Monday, March 31, 2014

TCM in April: Highlights

Turner Classic Movies celebrates its 20th Anniversary this month! And the April TCM schedule is absolutely wonderful.

John Wayne is the April Star of the Month. In an unusual scheduling move, Wayne's film career will be celebrated in a non-stop marathon from April 21st to 26th, with Wayne biographer Scott Eyman cohosting with Robert Osborne. I'll have more on that portion of the schedule as April 21st nears. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: John Wayne.)

April also features a 90th Anniversary salute to MGM, with 21 movies from April 17th to 18th, and a big 12-film tribute on Doris Day's 90th birthday, Thursday, April 3rd.

Another important note is that the TCM Classic Film Festival will be underway from April 10th to 13th, so be sure to check the TCM channel regularly throughout that weekend for interviews and introductions filmed at the festival.

Here's a look at some of the many interesting titles on TCM's schedule this month:

...April Fool's Day gets underway with Harold Lloyd's classic SAFETY LAST! (1923). This witty film really delighted me when I finally caught up with it last year. A great start to a great month.

...Doris Day turns 90 on April 3rd, and TCM has scheduled a grand tribute which includes one of her very best musicals, CALAMITY JANE (1953), costarring Howard Keel. One of my favorite Day comedies, THE THRILL OF IT ALL (1963) with James Garner, also airs that date. Who can forget the swimming pool scene?!

...When watching Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Nancy Carroll in SCARLET DAWN (1932), it's interesting to contemplate it was filmed a mere 15 years after the Russian Revolution, when the events were still fresh in the minds of the filmmakers. It's also a timely look back for modern audiences, given recent events. The air date is April 4th.

...A U.S. postage stamp honoring Charlton Heston will be unveiled at the TCM Classic Film Festival on Friday, April 11th. One week previously, on the evening of April 4th, TCM will feature a tribute to Charlton Heston, including SKYJACKED (1972), which may not be great art but is great entertainment!

...MARRIED BACHELOR (1941) has been on my viewing wish list for some time, and I'm delighted it's turned up on the TCM schedule for April 5th. It stars Robert Young, Ruth Hussey, and Lee Bowman.

...This month's Saturday morning "B" series is the "Mexican Spitfire" series starring Lupe Velez. It kicks off on April 5th with the first film in the series, MEXICAN SPITFIRE (1940).

...The evening of April 5th features a trio of baseball movies, including FIELD OF DREAMS (1989), ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD (1951), and IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING (1949).

...One of Esther Williams' very best movies, NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER (1949), airs on April 6th. This is the movie which gave us the Oscar-winning "Baby, It's Cold Outside."

...Those who are enjoying the "Year of Ann Blyth" at Another Old Movie Blog may want to catch Ann in THE KING'S THIEF (1955) on April 8th. David Niven and George Sanders costar.

...A favorite "B" film, KID GLOVE KILLER (1942), airs on April 9th. It was directed by future Oscar winner Fred Zinnemann, starring Van Heflin and Marsha Hunt in a fun look at early "CSI" police criminology.

...I recently came across the documentary THE FIGHTING LADY (1944) online, narrated by Robert Taylor. A decade later a fiction film was released, MEN OF THE FIGHTING LADY (1954), starring Van Johnson, Walter Pidgeon, and Frank Lovejoy. It airs on April 9th.

...Also on the 9th: a favorite WWII romance, THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU (1944) starring Dennis Morgan and Eleanor Parker.

...The 9th is simply a great day on TCM! I'm also quite interested in the obscure WWII film WENT THE DAY WELL? (1942) which airs that evening.

...Robert Montgomery is a wounded gangster on the lam who falls for a farmer's daughter (Maureen O'Sullivan) in the charming HIDE-OUT (1934). The last couple of scenes are some of my all-time favorite Robert Montgomery moments on film. It airs April 10th.

...Joan Blondell and Chester Morris star in the excellent pre-Code BLONDIE JOHNSON (1933) on April 11th.

...I'm hoping to revisit SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963) at the TCM Classic Film Festival. For those who can't make it to the festival, this fun and colorful '60s romantic comedy, starring the always charming Rod Taylor, airs on April 11th.

...There's a 60-minute special on April 14th called TCM: TWENTY CLASSIC MOMENTS which is described as "A look at some unforgettable moments in the twenty-year history of Turner Classic Movies."

...I'm excited about a Robert Montgomery film I've never seen which airs on April 16th: WAR NURSE (1930), costarring Anita Page.

...Later on the 16th there's an evening of butler movies, including favorites such as IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK (1935), MY MAN GODFREY (1936), and MERRILY WE LIVE (1938).

...The MGM tribute on April 17th and 18th includes THE THIN MAN (1934), MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935), NINOTCHKA (1939), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944), SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952), THE BAND WAGON (1953), and NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959), and that's just for starters. Don't miss it!

...The evening of April 19th is devoted to films costarring the great screen team of Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. It starts off with the classic LAURA (1944) and continues with WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950). I'm delighted that for the first time TCM will be showing THE IRON CURTAIN (1948), with Andrews and Tierney in a fact-based story of a husband and wife who defected from the Soviet Union to Canada.

...On Easter Sunday, as always, TCM will be featuring the classic EASTER PARADE (1948) with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, and Ann Miller.

...A wonderful night of fairy tales on April 26th features BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946) and THE GLASS SLIPPER (1955), plus Danny Kaye in HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN (1952).

...The classic early Hitchcock film THE 39 STEPS (1935) airs on April 27th, starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll.

...ANGEL FACE (1952) is a Robert Mitchum-Jean Simmons film I still need to see. Colin just wrote about it at Riding the High Country. The air date is April 28th.

...Another favorite Esther Williams film, DUCHESS OF IDAHO (1950), airs on April 30th. Pure eye candy!

For more on TCM in April, please consult the full schedule.

Congratulations to Turner Classic Movies on a wonderful first two decades, and here's to many, many more!


Blogger Jerry E said...

Among the many wonderful movies being scheduled for you at TCM you mentioned a possible interest in "Went The Day Well?" (1942). May I add a recommendation to you as this was directed by Alberto Cavalcanti for the great Ealing Studios and realistically depicts a rural England long gone now. It stars that fine actor Leslie Banks.
Best wishes, Jerry

4:45 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

A great month of movies. Thanks for the mention. I'll also be watching THE KING'S THIEF, for the first time.

4:50 AM  

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