Sunday, November 01, 2009

TCM in November: Johnny Mercer Centennial

November is shaping up as an especially good month on Turner Classic Movies. In addition to honoring Grace Kelly as Star of the Month, TCM is celebrating the 100th birthday of the great American composer Johnny Mercer.

The new documentary JOHNNY MERCER: THE DREAM'S ON ME debuts on November 4th and repeats on Mercer's birthday on the 18th. It was produced by Clint Eastwood and runs 103 minutes.

25 films with Mercer scores or title songs will play in November, including a 24-hour marathon on Mercer's birthday.

November 4th's movies include my all-time favorite movie, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954), for which Mercer cowrote the score. The other films airing that night are THE FLEET'S IN (1942) and BLUES IN THE NIGHT (1941).

November 11th brings HOLLYWOOD HOTEL (1937), GARDEN OF THE MOON (1938), OLD MAN RHYTHM (1935), SECOND CHORUS (1940), READY, WILLING AND ABLE (1947), and HARD TO GET (1938).

11 movies will be shown during the birthday marathon on the 18th, including the four movies for which Mercer won the Oscar for Best Song: THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946), HERE COMES THE GROOM (1951), BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961), and DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962). THE HARVEY GIRLS is a colorful MGM musical which makes great family viewing. HERE COMES THE GROOM produced the great tune "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening."

Robert Kimball, author of the new book THE COMPLETE LYRICS OF JOHNNY MERCER, will co-host on the evening of the 18th.

The final evening of the tribute, on November 25th, features five movies, including the film noir ROAD HOUSE (1948) and two Fred Astaire musicals, THE SKY'S THE LIMIT (1943) and THE BELLE OF NEW YORK (1952). The classic "One For My Baby" comes from THE SKY'S THE LIMIT, an overlooked musical well worth seeing.

As the weather grows colder, it's a great time of year to stay warm and cozy inside and enjoy some wonderful movies!

Tuesday Update: More from USA Today.

Wednesday Update: Articles have been published by Susan King in the L.A. Times and by music historian Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal.


Blogger Tinky said...

Hi, Laura--I wish you were in my neighborhood: you could come see my Johnny Mercer show!
Meanwhile, I'll be watching TCM with you.......
Tinky (cook, writer, chanteuse)

6:22 PM  

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