Kowabunga, cartooners! Bet you’re surprised at how quickly TDOY’s regular feature highlighting the goodies to come on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ is up and running this month. The lion’s share (rowrrr…) of the credit goes to the indispensable Laura at Miscellaneous Musings, who located the tentative March schedule and whose Internets sleuthing skills have placed her in serious contention for a Saturday morning cartoon series in which she solves mysteries accompanied by a semi-talking dog (“Rut roh, Raura!”). Okay, I may be making that up but after TCM’s “31 Days of Oscar” in February (and the first few days in March) fans will no doubt be anxious to get back to viewing choices of the “variety is the spice of life” nature…and the channel doesn’t disappoint this month, to be certain.
The Star of the Month will be Karl Malden, the Oscar-winning thespian who was familiar to me (before I became obsessed with classic movies) from his hit TV crime drama The Streets of San Francisco (1972-77) and his tireless shilling of American Express Travelers Checks (“Don’t leave home without them…”).
has been a longtime favorite here at TDOY, and with every Wednesday in March, the man born Mladen Sekulovich will be feted via a 25-film tribute (including his solo foray behind the camera, 1957’s Time Limit) that shapes up as follows: Malden
Wednesday – March 7
Ruby Gentry (1952)
12:00am Baby Doll (1956)
02:00am Dead Ringer (1964)
04:00am Murderer’s Row (1966)
Thursday – March 8
06:00am The Sellout (1952)
07:30am Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954)
Wednesday – March 14
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Time Limit (1957)
02:00am Hotel (1967)
04:15am Billion Dollar Brain (1967)
Thursday – March 15
Come Fly With Me (1963)
Wednesday – March 21
Nevada Smith (1966)
The Hanging Tree (1959)
How the West Was Won (1962)
All Fall Down (1962)
05:15am Meteor (1979)
Thursday – March 22
07:15am Boomerang! (1947)
Wednesday – March 28
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
I Confess (1953)
Take the High Ground! (1953)
04:15am Bombers B-52 (1957)
Thursday – March 29
Hot Millions (1968)
Also on tap for the month is a festival that TCM is titling the “British New Wave,” a fertile period of filmmaking from the late 1950s to early 1970s when disaffected working class British youth were often the focus of feature films (movies often referred to as “kitchen sink dramas”) and were quite popular with UK moviegoers; theatre patrons being rewarded with outstanding works from the likes of Tony Richardson, John Schlesinger, Richard Lester and many, many more. I’ve been fortunate to catch many of the movies scheduled in other venues (chiefly on Flix On Demand) but there are one or two of these I haven’t seen, so I’m jazzed about the 20-film tribute:
Monday – March 5
Room at the Top (1959)
Look Back in Anger (1959)
12:00am The Entertainer (1960)
03:45am Victim (1961)
Monday – March 12
A Kind of Loving (1962)
The L-Shaped Room (1962)
12:15am The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
A Taste of Honey (1961)
04:00am Girl with Green Eyes (1964)
Monday – March 19
This Sporting Life (1963)
Billy Liar (1963)
12:15am Tom Jones (1963)
02:30am Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964)
Only Two Can Play (1962)
Monday – March 26
12:15am The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
02:30am The Knack…and How to Get It (1965)
04:00am Petulia (1968)
The last time Victim was on TCM, I foolishly assumed (silly ol’ me) that the running time indicated on their website was the correct one…and as such, lost about the last ten minutes of the movie when I recorded it. So I’m glad to see that it’s making the rounds on the channel again. And now for a rundown on what else you can expect to see in the month of March…keeping in mind, of course, that all times are EST and are subject to change.
March 3, Saturday – Every Saturday morning in March, the channel has scheduled cinematic fun with Moe, Larry and Curly Joe—the Three Stooges. Their 1959 feature film debut, Have Rocket – Will Travel kicks off the month (at 9:15am) and that’s followed on March 10 by my favorite of the Stooge features, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962; also 9:15am). The boys get a day off on March 17 (due to the scheduling of some St. Paddy’s Day movies) but resume the following week with The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze (1963; 9am) and conclude on March 31 with their last feature for Columbia, The Outlaws is Coming (1965; 9am).
I guess the third and last of the Gerald Mohr Lone Wolf movies, The Lone Wolf in London (1947), isn’t available for broadcast because TCM finishes up its showing of the adventures of Michael Lanyard with the 1949 effort starring Ron Randell, The Lone Wolf and His Lady (10:45am). The following week, the channel dips into the
film library with the first of one of my favorites in their many film series, Meet Boston Blackie (1941; ). Yes, after the March 17 break Chester Morris, Richard Lane and George E. “Runt” Stone will return on the 24th with Confessions of Boston Blackie (1941; 10:45am) and then it’s Alias Boston Blackie (1942; 10:30am) to close out March. (I’m thinking I may have to drag out my collection of these entertaining little B-mysteries and maybe do some write-ups on them on the day before they’re shown on TCM.) Columbia
Meanwhile, back in the jungle…our tropical forest compadre Bomba will bring his Monogram/Allied Artists series to a close with The Golden Idol (1954) on the 3rd, with Killer Leopard (1954) following on the tenth and Lord of the Jungle (1955) on the 24th. (I wonder if Johnny Weissmuller knows about this usurpation of his throne?) The channel will round out the jungle antics on the 31st with 1933’s Tarzan the Fearless (with Buster Crabbe); all four of these movies will be shown at high noon.
Come nightfall, TCM Essentials’ scheduling of Some Like it Hot (1959) at 8pm ushers in what the channel is calling “Bands on the Run”…though some of these musical aggregations in the films to follow aren’t really running, at least not in the Paul McCartney & Wings sense. Be that as it may, I’m sure my pal B. Goode at Gonna Put Me in the Movies will be settling in with these musically-themed films: The Glenn Miller Story (1955) at 10:15pm, followed by Rock Around the Clock (1956, 12:15am), This is Spinal Tap (1984; 2am), Hollywood Barn Dance (1947; 3:30am—starring Ernest Tubb!) and Elvis’ Girl Happy (1965) at 5am.
March 4, Sunday – My boon blogging buddy Stacia will no doubt be thrilled to learn that TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights will triumphantly return from Oscar slumber in March with a showing of Greta Garbo’s The Temptress (1926) but cult movie fans might want to get some Z’s during Garbo to wake up in time for a showing of La jetée (1962) at 4am. This is followed by the 1969 film adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man (1969) at …and I could tell you it’s as good as the book but that would be a teensy fib on my part.
March 6, Tuesday – TCM pays tribute to one of the silver screen’s most beloved character thespians by filling the daytime hours with films featuring Guy Kibbee (in honor of his 130th natal anniversary—wowzers!). Several of the films scheduled have been on my “want list” for quite a while: Laughing Sinners (1931; 7:30am), Side Show (1931; 8:45am), Fireman, Save My Child (1932; 10am), The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932; 11:15am), Girl Missing (1933; 12:30pm), Havana Widows (1933; 1:45pm), The Silk Express (1933; 3pm), Big Hearted Herbert (1934; 4:15pm), Harold Teen (1934; 5:30pm) and Merry Wives of Reno (1934; 6:45pm).
Now, when evening shadows fall it’s another story: the channel will salute TDOY goddess Jean Arthur, and one of the movies scheduled in that tribute is The Public Menace (1935; 12mid)…which a lot of people were looking forward to seeing the last time the Tee Cee Em people planned to show it until it was yanked like a vaudevillian into the stage wings. History is Made at Night (1937); a movie I’ve wanted to see for some time now is also scheduled at press time () so we will see what happens. If push comes to shove, I shall just have to console myself with The Talk of the Town (1942; 8pm), The More the Merrier (1943; ) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936; ) (though I will pout a little).
March 7, Wednesday – One of my favorite films to be sent up on Mystery Science Theater 3000 is the delightfully goofy Mamie van Doren romp Untamed Youth (1957), which gets an airing at 6am. It won’t be as entertaining without Joel and the bots, though…I wonder what Scott of World O’Crap will be doing at that hour…?
March 8, Thursday – News flash! Reports of individuals being croaked by members of the female persuasion start to file into the TCM newsroom beginning at 8pm with Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), followed by one of my personal film favorites, the 1968 cult classic Pretty Poison at 10:15pm. The mayhem continues throughout the evening with Madeleine (1950; 12mid), What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969; 2am) and The Nanny (1965; 4am). (Seriously…would you hire Bette Davis as a governess? I would imagine you’d get tired of watching her enter the playroom and emoting “What a dump!” after a time.)
March 9, Friday – TCM’s scheduling at 6am of the very first visit with the Hardy clan, A Family Affair (1937), ushers in a fistful of films focusing on siblings: The Sisters (1938; 7:15am), The Gay Sisters (1942; 9am), Two Girls and a Sailor (1944; 11am), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944; 1:15pm), Twice Blessed (1945; 3:15pm), Wallflower (1948; 4:45pm) and Two Weeks with Love (1950; 6:15pm).
In TCM’s evening hours, French actor Yves Montand is in the spotlight with a three-film homage: Goodbye Again (1961; 8pm), Let’s Make Love (1960; ) and Tout va bien (1972; ). And on TCM Underground, the old joke “How much would you charge to haunt a house?” is ignored when The Legend of Hell House (1973) and 13 Ghosts (1960) get a showing at and , respectively.
March 10, Saturday – Before you settle in with today’s 3 Stooges-Boston Blackie-Bomba triple feature, the channel will show The Breaking Point (1950) at …a must-see movie, I’m telling you.
The Razor’s Edge (1946) is the feature on TCM Essentials later in the evening, and its presence kicks off a night-long hat doffer to beloved character actor Clifton Webb: For Heaven’s Sake (1950; 10:45pm), Mister Scoutmaster (1953; 12:30am), Sitting Pretty (1948; 3:15am—spring forward, fall back) and Boy on a Dolphin (1957; 3:45am). (I cannot emphasize enough the debt TDOY owes to Webb because without him Peabody’s Improbable History would have had to look elsewhere for its titular character’s inspiration.)
March 11, Sunday – The channel provides the necessary “oomph” into its lineup by spotlighting an Ann Sheridan double feature: I Was a Male War Bride (1949; 8pm) and George Washington Slept Here (1942; 10pm). In the case of Bride and the previously mentioned Clifton Webb films, it’s refreshing to see so many 20th Century-Fox films turning up on TCM in a commercial-free format (yes, that’s my FXM slam for this post).
March 12, Monday – Poor “Wild Bill” Wellman. He never gets a proper birthday shout-out, owing to the fact that he was a Leap Year baby and in the years when TCM could be programming his films they’re in full-swing with 31 Days of Oscar. So he’ll just have to make do today with schedulings of Frisco Jenny (1932; 7:30am), The Purchase Price (1932; 8:45am), Central Airport (1933; 10am), A Star is Born (1937; 11:15am), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943; 1:15pm), Story of G.I. Joe (1945; 2:45pm), Gallant Journey (1946; 4:45pm) and Lafayette Escadrille (1958; 6:15pm).
March 13, Tuesday – Ah, the hotel bidness…I did love it so. TCM seems to share my sarcastic sentiment, because they’ve filled up the daytime hours with the feature films Honeymoon Hotel (1964; 6am), A Night at the Ritz (1935; 7:30am), Hollywood Hotel (1937; 8:45am), Week-End at the Waldorf (1945; 10:45am), Hotel Reserve (1944; 1pm), Love in the Afternoon (1957; 2:30pm), Palm Springs Weekend (1963; 4:45pm) and A Place for Lovers (1969; 6:30pm).
Check-out time must be 8pm, because that’s when TCM major domo Robert Osborne pulls out his projector to show four of his personal picks (I’ve seen them all, and I commend Bobby Osbo on his good taste): Ladies in Retirement (1941; 8pm), 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932; 10pm), I See a Dark Stranger (1946; 11:30pm) and The Lodger (1944; 1:30am).
March 14, Wednesday – Two-time Academy Award winner Michael Caine will celebrate his 79th natal anniversary on this date, so the channel will do his birthday up right with Carve Her Name with Pride (1958; 8am), The Key (1958; 10:15am), The Two-Headed Spy (1958; 12:30pm), The Wrong Box (1966; 2:15pm), Get Carter (1971; 4:15pm) and Pulp (1972; 6:15pm). (Not that I would warn you away from anything Caine has done movie-wise but I should caution you that his participation in the first three films comprising today’s line-up is miniscule at best.)
March 15, Thursday – TCM being TCM, it should come as no surprise that they would pay tribute to famed acting doormat George Brent on his 113th natal anniversary with The Golden Arrow (1936; 1:45pm), Racket Busters (1938; 3pm), Secrets of an Actress (1938; 4:15pm) and The Great Lie (1941; 5:30am). As for those of us not taken with George, the channel has a trio of Randolph Scott movies in the morning beginning at 8:15 with Virginia City (1940) and followed by Fighting Man of the Plains (1949; 10:15am) and longtime TDOY fave Ride the High Country (1962) at high noon.
This isn’t an entirely new occurrence around Rancho Yesteryear, but I have a habit of sometimes missing the ends of movies I record because I apparently cannot do simple math. Therefore, I will get an opportunity to record John Ford’s Flesh (1932) again—an entertaining feature with a surprisingly good performance from Wallace Beery—when it airs at 4am as part of TCM’s tribute to “John Ford in the 30s.” Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) kicks off the evening at , followed by The Whole Town’s Talking (1935; 10pm), Mary of Scotland (1936; ) and Stagecoach (1939; 2am).
March 16, Friday – Comedian Jerry Lewis will turn 86 on this day, and TCM will do what it can to recognize that fact with an anemic lineup of At War With the Army (1950) at 10am followed by Hook, Line and Sinker (1968; 12noon), Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (1967; 2pm), The Big Mouth (1967; 4pm) and Three on a Couch (1966; 6pm). (Okay, the first one isn’t so bad but that’s because it’s when he was still teamed with Dean Martin.)
After the Lewis tribute, the channel gives a three-film lecture on Greek mythology beginning with my favorite Ray Harryhausen film, Jason and the Argonauts (1963) at 8pm, followed by Clash of the Titans (1981) at 10 and Helen of Troy (1956) at 12:15pm. (The 1967 cult fromage films She Freak and Berserk will be shown afterward on TCM Underground but I’m reasonably sure they have no basis in Greek legends.)
March 17, Saturday –
Erin go bragh! TCM celebrates the wearing of the green with The Key (1934) at 6am, followed by My Wild Irish Rose (1947; 7:15am), The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady (1950; 9am), The Irish in Us (1935; 10:45am), Shake Hands with the Devil (1959; 12:15pm), The Rising of the Moon (1957; 2:15pm), The Last Hurrah (1958; 3:45pm) and Young Cassidy (1965; 6pm). (I am so glad I’m out of the night auditing business, by the way…and St. Patrick’s Day in is the main reason for my non-regret.) Savannah
TCM Essentials’ 8pm scheduling of Alice Adams (1935) is the channel’s cue to pay tribute to films based on the works of Booth Tarkington; Orson Welles’ masterpiece The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) follows Alice at 10 and then it’s Presenting Lily Mars (1943; 11:45pm), Penrod and Sam (1937; 1:45am), Little Orvie (1940; 3am) and Father’s Son (1941; 4:30am).
March 19, Monday – Before instituting a lineup of films dealing with the medical profession, TCM is going to show in the wee a.m. hours two “sleeper” films worthy of your attention—I’ve seen one of them, God’s Gift to Women (1931; 6:15am), and it’s a curio for Louise Brooks fans (her part, to borrow a famous Jim Backus quip, “is shorter than the wine list on an airplane”) but the one I haven’t is Men Must Fight (1933), which airs before Lulu at 5 (it gets a nice thumbs-up in Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide so I’m curious to check it out).
But as “for duty and humanity”—Men in White (1934; 7:30am), The Murder of Dr. Harrigan (1936; 9am), The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940; 10:15am), Dangerously They Live (1941; 11:45am), Three Men in White (1944; 1:15pm), The Doctor and the Girl (1949; 2:45pm), The Girl in White (1952; 4:30pm) and The Doctor’s Dilemma (1958; 6:15pm) are all featured today.
March 20, Tuesday – TCM’s “Guest Programmer,” Village Voice cartoonist and author Jules Feiffer, will have a chinwag with Bobby Osbo while the two of them unspool Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933; 8pm), My Man Godfrey (1936; 10pm), They Drive by Night (1940; 11:45pm) and This Gun for Hire (1942; 1:30am). (You just know Big Hollywood’s John Nolte is working himself up into a righteous froth about now.)
March 21, Wednesday – Less than a year after her death, the channel will remind us of the loss we suffered from the passing of silver screen icon Elizabeth Taylor with a film tribute that starts with Cynthia (1947) at 6:15am and continues with Conspirator (1949; 8am), Love is Better than Ever (1952; 9:30am), Rhapsody (1954; 11am), BUtterfield 8 (1960; 1pm), The Sandpiper (1965; 3pm) and The Comedians (1967; 5pm).
March 22, Thursday – TCM kicks off a “monster mash” beginning at with the monarch of all radioactive beasties, Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956). The “Thunder Lizard’s” loyal subjects then follow: The Magnetic Monster (1953; ), The Giant Behemoth (1959; ), X: the Unknown (1956; ), The H-Man (1958; ), Die, Monster, Die! (1965; ) and Them! (1954; ).
The channel’s evening hours will be dedicated to what it’s calling “Later Rosalind Russell”…and to be honest, I’m not quite sure what constitutes the “later” part because 1949’s Tell it to the Judge is scheduled among these vehicles (at 5am). Kicking things off at is Roz’s wacky nun romp Where Angels Go…Trouble Follows! (1966). It’s followed by A Majority of One (1961; 10pm), Five Finger Exercise (1962; 1am) and the actress’ last theatrical film, Mrs. Pollifax—Spy (1971; 3am).
March 23, Friday – It’s Bronte-mania! The channel offers up a three-film salute to the famous literary sibs with Emily’s Wuthering Heights (1939) at followed by
’s Jane Eyre (1943) at 10. Then at , see the absotively, posilutely true story…well, okay, they take a lot of literary license with it but it’s still a kicky movie to watch—Devotion (1946), with Ida Lupino (Em) and Olivia de Havilland (Char). Charlotte
March 25, Sunday – The channel pays tribute to one of my favorite filmmakers, to whom my pal Edward Copeland penned a nice homage last year on his centennial birthday. You can sample two of director Jules Dassin’s film classics with Night and the City (1950) at 8pm and Brute Force (1947) at 10pm.
My DVD recorder can hold about 4 hours and 20 minutes of programming in LP mode—anything less than that gets a 2-star rating in terms of video quality, according to the manual. So that will sort of make my wanting a copy of Abel Gance’s La roue (1923) when it’s shown on Silent Sunday Nights a bit of a logistical setback since I don’t think I can stay awake for the entire presentation. (Update: Just got an e-mail that mentions its availability on Fandor…maybe I won’t have to hook myself up to a Mountain Dew IV drip after all.)
March 26, Monday – Happy birthday, Sterling Hayden! We’ll grab some cake and ice cream—“Ice cream, Mandrake? Children’s ice cream?—and settle in for some of his work with The Asphalt Jungle (1950; ), The Star (1952; ), So Big (1953; 10am), Arrow in the Dust (1954; ), Suddenly (1954; ), Zero Hour! (1957; ), Terror in a Texas Town (1958; ) and of course, Dr, Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964; ).
March 27, Tuesday – The evening hours of TCM are turned over to movies featuring TDOY idol Robert Mitchum…and the first film in the line-up is one of my favorites of Big Bad Bob’s, the 1962 noir thriller Cape Fear. That’s followed by River of No Return (1954; 10pm), The Night of the Hunter (1955; 12mid), Rampage (1963; 2pm) and finally Going Home (1971; 4am)—a dandy little sleeper of a film that also stars Brenda Vaccaro and Jan-Michael Vincent.
March 28, Wednesday – We’ll set up a card table over here for the younger folk so they can celebrate child star Freddie Bartholomew’s birthday with a lineup featuring David Copperfield (1935; 6am), The Devil is a Sissy (1936; 8:15am) and Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936; 10am). Then when they head out to the backyard to play, the rest of us adults will treat ourselves to an open bar as we honor Kate Gabrielle fave Dirk Bogarde’s natal anniversary with The Spanish Gardner (1956; 12noon), Libel (1959; 2pm), The Password is Courage (1962; 4pm) and Damn the Defiant! (1962; 6pm). (I’m just concerned about the little tykes driving us home.)
March 29, Thursday – Here’s the lineup: Scott of the Antarctic (1948) at , followed by Ice Station Zebra (1968; 10pm), Dirigible (1931; ), The Viking (1931; ), With Byrd at the South Pole (1930; ) and The Thing from Another World (1951; ). TCM is calling this “Polar Opposites.” (And you thought my jokes were bad.)
March 30, Friday – The channel schedules a Billy Wilder twofer, The Seven Year Itch (1955; 8pm) and The Lost Weekend (1945; 10pm), to accommodate a repeat of the 2006 documentary Billy Wilder Speaks at midnight…but the big draw on this date is that TCM Underground is going to repeat Heavy Metal (1981) again at 3:45am for those of us who missed it the last time it was on.
March 31, Saturday – Finally, TCM Essentials is showing one of those silent films that’s a must-see for any serious filmgoer’s education in Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)…and that ushers in a mini-festival the channel dubs “The Lady is a Vamp” (well, they’re getting better) with Hallelujah! (1929) at , followed by Born to Kill (1947; 12mid), Human Desire (1954; ) and Ah, Wilderness! (1935) closing out the month at .