Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Quick Preview of TCM in January

The January schedule for Turner Classic Movies is now available online!

The schedule actually came out a while ago, but there were technical glitches with all of the cast listings so I held off until that issue was fixed. The schedule contains some excellent news, first and foremost that the January Star of the Month is Fred MacMurray.

Even better news: the month includes the TCM premiere of the Paramount film SUDDENLY IT'S SPRING (1947) on January 6th. SUDDENLY IT'S SPRING was directed by Mitchell Leisen, and it costars Paulette Goddard and Macdonald Carey along with MacMurray. It got very positive notices when it was screened at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival and 2013 Cinecon.

Over 30 MacMurray films will be screened in January, ranging from romantic comedies to Westerns, Disney to DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944). It should be a great opportunity to take a good look at the breadth and depth of his career while enjoying a lot of terrific films.

Also exciting is that Joseph Losey's M (1951) will screen on New Year's Day. It may not be the most cheery way to start the year, but it's a terrific film, as the police (Howard Da Silva and Steve Brodie) and a bunch of crooks (Martin Gabel, Raymond Burr, Norman Lloyd) work toward a common goal, capturing a child killer (David Wayne). The movie has superb location filming in L.A.'s Bradbury Building, which in and of itself is reason for anyone interested in "film noir era Los Angeles" to tune in. I first saw this film at the 2014 Noir City Film Festival and watched it again last spring at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival; it's not available on DVD. My review written last year is here.

Also notable in January, a Sunday evening with three films directed by Yasujiro Ozu: A STORY OF FLOATING WEEDS (1934), EQUINOX FLOWER (1958), and END OF SUMMER (1961).

January will bring tributes to Kay Francis, Myrna Loy, Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Tod Browning, Paul Newman, Jean Muir, and Ernst Lubitsch.

A trend toward sometimes showcasing newer films in primetime is reflected by a tribute to Emma Thompson, which includes one of my favorite movies, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995). While I admit to being a bit uneasy when TCM shows relatively recent movies which are easily available elsewhere, on the other hand what other channel would have a great day showcasing the work of Jean Muir?! I'm sure many TCM fans such as myself just want to make sure that days like the Jean Muir tribute remain the rule and not the exception.

January themes include medical biographies, letters, reporters, and early films with black casts. There are also lots of pre-Codes airing in January!

I'll be posting more detailed information on the January schedule as the year draws to a close.

In the meantime, Norma Shearer continues as the November Star of the Month, with the Frank Sinatra Centennial being celebrated in December.

Update: For more detailed information on the January schedule, please visit TCM in January: Highlights and TCM Star of the Month: Fred MacMurray.


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