Wednesday, August 31, 2016

TCM in September: Highlights

It's almost time to say goodbye to summer, but happily for all of us, there's a great September schedule on Turner Classic Movies!

"Ouch! A Salute to Slapstick" will take place every Tuesday and Wednesday night in September. TCM is also sponsoring a free online film course on the subject, taught by Professor Richard Edwards, who also headed up the very successful 2015 course "Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir." Please visit TCM's special microsite, which includes the schedule, as well as the class website.

Gene Hackman is the September Star of the Month. His films will be shown on Friday nights beginning September 2nd. There will not be a separate Star of the Month post for September.

Here's a rundown of just some of the most interesting titles airing on TCM this month. Click any hyperlinked title to read my corresponding film review.

...September kicks off with a bang with an evening of half a dozen Preston Sturges films on September 1st, including THE LADY EVE (1941), THE GREAT MCGINTY (1940), and more. And earlier in the day, fans of romantic comedies should check out Rosalind Russell and Lee Bowman in the fun SHE WOULDN'T SAY YES (1945).

...Friday, September 2nd, make a date with the Falcon! TCM is showing 11 of the 13 RKO Falcon films, which initially starred George Sanders, who later handed the reins over to his very capable brother, Tom Conway. Conway's last couple films are omitted, but most of the series is here, and my reviews of every film shown Friday can be found at the end of the review of THE FALCON IN SAN FRANCISCO (1945).

...Jeanne Crain has long been one of my favorite actresses, and I'm delighted she will receive a prime time double feature tribute this Sunday night, September 4th, during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Hopefully lots of viewers will tune in to PEOPLE WILL TALK (1951) a unique and very interesting film she made with Cary Grant, and the TCM premiere of her first starring film, HOME IN INDIANA (1944). HOME IN INDIANA costars Lon McAllister, June Haver, Walter Brennan, and Charlotte Greenwood, and it's solid family entertainment.

...It's time for Leonard Maltin to host another evening of Treasures from the Disney Vault on September 8th! The schedule includes Brian Keith and Vera Miles in THOSE CALLOWAYS (1965), Bobby Driscoll in TREASURE ISLAND (1950), and DISNEYLAND AROUND THE SEASONS (1966), with Walt Disney showing off the park at different times of the year. The evening's cartoons are BOAT BUILDERS (1938) and TUGBOAT MICKEY (1940).

...TCM offers a September 9th birthday tribute to MGM musical producer Arthur Freed with some of his lesser-known films, including LADY BE GOOD (1941) and YOLANDA AND THE THIEF (1945).

...The AFI Tribute to John Williams will air September 12th.

...September 13th there's a wonderful six-film birthday tribute to Claudette Colbert. I've seen all but one of the films, and entertainment is guaranteed. I particularly recommend that fans take a look at one of the more minor titles airing that day, THE SECRET HEART (1946), as Colbert and Walter Pidgeon are so loose and engaging together. They're charming.

...One of the fun themes this month is "Fredric March Gets Political" on September 15th. The movies in which he's politically involved include I MARRIED A WITCH (1942) and SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964).

...THE UNFAITHFUL (1947) was one of the opening night films at the 2015 Noir City Festival. Ann Sheridan, Zachary Scott, Lew Ayres, and Eve Arden star. It airs on the 17th.

...Olivia de Havilland won her first Oscar for TO EACH HIS OWN (1946), costarring John Lund and directed by Mitchell Leisen. It airs on September 18th.

...A day of WWII spy stories on September 20th includes a rare showing of THE YELLOW CANARY (1943) starring Anna Neagle and Richard Greene.

...GIRL MISSING (1933), airing on the 21st, is a zippy 70-minute comedy-mystery starring Glenda Farrell, Ben Lyon, Peggy Shannon, Lyle Talbot, and Mary Brian. Watch for Walter Brennan as a garage attendant! Recommended viewing.

...I love the theming on September 22nd, starting with ONE CROWDED NIGHT (1940), then TWO SMART PEOPLE (1946), THREE DARING DAUGHTERS (1948), FOUR GIRLS IN WHITE (1939), and so on. Lots of fun titles scheduled that day, check it out!

...The well-written JUNE BRIDE (1948), starring Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery, airs September 23rd. Incidentally, the Charlotte Observer just ran an interesting profile of Betty Lynn, who plays Boo, and it mentions advice Davis gave her young friend Lynn.

...We all miss Robert Osborne's presence on TCM, but I'm glad to see "Robert Osborne's Picks" have been continuing, even though he hasn't been introducing them. I'm especially delighted to see that he picked one of my favorite films of the '40s to showcase in September: TONIGHT AND EVERY NIGHT (1945), starring Rita Hayworth, Lee Bowman, Janet Blair, and Marc Platt. It's a film which means a great deal to me, as I describe in my review, and it's also quite underrated. I'm delighted that more people will get to know it on September 26th.

...Husband and wife Dick Powell and June Allyson are the focus on September 27th, with four Powell films followed by four Allyson titles. I especially like Powell's noir Western STATION WEST (1948) with Jane Greer and Burl Ives.

...LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE (1951) is an enjoyable romantic mystery starring Ruth Roman and Richard Todd, airing on September 28th. It's not a perfect film yet I found it good viewing.

...TCM has announced that the previously scheduled prime time films on September 29th will be replaced by a tribute to the late Gene Wilder, who passed away on Monday. The evening's schedule is here.

For those who are interested, my friend Joel Williams has tabulated the September schedule by movie decade, and the results can be seen in his Tweet. 87% of the September schedule was released in the 1960s or earlier, with 13% from the 1970s through present day. (Note that I'm not sure his tally takes into account the September 29th schedule change.) (Update: Joel confirms the tally does not incorporate the schedule change.)

The titles above are but the tip of the iceberg for a really wonderful month of viewing. For much more on TCM in September, please visit the complete schedule.


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