Monday, September 01, 2014

Tonight's Movie: The Deep Six (1958) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

THE DEEP SIX (1958) is one of several Alan Ladd films recently released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

THE DEEP SIX, from Ladd's Jaguar Productions, is admittedly a rather clunky film in various ways, yet I have to say that despite its issues I rather enjoyed it, and I suspect my fellow Alan Ladd fans will likewise have a pleasant time watching it.

The movie begins with a very nicely produced opening credits sequence, with music composed by David Buttolph. The sleek sets and wardrobe design of the film's first few minutes then establish the film firmly in the '50s -- so it came as a bit of a surprise for me when advertising artist Alec Austen (Ladd) receives a telegram dated 1942!

The wardrobe and hairstyles of Alec's girlfriend Susan (Dianne Foster) never seem anything other than of the '50s. (Although I have no idea what decade her awful hats were supposed to be from!) The mismatch reminded me of WWII films like THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (1964) and BATTLE OF BRITAIN (1969) which were similarly entrenched in the decades in which they were made. THE DEEP SIX would have worked much better as a Korean War film.

Putting that issue aside, the plot concerns Alec's inner battle between a Quaker upbringing and a desire to serve his country. Alec was in the ROTC in college and remained in the reserves, and when he's called to serve full-time due to the war, the news comes as a particular shock to his Quaker mother (Jeanette Nolan). Alec is much more sanguine about meeting his responsibility.

When Alec reports for duty, his fitness to serve in combat is immediately questioned by the ship's executive officer (Keenan Wynn), who is anxious to avenge Pearl Harbor. Alec must prove to the crew his willingness to defend and protect the United States, and ultimately he takes on a very dangerous mission to rescue some downed fliers who possess critical information about a Japanese installation.

Alec's romance with Susan is handled abruptly at times -- she greets his marriage proposal with the news she's already engaged, then she makes that problem go away by the next time she's on screen! As is so often the case in war films, their story gets short shrift.

Despite the somewhat odd twists and turns of the script, I enjoyed watching this film. I love Alan Ladd more with each movie; there's something about his persona I find quite moving. Even though he was starting to look a bit worn in 1958 due to his offscreen troubles, there's something so decent and admirable about his onscreen characters. It's interesting that a man so secure in his own skin in front of the camera was apparently so insecure about his talent.

It's rather touching seeing Ladd reunited here with his frequent costar and dear friend William Bendix. The movie also has a very nice supporting turn by Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as the ship's doctor.

It's also fun to see James Whitmore and Keenan Wynn, the singing gangsters of KISS ME KATE (1953), reunited half a decade later. Peter Hansen and Warren Douglas, who have both showed up in my recent viewing with great regularity, here play a ship's officer and a pilot.

Dianne Foster, who I've previously enjoyed in NIGHT PASSAGE (1957) and THE BROTHERS RICO (1957), was in two John Ford films the same year THE DEEP SIX was released, GIDEON OF SCOTLAND YARD (1958) and THE LAST HURRAH (1958). She's now 85.

Foster retired from acting within a few years of her 1961 marriage to a dentist, in order to focus on her family. As I read about her, I was quite startled to suddenly realize that, unless her son's first and middle names plus family background are all a huge coincidence, he is the excellent Long Beach oral surgeon who has removed each of my children's wisdom teeth! I did a double-take when I read her son's name. Talk about a small world.

THE DEEP SIX was directed by Rudolph Mate. The screenplay of this 105-minute film was based on a based on a novel by Martin Dibner.

The cinematography was by John F. Seitz. The color of this widescreen film is rather faded, but I suspect that's due in part to the unreliability of Warnercolor. Otherwise it's a nice print. There are no extras.

Additional Alan Ladd films recently released by the Warner Archive which have been reviewed here: DRUM BEAT (1954) and THE BIG LAND (1957).

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website.

Tonight's Movie: Red Light (1949) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

RED LIGHT (1949) was released earlier this year as part of the Warner Archive Film Noir Collection.

San Francisco businessman Johnny Torno (George Raft) is thrilled to welcome home his kid brother Jess (Arthur Franz), a priest who has been away for the last five years serving as an Army chaplain.

Nick Cherney (Raymond Burr), who was sent to prison for embezzling from Johnny's company, wants to get back at Johnny. Nick arranges to bribe another con (Harry Morgan) who's being released from prison to bump off Jess as the ultimate cruel payback.

Jess is shot in a hotel room, but before dying he tells Johnny that the answer to who killed him is "in the Bible." Or at least Johnny thinks that's what Jess meant. Johnny goes on a quest looking for the hotel room's missing Gideon Bible, aided by one of the room's former occupants, Carla (Virginia Mayo).

RED LIGHT is one of those cases where the parts are better than the whole. There's a wonderful leading lady, a pair of terrific noir villains, a good cop character (Barton MacLane), an interesting initial premise, and a terrific ending, but unfortunately it doesn't all seem to gel as one would hope.

The story is a fairly slow-moving 84 minutes, not helped by one of Raft's more wooden performances. He comes across for me more effectively in some films than others; for instance, I thought he did a nice job in NOCTURNE (1946), in which he loosened up and showed a sense of humor. Here he's simply angry and colorless.

Unfortunately he's not aided by the always-enjoyable Virginia Mayo, as her screen time is fairly limited and she has little to do. One suspects she was cast simply to draw in movie-goers, but there's not much of her on the screen.

There are a few strong scenes, including a truly shocking moment when Johnny unexpectedly vents his anger in a church, and there's also an excellent final shoot-out on a rooftop in the rain, where Johnny learns that the Lord really does take care of things. The final shot of "The End" in neon is terrific.

It's interesting to note that RED LIGHT was based on a story called "This Guy Gideon" by actor Don "Red" Barry, who dabbled occasionally in writing. The blending of noir with religious themes was somewhat unique, as Johnny struggles with hatred of his brother's killer versus how his brother would want him to respond. The score by Dimitri Tiomkin makes frequent use of "Ave Maria."

The movie was directed by Roy Del Ruth and filmed in black and white by Bert Glennon. There are some particularly interesting establishing shots, including San Francisco under the opening credits and later the mission at Carmel.

I was confused by an establishing shot of a different-looking El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, with a street sign placing it at Hollywood and Vine; that's a few blocks away from the current location of the El Capitan, where I have seen a number of movies. I then learned from the El Capitan's history page that for a time, starting in the '40s, the El Capitan name had moved from its historic longtime location over to the Hollywood Playhouse; now known as the Avalon Hollywood, that theater is indeed at Hollywood and Vine and has recently been used as a venue for the TCM Classic Film Festival. I do love that a seconds-long shot in a movie combined with a little internet research taught me something new about Hollywood history!

The supporting cast of RED LIGHT includes Gene Lockhart, Stanley Clements, Arthur Shields, William Frawley, and Movita (MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY).

Other Warner Archive releases starring Virginia Mayo reviewed here in recent weeks: THE GIRL FROM JONES BEACH (1949), PAINTING THE CLOUDS WITH SUNSHINE (1951), SHE'S BACK ON BROADWAY (1953), and THE BIG LAND (1957). I appreciate that the Archive has released so much of her work on DVD! I also highly recommend Mayo in the Warner Archive release FORT DOBBS (1958), costarring Clint Walker, which was reviewed here last year.

The Warner Archive RED LIGHT DVD is a fine print. There are no extras.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website.

The Big Picture: Hitchcock! at the Hollywood Bowl

One of the special things we've enjoyed this Labor Day weekend was a concert last evening at the Hollywood Bowl.

David Newman conducted the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in the concert The Big Picture: Hitchcock!, which was hosted by NORTH BY NORTHWEST star Eva Marie Saint.

Rather than a traditional Bowl picnic, we decided to check out a local restaurant and upon arrival decided on 25 Degrees, the excellent burger place just off the lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard.

When walking from dinner up to the Hollywood Bowl, we passed the Magic Castle. The Castle was built using the same plans as Kimberly Crest, an estate in Redlands where I had a college internship. The plans were just flipped backwards for the Magic Castle!

We parked at the Hollywood and Highland Center, which is a better deal than Bowl parking lots. It's roughly a 15-minute walk up Highland to the Bowl.

Once one arrives at the Bowl, it's another ten or fifteen minutes of walking up hills and escalators -- at least if you're sitting high up, as we were! Upon arrival, however, the spectacular view of the Hollywood Bowl never fails to disappoint:

A closeup of the Hollywood sign beyond the Bowl shell:

It was fun that Lindsay was able to sit with our family for the concert! Although we didn't run into them, a couple other bloggers or Tweeters were in attendance, scattered around the Bowl.

The concert program included music by Tiomkin, Newman, Waxman, Rozsa, and Herrmann:

Eva Marie Saint was a wonderful hostess. She seemed to be having a wonderful time! You would never dream that that energetic, quick-witted lady just turned 90 on Independence Day.

What a joy to spend the evening with Eva Marie, listening to great music as we watched classic Hitchcock film clips! As Lindsay Tweeted, Saint is "The. Best."

You'd never know it, but Eva Marie's on stage down there, toward the left!

There are times I feel especially fortunate to live in Southern California, and last night's concert was one of them!

Previously: Turner Classic Movies at the Hollywood Bowl (September 6, 2010).

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tonight's Movie: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

This weekend I watched a beautiful new Blu-ray of Disney's THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD (1949).

The movie came out as part of a new Blu-ray/DVD combination set along with FUN AND FANCY FREE (1947) and THE RELUCTANT DRAGON (1941), which I have previously reviewed. THE RELUCTANT DRAGON is hidden away on the disc as an extra under "Special Features," although it's a full-length feature film!

THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD is two cartoons in one. MR. TOAD is adapted from Kenneth Grahame's THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. Somehow I'd never seen this section of the film before. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and the Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland both now make a whole lot more sense!

Basil Rathbone is the narrator of MR. TOAD, with the great Eric Blore in the title role. It was amusing enough to hold my attention for roughly half the length of this 68-minute film, but for me the story of a blithely naughty, car-obsessed toad who doesn't deserve his friends was the lesser of the two cartoons.

ICHABOD recounts Washington Irving's THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW, and I had seen it multiple times as a child, either at school or on the WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY. However, I hadn't seen it for decades so it was almost like seeing a whole new movie!

Bing Crosby narrates, which is great fun and also helps pleasantly defuse the film's genuinely spooky conclusion. Ichabod is a skinny, homely schoolmaster with a bottomless appetite who falls in love with rich Katrina van Tassel, much to the dismay of bully Brom -- who struck me as amazingly like Gaston in Disney's 1991 film BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

At a party one night Brom terrifies everyone, including Ichabod, with his tale of the Headless Horseman, after which Ichabod has a terrifying encounter with the apparition. Did the Horseman spirit Ichabod away? Or did Ichabod flee and marry a wealthy widow in another county? No one knows for sure.

In addition to Crosby's singing and amusing asides, I enjoyed the backup singing by the Rhythmaires. Vocal arrangements were by Ken Darby, with the songs by Gene de Paul (SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS) and Don Raye.

THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD was directed by Clyde Geronimi, James Algar, and Jack Kinney.

Most of the great Disney animators of the day worked on this film, including Mary Blair, Ub Iwerks, Marc Davis, Claude Coats, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, John Hench, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Wolfgang Reitherman, Eric Larson, Don da Gradi, and John Lounsbery, to name just a few among many.

There's a detailed review of the new Blu-ray DVD set by Gene Ehrbar at Animation Scoop. It was this review which initially clued me in to the presence of THE RELUCTANT DRAGON in the set.

THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD was previously released in a Gold Collection DVD and on VHS.

FUN AND FANCY FREE had a 50th Anniversary VHS release and a Gold Collection DVD.

THE RELUCTANT DRAGON was released on VHS and DVD, and it was also included in the wonderful Walt Disney Treasures DVD set Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studio.

As a postscript, D23 is hosting a screening of THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD on the Disney Studios lot on September 13, 2014. Alas, I have a schedule conflict that date, or I'd definitely be going! Disney historian Mindy Johnson will be sharing information from the Bing Crosby Archive about Crosby's work on the film.

Book Review: Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

The final book on my 2014 Summer Classic Film Book Reading List is FIVE CAME BACK: A STORY OF HOLLYWOOD AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR by Mark Harris.

It's been a near thing getting this book, which is just over 500 pages, read in time for the challenge's September 1st deadline! I've been trying to squeeze it in every moment, from a quick car trip to Arizona a few days ago to lunch breaks -- but really, that's a good way to try to fit any book into a busy schedule. Fortunately my proofreading work slowed down just a bit in recent days due to client summer vacations, which gave me more time for pleasure reading.

FIVE CAME BACK tells the story of five of Hollywood's greatest directors, John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra, how these men of diverse backgrounds impacted World War II, and how the war in turn impacted them. All five men went to work filming military documentaries during World War II, then came home and made key films including Wyler's THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1945), Ford's THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945), and Capra's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946).

The men each served for a few years, recording (and occasionally re-enacting) history as it happened. Ford was wounded at the Battle of Midway, Wyler flew combat missions over Germany, and a sickened Stevens recorded what was found when Dachau was liberated. "No rumor or report...prepared the first Allied soldiers into the camps... For some of the men in Stevens's unit, simply bearing witness to so much suffering without taking action themselves was impossible. They abandoned their cameras...One of them...started wandering from bed to bed in the camp's first makeshift infirmary, letting the dying dictate letters to their relatives while he wrote around the clock. He didn't stop or sleep for days."

It's a big book which covers a great deal of territory from the years 1938 to 1947, but it's well-organized, well-written, and extensively sourced. (The author spent five years doing primary source research.) It's an important history, and it's also an enjoyable and interesting read.

FIVE CAME BACK was published by the Penguin Press. It's 511 pages including the index. There are two sections of photographs printed on glossy paper.

A recommended read.

Here are additional reviews of FIVE CAME BACK by film historians Leonard Maltin and Thomas Doherty. The Self-Styled Siren interviewed author Mark Harris, and Lou Lumenick discusses how the directors "restaged" some of the scenes in their documentaries. Lou includes links to a few of their famous wartime films including Wyler's THE MEMPHIS BELLE (1944) and Huston's SAN PIETRO (1945).

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from around the Internet...the Labor Day Weekend edition!

...Fantastic news broke last week: the great Maureen O'Hara will receive an Honorary Academy Award. Also being honored is legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (THE WIND RISES). The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award goes to Harry Belafonte. The honorary awards will be presented at a dinner on November 8th.

...Calling Jack Webb fans! Toby's new blog, The Hannibal 8, will be hosting a Jack Webb blogathon from October 17th to 19. Visit The Hannibal 8 for details and to sign up! I'm going to be writing on the 1954 DRAGNET feature film, which has a fantastic cast.

...Please visit my latest column at ClassicFlix, on the great Irene Dunne. It includes a biographical sketch and recommendations of a dozen wonderful films starring an actress equally at home in dramas, comedies, or musicals.

...Over at Radio Spirits, Ivan has written a very informative piece on Anne Whitfield, whom I have only known as Susan in one of my favorite movies, WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954). She had a very interesting career including playing the daughter of Phil Harris and Alice Faye on their radio show.

...Glenn Erickson reviews the new Twilight Time Blu-ray of Fritz Lang's MAN HUNT (1941) at DVD Savant. Walter Pidgeon, George Sanders, and Joan Bennett star.

...Coming from the Criterion Collection on November 18th: IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934). Love the cover art! My review of the film as seen at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival is here.

...Rick reviews Tyrone Power in THE MISSISSIPPI GAMBLER (1953) at the Classic Film & TV Cafe. Rick recently had the wonderful chance to interview leading lady Piper Laurie.

...Everything I've read about the Warner Archive's new OUT OF THE PAST (1947) Blu-ray is stellar. Here's KC's review at A Classic Movie Blog. Looking forward to reviewing it in the near future!

...Vienna's Classic Hollywood shares info on a book which looks quite interesting: DEATH ON THE CHEAP: THE LOST B MOVIES OF FILM NOIR by Arthur Lyons.

...Coming from the Warner Archive: Randolph Scott and James Garner in SHOOT-OUT AT MEDICINE BEND (1957), which I reviewed in 2011. RATON PASS (1951) with Dennis Morgan and Steve Cochran looks interesting too.

...Kristina has a terrific Dennis O'Keefe photo gallery at Speakeasy.

...Here's Seth Mandel on SPORTS NIGHT and the beauty of baseball at Commentary.

...David Hyde Pierce of FRASIER will play a recurring role in the upcoming sixth season of THE GOOD WIFE.

...Rodgers & Hammerstein's rarely seen 1947 musical ALLEGRO is being revived off Broadway this fall.

...My recent review of THE MAN FROM GALVESTON (1963) has been adapted and posted at MovieFanFare. My thanks to MovieFanFare for sharing my film writing with a wider audience!

...Hello Kitty isn't a cat? Say what? And did you know Hello Kitty has been around now for 40 years? A 40th anniversary Hello Kitty convention is coming to The Geffen Contemporary in the Little Toyko section of Los Angeles from October 30th through November 2nd, 2014. I admit I'm also fond of Chococat.

...It's time for college football! Our daughter is a sophomore sax player in the University of Oregon Marching Band. She's also Assistant Section Leader this year. Here's Oregon's schedule. Next Saturday is the big game against Michigan State. ESPN GameDay will be there filming bright and early, which means the band gets up at dark o'clock!

...Notable Passing: British actor-director-producer Richard Attenborough has died at 90. His acting credits included BRIGHTON ROCK (1947), MORNING DEPARTURE (1950), DUNKIRK (1958), THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963), THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX (1965), and JURASSIC PARK (1993), to name but a few. He won Oscars as producer and director of GANDHI (1992). Below is TCM's tribute to Attenborough:

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tonight's Movie: Man From Sonora (1951) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

MAN FROM SONORA (1951) is a Monogram "B" Western starring Johnny Mack Brown. It's available on DVD in the Monogram Cowboy Collection, Vol. 1, from the Warner Archive.

I had previously enjoyed Brown in supporting roles as a sheriff in the Rod Cameron Westerns STAMPEDE (1949) and SHORT GRASS (1950), but this was my first time to see him starring in a "B" Western.

MAN FROM SONORA was a pleasant surprise. It was well-made and engaging, with a nice sense of energy. The dialogue and acting wasn't all stellar, but it was good enough, with Phyllis Coates a lively and intelligent leading lady. (Coates, who played Alice in the JOE McDOAKES shorts, is now 87.) The film moved along and held my attention throughout.

Brown doesn't cut a traditional leading man figure; for one thing he was way too old for Coates, but fortunately their relationship wasn't developed beyond her smiling admiringly at him. That said, he's personable, with his friendly authority capturing attention from the opening scene where his beloved horse is stolen by stage robbers. The way he handled it rather reminded me of George O'Brien in the opening scenes of the first O'Brien Western I saw, GUN LAW (1938), where he's confronted by an outlaw.

After Johnny's horse is stolen, he hitches a ride into the nearest town, where he works to recover his horse and solve the stage robbery. I'm sure no one familiar with Westerns will be surprised that a seeming pillar of the community, the too-friendly Ed Hooper (House Peters Jr.), is the ringleader of the bad guys.

Good ol' Lyle Talbot plays the sheriff, an old friend of Johnny's, who's caught between the desire to do right and aid his friend on the one hand and playing town politics on the other.

One gets a good sense of the weather from this film. Some of the scenes are quite breezy, and a couple scenes with a stagecoach pulling into town seem to have been shot in early morning fog. I think I could even see the breath from an extra; it must have been chilly!

The black and white photography was by Gilbert Warrenton. According to A Drifting Cowboy, which featured the nice still below to the right, the film was shot at Iverson Ranch.

MAN FROM SONORA runs 54 minutes and was directed by Lewis D. Collins from a screenplay by Maurice Tombragel. The supporting cast included Lee Roberts, Dennis Moore, John Merton, and Stanley Price.

The Warner Archive print of MAN FROM SONORA was excellent. It's rather amazing that a relatively unsung little Monogram "B" Western could look so nice over six decades later!

I previously reviewed Rod Cameron in CAVALRY SCOUT (1951), the only color film in this set. I'll be reviewing more Johnny Mack Brown and Jimmy Wakely movies from Volume 1 of the Monogram Cowboy Collection in the days to come. Based on seeing the first two films, this set is a nice treat for those who enjoy exploring lesser-known films in the Western genre.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD collection. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website.

TCM in September: Highlights

The summer is sadly drawing to its close, but Turner Classic Movies ensures we'll all have a wonderful September with an extra-fantastic schedule.

Melvyn Douglas is the September Star of the Month beginning on Wednesday, September 3rd.

Fridays in September are also quite exciting, as TCM is expanding its Friday Night Spotlight franchise and featuring 24-hour marathons of pre-Code classics each and every Friday in September, beginning on the 5th.

I'll have more information about the Star of the Month and Friday pre-Code schedules next week. In the meantime, here's a look at just a few of the other interesting titles airing on TCM this month. All title links lead to my past reviews.

...Joel McCrea and Fay Wray star in the classic pre-Code adventure THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932) on Monday, September 1st.

...William Holden is being honored with a tribute during the daytime hours on Tuesday, September 2nd. I very strongly recommend FORCE OF ARMS (1951), a WWII romance costarring Nancy Olson, which I saw for the first time just last week.

...The colorful MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS (1957), starring Cyd Charisse and Dan Dailey, is a perfect film to chase away the end-of-summer blues. Cyd has some great dances, and she's beautifully costumed by Helen Rose. It airs on September 3rd.

...On September 4th, Tim Holt and Bonita Granville star in Edward Dmytryk's HITLER'S CHILDREN (1943).

...I wrote about seeing THE SNIPER (1952) for the first time earlier this month. It airs on September 4th. Adolphe Menjou as a rumpled police detective, sans mustache, was unexpected casting.

...A day of movies about horses on September 8th includes WILD STALLION (1952) with Ben Johnson and Martha Hyer, who passed on earlier this summer.

...I "zoned out" in the middle of the British comedy ON APPROVAL (1944) at this year's TCM Fest -- 14 movies in 3-1/2 days will do that to anyone! -- and consequently found myself a bit confused, especially as I had trouble keeping the leading men straight. I'm curious to take another look. It's on September 8th. The movie stars Beatrice Lillie, Googie Withers, Roland Culver, and Clive Brook, directed by Brook. Please visit Kim's post at I See a Dark Theater for much more on this unique film.

...ROSEANNA MCCOY (1949) is on the schedule September 9th, after being dropped from the tentative online schedule earlier this year. Farley Granger and Joan Evans star, with an interesting supporting cast playing the Hatfields and McCoys.

...September 10th is a terrific day for fans of "B" movies, with several lesser-known titles on the schedule and casts including Regis Toomey, Julie Bishop, and Robert Sterling. I'm especially interested to see Edward Arnold as a blind detective in THE HIDDEN EYE (1945), as I enjoyed his first film as the same character, EYES IN THE NIGHT (1942). FOLLOW ME QUIETLY (1949) with William Lundigan is a good one airing on this date.

...My husband fondly recalls ZEBRA IN THE KITCHEN (1965) with Martin Milner and Jay North (DENNIS THE MENACE). I've calendared to record it on September 11th.

...Those who missed SKYLARK (1941) on Claudette Colbert Day this month have another chance on September 14th. It's not the best film made by Colbert, Ray Milland, and Brian Aherne, but they're great company even in a weaker vehicle.

...A 24-hour tribute to the late Lauren Bacall begins Monday evening, September 15th, and concludes on her birthday, September 16th. Please visit my post TCM Remembers Lauren Bacall for details.

...The theme is "Bad Boys of the '50s" on September 17th, and the films include Sterling Hayden in THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950), Charles McGraw in the fantastic THE NARROW MARGIN (1952), and Hayden and Frank Sinatra in SUDDENLY (1954).

...Errol Flynn, Ruth Roman, and Raymond Burr star in MARA MARU (1952), directed by Gordon Douglas, on September 20th.

...One of my favorite Esther Williams films, NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER (1949), airs on Sunday, September 21st. Ricardo Montalban, Betty Garrett, and Red Skelton costar. The film introduced the Oscar-winning "Baby It's Cold Outside."

...THE OFFICE WIFE (1930) is an entertaining hour-long pre-Code starring Dorothy Mackaill, Lewis Stone, and Joan Blondell. It's shown on the 22nd.

...Dennis O'Keefe and Maureen O'Sullivan star in the programmer HOLD THAT KISS (1938) on September 23rd.

...Another Esther Williams favorite, EASY TO LOVE (1953), airs on September 24th. Van Johnson and Tony Martin costar.

...There's more Dennis O'Keefe on September 25th, when TCM honors him with a tribute showcasing his work in half a dozen films, including Anthony Mann's RAW DEAL (1948) and T-MEN (1947). O'Keefe is an actor I've really come to appreciate in recent years, and I'm delighted that TCM is honoring him in this way. Until then, check out Kristina's O'Keefe photo gallery at Speakeasy!

...The 1929 version of THE DESERT SONG airs on September 29th.

...Favorite screen team Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland star in the Western DODGE CITY (1939) later on September 29th.

...A September 30th tribute to Deborah Kerr includes the very entertaining MGM film THE HUCKSTERS (1947), also starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner.

For much more on TCM in September, please consult the complete schedule.