Never Weaken (1921)
It's about to reaffirm that, as it nears its 20th anniversary, with a series -- and series of movies -- that will run for most of the rest of the year. The initiative is built around "The Story of Film: An Odyssey," a 15-part documentary to be offered in weekly chapters Mondays starting Sept. 2.
Director-writer-narrator Mark Cousins' retrospective goes decade by decade through movie history, starting in the era of 1902's "A Trip to the Moon" and going up to such recent (in TCM terms) releases as 2000's "Gladiator." Besides being excerpted in the documentary, many of those features will be shown in full on Mondays and Tuesdays, introduced by TCM staple Robert Osborne.
"It does give a basic history of film," Osborne tells Zap2it of the documentary, "and
Aerial shots over Manhattan's forest of skyscrapers. Yellow cabs crawling like ants through the city grid. The hero stands on a ledge 20 floors up, provoking a street theatre of police cordons, firetrucks, news crews and onlookers. Meanwhile, in a top-floor office, a corporate villain admires an architectural model of another shiny skyscraper. Elsewhere, an acrobatic thief hangs precariously in an elevator shaft, dropping a spanner that goes clanging down innumerable storeys to the ground. The ominous ping of an approaching elevator spells danger. The hero and villain finally meet for a climactic rooftop showdown.
These scenes could be from a hundred Hollywood movies or more, but in fact they're from just one: Man on a Ledge, an enjoyably silly new thriller that at least sets out its stall in the title.
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