There’ll be other nights set aside for tidings of great joy, natch…but I will warn you that one night in particular (December 23) features three holiday vehicles featuring She Who Must Not Be Named. But we’ll discuss this after the kids are safely in bed—here’s what you have to look forward to…
December 8, Sunday
10:00am Fitzwilly (1967—also December 23 @ 6pm)
12:00pm It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947—also December 16 @ 2:15am, December 24 @ 6pm)
02:00pm Scrooge (1970—also December 19 @ 8pm, December 23 @ 4pm)
04:00pm The Yearling (1946)
06:15pm Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
08:00pm Susan Slept Here (1954—also December 24 @ 7:30am)
10:00pm Bundle of Joy (1956—also December 17 @ 3:15am)
12:00am The King of Kings (1927)
December 15, Sunday
10:00am A Christmas Carol (1938—also December 19 @ 1am, December 24 @1:15pm)
11:15am A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas! (2011—also December 23 @ 12:15am)
12:15pm Holiday Affair (1949—also December 17 @ 8pm, December 24 @4:15pm)
02:00pm The Bishop’s Wife (1947—also December 24 @ 1:15am)
04:00pm Bringing Up Baby (1938)
06:00pm The Thin Man (1934)
08:00pm The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941—also December 24 @ 11:15am)
10:00pm The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
December 22, Sunday
10:00am On Moonlight Bay (1951)
12:00pm Period of Adjustment (1962)
02:00pm Christmas in Connecticut (1945—also December 24 @ 8pm)
04:00pm Now, Voyager (1942)
06:00pm Gigi (1958)
08:00pm The Shop Around the Corner (1940—also December 24 @ 2:30am)
10:00pm In the Good Old Summertime (1949—also December 23 @ 6am)
12:00am Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
I didn’t get an opportunity to see any of this event because parents, but if what I’ve read on Facebook is any indication (an acquaintance of mine described it: “[T]he emperor is now strutting around completely naked, and Mark Cousins is praising his wardrobe”) I probably didn’t miss much. But hey—Tee Cee Em’s paid the rent on the lodge hall, and so here’s what you’ll see if you turn to the channel on December 2 and 9:
December 2, Monday
08:00pm The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
10:00pm Gladiator (2000)
12:45am The Story of Film: An Odyssey – The 1990s: The First Days of Digital – Reality Losing Its Realness in America and Australia (2011)
02:00am The Piano (1993)
04:15am Reservoir Dogs (1992)
December 9, Monday
08:00pm To Be and To Have (2002)
10:00pm Russian Ark (2002)
12:00am Climates (2006)
02:00am The Story of Film: An Odyssey – 2000 Onwards: Film Moves Full Circle – and the Future of Movies (2011)
03:15am Memories of Murder (2003)
If your kids have ever asked you who that guy in the Dirt Devil commercials was, now would be an excellent time to introduce them to one of the silver screen’s premier singers, actors …and of course, dancers—for as Gene Kelly once observed, “the history of dance on film begins with Astaire.” Twenty-five films spotlighting Fred’s work will be offered up, including first-rate movies like Top Hat (1935) and The Band Wagon (1953)…and who knows, I might get the opportunity to see some of the heralded musicals he made with Ginger Rogers. (Sure I will…once my parents are settled in their assisted living facility.) Here’s what’s in store for Astaire aficionados:
December 4, Wednesday
08:00pm Flying Down To Rio (1933)
09:45pm Carson on TCM: Fred Astaire (1979)
10:00pm The Gay Divorcee (1934)
12:00am Roberta (1935)
02:00am Follow the Fleet (1936)
04:00am The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)
05:45am Second Chorus (1940)
December 5, Thursday
07:15am The Sky’s the Limit (1943)
December 11, Wednesday
08:00pm You'll Never Get Rich (1941)
09:45pm You Were Never Lovelier (1942)
11:30pm The Band Wagon (1953—also December 18 @ 1:15pm)
01:30am Silk Stockings (1957)
03:45am Three Little Words (1950)
05:30am The Belle of New York (1952)
December 12, Thursday
07:00am Yolanda and the Thief (1945)
09:00am Ziegfeld Follies (1946)
December 18, Wednesday
08:00pm Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
10:00pm Easter Parade (1948)
12:00am Royal Wedding (1951)
02:00am A Damsel in Distress (1937)
03:45am Finian’s Rainbow (1968)
December 25, Wednesday
08:00pm Top Hat (1935)
10:00pm Swing Time (1936)
12:00am Shall We Dance (1937)
02:00am Carefree (1938)
03:30am The Barkleys of Broadway (1949—also December 18 @ 7:45am)
Landis, who has written such tomes as Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design (2007) and Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration (2012), will spotlight the work of legendary silver screen costumers (and their creations) such as Travis Banton, Orry-Kelly, Adrian, Jean Louis and Edith Head. Here’s what’s on tap in this twenty film lineup:
December 6, Friday
08:00pm Blonde Venus (1932)
10:00pm Cleopatra (1934)
12:00am Casablanca (1942)
02:00am Auntie Mame (1958—also December 21 @ 8pm)
04:30am The Women (1939)
December 13, Friday
08:00pm Funny Girl (1968)
10:45pm Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
01:00am Chinatown (1974)
03:15am Carnal Knowledge (1971)
05:00am Adam’s Rib (1949)
December 20, Friday
08:00pm Send Me No Flowers (1964)
10:00pm The Big Heat (1953—also December 3 @ 12:00mid)
11:45pm Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
02:00am The Stepford Wives (1975)
04:15am Sullivan’s Travels (1941—also December 12 @ 10:15pm)
December 27, Friday
08:00pm The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
09:45pm Out of the Past (1947)
11:30pm Silkwood (1983)
02:00am Klute (1971)
04:15am The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
I know, I know…it’s not enough. It’s never enough! Fret ye not, my TDOY faithful: here are more highlights coming your way in the month ahead:
(I have Way on DVD-R around here somewhere but have never watched it…do I dare tempt fate by searching through The Big Box o’Discs?) Then, the 1927 melodrama Captain Salvation is the movie slated for this edition of Silent Sunday Nights.
At 2am, TCM Imports will show Robert Bresson’s classic Diary of a Country Priest (1951)…and in fact, the remaining Sunday schedulings of Imports will also highlight Bresson’s work; on December 8 it’s Le Proces de Jeanne d'Arc (1962; 2:45am), then Pickpocket (1959—December 15; 2am), Au Hasard, Balthazar (1966—December 22; 2:15am) and Mouchette (1967; 2am) rounding out the month on the 29th.
Call in sick and settle in for Mob-a-Palooza: Black Hand (1950; 6am), King of the Underworld (1939; 8am), The Doorway to Hell (1930; 9:30am), Public Hero No. 1 (1935; 11am), The Last Gangster (1937; 12:30pm), Bullets Or Ballots (1936; 2pm), Brother Orchid (1940; 3:30pm), Little Caesar (1930; 5pm), The Public Enemy (1931; 6:30pm), White Heat (1949; 8pm), The Roaring Twenties (1939; 10pm), The Big Heat (1953; 12mid), Key Largo (1948; 2am) and The Petrified Forest (1936; 4am).
December 4, Wednesday – Arrrrh…Jim lad! Stow the mizzen mast and batten down the…okay, I think I did that joke already this year. It’s a day spent pirating on the high seas with the feature films Raiders of the Seven Seas (1953; 6am), Captain Kidd (1945; 7:30am), The Golden Hawk (1952; 9am), Last of the Buccaneers (1950; 10:30am), The Boy and the Pirates (1960; 12pm), Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952; 1:30pm), The Crimson Pirate (1952; 2:45pm), The Pirate (1948; 4:30pm) and The Princess and the Pirate (1944; 6:15pm).
Skidoo (1969), there’s plenty of Preminger during the daylight hours to satisfy that itch. (Wiiiild!) Angel Face (1953) kicks off the tribute at 9am, followed by The Man with the Golden Arm (1955; 10:45am), Anatomy of a Murder (1959; 12:45pm), Advise & Consent (1962; 3:30pm) and Bunny Lake is Missing (1965; 6pm).
Come primetime, films dealing with fighting prejudice grab the spotlight. At 8pm, it’s The Defiant Ones (1958), and that’s followed by A Raisin in the Sun (1961; 9:45pm), In the Heat of the Night (1967; 12mid), Glory (1989; 2am) and Intruder in the Dust (1949; 4:15am).
December 7, Saturday – TCM continues to spotlight films from MGM’s Maisie franchise at 10:30am; this month, it’s Maisie Gets Her Man (1942; December 7) then Swing Shift Maisie (1943; December 14), Maisie Goes to Reno (1944; December 21) and Up Goes Maisie (1946; December 28). (For a TDOY examination of some of the Maisie vehicles, check out this post from January 2009.)
December 9, Monday – In October, I was putting together some birthday shout-outs for the Facebook ClassicFlix page and I decided to do one for Josephine Hutchinson, born on October 12. The picture I used was a still from Mountain Justice (1937), a movie I’ve not seen but am curious to do so particularly since TCM has it scheduled at 8:45am. (My father usually has his nose buried in the AJC about that time, so this might be doable if I can remember to mark it on the calendar.)
I’ve seen the first two films he’s scheduled, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949; 8pm) and 3:10 to Yuma (1957; 10pm)…but the remaining two are ciphers to me (they’re of fairly recent vintage, which might explain why): The Wind Journeys (2009; 11:45pm) and Aaltra (2004; 2am). TCM’s schedule originally had the cult classic Withnail and I (1987) scheduled afterward at 3:45am but they’ve since called an audible and are going with Road to Bali (1952). (Umm…yeah.)
December 11, Wednesday – For those of you who can’t get their fill of football on the weekends, TCM will offer up some on Hump Day. Okay, they’re technically movies on the subject of the gridiron, but fans will no doubt get a (drop) kick out of Huddle (1932; 6:45am), College Coach (1933; 8:30am), Gridiron Flash (1935; 10am), The Big Game (1936; 11:15am), Over the Goal (1937; 12:30pm), The Cowboy Quarterback (1939; 1:45pm), Knute Rockne—All American (1940; 2:45pm), Easy Living (1949; 4:30pm) and Trouble Along the Way (1953; 6pm).
Yes, the Chairman of the Board was born on this date in 1915, and TCM will do it “his way” with a few of his contributions to cinema beginning with Guys and Dolls (1955) at 11am, then The Tender Trap (1955; 1:30pm), It Happened in Brooklyn (1947; 3:30pm) and Some Came Running (1958; 5:30pm).
Then come nightfall, the evening’s theme is “Directors in Films”—but not the kind of movies in which famous filmmakers are allowed to flex their thespic muscles…rather, features that have directors as characters. Cinema Paradiso (1990) starts things off at 8pm, and that’s followed by Sullivan's Travels (1941; 10:15pm), Two Weeks in Another Town (1962; 12mid), What Price Hollywood? (1932; 2am) and Alex in Wonderland (1970; 3:45am).
So come by Rancho Yesteryear for cake and ice cream and we’ll wrest the TV away from the ‘rents to watch Annapolis Salute (1937; 6:30am), Saturday’s Heroes (1937; 7:45am), Santa Fe Trail (1940; 9am), Grand Central Murder (1942; 11am), Tennessee Johnson (1942; 12:30pm), Presenting Lily Mars (1943; 2:30pm), Possessed (1947; 4:30pm) and The Golden Mask (1954; 6:30pm).
December 14, Saturday – The Palm Beach Story (1942; 8pm) is the evening’s TCM Essentials feature, and with Tomorrow is Forever (1946) and Midnight (1939) following at 9:45pm and 11:45pm respectively, it doesn’t take elementary mathematics to determine that it’s all about Claudette Colbert. On TCM Underground, the cult classic Incubus (1965) makes the rounds at 3:30am; the movie features none other than the Shat himself but the description of the flick should have already snared you in its Esperanto web: “An evil spirit plots to snare the soul of a courageous and good man.” (Okay, then!)
December 15, Sunday – The ‘rents celebrate fifty-one years of wedded bliss today. Oh, and on TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights…The Unholy Three (1925; 12mid), with Lon Chaney and “the ever popular Mae Busch!”
(I will watch this for the Fred Allen-Oscar Levant segment, “The Ransom of Red Chief.”) Meet John Doe (1941) follows at 10pm, and then it’s Good Sam (1948; 12:15am), It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947; 2:15am) and Mr. Soft Touch (1949; 4:15am).
December 17, Tuesday – Brush up your Shakespeare in the daylight hours with a festival of films feting the immortal Bard: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935; 7am), Romeo and Juliet (1936; 9:15am), Hamlet (1969; 11:30am), Othello (1965; 1:30pm) and The Taming of the Shrew (1967; 4:30pm).
The highbrow stuff ends at 8pm, when it’s time for “Holiday Romance.” Holiday Affair (1949) starts off things at 8pm, then it’s TDOY fave Remember the Night (1940; 9:45pm), The Holiday (2006; 11:30pm—another TCM premiere), Bachelor Mother (1939; 1:45am) and Bundle of Joy (1956; 3:15am).
(This practically ensures my mother will not go near TCM today.) It’s Good News (1947) at 6am, then The Barkleys of Broadway (1949; 7:45am), On the Town (1949; 9:45am), Singin’ in the Rain (1952; 11:30am), The Band Wagon (1953; 1:15pm), It’s Always Fair Weather (1955; 3:15pm) and Bells are Ringing (1960; 5pm).
December 19, Thursday – Some good Western action on tap today—3:10 to Yuma (1957) gets another go-round, plus a pair of Anthony Mann-directed oaters, The Far Country (1955; 12:15pm)
and The Naked Spur (1953; 2pm). You’ll also see John Ford’s Wagon Master (1950; 3:45pm) and Howard Hawks’ Red River (1948; 5:30pm); the day is rounded out with the underrated Sam Peckinpah feature Major Dundee (1965; 6:15am) and Wichita (1955; 10:30am), a Joel McCrea horse opera directed by TDOY fave Jacques Tourneur.
When evening shadows fall, there’ll be five—count ‘em, five—different productions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, including a 1935 version (Scrooge, at 11:30pm) that’s a channel premiere. To be brutally honest, the only one you ever really need to watch is the 1951 Alastair Sim version at 10pm—but if you believe that variety is the spice of life check out the 1970 musical Scrooge (at 8pm), the 1938 MGM version (1am) and a 1964 TV movie, A Carol for Another Christmas, as things wind down at 2:15am.
(I feel like Red Buttons: “She never got a dinner!”) No Other Woman (1933) kicks off a natal anniversary tribute at 6am, followed by Ann Vickers (1933; 7am), The Age of Innocence (1934; 8:30am), Sweet Adeline (1935; 10am), Show Boat (1936; 11:30am), The Awful Truth (1937; 1:30pm), Joy of Living (1938; 3:15pm), Love Affair (1939; 5pm) and My Favorite Wife (1940; 6:30pm).
December 21, Saturday – “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” Yes, it’s Auntie Mame (1958) in the spotlight on TCM’s The Essentials, followed by two other “family ties” flicks in Christmas Eve (1947; 10:30pm) and All Mine to Give (1957; 12:15am). TCM Underground goes with the cult classic The Executioner (1978—a.k.a. Massacre Mafia Style) at 2am, followed by John Cassavetes’ Husbands (1970) at 3:30.
And now for the channel’s Christmas Eve/Christmas lineup:
06:00am All Mine to Give (1957)
08:00am Little Women (1933)
10:00am Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
12:00pm In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
02:00pm 3 Godfathers (1948)
04:00pm Scrooge (1970)
06:00pm Fitzwilly (1967)
08:00pm Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
10:00pm The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
12:15am A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas! (2011)
02:15am Little Women (1949)
04:30am Tenth Avenue Angel (1948)
December 24, Tuesday
06:00am Beyond Tomorrow (1940)
07:30am Susan Slept Here (1954)
09:15am Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
11:15am The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941)
01:15pm A Christmas Carol (1938)
02:30pm The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
04:15pm Holiday Affair (1949)
06:00pm It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
08:00pm Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
10:00pm Sun Valley Serenade (1941)
11:45pm I'll Be Seeing You (1944)
01:15am The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
03:15am Holiday (1938)
05:30am The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952)
07:30am The Big Fisherman (1959)
10:30am Ben-Hur (1959)
02:30pm The Robe (1953)
05:00pm King of Kings (1961)
December 26. Thursday – The primetime lineup features movies with characters who live in fantasy worlds…and the first movie at 8pm, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), has nothing to do whatsoever with the fact that the 2013 remake (with Ben Stiller—really, Ben…you need to leave these movies alone) was released the day previous. So you just stop being your cynical selves, ‘cause it’s Christmas, damn it. After Mitty, it’s Billy Liar (1963; 10pm), Pennies from Heaven (1981; 12mid), Juliet of the Spirits (1965; 2am) and The Projectionist (1971; 4:30am).
How Suspicion (1941; 10pm) and Leave Her to Heaven (1945; 12mid) fit into this equation is your homework assignment for next time.
December 30, Monday – Russ Tamblyn turns seventy-nine today! Cake and ice cream for everyone as we celebrate Russ’ natal anniversary with Take the High Ground! (1953; 6am), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954; 8am), The Fastest Gun Alive (1956; 10am), The Young Guns (1956; 11:30am), Don't Go Near the Water (1957; 1pm), tom thumb (1958; 2:45pm), Follow the Boys (1963; 4:30pm) and Son of a Gunfighter (1966; 6:15pm).
In the evening hours, the channel has a nice lineup of movies to commemorate those stars whose passings we observed in 2013. The tributes are as follows: It Started with Eve (1941; 8pm—Deanna Durbin), Bikini Beach (1964; 9:45pm—Annette Funicello), The Cheap Detective (1978; 11:30pm—Eileen Brennan), The Loved One (1965; 1:15am—Jonathan Winters), Five Easy Pieces (1970; 3:30am—Karen Black), East of Eden (1955; 5:15am—Julie Harris) and Tea and Sympathy (1956; 7:15am—John Kerr).
Nightfall…and the tempo slows down a bit (I imagine Uncle Bobby Osbo is worn out from all that frugging). At 8pm, it’s That's Entertainment! (1974)…and the rest of the evening plays out with all of the MGM musicals tribute movies, That's Entertainment! II (1976; 10:30pm), That's Entertainment! III (1994; 12:45am), That's Dancing! (1985; 3am) and Musicals Great Musicals: The Arthur Freed Unit at MGM (1996; 5am).