Friday, May 07, 2010

TCM in May: Highlights

I'm a bit late reviewing this month's Turner Classic Movies schedule, but there's still lots of May left, so let's get started!

TCM is celebrating Donna Reed as Star of the Month. For more information on this aspect of the schedule, check out last night's post.

Here's a look at a handful of the interesting titles screening this month on TCM:

...On Mother's Day one of Ginger Rogers' best movies, BACHELOR MOTHER (1939), has another airing. It's a crime this one isn't on DVD. Other films shown Sunday which focus on mothers include MILDRED PIERCE (1945), TO EACH HIS OWN (1946), and I REMEMBER MAMA (1948).

...The classic RANDOM HARVEST (1942) is on May 10th, starring Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, and Susan Peters. This is an "essential" in my book.

...May 11th TCM is showing a Robert Taylor film which didn't make last month's Taylor lineup: MURDER IN THE FLEET (1935) costarring Jean Parker. It's part of an entire day of films with "murder" in the title, including MURDER, MY SWEET (1944). The hour-long MURDER IN THE CLOUDS (1934), with pre-Code regulars Ann Dvorak and Lyle Talbot, sounds like a great candidate for my collection of short movies.

...It's not from the classic era, but one of my favorite films, THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1992), is being shown the evening of May 11th as part of the series "Race and Hollywood: Native American Images on Film." It's a fairly violent movie, but the colonial setting, breathless pacing, North Carolina locations, rousing musical score, lovely Madeleine Stowe, and a dazzling performance by Daniel Day-Lewis all make it must viewing. Here's the trailer.

...Kathryn Grayson fans may want to record GROUNDS FOR MARRIAGE (1950), costarring Van Johnson. This is one of a small handful of Grayson films I've not yet seen. It airs on May 12th.

...THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946) is a terrific Alan Ladd-Veronica Lake movie with nifty location shooting at the Miramar Hotel. It's on the evening of May 15th.

...After watching Nina Foch the other night in MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (1945), I'm looking forward to seeing her in I LOVE A MYSTERY, also released in 1945 and directed by JULIA ROSS director Henry Levin. I LOVE A MYSTERY will be shown on May 16th.

...I enjoyed James Ellison in SORORITY HOUSE (1939). He costars with Maureen O'Hara in THEY MET IN ARGENTINA (1941) on May 17th.

...On May 18th fans of Warner Bros. musicals can watch a marathon of GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1935, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1937, and GOLD DIGGERS IN PARIS (1938).

...May 19th features ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950). It's on in the wee hours, but if you don't record it, it will be out on DVD on July 13th.

...I really need to see ANGEL FACE (1953), starring Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, and Herbert Marshall. Happily I have my dad's DVD here on loan, but for those who don't own it, it airs May 19th.

...I saw a screening of NAVY BLUE AND GOLD (1937), starring Robert Young, James Stewart, and Florence Rice, at Cal State Fullerton when I was a teen. I don't remember much about it so it's a film I'd like to see again, especially as I have enjoyed Rice in films such as MARRIED BEFORE BREAKFAST (1937), FAST COMPANY (1938), and FOUR GIRLS IN WHITE (1939). It will be shown May 20th.

...May 21st TCM will celebrate the birth date of Robert Montgomery with an eight-film marathon: THE BIG HOUSE (1930), THE DIVORCEE (1930), PRIVATE LIVES (1931), FAITHLESS (1932), HIDE-OUT (1934), NIGHT MUST FALL (1937), THE LAST OF MRS. CHEYNEY (1937), and LADY IN THE LAKE (1947). I especially recommend HIDE-OUT and THE LAST OF MRS. CHEYNEY.

...May 24th is a marvelous lineup paying tribute to Evelyn Keyes. The films include STRANGE AFFAIR (1944) with Allyn Joslyn, who was great teamed with Keyes in DANGEROUS BLONDES (1943)...NINE GIRLS (1944) with a very interesting cast including Anita Louise, Ann Harding, Nina Foch, Leslie Brooks, Jeff Donnell, Marcia Mae Jones, and Jinx Falkenberg...and I'm especially looking forward to JOHNNY O'CLOCK (1947), a murder mystery with Dick Powell. (Update: NINE GIRLS has now disappeared from the schedule, replaced with MEET ME ON BROADWAY.)

...May 25th is THE SHINING HOUR (1938), directed by Frank Borzage, starring Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, and Margaret Sullavan, not to mention Robert Young, Fay Bainter, and Allyn Joslyn. That's a definite for my DVR!

...Also on May 25th, SHE WENT TO THE RACES (1945), with James Craig, Frances Gifford, and Ava Gardner, is the kind of second-string '40s MGM film I love to check out.

...On May 26th, pre-Code fans will want to see THE LIFE OF JIMMY DOLAN (1933), starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Loretta Young. Sounds like a really good one.

...Dennis Morgan fans such as myself can catch him in the fact-based WWII film GOD IS MY CO-PILOT (1945) on May 28th. His leading lady is Andrea King.

...Another great Memorial Day weekend film is PRIDE OF THE MARINES (1945), airing on May 29th.

As always, visit TCM for the complete schedule. There are dozens more great movies being shown in May which aren't listed above.

Happy viewing!!


Blogger Browniesmoke said...

Have you been to Chimney Rock as a tourist when you've been in this part of the country? It's so beautiful - like it is in Last of the Mohicans. As a fan, you should definitely plan a visit!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Laura, Turner Classics should hire you immediately as their chief publicist. These films all sound magnificent. Navy Blue and Gold is one of my favorite pictures of all time. And not just because James Stewart is in it. I'm assuming that when you first saw this film on the campus is was scheduled by a classic film society? Also, how interesting that you were interested in classic films when you a teen.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jill! I need to visit North Carolina and definitely make a trip to Chimney Rock -- I'd love to see it. :) There's some neat info about it online!

Best wishes,

10:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're very kind, Tom! I hope you will be able to watch some of these titles and find them enjoyable. I'd love to know what you see.

You know, I was trying to remember what the occasion was when we saw NAVY BLUE AND GOLD. (How neat that it's one of your very favorite films!) We audited some classes through USC and UCI, but I think it's the only film I saw on that campus. I just have vague memories of looking for the room where it was shown.

I have been interested in movies since I was very young -- THE SOUND OF MUSIC in particular had a huge impact on me -- but my interest really exploded around the time I was 11 or 12. Although there was no cable TV or video back then, Southern California was filled with venues showing "old" movies and I was fortunate to see dozens in theaters, along with those shown on TV cut up and filled with commercials (grin). My love for movies has never waned.

It would be interesting to know at what stage in life others were bitten with the "classic film bug." How about you?

Best wishes,

11:10 PM  
Blogger monty said...

Great post Laura. I agree with Tom, that TCM should hire you as their publicist. And in regard to your question, when did classic movies catch my attention. I believe I was around 12 and saw His Girl Friday on Nick at Nite, when they used to play movies after 11pm after their TV scheduling. After seeing that I was hooked and it's ironic that my very first classic film I saw is still my favorite classic film of all time.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Irene said...

I think my love of movies began in two ways. First, when we went to a movie it was an "event". No multiplexes but big, old movie theaters. I vividly remember seeing Oklahoma and The Ten Commandments in a large theater over on Vermont in Los Angeles where I grew up (it's probably either been torn down or a church now). I also remember going into Hollywood to see Space Odyssey 2001 and Patton with my parents.

I also used to love watching the old movies on TV - especially back in the day when Channel 9 played the movie of the week. If it was one I especially liked, I'd watch it over and over. Two that stand out are Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney and a Boris Karloff movie called Climax which is like Phantom of the Opera. I was mesmerized by the lead actresses voice and the high notes she reached - Susanna Foster.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Monty and Irene,

Thanks so much for sharing your memories. I love hearing how others fell in love with classic films. It's so neat that completely unique experiences led each of us to the same place. :)

Best wishes,

9:28 AM  
Blogger Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Bachelor Mother hasn't been released on Region 1 DVD but it did get a Region 2 release in December 2006, as part of a double feature with The Major and the Minor. If anyone's interested, has it here.

I also want to second seeing The Blue Dahlia, I Love a Mystery, Armored Car Robbery, Nine Girls and The Life of Jimmy Dolan--all of which are big favorites in the House of Yesteryear.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks very much for the Region 2 info, Ivan, that is always appreciated!

And thanks as well for adding your thoughts on this month's films. Of those you listed I have only seen THE BLUE DAHLIA so I appreciated hearing which ones you especially like!

Best wishes,

11:22 AM  

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