schedule for Turner Classic Movies in October!
Vincent Price is Star of the Month for October, and the Friday Night Spotlight has been transformed into Friday Night "Spooklight" for the month, all of which means there are more scary movies airing on TCM in October than I can ever remember!
Vincent Price movies will be shown every Thursday this month, culminating in Price horror movies all evening on Halloween night. Since scary movies aren't my thing, I won't be doing a separate Star of the Month post for October, but I'll be highlighting some of Price's non-horror films below.
Here's a peek at some of the interesting things airing this month:
ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1952) is great, not good; its strong points include stunning black and white photography. Also showing: BEWARE, MY LOVELY (1952). The two Lupino-Ryan films are preceded by a movie Lupino directed, HARD, FAST AND BEAUTIFUL (1951).
...The first evening of Vincent Price films this month, on October 3rd, includes the great "color noir" LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945) with Gene Tierney and Jeanne Crain, and an MGM noir I love, THE BRIBE (1949), costarring Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner. The film's finale finds Price taking part in a very stylish shootout during a fireworks show.
FEMALE (1933), airing on October 4th, is one of my favorite pre-Codes. It packs tremendous entertainment value into its 61 minutes, including some stunning set design (that organ!). Some viewers feel the ending is a cop-out, but who can blame Chatterton for falling for handsome George Brent? At the time they were also a couple off the screen.
...711 OCEAN DRIVE (1950) is one of those movies I might not have liked with a different actor or less effective staging, as the lead character, played by Edmond O'Brien, makes a lot of bad choices. I remained in sympathy with him nonetheless, perhaps in part because of his genuinely tender feelings for the character played by Joanne Dru. Great location shooting at Hoover Dam is another plus. It's on Saturday, October 5th.
...A tribute to director Robert Z. Leonard on October 7th includes MGM's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), which I greatly love, anachronistic costumes and all. One of the cast members, Marsha Hunt (Mary), is still with us at age 95; her onscreen sister, Ann Rutherford (Lydia), just passed away last year.
...A day of dancing films on October 8th includes Cyd Charisse and Margaret O'Brien in THE UNFINISHED DANCE (1947) and Fred Astaire in two underrated films, THE SKY'S THE LIMIT (1943) and my very favorite Astaire film, YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942).
...Vincent Price is pure fun in HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951), one of half a dozen of his films shown on October 10th. The movie stars Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell. Also on tap that evening are Russell and Victor Mature in another fun film, THE LAS VEGAS STORY (1952), and another Mature film, DANGEROUS MISSION (1954).
...I like to recommend MYSTERY STREET (1950) when I get a chance. It was filmed in Boston, with Ricardo Montalban as a police detective working to solve a murder with Harvard criminalist Bruce Bennett. The early "CSI" aspect is quite interesting. It will air on October 12th.
...Another very enjoyable musical from Charles Walters airs on Sunday, the 13th: THE GLASS SLIPPER (1955), a retelling of the Cinderella story starring Leslie Caron.
...Angela Lansbury's 88th birthday will be celebrated in the daytime lineup on October 16th with seven films ranging from GASLIGHT (1944) and THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946) to THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962).
RAWHIDE (1951), costarring Susan Hayward, and the film noir which contains one of his greatest performances, NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947). Also featured: my favorite Power film, THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940); the pirate film THE BLACK SWAN (1942); and the costume drama MARIE ANTOINETTE (1938).
...There are another half-dozen Vincent Price movies on October 17th, including WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956) and THE BIG CIRCUS (1959) which both have great all-star casts. After these first three weeks of the month, the next two Thursdays are completely devoted to Price horror films.
...THE COMMAND (1954) sounds interesting, a Western starring Guy Madison and Joan Weldon. It's on October 18th.
THE LONGEST NIGHT (1936) and MARRIED BEFORE BREAKFAST (1937). MIRACLES FOR SALE airs on the 19th.
...The wonderful British actress Margaret Lockwood will be honored with a seven-film tribute on Tuesday, October 22nd. I just reviewed HIGHLY DANGEROUS (1950), and I also liked BANK HOLIDAY (1938). The final film of the tribute, THE LADY VANISHES (1938), is one of my favorite Hitchcock films.
...I've read some things indicating that SOMBRERO (1953), airing on October 23rd, isn't all that good, but what a cast of favorites: Yvonne DeCarlo, Cyd Charisse, and Ricardo Montalban. It was directed by Montalban's brother-in-law, Norman Foster.
Tim Holt -- and his sidekick Richard Martin! -- in the past year, and I've also watched many films directed by "B" movie specialist Lew Landers. I'm thus very excited that on October 24th TCM is showing a Holt-Martin film directed by Landers which isn't in one of the Warner Archive Tim Holt sets, DYNAMITE PASS (1950). This one has a terrific cast, with Lynne Roberts, Regis Toomey, Cleo Moore, and John Dehner. Can't wait!
...There are several other Westerns airing on the 24th, all but one released in 1950 or '51. A couple of unfamiliar titles have interesting casts: INSIGHT STRAIGHT (1951) stars Arlene Dahl, David Brian, Barry Sullivan, and Paula Raymond, while SLAUGHTER TRAIL (1951) stars Brian Donlevy and Virginia Grey.
MR. AND MRS. SMITH (1941), THE BLACK SWAN (1942), and MILLION DOLLAR BABY (1941). Fun programming!
...I really enjoyed CAT PEOPLE (1942) earlier this year, finding it spooky but not horrific. Highly recommend this Val Lewton-Jacques Tourneur film, starring Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, and Tom Conway. It will air October 26th.
...THE SECRET GARDEN (1949), showing on Sunday, the 27th, is one of the better book-to-film adaptations, with Margaret O'Brien playing Mary Lennox in the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic. Dean Stockwell and Herbert Marshall costar.
...SHADOW OF DOUBT (1935), not to be confused with the similarly titled Hitchcock classic, is a very enjoyable mystery which is also quite funny at times. The excellent cast includes Ricardo Cortez, Virginia Bruce, Regis Toomey, and Constance Collier. It's on October 30th.
EXPERIMENT PERILOUS (1944) with George Brent and Hedy Lamarr, beautifully directed by Jacques Tourneur. Some of the powerful visuals, including a stormy train ride and a sequence involving fish tanks, linger in the memory, as do Hedy Lamarr's beautiful, pleading eyes.
For more on TCM in October, be sure to check out the complete schedule. Happy viewing, and Happy Halloween!