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As you can tell from my previous blog posts, I am a huge fan of Turner Classic Movies. And there’s not a better time to watch TCM than during the month of February when it holds its “31 Days of Oscar” film festival.
During this month I will post my recommendations for films that I like that TCM shows in the evening.

Tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 2) has two big favorites of mine.

7 p.m. (CST) — “The Sting” — It definitely deserved the best picture Oscar for 1973, compared to the other nominees, which was one of seven Oscars it won. Does it stack up well against other best pictures from other years. Not exactly. But it’s quality filmmaking from director George Roy Hill, who won an Oscar for best director. I don’t want to degrade it by saying this, but I had fun at it the first time I saw it and have enjoyed myself with each viewing. Robert Redford and Paul Newman lead a crew of grifters seeking revenge on a mobster, played by Robert Shaw, who killed a fellow grifter. There are a couple of very serious and dramatic moments in “The Sting” and you are reminded about when and where the film takes place — Depression-era Chicago. But the rest of the time is an enjoyable view of Redford/Newman and the gang trying to play the “big con’ against Shaw and screw him out of a lot of money.
The poker game on the train is classic and Newman at his best.

Rating — *** 1/2 stars

11:30 p.m. — “From Here to Eternity” — This 1953 film, based on James Jones’ novel about U.S. Army life in Hawaii right before the attack on Pearl Harbor, belongs in a group of films that I consider perfect. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann, who won an Oscar for best director. The film won eight Oscars overall including best picture. Oscars also went to Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed. But each member of the cast delivered flawless performances with Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr and Ernest Borgnine also part of an all-star lineup. Clift is especially poignant as Prewitt, a man who wants to make a life in the army even though he’s abused and on the bottom of the military food chain.

Rating — **** stars

UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .

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