Thursday, December 01, 2011

Fox Movie Channel in December: Highlights

Here's a review of a few of the interesting classic films playing this month on Fox Movie Channel:

...On Friday, December 2nd, the beautiful romantic fantasy THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947) will be shown. The movie stars Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney in the title roles, with the supporting cast headed by Natalie Wood and George Sanders. The film also has a memorable score by Bernard Herrmann.

...On December 3rd the schedule includes THE RAINS CAME (1939), with a superb cast including Tyrone Power, Myrna Loy, and George Brent. It won the Oscar for Best Special Effects.

...John Ford's UP THE RIVER (1930), starring Spencer Tracy and Humphrey Bogart, will be shown on December 7th.

...CONEY ISLAND (1943) airs on December 5th. It's not one of Betty Grable's best films, but it's colorful. The movie costars George Montgomery and Cesar Romero.

...Alice Faye sang the Oscar-winning "You'll Never Know" in HELLO FRISCO, HELLO (1943), showing on December 6th. It's also worth seeing for the Oscar-nominated Technicolor cinematography. John Payne, Jack Oakie, and Lynn Bari are also in the cast.

...Also on December 6th, Alice Faye stars in GEORGE WHITE'S 1935 SCANDALS. Look for Eleanor Powell in a small early role, before she was snapped up by MGM.

...STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER (1952) is out in a combination Blu-ray/DVD package on December 13th. (It's inexplicably not beng sold as a single-title DVD.) The movie can also be seen on Fox Movie Channel in December, including on December 7th.

...THREE BRAVE MEN (1956) is an excellent drama starring Ray Milland, Ernest Borgnine, Dean Jagger, and Frank Lovejoy, supported by Nina Foch and Virginia Christine. It will be shown on December 8th.

...Preston Sturges' THE BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND (1949), starring Betty Grable, Cesar Romero, and Rudy Vallee, airs on December 9th.

...The enjoyable EVERYTHING HAPPENS AT NIGHT (1939) will be shown on December 12th. It stars Ray Milland, Robert Cummings, and Sonja Henie. Among other things, it's a chance to see Milland and Cummings in a movie together 15 years before starring in Hitchcock's classic DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954).

...An interesting newer film airing on Fox this month is TOMORROW'S CHILD (1982), a TV-movie starring Stephanie Zimbalist and William Atherton as a couple who agree to have their baby grown in a laboratory rather than via a pregnancy. It was directed by Joseph Sargent, who did a lot of excellent TV work. I watched this film when it first aired but can't say I remember it very well; I'm going to record it on December 13th and check it out.

...I loved the colorful musical THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (1953), starring June Haver, Dan Dailey, and Dennis Day. It's shown December 14th. There are some wonderful numbers in this overlooked movie. This was Haver's last film; she married Fred MacMurray the following year.

...WHITE FEATHER (1955) is a Western starring Robert Wagner, Debra Paget, Jeffrey Hunter, and John Lund. I was glad to recently note that Fox is showing this CinemaScope film letterboxed. It's on the 15th.

...For those who missed recent showings, THUNDERHEAD - SON OF FLICKA (1945), starring Roddy McDowall, Preston Foster, and Rita Johnson, airs again on December 18th.

...Bette Davis and Richard Todd star in THE VIRGIN QUEEN (1955) on December 22nd.

...Don't bother to turn Fox Movie Channel on Christmas Day unless you're a huge fan of HOME ALONE (1990). That's all that's being shown that day...over and over and over again.

...James Mason and Joan Fontaine star in ISLAND IN THE SUN (1957) on December 27th. The excellent supporting cast includes Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Collins, Michael Rennie, John Williams, Diana Wynard, Patricia Owens, and Stephen Boyd.

...THE HUNTERS (1958) is one of a couple films directed by Dick Powell and starring Robert Mitchum. (They also teamed on 1957's THE ENEMY BELOW.) It also stars Jeffrey Hunter. It will be shown on December 27th.

...Mitchum also stars in HEAVEN KNOWS, MR. ALLISON (1957) on December 29th. Deborah Kerr costars.

As always, keep in mind that Fox often shows films more than once per month; I've only listed one date per title. Check out the schedule for additional air dates.


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