Saturday, October 02, 2010

TCM in October: Highlights

Happy October! I was just marveling that summer had drawn to a close, and now here we are with Halloween right around the corner.

It's time to take a look at some of the interesting things ahead for viewers this month on Turner Classic Movies:

...On October 3rd TCM will be showing the Fox film LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945), which was also shown on Gene Tierney Day last August. It costars Jeanne Crain and Cornel Wilde, and has some of the most remarkable Technicolor photography ever put on film. You won't soon forget Tierney's green eyes...or her disturbing character.

...On October 4th TCM will be showing THE EDDY DUCHIN STORY (1956) with Tyrone Power and Kim Novak. This is a Power film I've never seen, and I've got it set to record on my DVR. Cin-Eater posted a nice review of this film last summer.

...PENTHOUSE (1933) is a delightful film I saw for the first time in February. It stars Myrna Loy, Warner Baxter, Nat Pendleton, Charles Butterworth, and more. Fans of pre-Codes or '30s romantic mysteries shouldn't miss it. Screenwriters Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich and director W.S. Van Dyke, along with Loy, were warming up for THE THIN MAN, which came out the following year. PENTHOUSE airs October 4th.

...The 4th is an extra-good day: SKYSCRAPER SOULS (1934) is supposed to have one of Warren William's best pre-Code performances. Maureen O'Sullivan, Anita Page, Verree Teasdale and Norman Foster also star.

...October 6th is one of my favorite films in the careers of Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, and Kay Francis: the deliciously soapy, very memorable IN NAME ONLY, which was released in that Golden Year of 1939. There are several other early Lombard films airing that day which her fans will want to check out.

...There are a pair of good-looking Melvyn Douglas comedies airing on the 7th: THIRD FINGER, LEFT HAND (1940) with Myrna Loy and WE WERE DANCING (1942) with Norma Shearer.

...October 8th: SILK STOCKINGS (1957), Fred Astaire's last MGM musical, has some tremendous dances with Cyd Charisse. Add in Janis Paige, and musical fans who haven't yet seen it should set their DVR's. It's a remake of the classic comedy NINOTCHKA (1939), but enjoyable on its own terms.

...Don't forget the 24-hour Tony Curtis tribute on Sunday, October 10th.

...On October 11th two Olivia deHavilland films will air: THE GREAT GARRICK (1937) and IT'S LOVE I'M AFTER (1937). Both films were well reviewed when they were released via Warner Archive; the Self-Styled Siren was one of those who liked the movies. My 15-year-old daughter recently enjoyed THE GREAT GARRICK, too.

...An 8-movie SAINT marathon will take place on October 12th. I think this might have been postponed from a previously scheduled date due to a memorial tribute earlier this year. Most of the films star the one and only George Sanders, with Louis Heyward and Hugh Sinclair taking over the lead in a couple of the films.

...October 13th is a terrific day for fans of Laraine Day: an eight-film tribute to the actress, who is billed in some of her earlier films as Laraine Johnson. Most of the films are little-known "B" movies starring the likes of George O'Brien, Wallace Beery, and Ronald Reagan.

...October 14th another film happily emerges from behind the "Paramount wall" to air on TCM: MURDER, HE SAYS (1945), a crazy comedy starring Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, and Marjorie Main. I saw this film at the L.A. County Museum of Art as a child; I didn't "get" the humor then but maybe I'll like it better this time around. In any event, I'd like to try it!

...October 16th: RACHEL AND THE STRANGER (1948) with William Holden, Loretta Young, and Robert Mitchum. A "must see" for fans of any of this trio.

...On October 19th the romantic comedy WHAT A WOMAN! (1943) airs, starring Rosalind Russell and Brian Aherne. With those leads it's an automatic "record" for me.

...I thought ABOVE SUSPICION (1943), with Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray, was fun when I saw it this past summer. It airs on the 20th.

...8 Constance Bennett films will be shown on the 22nd, including some pre-Codes. I'm curious about a film she made with Herbert Marshall, OUTCAST LADY (1934). And if you haven't seen TOPPER (1937) yet, costarring Cary Grant, by all means check it out.

...Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond made several films together at RKO in the mid-'30s, most notably the charming WALKING ON AIR (1936), one of the unsung "little" films it's such a pleasure to discover on TCM. The Sothern-Raymond film SHE'S GOT EVERYTHING (1938) will air on October 27th.

...A WOMAN OF DISTINCTION (1950) is a fun film with a good cast: Ray Milland, Rosalind Russell, Edmund Gwenn, and Janis Carter. It airs on the 28th along with a half-dozen other Russell films.

...The Val Lewton classic CAT PEOPLE (1942) airs on October 30th.

There's so much more good stuff on this month, ranging from relatively obscure Hitchcock movies and MGM musicals to British comedies and a Miriam Hopkins tribute. It's tempting to attempt to comment on most of the schedule! This being October, there are also lots of horror films for those who like them. Be sure to check out the complete listings for this month at TCM.

Fredric March is the October Star of the Month, beginning Tuesday, October 5th. I'll be taking a closer look at the March films screening this month in the near future. (October 5th Update: Here's info on March on Star of the Month!)

And over at Fox Movie Channel, the film I'm most interested in this month is MOTHER DIDN'T TELL ME (1950) with Dorothy McGuire, William Lundigan, Gary Merrill, June Havoc, and Jessie Royce Landis. It joins the rotation of Fox titles on October 12th. The FMC schedule is here.

Happy viewing!


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