Sunday, June 29, 2014

Coming distractions: July 2014 on TCM

July is merely a day or two around the corner, and so it seemed as good as a time as any to check out what’s in store for that month on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (ka-ching!—Rick Brooks wants that Honeymooners set on Blu-ray, and he don’t mean maybe).  In the past, TDOY’s policy on “Coming Distractions” was that I prepared the column sometimes a month or two ahead of schedule…particularly if Laura at Miscellaneous Musings had received the skinny on whether TCM’s website placeholder had been updated.  But sometimes what Tee Cee Em schedules isn’t always set in stone, and even though I always made certain to issue a disclaimer that programming was subject to change, the legal department suggested it would be prudent to be safer than sorry if I did the “Distractions” as close to the new month as possible.

Fridays on the channel, the TCM programmers have set aside a month-long tribute to “The Great War”; it’s the 100th anniversary of World War I, and each of the films scheduled that day deal with that conflict…with the exception of the daylight hours on July 4, which will celebrate the U.S. of A.’s Declaration of Independence with movies spotlighting Revolutionary War and likewise patriotic content.  Here’s a rundown of the schedule for June Fridays:

July 4, Friday (July 4th lineup)   
06:00am Give Me Liberty (1936)
06:30am John Paul Jones (1959)
08:45am Sons of Liberty (1939)
09:15am The Howards of Virginia (1940)
11:15am The Scarlet Coat (1955)
01:00pm The Declaration of Independence (1938)
01:30pm 1776 (1972)
04:15pm Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
06:30pm The Devil's Disciple (1959)

July 4, Friday (World War I centennial)
08:00pm Sergeant York (1941)
10:30pm The Fighting 69th (1940)
12:15am The Dawn Patrol (1938)
02:15am Wings (1927)
04:45am Von Richthofen and Brown (1970)

July 11, Friday
06:00am The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
08:15am The Spy in Black (1939)
09:45am Hell Below (1933)
11:30am Flight Commander (1930)
01:30pm Ace of Aces (1933)
03:00pm Lafayette Escadrille (1958)
04:45pm Waterloo Bridge (1931)
06:15pm Suzy (1936)
08:00pm Paths of Glory (1957)
09:45pm All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
12:15am The Big Parade (1925)
03:00am Westfront 1918 (1930)
04:45am Kameradschaft (1931)

July 18, Friday
06:00am J'Accuse (1919)
09:00am Today We Live (1933)
11:00am A Farewell to Arms (1932)
12:30pm Stamboul Quest (1934)
02:00pm Ever In My Heart (1933)
03:15pm British Intelligence (1940)
04:30pm Dark Journey (1937)
06:00pm Rendezvous (1935)
08:00pm Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
12:00am Gallipoli (1981)
02:00am Grand Illusion (1937)
04:00am King & Country (1964)

July 25, Friday
06:00am The Last Flight (1931)
07:30am Heroes for Sale (1933)
08:45am They Gave Him a Gun (1937)
10:30am Marianne (1929)
12:30pm The Shopworn Angel (1938)
02:00pm The Better 'Ole (1926)
03:45pm Shoulder Arms (1918)
04:30pm Doughboys (1930)
06:00pm King of Hearts (1966)
08:00pm Random Harvest (1942)
10:15pm Waterloo Bridge (1940)
12:15am Oh! What a Lovely War (1969)
02:45am Mata Hari (1931)
04:30am After Tonight (1933)

The channel’s Star of the Month is a longtime TDOY fave (oh, you have no idea!)—it’s “The Queen of Technicolor,” Maureen O’Hara, who will be the focus of twenty-six feature films on Tuesday nights in June.   Here’s what’s on tap for fans of the actress born Maureen FitzSimmons in 1920 and who’ll be celebrating her ninety-fourth birthday (knock wood!) this August 17th!

July 1, Tuesday
08:00pm The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
10:15pm How Green Was My Valley (1941)
12:30am Sentimental Journey (1946)
02:15am The Forbidden Street (1949)
04:00am A Woman's Secret (1949)
05:30am The Fallen Sparrow (1943)

July 2, Wednesday         
07:15am This Land Is Mine (1943)

July 8, Tuesday
08:00pm Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
09:45pm They Met in Argentina (1941)
11:15pm Do You Love Me? (1946)
01:00am Sitting Pretty (1948)
02:30am Our Man in Havana (1960)

July 15, Tuesday
08:00pm The Black Swan (1942)
09:30pm The Spanish Main (1945)
11:15pm Sinbad the Sailor (1947)
01:15am At Sword's Point (1951)

July 22, Tuesday
08:00pm Immortal Sergeant (1943)
09:45pm Buffalo Bill (1944)
11:30pm McLintock! (1963)
01:45am The Deadly Companions (1961)
03:30am The Wings of Eagles (1957)
05:30am The Long Gray Line (1955)

July 29, Tuesday
08:00pm Rio Grande (1950)
10:00pm Spencer's Mountain (1963)
12:15am The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (1965)
02:15am Fire Over Africa (1954)

And if you think that’s all you have to look forward to—silly classic movie fan…TCM is for…uh…I’ve apparently misplaced the joke I was going to use here.  Well, anyway—here’s a rundown of some of the other monthly highlights that await your simple command…

July 1, Tuesday – Two-time Academy Award-nominated actress-singer-dancer Leslie Caron turns eighty-three on this date, and every time her appearance in the Law & Order: SUV episode “Recall” is shown, I start humming The Night They Invented Champagne…much to my musical-hating mother’s annoyance.  Check out some of La Caron’s finest flicks beginning at 6am with the 1951 Best Picture Oscar winner, An American in Paris, followed by The Man With a Cloak (1951; 8am), Glory Alley (1952; 9:30am), Lili (1953; 11am), The Story of Three Loves (1953; 12:30pm), The Glass Slipper (1955; 2:45pm), Gaby (1956; 4:30pm) and The Doctor’s Dilemma (1958; 6:15pm).

July 2, Wednesday – TCM kicks off the morning with four films directed by the man who was not only one of the original Keystone Kops but was also married at one time to TDOY goddess Louise Brooks.  (Lucky bastard.)  Some of the oeuvre of Albert Edward Sutherland is spotlighted with Secrets of the French Police (1932; 9am), The Flying Deuces (1939; 10am), Nine Lives Are Not Enough (1941; 11:15am) and Secret Command (1944; 12:30pm).

The last film in this quartet co-stars Chester Morris, who takes over the afternoon with some of his feature film work—one of which, Moonlight Murder (1936; 4:45pm), I did a “Where’s That Been?” write-up for at ClassicFlix.  The remaining movies with The Man Who Would Be Boston Blackie are The Marines Fly High (1940; 2pm), Pacific Liner (1939; 3:15pm) and Playing Around (1930; 6pm).

In the primetime hours, the channel invites us to talk to the animals…learn their languages…maybe get an animal degree.  Okay, I’ve never seen Doctor Dolittle (1967; 9:45pm)—I just know the song from some freaking children’s record I owned in my misspent youth.  Frances (1950) starts the ball rolling at 8pm, and the lineup also includes The Day of the Dolphin (1973; 12:30am), Black Moon (1975; 2:30am) and The Raven (1963; 4:30am).

July 3, Thursday – George Sanders celebrates what would have been his 108th birthday today.  Spend the daylight hours with moviedom’s greatest cad with the following features: The King's Thief (1955; 6am), The Last Voyage (1960; 7:30am), Death of a Scoundrel (1956; 9:15am), The Moon and Sixpence (1942; 11:15am), Village of the Damned (1960; 12:45pm), Journey to Italy (1955; 2:15pm), Foreign Correspondent (1940; 3:45pm) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945; 6pm).

Come nightfall, TCM invites viewers to come up and see the legendary Mae West beginning with my personal favorite, I'm No Angel (1933) at 8pm, then She Done Him Wrong (1933; 9:45pm) and Belle of the Nineties (1934; 11:15pm).  It’s the teaming of Mae and W.C. Fields in My Little Chickadee (1940) at 12:45am and then following that, The Heat's On (1943; 2:15am)—the one West starrer that I had not seen…and when I finally caught it during TCM’s previous daytime tip-of-the-hat to Victor Moore I was underwhelmed, to say the least.  (Not a good picture.)

July 5, Saturday – Happy birthday to my sister Debbie!  Snip turns (mumble mumble) today, and it’s only fitting that TCM honor the occasion with the first of the four films in Warner Brothers’ Nancy Drew franchise at 10:30am with Nancy Drew, Detective (1938).  (Debbie was a big Nancy fan in her youth.)  The rest of the month will showcase Nancy Drew…Reporter (1939; July 12), Nancy Drew, Trouble Shooter (1939, July 19) and Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939; July 26); all films will run at 10:30.

In the evening hours, TCM’s Drewssentials Essentials showcases examples from the oeuvre of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Burton; Dick and Elizabeth Taylor square off in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) at 8pm, followed by continued sparring in The Taming of the Shrew (1967) at 10:30pm and closing the bout with The V.I.P.’s (1963) at 12:45am.  And it looks as if—barring last-minute changes—TCM Underground is finally going to run Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) at 3am.

July 6, Sunday – It’s gratifying to see that the channel’s Essentials, Jr. is going to expose the younger set to the movie magic of the incomparable Ray Harryhausen…and I can’t think of a better introduction than my personal favorite of his films, Jason and the Argonauts (1963) at 8pm…and then as a fitting encore, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) at 10.  At midnight on Silent Sunday Nights, enjoy Ronald Colman in one of his earliest (along with Norma Talmadge) in 1926’s Kiki.

July 7, Monday – Happy natal anniversary to director George Cukor, celebrating what would have been his 115th birthday today!  The Cukorfest starts at 6am with Romeo and Juliet (1936), followed by A Life of Her Own (1950; 8:15am), The Marrying Kind (1952; 10:15am), A Star Is Born (1954; 12noon), Bhowani Junction (1956; 3pm) and My Fair Lady (1964; 5pm).

Following the song stylings of Lady is more musical fun in the primetime hours with a doff of the cap to the cinematic contributions of the Oscar-winning Oscar Hammerstein II (see what I did there?), with Show Boat (1951) at 8pm, then Carousel (1956; 10pm), Rose Marie (1936; 12:15am) and The Desert Song (1953; 2:15am).

July 9, Wednesday – The channel’s evening hours feature movies with the theme “At Your Service,” and the programming starts off in high style with a true comedy classic, Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), at 8pm.  There’ll be much butling and valeting afterward with Step Lively, Jeeves! (1937; 9:45pm), Holy Matrimony (1943; 11:15pm), On Again, Off Again (1937; 1am), The Earl of Chicago (1939; 2:30am) and Fools for Scandal (1938; 4:15am).

July 10, Thursday – Nightfall will bring on some “classic” documentaries…though to be honest, TCM seems to have a rather flexible definition of that word.  (They originally had Harlan County, USA on the schedule—which I think is more in keeping with “classic.”)  Salesman (1969) starts off the evening at 8, then it’s The Times of Harvey Milk (1984; 9:45pm), Come Back, Africa (1959; 11:30pm), Calcutta (1969; 1:30am) and Sans Soleil (1982; 3:30am).  (Maybe I just need to watch more documentaries.)

July 12, Saturday – TCM is going to show Nicholas Ray’s neglected The Lusty Men (1952) at 10pm as part of a three-film “rodeo cowboys” theme that begins at 8 with The Essentials’ scheduling of Bus Stop (1956), and then finishing out the night with The Unholy Wife (1957) at midnight.  The channel had originally scheduled 1972’s The Honkers in place of Wife, which I quite frankly would have preferred watching since it’s one of three rodeo-themed films released that year (the others being Junior Bonner and J.W. Coop) I have not seen.

July 13, Sunday – The theme for this evening’s Essentials, Jr. is “The Princess Diaries”…and I know you’ll all join me in thanking my amigo Baby Jeebus that it’s not that god-awful Disney film that foisted Anne Hathaway on an undeserving public.  No, as much as it pains me to say this—I’d much rather sit through The Little Princess (1939), which unspools at 8pm (Page is going to love that).  That’s followed by Princess O’Rourke (1943) at 10, which I’m pretty sure is not aimed at the children in the viewing audience.

July 14, Monday – Now here’s something you don’t see every day, Edgar—a primetime tribute to BBFF Stacia fave Kay Francis!  For the Defense (1930) starts things off at 8pm, then it’s Trouble in Paradise (1932; 9:15pm), I Found Stella Parish (1935; 10:45pm). Jewel Robbery (1932; 12:15am), Raffles (1930; 1:30am), Stranded (1935; 3am) and Allotment Wives (1945; 4:30am).

July 16, Wednesday – Two classic film female faves are in the daytime spotlight today: first off, four features spotlighting Ginger Rogers, beginning at 6am with The Tip-Off (1932), followed by You Said a Mouthful (1932; 7:15am), Finishing School (1934; 8:30am) and The First Traveling Saleslady (1956; 9:45am).  After the Sally Field-hosted documentary Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire (1991) at 11:30am, it’s Babs for the rest of the afternoon with Jeopardy (1953; 12:30pm), Witness to Murder (1954; 1:45pm), These Wilder Years (1956; 3:15pm), Crime of Passion (1957; 5pm) and Trooper Hook (1957; 6:30pm).

It’s after dinner, and the dishes are put away, and…oh, look, kids!  It’s Uncle Bobby Osbo pulling out the projector again for some after-supper entertainment.  Starting things off at 8 is Fanny (1961), followed by more Babs at 10:30 and The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933).  Mr. O caps off the evening with Experiment Perilous (1944; 12:15am) and Yolanda and the Thief (1945; 2am).  I’m more interested in what’s being offered at 4am; it’s one of the two Dr. Kildare series entries I don’t own on DVD (Dark Delusion) other than Internes Can’t Take Money (1937)…which, oddly enough, features Barbara Stanwyck.  (Life’s a funny old dog, isn’t it?)

July 17, Thursday – Happy 115th birthday to the incomparable James Cagney!  TCM decides to fete the Oscar-winning actor with some of the lesser known entries on his movie resume, beginning with Taxi! (1932) at 6am, and then following that up with Winner Take All (1932; 7:15am), Footlight Parade (1933; 8:30am), Hard To Handle (1933; 10:30am), Lady Killer (1933; 12noon), The Mayor of Hell (1933; 1:30pm), Picture Snatcher (1933; 3:15pm), Here Comes the Navy (1934; 4:45pm) and Jimmy the Gent (1934; 6:15pm).

For primetime viewers, the channel hits upon the discovery that Hollywood had a thing for remaking Howard Hawks films.  Hawks’ The Criminal Code (1931) will be shown at 8pm, followed by Convicted (1950) at 10…then it’s the classic Scarface (1932) at midnight, followed by the unbelievably overrated 1983 Brian De Palma remake at 2am.  (Seriously—why do people like this movie so much?  “Say hello to my little fren…”)

July 19, Saturday – A number of sources report that my favorite Red Skelton vehicle, A Southern Yankee (1948; 6am), is a remake of Buster Keaton’s The General (1926)…and while there are similarities (both are set against what folks down here continue to call “The Woah of Nawthun Aggresshun”) I don’t think that’s accurate…Yankee doesn’t have a train, for one thing.  (Keaton did work on Yankee, however, as an uncredited gag man.)  You can make a stronger case that Watch the Birdie (1950; 7:30am) is a reworking of Buster’s The Cameraman (1928)…but Texas Carnival (1951; 8:45am) is pretty much a Red original (that doesn’t make it a good movie, however).

Where was I?  Oh…yeah…come nightfall, the music of maestro John Williams is spotlighted with his uncredited contributions to The Sugarland Express (1974; 8pm) and The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973; 11pm).  Sandwiched between these two features is AFI's Master Class – The Art of Collaboration: Spielberg-Williams (from 2011) at 10.

July 20, Sunday – I’ve related a number of times here on the blog that my introduction to classic movies was largely the result of watching the great silent comedians in my youth (thank you, 70s nostalgia boom!), chiefly the aforementioned General and Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush (1925).  TCM tries to create a brand-new generation of Ivans (staggering to consider, no?) with a scheduling of Gold Rush at 10, and preceding that at 8 are a quartet of strong silent comedies: The Immigrant (1917), Coney Island (1917), Never Weaken (1921) and Two Tars (1928).  At midnight, Silent Sunday Nights offers up more comedies from the Golden Age: Court House Crooks (1915), A Submarine Pirate (1915), Look Pleasant, Please (1918), Take a Chance (1918) and Captain Kidd’s Kids (1919).

July 21, Monday – Those members of the TDOY faithful (both of you) who enjoyed the write-up on And Then There Were None (1945; 8pm) some time back might be interested to know that the movie kicks off an evening of flicks inspired by the works of mystery author Agatha Christie.  Evil Under the Sun (1982) follows at 10pm, then it’s Murder She Said (1961; 12mid), Ten Little Indians (1966; 1:30am) and TeamBart fave Witness for the Prosecution (1957; 3:30am).

July 22, Tuesday – A daylong tribute to Western-themed films released in 1948 features several true TDOY favorites in Two Guys from Texas (8:30am), Station West (10am) and Blood on the Moon (3:45pm).  Rounding out the schedule are Return of the Badmen (6:45am), Silver River (1948; 11:45am), 3 Godfathers (1:45pm) and Rachel and the Stranger (5:15pm).

July 23, Wednesday – It’s major Powell action today on TCM: you have Dick in Hollywood Hotel (1938; 8:30am) and Naughty But Nice (1939; 10:30am); Eleanor in Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940; 12:15pm) and Lady Be Good (1941; 2pm); and Janie in A Date with Judy (1948; 4pm) and Three Darling Daughters (1948; 6pm).

In primetime, Oscar-winning director William Friedkin is this month’s Guest Programmer…and I think it’s amusing that he starts his movie quartet with Bullitt (1968) at 8pm because he was clearly inspired by that movie’s memorable car chase for his own The French Connection (1971).  After racing around San Francisco, we go gold hunting with The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948; 10:15pm), then Belle de Jour (1967; 12:30am) and Blow-Up (1966; 2:15am).

July 24, Thursday – The indefatigable Kirk Douglas is the subject of a 2009 documentary, Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget, that will be shown at 10:15pm this evening as part of a tribute to the actor (who will turn 98—knock wood—in December this year) that also features Lust For Life (1956; 8pm), Young Man With a Horn (1950; 12mid), Out of the Past (1947; 2am) and The Hook (1963; 4am).

July 26, Saturday – If you perused my I Love Lucy essay for the Classic Television Blog Association’s Summer of MeTV Blogathon, you might remember that it was Oscar-winning cinematographer Karl Freund who designed that legendary sitcom’s revolutionary three-camera system, later adopted by so many of Lucy’s sitcom brethren and sistren afterward.  Among the movies “Papa” Karl worked on were Metropolis (1926), in the TCM Essentials spotlight at 8pm, and The Seventh Cross (1944), which follows at 10:45.  The Mummy (1932), one of Freund’s rare directorial forays, caps off the evening at 12:45am.

July 27, Sunday – Ask me to show younger viewers a Val Lewton film, and I’ll probably choose The Seventh Victim (1943) only because I’m sorta twisted that way.  (Though this might not work to my benefit—the little tykes would never sleep again.)  Instead, TCM decides to introduce impressionable young minds to the disturbing implications of Cat People (1942) at 8pm, and Curse of the Cat People (1944) at 9:30pm.  (And you thought I was warped.)  If by some remote chance you have no idea who Val Lewton was—Martin Scorsese is teaching a class in Val 101 with the documentary Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007) at 10:45.

Oh, and on TCM’s Silent Sunday NightsPandora’s Box (1928) at 12:15am.  (I’m telling you…A. Edward Sutherland was one lucky son of a bitch.)

July 28, Monday – Popular 1930s movie comedian—and inspiration for Hanna-Barbera’s Peter Potamus—Joe E. Brown celebrates what would have been his 122nd birthday on this date.  The “Regular Joe” lineup consists of The Tenderfoot (1932; 7am), Elmer the Great (1933; 8:15am), Son of a Sailor (1933; 9:45am), 6 Day Bike Rider (1934; 11am), The Circus Clown (1934; 12:15pm), A Very Honorable Guy (1934; 1:30pm), Alibi Ike (1935; 2:45pm), Bright Lights (1935; 4pm), Earthworm Tractors (1936; 5:30pm) and Polo Joe (1936; 6:45pm).

In the evening hours, a salute to the film great best remembered for playing opposite Humphrey Bogart in…um…it would appear I have the two Bergmans mixed up.  Ingmar is in the spotlight tonight, beginning with Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) at 8pm.  My favorite Bergman film, Wild Strawberries (1957), follows at 10 and then it’s The Seventh Seal (1957) at 11:45…followed by the “Silence of God” trilogy of Through a Glass Darkly (1961; 1:30am), Winter Light (1962; 3:15am) and The Silence (1963; 4:45am).  (I’ll definitely be DVRing these last three.)

July 30, Wednesday – A more deserving actress one could not find the channel’s spotlight this evening: Academy Award winner Lee Grant is the focus of four films on the schedule beginning with her celebrated debut in a real TDOY favorite, Detective Story (1951), at 8pm.  It’s The Landlord (1970) at 10pm then Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968; 12mid) and Middle of the Night (1959) wrapping the evening up at 2am.

July 31, Thursday – To close out the month, the channel serves up some laughs with premier comedy filmmaker Mel Brooks.  Sadly, you won’t find his two greatest movies in the lineup (probably because they’ve been cut to ribbons over at the once-proud AMC) but there is the joys of The Twelve Chairs (1970) at 8pm, followed by Silent Movie (1976; 9:45am) and High Anxiety (1977) at 11:30pm.  At 1:15am, a 2006 edition of The Dick Cavett Show is described on the TCM schedule as “comedian Mel Brooks discusses his life and career with Dick Cavett”…but if past performance is any indication, it’ll be more along the lines of “Dick Cavett namedrops every comedian from Groucho Marx to Bob Hope.”  Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft team up for the 1983 remake of To Be or Not to Be at 2:15am; my advice to those of you not familiar with this remarkable film is to watch the 1942 Jack Benny-Carole Lombard original beforehand—it airs at 4:15am.

Next month’s Coming Distractions will be a bit abbreviated, owing to TCM’s annual Summer Under the Stars festival…but look around at the end of August for a look at what’s headed our way in September.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this awesome rundown! Hurray for the Powells, Ms. O'Hara, and Leslie Caron!