Thursday, October 31, 2013

Coming distractions: November 2013 on TCM

Well, it came down to the wire this month—and in fact, I debated long and hard as to whether it was going to get done, with all the “stuff” that’s on my plate—but in the end, I didn’t want folks to be disappointed that Thrilling Days of Yesteryear was going to skip another segment of Coming Distractions, the handy viewer’s guide to let you know what’s in store for you on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ in November.  I did get an assist, however; Tee Cee Em has a new way of putting their tentative schedules up, which sort of makes it easier for me to cobble these together (in the cut-and-paste sense, that is).

Monday nights on the channel, TCM continues to tell The Story of Film: An Odyssey—the fifteen-part documentary on moviemaking that is supplemented with examples from the flicks discussed in each chapter.  This will continue for the first two Monday nights in December, after which they will have found something else to amuse themselves.  (Also, too; they’ve eliminated the Tuesday nights that were originally designated to carrying the load.)  So here’s what Mondays will look like:

November 4, Monday
08:00pm My Brilliant Career (1979)
10:15pm Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
12:15am Alice in the Cities (1974)
02:15am The Story of Film: An Odyssey – 1969-1979: Radical Directors in the 70s - Make State of the Nation Movies (2011)
03:30am Xala (1975)
05:45am The Battle of Chile: Part 1 (1975)

November 5, Tuesday
07:30am The Battle of Chile: Part 2 (1976)

November 11, Monday
08:00pm Jaws (1975)
10:15pm Zanjeer (1973)
12:45am Enter the Dragon (1973)
02:30am The Story of Film: An Odyssey – 1970s and Onwards: Innovation in Popular Culture - Around the World (2011)
03:45am The Message (1976)

November 18, Monday
08:00pm Gregory's Girl (1981)
10:00pm The Elephant Man (1980)
12:15am Yeelen (1987)
02:15am The Story of Film: An Odyssey – The 1980s: Moviemaking and Protest - Around the World (2011)
03:30am Repentance (1984)

November 25, Monday
08:00pm Days of Being Wild (1990)
10:00pm Where Is My Friend's House? (1989)
12:00am Beau Travail (1999)
02:00am The Story of Film: An Odyssey – 1990-1998: The Last Days of Celluloid - Before the Coming of Digital (2011)
03:15am Funny Games (1997)
05:00am Touki-Bouki (1973)

Wednesday nights in November, TCM’s Star of the Month is one of TDOY’s all-time faves: the one and only Burt Lancaster.  There’ll be twenty-nine movies celebrating the Academy Award-winning actor (including the one that got him his Oscar, 1960’s Elmer Gantry), and I think they have a nice representation of Burt’s films from his debut performance in The Killers (1946), to one of my favorite turns in the latter part of his career, Field of Dreams (1989).  There are also a couple of rarities on the schedule—Mister 880 (1950) and The Gypsy Moths (1969)—and on a personal note, try not to miss The Swimmer (1968) if you haven’t seen it already.  Here’s the Lancaster Lineup:

November 6, Wednesday
08:00pm The Killers (1946)
10:00pm Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
11:45pm From Here to Eternity (1953)
02:00am The Swimmer (1968)
04:00am The Gypsy Moths (1969)            

November 7, Thursday
06:00am Jim Thorpe – All American (1951)
08:00am The Flame and the Arrow (1950)
09:30am Apache (1954)

November 13, Wednesday
08:00pm Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
10:15pm Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
12:00am Elmer Gantry (1960)
02:30am Seven Days in May (1964)
04:45am His Majesty O'Keefe (1954)

November 14, Thursday
06:30am The Devil’s Disciple (1959)
08:00am The Hallelujah Trail (1965)

November 20, Wednesday
08:00pm Mister 880 (1950)
09:45pm Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
01:00am Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
03:45am The Train (1965)

November 21, Thursday
06:00am A Child is Waiting (1963)
08:00am South Sea Woman (1953)
09:45am Ten Tall Men (1951)

November 27, Wednesday
08:00pm Field of Dreams (1989)
10:00pm The Leopard (1963)
01:15am The Professionals (1966)
03:30am The Crimson Pirate (1952)
05:30am Brute Force (1947)

November 28, Thursday
07:15am The Young Savages (1961)
09:00am Vengeance Valley (1951)

And on Finally Fridays…a movie genre that’s a little closer to ol’ Uncle Ivan’s heart.  TCM will usher in the weekends with a festival of screwball comedies, so if there’s not a basketball game scheduled on those nights (ha!) he’ll be able to sit down and enjoy 29 films featuring “the motley mountebanks, the clowns, the buffoons, in all times and in all nations, whose efforts have lightened our burden a little.”  (But with a little sex in it.)

November 1, Friday
08:00pm It Happened One Night (1934)
10:00pm His Girl Friday (1940)
11:45pm Libeled Lady (1936)     
01:30am Nothing Sacred (1937)
03:00am The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
04:30am The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)

November 8, Friday
08:00pm The Awful Truth (1937)
09:45pm My Favorite Wife (1940)
11:30pm Love Crazy (1941)
01:15am Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
03:00am Too Many Husbands (1940)
04:30am Vivacious Lady (1938)

November 15, Friday
08:00pm Theodora Goes Wild (1936)
09:45pm Twentieth Century (1934)        
11:30pm Easy Living (1937)
01:15am It's a Wonderful World (1939)
02:45am Merrily We Live (1938)
04:30am If You Could Only Cook (1935)

November 22. Friday
08:00pm My Man Godfrey (1936)
10:00pm Bringing Up Baby (1938)
12:00am Ball of Fire (1941)         
02:00am You Can't Take It with You (1938)
04:15am Joy of Living (1938)

November 29, Friday
08:00pm The Lady Eve (1941)
09:45pm Christmas in July (1940)
11:00pm The Palm Beach Story (1942)
12:45am Four's a Crowd (1938)
02:30am Topper (1937)
04:15am Turnabout (1940)

What’s that you say?  Is this the end of the post?  Au contraire, my faithful readership!  There’s much more on the schedule, so follow me as we hit some of the highlights…

November 1, Friday – Before the screwball comedies begin at nightfall, the channel sets aside the daylight hours for some prime crime entertainments…beginning with The Beast of the City (1932) at 10am, followed by The Wet Parade (1932; 11:30am), Between Midnight and Dawn (1950; 1:30pm), Mask of the Avenger (1951; 3:15pm), Scandal Sheet (1952; 4:45pm) and The Brothers Rico (1957; 6:15pm).

November 2, Saturday – TCM dips into the MGM features library and comes up with the movie series featuring Mary Anastasia O’Connor…better known by her professional name, Maisie Revere.  Yes, the first of the musical comedy programmers starring Ann Sothern will unspool at 10:30 with Maisie (1939), and then each following Saturday (at the same time) it’s Congo Maisie (1940; November 9), Gold Rush Maisie (1940; November 16), Maisie Was a Lady (1941; November 23)…and Ringside Maisie (1941) closing out the month on November 30th.

At 8pm, Robert Osborne and his trusty sidekick Drew Barrymore kick off another edition of The Essentials with How Green Was My Valley (1941)…and the movies that follow play on the theme of “small town poverty.”  It’s God’s Little Acre (1958) at 10:15pm, then Silkwood (1983) at 12:15am (I’m not sure this last movie qualifies, but what the hey…).

On TCM Underground, the proceedings kick off with a 2010 documentary: Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film.  Examples of the type of filmmaking discussed follow at 4am: Diagonal Symphony (1919), Meshes of the Afternoon (1944), Orchard Street (1955), Symmetricks (1972), Cassis (1966), Notes on the Circus (1966), Rhythmus 21 (1921), Science Friction (1959), Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928) and Little Stabs at Happiness (1963).

November 3, Sunday – It’s the same ol’ story on Sunday night: Rita Hayworth is the titular Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) at 8pm, followed by an earlier version of Sadie’s tale, Rain (1932), at 10pm.  Now, if TCM had really wanted to tidy this up they would have scheduled the 1928 Gloria Swanson version (Sadie Thompson) at midnight as part of Silent Sunday Nights.  Instead, they’ll show The Goddess (1934), and then finish the prostitution theme with Story of a Prostitute (1965) at 2am and Women of the Night (1948) at 4.

November 4, Monday – Today marks what would have been the centennial birthday of “the poor man’s Cary Grant”—none other than Academy Award-winning actor Gig Young hissownself.  Air Force (1943) kicks off the tribute at 6am, followed by Old Acquaintance (1943; 8:15am), The Three Musketeers (1948; 10:15am), The Women in White (1948; 12:30pm), Hunt the Man Down (1950; 2:30pm), Too Young to Kiss (1951; 3:45pm), Holiday for Sinners (1952; 5:15pm) and Torch Song (1953; 6:30pm).

November 5, Tuesday – In what only seems like an amazing coinkydink—today marks another centennial birthday; this one belongs to two-time Academy Award-winner Vivien Leigh…and fittingly, the channel dedicates the entire day to her cinematic output.  Which seems as good a time as any to suggest to Leigh fans that the timing couldn’t be better to purchase a copy of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, a lavishly illustrated coffee table book biography written by none other than Viv and Larry doyenne Kendra Bean.  (Congrats, Kendra!)  The daylong activities are as follows:

09:30am Waterloo Bridge (1940)
11:30am Ship of Fools (1965)
02:00pm Anna Karenina (1948)                 
04:00pm Fire Over England (1937)
05:45pm That Hamilton Woman (1941)
08:00pm A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
10:15pm Gone with the Wind (1939)
02:15am Storm in a Teacup (1937)
04:00am The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)
05:45am Dark Journey (1937)
07:15am Caesar and Cleopatra (1946)

November 6, Wednesday – Actor Joel McCrea shares the same birthdate as Vivien Leigh…but since she received all the accolades the previous day, the channel wishes him belated birthday greetings (unfortunately, the cake is stale and the ice cream melted…bummer).  Still, there’s some nice cinematic goodies featuring one of TDOY’s favorite performers, beginning with Bird of Paradise (1932) at 9:30am, then it’s The Most Dangerous Game (1932; 11:15am), Primrose Path (1940; 12:30pm), The More the Merrier (1943; 2:15pm), Colorado Territory (1949; 4:15pm) and Stars in My Crown (1950; 6pm).

November 7, Thursday – The channel dedicates the daylight hours to the work of William “Wild Bill” Wellman today, beginning with The Story of G.I. Joe (1945) at 11:15am.  This Man’s Navy (1945) follows at 1:15pm, then it’s The Happy Years (1950; 3pm), The Next Voice You Hear… (1950; 5pm) and It’s a Big Country (1951) at 6:30.

One of Wellman’s best remembered films is the 1931 Barbara Stanwyck pre-Code Night Nurse…and you’d think that with the evening theme of “Nurse Night,” Tee Cee Em would find a slot for it.  Well, if you are thinking that you are SOS—instead, you’ll have to make do with A Farewell to Arms (1957; 8pm), Sister Kenny (1946; 10:45pm), The White Angel (1936; 12:45am), Cry ‘Havoc’ (1943; 2:30am) and Four Girls in White (1939; 4:15am).

November 8, Friday – Before the onslaught of screwball comedies come evening, the morning theme on TCM will be “Ruthless People.”  (Okay, I made that up myself.)  The films scheduled are The Front Page (1931; 6:30am), The Match King (1932; 8:15am), Oil for the Lamps of China (1935; 10am), The Hucksters (1947; 12noon), Executive Suite (1954; 2:15pm), Patterns (1956; 4:15pm) and The Power and the Prize (1956; 6pm).

November 9, Saturday – Bobbo and Drewo are back with another edition of The Essentials: it’s Gold Diggers of 1933 at 8pm, and that means a teensy tribute to actor-crooner Dick Powell will follow.  The Reformer and the Redhead (1950) is up at 10pm, a feature that co-stars Mrs. Powell (June Allyson), and then the evening comes to its inevitable conclusion with Cornered (1945) at midnight.  TCM Underground has a couple of oddities on hand, by the way; one of director Jonathan Kaplan’s (The Accused, Unlawful Entry) early features, The Slams (1973), is on at 3:45am…it follows the intriguingly titled Disco Godfather (1979), which is on at 2am.

November 10, Sunday – The evening schedule is devoted to “revisionist Westerns”—High Plains Drifter (1973) at 8pm, followed by one of my favorites, Monte Walsh (1970) at 10.  If you stretch it some, you can even include the Silent Sunday Nights double feature of An Eastern Westerner (1920) and Go West (1925), which kicks off at midnight.  Later in the wee a.m. hours—a pair of cult classics: Walkabout (1971) at 2am and The Cars That Ate Paris (1974; 3:45am).

November 11, Monday – Happy birthday to TDOY fave Robert Ryan!  You simply cannot go wrong with any of the movies scheduled today:  Berlin Express (1948; 6am), Act of Violence (1949; 7:30am), Crossfire (1947; 9am), The Set-Up (1949; 10:30am), Beware, My Lovely (1952; 11:45am), On Dangerous Ground (1952; 1:15pm), Born to Be Bad (1950; 2:45pm), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955; 4:30pm) and Billy Budd (1962; 6pm).

November 12, Tuesday – Yes, in the primetime hours, it’s Exhibit #6,194 demonstrating just how out of touch your humble narrator is—Simon Helberg is this evening’s guest programmer, and I had to look up who he was.  (In my defense: my father asked me who James Taylor is when he’s not tending bar after watching his World Series singing debacle the other night—so there’s at least one individual less hip than I.)  Mr. Helberg is apparently a Peter Sellers fan (you silly twisted boy), opting to schedule The Party (1968) at 8pm and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) afterward at 9:45pm.  His remaining choices, Brief Encounter (1945) and Modern Romance (1981) air at 11:30pm and 1:15am, respectively.

November 14, Thursday – The channel has a passel of William Seiter films on tap today…but since none of them are Peach O’Reno, Diplomaniacs or Sons of the Desert aren’t among them it might not be a bad idea to get those errands done you’ve been putting off for the last week.  The films scheduled are Back Pay (1930; 10:45am), Professional Sweetheart (1933; 11:45am), Rafter Romance (1933; 1pm), Sing and Like It (1934; 2:15pm), We’re Rich Again (1934; 3:30pm), The Life of the Party (1937; 4:45pm) and Destroyer (1943; 6:15pm).

Come nightfall, Uncle Bobby Osbo has some of his “picks” on hand—and three of his choices just so happen to be mine as well: My Name is Julia Ross (1945; 8pm), The Lady from Shanghai (1948; 11:15pm) and The Tall Target (1951; 1am).  The odd film out is Ziegfeld Follies (1946; 9:15pm)…and even I’ll watch that if Mom’s not around.  The rest of the night features a pair of films with star Dick Powell from his chorus boy days: Dames (1934; 2:30am) and 42nd Street (1933; 4:15am).

November 15, Friday – TCM kicks off the morning with a Barbara Stanwyck double feature: So Big (1932) at 6am and Ladies They Talk About (1933) at 7:30.  At 8:45am. Babs’ The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) is on the schedule…and since that film also stars Lizabeth Scott, the channel finishes out the day with some of her best features:  Dead Reckoning (1947; 10:45am), Pitfall (1948; 12:30pm), Easy Living (1949; 2pm), The Company She Keeps (1951; 3:30pm), The Racket (1951; 5pm) and Bad for Each Other (1954; 6:30pm).

November 16, Saturday – On TCM’s Essentials, it’s “The Best of Friends”…and before you break out into a cold sweat, convinced that reruns of the 1994-04 sitcom are going to be unspooled, I’ll relieve you of that dread and tell you that it’s The Women (1939) at 8pm, and its 1956 sequel The Opposite Sex following at 10:30pm.  The evening wraps up with Stage Door (1937) at 12:45am.

November 17, Sunday – On tap tonight is a little presentation entitled “MGM vs. Fox”—the 1942 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature Johnny Eager (1941) is scheduled at 8pm, with the 20th Century-Fox mellerdrammer Johnny Apollo (1940) following at 10.  (Yeah, I don’t get it either.)

You’ll want to grab a catnap and tune in at midnight instead because Silent Sunday Nights will showcase a two-part presentation (that continues the following Sunday, November 24) of the recently released Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Archive DVD.  This’ll allow you to record the goodies on this disc (in case money’s a little tight around your household) that include the John Ford-directed Upstream (1927), Alfred Hitchcock’s The White Shadow (1924) and the Mabel Normand short Won in a Cupboard (1914).

November 18, Monday – The day’s features all center on a theme of ambitious women:  Show People (1928; 6am), Baby Face (1933; 7:30am), Possessed (1931; 9am), The Bride Wore Red (1937; 10:30am), What Price Hollywood? (1932; 12:30pm), Comet over Broadway (1938; 2:15pm), I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955; 3:45pm) and The Hard Way (1942; 6pm).

November 20, Wednesday – Cameron Mitchell’s birthday is technically November 4th…but TCM decides to set aside the daylight programming with a mini-festival of his films that begins at 6am with The Mighty McGurk (1946).  Then it’s High Barbaree (1947; 7:30am), Command Decision (1948; 9:15am), The Sellout (1952; 11:15am), Strange Lady in Town (1955; 12:45pm), Tension at Table Rock (1956; 2:45pm), Monkey on My Back (1957; 4:30pm) and All Mine to Give (1957; 6:15pm).

November 21, Thursday – Well, the channel may have had to reschedule Cam Mitchell’s natal anniversary…but they’re not going to forget tough guy Ralph Meeker’s birthday (‘cause if they did, he’d probably slam their hand in a drawer).  It’s Shadow in the Sky (1951) at 11:30am, then Glory Alley (1952; 1pm), Code Two (1953; 2:30pm), Jeopardy (1953; 3:45pm) and The Dirty Dozen (1967) wrapping it up at 5pm.

Unfortunately, someone at Tee Cee Em flunked history: the evening hours will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy…which happened on November 22, 1963.  Okay, I realize they’ll be lightening the mood on the actual date with their screwball comedy thing, but still.  With the exception of P.T. 109 (1963) at 2:15am, most of the movies scheduled for this evening are of a documentary nature: Primary (1960; 8pm), Adventures on the New Frontier (1961; 9:15pm), Crisis (1963; 10:30pm), Faces of November (1964; 11:45pm) and Four Days in November (1964; 12mid).

November 23, Saturday – On The Essentials, the feature in the spotlight is Jean-Luc Godard’s theatrical film debut, Breathless (1960); the theme of the evening is entitled “First Features” but they need to be a little more specific on that because they’ve also got Steven Spielberg’s The Sugarland Express (1974) on tap at ten, and while that was his theatrical debut it’s not technically his first feature.  (Hint: it’s about Dennis Weaver and a maniacal truck.)  The evening wraps up with Who’s That Knocking at My Door? (1968; 12mid), the debut of one Martin Scorsese.

November 25, Monday – Happy birthday, Ricardo Montalban!  The future Fantasy Island star is feted with a film festival that includes The Kissing Bandit (1948; 6:15am), On an Island with You (1948; 8am), Battleground (1949; 10am), Border Incident (1949; 12noon), Mystery Street (1950; 1:45pm), My Man and I (1952; 3:30pm) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964; 5:15pm).

November 26, Tuesday/November 27, Wednesday – On Tuesday night, TCM has another chapter in their ongoing A Night at the Movies documentary series on tap: “Cops and Robbers,” which will air at 8pm and again at 11.  Surrounding these two showings are movies with the similar theme: Bullitt (1968; 9pm), The Naked City (1948; 12mid) and White Heat (1949; 2am).

The last two films scheduled, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974; 4am) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968; 5:45am), dovetail nicely into the movies scheduled the following day (November 27), which will feature a “heist” theme:  Rififi (1954; 7:30am), The Asphalt Jungle (1950; 9:30am), Side Street (1950; 11:30am), Kansas City Confidential (1952; 1pm), Gun Crazy (1950; 2:45pm), Bonnie and Clyde (1967; 4:15pm) and The Anderson Tapes (1971; 6:15pm).

November 28, Thursday – On this Thanksgiving Day, I have but only one thing to be thankful for…and that’s that I won’t be watching The Secret Garden (1949) at 10:30am, featuring She Who Must Not Be Named.  (I don’t care if my BBFF Stacia did do a splendid review of this movie…I shan’t be watching it.)  The entire day is devoted to family favorites: Lassie Come Home (1943; 12:15pm), National Velvet (1944; 2pm), The Phantom Tollbooth (1969; 4:15pm), The Muppets Take Manhattan (and they can have it) (1984; 6pm), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968; 8pm), Doctor Dolittle (1967; 10:30pm), The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964; 1:15am), Born Free (1966; 3am) and Snowfire (1958; 4:45am—if your family is still up then).

November 30, Saturday – To close out the month, I’ll need to set my alarm for 6:30am so I can catch Make Mine Mink (1960), a British farce featuring TDOY fave Kenneth Williams in a small part.  On The Essentials, the scheduling of The Searchers (1956) at 8pm will usher in two more films starring actress Vera Miles: The Wrong Man (1956; 10:15pm) and Autumn Leaves (1956; 12:15am).  (And to the programmer who yanked The Astro-Zombies from TCM Underground at the last minute: shame on ya!)


Hal said...

This is a good month; though I'm shocked that TCM isn't pairing DISCO GODFATHER with one of the other Rudy Ray Moore features. HUMAN TORNADO or PETEY WHEATSTRAW would be ideal. Still, I guess I should be happy we're seeing Dolemite himself on TCM period.

DorianTB said...

Holy cats, Ivers, it's a cavalcade of film fun -- where will I find the time? :-) I'm especially looking forward to seeing JAWS on TCM for the first time, and THE KILLERS are coming up, and my favorite screwball comedies THE MAD MISS MANTON and my beloved THE PALM BEACH STORY (love that scene-stealer Mary Astor!) -- I can hardly wait! Thanks for the swell preview!

DorianTB said...

Did my comments disappear, Ivan? I was saying how I was looking forward to THE KILLERS (also coming to THE DARK PAGES!), THE MAD MISS MANTON, and the TCM premiere of JAWS (at last!). It's gonna be a nifty November! :-D

Mitchell Hadley said...

Well-known, probably, but 1951's "The Tall Target" tells the story of a policeman named John Kennedy trying to prevent an assassination attempt against Abraham Lincoln. Ironic, no?

Stacia said...

Oh, come on, it's just sweet little Margaret O'BrCONNECTION TERMINATED