Over 30 Leigh films will be shown every Wednesday night in October, continuing into Thursday morning.
THE ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE (1947). In a truly "Hollywood" story, Leigh was cast in the film shortly after her photo was noticed by Norma Shearer at a ski lodge. She's charming as innocent young Lissy Anne in this post-Civil War drama with Van Johnson. I highly recommend ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE, as it's not only a wonderful film, it's fascinating to see such a novice succeeding in her debut role.
The MGM star machine treatment was then fully underway, and by the end of 1949 Leigh had starred in nine additional feature films. Some of those early Leigh titles on tonight's schedule include MGM's colorful LITTLE WOMEN (1949), in which she plays Meg; the Lassie movie HILLS OF HOME (1948); the Rodgers & Hart biopic WORDS AND MUSIC (1948); THAT FORSYTE WOMAN (1949) with Errol Flynn, Greer Garson, and Walter Pidgeon; and the melodrama THE DOCTOR AND THE GIRL (1949) with Glenn Ford.
On October 8th the evening kicks off with the baseball fantasy ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD (1951) followed by the musical BYE BYE BIRDIE (1963).
Leigh played the title role in the very enjoyable musical version of MY SISTER EILEEN (1955), costarring Betty Garrett, Jack Lemmon, and Bob Fosse.
Leigh was reunited with ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE costar Van Johnson in CONFIDENTIALLY CONNIE (1953), a goofy comedy in which she's an expectant mother trying to figure out how to fit the beef she craves into the family food budget.
THE NAKED SPUR (1953) is the first movie of the evening, costarring James Stewart and Robert Ryan.
THE NAKED SPUR is followed by the classic swashbuckler SCARAMOUCHE (1952) with Stewart Granger and Eleanor Parker, a marvelous film with exquisite cinematography. THE NAKED SPUR and SCARAMOUCHE are wonderful examples of some of the top-flight titles in Leigh's filmography.
The evening also includes JUST THIS ONCE (1952), a slight but enjoyable romantic comedy in which she plays an attorney trying to rein in the spending of playboy Peter Lawford, and Jack Webb's PETE KELLY'S BLUES (1955).
Titles that night also include THE FOG (1980) with her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis and the cult classic NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (1972), which is about man-eating rabbits!
Appropriately for Halloween week, the final night of Janet Leigh films on October 29th begins with the Alfred Hitchcock classic PSYCHO (1960). PSYCHO is followed by the Orson Welles thriller TOUCH OF EVIL (1958) and Fred Zinnemann's noir classic ACT OF VIOLENCE (1948).
The series wraps up in the wee hours with HARPER (1966) and AN AMERICAN DREAM (1966).
To learn more about Janet Leigh, I recommend her 1984 autobiography THERE REALLY WAS A HOLLYWOOD and the 1995 book PSYCHO: BEHIND THE SCENES OF A CLASSIC THRILLER, cowritten with Christopher Nickens.
For more information on TCM this month, please visit my post TCM in October: Highlights, along with TCM's complete online schedule.