Wednesday, November 30, 2016

TCM in December: Highlights

December has rolled 'round again, and there's a wonderful schedule ahead this month on Turner Classic Movies!

Myrna Loy is the December Star of the Month. Over 60 Loy films will be shown in December, spanning 1927 to 1960. I'll have a closer look at that aspect of the schedule later this week. (Update: See TCM Star of the Month: Myrna Loy.)

As I do every December, I'll also have a separate post up focusing on all the Christmas movies being shown on TCM this month. Be looking for that post early on December 1st! (Update: Please visit TCM in December: Christmas Movies.)

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.

...I've got to catch up with the Warren William Perry Mason movies soon! He stars with Mary Astor and Allen Jenkins in THE CASE OF THE HOWLING DOG (1934) on Saturday morning, December 2nd.

...TCM features a primetime lineup of early films directed by Douglas Sirk on December 3rd. Titles include HITLER'S MADMAN (1943) with Patricia Morison and Alan Curtis (seen at right), and LURED (1947) with George Sanders and Lucille Ball.

...The 90th Anniversary of Vitaphone will be celebrated on December 5th. This is one of those great "only on TCM" events, featuring numerous shorts, along with feature films such as the delightful WHY BE GOOD? (1929) starring Colleen Moore.

...The 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day will be marked on TCM with a 24-hour marathon of World War II films. There are several excellent titles on the schedule, including FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), which depicts the attack. Raoul Walsh's THE REVOLT OF MAMIE STOVER (1956), a 20th Century-Fox film starring Jane Russell, Richard Egan, and Joan Leslie, is a TCM premiere.

...A day of dance movies on the 8th includes the delightful GIVE A GIRL A BREAK (1953) with Debbie Reynolds, Bob Fosse, and Marge and Gower Champion. The Champions are also featured that day in EVERYTHING I HAVE IS YOURS (1952), costarring Dennis O'Keefe.

...Another "only on TCM" event is an Alice White triple feature on December 9th. I'd especially like to see PLAYING AROUND (1930), also starring Chester Morris.

...Noel Coward's BLITHE SPIRIT (1945) airs on December 10th, with Rex Harrison visited by the ghost of his late first wife (Kay Hammond) -- to the dismay of Wife No. 2 (Constance Cummings)!

..The classic Fox film A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1948) airs on Sunday, December 11th. The all-star cast includes Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, Paul Douglas, Jeffrey Lynn, and Kirk Douglas.

...I've been meaning to revisit HAVING WONDERFUL TIME (1938). When I saw it a few years ago I found the script weak, but what a cast: Ginger Rogers, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Lucille Ball, Ann Miller, Red Skelton, Lee Bowman, Jack Carson, Dean Jagger, Frances Gifford, and more! I figure it's worth taking another look, with that cast. TCM will show it on the 12th.

...There's a wonderful lineup of Van Heflin movies to celebrate his birthday on December 13th. The titles include THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946), which I saw at UCLA in September. Barbara Stanwyck, Kirk Douglas, and Lizabeth Scott costar.

...There's a great lineup of "B" films costarring Dick Purcell on December 14th, including titles such as ALCATRAZ ISLAND (1937) with Ann Sheridan and ACCIDENTS WILL HAPPEN (1938) with Ronald Reagan. Looks like a fun day for "B" movie fans.

...December 15th honors director William Keighley, with titles including KANSAS CITY PRINCESS (1934) with Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell, SECRETS OF AN ACTRESS (1938) with Kay Francis and George Brent, and YES, MY DARLING DAUGHTER (1939) with Priscilla Lane and Jeffrey Lynn.

...I've heard good things about LOVE LETTERS (1945), costarring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten, but I haven't seen it yet! It's on December 17th. William Dieterle directed.

...You can't do better than THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) on Sunday afternoon, December 18th. One of my all-time favorite films.

...There's a great day of crime and film noir on December 19th. CONFLICT (1945) is a really interesting movie in which Humphrey Bogart bumps off his wife in hopes of having a relationship with her oblivious younger sister (Alexis Smith). Sydney Greenstreet is the psychologist who figures out what's going on.

...TCM honors Irene Dunne with an eight-film birthday tribute on December 20th, including SHOW BOAT (1936).

...Treasures From the Disney Vault has been a great quarterly addition to the TCM schedule since its debut in December 2015. The series returns on Wednesday, December 21st. Leonard Maltin will host PERRI (1957), OLD YELLER (1958), THE LITTLEST OUTLAW (1955), SAMMY, THE WAY-OUT SEAL (1962), and more. (Click the photo of the Treasures schedule to enlarge it for a closer look.) I saw OLD YELLER at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival and liked it a lot more than I expected, being a dog lover. Recommended.

...A day of films paying tribute to Ruth Roman on December 22nd includes the very entertaining DALLAS (1950), also starring Gary Cooper.

...PLEASURE CRUISE (1933), starring Genevieve Tobin and Roland Young, was a popular film at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival. It's showing on December 28th.

...On December 29th TCM pays tribute to several performers who have passed on in the last year, including Gloria DeHaven (TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR, at right with Tom Drake) and dubber extraordinaire Marni Nixon (WEST SIDE STORY).

...Spend New Year's Eve with THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! (1974) and all three sequels!

For more on TCM in December, please visit the complete online schedule.


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