Sunday, June 30, 2013

TCM in July: Highlights

Summertime and the livin' is easy! Time to power down and cool off watching plenty of classic movies.

The are lots of interesting titles ahead on the Turner Classic Movies schedule for this month.

The TCM Star of the Month is Paul Henreid; I'll be incorporating some of those titles into this post rather than doing a separate Star of the Month post for July. 27 Henreid films are scheduled spread across five Tuesday evenings in July.

Here are tips on just a handful of the interesting films airing on TCM this month:

...On July 1st TCM celebrates Canada Day with a number of movies set in the country to our north. Titles include everything from ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (1934) to the original version of ROSE MARIE (1936) to the WWII film NORTHERN PURSUIT (1943) with Errol Flynn. NORTHWEST RANGERS (1942) is an MGM "B" movie with William Lundigan and James Craig; Lundigan had played a similar role in a Warner Bros. version of the same story, EAST OF THE RIVER (1940). I'm particularly looking forward to recording George Brent in GOD'S COUNTRY AND THE WOMAN (1937).

...Paul Henreid's Star of the Month celebration kicks off on Tuesday evening, July 2nd, with five films, including two opposite Ida Lupino, IN OUR TIME (1944) and DEVOTION (1946); two musical biographies, SONG OF LOVE (1947) and DEEP IN MY HEART (1954); and the musical MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS (1956), in which he plays Cyd Charisse's manager.

...WEEKEND WITH FATHER (1951) is a romantic comedy about parents who meet and fall in love while sending their children to summer camp. It stars Van Heflin, Patricia Neal, with the children played by Gigi and Janine Perreau, Jimmy Hunt, and Tommy Rettig (LASSIE); it was directed by Douglas Sirk, best known for his melodramas of later in the '50s. It will be shown the evening of the 3rd along with several other "family" films including TWICE BLESSED (1945), a fun "B" film which plays like an early version of THE PARENT TRAP (1961). Preston Foster and Gail Patrick are the divorced parents in TWICE BLESSED, with talented real-life twins Lyn and Lee Wilde as their daughters.

...There are a number of patriotic films airing on the 4th of July, although a couple of them, such as THE HOWARDS OF VIRGINIA (1940) and THE SCARLET COAT (1955), admittedly aren't all that good. But stick around for Americana musicals such as ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945), YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942), and THE MUSIC MAN (1962), which it seems like TCM shows every Independence Day. :)

...SH! THE OCTOPUS (1937) is an odd title for what is a 55-minute comedy starring Allen Jenkins. Unfortunately the tedious Hugh Herbert costars, but Allen Jenkins in a short octopus movie might be worth trying. It's on July 5th.

...Later on the 5th: the excellent Western noir BLOOD ON THE MOON (1948) starring Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, Walter Brennan, Robert Preston, and Phyllis Thaxter, not to mention terrific actors like Charles McGraw, Tom Tully, and Frank Faylen in the supporting cast. It was directed by Robert Wise. I was fortunate to see it on a big screen just about exactly two years ago.

...In the mood for a Jane Powell musical? RICH, YOUNG AND PRETTY (1951) is a fun one airing on July 7th. She stars opposite Vic Damone, in his film debut, with Danielle Darrieux, Fernando Lamas, Una Merkel, and Wendell Corey costarring. The Four Freshmen even turn up for a song late in the film.

...Paul Henreid films continue on July 9th, starting with the classic NOW, VOYAGER (1942) opposite Bette Davis. He also starred opposite Davis in DECEPTION (1946) and directed her in DEAD RINGER (1964), both airing on the 9th as well. The five films airing this evening wrap with the Technicolor swashbuckler THE SPANISH MAIN (1945) opposite Maureen O'Hara. (Is that supposed to be Henreid in the poster?!)

...Robert Osborne's picks on July 10th are two Joan Bennett films followed by two Hedy Lamarr films. I love both actresses and am glad to see Mr. Osborne shining a light on their work. The Bennett films are THE RECKLESS MOMENT (1949) and TRADE WINDS (1938); THE RECKLESS MOMENT is an absolutely superb "housewife noir" title costarring James Mason and directed by Max Ophuls, while in TRADE WINDS Bennett famously and permanently changed from a blonde to a brunette -- which left her looking a bit like the other lady celebrated that night, Hedy Lamarr! The Lamarr films are her first American film, ALGIERS (1938), and her funny turn in COMRADE X (1940). COMRADE X doesn't entirely succeed, but Lamarr is simply wonderful as a dedicated Communist who marries an American reporter (Clark Gable) in Russia.

...TCM honors the late, great Ray Harryhausen with a five-film memorial tribute the evening of July 11th. Titles include EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS (1956) which I found a lot of fun when I saw it for the first time last year. Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor star.

...Several Westerns air during the day on Friday, July 12th, including RED RIVER (1948) and one of my favorite films, WAGON MASTER (1950). Another favorite airing that day, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949), was filmed in Monument Valley, which I visited in May. Photos of a significant location for the film are included in my post. There's another chance to see SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON on July 27th.

...HIRED WIFE (1940) is an excellent romantic comedy with a witty script which was hard to find for a very long time. It's on during an evening of Rosalind Russell films on July 13th. Brian Aherne, Virginia Bruce, Robert Benchley, and John Carroll costar.

...I really enjoyed the murder mystery THE WHOLE TRUTH (1958) and would like to watch it again. You can't beat the cast: Stewart Granger, Donna Reed, and George Sanders. It's on the 15th.

...The half-dozen Paul Henreid films shown on the 16th are a varied bunch, ranging from SIREN OF BAGDAD (1953) with Patricia Medina to the noir HOLLOW TRIUMPH (1948) -- also known as THE SCAR -- with Joan Bennett to JOAN OF PARIS (1942) with Michele Morgan. SO YOUNG, SO BAD (1950) is a somewhat interesting low-budget film with Henreid playing a psychologist trying to help wayward girls including Anne Francis and Rita Moreno.

...The hour-long BORN FOR TROUBLE (1942), also known as MURDER IN THE BIG HOUSE, was one of Van Johnson's very earliest films. It will air on July 18th.

...Friday, July 19th, features a day of baseball films, including two titles I've reviewed here previously, DEATH ON THE DIAMOND (1934) with Robert Young and IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING (1949) starring Ray Milland.

...Another baseball film, THE STRATTON STORY (1949), airs on July 21st. It was the first film teaming Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson.

...July 22nd is a day of films featuring big bands. Titles include HOLLYWOOD HOTEL (1937) with Dick Powell and GARDEN OF THE MOON (1938) with John Payne. It's fun to note that both Powell and Payne started out as '30s crooners, then later morphed into two of the most highly regarded stars of film noir.

...STORM FEAR (1953) is a must for me on July 23rd. It stars real-life husband and wife Cornel Wilde and Jean Wallace, the same year they made the noir classic THE BIG COMBO (1955), and it was directed by Wilde. The great Dan Duryea costars.

...Six more Paul Henreid films air on July 23rd, including OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1946) and BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (1944), also starring Eleanor Parker. PIRATES OF TRIPOLI (1955) was another adventure film he made with Patricia Medina.

...I really enjoyed an unfamiliar actress, Marian Marsh, in BEAUTY AND THE BOSS (1932). She stars with Boris Karloff and Katherine DeMille in the horror film THE BLACK ROOM (1935) on July 25th.

...On July 26th I strongly recommend STATION WEST (1948), which like BLOOD ON THE MOON (airing July 5th) is basically a Western film noir. It stars noir icons Dick Powell and Jane Greer. Burl Ives adds some atmospheric music.

...LATIN LOVERS (1953) is one of those '50s Technicolor films from MGM which looks so great it could be enjoyed with the sound off. It stars Lana Turner, Richard Montalban, and John Lund, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, who had also directed Turner in her breakthrough film as a teenager, THEY WON'T FORGET (1937). It airs Sunday the 28th.

...The 68-minute "B" film FEAR (1946) sounds interesting, with Warren William as a police captain. Anne Gwynne costars. It airs July 29th.

...The final evening of Paul Henreid films, on July 30th, leads off with the CASABLANCA-like THE CONSPIRATORS (1944), costarring Hedy Lamarr, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet, and then CASABLANCA (1942) itself.

...Reno is the daytime theme on July 31st. The titles include Gail Patrick, Richard Dix, and Anita Louise in RENO (1940), directed by John Farrow.

...Later on the 31st, Cornel Wilde stars in Douglas Sirk's SHOCKPROOF (1949). Another interesting film that evening is Sirk's THERE'S ALWAYS TOMORROW (1956), recently reviewed by Mark at Cin-Eater. THERE'S ALWAYS TOMORROW stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck; it was partly filmed at the Apple Valley Inn, also seen in HIGHWAY DRAGNET (1954) and FOXFIRE (1955).

As a side note, the Fox Movie Channel schedule is extremely repetitive this month so I won't be doing a separate post on it. Please visit my June post on the Fox schedule, which also links to posts which cover the past few months; put any title of interest from those posts into the search box at the Fox Movie Channel website to see if it's playing in July. Chances are good it will be!


Blogger Vienna said...

Oh boy, what an amazing number of films. I will be interested to hear about the George Brent film,God's Country and the Woman ( what a title!)
Two others I don't know, Fear and Weekend with Father (Van Heflin isnt known for comedy)

12:23 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Van Heflin may not be known for comedy, but he's just fine in Weekend with Father, a delightful movie, and pretty tart in Sirk's hands. Before he found his fate as a Master of Melodrama he did a number of these comedies and they always had charm, satirical edge, or, as here, both.

11:34 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older