Monday, September 30, 2013

TCM in October: Highlights

It's time to take a look at the schedule for Turner Classic Movies in October!

Vincent Price is Star of the Month for October, and the Friday Night Spotlight has been transformed into Friday Night "Spooklight" for the month, all of which means there are more scary movies airing on TCM in October than I can ever remember!

Vincent Price movies will be shown every Thursday this month, culminating in Price horror movies all evening on Halloween night. Since scary movies aren't my thing, I won't be doing a separate Star of the Month post for October, but I'll be highlighting some of Price's non-horror films below.

Here's a peek at some of the interesting things airing this month:

...There's a pair of good Ida Lupino-Robert Ryan films from 1952 on October 3rd. Actually, I'd have to say the second of the films, ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1952) is great, not good; its strong points include stunning black and white photography. Also showing: BEWARE, MY LOVELY (1952). The two Lupino-Ryan films are preceded by a movie Lupino directed, HARD, FAST AND BEAUTIFUL (1951).

...The first evening of Vincent Price films this month, on October 3rd, includes the great "color noir" LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945) with Gene Tierney and Jeanne Crain, and an MGM noir I love, THE BRIBE (1949), costarring Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner. The film's finale finds Price taking part in a very stylish shootout during a fireworks show.

...FEMALE (1933), airing on October 4th, is one of my favorite pre-Codes. It packs tremendous entertainment value into its 61 minutes, including some stunning set design (that organ!). Some viewers feel the ending is a cop-out, but who can blame Chatterton for falling for handsome George Brent? At the time they were also a couple off the screen.

...711 OCEAN DRIVE (1950) is one of those movies I might not have liked with a different actor or less effective staging, as the lead character, played by Edmond O'Brien, makes a lot of bad choices. I remained in sympathy with him nonetheless, perhaps in part because of his genuinely tender feelings for the character played by Joanne Dru. Great location shooting at Hoover Dam is another plus. It's on Saturday, October 5th.

...A tribute to director Robert Z. Leonard on October 7th includes MGM's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), which I greatly love, anachronistic costumes and all. One of the cast members, Marsha Hunt (Mary), is still with us at age 95; her onscreen sister, Ann Rutherford (Lydia), just passed away last year.

...A day of dancing films on October 8th includes Cyd Charisse and Margaret O'Brien in THE UNFINISHED DANCE (1947) and Fred Astaire in two underrated films, THE SKY'S THE LIMIT (1943) and my very favorite Astaire film, YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942).

...There's a fun lineup of Peter Lawford movies on October 9th, including the delightful GOOD NEWS (1947) with June Allyson. You can't help but love great numbers like "The French Lesson," "Pass That Peace Pipe," or "The Varsity Drag." Charles Walters directed.

...Vincent Price is pure fun in HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951), one of half a dozen of his films shown on October 10th. The movie stars Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell. Also on tap that evening are Russell and Victor Mature in another fun film, THE LAS VEGAS STORY (1952), and another Mature film, DANGEROUS MISSION (1954).

...I like to recommend MYSTERY STREET (1950) when I get a chance. It was filmed in Boston, with Ricardo Montalban as a police detective working to solve a murder with Harvard criminalist Bruce Bennett. The early "CSI" aspect is quite interesting. It will air on October 12th.

...Another very enjoyable musical from Charles Walters airs on Sunday, the 13th: THE GLASS SLIPPER (1955), a retelling of the Cinderella story starring Leslie Caron.

...Angela Lansbury's 88th birthday will be celebrated in the daytime lineup on October 16th with seven films ranging from GASLIGHT (1944) and THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946) to THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962).

...I'm thrilled there will be a five-film primetime tribute to Tyrone Power on October 16th. The event includes the TCM premieres of two 20th Century-Fox films, the excellent Western RAWHIDE (1951), costarring Susan Hayward, and the film noir which contains one of his greatest performances, NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947). Also featured: my favorite Power film, THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940); the pirate film THE BLACK SWAN (1942); and the costume drama MARIE ANTOINETTE (1938).

...There are another half-dozen Vincent Price movies on October 17th, including WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956) and THE BIG CIRCUS (1959) which both have great all-star casts. After these first three weeks of the month, the next two Thursdays are completely devoted to Price horror films.

...THE COMMAND (1954) sounds interesting, a Western starring Guy Madison and Joan Weldon. It's on October 18th.

...MIRACLES FOR SALE (1939) costars Robert Young and Florence Rice, who I enjoyed together in THE LONGEST NIGHT (1936) and MARRIED BEFORE BREAKFAST (1937). MIRACLES FOR SALE airs on the 19th.

...The wonderful British actress Margaret Lockwood will be honored with a seven-film tribute on Tuesday, October 22nd. I just reviewed HIGHLY DANGEROUS (1950), and I also liked BANK HOLIDAY (1938). The final film of the tribute, THE LADY VANISHES (1938), is one of my favorite Hitchcock films.

...I've read some things indicating that SOMBRERO (1953), airing on October 23rd, isn't all that good, but what a cast of favorites: Yvonne DeCarlo, Cyd Charisse, and Ricardo Montalban. It was directed by Montalban's brother-in-law, Norman Foster.

...It's no secret I've become quite a fan of Tim Holt -- and his sidekick Richard Martin! -- in the past year, and I've also watched many films directed by "B" movie specialist Lew Landers. I'm thus very excited that on October 24th TCM is showing a Holt-Martin film directed by Landers which isn't in one of the Warner Archive Tim Holt sets, DYNAMITE PASS (1950). This one has a terrific cast, with Lynne Roberts, Regis Toomey, Cleo Moore, and John Dehner. Can't wait!

...There are several other Westerns airing on the 24th, all but one released in 1950 or '51. A couple of unfamiliar titles have interesting casts: INSIGHT STRAIGHT (1951) stars Arlene Dahl, David Brian, Barry Sullivan, and Paula Raymond, while SLAUGHTER TRAIL (1951) stars Brian Donlevy and Virginia Grey.

...I love the theme for the daytime schedule on October 25th: "Not the One You're Thinking Of." The lineup includes THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (1955), MR. AND MRS. SMITH (1941), THE BLACK SWAN (1942), and MILLION DOLLAR BABY (1941). Fun programming!

...I really enjoyed CAT PEOPLE (1942) earlier this year, finding it spooky but not horrific. Highly recommend this Val Lewton-Jacques Tourneur film, starring Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, and Tom Conway. It will air October 26th.

...THE SECRET GARDEN (1949), showing on Sunday, the 27th, is one of the better book-to-film adaptations, with Margaret O'Brien playing Mary Lennox in the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic. Dean Stockwell and Herbert Marshall costar.

...SHADOW OF DOUBT (1935), not to be confused with the similarly titled Hitchcock classic, is a very enjoyable mystery which is also quite funny at times. The excellent cast includes Ricardo Cortez, Virginia Bruce, Regis Toomey, and Constance Collier. It's on October 30th.

...Another suspense film I really enjoy which is showing on the 30th is EXPERIMENT PERILOUS (1944) with George Brent and Hedy Lamarr, beautifully directed by Jacques Tourneur. Some of the powerful visuals, including a stormy train ride and a sequence involving fish tanks, linger in the memory, as do Hedy Lamarr's beautiful, pleading eyes.

For more on TCM in October, be sure to check out the complete schedule. Happy viewing, and Happy Halloween!


Blogger Kristina said...

Always smile when I read your preview posts, just prepping my month guide and we have practically all the same recommendations and want-to-sees, like the Command, Hard Fast & Beautiful and a few others you mention here. Since you don't link a review of it here, I'm wondering if you've seen Lockwood in Cast a Dark Shadow, and if not, don't miss it. I haven't seen Rawhide yet so can't wait for that! Thanks

6:34 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Like you, I've seen a lot/most of Vincent Price's non-horror work, but I think I'm old enough to handle the spooky stuff and will take advantage of TCMs October programming. Definitely time to watch "His Kind of Woman" again. He really steals that show, doesn't he?

Lots of dandy movies to enjoy and I appreciate you pointing them out.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAT PEOPLE is one of my favorite movies. It's not a great film, but it is so memorably stylish. The TiVo will be set for that one (among others). Thanks Laura.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Not that it matters too much--and I doubt the movie will ever enjoy much reputation--but I have always liked SOMBRERO and would encourage people to give it a chance. It nicely mingles three stories of varying mooods, lighter to more dramatic, has lovely color and location shooting in Mexico, good cast and Cyd Charisse does a dance.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Robby Cress said...

What a great lineup this month! I agree with you on ON DANGEROUS GROUND. Excellent black and white photography and of course, the cast, is what really makes this film stand out. The story I think drags in spots. I haven't seen 711 OCEAN DRIVE, so I'll stay tuned for that one, but I'm especially excited to catch up on some Mr. Price.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Very much have enjoyed everyone's notes and feedback!

Kristina, I haven't seen CAST A DARK SHADOW and that's definitely on my "to see" list! I think you will really like RAWHIDE, it's an excellent movie. Of course, I may be somewhat prejudiced as it was filmed extensively in beautiful Lone Pine -- where Tyrone Power was said to be a particularly popular guest.

Caftan Woman, I'm working my way up to trying THE CAT AND THE CANARY for Halloween, LOL. Very happy you'll enjoy all that TCM has to offer this month. Isn't HIS KIND OF WOMAN fun? (Speaking of spooky, the stuff with Raymond Burr really creeped me out -- it's a great thing Price is in the movie to offset that!)

CAT PEOPLE is definitely stylish, Will! Lewton and Tourneur do such an effective job with their movies, I've been impressed with those I've seen to date.

Blake, your feedback on SOMBRERO is greatly appreciated, I will definitely be recording it!

Robby, I think you would really enjoy 711 OCEAN DRIVE because of the neat location shooting not only at Hoover Dam but also Palm Springs. So glad to know you also appreciate the beauty of ON DANGEROUS GROUND.

Side note to Barrylane -- thanks much for your message, appreciated! And I agree on the movie. :)

Best wishes to all,

10:37 PM  
Blogger DorianTB said...

Laura, you've got a great treasure trove of movie goodies, including films I've been meaning to catch up with, including MYSTERY STREET, the CSI of its day! In fact, here's a review I did in a guest stint for our pal Nate Hood from FORGOTTEN CLASSICS OF YESTERYEAR:

I'm a big fan of Vincent Price, too; who isn't? :-) But I'm especially looking forward to watching HIS KIND OF WOMAN, another Team Bartilucci fave! 711 OCEAN DRIVE is another film I've been meaning to see; thanks for that tip and so many others in your swell post! :-)

8:45 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Dorian, so nice of you to stop by! And I'm glad you shared the link to your post on MYSTERY STREET -- that and the even earlier KID GLOVE KILLER probably my two favorite "early CSI" movies!

I'd love to know what you think of 711 OCEAN DRIVE! Enjoy all the great stuff this month!

Best wishes,

10:18 PM  

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