Saturday, June 02, 2018

TCM in June: Highlights

Almost summertime and life is slowing down a little...which means lots of time to enjoy movies!

It's been a hectic workweek for me, hence this month's TCM Highlights post being up a tad later than usual, so time to relax with some good movies sounds especially great to me!

The Turner Classic Movies June schedule is particularly great this month, including TCM's new Spotlight series Mad About Musicals.

For details on how to sign up for the free course, a collaboration with TCM and Ball State University, please visit my post TCM Presents Mad About Musicals! which provides all the needed info and links.

Thanks to this month's musicals theme, I'll be placing a special emphasis on favorite musicals in this month's recommendations, highlighting two favorite films each day of the series.

Leslie Howard is the June Star of the Month. He was last the Star of the Month almost six years ago, in July 2012. There will not be a separate Star of the Month post in June.

This month's Noir Alley lineup is fantastic: THE LETTER (1940) starring Bette Davis airs tonight, June 2nd, and repeats Sunday morning, June 3rd; CONFLICT (1945) with Humphrey Bogart, Alexis Smith, and Sydney Greenstreet will air June 9th and 10th; PITFALL (1948) will air June 16th and 17th, starring Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt, and Raymond Burr; Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb, and John Dall star in THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF (1950) on June 23rd and 24th; and Charles McGraw stars in ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950) on June 30th and July 1st.

This stellar lineup includes the TCM debut of the newly restored THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF. It has fantastic San Francisco locations. Great L.A. locations can be seen in PITFALL and ARMORED CAR ROBBERY; the latter is one of my very favorite film noir titles. (Costar William Tallman is seen in this photo, shot at L.A.'s Wrigley Field.) And CONFLICT is quite enjoyable, with Greenstreet in a fun role. Be sure to tune in every week!

Treasures From the Disney Vault returns with Leonard Maltin hosting on June 6th, and Harold Lloyd is showcased every Sunday evening this month. Details below!

Here's a look at just a few highlights for June on TCM! Click on any hyperlinked title for my review.

...Sunday evening, June 3rd, TCM shows FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE (1926), a silent comedy starring the delightful team of Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston. This short film runs under an hour is absolutely charming, with Lloyd playing a rich uptown boy who falls for the daughter of a parson at a downtown mission. Every minute is packed with clever visuals. Do check it out!

...An eight-film birthday tribute to Rosalind Russell on June 4th includes THEY MET IN BOMBAY (1941), costarring Clark Gable. I reviewed it earlier this year; by no means a perfect film, it still has a lot going for it including the magical star powers of the two leads.

...The Mad About Musicals! series begins on Tuesday, June 5th and will feature 24-hour marathons every Tuesday and Thursday. It's a given that each of these days has countless enjoyable films on the schedule! On the 5th I'd particularly like to highlight FOOTLIGHT PARADE (1933), my favorite of three great Busby Berkeley films released that year, which features the amazing set pieces "Honeymoon Hotel," "Shanghai Lil," and best of all, "By a Waterfall," seen at the right.  James Cagney, Dick Powell, and Ruby Keller star. Also airing that day: Jeanette MacDonald's film debut in Ernst Lubitsch's THE LOVE PARADE (1929), costarring Maurice Chevalier. She's wonderful, a star from the very beginning of her career.

...Leonard Maltin returns with a new edition of Treasures from the Disney Vault on June 6th. This animal-centered night includes THE BEST OF DISNEY'S TRUE-LIFE ADVENTURES (1975), THE LEGEND OF LOBO (1962), GREYFRIARS BOBBY (1961), and BIG RED (1962). Don't miss the short A TRIP THROUGH THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS (1937)! Please note that THE BISCUIT EATER (1972), which was on the tentative schedule when I posted my June preview a couple months ago, was dropped from the final schedule.

...Time for more musicals on June 7th! It's quite an amazing lineup, kicking off with MacDonald and Chevalier in THE MERRY WIDOW (1934), my favorite film at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival. Later that night, another film I saw at the festival, the amazing Deanna Durbin in THREE SMART GIRLS (1936). In between there's lots of Fred and Ginger plus THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939). A great day to spend on the sofa!

...There's a hotel theme on Friday, June 8th, with films including HOTEL BERLIN (1945), just reviewed here last month; HER HIGHNESS AND THE BELLBOY (1945) with Hedy Lamarr, June Allyson, and Robert Walker; and an all-star MGM cast in WEEK-END AT THE WALDORF (1945).

...Saturday mornings in June feature Tom Keene Westerns from the early '30s, such as THE SADDLE BUSTER (1932) on June 9th, and Lex Barker TARZAN films. The Barker films have a different leading lady each week, including Brenda Joyce in TARZAN'S MAGIC FOUNTAIN (1949) on the 9th.

...There's more Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston on June 10th! I saw WHY WORRY? (1923) with Carl Davis conducting a live orchestra at the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival; what a great memory! It's followed by AMONG THOSE PRESENT (1921), a 35-minute film costarring the woman Lloyd married, Mildred Davis.

...Robert Montgomery stars as amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey in HAUNTED HONEYMOON (104) on June 11th. Constance Cummings plays his bride.

...My two picks to recommend among the MGM musicals featured on Tuesday, June 12th, are THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946), with Judy Garland leading a delightful cast in "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," and the delightful GOOD NEWS (1947) starring June Allyson and Peter Lawford. The latter film has many highlights, but most especially Joan McCracken dancing "Pass That Peace Pipe." (It goes without saying that everyone should also watch MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS on that date!)

...Patricia Morison, who passed away a few days ago at the age of 103, costars with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in SHERLOCK HOLMES IN DRESSED TO KILL (1946) on June 13th.

...Two choices from the musicals day on June 14th: June Allyson, Gloria DeHaven, and Van Johnson in TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR (1944), because it became one of my younger daughter's favorite musicals from a very young age, and Betty Grable, Carole Landis, Don Ameche, and Robert Cummings in MOON OVER MIAMI (1941), one of the best examples of colorful 20th Century-Fox musicals of the 1940s.

...Father's Day on June 17th will include films themed to the day such as FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950), FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND (1951), THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER (1963), and LIFE WITH FATHER (1947). (Incidentally, historian Alan K. Rode Tweeted the other day that he had been able to wish LIFE WITH FATHER star Jimmy Lydon a happy 95th birthday and that he is doing well!)

...Later on Father's Day the Sunday night Harold Lloyd mini-festival continues with a series of shorts: AN EASTERN WESTERNER (1920), NUMBER, PLEASE? (1920), HIGH AND DIZZY (1920), and GET OUT AND GET UNDER (1920). All four shorts costar Mildred Davis.

...It's time for 'round the clock MGM musicals on the 19th! My picks to recommend on this date begin with KISMET (1955), which I used to somewhat dislike but which was a revelation when I revisited it at the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival. I feel like I cried happy tears throughout most of the movie, beginning with the gorgeous music over the opening credits. Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, and Vic Damone star, directed by Vincente Minnelli. My other pick for that day is THE BAND WAGON (1953), which simply put is one of the finest musicals ever made. Minnelli again directed, with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse leading a great cast.

...Several Errol Flynn films will be shown on his June 20th birthday, including NORTHERN PURSUIT (1943), an unusual WWII film set in Canada, with Flynn starring as a Mountie on the trail of Nazis. Raoul Walsh directed.

...Musical recommendations for June 21st begin with Doris Day and Howard Keel in the joyous CALAMITY JANE (1953), a real "feel good" film with a fantastic score. Watching it is also a good way to pay tribute to costar Allyn Ann McLerie, who recently passed away at the age of 91. (She's seen at the left with Day and Keel.) My other pick is my favorite film (along with MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and THE SOUND OF MUSIC), SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954), starring Keel and Jane Powell, and the best dance number ever filmed. SEVEN BRIDES was just reissued by the Warner Archive on Blu-ray, and I'll be reviewing it here at a future date!

...On the 22nd don't miss the great "French Revolution film noir" REIGN OF TERROR (1949), equally well known under the alternate title THE BLACK BOOK. Bob Cummings and Arlene Dahl star, directed by Anthony Mann and filmed in stunning black and white by John Alton.

...One more night of Harold Lloyd on Sunday, June 24th: An evening of shorts, beginning with BASHFUL (1917) and followed by BY THE SAD SEA WAVES (1917), THE BIG IDEA (1917), TAKE A CHANCE (1918), LOOK PLEASANT, PLEASE (1918), JUST NEIGHBORS (1919), A GASOLINE WEDDING (1918), THE MARATHON (1919), CAPTAIN KIDD'S KIDS (1919), and BILLY BLAZES, ESQ. (1919). His costar in these is Bebe Daniels, who later starred in pre-Code melodramas and the Busby Berkeley musical 42ND STREET (1933).

...The highly enjoyable KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY (1945) will be shown on June 25th. It's a WWII film about three WAcs starring Lana Turner, Laraine Day, and Susan Peters. It's a film I love and have watched multiple times; all three leads are great but Peters is incandescent.

...On June 26th my musical picks of the day are Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in the highly enjoyable VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964) -- look for the poolside "The Lady Loves Me" and the A-M solo "My Rival," terrific numbers -- and one of the best stage-to-screen adaptations ever, THE MUSIC MAN (1962), starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. Be sure to check out photos of my April 4th tour of THE MUSIC MAN'S River City!

...June 27th one of the best John Ford and John Wayne Westerns ever made airs, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949). I shared many of the reasons it's worth watching -- and rewatching -- in my review at the title link.

...The picks are slimmer on the last day of the musicals series, June 28th, but there are still a couple good titles to be found, the tuneful FINIAN'S RAINBOW (1968) with Fred Astaire and Petula Clark, and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1971), featuring John Williams' Oscar-winning scoring adaptation. Lillian Michelson tells a great story about doing historical research for the latter film in the documentary HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY (2015).

...We close out this month's highlights on June 30th with MGM's BOYS' RANCH (1946), a family film charmer starring James Craig, Dorothy Patrick, and Jackie "Butch" Jenkins. I like this one a lot and keep hoping for it to turn up on DVD from the Warner Archive.

Finally, a side note for viewers who enjoyed the BLONDIE series last month on TCM: You can find a BLONDIE movie airing every Saturday on the Movies! Channel at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The films have commercial interruptions but a note before each showing says the films are unedited.

For more on TCM in June, please check out the complete online schedule. Additional information may also be found in my Quick Preview of TCM in June.

Happy movie viewing!!


Blogger Lady American said...

Hi Laura!!! I do hope that you will watch the documentary, Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn on June 4th. It is being repeated throughout the month. I think that it could interesting to know about the actor. I do hope that you write a review about it!!! Thanks!

4:36 AM  
Blogger Kristina said...

What a great month of viewing. Love your musical picks, agree with all (esp. that it goes without saying re MEET ME IN ST.LOUIS, :) maybe my all-time fave). Kind of proud to say that I've seen them all (thanks mom!) except for FINIAN"S RAINBOW.
I love THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF, I was so impressed by that whole sequence at Fort Point.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, LadyAmerican! There was such a massive amount to cover that I didn't end up even touching the Leslie Howard screenings for the month -- I have set the documentary to record and hope others will check it out as multiple people have recommended it to me.

Thanks, Kristina! Love that you've seen almost all of them and would be curious what you think of FINIAN'S RAINBOW -- it's got a goofball plot but the music is gorgeous and the new Blu-ray is pretty if you don't catch it on TCM!

So glad you saw THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF, I thought the Fort Point sequence was some of the best location shooting I've seen in the last couple years. It was a real thrill for me to visit shortly after seeing the movie! Hope everyone will check it out.

Best wishes,

10:47 AM  

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