HIGH NOON (1952)
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13
AMC (Comcast Ch. 31)
There are Westerns, and then there’s “High Noon.” Marking one of the first appearances of anti-heroic doubt in what had otherwise been a rigidly black-and-white genre (Hollywood legend has it that John Wayne stormed out of a screening of “High Noon,” calling its tale of societal cowardice “un-American”), it’s the story of Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper). Just married and ready to retire, Kane hears that a notorious killer he helped put away is coming back to town on the noon train. In an orgy of fear, the townspeople abandon him one by one, including his new bride (Grace Kelley), until Kane is left to stand alone.
ELVIS: CANDLELIGHT VIGIL 2005
9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)
Though Elvis Presley left the building a loooooong time ago, his music still finds a way to touch people, even all these years later. Proof of that is the candlelight vigil held at his Memphis home, Graceland, every year on the anniversary of his death. Held since 1979 by the Elvis Country fan club, the vigil is one of the big events of Memphis’ “Elvis Week,” attended by tens of thousands of fans. Here, Elvis Presley Enterprises and PBS present a live, multi-camera feed of the procession up to Elvis’ grave. While not all that exciting, it is a solemn testament to the appeal of Presley, a simple country boy who used a microphone and a pawnshop guitar to become the King.
9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17
FX (Comcast Ch. 59)
Adding to a recent string of dramatic hits on cable channel FX, now comes the new series “Over There,” which follows a group of fictional soldiers to the front lines of Iraq. The results are stellar — as bloody, vulgar (as with another no-nonsense FX hit, “Rescue Me,” soldiers on “Over There,” don’t say “Oh, fudge!” when someone shoots at them), blackly comic and sad as war can be. The first two episodes prove “OT” to be a comer, with poignant portrayals of young people learning to live with each other, the politics that put them there, and the warrior’s constant companion: death. Gritty, twist-filled, pulling no punches, it’s one of the few shows about war that might actually become a deterrent.