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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

TiVo this! can’t-miss geek movies on TV, 05.01-05.07

I scour the skeds so you don’t have to, and point out the best geek highlights of the week in some unexpected places: Turner Classic Movies and The Sundance Channel, which show films uncut and uninterrupted (and sometimes in letterbox). But ya gotta turn to The SciFi Channel once in a while, too, commercials and editing be damned — there’s nothing like geeking out in front of the tube with built-in breaks for munchie refills and snark attacks.

(All times are Eastern. Times between midnight and 5:59am actually refer to the previous date. In other words, 2am Saturday really means the overnight twilight zone between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Links in movie titles go to my review.)
MONDAY 05.01

Today, movies that were once satires and are now documentaries:

10:00PM: Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Fighting in the war room? Or the Pentagon’s weekly Iraq war briefings?

4:15AM: Network. Terrorist Comedy Hour? Doesn’t that pretty describe CNN’s The Situation Room — with Wolf Blitzer! — today?


6:15AM: Sullivan’s Travels. Notable for geeks in that it supplied the title — and some inspiration — for the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

And two uber-noirs that cannot be missed:

4:00PM: The Third Man. Didja see when Pinky and the Brain did “The Third Mouse”? That was awesome.

6:00PM: The Maltese Falcon. Needs no explanation.


Two cool old-fashioned swashbuckers, both starring Mary Astor, who was kinda the Julia Roberts of her day, only with more spunk:

6:00AM: Two Arabian Knights. 1927 adventure flick with WWI soldiers and harem girls. How could it not be cool?

10:30AM: The Lash. From 1931, a sort of Zorro knockoff.


3:45AM: Trader Horn. “An African trader and a white jungle goddess join forces against a hostile tribe”? I’m so there. From 1931.

12:00AM: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Guy Ritchie’s new noir is a riot of guns, stupid criminals, and black humor.

11:00PM: American Psycho. Serial killer satire sends up rampant consumerism as well as violence on film. Geek god Christian Bale stars, of course.

FRIDAY 05.05

4:30PM: Captain Blood. Do not miss this Errol Flynn 1935 adventure flick — it was a clear inspiration for Pirates of the Caribbean and is totally spectacular in its own right.

2:00AM: Castle in the Sky. Hayao Miyazaki is a god of animation. From 1986.

6:00AM: Silent Running. Treeeees innnnnnn spaaaaace!.


10:00AM: The Masque of the Red Death. Roger Corman directs Vincent Price in a cheesy horror flick. Yippee!

6:20PM: Hairspray. John Waters’ cult favorite about surviving as a weird dork.

SUNDAY 05.07

8:00PM: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. Steve Martin and classic noir characters interact. Dating from 1982, this is possible herald to how CGI is resurrecting long-dead movie stars.

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