Tuesday, November 06, 2012

TCM Star of the Month: Constance Bennett

The November Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies is Constance Bennett.

Constance Bennett was a member of a noted acting family, which included younger sister Joan. Constance's first credit was as a child, in a silent film in 1916, and her final credit, a half century later, was MADAME X in 1966.

TCM will be showing 22 Constance Bennett movies beginning this evening, November 6th. The films were released between 1930 and 1948.

The lineup is packed with pre-Code titles, as well as later comedy favorites such as TOPPER (1937) and MERRILY WE LIVE (1938). I haven't seen a great many of Constance's films yet -- I've seen many more films with sister Joan, a favorite of mine -- and there are a number of interesting films to explore in the coming weeks.

Tonight leads off with a half dozen pre-Codes, including a pair with Joel McCrea, THE COMMON LAW (1932) and BORN TO LOVE (1932).

A particularly interesting title this evening is THE EASIEST WAY (1931), costarring Robert Montgomery and Clark Gable. Although I had some issues with the story and Montgomery's limited screen time, it's still a great exemplar of the pre-Code era. You can read more about it in a post by Karen at Shadows and Satin.

There are five more pre-Code titles scheduled on November 13th, including George Cukor's WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? (1932), a forerunner of A STAR IS BORN (1937). ROCKABYE (1932) is another of her films with Joel McCrea. The later film LAW OF THE TOPICS (1941) looks like a fun programmer, costarring Jeffrey Lynn and Regis Toomey.

As a side note, shortly after Constance's films wrap up on the 13th, her sister Joan can be seen as Amy in the classic George Cukor film LITTLE WOMEN (1933).

On November 20th there are five later movies, including another McCrea film, BED OF ROSES (1933), and another with Clark Gable, AFTER OFFICE HOURS (1935).

The previously mentioned MERRILY WE LIVE (1938), which costars Brian Aherne, Billie Burke, and Bonita Granville, is great fun, and TOPPER (1937) is a must-see, with Bennett and Cary Grant as a hard-living couple who become ghosts.

Finally, there's an interesting assortment of titles on November 27th. WILD BILL HICKOK RIDES (1942), a Western starring Bruce Cabot, Warren William, and Ward Bond, sounds fun, and I've been meaning to catch up with THE UNSUSPECTED (1947), a suspense film with a great cast including Claude Rains, Joan Caulfield, and Audrey Totter.

I wish TCM had obtained the Jerome Kern musical CENTENNIAL SUMMER (1946), costarring Jeanne Crain and Linda Darnell, but I'm hopeful that title will turn up in the Fox Cinema Archives line!

For more information on TCM's November schedule, please visit TCM in November: Highlights or consult the online schedule.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older