Monday, December 03, 2012

Quick Preview of TCM in February: 31 Days of Oscar

This weekend Turner Classic Movies posted the tentative schedule for February 2013.

I find February the least exciting month on the TCM schedule, as "Oscar month" is filled with familiar films; that said, the schedule provides a wonderful opportunity for newer movie fans to make the acquaintance of many "essential" titles.

Happily, there are a few hard-to-find gems scattered around the schedule, the most significant being HOLD BACK THE DAWN (1941), which I just saw at UCLA last Friday evening. This Paramount film, not available on DVD or even VHS, will air in primetime on February 20th.

I'm also happy to see the 20th Century-Fox film WILSON (1944) on the schedule. My teenage son, who loves both Presidential history and movies on Presidents, has recently been asking me to buy a used VHS copy of the film so he can see it. I'll no longer need to do that!

Another very intriguing title is SARABAND FOR DEAD LOVERS (1948) starring Stewart Granger.

The films appear to be organized by studio this year, and one of the more interesting nights is an eclectic evening of Universal films, showcasing ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930), the Claudette Colbert version of IMITATION OF LIFE (1934), THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935), and BRIGHT VICTORY (1951).

A day of Fox films includes four Tyrone Power titles, including THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940), which was curiously missing from his Summer Under the Stars day last August. Since ZORRO is one of my all-time favorite films, I'm delighted to see it on the schedule and hope many people will tune in and enjoy it.

I'll have some more detailed recommendations for the February schedule posted around the first of that month. Meanwhile, the current Star of the Month is Barbara Stanwyck, with the Loretta Young centennial celebration coming in January.

For more on the current month's schedule, please visit TCM in December: Highlights, TCM in December: Christmas Movies, and TCM Star of the Month: Barbara Stanwyck.

Update: For more on TCM in February, please visit TCM in February: 31 Days of Oscar Highlights.


Blogger Crocheted Lace said...

I think your son would do better to simply read a good book about Wilson.
Don't waste money buying the movie, just record it!
The movie is pretty tedious and sterile. I really wanted to give it a chance because I really admire Alexander Knox. Not even a great ensemble cast like Knox, Charles Coburn, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Cedric Hardwicke, Thomas Mitchell, Vincent Price could improve that clunker, and those are all top notch pros who could make a movie work.

I read that President Roosevelt showed the movie at some conference and Churchill went to bed halfway through the show.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'll definitely record it! I've read the film has a mixed rep -- lots of Oscar nominations/wins yet some find it ponderous. Someone else told me it put them to sleep -- didn't know Churchill had the same problem, LOL. Still, glad to be able to record it for him at long last, at no extra cost!

Best wishes,

9:39 AM  
Blogger Crocheted Lace said...

And "Saraband for Dead Lovers". Stewart Granger is so handsome in this one. Flora Robson is especially good. I've only seen this in a very muddy color version. I hope TCM has a nice print to show because it's a very interesting film.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

I don't think Wilson is so bad. I know it has a bad reputation but that's not deserved because a lot of care and artistry was put into it and in the hands of Henry King no less. It's perhaps not the most enthralling movie ever but has plenty of fine things in it. It's probably better than 99% of what's around in theatres now just to put things in perspective.

4:15 PM  
Blogger barrylane said...

Possibly not the movie but Wilson we don't like.

6:08 PM  
Blogger mel said...

williWhat a line-up! So many of my favorite movies will be aired in February. I would particularly like to recommend the underrated but very entertaining The Flight Of The Phoenix (Sunday 10th - more accurately Monday 11th) at 1:15 a.m.

If you can suspend your disbelief at the far-etched plot holes, you'll enjoy the good acting.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the WILSON feedback, Blake!

And thanks, Mel, for the tip on FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX. I love aviation films so that sounds like one I should try. :)

Best wishes,

9:43 PM  
Blogger Crocheted Lace said...

"Possibly not the movie but Wilson we don't like." Actually, when I first saw this movie, I was fresh out of high school where I had been taught that Wilson was one of the great presidents. I was primed to appreciate it, I loved almost any old movie just because it was old, and I liked Alexander Knox a lot because I had seen "The Judge Steps Out" and "The Sea Wolf". And I still found the movie sterile. And it didn't improve with age and my improved knowledge of president Wilson just makes me chuckle at the movie. I suspect Churchill had the right idea.

4:45 PM  

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