A (Black) Gat in the Hand: A Hardboiled August on TCM

A (Black) Gat in the Hand: A Hardboiled August on TCM

Bogart_TwoCarrollsEDITEDHopefully you’re used to my monthly look at some hardboiled/noir coming up for the month over at TCM. August is a little different. There is no Star of the Month. Instead a different person is featured every night for a ‘Summer under the Stars.’ I’ll include the star of the day, as it’s almost a day-long tribute to that star. As usual, the month features some hardboiled and noir:

SATURDAY AUGUST 1 (Barbara Stanwyck)

4:00 PM – The Two Mrs. Carrolls
This is a creepy Humphrey Bogart movie, with Stanwyck as his second wife. It also features Alexis Smith, who had a key role in the underrated Conflict. Nigel Bruce, Basil Rathbone’s Dr. Watson, plays a bit of a doofus (that was a real stretch for him). I find all the scenes with Bogart’s daughter annoying. Worth seeing once, but not in my top half of Bogart flicks.

10:00 PM – Double Indemnity
This was just on back in June. One of the greatest noirs of them all, with Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson all terrific. Great movie. Great novel.


6:00 AM – Winchester ‘73
Since I’m the one writing this post, I add in movies from other genres that I think are good to watch. This is a different kind of western from director Anthony Mann, starring James Stewart, Shelly Winters, and noir star Dan Duryea. I don’t list this in my Westerns Top 10, but it’s a good one in the field.

MONDAY, AUGUST 3 (Rita Hayworth)

8:00 PM – The Lady from Shanghai
Orson Welles directed, wrote the screenplay, and costarred in this Hayworth vehicle.

10:00 PM – Gilda
Hayworth and Glenn Ford in post-war Buenos Aires. I like this much more than the previous movie. Also includes Gerald Mohr, the superb radio Philip Marlowe.

There’s nothing on the 4th, but I want to mention it is S.Z. Sakall night. Sakall was Carl, the head waiter in Casablanca.


6:00 AM – Room Service
I will sit and watch a Marx Brothers movie any time one is on. Even if it’s not that great. Which this one really isn’t, though I still like it.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 6 (Burt Lancaster)

7:30 AM – Jim Thorpe, All American
This movie is almost 70 years old, and I think it’s still one of the best sport biopics ever made. Lancaster is fantastic as the Indian athlete. He probably wouldn’t be allowed to play the part in these overly sensitive times. Which would be a shame. Thorpe got hosed during his life, but he was the Bo Jackson of his era – only better.

There are several good Lancaster films, in different genres. Check out the schedule.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 7 (Sylvia Sidney)

Bogart_DeadEndLobbyEDITED4:15 PM – Dead End
As far as social issue films go (Warners loved them in the thirties), this one is about as good as it gets. Humphrey Bogart is terrific as Baby Face Martin, while cowboy star Joel McRea is an honest, good-natured guy struggling in his circumstances. Sylvia Sidney, Wendy Barrie, Kay Francis, and Marjorie Main bring a ton of female chops to this one. The always reliable gangster Alan Jenkins is Bogart’s wing man. This was a hit play, and the movie version brought the Dead End Kids from Broadway to the silver screen. This is a big budget epic that pays off. And a screenplay by Lilian Hellman.

4:30 AM (Sat) – The Wagon’s Roll at Night
A rarely shown Bogart film, with Eddie Albert (Green Acres). Bogie is the manager of a circus. Yeah. It’s actually not a bad movie. Also has Joan Leslie, and Sig Ruman (A Night at the Opera). Interesting for the spot it fills in Bogart’s career. He was coming off of They Drive By Night and High Sierra. And his next movie was The Maltese Falcon. This film sticks out like a sore thumb.

Sidney’s career went from 1927 to 1998. That’s pretty impressive!

I’ll just mention that Saturday, August 8, is Charlie Chaplin, all day. I’m okay with Chaplin. But if you’re a fan, this is your day.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9 (Goldie Hawn)

8:00 PM – Foul Play
I think this is arguably the greatest ‘comedy crime’ film ever. It holds up today, with a strong cast and it’s fun to watch.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 11 (Sammy Davis Jr)

9:00 AM – Johnny Cool
This movie has a smoking-hot Elizabeth Montgomery, and some guys, in a crime drama.

3:30 PM – Robin and the 7 Hoods
I’m a Sammy Davis Jr fan, and he has one of his best songs in this fine gangster musical. Fantastic cast.

5:45 PM – Ocean’s 11
I thought that the remake was fantastic. But the original is pretty darned good as well.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12 (Lana Turner)

1:00 AM (Thu) – The Postman Always Rings Twice
Sizzling-hot noir with Lana Turner and John Garfield. Based on the novel by James M. Cain. If you’ve only seen the remake with Jack Nicholson, you should watch this one.

Thursday, August 13, is John Barrymore day. And no Sherlock Holmes. WHATEVER, TCM.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 14 (Steve McQueen)

TheGetaway_PosterEDITED2:00 PM – The Getaway
The original, with McQueen and Ali McGraw, based on Jim Thompons’s excellent novel. The remake with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger is also worth seeing.

4:15 PM – Bullitt
Good cop movie with a strong supporting cast, including Robert Vaughan, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Duvall, and Norman Fell. Based on a novel by Robert L. Fish. He wrote some really good Sherlock Holmes parodies.

6:15 PM – The Cincinnati Kid
I’m not as crazy about this as I’d like to be. But the cast is simply phenomenal: McQueen, Ann Margret, Karl Malden, Tuesday Weld, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Rip Torn, and Cab Calloway. Wow!

8:00 PM – The Thomas Crown Affair
I prefer the Pierce Brosnan remake, but I like good heist/caper films. And this is one of those. Faye Dunaway costars.

10:00 PM – The Great Escape
First-class war movie, with a great cast. If you’ve never caught this one before, you REALLY should give it a try.


11:30 PM – Illegal
I mentioned this during May, as Edward G. Robinson stars as a lawyer who goes down the wrong path after sending an innocent man to the chair. I like this. I talked about Nina Foch in my Johnny O’Clock essay.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 (Cary Grant)

I don’t like every movie Cary Grant made, but I like most of them. Here’s a partial list for the day. Go to TCM and check out the whole schedule:


11:45 AM – His Girl Friday
1:30 PM – Talk of the Town
3:45 PM – Arsenic and Old Lace (which I wrote about here. An all-time favorite)
8:00 PM – To Catch a Thief
10:00 PM – Charade

Monday the 17th is Maureen O’Hara. I’m not a big fan, but if you are, look at the schedule.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 18 (Warren Beatty)

6:00 PM – Bonnie and Clyde
No surprise this groundbreaking crime film is showing.

11:30 PM – Bugsy
Back in 1991, two and-a-half hour movies were a little long. Which this one is. I think they could have lopped off 30-45 minutes and come away with a tighter, better movie. Still not a bad mob flick.

Wednesday the 19th is Dolores Del Rio, who I had never heard of. And I haven’t seen any of these films. Give a look if you want.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 20 (William Powell)

7:30 AM – The Kennel Murder Case
The last Philo Vance film starring Powell is often cited as the best of the series.

TheThinManEDITED12:00 PM – The Thin Man
2:00 PM – After the Thin Man
I’m not much of a fan of this series, which based on a Dashiell Hammett novel. But Powell and Myrna Loy were hugely popular as Nick and Nora Charles.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 21 (Diana Dors)

4:15 – King of the Roaring Twenties: The Arnold Rothstein Story
8:00 PM – The Long Haul
12:00 AM – The Unholy Wife

Dors was a blonde bombshell ala Marilyn Monroe. I haven’t seen any of these films, but I have seen pictures of Dors before. I’ll probably watch at least one of these.

August 22nd is Natalie Wood. If you like her, you’ll find several films to watch.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 23 (Bette Davis)

6:00 AM – Marked Woman
One of two movies which Humphrey Bogart made with Davis in 1937. This isn’t a bad gangster flick, with Bogie as a crusading district attorney for a change. Bogart met Mayo Methot during filming. That led to their stormy marriage, followed by divorce.

4:45 AM (Monday) – Satan Met a Lady
The second attempt to film Hammett’s classic, The Maltese Falcon. This one took a comedic approach, and I think it’s about unwatchable.

MONDAY, AUGUST 24 (George Raft)

6:00 AM – Manpower
A movie about electric power line men. Raft had Bogart tossed from this movie right after it began. Edward G. Robinson came on board and the mild-mannered star ended up in a fist fight with Raft. Marlene Dietrich plays the woman they both want. The usual excellent cast of Warners supporting actors is present, including Frank McHugh, Alan Hale. Barton MacLane, and Ward Bond. I’d watch this just for the backups!

8:00 AM – Background to Danger
Raoul Walsh and W.R. Burnett (High Sierra) team up again for Raft’s Casablanca. It’s even got Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. I like this film.

9:30 AM– Johnny Angel
Pulpsters Steve Fisher and Frank Gruber worked on the screen play of this crime drama with a nautical theme. Another decent movie.

11:00 AM – Race Street
A bookie is murdered and fellow bookie Raft teams up with cop William Bendix to solve the crime. Also includes Harry Morgan (Colonel Potter).

Raft_NocturneEDITED2:30 PM – Red Light
Raft takes an unusual turn as a bad guy. Heck of a cast: Raft, Virginia Mayo, Gene Lockhart, Raymond Burr, Harry Morgan, Barton MacLane, and William Frawley. I’ll be seeing this for the first time.

4:15 PM – A Dangerous Profession
Raft plays an ex-cop, now working as a bail bondsman. I saw this one time, and I rather liked it.

8:00 PM – They Drive By Night
A film in which Bogart plays second fiddle to George Raft. Sheridan is a diner waitress who falls for Raft – and vice versa. Of course, Ida Lupino absolutely steals the movie with her courtroom scene at the end. This is an entertaining trucker movie. A television pilot was filmed, but wasn’t picked up. I’ve seen this many times and like it. Alan Hale (the skipper’s dad) gives a good performance as well.

10:00 PM – Each Dawn I Die
Quite a performance by James Cagney as a crusading reporter who undergoes quite a personality change when he’s framed and imprisoned. This was George Raft’s first movie after signing with Warners. The first thing he did was bump Bogart from the part of Hood Stacey.

11:45 PM – Nocturne
This is my favorite George Raft film. The cinematography, especially the use of shadows, is fantastic. And Raft does a good job as a cop who doubts a suicide. I strongly recommend catching this one.

4:30 AM (Tue) – Invisible Stripes
Raft leads a strong cast that includes William Holden and Bogart.

I have made fun of George Raft’s propensity for turning down parts that would have helped his career. I even wrote an essay on how his poor choices helped make Humphrey Bogart a star. But Raft made a lot of watchable movies in the thirties and forties. This a pretty good day of movies.

1:00 AM (Wed) – Murder My Sweet
The classic Philip Marlowe film, just on a few weeks ago, was Shirley’s last film. A successful star, she had been in Hollywood since her childhood. She married the movie’s producer and retired. I’ve talked about this movie a lot. It’s my favorite Marlowe film.

August 26th is Laurence Oliver. I acknowledge he was a good actor, but I’m not much of a fan. Quite a slate of films, including two Shakespeare movies.

August 27th is Claudette Colbert. Meh.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28 (Paul Henreid)

8:00 PM – Now Voyager
Henreid and Bette Davis starred in this hit drama. Claude Rains costarred. Henreid and Rains would make Casablanca next.

12:00 AM – Casablanca
The greatest movie of all time. I’ve written about it many times on FB. Watch it. Doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it. A dozen times, even. Watch it again.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29 (Eva Marie Saint)

8:00 PM – North by Northwest
A Hitchcock masterpiece, with Cary Grant and Saint turning in brilliant performances. Another movie you can’t watch too many times.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30 (Charlton Heston)

4:00 PM – Ben Hur
When someone says ‘Epic’ about a movie, this is what they’re talking about.

Welles_TouchofEvilEDITED8:00 PM – Touch of Evil
Orson Welles’ noir is based on a novel by Whit Masterson. Who was actually Wade Miller. Who was actually Bob Wade and Bill Miller. And Wade Miller wrote the massively underappreciated hardboiled PI series, Max Thursday.

12:15 AM (Fri) Planet of the Apes
I still think that this first film in the series was just a brilliant innovation. Rod Serling (Twilight Zone) co wrote the screenplay.

2:15 AM – Soylent Green
I myself don’t like this film. Too creepy. But it’s certainly popular. And it’s got Edward G. Robinson in his last big screen appearance (he had one more uncredited part on TV).

The month ends with Alain DeLon, who I do not know, nor did I find any of the listed movies interesting. But there you go. A whole lot of movies to watch on TCM in August!

Prior posts in A (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2020 Series (13)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hardboiled May on TCM
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Some Hardboiled streaming options
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Johnny O’Clock (Dick Powell)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hardboiled June on TCM
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Bullets or Ballots (Humphrey Bogart)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Phililp Marlowe – Private Eye (Powers Boothe)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Cool and Lam
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: All Through the Night (Bogart)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Dick Powell as Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hardboiled July on TCM
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: YTJD – The Emily Braddock Matter (John Lund)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Richard Diamond – The Betty Moran Case (Dick Powell)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Bold Venture (Bogart and Bacall)

A (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2019 Series (15)
Back Deck Pulp Returns
A (Black) Gat in the Hand Returns
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Will Murray on Doc Savage
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hugh B. Cave’s Peter Kane
MacDonald_SpillaneCoverEDITEDA (Black) Gat in the Hand: Paul Bishop on Lance Spearman
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: A Man Called Spade
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Hard Boiled Holmes
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Duane Spurlock on T.T. Flynn
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Andrew Salmon on Montreal Noir
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Frank Schildiner on The Bad Guys of Pulp
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Steve Scott on John D. MacDonald’s ‘Park Falkner’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Patrick Murray on The Spider
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: John D. MacDonald & Mickey Spillane
A (Black Gat in the Hand: Norbert Davis goes West(ern)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Bill Crider on The Brass Cupcake

A (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2018 Series (31)
With a (Black) Gat: George Harmon Coxe
With a (Black) Gat: Raoul Whitfield
With a (Black) Gat: Some Hard Boiled Anthologies
With a (Black) Gat: Frederick Nebel’s Donahue
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Thomas Walsh
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – January, 1935
A (Black) Gat in the hand: Norbert Davis’ Ben Shaley
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: D.L. Champion’s Rex Sackler
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Dime Detective – August, 1939
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #1
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: W.T. Ballard’s Bill Lennox
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Day Keene
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – October, 1933
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #2
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – Spring, 2017
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Frank Schildiner’s ‘Max Allen Collins & The Hard Boiled Hero’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Campbell Gault
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: More Cool & Lam From Hard Case Crime
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: MORE Cool & Lam!!!!
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Thomas Parker’s ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe Bonadonna’s ‘Hardboiled Film Noir’ (Part One)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe Bonadonna’s ‘Hardboiled Film Noir’ (Part Two)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Patrick Maynard’s ‘The Yellow Peril’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Andrew P Salmon’s ‘Frederick C. Davis’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Rory Gallagher’s ‘Continental Op’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #3
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #4
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #5
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe ‘Cap’ Shaw on Writing
A (Black) Gat in Hand: Back Deck Pulp #6
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: The Black Mask Dinner

Bob_Houston_HatCroppedBob Byrne’s ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ was a regular Monday morning hardboiled pulp column from May through December, 2018 and again from August through December, 2019. It returned in June, 2020.

His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate  from March, 2014 through March, 2017 (still making an occasional return appearance!).

He organized ‘Hither Came Conan,’ as well as Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series.

He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded www.SolarPons.com (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IV,  V, VI and XXI.

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Thomas Parker

I hope they’re showing Howard Hawks’screwball masterpiece Twentieth Century on John Barrymore day. It’s one of the greatest comedies anyone has ever done. Last time TCM showed it I DVR’d it, intending to keep it forever but I inadvertently erased it.


James Stewart and Anthony Mann teamed up for 5 “Western Noir” films: “Winchester ’73,” “The Man from Laramie,” “Bend of the River,” “The Far Country,” and “The Naked Spur.” All are well worth watching, and as far as I know, are only on DVD — no Blu-Ray versions.

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