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MIA at TCM: 'Lavender Hill'

If you're already missing those old clips of Chevy Chase's Gerald Ford-inspired pratfalls on Saturday Night Live now that coverage of the former president's death has ended, good news: Chase will be back on TV
next week, this time to talk about some favorite old movies-and plug a new one-as part of Turner Classic Movies' Guest Programmer series.

"It's so hard to pick your top 10 or top four," Chase tells TCM host Robert Osborne in a chat slated to run with his movie picks Jan. 15.

Apparently so. Guest programmers normally pick four favorites, but Chase's night offers only three: Lawrence of Arabia, The Gold Rush and Rashomon.

What, he couldn't find a fourth in TCM's library of more than 150,000 titles? Actually, he did: Alec Guinness comedy The Lavender Hill Mob.

Unfortunately, the selection-and Chase's taped comments on it-had to be dropped when TCM
rescheduled the Chase program from December to January to coincide with the delayed release of his new film, Funny Money. According to a TCM spokeswoman, the channel's window for running the 1951 classic expired at the end of 2006.

Just as well. With the epic Lawrence of Arabia eating away four hours of the night, Lavender Hill Mob wouldn't get going until 3 a.m.-when most insomniacs are watching old SNL reruns.