As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago there’s not a great many movies this month on TCM from which Catholic families can watch to find aspects of the Faith. Still, there are a few fine selections for you to consider, starting with a film noir night exposing the seamier side of life in 1940s Los Angeles. There’s no confusion about good and evil in these films. June 20—5 p.m.: Nocturne (1946). A nocturne is a composition inspired by, or evocative of, the night, a fitting name for this story, a prime example of the dark lives examined in films noir. A Hollywood movie composer is murdered, and a hard-bitten L.A. police investigator (George Raft) searches among ten models and starlets known to the dead man to find the “Dolores” named in his last composition, a nocturne. The plot will call to mind the better-known “Laura” (1944) with the subject of police ethics very much in evidence. —6:45 p.m.: They Won’t Believe Me (1947). Lack of fidelity and integrity are on display here. While on trial for murder Larry (Robert Young) reminisces about how he married Greta (Rita Johnson) for her money then fell in love with Janice (Jane Greer) who refused his advances and moved to Montreal. Greta buys Larry a partnership in an L.A. brokerage firm where he falls in love with Verna (Susan Hayward). They decide to run away with Greta’s money but get into a car crash. Verna’s dead body is mistaken for Greta so Larry decides to murder his wife but finds Greta’s already committed suicide, leaping into a river once she read his “Dear Jane” letter. Greta’s body is eventually found and mistaken for the missing Verna. Larry is now indicted for Verna’s death. That’s as far as I’m going since this film’s ironic ending comes out of left field. —8:15 p.m.: Double Indemnity (1944). This homicidal tale based on James M. Cain’s 1943 novella is the top of the mark, another Billy Wilder masterpiece, with so many familiar neighborhood Hollywood locations. Its sharp black and white photography and dust-filled, venetian-blind lighting disturbed audiences from the beginning and spawned the film noir genre — and remains a vivid reminder about avoiding near occasions of sin. Walter Neff (Fred McMurray), a slick insurance salesman, is seduced by Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) into getting rid of one of his customers —— her husband. Their moral rot is balanced by Neff’s close friend, the gruffly honorable Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), ace claims adjuster, whose “little man” tells him all is not well.—10:15 p.m.: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). Once again infidelity is the basis for murder. Frank (John Garfield), a drifter, happens on a Santa Monica burger joint, is hired as a handyman by Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway), the owner. Frank is soon introduced to Nick’s wife, Cora (Lana Turner, in her most memorable role) and sparks fly. Almost immediately the two conspire to kill the cuddly, but much older, Nick. If you haven’t seen the film, I don’t want to spoil it, other than it’s not until Frank speaks to a priest that we learn Who the Postman really is. June 23—9 a.m.: My Favorite Wife (1940). This film, along with “The Awful Truth” (1937), forever proved Cary Grant the master of screwball comedy. Directed by Garson Kanin and written by Leo McCarey, the story is a reworking of Tennyson’s “Enoch Arden.” Seven years following his wife, Ellen’s disappearance on an ocean voyage, Nick Arden (Grant) has Judge Bryson (Granville Bates) declare her legally dead and preside at his marriage to Bianca (Gail Patrick). The same day, Ellen (Irene Dunne) returns and shows up at the hotel where Nick and Bianca are about to start their honeymoon. Whoops! It all gets sorted out in the end but not before one merry mix-up after another lands all parties back in Judge Byron’s court, with Bates stealing every scene he’s in.—10:45 a.m.: Carousel (1956): Continuing our theme of troubled marriages, Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway hit comes to the big screen in glorious Color by Deluxe. Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae) shines stars in the afterlife. It’s menial labor —— think of it as Purgatory —— because he still needs a good deed to get into Heaven. His story is told in flashback before Billy is allowed to go back to earth for one day and make amends. Shirley Jones shines as Billy’s long-suffering wife, Julie. The beauty and vitality of the songs are excellent and the plot remains one of the team’s most solid.June 24—9 a.m.: The Prince And The Pauper (1937). Mark Twain’s yarn of how a poor lad changed places with the young prince who became King Edward VI has been told and retold on film and television. This is the best, with a young Error Flynn as the twins’ protector, and a reasonably accurate depiction of life in London under Henry VIII with an unvarnished look at how priests, when not hanged, drawn and quartered, were reduced to penury after Henry’s break with Rome.—11 a.m.: The Prisoner of Zenda (1952). MGM produced this film in Technicolor as an almost word-for-word reconstruction of the earlier (superior) black-and-white Samuel Goldwyn production and the same musical score by Alfred Newman. In this telling, Stewart Granger stars as the English gentleman, Rudolf Rassendyl, who masquerades as King Rudolf V of Ruritania (also Granger) when the monarch is kidnapped by Rupert of Hentzau (James Mason) before the king can be crowned and married to Princess Flavia (Deborah Kerr). With lots of derring-do and swordplay, this version is only a tick below the original and still quite enjoyable.—5 p.m.: Detective Story (1951). The film version of Sidney Kingsley’s 1949 play still packs an emotional wallop. Catholic Chief Detective Jim McLeod (Kirk Douglas) is on the trail of a New Jersey abortionist in the pre-Roe v. Wade era, when each state and all civilized nations had laws classifying abortion as murder. Despite the concern of his detective friend (William Bendix), McLeod is devastated to learn that his wife had an abortion. Bendix’ moving recitation of the Act of Contrition is one of the film’s highlights.Sean M. Wright, a parishioner at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Santa Clarita, presents workshops and enrichment courses throughout the archdiocese. He replies to comments sent him at [email protected]. {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0621/tcmmovies/{/gallery}