Thursday, April 30, 2015

TCM in May: Highlights

It's hard for me to believe that April is gone already! Time for a peek at the May schedule on Turner Classic Movies.

Sterling Hayden is the Star of the Month every Wednesday evening in May. I'll be posting more about the Star of the Month lineup sometime next week. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Sterling Hayden.)

Orson Welles is the focus of the May Friday Night Spotlight, hosted by David Edelstein. There's also a special schedule of disaster movies the first three Thursday evenings of May.

Below are just a few of this month's highlights; click on any hyperlinked title for the related review.

...May launches on the 1st with a lineup of "secretary" movies. I'll be recording Jean Muir in HER HUSBAND'S SECRETARY (1937) which I've never seen. Other titles including the mind-bending pre-Code SHE HAD TO SAY YES (1933) starring Loretta Young; the delightful comedy THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (1934) with Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea, not to mention sparkling support from Fay Wray and Reginald Denny; EVER SINCE EVE (1937) with Marion Davies and Robert Montgomery; and SHE'S GOT EVERYTHING (1938), an RKO charmer with Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond. A most enjoyable lineup!

...I just reviewed Greta Garbo in QUEEN CHRISTINA (1933), which I saw at the TCM Classic Film Festival. It's on this Saturday evening, May 2nd, as part of a Garbo tribute.

...Don't miss Alan Ladd, Olivia de Havilland, and David Ladd in THE PROUD REBEL (1958) on Sunday, May 3rd. It's another film I saw at the recent TCM Classic Film Festival, and I hope to write about it in the near future.

...Fans of Susan Peters will want to check out THREE SONS O' GUNS (1941) on the 5th, costarring Wayne Morris.

...May 6th pays tribute to nurses with eight titles including Bebe Daniels as a REGISTERED NURSE (1934), costarring Lyle Talbot. Modern viewers may want to note the insane amount of smoking engaged in by the hospital medical staff!

...The month's first evening of disaster movies kicks off on May 7th with AIRPORT (1970), followed by some favorite air disaster films including THE CROWDED SKY (1960), FIVE CAME BACK (1939), and the terrifically fun SKYJACKED (1972). The shot of Charlton Heston piloting the plane during takeoff with a pipe clenched in his teeth is classic. Would he be fired for that in today's world?!

...Charlton Heston also stars in TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), which is part of the evening of Orson Welles films on May 8th. I can't say I really "got" TOUCH OF EVIL when I saw it at least year's TCM Festival, but the long uninterrupted opening shot is something every film fan should see.

...If you haven't seen it -- or even if you have -- sit down and watch RIO BRAVO (1959) on Saturday, the 9th. You'll be glad you did. John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, and Walter Brennan, not to mention Ward Bond and John Russell. That's entertainment! Directed by Howard Hawks. It was finally added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry last year.

...The Mother's Day films on May 10th include Lana Turner in IMITATION OF LIFE (1959), another film I saw at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival. It's an enjoyable melodrama directed by Douglas Sirk.

...May 13th is my favorite day on the schedule, an eight-film tribute to actress-singer Anne Jeffreys. Jeffreys, the widow of Robert Sterling, turned 92 in January. The titles include some interesting-looking obscurities such as SING YOUR WAY HOME (1945) and DING DONG WILLIAMS (1946) along with two films which have been reviewed here in the past, THOSE ENDEARING YOUNG CHARMS (1945) and TRAIL STREET (1947).

...More disaster films on the 14th! The titles include Charlton Heston in EARTHQUAKE (1974), which I found unfortunately bad, and SAN FRANCISCO (1936) with Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald, which is terrific. Also on the schedule: Tyrone Power in IN OLD CHICAGO (1938).

...A tribute to James Mason on the 15th includes a film I adore, THE RECKLESS MOMENT (1948) costarring Joan Bennett. Death and blackmail in suburban Balboa Island, California. Bennett in particular was never better. This is a film which would also have been a great Mother's Day pick!

...This seems to be a month for TCM to show a number of the films from the TCM Fest! Another I loved seeing at the festival was CALAMITY JANE (1953), an old favorite with Doris Day and Howard Keel. It's on May 17th.

...THE SECRET GARDEN (1949), starring Margaret O'Brien and Dean Stockwell, is one of the better film adaptations of a classic children's novel. It airs on May 19th.

...A day of early James Stewart films on May 20th includes a pair of films reviewed here quite recently, THE MURDER MAN (1935) and SPEED (1936).

...Eight Doris Day films air on May 21st. Sit down and enjoy!!

...The disaster movies on May 21st include the nerve-wracking THE LAST VOYAGE (1960) with Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, George Sanders, Edmond O'Brien, and Woody Strode. It has its flaws, including the casting of a child actress who was twice the age of her character, but it's a movie you won't forget.

...The annual Memorial Day Weekend marathon begins on Saturday, May 23rd, and continues through Monday the 25th. My pick of the weekend is the impressive THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO (1944), with Spencer Tracy leading a huge cast including Van Johnson, Robert Mitchum, and Robert Walker. It's the very first war film airing on the 23rd.

...BELLE OF THE YUKON (1944) has a rather unusual cast: Randolph Scott, Gypsy Rose Lee and Dinah Shore. It's on May 26th.

...I love the "CSI" style film MYSTERY STREET (1950), airing on May 31st. Police detective Ricardo Montalban and Harvard scientist Bruce Bennett try to solve a murder.

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


Blogger Net - "It's a Wonderful Movie" said...

Thank You! I love your TCM Monthly highlights - as I enjoy looking deeper into the classic films I have, yet, to explore!

I was a little surprised at some of the Mother's Day movie choices this month. I Remember Mama (1948, Irene Dunne) is one of my absolute favorites and it is actually on the night before Mother's Day this year.

Thank you for putting a spotlight on some of your picks for TCM in May! It's a Great Feeling... to sit back and watch a Doris Day movie- so I appreciate the May 21st notice... I would never want to miss 'On Moonlight Bay'!

Thank you for all you do - to put these posts together - they are truly incredible!!!

Net, It's a Wonderful Movie

7:46 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

What I don't understand re TCM's licensing of films is that they partner with Universal for TCM vault to put out DVDs of Universals and pre-1950s Paramounts but most of those titles never seem to make it on to TCM. You'd think they'd want to promote those releases by showing the films and generating interest. It's kind of baffling.

That's just one reason why the licensing of a movie like TAKE ME TO TOWN should be a piece of cake. It's sad that all the studios don't follow the lead of Warner Archive lead and just systematically get things out and, at this point in film history, make it easy for TCM to show anything they want to, given themes, stars of the months and those kinds of things.

OK, I'll quiet down now. But sometimes I look at their monthly schedules and just feel it could be richer and that too many of the same things just get shown again and again.

On the other hand, the month finishes with a double bill of Mikio Naruse's GINZA COSMETICS, which I've never seen, and WIFE, which I have and is one of his many masterpieces. So that kind of makes up for everything.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Some favourites coming up (The Last Voyage, The Proud Rebel) and it is about time someone honoured the charming Anne Jeffreys. Gems will be found. Thanks for the heads-up.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's a good point, Blake, you'd think maybe they could establish more of a partnership to air those Universal and Paramount films given their other relationship putting some of them on DVD. I would have really loved the charming TAKE ME TO TOWN to air during Sterling Hayden month, it's a movie more people should see! I am under the impression there is some belt-tightening at TCM, as with other companies in the industry -- there were some layoffs late last year -- so I wonder if that has had any impact on paying extra to license movies they don't typically show.

I'll make a note about those Naruse films!

Glad I could share the good word, Caftan Woman! :)

Best wishes,

9:42 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Yes I marked those Naruse movies too, mainly because after you've raved about the Ozu, and we looked at HIGH AND LOW, I'm getting curious about the Japanese films. If you recommend THE RECKLESS MOMENT so highly, I want to see that. And confession: still haven't watched ZERO HOUR or SKYJACKED, shame on me. :)

3:26 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Kristina, on the basis of loving HIGH AND LOW, thanks to you introducing me to it, I now have Kurosawa's police drama STRAY DOG here from Netflix.

I feel I can safely guarantee your enjoyment if you watch THE RECKLESS MOMENT, ZERO HOUR!, and SKYJACKED. I think they are all "your" kinda movies! I'd definitely bump them up high in the "to watch" stacks! LOL.

Best wishes,

3:29 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

P.S. To Kristina, my dad just watched his first Ozu, EQUINOX FLOWER, and loved it. So there's another thumbs up to encourage you. :)

Best wishes,

3:32 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

That's great, will do on moving them up the stack :) So many great recommendations. STRAY DOG looks good, can't wait to get a hold of a copy myself, and see what you think of it.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Net, your post was apparently hung up in moderation, I just was notified about it and posted it! Thanks so much for your very kind words! :) :) And enjoy TCM in May!

Best wishes,

5:06 PM  

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