Friday, June 29, 2012

TCM in July: Highlights

It's hard to believe it's almost July, my favorite month of the year!

There are lots of great things on the Turner Classic Movies schedule this month.

The TCM Star of the Month is Leslie Howard; I'll be incorporating some of those titles into this post rather than doing a separate Star of the Month post for July.

Here's some of the most interesting titles airing on TCM in July:

...My dad recently loved the Harold Lloyd film A SAILOR-MADE MAN (1921), airing on July 1st. Sounds like a fun movie, which is only 47 minutes long.

...TCM made a last-minute change to the schedule on July 3rd to honor the late Ann Rutherford. It's a marvelous lineup of 10 films, including LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (1938), FOUR GIRLS IN WHITE (1939), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), WASHINGTON MELODRAMA (1941), THIS TIME FOR KEEPS (1942), and TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE (1945). The tribute ends with GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), which simultaneously kicks off the first evening of films celebrating Leslie Howard as Star of the Month.

...After GONE WITH THE WIND, the Leslie Howard films continue on July 3rd with some very interesting titles, including STAND-IN (1937), a movie studio comedy with Joan Blondell and Humphrey Bogart; THE FIRST OF THE FEW (1942), also known as SPITFIRE, a WWII film which Howard directed and starred in, along with David Niven; and THE GENTLE SEX (1943), a British "homefront" morale-boosting film which Howard co-directed.

...The Independence Day lineup is much the same as last year; the standouts in the lineup include John Ford's DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939), with Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert; and THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1954), an old favorite which is part of an evening of movie celebrating American composers and conductors. Jimmy Stewart, of course, plays Glenn Miller, with June Allyson as his wife.

...The annual July 6th celebration of Janet Leigh's birthday includes a film I'm unfamiliar with, STRICTLY DISHONORABLE 91951). She's cast opposite opera singer Ezio Pinza. My DVR is set!

...THE STEEL TRAP (1952) reunited Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright, who had costarred in Hitchcock's classic SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943) nearly a decade before. I recently recorded this film but haven't had time to see it yet. Another opportunity to see it comes on July 8th.

...One Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is good, but are two better? He plays twins in THE CORSICAN BROTHERS (1941), costarring Ruth Warrick and Akim Tamiroff. It will be shown July 9th.

...CAUSE FOR ALARM! (1951) is a very interesting little 74-minute "housewife noir" film, with deranged Barry Sullivan trying to frame wife Loretta Young for his death. It airs July 10th.

...Also showing on the 10th: TOO MUCH, TOO SOON (1958) with Errol Flynn and Dorothy Malone as John and Diana Barrymore. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. costars.

...Zimbalist also turns up in FEVER IN THE BLOOD (1961), costarring Angie Dickinson and Jack Kelly. It was directed by longtime Warner Bros. director Vincent Sherman. The air date is July 12th.

...July 14th it's Fred MacMurray night, with half a dozen films including THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS (1936) and NO TIME FOR LOVE (1943).

...July 17th one of my favorite actors, Robert Montgomery, costars with Joan Crawford in UNTAMED (1929). I just got this title in a remastered DVD from the Warner Archive, but this is a great opportunity for any Montgomery and Crawford fans who don't own the DVD.

...Later on the 17th, one of the Leslie Howard films airing is OUTWARD BOUND (1930), a fantasy costarring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. It was later remade with John Garfield as BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (1944).

...On July 18th my eye was drawn to an obscurity titles ALL-AMERICAN CO-ED (1941), starring Frances Langford. I really enjoyed her in THE BAMBOO BLONDE (1946).

...Ruth Hussey is excellent in the "B" movie WITHIN THE LAW (1939), shown as part of a day of "Women in Prison" films on July 19th.

...An evening of Barbara Stanwyck pre-Codes on July 20th includes SHOPWORN (1932), an interesting film costarring Regis Toomey.

...I'm very fond of TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR (1944), which made a star out of June Allyson. Van Johnson, Gloria DeHaven, and Tom Drake costar. It airs Sunday, July 22nd.

...I was really looking forward to seeing Jane Russell in UNDERWATER! (1955) last summer but my DVR went on the blink and I missed it. I was happy to see it return to the schedule on July 24th. Russell costars with Gilbert Roland; it was directed by John Sturges.

...One of the Leslie Howard films I especially look forward to this month is BERKELEY SQUARE (1933), a romantic fantasy which was memorably remade by Tyrone Power as I'LL NEVER FORGET YOU (1951). It airs later on July 24th.

...I'm always happy when a new-to-me Loretta Young film turns up on the schedule! BIG BUSINESS GIRL (1931) costars Frank Albertson and Ricardo Cortez; it airs July 25th as part of an evening of half a dozen Young films.

...An Ann Rutherford film I've never seen is slated for Friday, July 27th: THE GHOST COMES HOME (1940), with Frank Morgan and Billie Burke

...Among the adventure films airing on Monday, July 30th: FIVE CAME BACK 91939), an ultra-creepy "B" movie directed by John Farrow, starring Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, and an excellent supporting cast; ISLAND IN THE SKY (1953), with John Wayne attempting to keep his crew alive until help arrives when their plane goes down in the Canadian North; and PLUNDER OF THE SUN (1953), an Aztec treasure film with Glenn Ford, Diana Lynn, and Patricia Medina, who passed away in May. PLUNDER OF THE SUN, like FIVE CAME BACK, was directed by John Farrow.

...Dick Foran Day in June was a real treat, with a mix of obscure titles and well-known film noir. July 31st is a similarly fun day, celebrating Marjorie Reynolds, best known for HOLIDAY INN (1942), MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944), and the '50s series THE LIFE OF RILEY. The Reynolds tribute day includes Tim Holt and George O'Brien Westerns, entries from the Mr. Wong and Bowery Boys series, and MEET ME ON BROADWAY (1946), a musical that looked like fun but didn't record in its entirety last time it aired due to a TCM scheduling snafu. I so appreciate TCM making obscure films such as these available.

For more titles airing in July, including a Classic Adventures Films series running all day every Monday in July, please consult the complete online schedule.

Happy Independence Day, and enjoy July viewing on TCM!


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