Turner Classic Movies kicks off the year celebrating Oscar-winning actress Jane Wyman as the January Star of the Month.
45 Wyman films will be shown on TCM each Thursday in January, starting on the 5th. I'll have more information about the Jane Wyman lineup posted here next week. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Jane Wyman.)
Those who rely on the Now Playing guide should note that the original schedule for January 27th will be pre-empted in order to pay tribute to the late Debbie Reynolds. A dozen Reynolds films will be shown on the 27th beginning at 3:00 a.m. Pacific Time/6:00 a.m. Eastern.
Here are a few more noteworthy titles from TCM's January schedule! Click any hyperlinked title for my review.
...Ring in the New Year with a dozen Hitchcock films on January 1st! My favorites include STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951), SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943), and MARNIE (1964). MARNIE, starring Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren, and Diane Baker, is one of Hitchcock's more controversial titles, but I really love it, finding it extremely compelling.
...Ray Milland's birthday will be marked on January 3rd with half a dozen excellent movies, ranging from the blissful comedy of THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (1942) to the heavy drama of THE LOST WEEKEND (1945) to Hitchcockian suspense in DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954).
...Every Tuesday night the theme is "Stars Behind Bars." The seven titles on January 3rd include Burt Lancaster in BRUTE FORCE (1947), although for me the most interesting thing about BRUTE FORCE is its trio of leading ladies: Ann Blyth, Yvonne DeCarlo, and Ella Raines.
TAXI! (1932) with James Cagney.
...I never miss the chance to plug one of the most delightful discoveries I made last year, COVER UP (1949) starring Dennis O'Keefe and Barbara Britton. The talented O'Keefe cowrote the excellent script. I'm surprised TCM doesn't show this Christmastime mystery in December! COVER UP will be shown January 7th.
...Last year I had the chance to see a favorite comedy, TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942), at UCLA. This tremendously funny film, directed by Ernst Lubitsch, will be shown on TCM on January 8th. Jack Benny and Carole Lombard star.
...Also airing on the 8th, Woody Allen's HANNAH AND HER SISTERS (1986), with the late Carrie Fisher in a supporting role.
...One of my favorite pre-Codes, FEMALE (1933), is part of a January 9th lineup celebrating a new TCM book from Running Press, MOVIE NIGHT MENUS. FEMALE stars Ruth Chatterton and George Brent -- and some amazing set designs.
THE KILLERS (1946), starring Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Charles McGraw, and William Conrad. Movie bliss. It's shown on the 11th.
...A great lineup of "divorce"/reunion comedies on January 12th includes MY FAVORITE WIFE with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, THE EX-MRS. BRADFORD (1936) with William Powell and Jean Arthur, and PRIVATE LIVES (1931) starring Robert Montgomery and Norma Shearer.
..."A Night With Cleopatra" on January 13th includes the amazing 1934 DeMille film starring Claudette Colbert. There are four other Cleopatra films airing that night, but this is the one to see. Riveting and unforgettable are just two of the adjectives to describe it.
...I just saw the Busby Berkeley musical DAMES (1934) on a big screen last month. It's great fun, and happily it's on TCM January 15th. Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, and Ruby Keeler star,
...Writer-director Damien Chazelle, the filmmaker behind the new musical LA LA LAND (2016), is the Guest Programmer on January 18th. His choices include films which influence LA LA LAND, IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER (1955), MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944), and THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (1964). I anticipate reviewing FAIR WEATHER and CHERBOURG here in the fairly near future.
...There's a primetime Saint marathon on January 20th! Seven of the Saint mystery films will be shown, starting with Louis Heyward, who's very interesting in THE SAINT IN NEW YORK (1938), followed by four of the films starring George Sanders and two with Hugh Sinclair.
BOOMERANG! (1947), FALLEN ANGEL (1945), WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956) and BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (1956). FALLEN ANGEL is my favorite of a strong group of movies.
...THE SECRET GARDEN (1949) on January 25th is an excellent rendition of the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic, starring Margaret O'Brien and Dean Stockwell.
...TCM celebrates two big favorites, Joan Leslie and Tim Holt, on Thursday, January 26th. Leslie was born on January 26th, 1925, while Holt's birthday falls a few days later, on February 5th. Half a dozen of Leslie's films will be shown, followed by four starring Holt. It just so happens I haven't seen any of the Leslie films on the schedule, so I have some catching up to do there! I've previously reviewed two of the Holt films, STORM OVER WYOMING (1950) and BORDER TREASURE (1950). BROTHERS IN THE SADDLE (1949) with Steve Brodie is supposed to be quite good.
...It's always a good time to watch GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (1933), showing on the 29th. Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, and Dick Powell star, with amazing numbers choreographed by Busby Berkeley.
...A primetime evening in Vegas on January 30th includes several really entertaining films: MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS (1956), a musical with Cyd Charisse and Dan Dailey; THE LAS VEGAS STORY (1952) with Victor Mature and Jane Russell; VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964) with Elvis and Ann-Margret; and PAINTING THE CLOUDS WITH SUNSHINE (1951). I'm really delighted TCM included the last film in the lineup, as I found it delightful. The cast includes Virginia Mayo, Dennis Morgan, Tom Conway, Gene Nelson, and Virginia Gibson.
For more listings, please consult the complete schedule at the TCM website.