Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Coming distractions: April 2010 on TCM

Turner Classic Movies has its tentative April schedule up and if you’ve been by Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings of late you know that she’s happier than a pig in…slop because TCM’s Star of the Month is going to be Robert Taylor. Yes, each Tuesday night/Wednesday morning in April you’ll be able to enjoy a festival of films from the oeuvre of Spangler Arlington Brugh…and there’s one other Taylor film (he serves as one of its narrators), The Secret Land (1948), scheduled to be shown on April 3rd at 6am.
But before we get into the Taylor offerings, I need to point out that March’s highlighted star—Ginger Rogers—will be featured in several more movies at the beginning of the month that weren’t made available on March’s list (all times EST):
April 1 – Monday
7:00 AM Tender Comrade (1943)
12:45 PM It Had to Be You (1947)
2:30 PM Tight Spot (1955)
Now, on to Taylor-Mania!
April 6 – Tuesday

6:30 PM A Wicked Woman (1934)
8:00 PM Magnificent Obsession (1935)
10:00 PM Camille (1936)
12:00 AM Waterloo Bridge (1940)
2:00 AM Billy the Kid (1941)
3:45 AM When Ladies Meet (1941)
5:45 AM Flight Command (1940)
April 7 – Wednesday
7:45 AM Escape (1940)
9:30 AM Stand Up and Fight (1939)
11:15 AM Remember? (1939)
12:45 PM Lucky Night (1939)
2:15 PM Lady of the Tropics (1939)
6:00 PM The Gorgeous Hussy (1936)

April 13 – Tuesday
6:30 PM His Brother's Wife (1936)
8:00 PM High Wall (1947)
9:45 PM Stand by for Action (1942)
11:45 PM Johnny Eager (1942)
1:45 AM Her Cardboard Lover (1942)
3:30 AM Song of Russia (1943)
5:30 AM Undercurrent (1946)

April 14 – Wednesday
7:30 AM Ambush (1949)
9:00 AM The Bribe (1949)
10:45 AM Conspirator (1949)
12:15 PM Devil's Doorway (1950)
1:45 PM West Point of the Air (1935)
3:15 PM Times Square Lady (1935)
4:30 PM Society Doctor (1935)
6:00 PM Small Town Girl (1936)
April 20 – Tuesday
6:00 PM Personal Property (1937)
8:00 PM Quo Vadis (1951)
11:00 PM Ivanhoe (1952)
4:45 AM Quentin Durward (1955)

April 21 – Wednesday
6:30 AM Many Rivers to Cross (1955)
8:15 AM Valley of the Kings (1954)
9:45 AM Rogue Cop (1954)
11:30 AM Ride, Vaquero! (1953)
1:15 PM Above and Beyond (1952)
3:30 PM Westward the Women (1951)
5:30 PM Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935) (also scheduled for April 2, Friday at 6am)
April 27 – Tuesday
6:15 PM Three Comrades (1938)
8:00 PM Savage Pampas (1967)
10:00 PM Killers of Kilimanjaro (1959)
11:45 PM The Last Hunt (1956)
1:30 AM The Law and Jake Wade (1958)
4:45 AM Tip on a Dead Jockey (1957)

April 28 – Wednesday
6:30 AM Party Girl (1958)
8:15 AM Saddle the Wind (1958)
11:30 AM Cattle King (1963)
1:15 PM Hondo and the Apaches (1967)
4:30 PM The Crowd Roars (1938)
6:15 PM A Yank at Oxford (1938)
Now, I am on record as not being the greatest fan of Robert Taylor’s but TCM is going to run a few of his movies that I enjoy, notably Devil’s Doorway, which I think may be his best film—it’s certainly my favorite, anyway. (I italicized the offerings that I definitely plan to grab copies of.)
TCM’s Director of the Month is George Stevens, and what surprised me about the films scheduled for Monday evenings is that Gunga Din (1939)—usually the “go-to” film when Stevens is honored—isn’t among the offerings (though this certainly could change when April finally gets here). One thing that does not surprise me, however, is that none of Stevens’ Wheeler & Woolsey films—Kentucky Kernels (1934), The Nitwits (1935)—have been included either. It’s almost as if the Stevens family was ashamed that he once worked with Bert & Bob…let alone Stan & Ollie. Oh, well…maybe we’ll get lucky and TCM will fill in some of the gaps between films with some Boy Friends shorts…

April 5 – Monday
8:00 PM Giant (1956)
1:30 AM Shane (1953)
3:45 AM Annie Oakley (1935)
April 12 – Monday
8:00 PM Alice Adams (1935)
10:00 PM Quality Street (1937)
11:30 PM I Remember Mama (1948)
2:00 AM Penny Serenade (1941)
4:15 AM Bachelor Bait (1934)

April 19 – Monday
12:15 AM A Place in the Sun (1951)
2:30 AM Vigil in the Night (1940)
April 26 – Monday
8:00 PM The More the Merrier (1943)
10:00 PM The Talk of the Town (1942)
12:15 AM Woman of the Year (1942)
2:15 AM Swing Time (1936)
With the heavy lifting out of the way, let’s grab a quick glance at some other notable TCM offerings:
April 2: Turner Classic Movies lights up some candles for Jed Clampett/Barnaby Jones’ birthday cake with a mini-marathon that will include Broadway Melody Of 1936 (1935), Born to Dance (1936; 7:45am), The Girl of the Golden West (1938; 9:45am), Four Girls in White (1939; 12noon), The Kid from Texas (1939; 1:15pm), Sing Your Worries Away (1942; 2:30am), Frontier Rangers (1959; 3:45pm), Fury River (1959; 5:15pm) and Mail Order Bride (1964; 6:30pm). (Both Frontier and Fury are feature-length compilations of episodes from Ebsen’s 1958-59 series, Northwest Passage.)

April 3: It’s official! TCM will continue showing the films of the Bowery Boys on Saturday mornings at 10:30 until further notice (I mentioned this to Brent Walker, co-author [with David Hayes] of the sadly OOP The Films of the Bowery Boys…and sole author of the newly published Mack Sennett's Fun Factory, and he remarked that he hoped TCM would include the films with Stanley Clements this time round). Mr. Hex (1946) will be shown on April 3rd, followed by Hard Boiled Mahoney (1947; April 10), News Hounds (1947; April 17) and Bowery Buckaroos (1947; April 24).
April 5: It’s not his birthday—but TCM can always find time for a mini-marathon featuring Walter Brennan, aka “Grandpappy” Amos McCoy! The fun begins at 6:00am with Mother Carey's Chickens (1938), followed by Three Godfathers (1936; 7:30am), Blood on the Moon (1948; 9am), Glory (1956; 10:30am), Fury (1936; 12:15am), A Stolen Life (1946; 2pm), Nobody Lives Forever (1946; 4pm) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955; 8pm).

April 6: Nobody is happier than I am that this is Walter Huston’s birthday because TCM is going to show a few Huston films that rarely get an airing on the channel. Targets (1968) fans will get an opportunity to see The Criminal Code (1931) when things kick off at 6am, followed by The Ruling Voice (1931; 7:45am), The Star Witness (1931; 9am), The Beast of the City (1932; 10:15am), Ann Vickers (1933; 11:45pm), Gabriel Over the White House (1933; 1pm), The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941; 2:30pm) and Dragonwyck (1946; 4:30pm)
April 9: It’s Kismet, I tells ya…no sooner do I sit down to watch The Egg and I (1947) when TCM works up a mini-birthday tribute to the grand and glorious Claudette Colbert. And it kicks off with a film of hers I’ve wanted to see for some time now: The Secret Fury (1950; 6am). Boom Town (1940; 7:30am), The Secret Heart (1946; 9:30am), Without Reservations (1946; 11:15am) and It's a Wonderful World (1939; 1:15pm) all follow. (The last one is scheduled for this Sunday and I’m anxious to revisit it—I swear by my eyes!)
April 11: TCM’s Sunday Silent Nights will show When a Man Loves (1927). With John Barrymore. I haven’t seen it. ‘Nuff said.

April 12: Happy birthday to the pride of Nagadoches, Texas—the incomparable Ann Miller! Enjoy the gal who has legs and knows how to use them in Radio City Revels (1938; 6am), Go West, Young Lady (1941; 7:45am), Time Out for Rhythm (1941; 9am…yes!), Reveille with Beverly (1943; 10:15am), Carolina Blues (1944; 11:45am), Jam Session (1944; 1:15pm), Eve Knew Her Apples (1945; 2:45pm), The Thrill of Brazil (1946; 4pm) and Texas Carnival (1951; 5:45pm). (I missed Young Lady the last TCM ran it—I’m always up for a Penny Singleton film—and while I’m sure Revels is going to disappoint me, how can I go wrong with Bob “Bazooka” Burns, Jack Oakie and Milton Berle?)
April 16: As “Mr. Easy Lovin’,” country singer Freddie Hart once sang: “I just took a trip to Heaven/I didn’t even have to fly…” TCM invites you to step inside the Pearly Gates with a day-long festival that will showcase Heavenly Days (1944; 6am), One Heavenly Night (1931; 7:30am), Chance at Heaven (1933; 9am), Pennies from Heaven (1936; 10:30am), Rage in Heaven (1941; 12noon), All This, and Heaven Too (1940; 1:30pm), Heaven Only Knows (1947; 4pm) and The Heavenly Body (1944; 6pm). At 8pm, TCM will turn the night over to the three films that put the writing-directing-producing team of Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker on the map: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988), Top Secret! (1984; 9:30pm) and Airplane! (1980; 11:15pm).

April 19: TCM wishes acting great Anthony Quinn happy birthday with a festival of favorites: Bullets for O'Hara (1941; 6am), Knockout (1941; 7am), They Died with Their Boots On (1941; 10am), Larceny, Inc. (1942; 12:30pm), China Sky (1945; 2:15pm), Tycoon (1947; 3:45pm) and Guns For San Sebastian (1968; 6pm).
April 20: With only two silent comedies scheduled— The Kid Brother (1927; 6am) and Speedy (1928; 7:30am)—TCM has apparently decided to transform Harold Lloyd into the consummate sound comedian on his 117th natal anniversary. Sort of a radical idea, but if they going to show Welcome Danger (1929; 9am), Feet First (1930; 11am), Movie Crazy (1932; 12:45pm), The Cat's-Paw (1934; 2:30pm) and The Milky Way (1936; 4:15pm) I guess I can be cool with it.

April 22: All I know is—any more birthday cake and some of us are going to have to take advantage of the sign-up special down at the gym. This time it’s Eddie Albert’s turn, with On Your Toes (1939; 7:30am), The Great Mr. Nobody (1941; 9:15am), Thieves Fall Out (1941; 10:30am), The Gun Runners (1958; 11:45am), Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947; 1:15pm), Ladies' Day (1943; 3:15pm), The Fuller Brush Girl (1950; 4:30pm) and Escape to Witch Mountain (1975; 6pm).
April 23: Ullllllpppp…more birthday cake. (I think I’m gonna barf…) As I often joke to my mother, “Put a little scotch in that Shirley Temple—she’s a big girl now!” Celebrate Shirl’s natal anniversary at 6:45am with The Little Princess (1939)—followed by Kathleen (1941; 8:30am), The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947; 10am), Honeymoon (1947; 11:45am), That Hagen Girl (1947; 1pm), Fort Apache (1948; 2:30pm), Adventure in Baltimore (1949; 4:45pm) and The Story of Seabiscuit (1949; 6:15pm).
April 30: Finally, since Mark Evanier has been talking about the Esperanto language on his newsfromme weblog—and since he casually mentioned it’s spoken in the William Shatner film Incubus (1965)—I thought I’d let you know the film’s been scheduled for a 2:15am showing on TCM Underground. No need to thank me, I’m just doing my job.
As always, movies and times are subject to change at TCM’s merest whim.
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panavia999 said...

Ooh, thanks for the lovely posting. I waffle in my admiration for Taylor, but anytime he is on horseback is fine with me. (He was a good horseman.) I especially like "The Last Hunt" and "Many Rivers to Cross" is so much fun. But with so many films to watch, I can finally see enough to decide just how much I really like Taylor.

Laura said...

What a great month! Thanks for the link -- yep, I'm sure happy. :)

If you haven't seen HIGH WALL, I suggest giving that one a try as well. It's one of the great noir-type films Taylor did starting in the late '40s, costarring the always-interesting Audrey Totter. I liked THE BRIBE, too, which has a fantastic fireworks finale. You've got some great titles in italics, like ROGUE COP and WESTWARD THE WOMEN, which might be my favorite Taylor film.

I also want to mention another notable Ginger Rogers film which doesn't show up on the schedule till April 28th: LADY IN THE DARK, costarring Ray Milland, directed by Mitchell Leisen. (I saw this at the L.A. Co. Museum of Art circa late '70s, but haven't seen it since.) This is another of the Paramount films we are starting to seek trickle onto the TCM schedule. Since Paramount's biggest stars included some of my favorites like Milland, Colbert, and MacMurray, I'm very excited about what the coming months may bring to TCM.

Best wishes,

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Laura, I have seen High Wall (1947) and am in 100% complete agreement with you -- excellent, excellent film.

Paul Castiglia said...

TCM did run "Nitwits" (my favorite W&W movie) and "Kentucky Kernals" at least once, with George Stevens Jr. joining the TCM host to do intro's for each. A friend DVR'd those and duped some copies. Hopefully they'll run them again at some point - most especially "Nitwits" as I think many would be surprised at how perfect a "popcorn" movie comedy it is. Good for Stevens that he moved on to more prestigious projects, but bad for W&W fans that he exited W&W films after "Kernals" - he was the only one who knew how to maintain their energy and essence of their humor in a post-Code world.

VP81955 said...

As a Lombard fan, I'm delighted "Vigil In The Night" will be included in the George Stevens retrospective -- but I only hope TCM will run the "international ending" to "Vigil," in which the characters learn about Germany's invasion of Poland and comment on the new challenges ahead for England ( TCM ran the alternate ending in 2006, when Lombard was among its "Summer Under The Stars" honorees, but I don't believe it's run in subsequent airings. Too bad, because it adds to the flavor of the film and the time it was issued.