10:00 p.m.--The Scarlet Letter. A tightly packed and emotional version of the Hawthorne novel, dubiously referred to as a classic of American literature. Lillian "the It Girl" Gish shines as the Puritan wife who bears the local pastor's child, for she was one of the artists of the silent film who practiced the ultimate in method acting: no words at all. Channel 2.
10:00 p.m.--Cambridge Debate on Women's Liberation. This forum was held in England with members of the Cambridge bridge Union Debating Society watching and baiting the two contenders: William F. Buckley and Germaine Greer. Buckley finds himself very much at home with the predominantly snotty, upper class, chauvinist audience, and scores minor points in his remarks by way of snide and generally tasteless humor. Ms. Greer appears tight-lipped and fumbling at the outset, only the kid-gloved technique for an all-out attack which represents the finese impromptu defense of a worthy, cause I have ever seen. It is to the credit of the stodgy debaters that they eventually see the light and award the clear victory to the finer combatant. Right on. Channel 44. 11:30 p.m.--An Affair to Remember. Or forget, depending on your perspective. This is admittedly a syrupy vehicle: the story of two middle-aged people who resign themselves to the fact that they must, indeed, marry to live fulfilled and meaningful lives, so each becomes engaged to a partner in whom he has little more than passing interest. Naturally, they meet each other on a cruise and fall in love. They vow to meet on the Empire State Building in six months after each has cleaned up respective loose ends, and on her hurried walk to embrace her lover, she is hit by a New York cabdriver. Enough? No, there's more, but no sense in giving it away. The saving grace is that the couple in question is Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, perfectly suited to each other and the roles, and thus this film has made grown people cry for more than twenty-five years. It is Love Story, but with talent, taste, and charm. Channel 3.
2:00 p.m.--The Magnificent Ambersions. Orson Welles' second film, a worthy sequel to the toughest of all acts to follow, Citizen Kane. The film is loosely based on Booth Tarkington's novel, and this is one of its faults, for it matches Tarkington's rambling and disjointed style. Technically, however, it is once again vintage Welles, replete with deep-focus and up-from-the-floor, down-from-the-ceiling camera angles. The old Mercury Theatre gang is there, Joseph Cotton, Anne Baster, and Roy Collins, but the film cries out for the presence of the master himself. This film is an example of this failing, with bland and amateur Tim Holt as the young Amberson who must cope with the collapsing family empire. The film is thus flawed, but nonetheless carries the distinctive touch of the finest American film mind of all time. Channel 56.
4:30 p.m.--Little Miss Broadway. Try and name another film in which you can watch a United States Senator singing and dancing with an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. Congress and representative to the United Nations. If you can't, then watch this one, second only to Captain January in the immortal goldilocks collection. Sparkle, Shirley, sparkle. Channel 27.
12 midnight--The Wild Seed. Perhaps Michael Parks is my Achilles heel when it comes to reviewing. Despite his failure with a television series, a short-lived singing career, and a string of otherwise nondescript films, I maintain he has talent, and this is his best performance. If you try to remember that he is trying neither to be Brando or Dean, it is clear that he can act with a style his own. The film is harsh: black and white, loud brass background music, offbeat camera angles, and is something of a low-budget epic, the story of a middle class girl searching for her father on a cross-country pilgrimage. It is a high compliment to say that it is reminiscent of early Cassavetes films. Channel 12.
7:00 p.m.--The Band Wagon. One of the best musicals to come out of the tuneful fifties, although there is not enough Fred Astaire in it. Mr. Fred is an aging hoofer who is persuaded to come back to co-star with Cyd Charisse in her stage debut. Nanette Fabray is completely obnoxious, but the irascible Oscar Levant consistently manages to upstage her. The highlight is a dance number with Astaire as a private eye and Charisse as the sleazy streetwalker in distress. Lots of good songs, and a plot so old that you just have to love it. Channel 3. 9:00 p.m.--The Battling Bellhop. The two premiere tough-asses of all time meet in a tale of fighters, dames, and lots of money. Edward G. Robinson discovers Wayne Morris in a hotel lobby and makes him into a contender, while trying to keep Bette Davis' hands off him. Humphrey Bogart is the evil opponent outside the ring who wants the bellhop to take a dive. The outcome is both logical and enjoyable. Channel 56.
Cleat to FaceDeja vu. What did I tell ya'. The Yanks and the Dodgers face to face, cleat to cleat, just like
Swing Is King on T.V. And It's Good, ManDon't bother to read Rich's column, gang, cause the best rock sound available this week (with the possible exception of
televisionTUESDAY 8:30 p.m.-The Old Man Who Cried Wolf. Edward G. Robinson's superb performance as a 70-year-old man who witnesses his
At HarvardThursday Theater Cat On a Hot Tin Roof-- by Tennessee Williams. Classic Southern drama of a family experiencing love, death,
At Harvard Daily Entertainment & EventsArt Exhibits Fogg Art Museum. "Portrait, Prospect, and Poetry: British Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Bequest," through Nov. 11.
televisionFRIDAY: Tora! Tora! Tora! I never saw this $25 million production, but I sure was unimpressed with the preview clips