November is one of my very favorite months of the year, and there's a wonderful schedule ahead on Turner Classic Movies.
...TCM's big new original documentary series, MOGULS AND MOVIE STARS, begins on November 1st. New episodes will air Mondays through December 15th, with repeats on Wednesdays.
...Several film noir titles will be shown on November 1st, including HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951) and WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956).
...If you missed SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957) during the recent 24-hour tribute to Tony Curtis, it airs again on November 2nd as part of a birthday tribute to Burt Lancaster... Later that night is a six-film baseball marathon, although it should be noted it doesn't include a very famous baseball film in which Lancaster appeared, FIELD OF DREAMS (1989).
...I've read that one of Marion Davies' best performances is in SHOW PEOPLE (1928), airing November 3rd. It also airs November 17th.
...Florence Rice never became a big star, but I've enjoyed her in various MGM films. UNDER COVER OF NIGHT (1937), a "B" movie costarring Edmund Lowe, has a 7.0 rating from five viewers who voted at IMDb. It shows on November 4th.
...November 5th may be one of the best dates on the schedule. One of the more obscure titles which sounds interesting is JOE SMITH, AMERICAN (1942), starring Robert Young and Marsha Hunt... That evening there's a three-film birthday tribute to Joel McCrea, with THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932), FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940), and THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942). THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME is a very creepy pre-Code which I vividly remember watching in the middle of the night when I was a teenager. FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT is my favorite Hitchcock film, and THE PALM BEACH STORY is one of Preston Sturges' greatest comedies.
...One of the films I'm most looking forward to this month is A MILLIONAIRE FOR CHRISTY (1951), a romantic comedy with Fred MacMurray, Eleanor Parker, and Richard Carlson. Hope it's as fun as I'm expecting. It airs November 7th.
...Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson's first film together was the baseball film THE STRATTON STORY (1949), based on a true story. The air date is November 8th.
...I liked the team of Robert Montgomery, Joan Crawford, and Franchot Tone in NO MORE LADIES (1935). It's on November 9th.
...November 10th is the air date for the silent version of THE MARK OF ZORRO (1920), starring Douglas Fairbanks Sr.
...I'm also looking forward to THE DAUGHTER OF ROSIE O'GRADY (1950) with June Haver and Gordon MacRae. Debbie Reynolds has a small role. It will be on November 12th.
...TCM celebrates Teresa Wright with a five-film tribute on November 13th, including three William Wyler films, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), MRS. MINIVER (1942), and THE LITTLE FOXES (1941). Also showing that night are ENCHANTMENT (1948) and CASANOVA BROWN (1944).
...November 14th is a "Tribute to the Academy Film Archive." One of the highlights is a restored print of one of the truly great Westerns, William Wyler's THE BIG COUNTRY (1958), starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Carroll Baker, and Charles Bickford. The real star of the movie, though, is the score by Jerome Moross, which I believe is one of the great pieces of original American music, period.
...On November 16th TCM will be showing the 20th Century-Fox film THE BLACK SWAN (1942), starring Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, and George Sanders. This is an absolutely gorgeous Technicolor film which is a must for fans of the lead actors.
...November 17th is a new-to-me British film: MAJOR BARBARA (1941) with Rex Harrison, Wendy Hiller, and Deborah Kerr. Sounds great!... The 17th also has the opportunity to see what might be Robert Taylor's best Western, WESTWARD THE WOMEN (1941), directed by William Wellman.
...November 18th's highlights include THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1935) with Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, and Raymond Massey. The lineup of swashbucklers that day also includes the original sound version of THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937) with a superb cast including Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (who steals the movie), David Niven, and Mary Astor.
...November 20th is perfect Thanksgiving-themed viewing, PLYMOUTH ADVENTURE (1952) with Gene Tierney, Spencer Tracy, and Van Johnson.
...On November 21st I'm going to be recording the musical SHE'S WORKING HER WAY THROUGH COLLEGE (1952) with Virginia Mayo, Ronald Reagan, and Gene Nelson... Also showing on the 21st are two relatively little-known Cary Grant movies, costarring his then-wife, Betsy Drake: EVERY GIRL SHOULD BE MARRIED (1948) and ROOM FOR ONE MORE (1952). ROOM FOR ONE MORE, which was shown on TV under the title THE EASY WAY when I was growing up, was based on a memorable true book by Anna Perrott Rose... It's another great date on the TCM calendar, which also includes Hitchcock's SUSPICION (1941) starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine; Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra in the musical HIGH SOCIETY (1956); Eve Arden in OUR MISS BROOKS (1956); and Jeanette MacDonald in THE FIREFLY (1937).
...The pre-Thanksgiving entertainment on November 24th includes one of my favorite Judy Garland musicals, THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946). This is the film which gave us "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe." The movie costars John Hodiak, Angela Lansbury, Cyd Charisse, and Virginia O'Brien.
...The excellent Thanksgiving lineup on November 25th includes Capra's YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1938) starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur; the charming Rene Clair fantasy IT HAPPENED TOMORROW (1944), starring Dick Powell and Linda Darnell; Hedy Lamarr in what is considered one of her best performances, as THE STRANGE WOMAN (1946); and Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in MY FAVORITE BRUNETTE (1947).
...Ricardo Montalban and Cyd Charisse have a terrific dance number in FIESTA (1948), showing November 28th. It's not one of Esther Williams' best films, but it's definitely worth seeing, especially for Montalban and Charisse.
Ava Gardner is the November Star of the Month, starting on Thursday, November 4th. In a few days I'll be taking a closer look at the Gardner films coming in November. (Update: Here's the link to TCM Star of the Month: Ava Gardner.)
I've barely scratched the surface of all the wonderful films being shown on TCM in November. Be sure to check out the complete schedule!