April is an outstanding month on Turner Classic Movies!
Doris Day is the April Star of the Month, with 28 of her films being frontloaded into the first week of the schedule. I'll post more about those films in the near future.
In the meantime, here's a peek at a few of the highlights from the rest of the April schedule:
...I liked YELLOW JACK (1938), with Robert Montgomery as a soldier serving in Cuba who helps Major Walter Reed (Lewis Stone) discover the cause of yellow fever. It airs on April 2nd.
...YELLOW JACK is immediately followed by FOUR GIRLS IN WHITE (1939), a fast-paced B movie starring Florence Rice and Ann Rutherford.
...April 5th is a special day: it's my oldest son's birthday and it's also the birth date of Gregory Peck, born in 1916. Seven Peck films will be shown on the 5th, including THE VALLEY OF DECISION (1945) with Greer Garson, THE YEARLING (1946) with Jane Wyman, and CAPTAIN HORATIO HORNBLOWER (1951), which is admired by several people in my family. I still need to see that one!
...On April 6th I'm intrigued by BIG LEAGUER (1953), a baseball film starring Edward G. Robinson, Vera-Ellen, and Jeff Richards, directed by Robert Aldrich.
...As a teenager I saw Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford in GILDA (1946) at the late, lamented Vagabond Theater. (I found an article on the Vagabond which accurately said it "became a celebrated venue for revivals in the 70s. The theatre had a great reputation for unearthing quality prints and offering a top-notch presentation.") I haven't seen GILDA in far too long. It airs April 7th.
...The holiday wouldn't be quite the same without the familiar sounds of EASTER PARADE (1948) on the TV after church on Easter Sunday. I'm guessing just about everyone who reads this has seen it, but for anyone who hasn't, it stars Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, and the music of Irving Berlin.
...Among Robert Osborne's picks on April 9th: TOGETHER AGAIN (1944), an enjoyable romantic comedy starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. The supporting cast includes Charles Coburn, Mona Freeman, and Jerome Courtland, who recently passed away.
...Randolph Scott is celebrated on April 11th with a terrific lineup including COLT .45 (1950), Fox's BELLE STARR (1941), and RIDE LONESOME (1959) directed by Budd Boetticher.
...April 13th is Stanley Donen day on TCM! The great MGM director will be honored with showings of ON THE TOWN (1949), ROYAL WEDDING (1951), GIVE A GIRL A BREAK (1953), and SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS. "Back in the day" when I was growing up and these films were hard to see, I once saw ON THE TOWN in a theater which had a screen that was little more than a sheet; the sound of machine guns from a James Cagney movie could be heard from the theater next door. I also recall watching a 16mm print of SEVEN BRIDES in a social hall at Leisure World, where a friend's grandmother lived; the print, sound, and lighting in the room were less than optimal, but I didn't care when I was watching the Barn Dance. I never take for granted being able to watch these films in beautiful prints on TCM or via DVD!
...I MARRIED A DOCTOR (1936) sounds interesting, starring Josephine Hutchinson and Pat O'Brien. It's on April 14th.
...The music of William Alwyn is celebrated with five films on the evening of April 14th, including the delicious British mystery GREEN FOR DANGER (1946), starring Alastair Sim and Trevor Howard.
...I reviewed UNTIL THEY SAIL (1957) just last month. It's an absorbing story of life on the homefront in WWII New Zealand, starring Jean Simmons, Paul Newman, and Joan Fontaine. It airs April 17th.
...Baseball is the theme of the day on April 18th, with the lineup including THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES (1942), TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (1949), and ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD (1951).
...I recently reviewed the space film RIDERS TO THE STARS (1954), which stars William Lundigan, Martha Hyer, and Richard Carlson; Carlson also directed. The first opportunity to see it is on April 19th, as part of a day-long sci-fi lineup, and it's on again on April 25th.
...Lana Turner and Clark Gable are well matched in MGM's HONKY TONK (1941), showing on April 22nd.
...One of my favorite Robert Taylor Westerns, AMBUSH (1950), will be shown as part of an evening of "Apache Stories" on April 23rd. The cast includes Arlene Dahl, John Hodiak, Jean Hagen, Don Taylor, and wonderful John McIntire as a grizzled mountain man. This movie grabs the viewer from the dramatic opening credits sequence.
...NIGHT SONG (1948) is a very interesting drama with Dana Andrews as a blind composer loved by Merle Oberon. Hoagy Carmichael is also in the cast. It's on April 25th.
...On April 27th, the primetime theme is "Boardinghouse Life," including Priscilla Lane, Jeffrey Lynn, and Ronald Reagan in MILLION DOLLAR BABY (1941) and Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, and a fantastic cast in the classic STAGE DOOR (1937).
...Director Jean Negulesco is celebrated on April 30th. I hope to see John Garfield and Geraldine Fitzgerald in NOBODY LIVES FOREVER (1946) at the Noir City festival in April. The other titles shown that night: Hedy Lamarr and Paul Henreid in THE CONSPIRATORS (1944); Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron in DADDY LONG LEGS (1955); Joan Crawford and John Garfield in HUMORESQUE (1946); and Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre in THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS (1944).
Another programming note is that TCM will be celebrating "Spring Break" from April 16th through the 20th, showing WHERE THE BOYS ARE (1960), GIDGET (1959), BLUE HAWAII (1961), and movies starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
For the complete schedule, please visit the TCM website.
Update: For more on TCM in April, please visit TCM Star of the Month: Doris Day.