Monday, December 20, 2010

Coming distractions: March 2011 on TCM

The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (ka-ching!) has the remaining schedule up for March of next year (the first three days of the month, of course, belong to TCM's 31 Days of Oscar) and as for the individual who once observed that variety is the spice of life—well, they weren’t just whistlin’ Dixie.  The most noteworthy announcement is that the channel will continue the films in the Bowery Boys film series on March 5 at 10:30am…with Fighting Trouble (1956), the first of six films in the series that replaced departing delinquent Leo Gorcey with one-time East Side Kid Stanley Clements in the role of Stanislaus “Duke” Covelskie.  The last time TCM showed these movies they left the Clements-Hall vehicles off the schedule—personally, this is not a total loss as far as I’m concerned since these entries are among the weakest of the bunch; but for Bowery Boys completists they’re a must-have.  (I sent Brent Walker, co-author of The Films of the Bowery Boys, a heads-up on Facebook when I learned of this development and he was positively ecstatic.)  The remaining films to be shown in March will be Hot Shots (1956; March 12), Hold That Hypnotist (1957; March 19) and Spook Chasers (1957; March 26).

I’m pretty jazzed about TCM’s Star of the Month for March, though—it’s none other than The Platinum Blonde herownself, Jean Harlow.  Nineteen films are on the schedule every Tuesday night beginning March 8, and several of these have not yet been inducted into the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives, so I’ll have to make sure I’m good on blank DVDs before then.  Here’s the rundown on Harlean Harlow Carpenter’s flicks:

March 8 – Tuesday
08:00pm Red-Headed Woman (1932)
09:30pm Three Wise Girls (1932)
10:45pm Riffraff (1936)
12:30am Suzy (1936)
02:15am City Lights (1931) (Harlow appears in this film as an extra)

March 15 – Tuesday
08:00pm The Public Enemy (1931)
09:30pm Bombshell (1933) (also showing at 06:15am on Sunday, March 20)
11:15pm Libeled Lady (1936)
01:00am Reckless (1935)
02:45am Personal Property (1937)

March 22 – Tuesday
08:00pm Wife vs. Secretary (1936)
09:45pm Red Dust (1932)
11:15pm Hold Your Man (1933)
01:00am China Seas (1935)
02:30am The Secret Six (1931)
04:00am Saratoga (1937)

March 29 – Tuesday
08:00pm Dinner at Eight (1933)
10:00pm The Girl From Missouri (1934)
11:30pm Platinum Blonde (1931)
01:15am The Beast Of The City (1932)

That having been announced, here are a few of the highlights on TCM’s schedule for March—keeping in mind, of course, that the offerings are tentative and are subject to change at the channel’s merest whim.  (All times are EST.)

Friday, March 4 – You know, if TCM ever puts me in charge of planning a movie tribute during the day in honor of John Garfield’s birthday, one movie that I most assuredly will not put in the lineup will be Tortilla Flat (1942; 7:45am).  But Tee Cee Em isn’t me, and with the exception of what I consider to be Julie’s cinematic low point they have a nice slate that includes They Made Me a Criminal (1939; 6am), Destination Tokyo (1943; 9:30am), Between Two Worlds (1944; 12noon), Pride of the Marines (1945; 2pm), Nobody Lives Forever (1946; 4:15pm) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946; 6pm).

Saturday, March 5 – With TCM Essentials’ showing of Cool Hand Luke (1967) at 8:15pm, viewers will spend the rest of the evening listening to the sound of the men working on a chain…gaaaaang.  Following Luke is The Defiant Ones (1958) at 10:15pm, then I Am A Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932; 12mid), the underrated Hell's Highway (1932; 1:45am), Chain Gang (1950; 3am) and Deep Valley (1947; 4:15am)

Sunday, March 6 – The channel presents a couple of revisionist looks at the world’s greatest detective beginning at 8:00pm with The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), based on Nicholas Meyer’s 1974 pastiche novel which finds Holmes undergoing treatment from Dr. Sigmund Freud for that troublesome cocaine addiction of his.  This is followed at 10:00pm by Gene Wilder’s sporadically amusing movie parody The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975).

TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights has the John Barrymore version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920) scheduled, which is one of the first silent movies I saw as a young tad.  Had I know this was on tap for March I wouldn’t have spent the $10 for the Kino DVD version (okay, it was on sale…but that’s not the point).

Monday, March 7 – Get ready for plenty of buckling swashes and swordplay when TCM unveils another silent classic from my youth, The Mark of Zorro (1920), at 6:15am…then follows it with Fortunes of Captain Blood (1950; 8:15am), The Three Musketeers (1948; 10am), Mask of the Avenger (1951; 12:30pm), Scaramouche (1952; 2:00p), The Sea Hawk (1940; 4:15pm) and The Black Swan (1942; 6:30pm).

Then at 8pm, TCM will kick off an evening of…well, I’m not certain what the theme is but they’re going to show the 1931 pre-Code goodie Safe in Hell, and since I missed it the last time it was on I’ll ask no more questions.

Tuesday, March 8 – Birthday girl and TDOY Academy Award-winning actress goddess Claire Trevor is feted with a tribute of her films beginning at 6am with Valley of the Giants (1938) (ho-ho-ho).  Allegheny Uprising (1939; 7:30am), Texas (1941; 9am), The Desperadoes (1943; 10:45), Crack-Up (1946; 12:15pm), Borderline (1950; 2pm), The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953; 3:30pm) and Two Weeks In Another Town (1962; 5pm) all follow for a nearly complete day of Claire fun.

Wednesday, March 9 – Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like Rome…and there’s no place like City of Lights and surrounding areas for romance, as showings of Enchanted April (1935; 6am), Indiscretion of An American Wife (1954; 7:15am), Mafioso (1962; 8:30am), Light in The Piazza (1962; 10:30am), Rome Adventure (1962; 12:15pm), The Roman Spring Of Mrs. Stone (1961; 2:15pm), Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957; 4:15pm) and Summertime (1955; 6:15pm) will attest.

Come evening, take a dip in the secretarial pool with a festival that spotlights Ask Any Girl (1959; 8pm), More Than a Secretary (1936; 10pm), This Could Be the Night (1957; 11:30pm), She's Got Everything (1938; 1:30am), Dancing Co-Ed (1939; 3am) and Men Are Such Fools (1938; 4:30am).

Thursday, March 10 – When celebrating director Gregory La Cava’s natal anniversary you’d expect TCM to go with the better-known films of his oeuvre like My Man Godfrey (1936) and Stage Door (1937)—but there are some real surprises scheduled today; a tribute that includes Laugh and Get Rich (1931; 6:45am), Smart Woman (1931; 8am), The Age of Consent (1932; 9:15am), Symphony of Six Million (1932; 10:30am), Bed of Roses (1933; 12:15pm), The Half Naked Truth (1933; 1:30pm), What Every Woman Knows (1934; 3pm), She Married Her Boss (1935; 4:30pm) and Living in a Big Way (1947; 6pm).

Friday, March 11 – A day of real rarities in store for TCM fans; first, Ten Cents a Dance (1931), a film directed by everyone’s favorite wheel chaired ham (though this is before he was in that chair, Blanche), Lionel Barrymore—I haven’t seen this, but it apparently involves taxi dancing and Barbara Stanwyck so it won’t take much to get me to watch.

At noon, the 1938 musical comedy Start Cheering is on the schedule—Jimmy Durante is the star but it’s also got the Three Stooges in the cast so done, sold, Bob’s your uncle.  This is followed by Sweetheart of the Campus (1941), a tune-filled delight featuring “America’s favorite young couple,” Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard (directed by Edward Dmytryk and scripted by Jack Armstrong creator Robert Hardy Andrews!).

Then at 5:45pm, a Judy Holliday vehicle that I haven’t seen in eons—1956’s Full of Life, which also stars Italian comic actor Salvatore Baccaloni and TDOY fave Richard Conte.  TCM then rents space in the hall that evening for a three-film tribute to director Lewis Milestone’s war films: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930; 8pm), A Walk in the Sun (1946; 10:30pm) and Pork Chop Hill (1959; 12:30am).

Saturday, March 12TCM Essentials shows the Maurice Chevalier—“ev’ry leetle breeze seems to whisper Louise”—sorry about that…musical Love Me Tonight (1932) at 8pm, which ushers in a mini-festival of Rouben Mamoulian-directed films: The Gay Desperado (1936; 10pm), We Live Again (1934; 11:45pm), City Streets (1931; 1:15am) and Queen Christina (1933; 3:45am).

Sunday, March 13 – The channel presents a “Story Arc” beginning at 8pm with Joan of Arc (1948), then followed by Saint Joan (1957; 10:30am), the silent masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928; 12:30am), Le Proces de Jeanne d'Arc (1962; 2am) and The Story Of Mankind (1957; 3:15am—with Joan played in a vignette by Hedy Lamarr).  And if you happen to be up at five in the a.m. don’t miss one of Harold Lloyd’s underrated feature films, For Heaven’s Sake (1926).

Monday, March 14 – TCM offers up a birthday tribute to Sir Cedric Hardwicke by rolling out Green Light (1937; 6am), Valley of the Sun (1942; 7:30am), The Cross of Lorraine (1943; 9am), Tycoon (1947; 10:45am), Mr. Imperium (1951; 1pm), Diane (1956; 2:30pm), Gaby (1956; 4:30pm) and The Power and the Prize (1956; 6:15pm).  (You cannot imagine how long I’ve waited to see Lorraine on the schedule again.)

Tuesday, March 15 – Bask in the blandness that is George Brent when TCM remembers his birthday and schedules a mini-festival that spotlights The Rich Are Always With Us (1932; 6:45am), So Big! (1932; 8am), They Call It Sin (1932; 9:30am), Week-End Marriage (1932; 10:45am), From Headquarters (1933; 12noon), The Painted Veil (1934; 1:15pm), Stamboul Quest (1934; 2:45pm), The Right To Live (1935; 4:15pm) and South Of Suez (1940; 6pm).  (And before I’m subjected to the ire from George’s many fans I just want to say that I do like him in The Spiral Staircase [1946] but TCM never shows it.)

Wednesday, March 16 – Here’s one you might want to set aside for the TiVo or DVR—TCM will show the 1971 cult classic The Projectionist starring my Facebook pal Chuck McCann and Rodney Dangerfield at 11:30pm.

Thursday, March 17 – Faith and begorrah, while the Shreves are sittin’ down to a meal of corned beef and cabbage TCM has a slate of Irish-themed classic films on the schedule kicking off at 6am with My Wild Irish Rose (1947)—followed by The Irish in Us (1935; 8am), Finian's Rainbow (1968; 9:30am), Irene (1940; 12noon), Three Cheers for the Irish (1940; 2pm), Young Cassidy (1965; 4pm) and The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady (1950; 6pm),  Later in the wee a.m. hours, one of my favorite cult films, Seconds (1966) will be on tap…which after all those tales of the auld sod will probably be bone dry.

Friday, March 18 – Before I was introduced to movies like The Gay Divorcee (1934), Top Hat (1935) and Lost Horizon (1937), Edward Everett Horton was the guy who narrated the “Fractured Fairy Tales” on Rocky and His Friends.  (Well, that and he was “Roaring Chicken” on F Troop.)  None of these are on his birthday tribute today—you’ll just have to make do with Kiss Me Again (1931; 6:30am), Lonely Wives (1932; 7:45am), Roar of the Dragon (1932; 9:15am), Easy to Love (1934; 10:30am), Sing and Like It (1934; 11:45am), Smarty (1934; 1pm), Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935; 2:15pm), Going Highbrow (1935; 3:45pm), In Caliente (1935; 5pm) and Hitting a New High (1938; 6:30pm).

And the fact that we live in a country than can schedule The Boogens (1981; 2am) and Ghoulies (1985; 3:45am) later in the day after Horton’s fete just goes to show…well, actually I’m not sure what it shows—but it must mean something.

Saturday, March 19 – You know, it was only just the other day when I was saying to myself: “Wouldn’t it be neat if TCM could schedule a whole bunch of movies featuring one of my pretend girlfriends, Maureen O’Sullivan?”  And it’s like somebody was in Atlanta listening to me, because after the TCM Essentials showing of Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) at 8pm the channel follows it with such Maureen classics as Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932; 10pm), The Devil Doll (1936; 12mid), The Tall T (1957; 1:30am), The Voice Of Bugle Ann (1936; 3am) and Never Too Late (1965; 4:15am).

Sunday, March 20 – “…at last we’ve got a Senator who can really sing and dance…”  Sorry about that—anytime I see a George Murphy film on TCM’s schedule that old Tom Lehrer parody starts running through my head.  And to be honest, it should run three times because the channel will show The Public Menace (1935) at 8pm, followed by The Women Men Marry (1937) at 9:30 and Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) at 10:45pm.

Then on TCM Sunday Nights at 12:30am, one of director William Wellman’s few surviving silent features, 1926’s The Boob (with Joan Crawford).  A Jean-Luc Godard double feature of Band of Outsiders (1964) and Breathless (1959) follows at 2 and 4 am, respectively.

Monday, March 21 – They used to call him “One-Take Woody”—but don’t get the idea that just because birthday boy W.S. Van Dyke II filmed them fast that you can watch them the same way; no, it’ll be a mostly all-day fete with Rosalie (1937; 6am), They Gave Him a Gun (1937; 8:15am), Stand Up and Fight (1939; 10am), I Take This Woman (1940; 12noon), The Feminine Touch (1941; 1:45pm), Rage In Heaven (1941; 3:30pm), I Married an Angel (1942; 5pm) and Journey for Margaret (1942; 6:30pm) all on the schedule.

In the evening hours, TCM has a rarity scheduled in Caught (1949; 10:15pm), a film noir that was helmed by French director Max Ophuls.  TDOY actor god Robert Ryan is in this one as a multi-gazillionaire that he based on real-life rich guy Howard Hughes…who didn’t even mind when Ryan told him what he was going to do.

Tuesday, March 22 – Happy birthday, Karl Malden!  Celebrate the Oscar-winning actor’s natal anniversary with a lineup featuring Hot Millions (1968; 6am), Come Fly With Me (1963; 8am), Gypsy (1962; 10am), The Cincinnati Kid (1965; 12:30pm), The Sellout (1951; 2:15pm), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951; 3:45pm) and Baby Doll (1956; 6pm).

Wednesday, March 23 – Back in September, I participated in a blogathon sponsored by Blog Cabins entitled 30 dAyS oF cRaZy, and wrote up Sam Corridor’s classic pulpy cult thriller Shock Corridor (1963).  If by some odd chance you’ve never seen it, TCM will accommodate you with a showing at 1:30pm.

That evening, it’s a salute to the colorful chronicler of “guys and dolls” we know as Damon Runyon.  Guys and Dolls (1955), in fact, kicks things off at 8pm followed by Little Miss Marker (1934; 10:45pm), A Slight Case of Murder (1938; 12:15am), Pocketful of Miracles (1961; 2am) and The Big Street (1942; 4:30am).

Thursday, March 24 – TCM will show the only film to pair Spencer Tracy and Bette Davis, 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1933) at 6am…so I can cross this one off my Warner Archive wish list.

Friday, March 25 – Help blow out the candles on director David Lean’s birthday cake with a selection of his feature films: This Happy Breed (1944; 6:15am), Brief Encounter (1945; 8:15am), Great Expectations (1946; 9:45am), Oliver Twist (1948; 11:45am), TDOY fave Hobson's Choice (1954; 1:45pm) and Doctor Zhivago (1965; 3:45pm).

Saturday, March 26 – The classic film that my best friend the Duchess says mirrors the relationship with her daughter (well, without the whole nasty murder angle) will be shown on TCM Essentials at 8pmMildred Pierce (1945).  Afterwards, a nice little lineup of Joanie films: Daisy Kenyon (1947; 10pm), This Woman Is Dangerous (1952; 12mid), Goodbye, My Fancy (1951; 2am) and The Damned Don't Cry (1950; 4am).

Tuesday, March 29 – With the exception of The Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936) and Adam Had Four Sons (1941) at 7:30 and 9:00am respectively, TCM celebrates Oscar-winning actor Warner Baxter’s natal anniversary with the movie series that put groceries on old Bax’s table in the 1940s: Crime Doctor!  The lineup will include Crime Doctor (1943; 10:30am), The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case (1943; 11:45am), The Crime Doctor's Courage (1945; 1pm), The Crime Doctor's Warning (1945; 2:15pm), Crime Doctor's Manhunt (1946; 3:30pm), The Crime Doctor's Gamble (1947; 4:45pm) and The Crime Doctor's Diary (1949; 6pm)—that last one meaning that you’ll be able to enjoy the song stylings of Whit “Speak! I know you have a civil tongue in your head because I sewed it back myself!” Bissell just as much as Mike “Mr. Television” Doran and I did.  (For mini-reviews of the Crime Doctor series, click here.)

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Hal said...

Wow, great month indeed. I haven't seen FULL OF LIFE since a local UHF channel aired it back in the late 80s. THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC is my favorite silent film, period.

And SAFE IN HELL is a must-see. To me there's no more glaring omission from the "pre-code" DVD boxed sets.

mndean said...

Hey, at least on George Brent day they're running a few good precode films - So Big!, They Call It Sin, and From Headquarters.

Stacia said...

I am so stoked about the pre-codes in March. I'm even excited about the George Brent movies, because finally I can get a copy of "So Big", compare it with "The Purchase Price", and finally stop confusing them! Also, despite having seen dozens of Brent movies, I've not seen 6 of the ones in March.

It's funny you mentioned "The Spiral Staircase" because I also expected TCM to show it -- for a while they showed it several times a year -- but now it's never on. Love that film.

Also: YAY Shock Corridor! Hobson's Choice! The Damned Don't Cry!

Speaking of the latter, I watched it many many years ago in pre-TCM days on (I think) Cinemax, which showed 1-2 old movies early in the morning on some weekdays. The title was listed as "(I Know Why) The Damned Don't Cry", but I haven't seen that title anywhere since. It doesn't even have any hits on Google.

movieclassics said...

Wow, I wish TCM in the UK would show only a tiny fraction of all these goodies, though I suppose I would probably find it hard to fit in other things like work and sleep! I'd especially love to see them show those Warner Baxter films here - I've just managed to see 'The Robin Hood of El Dorado', directed by Wellman, which I enjoyed a lot once I got used to Baxter's accent, but have sadly never seen the Crime Doctor series. Judy

movieclassics said...

Must also agree that 'Safe In Hell' is a must-see, one of Wellman's finest pre-Codes - I hope this showing may be a sign that it will finally get a DVD release! Judy