Sunday, August 30, 2015

TCM in September: Highlights

It's hard to believe that it's already time for summer to draw to a close. The relaxing days of the August may be just about behind us, but there's much to look forward to on the Turner Classic Movies September schedule!

Susan Hayward is the September Star of the Month, with 28 Hayward films being shown on Thursday evenings.

The Hayward celebration kicks off on September 3rd, and this coming week I'll be posting a more detailed look at the Hayward films on TCM's schedule. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Susan Hayward.)

TCM has modified its Friday Night Spotlight franchise, with the TCM Spotlight shifting to Tuesday evenings for a series inspired by the book FIVE CAME BACK: A STORY OF HOLLYWOOD AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR by Mark Harris. I reviewed the book last summer.

Ben Mankiewicz and FIVE CAME BACK author Harris will host the series, which starts September 1st. It will showcase WWII documentaries by the five filmmakers chronicled in the book, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens, William Wyler, and Frank Capra.

The series will also incorporate the directors' pre-WWII feature films, such as ACROSS THE PACIFIC (1942) and MRS. MINIVER (1942), then look at how their war experiences impacted the making of such films as THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945) and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946).

As I recently noted, TCM's September schedule balances excellent programming such as the Hayward and WWII series with an unusually high number of "newer" films, including at least 30 films released after 1970, as well as a significant number of films from the '60s. There will be even more post-'70 films airing on TCM in October, and then the number of "newer" films settles back down as of November.

Here's a look at just a few of the interesting titles airing on TCM this month. Click any hyperlinked title to read the corresponding film review.

...September 1st starts off with a little-known film which is quite good, BOYS' RANCH (1946), starring James Craig as a retired baseball player who founds a ranch to provide a home for orphaned or wayward boys. Dorothy Patrick is his understanding wife. The movie was inspired by a true story.

...I enjoyed the goofy but entertaining HER CARDBOARD LOVER (1942), starring Robert Taylor, Norma Shearer, and George Sanders. It's on September 2nd.

...The daytime theme on September 3rd is "Let's Go to Mexico," including Tom Conway in THE FALCON IN MEXICO (1944), Ricardo Montalban, Cyd Charisse, and Yvonne DeCarlo in SOMBRERO (1953), the creepy crime film THE HITCH-HIKER (1953), Montalban, Charisse, and Esther Williams in FIESTA (1947), and Jane Powell and Walter Pidgeon in HOLIDAY IN MEXICO (1946). A fun day of programming! The MGM films, SOMBRERO, FIESTA, and HOLIDAY in MEXICO, are all especially colorful, really gorgeous to look at.

...Tom Conway also stars in the Val Lewton "B" classic I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943), being shown on the 5th. Frances Dee costars, directed by Jacques Tourneur.

...There's an Esther Williams double feature on Sunday evening, September 6th, pairing THRILL OF A ROMANCE (1946) with Van Johnson and MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID (1952) with Walter Pidgeon. Esther Williams can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned!

...On September 9th TCM is showing a Robert Montgomery film I've not yet seen, SO THIS IS COLLEGE (1929). My DVR will be set!

...A September 10th birthday tribute to director Robert Wise includes the excellent UNTIL THEY SAIL (1957), about four sisters in New Zealand simultaneously coping with WWII and difficult romances.

...Gregory Peck, Joan Bennett, and Robert Preston star in THE MACOMBER AFFAIR (1947), being shown as one of Robert Osborne's Picks on Friday night, September 11th.

...I really enjoyed the romantic comedy HONEYMOON FOR THREE (1941), showing on September 14th. George Brent and Ann Sheridan, who would briefly marry the following year, trade fast-paced banter, and the grand supporting cast includes Jane Wyman, Charlie Ruggles, and John Ridgely.

...Rosalind Russell plays a famed stage actress who becomes an accidental murderess in the engrossing crime drama THE VELVET TOUCH (1948). Sydney Greenstreet is the detective on the case. The air date is September 17th.

...Later on the 17th I highly recommend NIGHTFALL (1957) with Aldo Ray and Anne Bancroft. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur, who has a few good films airing on TCM this motnh.

...An evening of Abbott and Costello films on September 18th includes HOLD THAT GHOST (1941) with Richard Carlson and IN THE NAVY (1941) with Dick Powell.

...Sunday night, the 20th, TCM hosts an evening of detective films, starting with the Charlie Chan movies DARK ALIBI (1946) and DANGEROUS MONEY (1946), starring Sidney Toler. Those are followed by two FALCON films, THE GAY FALCON (1941) and A DATE WITH THE FALCON (1942).

...I've hit the jackpot on new-to-me Robert Montgomery films this month. In addition to SO THIS IS COLLEGE on the 8th, TCM is also showing VANESSA: HER LOVE STORY (1935), costarring Helen Hayes, on September 21st.

...TCM celebrates Walter Pidgeon's birthday on Wednesday, September 23rd, with a good lineup including THE SELLOUT (1952) and SCANDAL AT SCOURIE (1953). I really liked Pidgeon's performance in the latter film, one of many he made with Greer Garson. It's a good month on TCM for Walter Pidgeon fans!

...Say farewell to summer on September 27th with THE GIRL FROM JONES BEACH (1949), a delightful comedy with Ronald Reagan and Virginia Mayo, and TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME (1949) starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Esther Williams. It's also a very good TCM month for Esther Williams fans!

...The jazz baby silent film WHY BE GOOD? (1929), starring Colleen Moore, was one of the hits of this year's TCM Classic Film Festival. Don't miss the chance to see this fun film, which was once thought to be lost forever. It's being shown on September 28th.

...The month ends in fine style on September 30th with a film which is a real favorite of mine, I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING! (1945). I try to never miss a chance to recommend this memorable, subtly mystical romance starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey.

For much more on TCM in September, please visit the complete TCM schedule.


Blogger Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

Fantastic post, again, Laura! I always look forward to your monthly "look ahead" TCM posts. You always point out great films I've missed. Your expertise on old films is outstanding!!!

There are several I've marked to view in September. By the way, I also enjoy Esther Williams & Van Johnson together... love the picture you chose!

A couple questions, do you know when we might see the TCM December schedule? And, I've been looking for the Cary Grant movie, To Catch a Thief. Do you know if TCM ever plays that or should I be searching elsewhere? Thank you so much for all the great classic movie information. I love your site!!!

8:47 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Those detective films on the 20th will make my day!

My dad passed away many years ago, but I often think of what a kick he would have gotten out of TCM. This month would have been especially dear to his heart with the salute to his gal "Susie baby", as he used to call Ms. Hayward.

Thanks for pointing out the gems like "Nightfall", etc.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Net, thank you so much for your kind words. I love to share my love for classic films and am delighted you've been enjoying my posts and find them helpful to plan your viewing. If I can help you discover some new-to-you films, even better!

The future schedules for TCM tend to pop up online randomly. Since November's was posted in August I'm guessing we'll see the online December preview sometime in September, or October at the latest.

I can't recall TO CATCH A THIEF playing on TCM off the top of my head. It's probably because it's a Paramount film which costs more for them to license. I'd suggest looking for hte DVD.

Caftan Woman, love your dad enjoyed Susan Hayward so much. :) I'm due for a fresh look at NIGHTFALL after just revisiting its key location, Bridgeport, on my trip last week.

Best wishes,

11:21 AM  

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