Wednesday, December 31, 2014

TCM in January: Highlights

Happy New Year, and best wishes for a wonderful 2015!

I wish the fun of the holiday season could have lasted twice as long, especially as all four of our children came home in December, but there's some great movie viewing ahead in January!

The January Star of the Month is Robert Redford, while the Friday Night Spotlight focuses on the films of Neil Simon. There will not be separate posts this month on Redford or Simon as their films largely fall outside the era of my greatest interest and knowledge.

Here are a few of the many interesting titles on the January schedule:

...New Year's Day features films starring Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and the Marx Bros. That's quite a combo to kick off the year!

...Director Michael Curtiz and 10 cast members from FOUR DAUGHTERS (1938) reunited for DAUGHTERS COURAGEOUS (1939), a completely unrelated but equally enjoyable film. Film historian George Morris called DAUGHTERS COURAGEOUS "neither a sequel nor a remake, but a unique mixture of paraphrase and elaboration." The stars include the Lane Sisters, John Garfield, Jeffrey Lynn, and Claude Rains. Airing on January 2nd.

...There are some wonderful films running on Sunday the 4th, including ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945) with Kelly, Sinatra, and Grayson; CRISS CROSS (1949) with Lancaster, DeCarlo, and Duryea; CAREFREE (1938) with Astaire, Rogers, and Bellamy; and CHARADE (1963) with Grant and Hepburn. A terrific day for taking it easy and watching movies.

...I'm fond of RICH MAN, POOR GIRL (1938), a lower-tier MGM picture starring Robert Young and Ruth Hussey in the title roles, with Lew Ayres and Lana Turner in support. 73 minutes of fun. It's followed by another early Turner-Ayres film, THESE GLAMOUR GIRLS (1939) which has a fun cast including Richard Carlson, Marsha Hunt, Anita Louise, and Ann Rutherford. Both films air January 5th.

...Most years TCM pays tribute to Loretta Young on her birthday, January 6th; this year the focus is on Young's pre-Codes, with a whopping 10 films in the lineup. Favorites include TAXI! (1932), THEY CALL IT SIN (1932), WEEK-END MARRIAGE (1932), and EMPLOYEES' ENTRANCE (1933). THEY CALL IT SIN is seen in the still to the right, costarring George Brent and David Manners.

...Before George Sanders played the Saint in RKO's series based on the Leslie Charteris character, the Saint was played by Louis Hayward in the very interesting THE SAINT IN NEW YORK (1938). It's on January 7th.

...A January 8th evening of musicals programmed by Michael Feinstein includes Vincente Minnelli's visually lovely if not completely successful SUMMER HOLIDAY (1948), starring Mickey Rooney and Gloria DeHaven. I haven't seen this one in years and am due for a rewatch.

...TCM shows HERE COMES MR. JORDAN (1941) and its loose sequel DOWN TO EARTH (1947), on January 11th. MR. JORDAN stars Robert Montgomery, Evelyn Keyes, and Claude Rains. Rita Hayworth, Larry Platt, and Marc Platt star in DOWN TO EARTH, with James Gleason and Edward Everett Horton reprising their roles from the earlier film.

...TCM was due to honor Oscar-winning actress Luise Rainer by showing several of her films on January 12th; Rainer would have turned 105 on that date, but sadly she has just passed away, so the day's screenings will now be a memorial tribute.

...Richard Dix, whose work I got to know better in 2014, stars in HELL'S HIGHWAY (1932) on January 13th.

...January 15th is my favorite day of the month, a tribute to director William Beaudine which features a variety of "B" films starring enjoyable actresses such as Gale Storm, Joan Woodbury, Marjorie Weaver, and Dona Drake.

...Later on the 15th there's COLORADO TERRITORY (1949), Raoul Walsh's Western remake of his own HIGH SIERRA (1941), starring Joel McCrea and Virginia Mayo. I'm considering this title for my list of 10 classic films to see for the first time in 2015.

...Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis (Reagan) star in the submarine film HELLCATS OF THE NAVY (1957) on January 16th.

...The somewhat unlikely team of Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray star in the fun, if somewhat improbable, early WWII spy thriller ABOVE SUSPICION (1943) on January 17th. It was based on a novel by Helen MacInnes.

...Nancy Olson and Will Rogers Jr. star in THE BOY FROM OKLAHOMA (1954) on January 21st. I've heard this is quite a nice little movie. Directed by Michael Curtiz.

...MONTANA (1950) is a fun color Western with Errol Flynn and Alexis Smith. Errol sings! There's an odd, confusing moment when Flynn is supposed to be running toward the camera but it's very clearly not him, it's his stuntman; in fact, I think it was Jock Mahoney. MONTANA will be shown on January 23rd.

...THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946) and YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942), both showing on Sunday the 25th, are pure movie musical joy. Judy Garland and a large cast are in HARVEY GIRLS, with Fred and Rita in the second film.

...Among several early Donna Reed films showing on January 27th is the unusual GENTLE ANNIE (1944), about a family of kindly train robbers. The cast includes James Craig, Marjorie Main, and Harry Morgan, who gives an excellent performance.

...Robert Montgomery alert! The rarely shown HAUNTED HONEYMOON (1940), with Montgomery as Dorothy Sayers' amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey, will be shown on January 29th. Constance Cummings costars. Also showing on the 29th is Montgomery in the entertaining THE MYSTERY OF MR. X (1934).

...COUNSELLOR AT LAW (1933) is a terrific pre-Code directed by William Wyler, starring John Barrymore and Bebe Daniels. A terrific movie worth checking out. It's on January 31st.

For more information on TCM in January, please visit the online schedule.

Best wishes for a great 2015 filled with classic movies!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older