Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Coming distractions: January 2012 on TCM

Since we’ve only a handful of days left in 2011, no one is more surprised than I that it’s taken me this long to cobble together Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s regular feature of what offerings to expect on The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (by the way, if you’re wondering where the ka-ching! has gone to…since Brooks is on his blogging hiatus, I figure I could borrow that a few times without writing the royalty checks, if you know what I mean) in the coming months.  You can’t even begin to fathom the depths of laziness I went to in putting off getting this done.  In fact, I so outdid myself I’m ready for a nap…but no, first things first.

TCM’s Star of the Month in January will be Angela Lansbury, and though it saddens me sometimes when I stop to contemplate that so many young people know Ms. Lansbury only as that old lady who solves crimes, Angela gave outstanding performances in many a classic film of yesteryear…and on every Wednesday night of the month audiences will get the opportunity to sample her cinematic legacy with a lineup of 26 films (with a repeat of her 2006 visit with Bobby Osbo on Private Screenings and a 1956 telecast of Screen Director’s Playhouse):

Wednesday – January 4
08:00pm Gaslight (1944)
10:00pm National Velvet (1944)
02:15am The Harvey Girls (1946)
04:15am The Hoodlum Saint (1946)

Thursday – January 5
06:00am If Winter Comes (1947)
07:45am Tenth Avenue Angel (1948)
09:00am The Red Danube (1949)

Wednesday – January 11
08:00pm State of the Union (1948)
10:15pm The Three Musketeers (1948)
12:30am Samson and Delilah (1949)
02:45am Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
05:15am Kind Lady (1951)

Thursday – January 12
06:45am A Lawless Street (1955)
08:15am Screen Directors Playhouse: “Claire” (04/25/56)

Wednesday – January 18
10:00pm The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
12:15am All Fall Down (1962)
02:15am The Court Jester (1956)
04:00am Season of Passion (1960)
05:45am The Reluctant Debutante (1958)

Wednesday – January 25
08:00pm Private Screenings: Angela Lansbury (2006)
11:30pm Death on the Nile (1978)
02:00am Mister Buddwing (1966)
03:45am Dear Heart (1964)
05:45am In the Cool of the Day (1963)

Thursday – January 26

On Thursday nights in January, Turner Classic Movies will fete one of the premier cinematographers in film, the late Academy Award-winning lensman (and sometimes director) Jack Cardiff.  What made Jack such an amazing cinematographer was his mastery of the Technicolor palette (his Oscar came for my favorite erotic nun movie, Black Narcissus, which will leave you agog with its breathtaking color), and even though for some inexplicable reason TCM left The African Queen (1951) off the schedule, there’s plenty here among the 18 films to enjoy, buttressed with several showings of a 2010 documentary, Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (and a night featuring movies he directed):

Thursday – January 5
08:00pm Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)
09:30pm Wings of the Morning (1937)
11:00pm Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)
12:30am The Four Feathers (1939)
02:30am Things to Come (1936)
04:30am Knight Without Armour (1937)

Friday – January 6
06:30am Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

Thursday – January 12
11:00pm Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)
02:30am The Red Shoes (1948)
05:00am Black Narcissus (1947) (also January 31 at 8:30am)

Thursday – January 19
08:00pm Under Capricorn (1949)
10:15pm The Master of Ballantrae (1953)
04:15am Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010)

Thursday – January 26 (all films directed by Cardiff)
08:00pm Intent to Kill (1958)
09:45pm The Lion (1962)
11:30pm Young Cassidy (1965)
01:30am The Liquidator (1966)
03:30am Dark of the Sun (1968)

So with the major TCM draws dealt with, let’s take a look at a few more highlights for January…keeping in mind that all times are EST and are subject to last-minute changes if the channel simply isn’t feeling up to it:

January 1, Sunday – At 4am, TCM will show a 1947 British comedy-drama, Holiday Camp, which served as an introduction to a UK film series centering on a working class British family.  Actor Jack Warner played Joe Huggett in all four films, with Kathleen Harrison as his wife Ethel; the remaining Huggetts outings after Camp featured a young Petula Clark (as one of the Huggett daughters) as well as future stars like Diana Dors and Anthony Newley.  So on January 8 at 4:45am the first “official” Huggetts film, Here Come the Huggetts (1948) is scheduled, followed the next week by Vote for Huggett (1949; 4:15am) and finishing up with The Huggetts Abroad (1949; 4am) on the 22nd.

January 2, Monday – The channel addresses the “Cotten shortage” (hey…I never issued any written guarantees that the jokes would get better by 2012) by toasting one of TDOY’s favorite thesps (and a hell of a radio actor) Joseph Cotten beginning at 8pm with the ethereal Portrait of Jennie (1948).  It’s followed by a film that has been an elusive presence on TCM for far too long, The Farmer's Daughter (1947; 9:30pm), and then it’s The Steel Trap (1952; 11:15pm), Niagara (1952; 1:00am) and Lydia (1941; 2:45am) to take us into the wee a.m. hours.

January 3, Tuesday – Happy 115th birthday to Marion Cecilia Douras—better known to classic movie buffs as Marion Davies.  To celebrate, the channel will show The Florodora Girl (1930; 6am), Not So Dumb (1930; 7:30am), The Bachelor Father (1931; 9am), Five and Ten (1931; 10:45am), Blondie of the Follies (1932; 12:15pm), Peg O' My Heart (1933; 2pm), Operator 13 (1934; 3:30pm), Cain and Mabel (1936; 5pm) and Hearts Divided (1936; 6:30pm)…ignoring the fact that many of her silent films are better representations of her talent.  (A shame.)

Come nightfall, TCM salutes “The Women of the West” with Belle Starr (1941) kicking things off at 8pm, followed by Annie Oakley (1935) at 9:45Annie Get Your Gun (1950; 11:30pm), Westward the Women (1951; 1:30am), Mail Order Bride (1964; 3:30am) and Montana Belle (1952; 5am) round out the rest of the evening.

January 4, Wednesday – You’d think that TCM would have finished out the rest of those Screen Director’s Playhouse reruns in 2011 (especially since they’re starting encores like the “Claire” episode for their Angela Lansbury salute) but think again, Playhouse fans—there’s still a few more installments of the Hal Roach-produced series (based on the 1949-51 radio anthology) in the warehouse, which precede a feature film showcasing the star of each episode:

06:30am Episode #29: “Partners” (07/04/56) with Brandon De Wilde, Robert J. Wilke
08:45am Episode #30: “White Corridors” (07/11/56) with Linda Darnell, Patricia Hitchcock
10:45pm Episode #31: “The Carroll Formula” (07/18/56) with Michael Wilding, Steven Geray
01:15pm Episode #32: “Apples on the Lilac Tree” (07/25/56) with Macdonald Carey, Joan Caulfield
03:15pm Episode #33: "Bitter Waters" (08/01/56) with George Sanders, Constance Cummings
05:15pm Episode #34: “The Day I Met Caruso" (08/08/56) with Walter Coy, Barbara Eiler

January 5, Thursday – The channel fetes Jane Wyman on what would have been her 95th birthday with a short feature film tribute: Ready, Willing and Able (1937; 11am), He Couldn't Say No (1938; 12:45pm), Private Detective (1939; 1:45pm), Gambling on the High Seas (1940; 3pm), The Doughgirls (1944; 4pm) and Cheyenne (1947) at 5:45pm.

January 6, Friday – Loretta Young is next on the birthday celebration list, and since they’re showing my favorite of her films on Monday with The Farmer’s Daughter, I’ll make it a point to tune into my second favorite today at 2:45pm with The Stranger (1946).  Before she matches wits with fugitive Nazi Orson Welles, however, it’s the great pre-Code sleeper Heroes for Sale (1933; 8:45am), then She Had to Say Yes (1933; 10am), The Unguarded Hour (1936; 11:15am) and The Bishop's Wife (1947; 12:45pm).  After Stranger, TCM appropriately schedules Rachel and the Stranger (1948) at 4:45pm…with Key to the City (1950) rounding out the festivities at 6:15.

In the evening, the channel settles in for a spotlight dance with the fabulous gams of Betty Grable; Pigskin Parade (1936) starts things off at 8pm, followed by A Yank in the R.A.F. (1941) at 10 and My Blue Heaven (1950) at midnight.  Then on TCM Underground, my good friend Hal at The Horn Section can temporarily abandon his quest to get Little Darlings (1980) on DVD because it’s scheduled for a 2am showing (I just hope TCM letterboxes this, because it’s never shown that way on Showtime/Flix).

January 7, Saturday – Tee Cee Em continues its Saturday scheduling of movies from Columbia’s Lone Wolf film series with Warren William and Eric Blore (whose chemistry makes these little B-films most enjoyable).  Counter-Espionage (1942) is scheduled at 10:30am, and the following week (January 14), it’s Passport to Suez (1943) at that same time.  Suez would be William’s swan song in the series; three years later Blore would get a new boss in OTR veteran Gerald Mohr, who plays Lanyard in The Notorious Lone Wolf (1946; January 21 at 10:30am) and The Lone Wolf in London (1947; January 28).

Things are still going strong in the Bomba the Jungle Boy series that TCM runs at noon on Saturdays; Elephant Stampede (1951) starts off the month followed by African Treasure (1952; January 14), Bomba and the Jungle Girl (1952; January 21) and Safari Drums (1953; January 28) finishing us out.

Come evening, TCM Essentials’ scheduling of City Lights (1931) at 8pm provides the impetus to salute the immortal Charlie Chaplin for the rest of the evening with a mixture of feature films and shorts: following Lights at 9:45 is Modern Times (1936), then A Dog's Life (1918; 11:30pm), Shoulder Arms (1918; 12:15am), The Kid (1921; 1:15am), The Idle Class (1921; 2:15am), Pay Day (1922; 3am), The Circus (1928; 3:30am) and the film that introduced me to the wonders of The Little Tramp, The Gold Rush (1925) at 4:45am.

January 8, Sunday – I’m expecting to receive an e-mail from Edward Copeland any day now as to what he’s planning to feature on his blog in 2012…and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a centennial tribute to Academy Award-winning actor José Ferrer on the list, as the distinguished Mr. Ferrer’s 100th natal anniversary will be observed on this day.  TCM will certainly uncork some champagne, starting with the film that got José his Oscar, Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) at 8pm…followed by his feature film debut in Joan of Arc (1948) at 10.

January 9, Monday – Those of you who missed seeing Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion in 2011 can always seek the film out on home video or VOD…in the meantime, TCM offers up its own version of “killer-disease-needs-to-be-contained” films starting with the sci-fi classic The Andromeda Strain (1971) at 8pm.  That’s followed by the low-budget version of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, The Last Man on Earth (1964, with TDOY fave Vincent Price) at 10:15pm and then two films that should be on your Must See list: The Satan Bug (1965; 12mid) and The Killer That Stalked New York (1950; 2am).  The little-shown 80,000 Suspects (1963) finishes up the contagion festival at 3:30am.

January 10, Tuesday – Here’s an interesting birthday twofer: the channel starts off the morning with a tribute to birthday boy Ray Bolger at 6am with Four Jacks and a Jill (1942), followed by Look for the Silver Lining (1949; 7:15am), April in Paris (1952; 9:15am), The Daydreamer (1966; 11am) and Just You and Me, Kid (1979; 12:45pm).  Then they roll out another birthday cake on a cart for the benefit of Sal Mineo, giving him his due with Rebel Without a Cause (1955) at 2:30pm, followed by Crime in the Streets (1956) at 4:30 and The Young Don't Cry (1957) at 6:15pm

January 12, Thursday – Doo wop diddy wop diddy wop doo…all of them changes you put me through…yes, it was a crazy ’65 love affair—and you can wax nostalgic with me when TCM’s daytime lineup features films released that year: Hysteria at 8:45am, followed by Inside Daisy Clover (10:15am), Joy in the Morning (12:30pm), Bunny Lake is Missing (2:15pm), Once a Thief (4:15pm) and The Cincinnati Kid at 6:15pm.

January 13, Friday – To ward off the superstition that comes with today, why not take a day off and enjoy the carefree New York bachelor life with a lineup that starts off with The Apartment (1960) at 7am, followed by Any Wednesday (1966; 9:15am), Sunday in New York (1963; 11:15am), Boys' Night Out (1962; 1:15pm), Bachelor in Paradise (1961; 3:30pm) and The Tender Trap (1955; 5:30pm).

Seeing that TCM is planning a three-film to Napoleon Bonaparte beginning at 8pm with Conquest (1937) reminds me of how much I miss those wonderful Napoleons at Rum Runners Bakery in Savannah.  But that’s neither here nor there: after Conquest, it’s one of Woody Allen’s “early, funny films” in Love and Death (1975) at 10pm and Anthony Adverse (1936) at 11:30pm.

January 14, SaturdayCliff Aliperti alert: before the last of the Warren William Lone Wolf films, Passport to Suez, unspools at 10:30am TCM’s got Cleopatra (1934) on tap at 8:45am.  (Just doin’ my part.)

When evening shadows fall, TCM Essentials will roll out Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) at 8pm…signaling the beginning of a Spencer Tracy film festival that will also feature Adam's Rib (1949; 10:30pm), TDOY fave The Last Hurrah (1958; 12:15am),  Father's Little Dividend (1951; 2:30am) and Cass Timberlane (1947; 4am).

January 15, Sunday – The channel occupies a perfectly good Sunday morning with a three-film tribute featuring She Who Must Not Be Named: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944; 6am), The Secret Garden (1949; 8am) and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945; 10am).  (Don’t say you weren’t warned.)

At 8pm, something that’s a little more my meat and a movie that has become a tradition here at Rancho Yesteryear every Halloween: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).  Another of Bud and Lou’s best, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), follows at 9:30pm (I watched this one last Halloween, too) and to close out the night, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) at 11pm.

January 16, Monday – “Some preach wrong and some preach right/Some preach love and some preach fright…”  A day of fine films has been scheduled to commemorate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

07:45am Cry, the Beloved Country (1952)
09:30am Pressure Point (1962)
11:00am Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
12:45pm Lost Boundaries (1949)
02:30pm Intruder in the Dust (1949)
04:00pm A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
06:15pm The Defiant Ones (1958)
08:00pm My Brother's Wedding (1983)
09:30pm The Learning Tree (1969)
11:30pm Black Girl (1972)
01:30am Stir Crazy (1980)
03:30am Watermelon Man (1970)

January 17, Tuesday – With beloved host Robert Osborne having returned from his sabbatical, he’s ready to choose some of his personal favorites from the voluminous Turner Classic Movies library: What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969; 8pm), Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955; 10pm), Night in Paradise (1946; 12mid) and The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946; 1:30am).  (This last one, an English language film directed by the great Jean Renoir, will definitely have to be recorded by both Laura and yours truly.)

January 18, Wednesday – It’s that time of year when pal Page puts up her Cary Grant decorations, and she’ll no doubt have friends and family over to celebrate what would have been Archie Leach’s 108th birthday with The Toast of New York (1937; 6:15am), Topper (1937; 8:15am), Holiday (1938; 10am), In Name Only (1939; 12noon), My Favorite Wife (1940; 1:45pm), Every Girl Should Be Married (1948; 3:15pm) and Room for One More (1952; 4:45pm). (I’ll be by when Holiday comes on to sing Grant carols.)

January 19, Thursday – TCM spends a day pretty much in the same fashion as my father: reminiscing about World War II.  But one of the films they’ve got on the schedule is one that I’ve been hunting high and low ever since I saw it on American Movie Classics (which is how I spend my days, reminiscing when AMC showed old movies): Joan of Paris (1942), with Michèle Morgan, Paul Heinreid, Thomas Mitchell and the always welcome Laird Cregar.

January 20, Friday – Happy birthday to a true TDOY fave—the Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress, Patricia Neal.  On tap for the occasion: It's a Great Feeling (1949; 6am—Jeffrey Bushdinkle alert, Becks!), John Loves Mary (1949; 7:30am), The Fountainhead (1949; 9:15am), Bright Leaf (1950; 11:15am), The Hasty Heart (1949; 1:15pm), A Face in the Crowd (1957; 3pm) and The Subject Was Roses (1968; 5:15pm)

Come evening, another TDOY idol gets some much needed attention: an actor who has never given a bad performance in any of the venues I’ve seen him in.  You can enjoy some of Martin Balsam’s fine thespic turns in Al Capone (1959; 8pm), The Anderson Tapes (1971; 10pm) and Vince Keenan fave The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974; 12mid).

And on TCM Underground: one of the most fascinating cases in the annals of crime unfortunately doesn’t fare well in the 1977 cult curiosity The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2am); even Ben Johnson can’t save this turkey.  Fortunately Underground rebounds at 3:45am with what may very well be my favorite Blake Edwards-directed film, Experiment in Terror (1962)

January 21, SaturdayThe Glass Key (1942) is scheduled for a 9am airing.  I don’t have to tell you what that means.

January 22, SundayStacia alert!  A three-film testament to the incomparable Bela Lugosi kicks off at 8pm with Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)…and while I wouldn’t try to put you off the movie, it pales to the delights that await you in The Black Cat (1934), which follows at 9:15 (“Supernatural, perhaps…baloney, perhaps not…”).  The excellent Island of Lost Souls (1932), which the doyenne of She Blogged by Night was nice enough to float me a copy some time back, closes out BelaFest at 10:30pm.

January 23, Monday – I came across The Kid from Kokomo (1939) in Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movies Guide and it sounds like a film I’d very much like to see…with a cast that includes Pat O’Brien, Joan Blondell, Wayne Morris, May Robson, Jane Wyman, Sidney Toler, Edward Brophy and “Slapsie Maxie” Rosenbloom, it’s got to be good.  Kokomo’s on at 9am, and later at 11:45am the channel unspools Charles Starrett’s final Durango Kid oater, The Kid from Broken Gun (1952).

Good things are scheduled beginning at 8pm as TCM spotlights the four English-language films directed by the legendary Max Ophüls: the little-seen (and simply splendid) The Reckless Moment (1949) starts off the evening, followed by two other winners in Caught (1949; 9:30pm) and Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948; 11:15pm).  Ophüls’ first Hollywood effort, The Exile (1947), is up-to-bat at 1am and to round out the evening, two of the director’s finest efforts in La Ronde (1950; 2:45am) and The Earrings of Madame De… (1953; 4:30am).

January 24, Tuesday – It’s always risky writing these in advance…but if the Fates aren’t heckbent on tripping me up, I can say with confidence that Ernest Borgnine’s drinking from the Fountain of Youth will pay dividends when he celebrates his 95th natal anniversary today.  Join the Academy Award-winning thespian for a day of wonderful films beginning at 6:15am with From Here to Eternity (1953), followed by Bad Day at Black Rock (1955; 8:15am), Marty (1955; 9:45am), The Catered Affair (1956; 11:30am), The Badlanders (1958; 1:15pm), Torpedo Run (1958; 2:45pm) and The Dirty Dozen (1967; 4:30pm).  Ernie’s Private Screenings chat with Bobby Osbo in 2009 finishes out the day at 7pm.

January 25, Wednesday – The channel is going to show the 1944 musical comedy Show Business, starring two of my OTR favorites, Eddie Cantor and Joan Davis, at 6:30am.  Scratch another title off my Warner Archive wish list.

January 27, Friday – The campy cult classic Women’s Prison (1955) is just one of several films being featured in a tribute to life in prison…or what I’ve decided to call “Bars and Stripes Forever.”  The rest of the lineup includes Numbered Men (1930; 6am), Personal Property (1937; 7:15am), Each Dawn I Die (1939; 8:45am), Millionaires in Prison (1940; 10:30am), The Getaway (1941; 11:45am), Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943; 1:30pm), Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951; 3:15pm) and House of Numbers (1957; 6:15pm)

In the evening, the channel turns its attention to more serious matters…well, I think they’re serious, anyway.  A most fitting tribute to one of the great film directors, James Whale, is on tap at 8pm with The Great Garrick (1937) and then continues with the rarity One More River (1934; 9:45am) and his horror classics The Invisible Man (1933) and Frankenstein (1931) at 11:15pm and 12:30am, respectively.

Come the wee a.m. hours, TCM Underground shows an infamous film here in the House of Yesteryear—it is the only movie that I have ever walked out on in all the films I’ve watched unspool in motion picture theaters, the 1981 horror movie Possession (1981; 2am).  (The fact that they had to re-title this turkey “The Night the Screaming Stops” when it snuck into the Abercorn Cinemas in 1982 should have been a tip-off.)

January 28, Saturday – With TCM Essentials scheduling The Misfits (1961) at 8pm, the channel devotes the evening to what it’s calling “Post Mortem” movies—films that spotlight the final performances of some of the cinematic legends.  Misfits was the swan song for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe (her last film, Something’s Got to Give, was never finished), and after it comes Saratoga (1937; 10:15pm—Jean Harlow) Soylent Green (1973; 12mid—Edward G. Robinson) and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967; 4am—Spencer Tracy).  Rebel Without a Cause (1955) is also on the schedule at 2am, but I don’t know if they’re arguing it was the final film James Dean worked on because the final feature released was, of course, Giant (1956).

January 29, Sunday – Dum de dum dum…M. Bouffant, hobbyfan, Our Lady of Great Caftan, Brother Brent McKee, VP81955 and myself—along with millions of other Jack Webb fans in the blogosphere—will be glued to our TV sets this evening because TCM rolls out two films in the oeuvre of the Dragnet creator, The D.I. (1957) at 8pm and -30- (1959) following at 10.  (“You’re pretty high and far out, son…what kind of trip are you on?”)

Following on TCM’s Silent Sunday Nights at 12 midnightExit Smiling (1926), a film recommended to me by Silent Volume’s Chris Edwards and another movie I can cross off the Archive wish list.

January 30, Monday – Finally, another ageless star (who celebrated her 95th in October 2011) receives her proper due when TCM devotes the evening hours to Academy Award-winner Joan Fontaine.  One of my high school chum Lory’s favorite classic movie outings, Jane Eyre (1943) starts the ball rolling at 8pm and then a movie I’ve been trying like the dickens to catch, The Constant Nymph (1943) at 10pm.  Joan’s deliciously wicked turn in Born to Be Bad (1950) turns up at midnight, followed by her Oscar-winning showcase in Suspicion (1941) at 2am and then finally Ivanhoe (1952) at 4am.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Ohmygosh!! This is very impressive.
I'm really looking forward to Cary Grant on the 18th and Patricia Neal on the 20th.