Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In Dutch

The plan—seeing as TCM is celebrating Ronald Wilson Reagan as its Star of the Month—was to concoct what is known in the cinematic blogosphere as a “blogathon,” in which a certain amount of time is set aside to write posts about a designated actor, director, movie genre, etc…but the posts don’t all emanate from one single solitary blogger, you see—others are encouraged to participate like mad. That was my plan—to create a Reagan blogathon (I was even going to use the title of this post for the event) for the month of March…and as usual, I got sidetracked with something else.

Nevertheless, I’ve not given up on the idea…it’s just going to be a heck-of-a-lot smaller than my original grandiose scheme. The following is the list of Reagan films scheduled for Turner Classic Movies this month:

4 Wednesday

8:00 PM

Secret Service Of The Air (1939)

A government agent battles smugglers. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Eddie Foy, Jr., John Litel. Dir: Noel Smith. BW-61 mins, TV-PG

9:15 PM

Code Of The Secret Service (1939)

Secret Service agents try to solve the theft of treasury banknote plates. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Eddie Foy, Jr., Rosella Towne. Dir: Noel Smith. BW-58 mins, TV-G

10:30 PM

Smashing The Money Ring (1939)

The Secret Service investigates a fleet of gambling ships. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Eddie Foy, Jr., Margot Stevenson. Dir: Terry Morse. BW-57 mins, TV-G

11:30 PM

Murder In The Air (1940)

A secret service agent fights to keep enemy spies away from top secret government plans. Cast: Ronald Reagan, John Litel, James Stephenson. Dir: Lewis Seiler. BW-55 mins, TV-PG

12:30 AM

Angels Wash Their Faces (1939)

A young delinquent defies his sister to join a tough street gang. Cast: Ann Sheridan, Ronald Reagan, The Dead End Kids. Dir: Ray Enright. BW-86 mins, TV-G, CC

2:00 AM

Girls On Probation (1938)

A dizzy young girl falls into crime but wins her lawyer's heart. Cast: Jane Bryan, Ronald Reagan, Henry O'Neill. Dir: William McGann. BW-64 mins, TV-G

3:15 AM

Nine Lives Are Not Enough (1941)

A reporter tries to solve a series of boardinghouse murders. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Joan Perry, James Gleason. Dir: A. Edward Sutherland. BW-63 mins, TV-PG

4:30 AM

Accidents Will Happen (1938)

An insurance man tangles with a fraud ring. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Gloria Blondell, Dick Purcell. Dir: William Clemens. BW-62 mins, TV-G, CC

5:33 AM

Short Film: Heroes At Leisure (1939)

BW-10 mins,

5 Thursday

6:00 AM

Juke Girl (1942)

A migrant laborer becomes a champion of farm workers' rights. Cast: Ann Sheridan, Ronald Reagan, Richard Whorf. Dir: Curtis Bernhardt. BW-90 mins, TV-G

7:45 AM

Hell's Kitchen (1939)

An ex-con tries to help a group of hardened juvenile delinquents. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Lindsay, The Dead End Kids. Dir: Lewis Seiler, E.A. Dupont. BW-81 mins, TV-PG

9:15 AM

That Hagen Girl (1947)

A small-town teenager thinks a lawyer is her illegitimate dad. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, Rory Calhoun. Dir: Peter Godfrey. BW-83 mins, TV-G, CC

10:45 AM

Night Unto Night (1949)

A terminally ill scientist seeks comfort from a mentally disturbed widow. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Viveca Lindfors, Rosemary DeCamp. Dir: Don Siegel. BW-85 mins, TV-PG, CC

11 Wednesday

8:00 PM

Brother Rat (1938)

A military cadet and his friends try to keep his marriage a secret. Cast: Wayne Morris, Eddie Albert, Ronald Reagan. Dir: William Keighley. BW-89 mins, TV-G, CC

9:45 PM

Brother Rat And A Baby (1940)

Three naval cadets graduate and help each other find jobs. Cast: Wayne Morris, Eddie Albert, Ronald Reagan. Dir: Ray Enright. BW-87 mins, TV-G, CC

11:30 PM

Tugboat Annie Sails Again (1940)

A veteran lady captain fights off competition. Cast: Marjorie Rambeau, Jane Wyman, Ronald Reagan. Dir: Lewis Seiler. BW-77 mins, TV-G, CC

1:00 AM

Angel From Texas, An (1940)

A pair of slick Broadway producers con a wealthy cowboy into backing their show. Cast: Eddie Albert, Rosemary Lane, Ronald Reagan. Dir: Ray Enright. BW-69 mins, TV-G, CC

2:30 AM

Stallion Road (1947)

A veterinarian and a novelist compete for the heart of a lady rancher. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Alexis Smith, Zachary Scott. Dir: James V. Kern. BW-97 mins, TV-G

4:30 AM

Going Places (1938)

A sporting-goods salesman poses as a jockey to stimulate sales. Cast: Dick Powell, Anita Louise, Ronald Reagan. Dir: Ray Enright. BW-84 mins, TV-G

12 Thursday

6:00 AM

Sergeant Murphy (1938)

A lowly private becomes attached to a trained military horse. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Mary Maguire, Donald Crisp. Dir: B. Reeves Eason. BW-57 mins, TV-G

18 Wednesday

8:00 PM

Knute Rockne All American (1940)

Biography of the famed Notre Dame coach and his fight to "win one for the Gipper." Cast: Pat O'Brien, Ronald Reagan, Gale Page. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. C-98 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS

10:00 PM

Kings Row (1942)

Small town scandals inspire an idealistic young man to take up psychiatry. Cast: Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan. Dir: Sam Wood. BW-127 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS

12:15 AM

Girl From Jones Beach, The (1949)

An artist discovers a real-life version of the perfect woman he's been drawing for years. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Virginia Mayo, Eddie Bracken. Dir: Peter Godfrey. BW-78 mins, TV-G

2:00 AM

John Loves Mary (1949)

A World War II veteran's marriage of convenience threatens his real wedding plans. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Patricia Neal, Jack Carson. Dir: David Butler. BW-96 mins, TV-G

4:00 AM

One For The Book (1947)

A lovelorn actress shares her apartment with a lonely soldier. Cast: Eleanor Parker, Ronald Reagan, Eve Arden. Dir: Irving Rapper. BW-103 mins, TV-G, CC

19 Thursday

6:00 AM

Dark Victory (1939)

A flighty heiress discovers inner strength when she develops a brain tumor. Cast: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart. Dir: Edmund Goulding. BW-104 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS

8:00 AM

Million Dollar Baby (1941)

A young innocent's surprise inheritance causes problems with her poor but proud boyfriend. Cast: Priscilla Lane, Jeffrey Lynn, Ronald Reagan. Dir: Curtis Bernhardt. BW-101 mins, TV-G, CC

25 Wednesday

8:00 PM

Santa Fe Trail (1940)

Romantic rivals get caught in the battle to stop abolitionist John Brown. Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-110 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS

10:00 PM

Bad Man, The (1941)

A Mexican outlaw reforms to help an old friend and a pair of young lovers. Cast: Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, Ronald Reagan. Dir: Richard Thorpe. BW-70 mins, TV-PG

11:15 PM

Hellcats Of The Navy (1957)

A submarine commander inadvertently causes the death of a romantic rival under his command. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Nancy Davis, Arthur Franz. Dir: Nathan Juran. BW-82 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

12:45 AM

Desperate Journey (1942)

American pilots stranded in Germany during World War II fight their way to freedom. Cast: Errol Flynn, Alan Hale, Ronald Reagan. Dir: Raoul Walsh. BW-108 mins, TV-PG, CC

2:45 AM

Prisoner Of War (1954)

American GIs fight to survive inhuman treatment in a Korean POW camp. Cast: Ronald Reagan, Steve Forrest, Dewey Martin. Dir: Andrew Marton. BW-81 mins, TV-PG

Most of these I’ll probably ignore during the Reagan salute—some of them, like John Loves Mary (1949), have been covered all too well and as a rule, I prefer Reagan’s B-picture output (the Brass Bancroft epics, The Angels Wash Their Faces, Hell’s Kitchen, etc.) over his A-pictures (and yes, Reagan did make some quality films—Dark Victory, One For the Book, Kings’ Row and Knute Rockne All American, to name a few). Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) is not on the schedule, and more’s the pity—it’s not nearly as bad as everyone believes (and Ronnie doesn’t play a buffoon or a character named “Bonzo,” in case you haven’t seen it) and I’m kind of sorry Storm Warning (1951) didn’t make the cut, either—it’s a very underrated social drama with Reagan as a liberal D.A. crusading against the KKK! Of course, Hellcats of the Navy (1957) will get the treatment (this is the one that future First Lady Nancy Davis is in) and Desperate Journey (1942), an Errol Flynn WW2 actioner of which I’m quite fond—Reagan’s pretty funny, too.

So I’ll fire up the DVD recorder at 8 this evening (it’s been my lifelong dream to own the complete set of Bancrofts) and when time permits, Thrilling Days of Yesteryear will present a series of essays all through the month with the unifying theme “Where’s the Rest of Me?” That’s the reason, by the way, that I have the picture of RR imitating Bullwinkle in this month’s picture; he was speechifying in front of the media one day and decided to spring that on them, remarking that it was something he “always wanted to do.” (Why he always wanted to do that and why he picked that particular moment was never fully explained.)


operator_99 said...

Just for the record, I've been watching the four Bancroft's at least once a year for the past five or so years. Pure hokum fun, with one pretty gruesome when the airplane shed itself of some "cargo".

Matt ( said...

Not much of an RR fan, I'm going to be watching "Juke Girl" and nothing else. Look forward to your musings on this one (if it's one of your picks, that is!).