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Turner Classic Movies to Launch A Night at the Movies, New Series of One-Hour Specials Focusing on Film Genres


Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is launching a new series of one-hour specials that will provide a Film Studies 101 look at top cinematic genres. The series – called A Night at the Movies – will debut Friday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. (ET) with The Suspenseful World of Thrillers. Future installments of A Night at the Movies will include a look at other genres, including a December special on epic cinema. The specials come to TCM from DreamWorks Television, with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (Las Vegas, TNT’s Into the West) serving as executive producers. The Suspenseful World of Thrillers was written, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker and author Laurent Bouzereau.

“This new series will continue TCM’s commitment to offering great insights into the world of classic film,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TCM, TNT and TBS. “The Suspenseful World of Thrillers promises to be an exciting start to A Night at the Movies, especially because the debut special will feature so many terrific interviews.”

A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers will look at thrillers from all sides, including different types of thrillers and the stylistic tools filmmakers use to give their audiences a shot of adrenaline.

The special will feature interviews with such figures as TCM host Robert Osborne; Ken Follett, author of Eye of the Needle; Bryan Singer, writer and director of The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie; Diablo Cody, writer and producer of the upcoming film Jennifer’s Body; Kenneth Branagh, director and star of Dead Again; Mel Brooks, writer, director and star of the Hitchcock spoof High Anxiety; David Koepp, writer-director of Stir of Echoes; Norman Lloyd, star of Hitchcock’s Saboteur and producer and director for the Alfred Hitchcock television series; Martin Landau, co-star of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest; Ileanna Douglas, co-star of Cape Fear and Stir of Echoes; Scott Frank, screenwriter of Minority Report and director of The Lookout; Heywood Gould, screenwriter of The Boys from Brazil; Paul Hirsch, editor of Brian De Palma’s Obsession and Blow Out; Hawk Koch, assistant director on Marathon Man and The Parallax View, and producer of Untraceable; Guy Hendrix Dyas, production designer for Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; and John McCarty, author of the books Thrillers and Bullets Over Hollywood.

A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers will explore such topics as the origin of thrillers and development of stylistic conventions; the use of a wrongly accused everyman as a protagonist; the range of female roles, from damsel in distress to femme fatale; the creation of classic villains and the actors who relished playing them; the impact of World War II on the genre; the emergence of more violent thrillers in the 1960s; the rise of the paranoid thriller in the 1970s; and how the genre continues in popularity by latching onto the current zeitgeist.

With A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers serving as the kick-off event, TCM will set aside each Friday primetime lineup in October for a different style of thriller. The following is a complete schedule (all times shown are Eastern):

Friday, Oct. 2 – Thrillers and Hitchcock
8 p.m. A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – premiere.
9 p.m. Rear Window (1954), starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly.
11 p.m. A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – encore.
Midnight Shadow of a Doubt (1943), starring Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright.

Friday, Oct. 9 – Political Thrillers
8 p.m. The Manchurian Candidate (1962), starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury and Janet Leigh.
10:15 p.m. The Parallax View (1974), starring Warren Beatty and Hume Cronyn.
Midnight The Boys from Brazil (1978), starring Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck.

Friday, Oct. 16 – Crime Thrillers
8 p.m. The Narrow Margin (1952), starring Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor.
9:30 p.m. A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – encore.
10:30 p.m. Lured (1947), starring George Sanders, Lucille Ball and Charles Coburn.
12:30 a.m. The Lodger (1944), starring Merle Oberon and George Sanders.

Friday, Oct. 23 – Gothic Thrillers
8 p.m. The Night of the Hunter (1955), starring Robert Mitchum, Lillian Gish and Shelley Winters.
10 p.m. Dragonwyck (1946), starring Gene Tierney, Walter Huston and Vincent Price.
Midnight Rebecca (1940), starring Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier and Judith Anderson.

Friday, Oct. 30 – Psychological Thrillers
8 p.m. Gaslight(1944), starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten and Angela Lansbury.
10 p.m. Night Must Fall (1937), starring Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell and Dame May Whitty.
Midnight Psycho (1960), starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and Martin Balsam.

DreamWorks Television is currently in production on seasons five and six of Rescue Me and season two of United States of Tara for Showtime, starring Toni Collette. The company is also set to begin production on a TNT pilot, executive-produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Noah Wyle, about a group of soldiers and civilians struggling against an occupying alien force. In the longform arena, DreamWorks Television and co-production partner Playtone are in post production on The Pacific for HBO. The division previously produced the Emmy award-winning Band of Brothers as well as the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Into the West for TNT and the Emmy award-winning Taken for the SciFi Channel. Other past DreamWorks Television projects include Spin City, Father of the Pride, Freaks and Geeks, The Job, Boomtown, Undeclared, On the Lot, Contender, Wedding Day, Carpoolers and Las Vegas.

Turner Classic Movies is a Peabody Award-winning network celebrating 15 years of presenting great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 80 million homes, TCM features the insights of veteran primetime host Robert Osborne and weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include The Essentials, 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, along with hosting a wealth of materials at its Web site, TCM is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.


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