Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quick Preview of TCM in December

Turner Classic Movies posted its tentative schedule for December on the TCM website this week.

I'm very happy to say that the December Star of the Month is Fred Astaire!

I'm certain I own every single Astaire musical which will be shown in December, but I never tire of watching them and love the idea of his upbeat movies playing regularly on TCM during the holiday season. Over two dozen Astaire films will be shown on Wednesday evenings, including a lineup of Fred and Ginger movies on Christmas Night.

As always, the December schedule is packed with Christmas movies, including a film I'm not certain TCM has shown in the past, CHRISTMAS EVE (1947), with George Brent, Randolph Scott, and George Raft. I recorded a very poor copy of the movie from a channel with commercials last year and am very happy TCM is showing it, given that the movie stars two big favorites of mine, Brent and Scott, not to mention Joan Blondell.

Another interesting choice is THE HOLIDAY (2006), with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. While I'm generally not a fan of TCM showing newer films which can easily be seen elsewhere -- this month that list includes GLADIATOR (2000), THE PIANO (1993), and RESERVOIR DOGS (1992) -- THE HOLIDAY has a real classic film spirit to it, including a charming performance by Eli Wallach, and it's excellent seasonal viewing which I've enjoyed many times. I think it's a nice addition to TCM's Christmas lineup.

I'm especially enthused about Robert Osborne's picks for Christmas Eve. The past couple of years he's spotlighted a film from 20th Century-Fox in the December 24th lineup, with COME TO THE STABLE (1949) shown in 2012 and MARGIE (1946) in 2011. This year he'll be showing a Fox movie which it just so happens I watched on Christmas last year, SUN VALLEY SERENADE (1941). SUN VALLEY SERENADE stars John Payne, Sonja Henie, Milton Berle, Lynn Bari, and Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.

He'll also be featuring a favorite Christmas discovery of the last few years, I'LL BE SEEING YOU (1944), starring Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten.

New Year's Eve will feature a marathon of all the films in the THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! series.

A day of pirate movies features THE PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE (1944), a Bob Hope-Virginia Mayo film which I fondly recall watching many times on KTLA Ch. 5 when I was growing up. It will be nice to revisit it for the first time in decades without commercials! Other themes include Shakespeare, MGM musicals, Westerns, football (including the excellent EASY LIVING), and a day of Screen Directors Playhouse episodes.

There are also tributes to Frank Sinatra, Van Heflin, Claudette Colbert, Irene Dunne, John Ford, Otto Preminger, and Russ Tamblyn.

On December 30th several films will be shown honoring actors who passed away this year, including one of Deanna Durbin's very best films, IT STARTED WITH EVE (1941).

I'll have more details on the December schedule, including a separate post on TCM's lineup of Christmas movies, around December 1st. In the meantime, Vincent Price will be the Star of the Month for October and Burt Lancaster will be the November Star of the Month, celebrating his centennial.

Update: For more on TCM in December, please visit TCM in December: Highlights, TCM in December: Christmas Movies, and TCM Star of the Month: Fred Astaire.

7 Comments:

Blogger Vienna said...

Gosh, I love the cast of Christmas Eve, don't know this film. Hope you'll do review.

6:17 AM  
Blogger MC said...

So excited about Sun Valley Serenade! I've wanted to see that one for quite a while and could never find it. :)

3:26 PM  
Blogger Kristina D said...

I feel like December is all about comfort movies and Fred Astaire is certainly that. I love SUN VALLEY SERENADE too, have never heard of CHRISTMAS EVE, looking forward to that!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

It should be a great month on TCM!

I've read a couple iffy things about CHRISTMAS EVE but with that cast, have to check it out! Always glad to see a new holiday film added to the lineup, too.

Hope everyone will enjoy SUN VALLEY SERENADE! The holiday setting is muted but there -- it's a great addition to TCM in December.

Best wishes,
Laura

12:53 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

It should be a great month on TCM!

I've read a couple iffy things about CHRISTMAS EVE but with that cast, have to check it out! Always glad to see a new holiday film added to the lineup, too.

Hope everyone will enjoy SUN VALLEY SERENADE! The holiday setting is muted but there -- it's a great addition to TCM in December.

Best wishes,
Laura

12:53 PM  
Blogger Russell said...

One correction - the HOLIDAY on 12/24 is not the 2006 Kate Winslet/Cameron Diaz movie but the 1938 Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn one.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Russell,

Both films are on in December! The modern THE HOLIDAY airs on the 17th while the HOLIDAY with Grant and Hepburn is on Christmas Eve.

Thanks for stopping by!

Best wishes,
Laura

12:20 PM  

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