As we turn the corner into the new year, it's time to look at the wonderful schedule Turner Classic Movies has lined up for January. My DVR will be humming this month!
TCM celebrates the January 6th centennial of the birth of Loretta Young by featuring her as the Star of the Month starting on Tuesday, January 2nd. I'll have much more information on that aspect of the schedule in the coming days.
Here are just a few of the interesting titles airing on TCM in January:
...Tuesdays in January the theme will be "Great Capers." My oldest daughter recommended I try RIFIFI (1955), directed by Jules Dassin, which airs on New Year's Day.
...A day of fantasy films on January 2nd includes one of Robert Montgomery's best performances, in HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (1941). Montgomery is pictured above with costars Edward Everette Horton and Claude Rains. I strongly encourage anyone who hasn't seen this wonderful film to check it out.
...There's more Montgomery on January 3rd, costarring with Marion Davies in EVER SINCE EVE (1937). It's part of a day of Davies films which also includes PAGE MISS GLORY (1935) costarring Dick Powell and POLLY OF THE CIRCUS (1932) with Clark Gable.
article in which Robert Osborne said I'LL BE SEEING YOU (1944) would air on TCM this Christmas season. It didn't quite make the Christmas schedule, but it's on January 3rd, and the early January timing is wonderful, as the film is set around Christmas and New Year's. This is a film which mixes tough subject matter with warm performances by a top-notch cast: Ginger Rogers, Joseph Cotten, Spring Byington, Tom Tully, and Shirley Temple. This is one to make it a point to see.
...Jane Wyman's January 5th birth date will be celebrated one day early, on January 4th. The lineup includes HONEYMOON FOR THREE (1941), a comedy with George Brent and Ann Sheridan which I really enjoyed. Brent and Sheridan were a real-life married couple for just a year, from 1942-43, and it just so happens their anniversary date, like Wyman's birthday, was January 5th.
...The night of January 4th is a mini festival of '50s sci-fi directed by Jack Arnold, including CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954), IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953), and THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957) which has been highly recommended to me.
...With the recent passing of the great Harry Carey, Jr., I particularly want to recommend one of my all-time favorite Westerns, John Ford's SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949), airing January 6th. The Ford Stock Company is out in full force; besides Carey, the film stars John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson, Mildred Natwick, Victor McLaglen, George O'Brien, and Arthur Shields.
...January 9th is the birthday of lovely Anita Louise. TCM is celebrating by showing half a dozen films starring the actress, including a fun-looking programmer, PERSONAL MAID'S SECRET (1935), and the comedy CALL IT A DAY (1937) with Olivia de Havilland and Ian Hunter.
...A day of George Raft films on January 11th includes BACKGROUND TO DANGER (1943) with Brenda Marshall and NOCTURNE (1946) with Lynn Bari. I really enjoy these ladies and look forward to checking these films out in the future.
...TWO IN THE DARK (1936), starring Walter Abel and Margot Grahame, is the original version of Anthony Mann's TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE (1945), which starred Tom Conway and Ann Rutherford. TWO IN THE DARK is on January 12th.
...ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM (1946) makes its TCM debut on January 13th. This original non-musical version of THE KING AND I (1956) stars Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. It's a bit ironic that Dunne, a musical star, was in the non-musical version of the story, while the Rodgers and Hammerstein version starred an actress, Deborah Kerr, who needed to be dubbed.
...Last fall TCM had a wonderful day of "B" movies directed by Lew Landers, and there's another great day of Landers films ahead on January 14th. TCM will show 10 Landers films that day. Some of the titles that interest me most are DOUBLE DANGER (1938) with Preston Foster and Whitney Bourne, TWELVE CROWDED HOURS (1939) with Richard Dix, Lucille Ball, and Allan "Rocky" Lane, and STAND BY ALL NETWORKS (1942) with Florence Rice and John Beal.
...How can a "B" movie fan not love the title GIRLS ON PROBATION (1938)? It stars Ronald Reagan and Jane Bryan (seen at right) with Susan Hayward in a small role. It's part of a day of Hayward films on January 15th.
...A morning of Diana Wynard films on January 16th includes the original version of GASLIGHT (1940), released four years before the better-known Ingrid Bergman version.
...FORCE OF ARMS (1951), starring William Holden, Nancy Olson, and Frank Lovejoy, was recently recommended to me. Love the cast! It airs early on January 17th.
...I'm very excited about Film Noir Foundation President Eddie Muller cohosting a night of Noir City on January 17th. The first title on the slate of five films is my favorite: CRY DANGER (1951), starring Dick Powell. This terrific film, with a great cast, witty script, and excellent L.A. location shooting, needs to come out on DVD. It's followed by John Payne in 99 RIVER STREET (1953), Steve Cochran and Ruth Roman in another favorite, TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (1951), John Garfield in THE BREAKING POINT (1950), and Van Heflin and Evelyn Keyes in THE PROWLER (1951). It's going to be a great night!
...NOTORIOUS (1946) ranks in my Top 5 favorite Hitchcock films. This Cary Grant-Ingrid Bergman romantic thriller will air on Grant's birthday, January 18th, along with several other Grant titles.
...Anita Louise returns in THE PHANTOM OF CRESTWOOD (1932) on January 19th, costarring Ricardo Cortez and Karen Morley.
...The centennial of Danny Kaye's birth is on January 18th, and TCM will mark the occasion with a 24-hour Kaye Festival starting early on January 20th and running into the next morning. Titles include a trio of my childhood favorites, UP IN ARMS (1944) with Dinah Shore, and THE KID FROM BROOKLYN (1946) and WONDER MAN (1945), both costarring Virginia Mayo and Vera-Ellen. (Southern Californians of a certain age may remember the films used to run often on KTLA Ch. 5.) There are many more Kaye films on tap that day!
...My younger daughter is a big fan of William Wyler's HOW TO STEAL A MILLION (1966), starring Peter O'Toole and Audrey Hepburn, airing as part of "Great Capers" on January 22nd. It's a TCM premiere.
...The evenings of January 24th and 25th celebrate the January 26th centennial of the birth of composer Jimmy Van Heusen. I recently reviewed a longtime favorite, THE TENDER TRAP (1955), which airs on the 25th. It stars Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, Celeste Holm, and David Wayne.
...There's a great lineup of George Brent films on January 25th, including SILVER QUEEN (1942), one of the last two films I need for my Priscilla Lane collection. I'm also especially interested in YOU CAN'T ESCAPE FOREVER (1942) costarring Brenda Marshall.
...PRINCESS O'ROURKE (1943) is a charmer starring Olivia de Havilland; it was also a significant film in the career of Jane Wyman, as her performance led to her being cast in THE LOST WEEKEND (1945). It's on January 27th.
...There are several short films on January 28th which will be fun to try, including HAT, COAT, AND GLOVE (1934) with Ricardo Cortez and LET'S TRY AGAIN (1934) with Diana Wynard.
...I absolutely loved ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950) in November. It's on January 29th as part of the "Great Capers" series.
...I'm looking forward to Chester Morris and Virginia Grey in THUNDER AFLOAT (1939) on January 30th...I just wish it didn't star Wallace Beery, for whom I have a low tolerance level.
...I'm curious about OVER THE MOON (1939), which stars Merle Oberon and Rex Harrison. It's on January 30th.
I've barely scratched the surface of all the treasures airing on TCM in January. Please visit the online schedule for the complete list of all the movies playing on TCM this month.
For more recommendations please also visit Thrilling Days of Yesteryear and The Hollywood Revue.
Again, Happy New Year!