TV film fare -- week of Nov. 21, 2021
NEW YORK (CNS) -- The following are capsule reviews of theatrical movies on network and cable television the week of Nov. 21. Please note that televised versions may or may not be edited for language, nudity, violence and sexual situations.
Monday, Nov. 22, 8-10:30 p.m. EST (TCM) "The Red Shoes" (1948). Life imitates art in the romantic tragedy of a dedicated ballerina (Moira Shearer) in a company whose manipulative impresario (Anton Walbrook) forces her to choose between her love for a talented composer (Marius Goring) and her dedication to dancing. Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the convincing portrayal of the ballet world, on-stage and off, proves of more interest than the star-crossed romance and its relation to the title ballet which is the movie's thematic center. Suicide in the plot resolution. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III --adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Wednesday, Nov. 24, 6-8 p.m. EST (AMC) "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (1987). Steve Martin plays a hapless traveler trying to get from New York to Chicago in time to have Thanksgiving with his family but, among other disasters and discomforts, planes are grounded, trains break down and even automobiles catch fire. Adding to the disagreeable experiences of the journey is fellow traveler John Candy in director John Hughes' comedy which, though uneven, does have its truly hilarious moments. Some very rough language and sexual references. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Friday, Nov. 26, 6:15-8 p.m. EST (TCM) "To Be or Not to Be" (1942). Classic World War II comedy about a Polish actor (Jack Benny) whose impersonation of a murdered Nazi spy hoodwinks Warsaw's bumbling Gestapo chief (Sig Ruman) and saves his wife (Carole Lombard), his theater company and the Polish underground. Director Ernst Lubitsch, a master of sophisticated comedy, finds much humor and some wit in what is essentially a darkly menacing wartime subject and Benny, teamed with Lombard, was never better or funnier. Restrained violence and some sexual innuendo. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II -- adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association.
Saturday, Nov. 27, 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. EST (AMC) "Stand By Me" (1986). The power of this drama lies in the simple, profound truths four boys learn about themselves while on a journey through the backwoods of their rural hometown in the late 1950s. Director Rob Reiner's preteen coming-of-age picture carefully avoids excess while focusing on simple tests of patience, courage, caring and the joys of male camaraderie. Some harsh language, uncharacteristic of the times, and brief violence but it is an experience some parents might wish to share with their youngsters. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association rating was R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Saturday, Nov. 27, 8-10 p.m. EST (HBO) "The Bourne Identity" (2002). Well-crafted thriller in which a highly trained CIA agent (Matt Damon) suffering from amnesia after a botched secret operation must figure out who he is and why fierce assassins are after him as he is aided by a German woman (Franka Potente) whom he has taken into his confidence. Based on the novel by Robert Ludlum, director Doug Liman's film is both an engaging character study and a fast-paced espionage yarn as the ongoing chase scenes and chilling close calls provide suspense and deflect attention from the story's predictable spots. Recurring harsh violence and some profanity with an instance of rough language. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association rating was PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (Followed by the sequel "The Bourne Supremacy" (2004) 10-11:50 p.m. EST)
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.