975)--Based on a true story about a man who held up a Brooklyn bank to raise the money for his lover's sex-change operation. With Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning. Directed by Sidney Lumet.

*10:15 p.m. (AMC)--IMITATION OF LIFE (1959)--Douglas Sirk directed this work, 'A big, crazy film about life and death. And a film about America.' Lana Turner is a career-driven actress; Juanita Moore is her black maid. Moore has a daughter (Susan Kohner) who wants to pass for white. The characters' thoughts, wishes and dreams 'grow directly out of their social reality or are manipulated by it' (R.W. Fassbinder).

*10:15 p.m. (TCM)--BRINGING UP BABY (1938)--Classic screwball comedy, with Katharine Hepburn as bedazzling, eccentric heiress and Cary Grant as the sedate zoologist whose life she turns upside down. Howard Hawks directed this comedy of sex and morals.

Monday, September 14

*12:00 a.m. (TCM)--THE GOLD RUSH (1925)--Chaplin classic, with the famous tramp doing battle in the Yukon with the elements, dancehall girls, his burly prospecting partner, a shoe.

*1:30 a.m. (Bravo)--CRUMB (1994)--Remarkable portrait of family of cartoonist Robert Crumb. His two dysfunctional brothers prove to be considerably more interesting than he. Directed by Terry Zwigoff.

3:15am (AMC)--I CONFESS (1953)--Alfred Hitchcock's tale of priest, played by Montgomery Clift, who hears a confession of a murder and later becomes accused of the crime. Filmed in Quebec.

10:00 a.m. (AMC)--A FOREIGN AFFAIR (1948)--Billy Wilder directed this story of post-war Germany, with Jean Arthur, an American provincial, sent to investigate conditions in Berlin, but falling in love. With Marlene Dietrich in fine form.

*2:00 p.m. (AMC)--SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941)--A classic Preston Sturges satire. A Hollywood director (Joel McCrea) suddenly discovers a social conscience and sets out to make a 'serious' film, much to the consternation of the film studio. Veronica Lake is the working-class girl he meets on his travels.

10:30 p.m. (TCM)--ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANY MORE (1975)--Martin Scorsese directed this fim about a widow, with a young son, who longs for a singing career and ends up a waitress in Phoenix. With Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster.

Tuesday, September 15

12:00 a.m. (TCM)--MILDRED PIERCE (1945)--Powerful melodrama, directed by Michael Curtiz, about a woman (Joan Crawford) who goes from rags to riches and her ungrateful daughter.

10:30 a.m. (TCM)--KING KONG (1933)--Beauty and the Beast story, with Fay Wray as the former and an animated ape as the latter. Last ten minutes are worth waiting for. Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack.

2:00 p.m. (TCM)--VIVA VILLA! (1934)--Wallace Beery does a lively job of portraying the Mexican revolutionary, Pancho Villa. Ben Hecht wrote the script, which plays fast and loose with historical fact. Directed by Jack Conway.

8:00 p.m. (TCM)--THE QUIET MAN (1952)--John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara star in this John Ford film about an Irish-American boxer who goes back to his native country.

9:00 p.m. (Bravo)--FOLLOW THE FLEET (1936)--One of the more mediocre Rogers-Astaire films, with a plot involving a double romance (Randolph Scott and Harriet Hilliard (Nelson) form the other pair). The film's highlight is Irving Berlin's 'Let's Face the Music and Dance.' Directed by Mark Sandrich.

Wednesday, September 16

2:00 a.m. (AMC)--A TIME TO LOVE AND A TIME TO DIE (1958)--Director Douglas Sirk was saddled with two mediocre actors, John Gavin and Lilo Pulver, as lovers in this World War II drama, but he managed to salvage a fascinating film. From the novel by Erich Maria Remarque.

4:15 a.m. (AMC)--THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946)--Raymond Chandler scripted this melodrama which sees discharged serviceman Alan Ladd come home to his unfaithful wife. When she is murdered, he becomes a suspect. With Veronica Lake and William Bendix. George Marshall directed the film, and John Houseman produced.

6:00 a.m. (AMC)--MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936)--Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur play the leading roles in one of Frank Capra's Depression parables. Longfellow Deeds (Cooper) has twenty million dollars and wants to give it away to those in need; Arthur is the hard-boiled reporter trying to figure him out.

9:45am (AMC)--THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944)--Not a horror film at all, this is the story of a lonely girl who conjures up a vision of her father's mysterious first wife (Simone Simon from CAT PEOPLE). Val Lewton produced, Robert Wise made his directorial debut.

*4:00 p.m. (AMC)--WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956)--One of Douglas Sirk's extraordinary films about 1950s America and its discontents. Robert Stack is a drunken heir to an oil fortune, Dorothy Malone his restless sister. They destroy themselves and others without ever understanding why. Not to be missed.

4:00 p.m. (TCM)--MOGAMBO (1953)--A remake of Victor Fleming's RED DUST (1932), with Clark Gable playing the same role, Ava Gardner replacing Jean Harlow and Grace Kelly stepping in for Mary Astor. John Ford directed the film, about big-game hunting and a love triangle in Africa.

6:00 p.m. (AMC)--BRIGHT LEAF (1950)--Michael Curtiz directed this interesting saga about the tobacco industry in the nineteenth century. Gary Cooper, seeking revenge on old enemies and old lovers, builds a cigarette empire. With Lauren Bacall, Patricia Neal, Jack Carson.

*8:00 p.m. (TCM)--TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944)--Howard Hawks classic, based (very loosely) on a short story by Ernest Hemingway, with Bogart as an apolitical fishing boat captain who gets dragged in to French Resistance efforts. Lauren Bacall is outstanding in her debut. Dialogue by William Faulkner and Jules Furthman.

10:00 p.m. (AMC)--A SHOT IN THE DARK (1964)--Blake Edwards directed the second of the Inspector Clouseau films, starring the inimitable Peter Sellers. With Elke Sommer, George Sanders and Herbert Lom.

10:00 p.m. (TCM)--KEY LARGO (1948)--A brutal gangster (Edward G.robinson) holds a group of people hostage in a hotel during a hurricane. Humphrey Bogart is a returning veteran. Based on Maxwell Anderson's play, script by John Huston (who directed) and Richard Brooks. With Claire Trevor.

Thursday, September 17

*1:30 a.m. (AMC)--IMITATION OF LIFE (1959)--See Sunday, at 10:15 p.m.

6:00 a.m. (TCM)--THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (1940)--Intense, vivid portrait of two truck-driving brothers (Humphrey Bogart and George Raft) and their lives, and the woman they come up against, played passionately by Ida Lupino. With Ann Sheridan and Alan Hale. Directed by Raoul Walsh.

*8:00 a.m. (TCM)--THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1949)--Wonderful, tragic film directed by Nicholas Ray about doomed young lovers during the Depression. Based on Edward Anderson's THIEVES LIKE US, remade, under that title, in 1974 by Robert Altman. With Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell.

2:00 p.m. (TCM)--AH, WILDERNESS (1935)---- Based on the relatively light-hearted Eugene O'Neill play about turn-of-the-century small-town life. Directed by Clarence Brown, with Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore and Mickey Rooney.

4:00 p.m. (TCM)--YOLANDA AND THE THIEF (1945)--Fred Astaire is a con man in this Vincente Minnelli musical, trying to convince Lucille Bremer, a Latin American heiress, that he is her guardian angel. With Frank Morgan.

6:00 p.m. (AMC)--DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939) --The story of American colonials in upstate New York during the Revolutionary War. With Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, in one of John Ford's more modest works.

*8:00 p.m. (AMC)--MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946)--John Ford directed this Western about the lead-up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Henry Fonda is Wyatt Earp and Victor Mature Doc Holliday. With Ward Bond, Tim Holt, Walter Brennan.

*9:45pm (AMC)--STAGECOACH (1939)--Famed western, directed by John Ford, about a group of disparate passengers thrown together on the same eventful journey. Starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Thomas Mitchell, John Carradine. Dudley Nichols wrote the script.

10:00 p.m. (TCM)--SEVEN WOMEN (1966)--John Ford's last hurrah as a director, a melodrama about missionaries in China in the 1930s. With Anne Bancroft, Sue Lyon, Margaret Leighton, Flora Robson, Mildred Dunnock. Better than its reputation.

11:30 p.m. (TCM)--THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962)--Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft co-starred in this version of William Gibson's play about the early life of Helen Keller. Arthur Penn directed with his normal sensitivity to acting performances.

Friday, September 18

1:30 a.m. (TCM)--THE LEFT-HANDED GUN (1958)--Based on a television play by Gore Vidal, Arthur Penn directed this off-beat version of the Billy the Kid legend.

3:00 a.m. (AMC)--DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962)--Blake Edwards' somber film about alcoholic Jack Lemmon who drags Lee Remick into his orbit.

3:15 a.m. (Bravo)--KING LEAR (1987)--Jean-Luc Godard's singular version of the Shakespeare. Not for anyone expecting the original. With Burgess Meredith, Norman Mailer, Molly Ringwald, Godard, Woody Allen.

4:00 a.m. (A&E)--OUR MAN IN HAVANA (1960)--Alec Guinness is a vacuum cleaner salesman in Cuba who allows himself to be recruited as a British spy, to make a little extra income, and discovers he is in over his head. Carol Reed directed, based on the Graham Greene novel.

5:00 a.m. (AMC)--RAIN (1932)--W. Somerset Maugham story about the South Sea island tramp (Joan Crawford) and the preacher (Walter Huston) who, at first, is determined to save her soul. This film has been made numerous times. Lewis Milestone directed this version.

8:00 a.m. (AMC)--THE STAR (1952)--Stuart Heisler directed this film about a movie star whose career is a thing of the past, with Bette Davis, Sterling Hayden and a young Natalie Wood.

9:30 a.m. (AMC)--KISS OF DEATH (1947)--Perhaps best known for Richard Widmark's turn as a giggling, psychopathic killer. Victor Mature is a criminal who goes to work for the authorities. Directed by Henry Hathaway.

*11:15 am (AMC)--I WALK ALONE (1948 )--Interesting film noir, with Burt Lancaster as a man out of prison after 14 years, looking to settle some scores or at least make sense of things. With Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Marc Lawrence and Wendell Corey. Byron Haskin directed.

3:00 p.m. (AMC)--THE RAZOR'S EDGE (1946)--An overlong film, with some embarrassingly silly moments, but also some extraordinarily believable ones. With Tyrone Power, looking for the meaning of life, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter. Directed by Edmund Goulding, from the novel by Somerset Maugham.

7:30 p.m. (AMC)--FRIENDLY PERSUASION (1956)--William Wyler directed this film about a family of Quakers and, therefore, pacifists, trying to survive with dignity during the Civil War. With Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire and Anthony Perkins.

8:00 p.m. (TCM)--AUTUMN SONATA (1978)--Ingrid Bergman (in her last film) is a concert pianist who faces the daughter she's neglected in this somewhat tired and clichéd work by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

*10:00 p.m. (TCM)--SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT (1955)--One of Ingmar Bergman's most delightful works, about a group of people on a weekend at a country estate, set in the late nineteenth century. With Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Bjornstrand.