Sunday, November 29, 2015

TCM in December: Highlights

It's almost December! Here's to what promises to be a wonderful month on Turner Classic Movies.

The December Star of the Month is Frank Sinatra, honoring the centennial of his birth.

Over three dozen Sinatra films and concert specials will be shown on Wednesday evenings in December. I'll have a closer look on the Star of the Month lineup posted here in a couple of days. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Frank Sinatra.)

I'll also be devoting a separate post to a detailed overview of this month's Christmas movies, which will be available in the near future. (Update: Please visit TCM in December: Christmas Movies.)

Treasures From the Disney Vault, which originally debuted in December 2014, returns on December 17th; information on that evening will be included in the Christmas movies post.

Monday evenings will feature a "Girlfriends" theme, hosted by Tiffany Vazquez. Tiffany was one of TCM's 20th Anniversary Fan Guest Programmers. I had the pleasure of meeting Tiffany at last year's TCM Classic Film Festival, and I'm sure she'll do a terrific job.

Here's a look at a few of the other great titles on this month's schedule. Click on any hyperlinked title to read the corresponding review and learn more about the cast and filmmakers.

...December 1st starts off with the theme "How to Marry Off Your Daughters," including titles as diverse as FOUR DAUGHTERS (1938) and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1971). Prime time and the late evening hours will be devoted to mini-marathons of the Ma and Pa Kettle and Five Little Peppers series.

...The primetime schedule on December 3rd celebrates George Sanders. The five-film lineup includes the Douglas Sirk thriller LURED (1947), Fritz Lang's MAN HUNT (1941), and the very first Falcon mystery, THE GAY FALCON (1941).

...Glenn Ford Westerns on December 4th include MGM's THE FASTEST GUN ALIVE (1956), costarring Jeanne Crain and Broderick Crawford.

...Dick Tracy serials are featured on Saturday mornings this month, including DICK TRACY VS. CUEBALL (1946) on December 5th. Morgan Conway and Anne Jeffreys stars.

...Sunday evening, December 6th, features two Japanese films directed by Keisuke Kinoshita: TWENTY-FOUR EYES (1954) and MORNING FOR THE OSONE FAMILY (1946).

...Pearl Harbor Day will be commemorated with a day of World War II films, including TASK FORCE (1949) and THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945).

...December 8th features a centennial birthday tribute to screenwriter Ernest Lehman. Five films are on the schedule including SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957), NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959), and EXECUTIVE SUITE (1954).

...Kirk Douglas turns 99 on December 9th! TCM will be showing seven Douglas films, including the film noir classic OUT OF THE PAST (1947).

...TCM honors Rita Moreno's 84th birthday on December 11th with several films in which she had small roles, including SO YOUNG SO BAD (1950), PAGAN LOVE SONG (1950), CATTLE TOWN (1952), and LATIN LOVERS (1953).

...Also of interest on December 11th: THE YELLOW TOMAHAWK (1954) with Rory Calhoun and Peggie Castle. That's a winning combination for me!

...On December 13th there's a rare showing of the marvelous Fox film APARTMENT FOR PEGGY (1948), starring Jeanne Crain, William Holden and Edmund Gwenn. Don't miss it.

...I'll also be mentioning it in my Christmas post, but I particularly want to highlight that TCM is showing Deanna Durbin's Christmastime musical mystery LADY ON A TRAIN (1945) in primetime December 13th. Combined with APARTMENT FOR PEGGY, it's my favorite day on the December schedule! Deanna movies turn up infrequently on TCM due to the expense of licensing films released by Universal Pictures, so this is a real treat.

...The theme is "Summer in December" on December 14th, including the MGM musicals SUMMER HOLIDAY (1948) and SUMMER STOCK (1950). SUMMER HOLIDAY was directed by Vincente Minnelli, starring Mickey Rooney and Gloria DeHaven, while SUMMER STOCK was directed by Charles Walters, starring Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, and DeHaven.

...I'm delighted that TCM will be featuring a six-film primetime tribute to Carole Landis on December 15th. The titles include ONE MILLION B.C. (1940) with Victor Mature, TOPPER RETURNS (1941) with Roland Young and Dennis O'Keefe, and a personal favorite, SECRET COMMAND (1944) with Pat O'Brien and Chester Morris.

...Barbara Stanwyck stars as ANNIE OAKLEY (1935) on December 18th, costarring Preston Foster and Melvyn Douglas.

...Those who might be buried in snow on December 21st can try to forget it with the Florida spring break film WHERE THE BOYS ARE (1960), starring Dolores Hart, George Hamilton, Paula Prentiss, Jim Hutton, and Connie Francis.

...The classic MGM musical compilations THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! (1974) and THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! II (1976) will be shown on the evening of December 22nd.

...Spend the day after Christmas enjoying Fred and Ginger in three films, SWING TIME (1936), TOP HAT (1935), and SHALL WE DANCE (1937).

...There's more Fred and Ginger on December 28th, when THE GAY DIVORCEE (1934) is shown as part of a day of musicals which also includes 42ND STREET (1933), SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954), and the compilation film THAT'S DANCING! (1985).

...On December 29th TCM honors five actors who passed away this year and weren't honored at the time with a multi-film memorial tribute. The honorees are Louis Jourdan (GIGI), Lizabeth Scott (TOO LATE FOR TEARS), Theodore Bikel (THE DEFIANT ONES), Coleen Gray (KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL), and Anita Ekberg (BACK FROM ETERNITY).

...On New Year's Eve, ring out the old year with marathons of Marx Bros. and THIN MAN movies!

For more information on TCM in December, please consult the complete schedule.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Blogger Jerry E said...

Laura, you may have given us a piece of news that could cause excitement of epic proportions!! When John Knight reads it - stand back!
I refer to the December 11th showing of "YELLOW TOMAHAWK", with, as you say, Rory and Peggie and directed by Les Selander. The huge question now is whether TCM have somehow acquired a colour print at last or whether it will be monochrome only again. Either way,it is a rare film (never been shown on UK TV) and I wonder if it will find its way onto TCM UK next year.
Western fans will be anxiously waiting......

11:37 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jerry!

The TCM guide indicates B&W...I wonder if the color print is lost for all time?

Glad to share the good news!!

Best wishes,

11:54 PM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

Pity it will be B&W, Laura, but predictable I guess. A really good western nonetheless. I think you are probably right that we will probably never see a colour print turn up.

6:54 AM  

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