Friday, December 31, 2010

TCM in January: Highlights

Happy New Year, and Best Wishes for 2011!

As I previewed last fall, in January there's a particularly good schedule at Turner Classic Movies, with a wide variety of interesting titles.

...There's a chance to see the rather unique Jimmy Stewart film NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY (1951) on January 2nd. Glynis Johns and Marlene Dietrich costar.

...January 3rd is a typically interesting day on the schedule, including HEARTS DIVIDED (1936), with Claude Rains, Dick Powell and Marion Davies in a film about Napoleon's younger brother...Robert Montgomery and Davies in EVER SINCE EVE (1937) of my favorite film noir titles, MYSTERY STREET (1950) with Ricardo Montalban...June Allyson and Arthur Kennedy in a film about a pioneering woman doctor, THE GIRL IN WHITE (1952)...and back-to-back Ray Milland films to celebrate his birthday: A LIFE OF HER OWN (1950) with Lana Turner and THE SAFECRACKER (1958), which Milland also directed. And that's only a part of the day's schedule, which also includes Gene Tierney in THE SHANGHAI GESTURE and Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell in MACAO (1952).

...Jane Wyman's January 5th birthdate will be celebrated a day early, with 8 films shown on January 4th. The movies include Hitchcock's STAGE FRIGHT (1950) and Wyman's Oscar-winning JOHNNY BELINDA (1948). You can also hear Jane sing in LET'S DO IT AGAIN (1953), where she was teamed with her costar from THE LOST WEEKEND (1945), Ray Milland. THE LOST WEEKEND, incidentally, airs January 30th.

...There's a slate of five films about music teachers on January 5th. A few months ago my dad really enjoyed THEY SHALL HAVE MUSIC (1939), starring Joel McCrea.

...January 6th is TCM's annual birthday tribute to Loretta Young, with eight films being shown this year, including the relatively rarely shown THE UNGUARDED HOUR (1936) with Franchot Tone and THE MEN IN HER LIFE (1941), a new-to-me Young film costarring Dean Jagger and Conrad Veidt. Other Young titles airing that day are THE DOCTOR TAKES A WIFE (1940) with Ray Milland, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (1943) with Brian Aherne, ALONG CAME JONES (1943) with Gary Cooper, THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947) with Cary Grant, CAUSE FOR ALARM! (1951) with Barry Sullivan, and PAULA (1952) with Kent Smith. Lots of good viewing that day. (January 4th Update: Unfortunately TCM has had to pull THE MEN IN HER LIFE from the schedule and replaced it with RACHEL AND THE STRANGER. RACHEL is a good film, but it's a disappointment to those of us who were looking forward to the relatively little-seen THE MEN IN HER LIFE.)

...January 7th another of my favorite actresses, Jeanne Crain, will have a three-film tribute in prime time, consisting of THE FASTEST GUN ALIVE (1956) with Glenn Ford, STATE FAIR (1945) with Dana Andrews, and Elia Kazan's PINKY (1949), which netted Crain her sole nomination as Best Actress.

...One of the random "little" movies I'm interested in recording this month is PRETTY BABY (1950), with Dennis Morgan, Zachary Scott, and Betsy Drake (then Mrs. Cary Grant). It will be shown January 9th.

...SONS OF THE SEA (1941), starring Michael Redgrave, is about a steamboat crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It sounds very similar to RULERS OF THE SEA (1939), which starred Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Redgrave's THE LADY VANISHES (1938) costar, Margaret Lockwood. SONS OF THE SEA airs January 11th.

...January 13th is a Kay Francis film not yet in my collection: BRITISH AGENT (1934), costarring Leslie Howard. It's part of a 10-film Francis birthday tribute which includes GUILTY HANDS (1931), reviewed last fall; the wild JEWEL ROBBERY (1932), a pre-Code in which thief William Powell gives his victims marijuana; THE GOOSE AND THE GANDER (1935), a fun country house farce with George Brent; and IT'S A DATE (1940) with Deanna Durbin and Walter Pidgeon.

...January 14th there's a terrific night of John Payne films scheduled: 99 RIVER STREET (1953) costarring Evelyn Keyes, THE CROOKED WAY (1949) costarring Ellen Drew, KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL (1952) with Coleen Gray, and TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI (1942) with Maureen O'Hara and Randolph Scott.

...On January 18th there's an amazing evening of rare Screen Directors Playhouse TV shows from the mid '50s, with stars including John Wayne, Vera Miles, Robert Ryan, Charles Bickford, Errol Flynn, Ray Milland, and Teresa Wright, and directors including John Ford, Ida Lupino, Leo McCarey, and Fred Zinnemann. That's a great evening to have the recorder up and running.

...January 23rd there's the opportunity to see I MARRIED A WITCH (1942), SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944), SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954), THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942), BLACK NARCISSUS (1947), and LOST HORIZON (1937). That is a powerhouse lineup of diverse classics!

...Late January brings some treasures from the Paramount and Universal vaults, starting with Paramount's LUCKY JORDAN (1942) and Universal's PHANTOM LADY (1944) on January 26th. LUCKY JORDAN stars Alan Ladd and Helen Walker, and PHANTOM LADY is a film noir with Franchot Tone and a very appealing Ella Raines.

...On the 29th is a very exciting Paramount title, Fritz Lang's MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944), starring Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds (HOLIDAY INN), and Dan Duryea. Get your DVRs and VCRs ready for that one! It's only available on Region 2 DVD in Europe.

...The month ends with a splash with a January 31st birthday tribute to the late Jean Simmons. The titles which I'm most excited about are HUNGRY HILL (1947) with Margaret Lockwood and SHE COULDN'T SAY NO (1954) with Robert Mitchum.

The January Star of the Month is Peter Sellers. I won't be doing a separate Star of the Month post for January, since most of Sellers' films aren't my cup of tea. Look for his films Thursday evenings.

Visit the TCM schedule for a complete list of the month's films. There are many, many more wonderful films being shown in January!


Blogger Mark said...

Fans of Kay Francis and Deanna Durbin should keep an eye out for 1942's ALWAYS IN MY HEART, the film debut of Gloria Warren, Warner Bros. entry in the "Durbin Wannabe" sweepstakes.

Francis and Walter Huston play Warren's parents, but the film is clearly designed as a star vehicle for Warren, who gets special billing, and is made to appear as "Durbinesque" as possible.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Mark! I like both Francis and Durbin and haven't yet seen ALWAYS IN MY HEART.

Best wishes,

1:03 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Oooh yes, I am looking forward to Kay Francis Day to fill in some gaps in my collection.
EAnd everyone set your recording devices for "The Men in Her Life" . It's only been around in lousy prints, and many people are anxious to see it. To admirers of Powell & Pressburger films and their regular stars, The Men in Her Life and Atlantic Crossing are must sees as these films involve the following people: Veidt, Hobson, Redgrave, Pressburger.


3:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Alas, THE MEN IN HER LIFE has now been pulled from the TCM schedule. This happens occasionally, apparently due to rights issues or the condition of the print they receive. The post has now been updated to reflect the change.

Best wishes,

10:18 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

This is the second time that's happened on TCM with this film so no surprise. I've sometimes received cancellation notices from TCM and the film was on anyway. I'll leave my recorder set just in case but no expectations.

2:08 PM  

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