Sunday, December 31, 2017

TCM in January: Highlights

Best wishes to all for a very happy and healthy 2018!

Charles Boyer will be the January Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies. Over two dozen Boyer films will screen on TCM on Thursday evenings. I'll have a closer look at TCM's first month-long tribute to Boyer ahead of the series beginning on January 4th. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Charles Boyer.)

On Friday evenings the TCM Spotlight is on survival movies.

This month's Noir Alley titles are RED LIGHT (1949) with George Raft and Virginia Mayo on the 7th; Robert Mitchum and Faith Domergue in WHERE DANGER LIVES (1950) on the 14th; Robert Ryan, Van Heflin, and Janet Leigh in ACT OF VIOLENCE (1948) on the 21st, and the terrific TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (1951) on the 28th, starring Steve Cochran and Ruth Roman.

Here are some of the notable titles from TCM's January schedule. Click any hyperlinked title for my in-depth review.

...Viewers can "Start the New Year Right" with Irving Berlin's HOLIDAY INN (1942) early on on New Year's Day. The day continues with a number of good comedies and suspense films, with the two genres melding in CHARADE (1963) with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

...A day of sci-fi films on January 3rd features THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951), a movie which is so good I wondered "Where has this been all my life?!" when I first saw it two years ago. Kenneth Tobey and Margaret Sheridan star. Very highly recommended.

...A lineup of interesting films on January 4th includes a favorite Ginger Rogers film, FIFTH AVENUE GIRL (1939), costarring Tim Holt. In addition to the review at the title link, there's a report on seeing it at a UCLA screening here.

...On January 5th a tribute to "B" director Edward Sutherland includes Ronald Reagan in the entertaining NINE LIVES ARE NOT ENOUGH (1941), Alexis Smith and Lloyd Nolan in STEEL AGAINST THE SKY (1941), Jane Wyatt, James Ellison, and Kent Taylor in ARMY SURGEON (1942), and a personal favorite of mine, SECRET COMMAND (1944) with Pat O'Brien, Carole Landis, and Chester Morris.

...Survival films the night of the 5th include Richard Widmark and Jane Greer in a MOST DANGEROUS GAME remake, RUN FOR THE SUN (1956), and Stewart Granger, Wendell Corey, and Cyd Charisse in THE WILD NORTH (1952), about a mountain man who saves the life of the Mountie charged with bringing him in for trial.

...James Stewart and Jeff Chandler are superb in Delmer Daves' BROKEN ARROW (1950) on January 7th. The beautiful Debra Paget costars.

...As a Dennis O'Keefe fan I need to check out BREWSTER'S MILLIONS (1945), airing on January 9th. It costars Helen Walker.

...A day of animal films on January 11th includes the fine family film BANJO (1947), with an excellent performance by child actress Sharyn Moffett.

...On January 12th there's an especially good survival film, INFERNO (1953), starring Robert Ryan as a wealthy man whose wife (Rhonda Fleming) abandons him in the desert when he breaks his leg. It's tough to watch at times but also quite engrossing, as Ryan's initially unpleasant character gradually wins viewer sympathy due to his determination and hard work.

...A January 14th prime time tribute to Gene Tierney features the unforgettable fantasy THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947), costarring Rex Harrison, and the comedy RINGS ON HER FINGERS (1942) with Henry Fonda.

...I saw John Ford's January 15th SERGEANT RUTLEDGE (1960) for the first time at this year's Lone Pine Film Festival and really enjoyed it. Jeffrey Hunter, Woody Strode, and Constance Towers star.

...William Holden and Coleen Gray star in FATHER IS A BACHELOR (1950) on January 16th. I'd like to take a fresh look at this one; it has a great cast but I don't recall it well from my only viewing about eight years ago.

...January 18th the theme is farmers, including STALLION ROAD (1947), AS THE EARTH TURNS (1934), THE PURCHASE PRICE (1932), THE ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE (1947), and I'LL WAIT FOR YOU (1941). That's a slate of very good films well worth the time. George Brent and Barbara Stanwyck are seen at the left in THE PURCHASE PRICE.

...January 19th features several films starring a young Joel McCrea -- early '30s vintage -- including three titles with Constance Bennett. The romantic comedy THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (1934) with Miriam Hopkins is a particular favorite.

...Survival films later on the 19th include the all-time classic RKO "B" film FIVE CAME BACK (1939), starring Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, Wendy Barrie, and Kent Taylor, directed by John Farrow. You won't forget it.

...There are a number of musicals airing on January 20th, with Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth in Columbia's COVER GIRL (1944) early in the day and four from MGM later in the day, including the evergreen THE BAND WAGON (1953) starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse.

...SAFE IN HELL (1931) is a bizarre pre-Code directed by William Wellman, starring Dorothy Mackaill. While it's a favorite of many classic film fans, I can't stay I especially enjoyed this film, which I likened to "a nightmare put on film," but it's something classic film fans should probably see at least once. It's shown on the 22nd.

...For lighter fare, there's a slate of films directed by Ernst Lubitsch on January 24th, including favorites like CLUNY BROWN (1946) and THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940). CLUNY BROWN also appears in an evening of Charles Boyer films on the 18th.

...A day of Westerns on January 25th includes the excellent COMANCHE STATION (1960) starring Randolph Scott, Nancy Gates, and Claude Akins, directed by Budd Boetticher.

...On January 27th there's a prime time tribute to Edmond O'Brien showing WHITE HEAT (1949), D.O.A. (1950), and THE WILD BUNCH (1969). I've not seen THE WILD BUNCH but the first two films are must-see classics for anyone who loves O'Brien or crime films.

...A pair of films starring James Stewart and Henry Fonda will be featured the evening of the 28th: THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB (1970), which I saw at last October's Lone Pine Film Festival, and FIRECREEK (1968). I wouldn't be surprised if Scott Eyman, author of a new book on Fonda and Stewart, appears on TCM that evening.

...A prime time tribute to Claudette Colbert on January 29th includes SKYLARK (1941), IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934), and TOMORROW IS FOREVER (1946).

...A day of war films on January 30th includes what might be the best war film ever made, John Ford's THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945) starring Robert Montgomery and John Wayne.

For more information please visit TCM's online schedule.

Happy New Year!


Blogger Jerry Entract said...

Some great movies to catch in January. I would be VERY interested to read your opinion of "THE WILD BUNCH" if you choose to watch it, Laura. I'm not at all certain you would like it very much, despite the cast (O'Brien, Ryan, Holden, Borgnine, etc) but I could be quite wrong. I've always had a certain ambivalence myself about it, having first seen it on release in 1969, and recently purchased a DVD of it to re-view it and see how it strikes me now. It would be fun to compare notes!

2:05 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jerry!

I admit I've steered away from THE WILD BUNCH to this point, figuring that the violence would be too much for me, but the cast is certainly appealing, you mention a great group of actors. I have a copy of it in a huge multifilm set so if I get brave I can check it out! I'd love to know what you think about revisiting it.

Best wishes,

1:22 PM  

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