After having a chinwag with the man who my mother tells me is my father (and that’s good enough for me) over breakfast Friday morning, it looked like my help would not be needed to do this storage area “yard sale” today…which freed me up a little time for the blog. And as luck would have it, I skated by the bookmark I set for Turner Classic Movies’ January 2011 last night to find that their schedule is up. The first month of the new year promises to be one of the greatest months in the history of The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (ka-ching!)…for reasons I will divulge shortly before this post’s windup.
January 6 – Thursday
08:00pm I'm All Right Jack (1959)
10:00pm Heavens Above! (1963)
12:15am Two Way Stretch (1960)
02:00am The Ladykillers (1955)
03:45am Your Past is Showing (1957)
05:30am The Wrong Box (1966)
January 7 – Friday
07:30am Never Let Go (1960)
January 13 – Thursday
08:00pm Waltz of the Toreadors (1962)
10:00pm The Millionairess (1960)
11:45pm I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968)
01:30am What's New, Pussycat (1965)
03:30am After the Fox (1966)
05:15am The Bobo (1967)
January 20 – Thursday
08:00pm The Pink Panther (1963)
10:00pm A Shot In The Dark (1964)
12:00am Murder by Death (1976)
01:45am Casino Royale (1967)
04:00am The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
January 27 – Thursday
08:00pm Man in a Cocked Hat (1960)
09:45pm Being There (1979)
12:00am Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb (1964)
01:45am Lolita (1962)
04:30am Only Two Can Play (1962)
January 28 – Friday
06:30am tom thumb (1958)
With that out of the way, leave us take a look at some items of interest on the January menu…remembering, of course, that all times are EST and are subject to change at the channel’s merest whim…
Having Wonderful Time (1938; 7am), Swing Time (1936; 8:30am), On Borrowed Time (1939; 10:15am) and The Time Machine (1960; 12noon). Following those features from 2-6pm will be twelve two-reel shorts from The March of Time series, a series of short subjects that was cranked out at Paramount (in conjunction with Time magazine) from 1935 to 1951. (OTR fans know, of course, that the movie shorts were inspired by the radio program that premiered over CBS Radio in March 1931.)
Come evening, the channel will offer up a tribute to Grandpappy Amos McCoy himself, actor Walter Brennan: My Darling Clementine (1946; 8pm), The Pride of the Yankees (1942; 10pm), Tammy and the Bachelor (1957; 12:15pm), Sergeant York (1941; 2am) and Barbary Coast (1935; 4:30am).
January 2, Sunday – Back in June, Laura at Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings wrote a review of a really underrated James Stewart film called No Highway in the Sky (1951), which I used to catch on AMC before they started breaking bad. Because it’s a 20th Century-Fox property, it’s usually only available on the Fox Movie Channel (which my cable company makes me pay extra for) so I’ll get the opportunity to revisit it at 8pm that evening. It’s being paired with Fate is the Hunter (1964) starring Glenn Ford, a film in which Ford investigates a fatal airplane crash.
Shanghai Express (1932). It’s followed by Morocco (1930; 9:30pm), Crime and Punishment (1935; 11:15pm), The Shanghai Gesture (1941; 1am), Macao (1952; 2:45am) and The King Steps Out (1936; 4:15am).
January 4, Tuesday – Jane Wyman’s birthday is actually January 5th…but for reasons unexplained, TCM has plans to celebrate it a day early (well, I always have problems this time of year, too, getting my Wyman cards out sooner than later) with a festival of her films that kicks off at 6am with He Couldn't Say No (1938), followed by My Favorite Spy (1942; 7am), Three Guys Named Mike (1951; 8:30am), Johnny Belinda (1948; 10:15am), Stage Fright (1950; 12noon), So Big (1953; 2pm), Miracle in the Rain (1956; 4pm) and Let's Do It Again (1953; 6pm).
For more unexplained reasons, the channel will repeat a few of these films on the 25th of this month—notably Three Guys (8:15am), Again (11:45am), So Big (1:30pm) and Miracle (3:15pm). These encores will be joined by Cheyenne (1947; 6:30an), The Story of Will Rogers (1952; 9:45am) and Pollyanna (1960; 5:15pm). Again, I don’t pretend to understand it—it is what it is.
The Unguarded Hour (1936; 7am), The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940; 8:30am), The Men in Her Life (1941; 10am), A Night to Remember (1942; 11:30am), Bedtime Story (1941; 1:15pm), Along Came Jones (1945; 2:45pm), The Bishop's Wife (1947; 4:30pm) and Paula (1952; 6:30pm).
January 7, Friday – Friday evening brings on a trio of films featuring actress Jeanne Crain—one of which, 1945’s State Fair (10pm), is the property of the aforementioned Fox so it looks like this is the first time it’s getting a workout on TCM. The western chestnut The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) starts the evening off at 8pm (a really underrated flick, by the way) and Elia Kazan’s Pinky (1949) finishes things at 12 midnight.
The Glass Key (1942) and how I am compelled to watch it to the very end should I run across it on one of the classic movie channels, so I know how some of my Saturday morning will be spent. The rest of it will be devoted to TCM’s continuation of the Bowery Boys movies that they have been featuring at 10:30am for many months now, with one of the best of the bunch, Spy Chasers (1955). Scheduled for the 15th is Jail Busters (1955), with Dig That Uranium (1956) on the 22nd and Crashing Las Vegas (1956) on January 29. (I guess we’ll have to wait until next month to see if TCM is going to run the Stanley Clements-Huntz Hall entries in the long-running movie series.)
That evening, TCM’s Essentials will repeat Road to Morocco (1942; 8pm) as the first of a quintet of films in which common folk co-mingle with royalty. The Prince and the Showgirl (1957; 9:30pm), The Swan (1956; 11:30pm), Mrs. Brown (1997; 1:30am) and The Student Prince (1954; 3:30am) are the other movies on tap.
January 10, Monday – Since actor-director Paul Heinreid and actor-singer Sal Mineo share a birthday today, the channel fetes the both of them by featuring Heinreid’s In Our Time (1944; 6:45am), The Spanish Main (1945; 8:45am) and Now, Voyager (1942; 10:30am) in the morning hours and Sal’s The Young Don't Cry (1957; 12:30pm), Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956; 2:15pm), Crime in the Streets (1956; 4:15pm) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955; 6pm). Sure, it may seem unfair that Mineo gets the bulk of the viewing time but then again, he had a Top Ten Pop hit, whereas Paul did not.
After the end of Sal-vation (oh, I slay myself sometimes), TCM has rescheduled their “work is hell” festival that they originally were going to do in September—The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956) kicks things off at 8pm, followed by Patterns (1956; 11pm), The Rabbit Trap (1959; 12:30am), The High Cost of Loving (1958; 2am) and Room at the Top (1959; 3:30am). (I’ve forgotten why they preempted this—must have been a celebrity death.)
January 11, Tuesday – “Now there’s something you don’t see everyday, Chauncey…” “What’s that, Edgar?” A day devoted to films released in 1941: Sons of the Sea (6am), A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob (7:45am), The Sea Wolf (9:30am), Topper Returns (11am), Affectionately Yours (12:30pm), The Bride Came C.O.D. (2pm), Come Live With Me (3:45pm), Father Takes a Wife (5:15pm) and Honeymoon for Three (6:45pm).
The Good Earth (1937; 8:30pm) and The Great Ziegfeld (1936; 11:30pm). The Great Waltz (1938; 2:45am) and Dramatic School (1938; 4:30am) round out the evening.
January 13, Thursday – It’s that time of year again, the time when our families get together for good food, good drink and good cheer. Yes, I’m referring to Kay Francis’ natal anniversary, and even I’m kind of stoked because they’re going to start things off that morning with a movie I have not seen in ages, the 1931 courtroom thriller Guilty Hands with Kay and Lionel Barrymore. (Stacia, if you asked them to run this one again—many, many thanks.) Following Hands are Jewel Robbery (1932; 7:15am), One Way Passage (1932; 8:30am), British Agent (1934; 9:45am), The Goose and the Gander (1935; 11:15am), First Lady (1937; 12:30pm), Stolen Holiday (1937; 2pm), Women in the Wind (1939; 3:30pm), It's a Date (1940; 4:45pm) and Play Girl (1941; 6:30pm).
The Hairy Ape (1944; 7:15am), The Time Of Your Life (1948; 9am), Cover-Up (1949; 11am), Two Knights from Brooklyn (1949; 12:30pm), Kill the Umpire (1950; 1:45pm), Gambling House (1951; 3:15pm), The Deep Six (1958; 4:45pm) and The Young and the Brave (1963; 6:30pm).
Come nightfall, it’s a mini-festival of musicals-star-turned-tough-guy John Payne, with three TDOY faves—99 River Street (1953), Kansas City Confidential (1952) and The Crooked Way (1949)—scheduled at 8pm, 9:30pm and 11:15pm respectively. To the Shores of Tripoli (1942) wraps it up at 1am.
January 16, Sunday – Many Mae West fans consider She Done Him Wrong (1933) to be the best of her vehicles—but my personal preference is for I’m No Angel (1933), which gets a rare showing at 10:30am. In the wee a.m. hours (closer to Monday), TCM will run two cult classics: King of Hearts (1966; 2am), a film whose appeal has eluded me over the years, and How I Won the War (1967; 4am), a film which gets better every time I see it.
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (1949), a fun Bing Crosby romp that even lets William Bendix and Sir Cedric Hardwicke sing. After Yankee, the lineup is as follows: Camelot (1967; 10pm), Prince Valiant (1954; 1:15am), Knights of the Round Table (1953; 3am) and Siege of the Saxons (1963; 5am).
January 18, Tuesday – Everybody can’t be Cary Grant…but you can celebrate his birthday by popping some corn and sitting down for a day-long fest that spotlights Sylvia Scarlett (1935; 6:30am), The Toast of New York (1937; 8:15am, and a real rarity), Bringing Up Baby (1938; 10:15am), Gunga Din (1939; 12noon), Only Angels Have Wings (1939; 2pm), Night and Day (1946; 4:15pm) and the 2004 documentary Cary Grant: A Class Apart (6:30pm).
January 20, Thursday – The late Patricia Neal is feted with a birthday tribute that includes The Fountainhead (1949; 7am), It's a Great Feeling (1949; 9am), John Loves Mary (1949; 10:30am), Washington Story (1952; 12:15pm), Psyche 59 (1964; 1:45pm), The Subject Was Roses (1968; 3:30pm), The Night Digger (1971; 5:30pm) and a repeat of her 2004 appearance on Private Screenings (7:15pm).
Behind the Rising Sun (1943; 6am), No Other Woman (1933; 7:45am), The Beast with Five Fingers (1946; 9am), Humoresque (1946; 10:30am), The Kissing Bandit (1948; 12:45pm), Canadian Pacific (1949; 2:30pm), Black Hand (1950; 4:15pm) and Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953; 6pm).
Come the evening hours, the channel has scheduled a quartet of pre-Code gangster sagas starting with a rare showing of 1931’s City Streets at 8pm, with Gary Cooper in a bad guy role. The original (and best) Scarface (1932) follows at 9:30pm, then Little Caesar (1931; 11:15pm) and The Mayor of Hell (1933; 12:45am). After that, TCM Underground has a “bad seed” double-feature in the 1981 slasher flick Bloody Birthday (2:15am) and—what else?—The Bad Seed (1956; 3:45am).
January 23, Sunday – TCM shows at 8:30am my favorite Shirley Temple film (I am serious about this, by the way), Little Miss Marker (1934)—which I haven’t seen since the glory days of AMC. But the really good stuff starts at 8pm with the 1947 classic Black Narcissus—if you haven’t seen this yet, stop reading this damn blog and rent it already. TCM Silent Sunday Nights will show Tide of Empire (1929) at 12:30am, so there’s another Warner Archive title I can cross off my list.
January 24, Monday – One of the few films that both my sister Kat and I can agree is worth one’s time, John Huston’s Wise Blood (1979), has been penciled in for 4am (the director’s 1967 Reflections in a Golden Eye precedes it at 2am). I’ve been waiting for this one to turn up again on Flix on Demand but this will do nicely.
Phantom Lady on the schedule at 11:30pm. (Another movie you should make it a point to see.)
January 27, Thursday – “Now there’s something you don’t…” Oh. I did that one already. Well, anyway—enjoy these titles from the year 1950: Key to the City (6:15am), The Happy Years (8am), D.O.A. (10am), Chain Lightning (11:30am), The Doctor and the Girl (1:15pm), Mystery Street (3pm), Mrs. O'Malley and Mr. Malone (4:45pm) and The Asphalt Jungle (6pm).
January 28, Friday – TCM has a trio of films directed by the late Ronald Neame scheduled (if this is supposed to be a tribute, they should have done it much earlier) that starts off at 8pm with Tunes of Glory (1960), followed by The Odessa File (1974; 10pm) and Hopscotch (1980; 12:15pm). Then on TCM Underground, Nature runs amok with Grizzly (1976; 2am) and the Cadillac of Giant Rabbit films, Night of the Lepus (1972; 3:45am).
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) at 8pm, what better reason could you have for following it with a heaping teaspoonful of movies featuring Ernest Borgnine (who will turn, knock wood, 94 years old on January 24!): The Dirty Dozen (1967; 9:30pm), Marty (1955; 1:15am) and The Wild Bunch (1969; 3am) (with a repeat of his 2009 Private Screenings appearance at 12:15am). And while I’m on the subject—while it was great to see Borgnine do a bit on Saturday Night Live two weeks ago (in the show headlined by Bryan “Breaking Bad” Cranston) I believe I specifically suggested back in May that he host the show.
January 30, Sunday – I have good news and bad news. The good news is that TCM has scheduled one of the funniest of motion picture comedies, the Howard Morris-directed Who’s Minding the Mint? (1967) at 10pm (Morris’ With Six You Get Eggroll precedes it at 8). The bad news is that the listing doesn’t specify that it’s letterboxed.
Pandora’s Box (1928), the vehicle that made Louise Brooks (*sigh*) a cinematic icon. Pabst’s The 3 Penny Opera (1931) follows at 2am, and A Modern Hero (1934)—his only American film—at 4am…and since I’ve not seen either of these, my mouth is watering at the prospect of getting these bad boys recorded. The 1939 thriller The Spy in Black caps off a splendid late night at 5:15am, another film I’ve had on my must-see list for years.
January 31, Monday – TCM closes out the month of January with a birthday tribute to Jean Simmons starting at 6:45am with Hungry Hill (1947); that’s followed by Adam and Evalyn (1949), Trio (1950), So Long at the Fair (1950), She Couldn't Say No (1954), A Bullet Is Waiting (1954), Footsteps in the Fog (1955) and Life at the Top (1965).
The channel will also show Jean-Luc’s seminal Breathless (1959) at 8pm (be glad to see this one) and TDOY fave The Rain People (1969) turns up in a later slot at 12:15am. After People, a documentary I’ve not seen that sounds interesting as all get out—The Tramp and The Dictator (2002), which compares and contrasts the lives of the two most famous men with tiny moustaches in history. (A showing of Chaplin’s The Great Dictator  follows at 3am.)
So we’re at the end of the month, and you’re probably all wondering—what’s the big deal hinted at in the opening paragraph of this post? Well, on Tuesday nights in January, TCM is going to spotlight tons of goodies—shorts, feature films and television episodes—from the Hal Roach library. It’s a cineaste’s dream come true, and I’ve already sent out beaucoup Facebook messages to my fellow filmaniacs giving them a heads-up.
08:00pm Helping Grandma (1931)
08:30pm Love Business (1931)
09:00pm Shiver My Timbers (1931)
09:30pm Dogs is Dogs (1931)
10:00pm Free Eats (1932)
10:30pm Hook and Ladder (1932)
11:00pm Free Wheeling (1932)
11:30pm Birthday Blues (1932)
12:00am Fish Hooky (1933)
12:30am Forgotten Babies (1933)
01:00am Mush and Milk (1933)
01:30am Mike Fright (1934)
02:00am The First Round-Up (1934)
02:30am Mama's Little Pirate (1935)
03:00am Little Sinner (1935)
03:30am Bored of Education (1936)
03:45am Two Too Young (1936)
04:00am Glove Taps (1937)
04:15am Hearts are Thumps (1937)
04:30am Rushin' Ballet (1937)
04:45am Fire Fighters (1922)
05:15am Saturday Morning (1922)
05:45am The Champeen (1923)
06:15am The Cobbler (1923)
06:45am A Pleasant Journey (1923)
07:15am July Days (1923)
07:45am No Noise (1923)
08:15am Big Business (1924)
08:45am The Buccaneers (1924)
09:15am Seein' Things (1924)
09:45am It's a Bear (1924)
10:15am High Society (1924)
10:45am Every Man for Himself (1924)
11:00am Fast Company (1924)
11:15am The Sun Down Limited (1924)
11:45am The Mysterious Mystery! (1924)
12:15pm Dog Days (1925)
12:45pm Shootin' Injuns (1925)
01:15pm Official Officers (1925)
01:45pm Boys Will Be Joys (1925)
02:15pm Mary Queen of Tots (1925)
02:45pm One Wild Ride (1925)
03:15pm Good Cheer (1926)
03:45pm Buried Treasure (1926)
04:00pm Monkey Business (1926)
04:15pm Uncle Tom's Uncle (1926)
04:45pm Thundering Fleas (1926)
05:15pm Shivering Spooks (1926)
05:45pm The Fourth Alarm (1926)
06:15pm Love My Dog (1927)
06:45pm Olympic Games (1927)
07:00pm Boxing Gloves (1929)
07:30pm Bouncing Babies (1929)
08:00pm Thicker Than Water (1935)
08:30pm The Fixer Uppers (1935)
09:00pm Tit for Tat (1935)
09:30pm The Live Ghost (1934)
10:00pm Them Thar Hills (1934)
10:30pm Going Bye-Bye! (1934)
11:00pm Oliver the Eighth (1934)
11:30pm Dirty Work (1933)
12:00am Busy Bodies (1933)
12:30am The Midnight Patrol (1933)
01:00am Me and My Pal (1933)
01:30am Twice Two (1933)
02:00am Towed in a Hole (1932)
02:30am Their First Mistake (1932)
03:00am Scram! (1932)
03:30am County Hospital (1932)
04:00am The Chimp (1932)
04:30am The Music Box (1932)
05:00am Helpmates (1932)
05:30am Beau Hunks (1931)
06:15am One Good Turn (1931)
06:45am Our Wife (1931)
07:15am Laughing Gravy (1931)
08:00am Chickens Come Home (1931)
08:30am Be Big! (1931)
09:00am Another Fine Mess (1930)
09:30am The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (1930)
10:00am Hog Wild (1930)
10:30am Below Zero (1930)
11:00am Brats (1930)
11:30am Blotto (1930)
12:00pm Night Owls (1930)
12:30pm The Hoose-Gow (1929)
01:00pm They Go Boom! (1929)
01:30pm Perfect Day (1929)
02:00pm Men O'War (1929)
02:30pm Berth Marks (1929)
03:00pm Unaccustomed As We Are (1929)
03:30pm Come Clean (1931)
04:00pm Any Old Port! (1932)
04:30pm Pardon Us (1931)
05:30pm Pack Up Your Troubles (1932)
06:45pm The Bohemian Girl (1936)
08:00pm “Tom and Jerry” (11/30/55)
08:30pm “Rookie of the Year” (12/07/55)
09:00pm “Lincoln''s Doctor's Dog” (12/14/55)
09:30pm “The Silent Partner” (12/21/55)
10:00pm “Number Five Checked Out” (01/18/56)
10:30pm “Prima Donna” (02/01/56)
11:00pm “The Sword of Villon” (04/4/56)
11:30pm “Markheim” (04/11/56)
12:00am “Claire” (04/25/56)
12:30am “High Air” (09/12/56)
The Head Guy (1930)…and it’s pretty dismal; the reputation of these shorts isn’t particularly the equivalent of a report card “A” according to Leonard Maltin’s The Great Movie Shorts (though I bet Neathery’s probably seen them and contrarily proclaimed them forgotten masterpieces). Be that as it may, they will be essential viewing for yours truly:
01:00am Skirt Shy (1929)
01:30am The Head Guy (1930)
02:00am The Fighting Parson (1930)
02:30am The Big Kick (1930)
03:00am The Shrimp (1930)
03:30am The King (1930)
The First Seven Years (1930) and Pups is Pups (1930)—will be shown at 4am and 4:30am; I have all of the Our Gang sound comedies already so my interest is primarily in the bucketload of silent shorts TCM will be showcasing. At 5:00am, the channel rolls out quite a few classic Charley Chase comedies; a few of which were already shown during the Thelma Todd Summer Under the Stars presentation in August but welcome nevertheless. (Though I agree with my friend James Neibaur that it would be nice to see some of the silent Chases in the same breath as the pre-sound Our Gang shorts.)
05:00am Whispering Whoopee (1930)
05:30am Fifty Million Husbands (1930)
06:00am High C’s (1930)
06:30am The Pip from Pittsburg (1931)
07:00am Rough Seas (1931)
07:30am The Panic is On (1931)
08:00am The Tabasco Kid (1932)
08:30am Fallen Arches (1933)
09:00am Nature in the Wrong (1933)
09:30am Four Parts (1934)
10:00am Public Ghost No. 1 (1935)
10:30am Life Hesitates at 40 (1935)
A half-dozen Taxi Boys shorts—the two-reel comedies starring Billy Gilbert and Ben Blue—follow the Chase presentation. I’ve already talked about some of these in a previous post, so I won’t rehash anything only to say you have been warned.
11:00am What Price Taxi (1932)
11:30am Taxi for Two (1932)
12:00pm Wreckety Wrecks (1933)
12:30pm Thundering Taxis (1933)
01:00pm Taxi Barons (1933)
01:30pm The Rummy (1933)
Mama Loves Papa is a great example) or…well, or not. Here’s what’s on tap:
02:00pm Bigger and Better (1930)
02:30pm Doctor’s Orders (1930)
03:00pm Love Fever (1931)
03:30pm Air-Tight (1931)
04:00pm You’re Telling Me (1932)
04:30pm Catch as Catch Can (1931)
05:00pm Asleep in the Feet (1933)
05:30pm The Bargain of the Century (1933)
06:00pm Backs to Nature (1933)
06:30pm Top Flat (1935)
07:00pm At Sea Ashore (1936)
07:30pm Hill-Tillies (1936)
General Spanky (1936) and another one I can cross off my Archive Wish List, the Patsy Kelly-Lyda Roberti feature Nobody’s Baby (1936):
08:00pm Sons of the Desert (1933)
09:15pm General Spanky (1936)
10:30pm Topper (1937)
12:15am There Goes My Heart (1938)
01:45am Zenobia (1939)
03:00am Turnabout (1940)
04:30am Way Out West (1938)
05:45am Merrily We Live (1938)
07:30am Pick a Star (1937)
08:45am Nobody's Baby (1937)
10:00am Topper Takes a Trip (1939)
11:30am Captain Fury (1939)
01:15am The Housekeeper's Daughter (1939)
02:45am Topper Returns (1941)
04:15am Broadway Limited (1941)
05:30am Bonnie Scotland (1935)
07:00am Taxi, Mister (1943)
Of course, I don’t have to tell you how much I’ve been bitching for years that I wish TCM would take better advantage of the Roach library, seeing as how they have the rights to telecast its treasures and such—you’ve read the blog; you know the score. So this is truly what both Yair Solan and I have referred to in the past as “an embarrassment of riches”…one that even tops the shorts showcased during Summer Under the Stars. TCM, will…will you marry me?