Saturday, April 01, 2017

TCM in April: Highlights

It's time to take a look at the April schedule for Turner Classic Movies!

A big month is ahead for TCM, with the TCM Classic Film Festival kicking off in Hollywood this Thursday, April 6th.

As I've mentioned previously, I'm honored to be covering the festival as credentialed media again this year, so be looking for extensive festival information here throughout the month. I'll be presenting a look at the festival schedule and my top festival picks at the start of next week.

LIVE FROM THE TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL: FAYE DUNAWAY (2017), filmed at last year's festival, will debut on TCM on April 3rd. The 2017 festival interviewee, incidentally, will be Michael Douglas, so be looking for that special to air on TCM around a year from now!

Those who subscribe to the Now Playing guide, please note that the Frances Dee night listed in the guide for April 3rd has been rescheduled for May 17th.

April is a Star of the Month "theme month" on TCM, with the focus on character actors every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Robert Osborne wrote his final Now Playing column for this month, including sharing his memories of character actress Jane Darwell and her impact on his career.

As a side note, there will not be a separate Star of the Month post here for April.

The TCM Spotlight focuses on Postwar Romantic Melodramas on Friday evenings, including a night of four Douglas Sirk films on April 14th.

Below are just a few of this month's highlights. Please click on any hyperlinked title for the related review.

...I really appreciate that TCM is giving Eddie Muller plenty of time for his new Noir Alley intros, which make them feel akin to listening to him at a Noir City Film Festival. The April Noir Alley lineup kicks off on Sunday morning, April 2nd, with Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, and Raymond Burr in THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953).

...I really like the Ginger Rogers film 5TH AVENUE GIRL (1939), costarring Tim Holt and a terrific cast. When I saw the film at UCLA in 2013 I wrote that it "deserves to be better known, as it's an excellent '30s comedy which at times is quite touching." It's on TCM April 4th.

...Melvyn Douglas receives a nine-film birthday salute on Wednesday, April 5th, with the titles including the very enjoyable comedy GOOD GIRLS GO TO PARIS (1939), costarring Joan Blondell. Recommended.

...April 7th is the first evening of Post-war Melodramas, and the schedule includes the very entertaining EAST SIDE, WEST SIDE (1949) starring Barbara Stanwyck, James Mason, Ava Gardner, Van Heflin, and Cyd Charisse.

...Setsuko Hara stars in SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN (1954), a Japanese film directed by Mikio Naruse, on April 9th.

...An evening of anthology films on April 10th includes Vincente Minnelli's THE STORY OF THREE LOVES (1953), with an all-star cast includes James Mason, Leslie Caron, Kirk Douglas, Farley Granger, and Moira Shearer, to name a few. The anthology films are the month's "Robert Osborne's Picks," and it's sad to think there likely won't be any more in the future.

...Virginia Mayo is celebrated on April 11th, with a lineup of eight films including a personal favorite, the Western FORT DOBBS (1958) with Clint Walker.

...Howard Keel's April 13th birthday will be honored with seven films, including my favorite, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954). It's a wonderful lineup filled with great music!

...Joan Crawford films on April 14th include GOODBYE, MY FANCY (1951) with Robert Young and Frank Lovejoy. It didn't entirely work for me when I saw it, but it was interesting and I'd like to take a fresh look at it.

...The day before Easter, April 15th, there's a "bunny" theme, which includes Jimmy Stewart in HARVEY (1950).

...Easter falls on April 16th, and the lineup includes, what else, Fred and Judy in EASTER PARADE (1948). A classic.

...I recently reviewed CASS TIMBERLANE (1947), an interesting marital drama starring Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, and Zachary Scott. It airs on April 17th.

...THE HUMAN COMEDY (1943) is classic MGM Americana which I feel contains Mickey Rooney's finest performance. It has a wonderful supporting cast including Donna Reed, Van Johnson, Frank Morgan, Marsha Hunt, and many more. This is a title I'm really overdue to review here! It's on the 18th.

...BLONDIE OF THE FOLLIES (1932) is an entertaining pre-Code starring Robert Montgomery and Marion Davies. Check it out on April 20th.

...There's a day of eight TORCHY BLANE films on Friday, April 21st. Torchy is played by Glenda Farrell in all but one of the films airing that day, with Lola Lane stepping in for TORCHY BLANE IN PANAMA (1938).

...Sunday night, April 23rd, there are two Harold Lloyd movies, GRANDMA'S BOY (1922) and DR. JACK (1922). Also airing that night, Jennifer Jones and Charles Boyer in Lubitsch's CLUNY BROWN (1946), which if memory serves was bumped from a recent schedule at the last minute.

...Ida Lupino leads a terrific cast in THE MAN I LOVE (1947), an imperfect but fascinating film in which Ida plays a nightclub singer with family and romantic problems. I love that it's set in the city where three generations of my family have been born, Long Beach, California. It's on April 24th.

...There's more Harold Lloyd on April 26th, when TCM shows SPEEDY (1928). I'm hoping to see this with a live orchestra on the closing night of the upcoming festival!

...One of my all-time favorite pre-Codes, MIDNIGHT MARY (1933), is on April 27th. Loretta Young stars along with Ricardo Cortez and Franchot Tone.

...A great cast stars in SPRING MADNESS (1938) on April 28th, including Lew Ayres, Maureen O'Sullivan, and Ruth Hussey. This is one of several interesting "collegiate" films from MGM in the late '30s, which also included THESE GLAMOUR GIRLS (1939) and DANCING CO-ED (1939).

...Those who haven't yet seen the FOUR DAUGHTERS (1938) series have a treat in store. The first film airs on April 29th. Priscilla, Rosemary, and Lola Lane plus Gale Page play the titular sisters; the men in their lives include John Garfield, Jeffrey Lynn, Eddie Albert, Frank McHugh, and Dick Foran. Two more films followed, along with a very similar spinoff featuring the same cast.

...The last Noir Alley film of the month is HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948) on April 30th. As I wrote when I saw it at UCLA last month, I don't think I could ever tire of it! It's a terrific police procedural with Scott Brady, Jack Webb, Richard Basehart, and more.

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


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

TCM is really going to town in April. There will be a lot to watch, or is more likely the case, to record.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

My DVR will be humming!!!!!

Best wishes,

9:40 PM  

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