Friday, September 01, 2017

TCM in September: Highlights

There's a great month ahead on Turner Classic Movies! Take a quick look at TCM's September promo video and then come back here to learn much more!

Jennifer Jones is the September Star of the Month. 17 Jones films will be shown spread over Tuesday evenings in September. I'll have a detailed look at the Star of the Month lineup posted here early next week. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Jennifer Jones.)

The TCM Spotlight will focus on the Motion Picture & Television Fund every Wednesday in September. Click here to learn more.

September is the first month without a print edition of the Now Playing guide; as I wrote in April, it has been discontinued as of August.

Part of the reason for the September highlights posting here later than usual was I wanted to have a look at the online edition of Now Playing and incorporate comments on it, and it only arrived in my email box early this morning. Hopefully in the future TCM will be able to provide it a few days in advance of the 1st, when it will be more useful for those of us who program DVRs several days in advance.

The "e" edition is a bit of a work in progress; for example, the link to "View September Programming Schedule" takes you to...the August schedule, though the top of the schedule has the correct picture of Jennifer Jones. I assume this will be fixed soon. In the meantime, the correct September schedule may be found here.

On the plus side, I'm grateful TCM has continued to provide an "at a glance" calendar such as the one which was found near the front of the print edition; it includes daytime themes and prime time highlights, along with a panel listing the titles Essentials, TCM Underground, Silent Sunday Nights and TCM Imports. Something new is that there's a "Twitter Event" icon; PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948) is the lone film marked with that symbol this month.

The Now Playing email also includes links to columns by Ben Mankiewicz and Martin Scorsese, as well as links to other highlights such as a page on this month's Treasures From the Disney Vault. The email also includes the crossword puzzle which was a mainstay of the print version.

Now Playing is currently a bit hard to locate on the TCM website; unless I missed it, there's nothing on the main page, but I did find a link to sign up on the daily schedule page, along with a link to the full month.

For an alternative to Now Playing, my talented friend Kate, an artist who blogs at Silents and Talkies, has made her own free version of a TCM guide, complete with a video tutorial on how to print it and replicate the much-loved print edition of Now Playing as closely as possible. Visit Silents and Talkies to learn more.

Now, on to the movies! Here's a look at just a few of the interesting titles airing on Turner Classic Movies in September. Click any hyperlinked title for my review.

...Early on Saturday, September 2nd, TCM will air DAUGHTERS COURAGEOUS (1939). It's an engrossing film which reunited director Michael Curtiz and 10 cast members of the FOUR DAUGHTERS (1938) series. Historian George Morris calls it "neither a sequel nor a remake, but a unique mixture of paraphrase and elaboration." Seen at right: Rosemary Lane, Gale Page, Claude Rains, Lola Lane, and Priscilla Lane.

...After a month off for Summer Under the Stars, Noir Alley returns Sunday morning, September 3rd. It's a fun title: FRAMED (1947) starring Glenn Ford, Janis Carter, and Barry Sullivan. As always, there's more info at the Noir Alley microsite.

...TCM will remember the late Jerry Lewis with a five-film prime time marathon on Labor Day. There couldn't be a more appropriate day for a Lewis tribute, could there? Note: The Lewis tribute bumps an evening of boxing films which I mentioned in my preview last June. I anticipate TCM will reschedule those titles in the next few months.

...The documentary SHOWFOLK (2014) on September 6th features several older performers who have resided at the Motion Picture Home, including the late Monica Lewis, who died in 2015.

...I love the Noir Alley title on September 10th: It's 711 OCEAN DRIVE (1950) starring Edmond O'Brien and Joanne Dru, seen at left. It features terrific location photography, with the film's climax shot at Hoover Dam, then also known as Boulder Dam.

...TCM features a two-film prime time tribute to Linda Darnell on Sunday evening, September 10th, with BLOOD AND SAND (1941) and BLACKBEARD, THE PIRATE (1952). Honestly, there are other films which better showcase her underrated talent, but I'm delighted to see her singled out for attention.

...Leonard Maltin hosts the latest edition of Treasures From the Disney Vault on September 11th. The evening begins with the classic SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960) starring John Mills and Dorothy McGuire. The nautical theme continues with KIDNAPPED (1960) and BLACKBEARD'S GHOST (1968). Also on the schedule: Jodie Foster in FREAKY FRIDAY (1976) and CANDLESHOE (1977). The Mickey Mouse cartoon LONESOME GHOSTS (1937) completes the schedule.

...A day of cop films on September 13th includes the fun CODE TWO (1953) and TEAR GAS SQUAD (1940). Lots of fun names in these films including Ralph Meeker and Elaine Stewart in CODE TWO and Dennis Morgan and John Payne in TEAR GAS SQUAD.

...The evening of the 13th I'm looking forward to the documentary HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY (2015) which I've heard is delightful.

...Carole Lombard receives a seven-film tribute the evening of September 15th. I've seen most of the films and especially like LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST (1936) with Preston Foster and THE PRINCESS COMES ACROSS (1936) with Fred MacMurray.

...The classic musical THE BAND WAGON (1953) airs on September 16th, starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, directed by Vincente Minnelli.

...The Noir Alley film on September 17th is IN A LONELY PLACE (1950) starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. I wasn't especially taken with the film the first time I saw it -- indeed, I would have better enjoyed a film starring the secondary characters played by Frank Lovejoy and Jeff Donnell -- but it was thought-provoking and I'm hoping it will grow on me with additional exposure, as a number of people I respect regard it highly.

...I recently reviewed A STOLEN LIFE (1946) with Bette Davis in a dual role as identical twin sisters in love with Glenn Ford. It's worth checking out on September 19th.

...A day of films about angels and ghosts on September 22nd includes BLITHE SPIRIT (1945) with Rex Harrison, Constance Cummings, and Margaret Rutherford.

...The final Noir Alley film for September is one I haven't seen: SCANDAL SHEET (1952), starring Broderick Crawford, Donna Reed, and John Derek. Phil Karlson directed. It's on the 24th.

...Tim Holt Westerns are always welcome on the schedule! WAGON TRAIN (1940) is an early Holt costarring Ray Whitley and Martha O'Driscoll. It airs September 25th. Come for Tim Holt, then stay for the great "train movies" on the day's schedule, including a pair of real classics, THE TALL TARGET (1951) and THE NARROW MARGIN (1952).

...There's a six-film birthday tribute to Lizabeth Scott on September 29th, including great films such as the sports-related drama EASY LIVING (1949) and the classic film noir TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949).

...THE YOUNG IN HEART (1938) is a charming comedy with Janet Gaynor, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Paulette Goddard, and Richard the remarkable car the Flying Wombat, which I photographed at the National Automobile Museum in Reno in 2008. It's on September 30th.

For more information on TCM in September, please consult the complete schedule.


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