Monday, April 30, 2012

TCM in May: Highlights

May is a month many of us have been eagerly anticipating on Turner Classic Movies, since TCM will be celebrating Joel McCrea as Star of the Month!

Over 40 McCrea films will be shown on Wednesdays, beginning May 2nd.  I'll be posting more on the Month of McCrea in the near future. (Update: Here's my post on Joel McCrea.) In this post I'll focus on some of the other great films on the May schedule.

...I thoroughly enjoyed Clark Gable and Gene Tierney in the "behind the Iron Curtain" romance NEVER LET ME GO (1953). It's on May 2nd.

...THE POWER AND THE PRIZE (1956) is an absorbing business drama starring Robert Taylor. Viewers who liked EXECUTIVE SUITE (1954) and WOMAN'S WORLD (1954) will probably like this one too. It will be shown on May 3rd. Incidentally, this is one of a number of films airing this month which was directed by Henry Koster.

...Jack Klugman turned 90 just a couple of days ago. Celebrate his birthday by watching him as Juror No. 5 in 12 ANGRY MEN (1957) on May 4th.

...TCM is showing a significant number of films from 20th Century-Fox and Universal this month. One of the Universal films is Douglas Sirk's deliciously soapy WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956), starring Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone. I love the opening credits sequence, with the title song sung by the Four Aces. It will be shown May 5th.

...It's hard to believe I haven't yet caught up with UNDERCURRENT (1946), given that it was directed by Vincente Minnelli and stars two favorite actors, Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum. Katharine Hepburn costars; it airs on May 7th.

...May 9th is Robin Hood Day on TCM, and in addition to the 1938 classic starring Errol Flynn and Olivia deHavilland, there are a number of variations on the Robin Hood theme. My dad liked THE ROBIN HOOD OF EL DORADO (1936), a William Wellman film starring Warner Baxter. I'm also intrigued by THE BANDIT OF SHERWOOD FOREST (1946) with Cornel Wilde and Anita Louise, and ROGUES OF SHERWOOD FOREST (1950) with John Derek and Diana Lynn. Somehow I have trouble envisioning Diana Lynn in a Robin Hood film; she seems like a more "modern" actress.  It will be fun to take a look.

...I read my way through most of Edna Ferber when I was around junior high age, and I recently bought several of her books for my daughters. On May 14th TCM is showing a series of films based on Ferber's books: SARATOGA TRUNK (1945), SHOW BOAT (1951), GIANT (1956), and CIMARRON (1960). Additionally, the 1936 version of SHOW BOAT airs May 6th; the 1932 version of SO BIG is on May 29th, with the 1953 version airing May 13th. (For the record, GIANT was my favorite Ferber novel to read, followed by SHOW BOAT.)

...TCM shows two Fox films on May 14th, leading off with STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER (1952) followed by MY BLUE HEAVEN (1950). STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER stars Clifton Webb, Robert Wagner, Debra Paget, and Ruth Hussey, while MY BLUE HEAVEN stars Betty Grable and Dan Dailey.

...It's great news that TCM plans to show the Deanna Durbin film ONE HUNDRED MEN AND A GIRL (1937). TCM rarely shows Deanna's movies, since they have to make special arrangements to show Universal films, but every once in a while one shows up on the schedule. This title isn't one of my very favorite Deanna films, but any film starring Deanna Durbin is worth watching. It will be shown May 14th.

...A couple of weeks ago I enjoyed the classic noir GUN CRAZY (195) at the TCM Classic Film Festival. GUN CRAZY will be shown on TCM on Tuesday, May 15th.

...Later on the 15th, I'm quite intrigued by THE MOONLIGHTER (1953), which stars Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.

...And those who've never seen one of my very favorite pre-Codes, MIDNIGHT MARY (1933), have the opportunity to catch it in the early morning hours on May 16th.

...BOOMERANG! (1947) and CALL NORTHSIDE 777 (1948) are two classic noir titles from 20th Century-Fox which will be shown on May 17th. Lee J. Cobb appears in both films, with Dana Andrews playing the lead role in BOOMERANG! and Jimmy Stewart starring in CALL NORTHSIDE 777.

...Last month I had planned to record Jack Benny and Kay Francis in CHARLEY'S AUNT (1941) but TCM showed an earlier version. The 1941 edition is back on the schedule May 19th; I wonder which version will be shown?

...I've been catching up with Ruth Roman's career in recent months, most recently in THE WINDOW (1949). On May 20th TCM is showing Anthony Mann's THE FAR COUNTRY (1954), in which Roman starred with James Stewart. I'll be recording it.

...I'm quite happy that TCM faithfully celebrates Robert Montgomery's birthday each year on May 21st. This year it's a five-film tribute, and I particularly recommend the unique TROUBLE FOR TWO (1936), with Montgomery and his frequent costar Rosalind Russell playing a European prince and princess caught up in a mystery. It's based on a Robert Louis Stevenson story.

...I've recently seen several mid-'50s science fiction films, so I'm going to add to that list by recording IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955) on May 22nd. Faith Domergue stars in this story of a giant octopus attacking San Francisco. Who could resist that storyline?

...NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER (1949) is a great example of '40s Technicolor MGM entertainment, starring Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban, Betty Garrett, Red Skelton -- and the Oscar-winning tune "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Catch it on May 23rd.

...I'll be recording WYOMING (1940) on May 25th. The TCM guide lists the stars as Marjorie Main and Wallace Beery, but I'll be recording it in order to enjoy Ann Rutherford, Lee Bowman, and Paul Kelly.

...I recently reposted my review of John Wayne and Gail Russell in the very special ANGEL AND THE BADMAN (1947). It airs on May 26th. I hope anyone who hasn't seen it yet will take the opportunity to watch it this month.

...TCM will spend May 27th and 28th commemorating Memorial Day with an extensive list of war films. This year I'm particularly interested in BREAKTHROUGH (1950), starring Frank Lovejoy and John Agar.

...May 29th is Barbara Stanwyck Day on TCM. 10 movies! The titles which I've previously reviewed are THE SECRET BRIDE (1934), THE BRIDE WALKS OUT (1936), and BREAKFAST FOR TWO (1937).

...And on May 31st, there's a seven-film marathon of Warner Baxter's CRIME DOCTOR series. Looks like a good day to relax with TCM!

For more on TCM in May, please visit the complete schedule.

I also recommend Cliff's post at Immortal Ephemera. Cliff shares his recommendations and has also tallied the films to be shown on TCM in May by decade, and he also has a tally for the year to date. I appreciate the effort Cliff makes to put together and share that data!

Update: TCM Star of the Month: Joel McCrea.


Blogger Cliff Aliperti said...

Thanks, Laura! I'm going to add a link back over here in mine. Beyond the McCrea movies I'm really looking forward to the Crime Doctor run on the last day of the month--I recently discovered I have to upgrade some previously glitchy TCM copies!

1:25 AM  
Blogger James Corry said...

Laura, you can't go wrong with ANY Ray Harryhausen film ("It Came From Beneath The Sea") and this particular film not only includes Harryhausen's signature eye-popping special effects (done on an extreme low-budget even for 1955)but it's the first time he teamed up with Columbia producer Charles H. Schneer and that partnership would last throughout both men's careers......


7:34 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much for the link, Cliff, it's greatly appreciated! Should be a great month. :)

Brad, I appreciate your feedback on IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA. This one sounds particularly fun.

Best wishes,

9:44 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I love your site but My Blue Heaven actually starred Betty Grable not Doris Day.

Grable Fan

11:46 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Grable Fan!

As a fan of both Betty and Doris, I knew better than that -- maybe I need to try not to write these posts so late at night (big grin). Thank you *very* much for pointing out my error, I've fixed it immediately!

Best wishes,

11:59 AM  

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