Tuesday, March 31, 2015

TCM in April: Highlights

I'll be returning shortly to coverage of the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival, but first it's time for a look at the April schedule on Turner Classic Movies!

The April Star of the Month is Oscar-winning actor Anthony Quinn, who was born 100 years ago this month. Over two dozen Quinn films will be shown on Wednesday evenings beginning tonight, April 1st.

The Friday Night Spotlight focuses on MGM special effects genius A. Arnold Gillespie.

Please note that, due to a heavy blogging schedule, information on this month's Star of the Month and Friday Night Spotlight titles will be incorporated into this post rather than covered in separate posts.

Below are just some of this month's highlights; click on any hyperlinked title for the related review.

...Appropriately for April Fool's Day, April 1st starts off with comedies starring Joe E. Brown and Abbott & Costello, followed by the first evening of Anthony Quinn movies. The Quinn lineup includes ZORBA THE GREEK (1964) and LUST FOR LIFE (1956) along with some of Quinn's early roles in films such as CITY FOR CONQUEST (1940) and KNOCKOUT (1941).

...A series of films about ministers on April 2nd includes Fredric March and Martha Scott in ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN (1941), which was just released by the Warner Archive; I'll be reviewing it this month. Also airing on the 2nd: Joel McCrea in Jacques Tourneur's lovely STARS IN MY CROWN (1950), costarring Ellen Drew, Dean Stockwell, Alan Hale Sr., Juano Hernandez, and James Mitchell.

...On April 3rd the first Friday Night Spotlight tribute to special effects artist Arnold Gillespie includes THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) and SAN FRANCISCO (1936). Readers may be interested to know that Gillespie's memoir was posthumously published in 2012.

...One can never go wrong watching LAURA (1944), which airs on April 4th. The terrific cast includes Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, and Vincent Price.

...The Easter Sunday lineup on TCM includes the Irving Berlin musicals EASTER PARADE (1948) and HOLIDAY INN (1942), both starring Fred Astaire. Judy Garland costars in EASTER PARADE and BING CROSBY also stars in HOLIDAY INN.

...Monday evening, April 6th, there's a five-film tribute to Jane Russell. I particularly enjoyed MACAO (1952), costarring Robert Mitchum. Mitchum was also Russell's costar in the somewhat nutty HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951), which has a memorable supporting role for Vincent Price.

...An evening of documentary specials on April 7th ties in with the release of the new book IN THE COMPANY OF LEGENDS by Joan Kramer and David Heeley. I expect to review the book sometime in April.

...The Anthony Quinn lineup on April 8th includes the very colorful SINBAD THE SAILOR (1947), starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Maureen O'Hara.

...One of my favorite days on TCM in April is the 9th, which features a nine-film tribute to director Lesley Selander. Titles include Tim Holt's LAW OF THE BADLANDS (1951), Richard Dix and Florence Rice in CHEROKEE STRIP (1940), and Sterling Hayden and Coleen Gray in ARROW IN THE DUST (1954), due on DVD soon from the Warner Archive. (Update: CHEROKEE STRIP has been pulled from the schedule since TCM's Now Playing guide was printed; an additional Tim Holt film will air in its place.)

...A couple weeks ago I reviewed the new Warner Archive release of KATHLEEN (1941), starring Shirley Temple, Herbert Marshall, Laraine Day, and Gail Patrick. It airs on TCM April 10th.

...The April 10th Friday Night Spotlight look at special effects artist Arnold Gillespie includes TEST PILOT (1938) and THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO (1944).

...I've previously shared my admiration for HER SISTER'S SECRET (1946), an excellent drama starring Margaret Lindsay and Nancy Coleman, directed by Edgar G. Ulmer; I recently wrote about seeing the movie a second time at the UCLA Festival of Preservation. HER SISTER'S SECRET airs on TCM on April 12th.

...April 13th features an eight-film birthday tribute to Howard Keel, including my favorite SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954). Lots of great music on TCM on the 13th!

...The April 14th schedule starts out with seven Esther Williams films, then shifts gears for ROBERT OSBORNE'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE (2015), filmed at the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival.

...Don't miss Glynis Johns as an honest-to-goodness mermaid in the delightful comedy-fantasy MIRANDA (1948). It airs April 16th.

...William Holden, Loretta Young, and Robert Mitchum are excellent in the pioneer romance RACHEL AND THE STRANGER (1948), directed by Loretta's brother-in-law, former actor Norman Foster. It will be shown Friday, April 17th.

...The April 17th Friday Night Spotlight lineup includes Lana Turner in GREEN DOLPHIN STREET (1947), which has Oscar-winning special effects, and Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling in ROYAL WEDDING (1951). I recently came across a nice column on the absorbing GREEN DOLPHIN STREET which can be read here.

...TCM pays tribute to the team of Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent on Sunday evening, April 19th, showing their films MY REPUTATION (1946) and BABY FACE (1933).

...Later on the 19th, the TCM Imports franchise features a "newer" film I enjoyed: THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (1983).

...On my list to record on April 21st: VAGABOND LADY (1935) starring Robert Young, Evelyn Brent, and Reginald Denny. The more I see of Denny, the more I like him.

...A tribute to Sophia Loren on April 21st includes MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE (1964) which was the final film I saw at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival, preceded by an interview with Loren in person. I hope to review the movie here in the future; I wouldn't precisely say I liked it, but it was interesting and gave me exposure to another foreign film.

...If you've ever wanted to watch several ANDY HARDY films in reverse chronological order, you have the chance on Wednesday, April 22nd.

...The evening's Anthony Quinn lineup on April 22nd includes the John Farrow Western RIDE, VAQUERO! (1953) starring Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel. Moira Finnie wrote a detailed post on this film a few years ago for the TCM Movie Morlocks.

...HONEYMOON FOR THREE (1941), airing on April 23rd, is a fun comedy starring George Brent and Ann Sheridan.

...CANADIAN PACIFIC (1949), starring Randolph Scott, Jane Wyatt, and Nancy Olson, airs on April 25th.

...Louis Hayward and Joan Bennett star in THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK (1939), part of a day of Dumas movies on April 27th.

...The month ends with several films featuring "Johnny" in the title on April 30th. Don't miss JOHNNY DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (1944), a delightfully creative take on the WWII housing shortage starring Simone Simon. At times it's laugh-out-loud funny! I wrote more about it in a piece on Five Underrated Comedies.

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

Happy April viewing!


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Looks like I'll be busy riding the range on the 9th. I haven't seen "Miranda" in decades! What fun! All that plus Anthony Quinn - quite a month.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi! Doesn't the 9th look great? :) And MIRANDA is such fun, hope some folks will check it out.

Happy viewing!

Best wishes,

9:50 AM  

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