Any month that has primetime tributes to Debra Paget and Richard Carlson is pretty great, if you ask me. And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Laurence Olivier is the April Star of the Month. Over two dozen Olivier films will be shown on Wednesdays in April. I'll be incorporating mentions of some of those titles into this preview post rather than doing a separate Star of the Month post for April.
Here's a look at some of the many interesting titles on TCM's schedule this month:
...April 1st celebrates the return of baseball with half a dozen films, including Ray Milland in IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING (1949), Paul Douglas in ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD (1951), and Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Esther Williams in TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (1949).
...In this week's link roundup I called attention to Caftan Woman's fun post on the women's wardrobes in BORN TO KILL (1947). BORN TO KILL will be shown on TCM on Tuesday, April 2nd.
...The first evening of this month's Laurence Olivier tribute, on April 3rd, features four Shakespeare films, including HAMLET (1948), which I saw for the first time last December. HAMLET costars Jean Simmons, Eileen Herlie, and many more fine actors.
...OUR WIFE (1941) is a movie which has been on my viewing wish list. It stars Melvyn Douglas, Ruth Hussey, and Ellen Drew, and it's airing on April 5th.
...Regular readers know that I've been having a lot of fun catching up with the "B" movies of director Lew Landers this year. There's another Landers film airing on April 6th: THE AFFAIRS OF ANNABEL (1938), starring Lucille Ball, Jack Oakie, and Ruth Donnelly.
...I've recommended I'LL BE SEEING YOU (1944) before, and it's worth mentioning again for anyone who hasn't caught it yet. It's quite a special WWII-era holiday film, starring Joseph Cotten and Ginger Rogers as two troubled people who find one another at Christmastime. Tom Tully, Spring Byington, and Shirley Temple lend fine support. It will be shown on Sunday morning, April 7th.
...April 10th is another evening of Laurence Olivier movies. My older daughter called my attention to SLEUTH (1972), costarring Michael Caine and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Looks interesting.
...As mentioned above, TCM is hosting a primetime tribute to actress Debra Paget, who turns 80 this summer. Half a dozen Paget films will be shown on April 11th, including LOVE ME TENDER (1956), LES MISERABLES (1952), and DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS
...SO PROUDLY WE HAIL! (1943) is a real must-see on April 12th. The movie stars Claudette Colbert, Veronica Lake, and Oscar-nominated Paulette Goddard in a very moving story of nurses serving on Bataan and Corregidor. It's part of this month's Friday night series on women in film.
...Anyone who hasn't yet seen MIRANDA (1948) has a treat in store. It's a delightfully amusing story of a mermaid who comes to stay with a doctor and his wife. Glynis Johns is the mermaid; look for her MARY POPPINS (1964) costar, David Tomlinson, in the supporting cast. The movie airs April 13th. A sequel of sorts, MAD ABOUT MEN (1954), airs on April 20th.
...An evening of Westerns on April 15th includes Randolph Scott, Zachary Scott, and Ruth Roman in the very entertaining COLT .45 (1950); Dennis Morgan in THE GUN THAT WON THE WEST (1955); Glenn Ford and Jeanne Crain in THE FASTEST GUN ALIVE (1956), which also features an acrobatic performance by Russ Tamblyn; and Audie Murphy and Merry Anders in THE QUICK GUN (1964). Anders passed away last October, which was noted here a few weeks ago.
...April 17th is a particularly great evening of Olivier films, starting with THAT HAMILTON WOMAN (1941); I don't think Vivien Leigh ever looked more beautiful on the screen than she did in that film. Lots of favorites that evening, including a "literary trio" of REBECCA (1940), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), and WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939). THE DIVORCE OF LADY X (1938), costarring Merle Oberon, is an amusing film with a striking color palette.
...On April 21st TCM will be playing Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett's two films together back to back: the pre-Code ME AND MY GAL (1932) and FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950), also starring Elizabeth Taylor.
...Shirley Temple's 85th birthday will be celebrated on April 23rd with 8 films, including THE LITTLE PRINCESS (1939), THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBY-SOXER (1947), and John Ford's FORT APACHE (1948). ADVENTURE IN BALTIMORE (1949), with Temple as a turn-of-the-century minister's daughter, is also in the lineup.
...The final evening of Olivier films, on April 24th, features a wide variety of movies, including THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL (1957) with Marilyn Monroe and THE 49TH PARALLEL (1941), directed by Michael Powell.
...There's a cast full of pros in the 66-minute film WHILE THE PATIENT SLEPT (1935), showing on April 26th: Aline MacMahon, Lyle Talbot, Allen Jenkins, Guy Kibbee, Patricia Ellis, Robert Barrat, Henry O'Neill, and Hobart Cavanaugh. Looks like a fun one to try out.
...A film I particularly recommend this month is WALKING ON AIR (1936), being shown the morning of April 27th. It stars Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond in a musical screwball comedy with a gorgeous Art Deco setting.
...An evening of sci-fi on the 27th includes Tim Holt in THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD (1957), a movie my kids have found great fun. Since I've been watching more '50s sci-fi in recent months, I'll have to give it a try.
...TCM pays tribute to Richard Carlson with six films airing the evening of April 29th. The titles include IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953), THE MAGNETIC MONSTER (1953), RIDERS TO THE STARS (1954), and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954). I'm especially intrigued by THE POWER (1968), a late '60s film which also stars Yvonne DeCarlo, Suzanne Pleshette, Gary Merrill, Michael Rennie, and more.
...April 30th there's a primetime tribute to Glenn Ford, who was born on May 1st. The six titles include THE UNDERCOVER MAN (1949), FRAMED (1947), and GILDA (1946). His early "B" film BABIES FOR SALE (1940), costarring Rochelle Hudson, should be fun.
For the complete schedule, please visit the Turner Classic Movies website.
Happy April movie viewing!!
April 1st Update: Over at Speakeasy, Kristina has lots of great links to other bloggers' recommendations for TCM in April. Be sure to stop by!