Wednesday, September 03, 2014

TCM Star of the Month: Melvyn Douglas

The Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month for September is Oscar-winning actor Melvyn Douglas.

35 Melvyn Douglas films will be shown on Wednesday in September, beginning this evening, September 3rd.

I especially enjoy Douglas in the earlier phase of his career, when he was a wonderful leading man in a number of romantic comedies of the '30s and '40s.

The Douglas tribute starts tonight with BEING THERE (1979), one of the two films for which he received a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award.

The evening continues with films across a variety of genres and decades, ranging from a wonderful role supporting Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in the comedy MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE (1948) to the Joan Crawford melodrama A WOMAN'S FACE (1941) to the late '60s drama HOTEL (1967).

Another comedy that evening is THREE HEARTS FOR JULIA (1948), a cute film costarring Ann Sothern.

On Wednesday, September 10th, the evening starts off with his classic comedy with Greta Garbo, NINOTCHKA (1939), directed by Ernst Lubitsch. That's followed by the drama CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (1937), for which his costar Spencer Tracy won the Oscar.

I especially enjoy Douglas in the wonderful comedies THEODORA GOES WILD (1936) with Irene Dunne and SHE MARRIED HER BOSS (1935) with Claudette Colbert. Both films are great fun, and I love his interplay with that pair of leading ladies.

September 17th starts with BILLY BUDD (1962) with Robert Ryan and Peter Ustinov. Films airing that evening which have been reviewed here in the past include THAT UNCERTAIN FEELING (1941) with Merle Oberon, FAST COMPANY (1938) with Florence Rice, and THE SHINING HOUR (1938) with Joan Crawford.

I really like FAST COMPANY, one of a trio of films about a husband and wife who sell rare books and solve mysteries on the side. Each of the films starred a different leading couple!

The series concludes on September 24th with Douglas's Oscar-nominated role in I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER (1970) and his Oscar-winning part in HUD (1963).

Titles shown on the 24th include THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (1964) with James Garner and Julie Andrews, WE WERE DANCING (1942) with Norma Shearer, and MY FORBIDDEN PAST (1951) with Robert Mitchum and Ava Gardner.

For more information on TCM this month, please visit my post TCM in September: Highlights and TCM Friday Spotlight: Pre-Codes.

The complete September schedule may be found on the TCM website.


Blogger Chris said...

One slight correction is "That Uncertain Feeling" stars Merle Oberon while the wonderful "Too Many Husbands" stars Jean Arthur. Oddly, the latter is not on the schedule for the month. I appreciate your column.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much, Chris, I've seen both films and confused them! I'll fix that ASAP. :)

Best wishes,


2:06 PM  
Blogger James Corry said...

I wish TCM would have "dug a bit deeper" and included Douglas first made-for-TV movie, 1968's NBC-Universal picture "Companions In Nightmare" which (as far as I know.....and I would know...)hasn't been seen ANYWHERE for at least 30 years and is practically a totally forgotten movie. The supporting cast is made up of Leslie Nielsen, Anne Baxter, Gig Young and Patrick O'Neal. It was directed by longtime Hitchcock associate Norman Lloyd. It had a music score by the great Bernard Herrmann (the only made-for-TV movie he ever scored)......What has happened to this movie?


4:49 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Wow, that sounds fascinating, Brad! What a cast -- plus I've had the honor of seeing Norman Lloyd in person a couple times so his work is of interest to me. I wonder if there's any chance it will come out on an MOD label at some point...

Thanks for calling it to my attention!

Best wishes,

6:07 PM  
Blogger James Corry said...

Laura, TCM isn't including "The Changeling" either (which Douglas starred in along with George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere)one of the best (and scariest) ghost stories ever made. We all love Douglas 30's and 40's film but TCM really should have included his later films. At least "The Changeling" and "Companions In Nightmare"......


6:44 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Brad,

Thanks for the added info!

As an additional comment, I also noted TCM isn't showing some of Douglas's '30s Columbia films with Joan Blondell; THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN (1938), THE AMAZING MR. WILLIAMS (1939), and GOOD GIRLS GO TO PARIS (1939) come to mind. I wonder if that has to do with so many Columbia titles moving over to getTV.

Best wishes,

7:18 PM  

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