Friday, January 31, 2014

TCM in February: 31 Days of Oscar Highlights

January seems to have gone by in a flash, and the annual 31 Days of Oscar festival on Turner Classic Movies will very soon be underway!

TCM has a special microsite with information on each day of the schedule. There's also a .pdf version of the schedule showing the themes used to group various films each day. The usual monthly online schedule is also available.

TCM has dedicated this year's Oscar festival to the memory of former Academy President Tom Sherak, who recently passed away.

This month TCM is also premiering a new documentary on the Academy Awards, AND THE OSCAR GOES TO..., which will debut on February 1st and repeat four additional times over the course of the month.

I attended a preview screening of the documentary at the Academy last week and shared details in a post on the event. Additionally, TCM has issued a press release with information on both the documentary and the month's schedule.

There was big TCM news this week: As the Noir City Festival was underway in San Francisco, news broke that the Film Noir Foundation's Eddie Muller has signed a three-year contract with TCM as an on-air host, which will allow him to also continue his work with the Film Noir Foundation. This is fantastic news indeed, and I'll be looking forward to further details on his future role at the network.

The Noir City introductions by Mr. Muller and his Film Noir Foundation colleague, Alan K. Rode, are always interesting, educational, and enthusiastic, and Muller's TCM Friday Night Spotlight series on film noir writers last June was excellent. He also makes annual appearances at the TCM Classic Film Festival. He'll make a wonderful on-air addition to TCM.

With a month of Oscar winners, it's hard to single out just a few titles, but here are a handful of the many highlights airing on TCM in February:

...The 31 Days of Oscar festival kicks off on February 1st with a 75th Anniversary tribute to the 10 Best Picture nominees from Hollywood's Golden Year, 1939. The amazing titles: GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS; OF MICE AND MEN; NINOTCHKA; WUTHERING HEIGHTS; STAGECOACH; MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON; THE WIZARD OF OZ; GONE WITH THE WIND; DARK VICTORY; and LOVE AFFAIR. That list would be a great excuse for a movie marathon!

...February 2nd's lineup includes 1945's Best Picture nominees, one of which is Hitchcock's SPELLBOUND (1945), which I reviewed here last September. It's one of the best-known examples of Hollywood's mid-'40s obsession with psychoanalysis. Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck star.

...For anyone who missed it at Christmas, the 1933 version of LITTLE WOMEN is superb. Katharine Hepburn, Frances Dee, Joan Bennett, and Jean Parker star as the March sisters. It airs on February 4th.

...The lineup on the evening of February 5th celebrates the Best Supporting Actor nominees of 1946, with excellent films including THE RAZOR'S EDGE (1946), NOTORIOUS (1946), and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946).

...Robert Montgomery received one of his two Best Actor nominations for NIGHT MUST FALL (1937), airing on February 7th. His other nomination was for a very different film, the gentle comedic fantasy HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (1941), which airs on February 16th.

...On February 8th three actors named Robert -- Young, Mitchum, and Ryan -- star in Edward Dmytryk's CROSSFIRE (1947), which was nominated for five Oscars.

...It's always good news when one of Deanna Durbin's movies turns up on TCM, and happily THREE SMART GIRLS (1936) will be shown on February 10th. The supporting cast includes the charming young Ray Milland.

...The Best Original Screenplay nominees airing on February 10th include FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940), which just manages to edge out NOTORIOUS (1946) as my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film. It has great set pieces involving umbrellas, windmills, and an airplane, and a sterling cast led by Joel McCrea, George Sanders, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, and Robert Benchley. Wonderful entertainment.

...I reviewed Vincente Minnelli's SOME CAME RUNNING (1958), starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, just a few weeks ago. You can read another recent take on it from Judy at Movie Classics. It airs on February 12th.

...I've shared in the past that MRS. MINIVER (1942) had a huge impact on me as a young film viewer. This classic Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon WWII film will air on February 13th.

...The suspense film BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955), with Spencer Tracy as a one-armed veteran stopping over in a small town, boasts a cast with five Oscar-winning actors. (Can you name them all?!) It will be shown on February 14th.

...It's amazing there's a movie with favorites Robert Montgomery and Chester Morris costarring I haven't seen yet! It's THE BIG HOUSE (1930), a prison film nominated for Best Picture which airs February 15th. It's followed with another Montgomery-Morris film, THE DIVORCEE (1930) starring Norma Shearer.

...My favorite movie, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954), was nominated for Best Picture. It's shown on Sunday, February 16th. That's a great day with a lineup which includes HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (1941), THE THIN MAN (1934), and the Will Rogers version of STATE FAIR (1933).

...Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine star in the 20th Century-Fox WWII film THIS ABOVE ALL (1943) on February 17th.

...Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are merry ghosts George and Marion Kirby in TOPPER (1937), with Roland Young in the title role. It's on February 19th.

...Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman star in Douglas Sirk's version of MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954) on February 20th.

...The classic romantic drama RANDOM HARVEST (1942), starring Greer Garson and Ronald Colman, airs on February 22nd. It also stars lovely young Susan Peters, who was nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar. There's more about Peters in this post.

...Do movies get any better than THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938)? To borrow a phrase, it's practically perfect in every way. Incidentally, Southern Californians can see it on a big screen at UCLA on February 23rd -- and there's free admission, too!

...When I visited Monument Valley last summer, one of the most thrilling things for me was to see locations from SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949), one of my favorite John Ford-John Wayne movies. This Oscar winner for Best Cinematography will be shown on February 25th.

...Also on February 25th: Rex Harrison, Gene Tierney, and George Sanders in the classic comedy-drama-fantasy THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947).

...My first viewing of HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941) last New Year's Eve was a very moving experience. This John Ford multi Oscar winner airs February 26th. Don't miss it.

...THE HUMAN COMEDY (1943) is classic '40s MGM Americana, directed by Clarence Brown with a superb cast led by Best Actor nominee Mickey Rooney. It's shown on February 28th. I was surprised this week to read that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are reuniting to collaborate behind the camera on a remake, to be named ITHACA after the town in the William Saroyan tale.

...The 31 Days of Oscar series continues for the first three days of March; among the final titles in the series is Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in TOP HAT (1934) on Sunday, March 2nd.

For many more fine viewing options on TCM this coming month, please consult the schedule.

Previously: Quick Preview of TCM in February: 31 Days of Oscar.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

The line-up for February is like getting everything you ever wanted for Christmas all at once!

9:54 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I like that thought, Caftan Woman! It's certainly a remarkable grouping of movies, you could turn on the TV almost any time and find something good to watch.

Best wishes,

11:57 PM  
Blogger DorianTB said...

Laura, I'm looking forward to this treasure trove of goodies during 31 DAY OF OSCAR, with SPELLBOUND and THE SUNSHINE BOYS; I saw it at Radio Music City Music Hall with my parents back in 1975! I'm even more excited to see Eddie Muller being part of the TCM family, too, as I've always enjoyed the commentary tracks on his various DVDs!

3:57 PM  

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