Saturday, December 01, 2012

TCM in December: Highlights

It's December! Time to take a look at the month's great schedule on Turner Classic Movies. December is always one of my favorite months on TCM, and certainly one of my favorite times of year to watch movies.

Barbara Stanwyck is the December Star of the Month on TCM, with a whopping 55 of her films on the schedule Wednesday nights and during the day on Thursdays. I'll be taking a look at some of the Stanwyck highlights for the month in the near future. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Barbara Stanwyck.)

Below is a look at a few of the month's TCM highlights, excepting Christmas movies, which are extensively covered in a separate post.

...December 3rd I'm very interested in STRANGE LADY IN TOWN (1956), a movie about a female doctor in the West starring Greer Garson and Dana Andrews. Sounds very interesting!

...I'm also especially anxious to see Susan Peters in ASSIGMENT IN BRITTANY (1943), airing in the wee hours on December 4th.

...IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK (1935) is a charmer of a screwball movie starring Jean Arthur, Herbert Marshall, and Leo Carrillo. It airs on December 4th. This is one to make an effort to catch.

...I had a marvelous experience seeing GUN CRAZY (1950) at the TCM Festival this year, with star Peggy Cummins in attendance. It's a strange but compelling film, recommended for fans of film noir. The air date is December 5th.

...GUN CRAZY is followed on the 5th by CARNIVAL STORY (1954), a film about a trapeze act starring Steve Cochran and Anne Baxter. I'll be recording that one.

...The anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is commemorated on December 7th with a series of war films, including a pair of films about the attack, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) and TORA! TORA! TORA! (1970).

...Friday nights in December celebrate the films of Ernst Lubitsch, beginning December 7th. Films on the 7th include the silent THE LOVES OF PHARAOH (1922) and Claudette Colbert, Maurice Chevalier, and Miriam Hopkins in THE SMILING LIEUTENANT (1931). Here's TCM's promo:

...December 8th is one of the truly great "B" films, FIVE CAME BACK (1939) starring Chester Morris, Lucille Ball, and Wendy Barrie. Directed by John Farrow, who turned out a nerve-wracking suspense film on a tight budget.

...Later on the 8th is one of my family's very favorite films, Howard Hawks' RIO BRAVO (1959), starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, and Ricky Nelson, with Ward Bond and John Russell in support. A don't-miss film.

...December 10th is one of the really great days on the month's schedule, in a month with a lot of great films; TCM celebrates the birthday of actress Una Merkel with 10 films. I'm especially looking forward to CLEAR ALL WIRES! (1933) with Lee Tracy. Madge Evans fans are also in luck, as she costars in four of the ten Merkel movies shown on the 10th; PARIS INTERLUDE (1934), costarring Evans and Robert Young, sounds especially interesting.

...CORONER CREEK (1948) is a good Randolph Scott Western airing on December 11th. It was based on a novel by Luke Short, whose books or original stories also provided the inspiration for excellent films such as RAMROD (1947) and STATION WEST (1948).

...I've been wanting to see ONE SUNDAY AFTERNOON (1948), a remake of THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE (1941), for ages. I love the cast: Dennis Morgan, Don DeFore, Dorothy Malone, and Janis Paige. It's on December 12th.

...I'm intrigued by FLIGHT FROM DESTINY (1941) on December 12th. It stars Geraldine Fitzgerald, Jeffrey Lynn, and Thomas Mitchell, directed by Vincent Sherman.

...On December 13th TCM celebrates the upcoming Christmas Day release of the musical film version of LES MISERABLES (2012) by showing not one, not two, but three different versions of the story in a row, released in 1935, 1952, and 1934.

...WATCH ON THE RHINE (1943), recently reviewed by Paul at Lasso the Movies, airs on December 14th.

...TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932), which is pretty much a flawless movie, is one of the Ernst Lubitsch films showing on December 14th. It stars Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins, and Kay Francis.

...I really enjoyed the film noir IMPACT (1949) with Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn, and Helen Walker. It was filmed partly on location in San Francisco and Larkspur, California. It will be shown on the 15th.

...GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE (1942) with Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan was recently featured by Cliff in a guest post at Rupert Pupkin Speaks regarding VHS gems not yet on DVD. It's on December 16th.

...December 17th features a trio of films on nuns, including Deborah Kerr in BLACK NARCISSUS (1947). I wasn't especially wowed by this highly regarded film but many classic film fans feel differently.

...I need to catch up with THE FIGHTING 69TH (1940), starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, George Brent, Jeffrey Lynn, Frank McHugh, Dennis Morgan, William Lundigan, and John Litel. What a cast! It's on the 17th.

...MY FORBIDDEN PAST (1951) just came out from the Warner Archive. It's part of a day of Robert Mitchum films on December 19th.

...December 22nd features a new-to-me Ginger Rogers film, TWIST OF FATE (1954).

...December 27th there's a six-film celebration of Gene Tierney, include two TCM premieres, the 20th Century-Fox films BLACK WIDOW (1954) and THE RETURN OF FRANK JAMES (1940).

...There's a nine-film DR. KILDARE marathon on December 28th. The Lubitsch films later that evening include the TCM premiere of THAT LADY IN ERMINE (1948) starring Betty Grable and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

...The marvelous Fritz Lang thriller MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944) airs on December 30th, starring Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, and Dan Duryea.

...New Year's Eve closes out with TILL WE MEET AGAIN (1940), a remake of ONE WAY PASSAGE (1932) starring George Brent, Merle Oberon, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Pat O'Brien. It was directed by Edmund Goulding.

For more recommendations on TCM in December, please visit Cliff's post at Immortal Ephemera and Ivan's take at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, and thanks to both gentlemen for the links!

The complete December schedule is at the TCM website.

I'll be skipping a separate Fox Movie Channel post again this month, as it's pretty much the same old retreads, but I do want to call attention to THE PRESIDENT'S LADY (1953) on December 23rd, which I don't believe has aired there in some time. Susan Hayward and Charlton Heston are excellent as Andrew and Rachel Jackson.


Blogger Vienna said...

Thank you, Laura. Although I don't have TCM , I love reading about all the films that are shown.
TCM in the UK is dismal.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd definitely recommend 'The Fighting 69th', a memorable war film which has a fantastic performance by James Cagney, though he himself didn't rate it. Must agree with Vienna, TCM in the UK is dire - if only we had your channel! Judy

11:48 AM  

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