Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coming distractions: August 2010 on TCM

August is traditionally the time when Turner Classic Movies celebrates its month-long Summer Under the Stars Festival, and The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ teased its devoted fans with a press release (thanks to Laura for the link, btw) announcing some of the celebrities to be feted with day-long film tributes and the particularly hand-rubbing-with-glee news that there would be fifty-two—count ‘em—fifty-two films making their TCM debut…including such Thrilling Days of Yesteryear faves as Petulia (1968) and The Stunt Man (1980). (There are also a few non-faves scheduled: Ishtar (1987), anyone?)

Anyhoo, I thought I was going to have to skip posting today (I’m knee-deep in preparations for my Chuck Norris Ate My Baby Blogathon post and believe you me, it’s work, brother, it’s work) but I just happened to fortuitously skip by the bookmarked TCM schedule site and saw that they had the August movie lineup in place. So I thought I’d go through the list and highlight the movies that may have to become new additions to the dusty TDOY archives—as always, these films are not set in stone…or have we learned nothing from yesterday’s Nine Girls (1944) debacle?

Sunday, August 1 – Summer Under the Stars kicks off with a day-long treat of Basil Rathbone films…and I just have one question: has Bas always been in Bathing Beauty (1944) and I’m just now noticing?

Monday, August 2 – Julie Christie day! Let me just say this…if you’ve never seen the aforementioned Petulia you need to do so at the earliest opportunity; it’s one of my all-time favorites and one of the key films of the 1960s. (I have Petulia on DVD, but this festival means I’ll also be able to capitalize on getting copies of The Go-Between [1970] and Demon Seed [1977].)

Tuesday, August 3 – Steve McQueen. Nothing I haven’t already seen or don't already own but I am curious to see the documentary Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool (2005).

Wednesday, August 4 – Ethel Barrymore. Anyone have an opinion on her final film, Johnny Trouble (1957)? (My curiosity has been piqued only because it was directed by John H. Auer, who also helmed City That Never Sleeps [1953] and Hell's Half Acre [1954].)

Thursday, August 5 – Woody Strode festival! This gives TCM the opportunity to trot out a pair of Bomba, the Jungle Boy flicks— The Lion Hunters (1951) and African Treasure (1952)—alongside his better known showcases in Sergeant Rutledge (1960) and C'era una volta il West (1968, aka Once Upon a Time in the West). (Poor Woody.)

Friday, August 6 – Ingrid Bergman tribute. If we play our cards right, they might show that movie where her co-star, Humphrey Bogart, tells her to get her ass on that plane.

Saturday, August 7 – Every time I try to tape Desperate Journey (1942) something always manages to trip me up…so naturally, that’s the one Errol Flynn film they’re not showing today. (I’ll just have to make do with The Prince and the Pauper [1937] and Edge of Darkness [1943], both of which I have not seen.)

(Note: I guess this means the Bowery Boys films are on hold until September.)

Sunday, August 8 – I’ll be thanking TCM for the memory because they’ve got Bob Hope’s Nothing But the Truth (1941) scheduled and that means I don’t have to buy the box set (pumps fist in air).

Monday, August 9 – Warren Beatty. If you can stay up until four in the a.m. to see Ishtar, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din. (They are showing TDOY fave The Parallax View [1974}, so it’s not a total loss.)

Tuesday, August 10 – Kathryn Grayson. There’s an Andy Hardy flick I don’t have— Andy Hardy's Private Secretary (1941)–and of course, her classic turns in Show Boat (1951) and Kiss Me Kate (1953). (True story: I was in a version of Boat performed one summer at the Ohio River Festival in my hometown of Ravenswood, WV. I played Captain Andy. But I digress.)

Wednesday, August 11 – Walter Matthau. If you haven’t seen The Indian Fighter (1955, review here) you’re missing an entertaining little oater. (It would have been nice to see a letterboxed version of Charley Varrick [1973] on this schedule. Yeah, I’ll probably start crabbing about what they should have included from this point on…)

Thursday, August 12 – Norma Shearer day. (Raquelle will be happier than a pig in you-know-what.) I recorded Lady of the Night (1925) when it was last shown but haven’t gotten around to peeping it yet (yeah, I know—what else is new) and I’ll do the same for A Lady of Chance (1928), too.

Friday, August 13 – Robert Ryan festival! I’ll be busy, busy…busy with recording The Boy with Green Hair (1948), Billy Budd (1962) and The Outfit (1973—which I’ve never seen). (Who says Friday the 13th is unlucky?)

Saturday, August 14 – Gene Tierney day—this will make Laura's chum Amanda happy. Most of the big Tierney flicks I’ve already seen or have, like Leave Her to Heaven (1945) and Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)…but I’m dancing a jig at seeing cult flicks The Shanghai Gesture (1941) and The Mating Season (1951) on tap.

Sunday, August 15 – Margaret O’Brien. Stacia at She Blogged by Night reminded me of a post I once did on Maggie, so I suggest you read it if you’re curious as to why I’ll say no more on this score.

Monday, August 16 – Lauren Bacall, which means I’ll get to record Confidential Agent (1945—hey…I happen to like this one)

Tuesday, August 17 – Robert Stack. Move along, folks…nothing to see here…

Wednesday, August 18 – Ann Sheridan. As a fan of the “Oomph” girl, I have a lot of what they’re showing, save for Juke Girl (1942) and The Unfaithful (1947).

Thursday, August 19 – Walter Pidgeon tribute. TCM’s got a couple of early Pidgeons scheduled— Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930) and The Hot Heiress (1931), neither of which I know anything about.

Friday, August 20 – Kate Hepburn. I’ll definitely have to have a copy of Christopher Strong (1933), if only for that unforgettable silver lamé costume of hers.

Saturday, August 21 – Paul Newman day. If I didn’t already have Harper (1966) on DVD I’d record it…but I don’t have The Sting (1973) and an excellent film directed by the late, great actor— Rachel, Rachel (1968).

Sunday, August 22 – John Mills. I’m a big fan, but there’s nothing here I don’t already own or have seen.

Monday, August 23 – Elizabeth Taylor. Ditto.

Tuesday, August 24 – John Gilbert! Great opportunity to pick up He Who Gets Slapped (1924), The Show (1927) and The Phantom of Paris (1931).

Wednesday, August 25 – Maureen O’Hara (grrrowlll…) I will have to record the Dorothy Arzner cult favorite Dance, Girl, Dance (1940).

Thursday, August 26 – Lee Remick (double grrrowlll…) The DVD recorder will have to put in for overtime with The Wheeler Dealers (1963), Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965) and Telefon (1977) on the schedule.

Friday, August 27 – Livvy de Havilland! I missed Light in the Piazza (1962) when it was on a few days ago, and I’ve never seen the second half of Not as a Stranger (1955—don’t ask, it’s a long story).

Saturday, August 28 – Peter O’Toole and The Stunt Man, which I mentioned in my opening remarks.

Sunday, August 29 – Henry Fonda. I thought I’d seen all the movies they’ve scheduled, but I don’t remember The Big Street (1942).

Monday, August 30 – As they say in the Bud Light commercials…here we go. A day long tribute to the babe-a-licious Thelma Todd, and an embarrassment of riches to be had. Here’s the lineup, which includes the elusive Wheeler & Woolsey film (heads up, Mr. Brooks!) Cockeyed Cavaliers (1934) and her starring shorts with ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly…not to mention her appearances in the Charley Chase, Laurel & Hardy, Joe E. Brown and Marx Brothers shorts and features! (Hold all my calls!)

6:00 AM Broadminded (1931)
A rejected suitor leaves town and gets mixed up in an international chase. Cast: Joe E. Brown, Ona Munson, Bela Lugosi. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy. BW-72 mins, TV-G

7:15 AM Son Of A Sailor (1933)
A lovesick fool bumbles into espionage and finds a stolen plane. Cast: Joe E. Brown, Jean Muir, Thelma Todd. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. BW-73 mins, TV-G

8:30 AM Short Film: Real McCoy, The (1930)
Charlie pretends to be a hillbilly to impress country girl Thelma Todd in hopes of making her his girlfriend. Cast: Charley Chase, Thelma Todd Dir: Warren Doane BW-21 mins,

9:00 AM Short Film: Whispering Whoopee (1930)
Charley hires three "party girls" to help him land a business deal. Cast: Charley Chase, Thelma Todd Dir: James W. Horne BW-21 mins,

9:30 AM Short Film: Dollar Dizzy (1930)
Two millionaires try to escape the suitors out to marry them for their money. Cast: Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, Edgar Kennedy. Dir: James W. Horne. BW-23 mins,

10:00 AM Short Film: High C's (1930)
An entertainer serving in World War I puts music before military service. Cast: Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, Carlton Griffin. Dir: James W. Horne. BW-28 mins,

10:30 AM Short Film: Pip From Pittsburgh, The (1931)
Charley agrees to go on a blind date to a dance to help out his friend. Concerned it will be a big disaster like his last blind date Charley tries to be as off putting as possible and goes all out trying to make himself look bad. He is rude to her on the phone, refuses to shave, wears his friend's old suit and even eats garlic. Unfortunately for him, however, his date turns out to be the lovely Thelma Todd. Cast: Charley Chase; Thelma Todd Dir: James Parrott BW-21 mins,

11:00 AM Short Film: Nickel Nurser, The (1932)
A millionaire hires an efficiency expert to get his daughter in line. Cast: Charley Chase, Thelma Todd, Billy Gilbert. Dir: Warren Doane. BW-21 mins,

11:30 AM Hips, Hips, Hooray (1934)
Two salesmen try to market a flavored lipstick. Cast: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Ruth Etting. Dir: Mark Sandrich. BW-68 mins, TV-G

12:45 PM Cockeyed Cavaliers (1934)
Two nitwits are mistaken for the king's physicians in medieval England. Cast: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Thelma Todd. Dir: Mark Sandrich. BW-72 mins, TV-G

2:00 PM Short Film: Catch as Catch Can (1931)
ZaSu Pitts is a hotel phone operator who finds love in a wrestler with a little matchmaking help from friend Thelma Todd. Cast: Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts, Big Boy Williams Dir: Marshall Neilan BW-20 mins,

2:30 PM Short Film: Red Noses (1932)
Comedic duo Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts get sent to a spa while recovering from being sick, but it turns out not to be the relaxation they need. Cast: Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts Dir: James W. Horne BW-21 mins,

3:00 PM Short Film: Show Business (1932)
Comedic duo Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts travel along with their musical monkey to a show but their antics on the train antagonize the show director. Cast: Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts Dir: Jules White BW-20 mins,

3:30 PM Short Film: Asleep in the Feet (1933)
Comedic duo Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts try their hand at being charitable by working at a dance club to raise money for a friend. Cast: Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts Dir: Gus Meins BW-19 mins,

4:00 PM Short Film: Maids a la Mode (1933)
Hal Roach's comedic duo Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts find themselves in a jam when they get caught by their boss at a party. Cast: Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts Dir: Gus Meins BW-18 mins,

4:30 PM Short Film: Bargain of the Century (1933)
Hal Roach's comedic duo Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts find themselves in a jam once again when they are the cause of a police officer losing his job. Cast: Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts Dir: Charley Chase BW-19 mins,

5:00 PM Short Film: Soup and Fish (1934)
In this Todd/Kelly short, the girls crash a high society party and have trouble fitting in. Cast: Patsy Kelly, Thelma Todd Dir: Gus Meins BW-18 mins,

5:30 PM Short Film: One Horse Farmers (1934)
The girls buy a farm in Paradise Acres and get scammed. Cast: Thelma Todd, Patsy Kelly Dir: Gus Meins BW-17 mins,

6:00 PM Short Film: Opened by Mistake (1934)
Patsy looses her job and needs a place to stay over night after getting kicked out of her apartment. She convinces Thelma to let her spend the night at the hospital where Thelma works as a nurse. Cast: Patsy Kelly, Thelma Todd Dir: James Parrott BW-19 mins,

6:30 PM Short Film: Sing, Sister, Sing (1935)
Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly move into an apartment together and become roommates. They end up driving each other crazy and Patsy moves out! Cast: Thelma Todd, Patsy Kelly Dir: James Parrott BW-20 mins,

7:00 PM Short Film: Hot Money (1935)
In this Todd/Kelly short, Patsy and Thelma come across some much needed money that happens to be stolen. Cast: Thelma Todd, Patsy Kelly Dir: James W. Horne BW-17 mins,

7:30 PM Short Film: Top Flat (1935)
In this Todd/Kelly short, Thelma tries to convince Patsy that she's struck it rich. Cast: Thelma Todd, Patsy Kelly Dir: William Terhune BW-19 mins,

8:00 PM Monkey Business (1931)
Four stowaways get mixed up with gangsters while running riot on an ocean liner. Cast: The Marx Brothers, Thelma Todd, Rockliffe Fellowes. Dir: Norman Z. McLeod. BW-78 mins, TV-G, CC

9:30 PM Horse Feathers (1932)
In an effort to beef up his school's football team, a college president mistakenly recruits two loonies. Cast: The Marx Brothers, Thelma Todd, David Landau. Dir: Norman Z. McLeod. BW-67 mins, TV-G, CC

10:45 PM Short Film: Another Fine Mess (1930)
Two vagabonds move into a deserted mansion and pretend to be its owners. Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Thelma Todd. Dir: James Parrott. BW-28 mins,

11:30 PM Short Film: Chickens Come Home (1931)
A man risks his marriage to help his best friend deal with blackmailers. Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Thelma Todd Dir: James W. Horne BW-30 mins,

12:15 AM Devil's Brother, The (1933)
Two wannabe bandits are hired as servants by the real thing. Cast: Laurel & Hardy, Dennis King, Thelma Todd. Dir: Hal Roach. BW-90 mins, TV-G, CC

2:00 AM Short Film: Bohemian Girl, The (1936)
Two pickpockets raise a stolen child, not realizing she's royalty. Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Thelma Todd. Dir: James W. Horne, Charles Rogers. BW-71 mins,

3:15 AM Maltese Falcon, The (1931)
In the first screen version of The Maltese Falcon, detective Sam Spade investigates the theft of a priceless statue. Cast: Bebe Daniels, Ricardo Cortez, Dudley Digges. Dir: Roy Del Ruth. BW-79 mins, TV-G, CC

4:45 AM Mary Stevens, M.D. (1933)
A woman doctor decides to have a baby without benefit of marriage. Cast: Kay Francis, Lyle Talbot, Glenda Farrell. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. BW-72 mins, TV-G

Tuesday, August 31 – Clint Eastwood. Look, after ToddFest it’s all anti-climactic…but I will try to record Escape from Alcatraz (1979) again (the previous time it was on we had a big honkin’ thunderstorm that wrecked my recording).

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Stacia said...

I'm still kicking myself for not getting "Charley Varrick" on TCM or Encore years ago, because it's never on anymore, and the DVD is pan 'n' scan, the jerks.

I like "Juke Girl" a lot, so I recommend it if you haven't seen it.

Somehow, TCM managed to schedule a million stars I really don't care for this year. I'm getting "Harper" mainly because I love the movie's version of the song "Mexican Breakfast." Hey, I have my reasons. But Thelma Todd is great, and Woody Strode, THAT is a coup!

Rick Brooks said...

The 30th looks fantastic. Now I can only await the family commitment that pops up to keep me away from the TV. Of course, I could try to clear about 20 hours on my DVR for that day.

Chase Kahn said...

Ahh! "The Big Street" is a disaster! I would still recommend everyone to see it, but I remember fondly (no pun intended) a scene where Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball (stuck in a wheelchair) walk from New York to Florida...or something like that...awesomely bad.

Chase Kahn said...

Oh, and I forgot, I'm very excited for "Alibi Ike" ('35), which contains one of Olivia de Havilland's debut performances. (I've seen "The Irish in Us" and "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Captain Blood", but "Alibi Ike" is the only one missing from 1935.)

VP81955 said...

24 hours of Thelma...not to be confused with "Twenty-Four Hours FRom Tulsa" (apologies to Burt Bacharach and Hal David). What a wonderful tribute to Ms. Todd.