Once again, we must send a nice fruit basket to Laura of Miscellaneous Musings fame for taking the time to locate which shell the tentative TCM schedule for October was under—admittedly, I wasn’t certain we’d ever get access to what classic movie delights await us down the road in future…and since I’m composing this post on a Friday morning it’s entirely possible The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (ka-ching!) may do a little additional three-card-monte and remove it from the purview of interested onlookers. So in the meantime, we’ll do what we can here at TDOY to kind of give you a heads-up on what to expect.
I’d already been clued in to the identity of Tee Cee Em’s Star of the Month courtesy of the vacationing Stacia, who also sent me a nice postcard the other day showing her frolicking with dolphins in one of those…um…well, places where they let you swim with the dolphins (I don’t know what they officially call them—do I look like a thesaurus?). The channel will kick off a salute to one of my personal cinematic heroes, the immortal Buster Keaton, beginning October 2…Laura mentions at her blog that setting Sundays aside for Buster might have something to do with the fact that TCM usually shows silents under the auspices of its Silent Sunday Nights banner…personally, I would have tweaked it so the festival started on October 4 in honor of Keaton’s 116th natal anniversary. But that’s neither here nor there—we should just be thankful that Buster is being feted in the manner he is, with 26 feature films (plus a documentary) and 25 shorts (including an episode of Screen Director’s Playhouse) scheduled as follows:
October 2 – Sunday
The General (1926)
Our Hospitality (1923)
The Love Nest (1923)
12:00am The Navigator (1924)
01:15am The Boat (1921)
01:45am The Goat (1921)
02:15am The Play House (1921)
02:45am The Scarecrow (1920)
03:15am The Electric House (1922)
03:45am The Balloonatic (1923)
04:15am The Paleface (1922)
Convict 13 (1920)
Speak Easily (1932)
October 9 – Sunday
Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Good Night, Nurse! (1918)
Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
The Cameraman (1928)
Coney Island (1917)
Back Stage (1919)
01:30am Limelight (1952)
04:00am The Bell Boy (1918)
She Went to the Races (1945)
October 10 – Monday
06:00am The Haunted House (1921)
06:30am Hard Luck (1921)
October 16 – Sunday
Seven Chances (1925)
One Week (1920)
Three Ages (1923)
My Wife’s Relations (1922)
Day Dreams (1922)
Spite Marriage (1929)
Free and Easy (1930)
The Garage (1920)
04:00am The Blacksmith (1922)
04:30am Sidewalks of New York (1931)
October 17 – Monday
October 23 – Sunday
The ‘High Sign’ (1921)
Go West (1925)
The Frozen North (1922)
Battling Butler (1926)
12:45am The Saphead (1920)
02:15am Doughboys (1930)
03:45am Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (1931)
05:15am The Passionate Plumber (1932)
October 24 – Monday
06:45am What! No Beer? (1933)
October 30 – Sunday
In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
10:00pm Screen Director’s Playhouse: “The Silent Partner” (1955)
12:15am The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960)
02:15am Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
04:00am Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
Yeah, I know a few of these movies are stretching it a tad—heck, you could make a stronger case to include It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) over Eighty Days…and with Keaton’s Educational two-reel comedies recently released on Kino, why not feature one or two of those on the schedule (or his Columbia shorts, for that matter?). Well, there’s still plenty there for diehard Keaton enthusiasts—and on Tuesday nights in October, the channel will pay tribute to another favorite here at TDOY with a retrospective of films directed by Nicholas Ray (who, as Internets coincidence would have it, celebrates his centennial birthday today):
October 4 – Tuesday
Knock on Any Door (1949)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
They Live by Night (1949)
Born to Be Bad (1950)
03:15am A Woman’s Secret (1949)
October 11 – Tuesday
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Johnny Guitar (1954)
12:00am Flying Leathernecks (1951)
02:00am On Dangerous Ground (1951)
03:30am The Lusty Men (1952)
October 18 – Tuesday
Bigger Than Life (1956)
Wind Across the Everglades (1958)
01:15am Bitter Victory (1957)
03:15am Hot Blood (1956)
October 25 – Tuesday
55 Days at Peking (1963) (also showing at on October 4)
We Can’t Go Home Again (1976)
The Making of We Can’t Go Home Again (2011)
02:00am King of Kings (1961)
05:00am Party Girl (1958)
Finally, it being the month of Halloween, Turner Classic Movies will feature its usual glut of horror and science-fiction films to toast the holiday—TCM will offer them up exclusively on Monday nights beginning at 8pm and will start a marathon of same on October 29th at 8pm (with a small interruption on the 30th for BusterFest). I noticed that they’ve once again scheduled Roger Corman’s The Masque of the Red Death (1964) for the festival and I’m taking bets right now that they’ll change it at the last minute (like they did last year, along with 1963’s The Raven). They’ve also got a new horror-themed documentary premiering in their TCM’s A Night at the Movies series that will be on the schedule multiple times throughout October.
So let’s take a look at what else is in store, shall we?
October 1, Saturday – Each Saturday throughout the month, the channel will offer up some of the films in RKO’s Hildegarde Withers series beginning at 8am—the fun starts with the first movie, Penguin Pool Murder (1932), and then in successive weeks it’s Murder on the Blackboard (1934; October 8), Murder on a Honeymoon (1935; October 15), Murder on a Bridle Path (1936; October 22) and The Plot Thickens (1936) closing out the month on October 29th. (My personal preference is for the first three films because they feature the Hildegarde, Edna May Oliver—your mileage, as always, may vary.)
Saturday mornings also allows TCM to continue their weekly visits to those wonderful cliffhanger serials of yesteryear at 11 and . They’ll wrap up Zorro Rides Again (1937) with the final chapter (“Retribution”) on October 1 at 11 and then at will feature the first chapter of the best of the Zorro serials, Zorro’s Fighting Legion (1939) and “The Golden God.” The following week (Oct. 8) it’s chapters two (“The Flaming 'Z'”) and three (“Descending Doom”), chapters four (“The Bridge of Peril”) and five (“The Decoy”) on the 15th, chapters six (“Zorro to the Rescue”) and seven (“The Fugitive”) on the 22nd and chapters eight (“Flowing Death”) and nine (“The Golden Arrow”) finishing out October 29th.
And immediately following the thrill-packed adventures of our favorite masked avenger (well, my favorite—again, YMMV) it’s Tarzan Saturdays…and the first two Saturdays in October will feature the two films considered by many Tarzan fans to be the finest ever made, even superior to the Johnny Weissmuller vehicles. On October 1, Gordon Scott plays the Lord of the Jungle in Tarzan’s Greatest Adventure (1959)—my favorite of the non-Weissmuller Tarzan flicks, with a young Sean Connery as one of the bad guys…and the following week (Oct. 8) Scott reprises his ape man role in Tarzan the Magnificent (1960) (Gee, Lord Greystoke—humble much?). Stuntman-actor Jock Mahoney donned the loincloth in the next two Tarzan movies, Tarzan Goes to India (1962; Oct. 15) and Tarzan’s Three Challenges (1963; Oct. 22) and then rounding out October is the first Tarzan vehicle with former pro football player-turned-actor Mike Henry, Tarzan and the Valley of Gold (1966). (At the time Henry was swinging on vines on the big screen, Ron Ely was essaying the role of Tarzan on the small screen in a series that ran for two seasons on NBC.)
Come nightfall, TCM Essentials’ showing of the classic Gary Cooper-Barbara Stanwyck comedy Ball of Fire (1941) at ushers in an evening that examines the romantic relationships of college professors. Vivacious Lady (1938) follows Fire at , and then it’s She’s Working Her Way Through College (12mid), the 1952 remake of The Male Animal (1942; which follows College at 2am) and Young Ideas (1943) at .
October 4, Tuesday – Charlton Heston’s birthday is today and while I was tempted to make a joke about having to pry his cake out of his cold, dead hands I will refrain from such tastelessness and just let you know that films featuring the actor kick off at Bad for Each Other (1953) at 8am, followed by Touch of Evil (1958; 9:30am), Ben Hur (1959; 11:30am), The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959) and 55 Days at Peking (1963; 5:15pm).
October 5, Wednesday – “They try to tell us we’re too young…” And I think that’s what TCM is doing, also—why else would they schedule a festival of films that consists of The Young Lovers (1964; 6:45am), The Young and the Brave (1963; 8:45am), The Young Savages (1961; 10:15am), The Young Doctors (1961; 12:15pm), The Young Philadelphians (1959; 2:00pm) and Young Man with a Horn (1950; 4:30pm)?
October 6, Thursday – Not only do I get to announce that it’s Carole Lombard’s birthday…but I can sneak in a shameless plug for Carole & Co’s Carole-tennial (+3) Blogathon that same day—so before you take time to read the entries of all the fine bloggers participating in this momentous event, you can watch Swing High, Swing Low (1937; 7:30am), In Name Only (1939; 9am), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941; 11am) and To Be or Not to Be (1942; 1pm). You see, the woman born Jane Alice Peters also shares a birthday with Oscar-winning actress Janet Gaynor…and from 2:45pm on it’s Gaynor’s turn to slice up some dessert with Three Loves Has Nancy (1938), followed by A Star is Born (1937; 4pm) and Small Town Girl (1936; 6pm).
October 7, Friday – I’m not saying this to provoke the ire of June Allyson fans out there in the blogosphere…but truth be told, I’ve yet to come across anyone who will come right out and admit: “Gosh all fishhooks, but I’d love to sit down and watch some of June’s movies all day long.” Well, in case there are people out there immersed in Junie’s cult, you’ll get your wish today as TCM fetes her with a birthday tribute that commences at with The Sailor Takes a Wife (1945). Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945; ), Till the Clouds Roll By (1946; ), High Barbaree (1947; ), The Bride Goes Wild (1948; ), Battle Circus (1953; ) and The Opposite Sex (1956; 6pm). (Again, at the risk of having my throat cut Battle Circus is my least favorite Bogart film only because Allyson is in it.)
Come nightfall, TCM schedules some highlights of the oeuvre of the late Peter Yates (who passed away in January): Summer Holiday (1963; 8pm), One Way Pendulum (1964; 10pm)…and yes, the one with the cool car chase, Bullitt (1968; 12 mid).
October 8, Saturday – TCM Essentials’ presentation of Gunga Din (1939) at 8pm kicks off an evening of movies starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.: The Corsican Brothers (1941; ), Sinbad the Sailor (1947; ), Little Caesar (1930; ) and The Rise of Catherine the Great (1934; ).
October 10, Monday – Reason #849 why it’s best to be an only child: you don’t have to wait until your folks marry off your older sibling before you yourself become betrothed. The movies scheduled for today provide us a valuable lesson with showings of Four Daughters (1938; 7am), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954; ), Seven Sweethearts (1942; ), Hobson’s Choice (1954; ), The Taming of the Shrew (1967; ) and Fiddler on the Roof (1971; ). (“Tradition…”)
October 11, Tuesday – Has someone at TCM confused this date for Robert Ryan’s birthday (which is actually November 11)? I won’t say anything if you won’t because they’re going to start off the morning (7:30am) with the movie I mentioned in the comments section of my recent post on Tarantula—1949’s The Woman on Pier 13 (formerly I Married a Communist), in which William Tallman knocks John Agar on his ass with his automobile when attempts to indoctrinate Johnny into Communism fail. That’s followed by Gangway for Tomorrow (1943; 9am), Beware, My Lovely (1952; 10:15am), The Racket (1951; 11:45am), Crossfire (1947; 1:15pm), Act of Violence (1948; 2:45pm), The Set-Up (1949; 4:15) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955; 5:30pm). (Yowsah! Hold my calls!)
October 12, Wednesday – “Kyrie eléison down the road that I must travel…” Yes, this is just my none-too-subtle way of letting you know that all the movies on today’s schedule contain “mister” in the title: (And at the same time, to show the kids in the audience that I make a concerted attempt to keep up with the hip musical trends.) Mr. Wu (1927; 6am), Mr. Dodd Takes the Air (1937; 7:45am), Mr. Chump (1938; 9:15am), Mr. Moto’s Last Warning (1939; 10:30am), Mr. and Mrs. North (1942; 11:45am), Mr. Lucky (1943; 1pm), Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948; 3pm), Mr. Imperium (1951; 4:45pm) and Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953; 6:15pm).
In the evening hours, we get several lessons on just dirty politics can get with a slate of down-and-dirty films set in the political arena: The Manchurian Candidate (1962; 8pm), The Best Man (1964; 10:15pm), The Glass Key (1942; 12:15am), All the King’s Men (1949; 2am) and Advise & Consent (1962; 4am)—not a bad one in the bunch!
October 13, Thursday – Celebrate actor Yves Montand’s birthday a la carte (Tish! I spoke French!) with a collection of his films beginning with Étoile sans lumière (1946; aka Star Without Light) at 6:30am, followed by Les portes de la nuit (1946, aka Gates of the Night; 8am), The Wages of Fear (1953; 9:45am), The Law (1959; 12:15pm), Goodbye Again (1961; 2:30pm) and The Devil by the Tail (1969; 4:45pm).
As evening shadows fall, the legendary Samuel Longhorne Clemens—better known to one and all as Mark Twain—gets a retrospective of films based on his works: Tom Sawyer (1973; 8pm), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939; 10pm), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949; 12mid) and The Prince and the Pauper (1937; 2am). The evening’s entertainment is capped off with the 1944 biopic The Adventures of Mark Twain at .
October 14, Friday – At , watch and enjoy Richard Lester’s classic take on The Three Musketeers (1973)…and that’s followed by…um…The Three Musketeers (1948) at . Then at , it’s…The Three Musketeers (1935). (You know, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear this is all a shameless bit of promotion for the 2011 film, which debuts in theaters on October 21st. Oh, and cult movie fans might want to fire up the DVR-TiVo-or-whatever-recording-device-strikes-your-fancy when TCM Underground shows Heavy Metal  at 3:45am.)
October 15, Saturday – This is your cinema verité…with TCM Essentials’ scheduling of Bicycle Thieves (1948) at 8pm, it’s the go-ahead signal for the channel to salute the neo-realist movement of Italian cinema with additional showings of such highly-regarded films as Riso Amaro (1949—aka Bitter Rice; 10pm), La Strada (1954; 12mid), Rome, Open City (1945; 2am) and Mamma Roma (1962; 4am).
October 17, Monday – TDOY’s favorite chirpy-voiced silver screen siren celebrates a birthday today…and so TCM will pay her a short tribute with The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936; ), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939; )…and my personal favorite of the bunch, A Foreign Affair (1948; ). But all is not peaches and cream for the lovely Jean Arthur—Margarita Carmen Cansino (that’s Rita Hayworth to you, bub) and Edward Montgomery Clift were also born on this date… …so get your fill of that fabulous glamour gal with The Strawberry Blonde (1941; 12:30pm) and The Lady From Shanghai (1947; 2:15pm), and then enjoy two of the best from one of the silver screen’s finest thespians: Red River (1948) at 345pm and From Here to Eternity (1953) at 6pm.
October 18, Tuesday – Warner Brothers’ journeyman Roy Del Ruth celebrates what would have been his 118th natal anniversary today and while most of what’s on tap is from the later stages of his career—It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947; 7:30am), The Babe Ruth Story (1948; 9:30am), Red Light (1949; 11:30am), The West Point Story (1950; 1pm), On Moonlight Bay (1951; 3pm), Starlift (1951; 4:45pm) and Stop, You’re Killing Me (1952; 6:30an)—the tribute kicks off at 6:15am with one of my Holy Grails, 1933’s Bureau of Missing Persons…so I can cross another title off my Warner Archive’s wish list.
October 19, Wednesday – I’m not even done with this post and already I have this tremendous craving for a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I…oh, I know what it’s about—it’s a day of Elvis flicks (uhthankyewverymuch) that kicks off at 6am with Follow That Dream (1962), followed by Kid Galahad (1962; 8am), It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963; 9:45am), Harum Scarum (1965; 11:45am), Tickle Me (1965; 1:15pm), Frankie and Johnny (1966; 3pm), Double Trouble (1967; 4:30pm) and The Trouble with Girls (1969; 6:15pm).
Once Elvis has left the building, the channel will feature some rarely-shown noirs in the evening hours—a couple to watch out for are The Mob (1951; 2:15am), which features Broderick Crawford as a undercover cop trying to smash a waterfront racket (I like this movie, even though Brod seems more like the guy who’d be running the racket in the first place), and the underrated Nightfall (1957; 5:15am) directed by TDOY fave Jacques Tourneur. (The 1949 film Shockproof is also on the schedule at 12:45am, a movie I’ve been trying to snag a copy for some time now.)
October 20, Thursday – Beginning at 8pm, TCM sets aside the evening to salute one of filmdom’s prime cads—Zachary Scott, whose signature role in Mildred Pierce (1945) isn’t included in the lineup but his great turns in The Mask of Dimitrios (1944; 8pm) and The Southerner (1945; —one of his rare good guy roles) will be. Colt .45 (1950; ), Danger Signal (1945; 1am) and Flamingo Road (1949; ) all follow—and the night is capped off by the elusive Bandido (1956; ), which TCM not only has promised to show in the past but letterboxed to boot. (I remain skeptical.)
October 21, Friday – I mentioned in a recent edition of “The Passings Parade” the death of British actor Michael Latimer…and one of his signature movie roles is scheduled to be shown on TCM at , Prehistoric Women (1967)—in which the movie’s protagonists travel back in time to “an era of evil brunettes with blonde slaves.” (The movie is book-ended by the 1965 version of H. Rider Haggard’s She at 8pm and The Viking Queen  at midnight.) The campfest continues on TCM Underground with The Gamma People (1956—“A mad scientist uses gamma rays to turn the country's youth into either geniuses or subhumans at the bidding of an equally mad dictator”) at 2am…followed by Bert I. Gordon’s immortal Village of the Giants (1965) at 3:30am.
October 22, Saturday – Oh, sure…TCM Essentials’ umpteenth unspooling of An American in Paris (1951) could usher in rest-of-the-night tributes to Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron or Oscar Levant…but instead, Nina Foch grabs the spotlight at 8pm, and continues with Illegal (1955; 10pm), the great B-pic My Name is Julia Ross (1945; 11:45pm), the not-so-great B-pic Cry of the Werewolf (1944; 1am), Executive Suite (1954; 2:15am) and I Love a Mystery (1945; 4:15am).
October 24, Monday – A few months back, TCM had to preempt a scheduled showing of the 1947 film noir Riffraff when a Hollywood notable passed away (and I’m too lazy to go back and look to see who it was) so it’s wonderful to see that it’s been rescheduled at 12:45pm. It’s part of a tribute to character actor Walter Slezak, who’ll also be feted with This Land is Mine (1943; 7:45am), Step Lively (1944; 9:30am), Cornered (1945; 11am), The Yellow Cab Man (1950; 2:15pm), The Miracle (1959; 3:45pm)…and that Dr. Coppelius (1966; 6pm, aka The Mysterious House of Dr. C) movie that TCM seems to show every month.
October 25, Tuesday – No, it’s not Jack Lemmon’s birthday—but that’s not going to keep me from bringing in a sheet cake because…well, doggone it, I like cake. So while we stuff ourselves we can settle in and watch Mister Roberts (1955; ), Bell Book and Candle (1958; 9am), Days of Wine and Roses (1962; 11am), Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963; 1pm) and Irma La Douce (1963; 3pm).
October 27, Thursday – Two days later, a legitimate birthday! (Probably shouldn’t have spent that money on the Lemmon cake…get it? Lemmon…cake…hoo boy…) Enjoy a festival of films featuring one of TDOY’s favorite actresses, Teresa Wright: The Little Foxes (1941; 6am), Casanova Brown (1944; 8am), Enchantment (1948; 9:45am), California Conquest (1952; 11:30am), Count the Hours (1953; 1pm), Escapade in Japan (1957; 2:30pm) and an episode of Screen Directors’ Playhouse, “No. 5 Checked Out” at 4:15pm.
October 28, Friday – Finally, before Turner Classic Movies unleashes a bodacious marathon of horror movies beginning at 8pm on Saturday, October 29 (TCM starts off with movies from the Val Lewton production stable, including TDOY fave The Seventh Victim and the Martin Scorsese documentary Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows), get a preview of things to come the night before with a festival of “evil twin” movies that includes Dead Ringer (1964; 8pm), The Black Room (1935; 10pm), The Other (1972; 11:15pm) and Dead Men Walk (1943; 1am). (TCM Underground also has on hand a nifty pair of cult movies beginning at 2:15am: Motel Hell  and 10 Rillington Place [1971; 4am].)