Thursday, December 01, 2011

TCM Star of the Month: William Powell

William Powell, one of my all-time favorite actors, is the December Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies.

39 Powell films will be shown, including 13 of the films he made with Myrna Loy. Their only film not airing this month is the 1947 film THE SENATOR WAS INDISCREET, in which Loy made a brief cameo appearance.

Powell's films will be shown on Thursday evenings, beginning this evening, December 1st.

Today also marks Robert Osborne's return to his hosting duties, so December 1st is most definitely a special day on TCM!

Day One of the Powell festival will showcase 10 Powell films, playing well into December 2nd. Titles include the pre-Codes JEWEL ROBBERY (1932) with Kay Francis and LAWYER MAN (1933) with Joan Blondell. RENDEZVOUS (1935) with Rosalind Russell, CROSSROADS (1942) with Hedy Lamarr, and THE HOODLUM SAINT (1946) with Esther Williams are among the other films being shown.

Two of the most interesting films showing that evening are THIN MAN-style romantic comedy-mysteries, STAR OF MIDNIGHT (1935) with Ginger Rogers and the following year's THE EX-MRS. BRADFORD (1936) with Jean Arthur.

December 8th will feature nine comedies and musicals. The must-see of the evening is MY MAN GODFREY (1936), one of the very greatest of all screwball comedies, costarring Powell's ex-wife, Carole Lombard. I'm also very partial to THE LAST OF MRS. CHEYNEY (1937), in which Powell and Joan Crawford play jewel thieves out to take Robert Montgomery.

ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1946), in which he reprised his role from THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936), will also be shown on the 8th. (THE GREAT ZIEGFELD turns up later in the month.) RECKLESS (1935), costarring Jean Harlow, is also on that evening. Powell was in a serious relationship with Harlow at the time of her too-early death in 1937.

On December 15th some later Powell films will be shown, including the classic LIFE WITH FATHER (1947), costarring Irene Dunne, and the superb MISTER ROBERTS (1955). Doc in MISTER ROBERTS was Powell's final role before permanently retiring from the screen. He enjoyed nearly three decades of retirement with his wife, actress Diana Lewis; they married in 1940.

Also shown on the 15th will be one of Powell's classic films with Kay Francis, ONE WAY PASSAGE (1932). Be sure to visit Cliff's two posts on this film at Immortal Ephemera; if you'd like to avoid spoilers, enjoy them after the movie.

On December 22nd it's time for the THIN MAN series! All six films will be shown that night. The timing is particularly good since the first film has a memorable scene involving Nick and Nora's Christmas gifts.

Finally, December 29th features seven more Powell and Loy films. MANHATTAN MELODRAMA (1934), which I just saw at the Egyptian Theatre a few days ago, is one of the films shown that night; it was Powell and Loy's first film together.

I particularly recommend LIBELED LADY (1936), in which Powell and Loy costar with Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow. It's one of my favorite screwball comedies; Powell has a priceless fly fishing scene!

The dramas THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936) and EVELYN PRENTICE (1934) are on the schedule that evening, as well as the comedies LOVE CRAZY (1941), I LOVE YOU AGAIN (1940), and DOUBLE WEDDING (1937).

For more on William Powell as Star of the Month, visit Immortal Ephemera.

There's much more information on December's movies in my posts TCM in December: Highlights and TCM in December: Christmas Movies.

Happy viewing!


Blogger panavia999 said...

I watched "Crossroads" last night. It's been on my wish list for some time because it has a winning combination of Powell, Lamarr, Rathbone, Claire Trevor & Margaret Wycherly! Powell really gets to show his dramatic range. The ending takes quite a shift from drama and suspense, to happy ending because it wraps everything up *so* neatly and wuickly with justice for all in a few short minutes. Definitely a film worth watching for the great ensemble.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Many thanks for the review! That one's on my "watch soon" list. :) What a cast!

Best wishes,

3:13 PM  

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