If you’re looking for a guide as to some of her best films to get a gander at (though you really can’t go wrong with the bulk of them), you can refresh your memory with some of the entries in The Mary Astor Blogathon from last year (May 3-10, 2013), sponsored by Ruth at Silver Screenings and the irrepressible Dor from Tales of the Easily Distracted. Because Mare’s career began back in the silent era and continued for about four decades after that, there’ll be no shortage of her films in this tribute (55 films in all—including two shorts, Breakdowns of 1941 and Some of the Greatest…plus the channel will also show 1956’s A Kiss Before Dying at 10:15pm on Sunday, May 4)—take a look at the schedule for yourself:
March 5, Wednesday
08:00pm Dodsworth (1936)
10:00pm The Great Lie (1941)
12:00am Don Juan (1926)
02:30am The World Changes (1933)
04:15am Other Men's Women (1931)
March 6, Thursday
06:00am Page Miss Glory (1935)
07:45am Dinky (1935)
09:00am Listen, Darling (1938)
10:30am Woman Against the World (1938)
11:45am Turnabout (1940)
01:45pm Cynthia (1947)
03:45pm Cass Timberlane (1947)
06:00pm The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
March 12, Wednesday
08:00pm The Maltese Falcon (1941)
10:00pm Across the Pacific (1942)
12:00am The Hurricane (1937)
02:00am There's Always a Woman (1938)
03:30am The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
05:30am The Murder of Dr. Harrigan (1936)
March 13, Thursday
06:45am The Man with Two Faces (1934)
08:00am The Lash (1931)
09:30am Behind Office Doors (1931)
11:00am Paradise for Three (1938)
12:30pm Thousands Cheer (1943)
02:45pm Fiesta (1947)
04:30pm Youngblood Hawke (1964)
March 19, Wednesday
08:00pm The Palm Beach Story (1942)
09:45pm The Lost Squadron (1932)
11:15pm The Kennel Murder Case (1933)
12:45am Beau Brummel (1924)
02:15am Show of Shows (1929)
04:30am Two Arabian Knights (1927)
March 20, Thursday
06:15am A Successful Calamity (1932)
07:45am The Little Giant (1933)
09:15am Easy to Love (1934)
10:30am Young Ideas (1943)
12:00pm Blonde Fever (1944)
01:30pm Any Number Can Play (1949)
03:30pm Some of the Greatest (1955)
04:00pm The Power and the Prize (1956)
March 26, Wednesday
08:00pm Little Women (1949)
10:15pm Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
12:30am Red Dust (1932; also March 9 @10:30am)
02:00am Men of Chance (1932)
03:15am The Royal Bed (1931)
04:45am The Runaway Bride (1930)
March 27, Thursday
06:00am Smart Woman (1931)
07:30am The Sin Ship (1931)
09:00am Upper World (1934)
10:15am The Case of the Howling Dog (1934)
12:15pm Red Hot Tires (1935)
01:30pm Man of Iron (1935)
02:45pm I Am a Thief (1935)
04:00pm Act of Violence (1949)
I have good news and bad news about these twenty films on the schedule. The good news is that there’s some delicious (see what I did there) stuff on the bill of fare, with classics like Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) and Babette’s Feast (1987—I saw this when I was still working at
Ballbuster Blockbuster Video, and was positively
mesmerized by it…I recorded it during 31 Days of Oscar to watch again)
featuring among the items. The bad news
is that they will be introduced by chef and professional dickhead formidable Anthony Bourdain, the host of Anthony
Bourdain: No Reservations and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Oh, and…well, I don’t like to complain—but
how do you plan something like this and leave out Modern Times (1936—yes, I know The
Gold Rush made the cut, but…what the hell, TCM?) and Frenzy (1972), two of the most serious food-related films in the
history of cinema? To each his own, I
guess…and bon appétit:
March 7, Friday
08:00pm Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
10:15pm Mostly Martha (2001)
12:15am Tom Jones (1963)
02:30am Women in Love (1969)
05:00am Dinner at Eight (1933)
March 14, Friday
08:00pm Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
10:00pm A Christmas Story (1983)
12:00am My Dinner with Andre (1981)
02:00am Diner (1982)
04:00am The Public Enemy (1931)
March 21, Friday
08:00pm Oliver! (1968)
10:45pm The Gold Rush (1925)
12:15am The Loved One (1965)
02:30am Cool Hand Luke (1967)
04:45am The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
March 28, Friday
08:00pm Big Night (1996)
10:00pm Babette's Feast (1987)
12:00am Soylent Green (1973)
01:45am Night of the Living Dead (1968)
03:30am What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Temple, who passed away on February 10 at the age of 85, was beloved by generations of moviegoers old and new—notably my pal Page at My Love of Old Hollywood, who likes to sprinkle her posts with mentions of Shirl from time to time because apparently my blood pressure isn’t elevated enough as it is. I honestly wasn’t a big fan of Shirley’s, though in complete polygraph honesty I could tolerate her more than I could the insufferable Mickey Rooney or the diabolical evil that is She Who Must Not Be Named (hey—at least Temple was a better dancer…and with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson yet). But for those of you who are racing to the comments section, ready to shame me for my Temple revulsion, I should point out that…
…and she never had to answer for that solicitation charge. I say the silence ends now!
Okay, I’m just having a little fun. Shirley Temple was a phenomenal little bundle of talent, and TCM is right to doff their cap to her on Sunday, March 9—you can’t go wrong with any of the following movies (well, the last one has a serious WTF factor…but who’ll be up at that hour of the morning?):
04:30pm Heidi (1937)
06:15pm Stowaway (1936)
08:00pm Bright Eyes (1934; also March 23 @10am)
09:30pm The Little Princess (1939)
11:15pm I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
12:45am The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (1947)
02:30am A Kiss for Corliss (1949)
04:15am That Hagen Girl (1949)
As to what’s in store for the rest of March…a little travelin’ music, Mr. Spear!
TCM’s tribute will feature 1941’s The Sea Wolf (at 3:15pm); one of those classics that’s still not available on Region 1 DVD (and, in fact, would be a dandy candidate for my pal Hal’s “Why Isn’t This on DVD Yet, You Knobs?” feature at The Horn Section). Most of the movies scheduled today are kind of second-tier Julie—with the exception of the magnificent The Breaking Point (1950; 6:15pm)—but even second-tier Garfield is better than most of what’s out there today. Rounding out the offerings are Dust Be My Destiny (1939; 6am), Four Wives (1939; 7:30am), They Made Me a Criminal (1939; 9:15am), East of the River (1940; 11am), Flowing Gold (1940; 12:15pm), Out of the Fog (1941; 1:45pm) and Dangerously They Live (1942; 4:45pm).
Come nightfall at 8pm, TCM dips back into The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson archives for classic interviews with Hol…lywood celebs—if you’re wanting a Floyd R. Turbo or Aunt Blabby fix, you’ll need to hunt down Carson’s Comedy Classics for that. The scheduled guests:
March 11: Bob Hope (10/13/78), Bing Crosby (3/5/76) (2013), Tony Randall (9/17/74), Truman Capote (11/27/72), Gregory Peck (7/8/76) and Lauren Bacall (1/11/80)
March 18: Lucille Ball (04/28/77), Carol Burnett (08/10/79), Candice Bergen (03/29/84), Don Adams (05/14/80), Jack Benny (07/20/73) and Red Skelton (12/06/83)
March 25: Julie Andrews (11/19/82), Dudley Moore (05/18/79), Sean Connery (12/05/75), Sylvester Stallone (12/16/76), Arnold Schwarzenegger (05/05/82), George C. Scott (11/03/87) and Gene Kelly (11/07/75)
Following the last guest segment will be films featuring that guest…so on March 4, it’s all the Sammy Davis, Jr. you can handle with Ocean's Eleven (1960; 9:15pm), Anna Lucasta (1958; 11:30pm), Salt and Pepper (1968; 1:15am), One More Time (1970; 3:15am) and Johnny Cool (1963; 5:15am).
(OTR fans might also want to check out 1945’s Radio Stars on Parade at 12:45pm.) Rounding out the over-the-ether flicks are Strictly Dynamite (1934; 7am), Are You Listening? (1932; 8:30am), Campus Rhythm (1943; 10am), Mr. Dodd Takes the Air (1937; 11:15am), Hullabaloo (1940; 2pm), Whistling In Brooklyn (1943; 5pm) and Professional Sweetheart (1933; 6:30pm).
TiVo-DVR-Whatever-strikes-your-fancy alert! During the first night of AstorFest, TCM will show the 1934 Charley Chase two-reeler You Said a Hatful! at 2:09am.
March 6, Thursday – On March 20, legendary composer Ennio Morricone will perform live at the Nokia Theatre L.A. (details here)…and to do some
sucking up advance publicity, the channel will devote the
evening to movies featuring his music.
One of his best known films, For
a Few Dollars More (1965) starts things off at 8pm, with Death Rides a Horse (1969; 10:30pm), The Mercenary (1970; 12:30am), The Five Man Army (1970; 2:30am) and Guns for San Sebastian (1968; 4:30am)
March 7, Friday – I missed The Macomber Affair (1947; 11am) the last time it was on TCM. Thanks to the U-Verse Total DVR for Life© it will not happen again.
March 8, Saturday – The channel wraps up its scheduling of films from the Hildegarde Withers franchise this month beginning this morning at 10:30am with Murder on a Bridle Path (1936). On March 15 it’s The Plot Thickens (1936) and Forty Naughty Girls (1938) rings down the curtain on March 22. The following Saturday (March 29), it’s on to plow new movie series fields with the pilot for what eventually kicked off the successful Mexican Spitfire franchise, The Girl from Mexico (1939).
March 10, Monday – Spend a day sampling the oeuvre of actress Ruth Roman with a festival of her films: Always Leave Them Laughing (1949; 6am), The Window (1949; 8am), Barricade (1950; 9:30am), Colt .45 (1950; 11am), Dallas (1950; 12:30pm), Lightning Strikes Twice (1951; 2:15pm), Strangers on a Train (1951; 4pm) and The Far Country (1955; 6pm).
Hey, kids—what time is it? That’s right—it’s kindly old Uncle Bobby Osbo here with an evening of his “picks”. The first flick on the schedule at 8pm is Sleepless in Seattle (1993)…which kind of makes kindly old Uncle Ivan giggle because there are a number of classic movie fans who blanche at the thought of The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (son of a…that’s two I owe Brooks) showing movies of a more recent vintage. Proving that irony can be awfully ironic at times—nevertheless, sit back and enjoy this Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan weepie (I won’t, because Meg Ryan) and then follow it with The Sea Hawk (1940; 10pm), The Sea Wolf (1941; 12:15am—encore presentation!) and The Enchanted Cottage (1945; 2am).
March 12, Wednesday – I don’t know how you’re going to manage an evening of Mary Astor movies after sampling the generous cinematic wares involving William Powell during TCM’s daytime schedule…but hey—no pain, no gain. The vehicles to be shown are One Way Passage (1932; 6:15am), High Pressure (1932; 7:30am), Private Detective 62 (1933; 8:45am), Rendezvous (1935; 10am), Reckless (1935; 11:45am), The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937; 1:30pm), I Love You Again (1940; 3pm), The Heavenly Body (1943; 5pm) and The Girl Who Had Everything (1953; 6:45pm).
Don’t tell me you forgot…ferchrissake, am I the only one here who cares about the rules? Oh well…it’s Solomon and Sheba (1959) at 6am, followed by Never So Few (1959; 8:30am), Beat the Devil (1953; 10:45am), Hotel Paradiso (1966; 12:15pm), Go Naked in the World (1961; 2:00pm), The Law (1964; 3:45pm) and Come September (1961; 6pm).
March 15, Saturday – Steven Spielberg’s theatrical film debut, The Sugarland Express (1974), is in the Essentials spotlight at 8pm…and the female lead from that movie, Goldie Hawn, will be featured in the two flicks that follow: Butterflies are Free (1972) at 10pm, and Shampoo (1975) at midnight.
March 17, Monday – Faith and begorrah and erin go bragh, ‘tis a foine day to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day…particularly since I’m not working the night audit shift in any hotel in Savannah. The movies on the menu are The Key (1934; 6am), The Irish in Us (1935; 7:30am), The Flying Irishman (1939; 9am), Little Nellie Kelly (1940; 10:15am), My Wild Irish Rose (1947; 12noon), The Rising of the Moon (1957; 1:45pm), Young Cassidy (1965; 3:15pm) and Finian's Rainbow (1968; 5:15pm).
March 18, Tuesday – Red Skelton is the last guest on this evening’s Tonight Show clips, so the rest of the night is dedicated to some of his classic comedy vehicles including my personal favorite, A Southern Yankee (1948), at 12:15am. (“It’s nice to be among the magnolias again!”) Other movies featuring Vincennes’ favorite son include Whistling in the Dark (1941; 9:15pm), The Show-Off (1946; 10:45pm), Excuse My Dust (1951; 2am), The Clown (1953; 3:30am) and Merton of the Movies (1947; 5:15am).
March 22, Saturday – Osborne and Barrymore welcome the incomparable Peter Sellers to TCM’s The Essentials (well, not literally—he’s been dead a while) at 8pm with The Pink Panther (1964), then squeeze in two more Sellers classics—The Mouse That Roared (1959; 10pm) and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1969; 11:30pm) afterward. But you should really plan for a disco nap earlier in the day because TCM Underground will be running the WTF classic Zardoz (1974) at 2am, followed by Stacia fave The Green Slime (1969) at 3:45.
March 23, Sunday – The primetime schedule features a Cary Grant-Ingrid Bergman double feature: Indiscreet (1958) at 8pm followed by the can’t-miss Notorious (1946) at 10pm. And on Silent Sunday Nights, Harold Lloyd’s Girl Shy (1924; 12mid) has an amazing slapstick chase climax that puts most modern stunts-and-explodiations films to shame.
Anchors Aweigh (1945; 11:45pm), Follow the Fleet (1936; 2:15am) and Seven Days Ashore (1944; 4:15am) round out the rest of the program.
March 25, Tuesday – A birthday tribute to Oscar-winning filmmaker David Lean occupies the daylight hours today beginning at 6am and Brief Encounter (1945); afterward, it’s A Passage to India (1984; 7:30am), Great Expectations (1946; 10:15am), The Passionate Friends (1949; 12:15pm), Madeleine (1950; 2pm) and Doctor Zhivago (1965; 4pm).
March 26, Wednesday – Africa speaks! A salute to the Dark Continent begins at 7am with the Tod Browning-Lon Chaney classic West of Zanzibar (1928), then is followed by Tarzan the Ape Man (1932; 8:15am), Trader Horn (1931; 10am), King Solomon's Mines (1937; 12:15pm), Mogambo (1953; 2:15pm), Drums of Africa (1963; 4:30pm) and Rhino! (1964; 6:15pm). (This last film, despite what you’re hearing in political ads, is not about a moderate Republican.)
an evening with actor-director Don Murray at the Billy Wilder Theater on March 7…and while TCM will be a little late to the party, they’ll devote an evening to the talented thesp beginning at 8 with his feature film debut, Bus Stop (1956). Next is one of my favorites in Murray’s catalog (and a film that’s featured on the UCLA program), A Hatful of Rain (1957; 10pm), then it’s Shake Hands with the Devil (1959; 12mid), The Hoodlum Priest (1961; 2am) and One Man’s Way (1964; 4am).
March 28, Friday – During the channel’s 31 Days of Oscar celebration, my father—who has devoted his life to the eradication of monochromatic films—actually sat down and watched the winner of the Best Picture Academy Award for 1929/30, All Quiet on the Western Front. (I know, I know…I had to be revived with smelling salts.) I’ll be thinking of this earth-shattering moment throughout the day when TCM salutes actor Louis Wolheim on his birthday: at 6:45am, it’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920) followed by Orphans of the Storm (1921; 8am), Sherlock Holmes (1922; 10:45am), The Racket (1928; 12:15pm), The Ship From Shanghai (1929; 1:45pm), The Silver Horde (1930; 3pm), Danger Lights (1931; 4:30pm) and Gentleman's Fate (1931; 5:45pm).
TDOY fave Shock Corridor (1963) takes the baton at 10 (“Nymphos!”), then While the City Sleeps (1956) calls it “30” at midnight.
March 31, Monday – Closing out the month is a night devoted to Oscar-winning actress Eva Marie Saint, who appeared in person at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival…and whose interview will be shown at 8pm with an encore presentation at 11:30. The film for which Ms. Saint received her Academy Award, On the Waterfront (1954), gets an airing at 9pm—and the other two films on the schedule are Raintree County (1957) at 12:30am and TDOY fave North by Northwest (1959) at 3:30.