Friday, December 11, 2009

Coming distractions: March 2010 on TCM

Turner Classic Movies had a small portion of their March 2010 schedule up for some time (namely the last three days of their 31 Days of Oscar festival) and I debated as to whether I should have posted a heads-up about it. In the final analysis, I decided to keep mum until they had assembled the whole enchilada—and in retrospect, I think I made the right call. Let’s just say that if you’re a fan of Ginger Rogers or a devotee of Japanese cinema—this month’s for you. (All times EST.)

March 4 – TDOY idol John Garfield gets a birthday celebration beginning at 6am with Four Daughters (1938), his film debut. (To set the record straight, he is not in 1933’s Footlight Parade—IMDb be damned.) Following Daughters are They Made Me a Criminal (1939, 7:30am), Flowing Gold (1940, 9:15am), Saturday's Children (1940, 10:45am), Out of the Fog (1941, 12:30pm), The Sea Wolf (1941, 2pm), Between Two Worlds (1944, 3:30pm) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946, 5:30pm)
March 5 – “…and don’t call me Shirley…” TCM will show both Zero Hour! (1957, 11:45pm) and its mega-popular parody Airplane! (1980, 10pm) in a prime-time nod to danger in the skies. The fun starts at 8pm with The Crowded Sky (1960) and calls it a wrap with Crash Landing (1958, 1:15am). (Dana Andrews is at the controls of both Crowded and Hour…and I think he’s had a few before the flight…don’t panic!)

March 6 – Here’s the best movie news I’ve heard this week: TCM will kick off a four-week film festival starring America’s favorite juvenile delinquents every Saturday of this month at 10:30am…of course, I’m talking about the Bowery Boys. Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and the rest of the gang are introduced in 1946’s Live Wires. March 13 brings us In Fast Company (1946), with Bowery Bombshell (1946) the following week and Spook Busters (1946) on March 27th. Am I hoping this will be continued in April? I am filled with humidity at the very thought…
March 7 – TCM shows the warts-and-all side of the movin’ pitcher bidness with showings of The Oscar (1966, 8pm), The Big Knife (1955, 10:15pm), Show People (1928, 12:15am), Le mépris (1963—aka Contempt, 2:15am) and The Bad and the Beautiful (1952, 4am).
March 8 – More insider show bidness stuff, as TCM decides to give itself a gratuitous back-pat and devote the night to Warner Bros. with a repeat showing of the 2008 documentary The Brothers Warner (8pm, with a repeat at 3:15am). This will be supplemented with some of the studios’ best-known movies: The Jazz Singer (1927, 9:45pm), I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932, 11:30pm), Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939, 1:15am) and Casablanca (1942, 5am). (It sounds to me like they needed an excuse to show Casablanca again—not that I’m complaining.)

March 9 – TCM will kick off a Director of the Month salute to one of the true masters of Japanese cinema, Akira Kurosawa. There’s an impressive lineup here of twenty-seven features, fellow film buffs—and I can just hear those DVD recorders humming as I type:
March 9
8:00 PM Ikiru (1952)
10:30 PM Kumonosu-jou (1957, aka Throne of Blood)
12:30 AM Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (1958, aka The Hidden Fortress)
3:00 AM Hakuchi (1951, aka The Idiot)
March 10
6:00 AM Donzoko (1957, aka The Lower Depths)
March 16
8:00 PM Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru (1960, aka The Bad Sleep Well)
10:45 PM Tengoku to jigoku (1963, aka High and Low)
1:15 AM Akahige (1965, aka Red Beard)
4:30 AM Ikimono no kiroku (1955, aka I Live in Fear)
March 17
6:15 AM Shubun (1950, aka Scandal)
March 23
6:00 AM Sugata Sanshiro (1943, aka Sanshiro Sugata)
7:30 AM Ichiban utsukushiku (1944, aka The Most Beautiful)
9:00 AM Tora no o wo fumu otokotachi (1945, aka The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail)
10:00 AM Zoku Sugata Sanshiro (1945, aka Sanshiro Sugata Part Two)
11:30 AM Waga seishun ni kuinashi (1946, aka No Regrets for Our Youth)
1:30 PM Subarashiki nichiyobi (1947, aka Wonderful Sunday)
3:30 PM Yoidore tenshi (1948, aka Drunken Angel)
5:30 PM Nora inu (1949, aka Stray Dog)
8:00 PM Rashômon (1950)
9:30 PM Shichinin no samurai (1954, aka Seven Samurai)
1:00 AM Yojimbo (1961)
3:00 AM Tsubaki Sanjûrô (1962)
4:45 AM Dodesukaden (1970)
March 30
8:00 PM Dersu Uzala (1975)
10:30 PM Kagemusha (1980)
1:45 AM Ran (1985)

March 10 – In addition to a Director of the Month, TCM will set aside several days in March to honor its Star of the Month—the lovely and talented Ginger Rogers, featured in thirty-seven films:
March 10
8:00 PM The Gay Divorcee (1934)
10:00 PM Top Hat (1935)
12:00 AM Swing Time (1936)
2:00 AM Roberta (1935)
4:00 AM Follow the Fleet (1936)
March 11
6:00 AM Shall We Dance (1937)
8:00 AM Carefree (1938)
11:15 AM The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
1:15 PM Flying Down to Rio (1933)
March 17
8:00 PM 42nd Street (1933)
9:45 PM Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
11:30 PM Professional Sweetheart (1933)
1:00 AM Rafter Romance (1933)
2:15 AM Carnival Boat (1932)
3:30 AM Suicide Fleet (1931)
5:00 AM Chance at Heaven (1934)
March 18
6:15 AM The Tenderfoot (1932)
7:30 AM You Said a Mouthful (1932)
9:00 AM The Tip-Off (1932)
10:15 AM Finishing School (1934)
March 24
8:00 PM Vivacious Lady (1938)
9:45 PM Bachelor Mother (1939)
11:15 PM Stage Door (1937)
1:00 AM Having Wonderful Time (1938)
2:15 AM 5th Ave Girl (1939)
3:45 AM In Person (1935)
March 25
7:00 AM Upperworld (1934)
8:15 AM Romance in Manhattan (1935)
9:45 AM Star of Midnight (1935)
11:30 AM Perfect Strangers (1950)
March 31
10:00 PM Tom Dick and Harry (1941)
11:30 PM The Major and the Minor (1942)
1:30 AM Primrose Path (1940)
3:15 AM Lucky Partners (1940)

March 12 – Run for your lives! TCM unleashes a quartet of science-fiction mutated monsters beginning at 8pm with The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)—and then follows that up with It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955, 9:30pm), The Monster That Challenged the World (1957, 11pm—directed by the late Arnold Laven) and Them! (1954, 12:30am). Later on TCM Underground (2:30am), you’ll get the opportunity to see (by reputation) one truly bizarre film—the 1974 horror-fantasy Shanks, directed by schlockmeister William Castle and starring Marcel Marceau (I swear I’m not making this up) as a deaf-mute puppeteer who learns the secret of re-animating the dead. (Leonard Maltin gave this three stars in his one of his Movie Guides…so you just know it’s going to suck.)
March 13 – The “heat” is on! TCM takes their viewers’ temperatures this evening at 8pm and finds them blazing with White Heat (1949), followed by Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966, 10pm), The Big Heat (1953, 12 mid), Heat Lightning (1934, 1:45am), The Heat's On (1943, 3am) and Calypso Heat Wave (1957, 4:30am). Sing it with me now: “We’re havin’ a heat wave…a tropical heat wave…”

March 15 – Bette Davis’ favorite doormat, er, leading man celebrates his birthday beginning at 6am with Miss Pinkerton (1932), followed by Baby Face (1933, 7:15am), Female (1933, 8:30am), The Keyhole (1933, 9:45am), Lilly Turner (1933, 11am), Desirable (1934, 12:15pm), Housewife (1934, 1:30pm), Living on Velvet (1935, 2:45pm), God's Country and the Woman (1937, 4:15pm) and Dark Victory (1939, 6pm). (Okay, I should probably see a few more of Brent’s oeuvre before making snarky cracks like that. I think I’ve seen three of these, and I watched Racket Busters [1938] the other day. Eh…it’s a start…)
March 18 – “I’m your huckleberry…” Legendary lawman Wyatt Earp receives four different interpretations beginning at 8pm with the John Ford classic My Darling Clementine (1946), followed by Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957, 10pm), Hour of the Gun (1967, 12:15am—John DiLeo recommends this highly, and I keep meaning to see it when it’s on) and Masterson of Kansas (1954, 2am). (My favorite is the first, even though it’s inaccurate as hell.)
March 20 – Actor Peter O’Toole is feted this evening with three of his best: Lawrence of Arabia (1962, 8pm), TDOY fave The Ruling Class (1972, 12 mid) and Lord Jim (1965, 2:45am). (They could have shown more if his movies weren’t so damn long.)

March 27 – Self-Styled Siren alert! TCM is showing Max Ophuls’ must-see Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948) at 10:15pm. (While I’m on the subject—if you’re curious to see a real picture of Her Sirenship, click here…but remember what I told you last time about what happened to characters in serials who stumble onto secret identities…”Why, Ms. Smith…without your glasses, you’re…you’re beautiful!”)
March 29 – Is there a doctor in the house? Well, there will be one at 9:15am when TCM shows Doctor in the House (1954), the classic comedy starring Dirk Bogarde as physician Simon Sparrow, based on the novel (and subsequent follow-ups) by Richard Gordon. And there are follow-ups here, too—TCM will also show Doctor at Sea (1957, 11am) and Doctor in Distress (1963, 12:45am) as well. Oh, I’ll come clean—the whole darn ward is full of medicos, beginning with Doctor X (1932) at 6am and Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940) at 7:30am. The day continues with The Interns (1962, 2:30pm), The Caretakers (1963, 4:30am) and The Young Doctors (1961, 6:15pm) until 8pm, when “Bobby Osbo” will usher in an all-night Marx Brothers festival—Monkey Business (1931, 8pm), Horse Feathers (1932, 9:30pm), Duck Soup (1933, 10:45), A Night at the Opera (1935, 12:00 mid), A Day at the Races (1937, 2am) and At the Circus (1939, 4am)

March 30 – See if you can guess what these films have in common: Bluebeard (1944, 6am), Carolina Blues (1944, 7:30am), Blues in the Night (1941, 9am), Paris Blues (1961, 10:30am), Blue Hawaii (1961, 12:30pm), The Blue Gardenia (1953, 2:30pm), The Blue Dahlia (1946, 4pm) and Blue Skies (1946, 6pm). (I guess that’s why they call it the blues.)
As always, Turner Classic Movies is notorious for substitutions and last-minute changes at their merest whim, so please remember not to shoot the messenger (that would be me) should a film or two disappear from this schedule without warning. It’s going to be a great month, folks—see you at the movies!
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Pam said...

I love March.

Dan in Missouri said...

Let's hope the Bowery Boys films on TCM mean that TCM will be dipping into the Monogram/Allied Artists library that they own via Warner Brothers. There is some great programers (classic junk) in that library.

Laura said...

March is looking great!

I've really reassessed Mr. Brent over the last couple years. Check out some of his pre-Codes like FEMALE (*great* movie) or THE PURCHASE PRICE with Barbara Stanwyck. (I call this his "pre-mustache era." LOL.) He was an energetic and charming player in the early '30s. I hear he's really good in LILLY TURNER, too (haven't seen it yet).

Once I saw those I started looking at his later work in a different light. Really liked him in movies like MY REPUTATION (with Stanwyck) and TOMORROW IS FOREVER (with Colbert).

Best wishes,

Craig Zablo said...

Looking forward to several but probably most of all the millionth viewing of THEM!!!

Stacia said...

I am going to watch the HECK out of TCM in March. Takashi Shimura! Toshiro Mifune! I only wish they would show "Dreams", I recorded over my copy at least 15 years ago and haven't seen it since.