Friday, August 13, 2010

Robert Ryan Day at TCM

Friday August 13 is Robert Ryan's turn in TCM's Summer Under the Stars. I'm thrilled at some of the films they've scheduled, especially those 1940s Westerns and 1973's The Outfit, which will find me up at 4am to watch--no fancy recording technology at this residence, folks! Ryan's day also reminds me that I should be horrified that he didn't make my top ten actors list earlier this year. I'm embarrassed and ashamed that Ryan didn't make the cut...same with William Holden, his Wild Bunch co-star, especially since I've been a fan of both for decades! I guess I need to re-do that list again. As for Ryan and Holden, writer Eddie Muller had a great line about the two veterans' roles in the 1969 film, saying that "Holden and Ryan are engaged in a Mexican standoff over who can project a more bone-weary tiredness." Great stuff! Ryan and Holden are alike in that their acting is timeless and that they adjusted and seamlessly fit in with whatever type of movie they were in.

Ryan often played roles which found his characaters to be friendlessly psychotic and perpetually on edge, ready to lash out at anything. The man himself was quite different but he's remembered for his earlier, sinister roles. When it came to Noir, Robert Ryan personified hostile malevolence just as Robert Mitchum was the face of existential indifference. For anyone unfamiliar with Robert Ryan's work, check out TCM this Saturday. Here's Turner Classic's Robert Ryan schedule, lovingly copied and pasted for your perusal, with the bold titles being my personal recommendations--and please, someone record The Outfit!!!

6:00 AM Trail Street (1947)
Bat Masterson fights to make Kansas safe for wheat farmers. Cast: Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys. Dir: Ray Enright. BW-84 mins, TV-G

7:30 AM Return of the Badmen (1948)
A farmer falls for the female leader of a band of notorious outlaws. Cast: Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys. Dir: Ray Enright. BW-90 mins, TV-PG, CC

9:15 AM Flying Leathernecks (1951)
A World War II Marine officer drives his men mercilessly during the battle for Guadalcanal. Cast: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Jay C. Flippen. Dir: Nicholas Ray. C-102 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS

11:00 AM Men In War (1957)
Two enemies join forces to save their men during a retreat from the North Koreans. Cast: Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Robert Keith. Dir: Anthony Mann. BW-98 mins, TV-PG

1:00 PM Crossfire (1947)
A crusading district attorney investigates the murder of a Jewish man. Cast: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan. Dir: Edward Dmytryk. BW-86 mins, TV-PG, CC

2:30 PM Act Of Violence (1949)
An embittered veteran tracks down a POW camp informer. Cast: Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh. Dir: Fred Zinnemann. BW-82 mins, TV-PG, CC

4:00 PM God's Little Acre (1958)
A dirt-farmer lets his family fall apart while he hunts for his grandfather's buried gold. Cast: Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Tina Louise. Dir: Anthony Mann. BW-118 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

6:00 PM Captain Nemo And The Underwater City (1969)
The infamous submarine captain rescues six shipwreck survivors. Cast: Robert Ryan, Chuck Connors, Nanette Newman. Dir: James Hill. C-106 mins, TV-G, Letterbox Format

8:00 PM Boy With Green Hair, The (1948)
An orphaned boy mystically acquires green hair and a mission to end war. Cast: Dean Stockwell, Pat O'Brien, Robert Ryan. Dir: Joseph Losey. C-82 mins, TV-G, CC

9:30 PM Set-Up, The (1949)
An aging boxer defies the gangsters who've ordered him to throw his last fight. Cast: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias. Dir: Robert Wise. BW-73 mins, TV-PG, CC

11:00 PM Billy Budd (1962)
Adaptation of Herman Melville's classic tale of a ship's captain caught between an innocent young sailor and an evil officer. Cast: Peter Ustinov, Robert Ryan, Terence Stamp. Dir: Peter Ustinov. BW-123 mins, TV-G, Letterbox Format

1:15 AM Wild Bunch, The (1969)
A group of aging cowboys look for one last score in a corrupt border town. Cast: William Holden, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine. Dir: Sam Peckinpah. C-144 mins, TV-MA,

4:00 AM Outfit, The (1973) Record this, it's rare!!!
An ex-con takes on the mob to avenge his brother's death. Cast: Robert Duvall, Karen Black, Joe Don Baker. Dir: John Flynn. C-103 mins, TV-14


  1. They don't want to show Tender Comrade? Oh well, I find a cute pic from that movie maybe I should post it on Triple O today!

  2. RR is indeed one of the rare actors admirable för acting on screen and
    privately. Yesterday he took me by further surprise in "God's Little Acre" (1958) on TCM.
    Ryan passed away way too soon, but he passed on his NY Dakota flat to
    another gigant, John Lennon, then dying even younger.
    God's unpacient about drafting his favourites...

    Rolf L


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