31 Days of Oscar Festival begins today on Turner Classic Movies.
TCM has set up one of their special pages with information about the festival, which spans all of February plus the first three days of March.
A programming note: at least a couple of films have fallen off the schedule since it was previewed online in November; these changes also supersede the printed NOW PLAYING guide. On the 5th, Deanna Durbin's ONE HUNDRED MEN AND A GIRL (1936) was replaced by Jeanette MacDonald in ONE HOUR WITH YOU (1932), and on the 23rd THE MEN IN HER LIFE (1941), which was also pulled from the January schedule, was replaced by LOST HORIZON (1937).
As I wrote last year, the February schedule tends to be missing the kinds of relatively little-known movies I so enjoy discovering, but there's no denying that there is great entertainment airing daily. The month provides a great opportunity to catch up on yet-unseen classics.
A few of the highlights:
...THE LITTLE FOXES (1941), airing tomorrow, the 2nd, is a great William Wyler movie starring Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, and Teresa Wright. A young Richard Carlson is also in the cast.
...Robert Montgomery is featured in two films airing on February 3rd, THE BIG HOUSE (1930) and THE DIVORCEE (1930).
...One of the Oscar-winning scores by the late John Barry can be heard on February 4th when THE LION IN WINTER (1968) is shown. It stars Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, and Anthony Hopkins.
...Oscar-nominated comedies airing on the 5th include MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936), THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937), and FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950).
..."A Foggy Day in London Town" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" can be heard on the soundtrack of A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS (1937), starring Fred Astaire and Joan Fontaine. It's on February 6th.
...The movie which interests me the most this month is THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD (1934), a 20th Century-Fox film which includes Loretta Young and Robert Young among the cast. It airs February 7th.
...Later on the 7th all five of the movies for which Greer Garson was nominated as Best Actress will be shown in a mini-marathon: BLOSSOMS IN THE DUST (1941), MRS. MINIVER (1942), MADAME CURIE (1943), MRS. PARKINGTON (1944), and THE VALLEY OF DECISION (1945).
...I'm curious about the pre-Code THE SIN OF MADELON CLAUDET (1931), being shown on February 8th. It stars Helen Hayes and Robert Young.
...On the 10th there's a slate of relatively little-known Oscar-nominated musicals being shown, including RICH, YOUNG AND PRETTY (1951) starring Jane Powell, BECAUSE YOU'RE MINE (1952) with Mario Lanza, TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT (1945) with Rita Hayworth, Doris Day in ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (1948), and ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945).
...February 12th is a marathon of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture of 1939, Hollywood's "Golden Year": DARK VICTORY, OF MICE AND MEN, NINOTCHKA, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, STAGECOACH, MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, THE WIZARD OF OZ, GONE WITH THE WIND, GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS, and LOVE AFFAIR. (Compare that list to the 10 films nominated this year...with a couple of exceptions, it's a sad contrast.)
...Sunday, the 13th, there are a number of 20th Century-Fox films on the schedule, including DADDY LONG LEGS (1955), CONEY ISLAND (1943), MOTHER WORE TIGHTS (1947), and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947). Paramount's GOING MY WAY (1944) is also being shown on the 13th.
...The day after MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET airs, another 1947 Christmas movie, THE BISHOP'S WIFE, will be shown. Rather interesting that a Christmas movie is on the Valentine's Day schedule!
...One of my favorite screwball comedies, MY MAN GODFREY (1936), is on February 15th. I highly recommend those who've never seen it set this one to record.
...Last Thanksgiving I was very moved by David O. Selznick's WWII homefront movie SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944). The sterling cast includes Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Robert Walker, Shirley Temple, and Monty Woolley. Very strongly recommended. It's on February 16th.
...I loved the docu-noir THE NAKED CITY (1948), being shown February 18th. "There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."
...There's more Robert Montgomery on February 20th, when NIGHT MUST FALL (1937) is shown. Montgomery received one of his two nominations for Best Actor for this movie. (His other Oscar-nominated film, 1941's HERE COMES MR. JORDAN, airs February 13th.)
...STATE FAIR (1945), one of my favorite musicals, will be shown on February 21st. Stay tuned afterwards for a second film starring Dana Andrews, the classic THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1945).
...My favorite Fred Astaire movie is YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942), also starring Rita Hayworth. When they dance to Jerome Kern's "I'm Old-Fashioned" it's pure movie magic. The air date is February 23rd.
...Oscar-winning sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia deHavilland star in SUSPICION (1941) and TO EACH HIS OWN (1946) on February 25th.
...It's hard to beat a day like the 26th, which includes some of the all-time great adventure movies, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935), IVANHOE (1952), KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1950), and THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938). This Saturday would be a great day to introduce younger viewers to some classic movies.
...Later on the 26th there's THE LETTER (1940), THE MALTESE FALCON (1941), Leslie Caron in FANNY (1961), and IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934).
...I loved Joan Crawford's MILDRED PIERCE (1945) when I saw it for the first time last year. It has a great supporting cast including Ann Blyth, Eve Arden, Zachary Scott, and Jack Carson. It will be shown November 27th.
...Ray Milland's Best Actor role in THE LOST WEEKEND (1945) airs February 28th.
...THE EMPEROR WALTZ (1948), starring Bing Crosby and Joan Fontaine, will air on March 1st... Another interesting movie that date is JOHNNY EAGER (1942) starring Robert Taylor and Lana Turner; Van Heflin won the Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.
...On March 3rd, the last day of the festival, one of Hitchcock's greatest films will be shown, NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959).