Groundhog Day is just around the corner, which means it's time to check out the February schedule on Turner Classic Movies!
February means it's time for 31 Days of Oscar, and there's a special page on the TCM website where you can print a .pdf schedule for the month. This year the movies will be grouped by studio, and the .pdf document, unlike the regular online schedule, lists each studio.
Here are just a few of the interesting titles airing on TCM during 31 Days of Oscar:
...The month leads off with films from Warner Bros., and one of the first titles is LITTLE CAESAR (1931) on February 1st. If you'd like to join me watching the film and then blog about it anytime in the month of February, check out this post; I'd love to share your link with my readers!
...DESTINATION TOKYO (1943) is a highly regarded WWII film set on a submarine, starring the unique team of Cary Grant and John Garfield. I'm not certain I've actually seen this one all the way through and really should do that! Delmer Daves directed. It airs February 2nd.
...If you're not a Super Bowl fan, TCM has some great counterprogramming, airing THE MUSIC MAN (1962) this Sunday, the 3rd. It starts at 5:00 p.m. Pacific/8:00 p.m. Eastern, about 90 minutes after the kickoff.
...Over at 50 Westerns From the 50s, Toby reviewed Gary Cooper in THE HANGING TREE (1959) a few months ago. You can see the movie on February 4th.
...An interesting evening of Universal movies on the 6th includes Claudette Colbert in the original IMITATION OF LIFE (1934), Arthur Kennedy as a blind vet in BRIGHT VICTORY (1951), the great docu-noir THE NAKED CITY (1948), and, overnight, Susan Hayward in SMASH-UP: THE STORY OF A WOMAN (1947), costarring Lee Bowman and Marsha Hunt.
...I've always liked George O'Brien in his supporting roles in later John Ford films, and I really enjoyed seeing him in the "B" Western GUN LAW (1938). I plan to record SUNRISE (1928) on the 8th so I can check out some of his earlier work as a leading man.
...On February 8th I'll be recording the 20th Century-Fox film WILSON (1944) with Alexander Knox and Geraldine Fitzgerald. It's a TCM premiere. Based on comments a few weeks ago, this one isn't very popular despite its Oscar nominations and wins, but I'll have to check it out! I've particularly enjoyed catching up with several of Fitzgerald's films for the first time over the past year.
...You can also catch four Tyrone Power films on the 8th: THE RAINS CAME (1939), THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940), BLOOD AND SAND (1941), and CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE (1947). A great lineup.
...ORCHESTRA WIVES (1942) is a real favorite in our house; it stars George Montgomery, Ann Rutherford, Cesar Romero, and Glenn Miller, not to mention Lynn Bari, Carole Landis, and the Nicholas Brothers! It's a TCM premiere which is part of a lineup of Fox films on February 9th.
...There's another TCM premiere on February 9th, the enjoyable and very scenic THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (1954). Jean Peters, Maggie McNamara, and Dorothy McGuire play three women looking for love in beautiful Rome.
...TCM devotes the 11th through 13th to films from RKO Radio Pictures. There's one great movie after another, including Fred and Ginger in SWING TIME (1936) on the 11th, Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young in THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE on the 12th, and Arthur Kennedy, Barbara Hale, Ruth Roman, and Bobby Driscoll in THE WINDOW (1949) on the 13th. And if you'd like to watch Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine in Hitchcock's SUSPICION (1941) and compare your thoughts to mine, it's on on the 12th.
...Another great day of movies, on Valentine's Day, includes a Selznick International lineup which features THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937), GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), REBECCA (1940), SPELLBOUND (1945), and PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948). These films are all fantastic and worth a marathon if you have the time!
...It's been a long time since I saw Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon in MRS. MINIVER (1942), but it had a huge impact on me when I was a teen. It's one of a number of significant films seen at an impressionable age which I believe helped make me the classic film fan I am today. Time for a fresh look? It's on the 15th.
...February 16th features a lineup of Oscar-winning MGM musicals including my favorite, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954). I've watched that barn-raising dance countless times. If you haven't seen it, now's the time!
...More MGM on Sunday, the 17th, includes THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952), with Vincente Minnelli directing a cast which included Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Dick Powell, Walter Pidgeon, and Gloria Grahame.
...HOLD BACK THE DAWN (1941), which I just saw on a big screen as part of UCLA's great Mitchell Leisen festival, is a rarely seen, not-on-DVD must-see on February 20th. This Paramount film was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Olivia de Havilland). Charles Boyer and Paulette Goddard costar, with a moving supporting performance by Rosemary DeCamp.
...Joel McCrea and George Sanders battle the bad guys in Alfred Hitchcock's FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940) on the 21st. Of all Hithcock's U.S. films, this one feels the most like his British movies. It's filled with marvelous set pieces, such as the assassination amidst a sea of black umbrellas, the investigation at an unusual windmill, and a spectacular plane crash.
...I just saw ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939) and thought it was really terrific. Howard Hawks directed Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and a marvelous cast. It airs February 22nd.
...ANATOMY OF A MURDER (1959) is a movie I need to revisit. I remember really liking it roughly a decade ago. James Stewart, Lee Remick, George C. Scott, Eve Arden, and Ben Gazzara star, directed by Otto Preminger. It's on February 23rd.
Victor Mature on the centennial of his birth. You can catch one of his earliest films, ONE MILLION B.C. (1940), on February 26th.
...Howard Hawks' BALL OF FIRE (1941), starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, is a lot of fun. It's on the 27th.
...I'm intrigued by SARABAND FOR DEAD LOVERS (1948) on February 28th, starring Stewart Granger.
...March 1st there's yet another Howard Hawks film, RED RIVER (1948), with John Wayne, Joanne Dru, Montgomery Clift, and -- in her first major screen role, though it was released after a couple other films -- Coleen Gray.
The above are but a few suggestions for a month in which the vast majority of the titles are worth watching. 31 Days of Oscar may be missing some of the unknown "discoveries" and "B" movies fans such as myself enjoy exploring, but on the other hand, this month provides a great introduction to the classics for newer film fans, plus an opportunity to revisit old favorites.
My friend Ivan has even more suggestions for the month over at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, and you can also find some great tips at The Hollywood Revue and Journeys in Classic Film. Update: And here's more from Cliff at Immortal Ephemera, and Kristina has even more TCM picks and links at Speakeasy.
Finally, if you're a classic film blogger, be sure to check out the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon. Somehow I missed learning about this sooner. Looking forward to reading what I'm sure will be a lot of great posts!
Previously: Quick Preview of TCM in February: 31 Days of Oscar.
Update: For more classic films on cable in February, please visit Fox Movie Channel in February: Highlights.