Saturday, July 01, 2017

TCM in July: Highlights

It's summertime! July is my favorite month, and it's made even better thanks to the July schedule on Turner Classic Movies.

Ronald Colman is the Star of the Month. 22 Colman films will be shown on Thursday evenings in July, including three TCM premieres. I'll have more here on the Colman lineup next week. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Ronald Colman.)

Another big part of the July schedule is the TCM Spotlight Series TCM Presents the Master of Suspense: 50 Years of Hitchcock. The movies run on Wednesdays and Fridays, beginning July 5th.

There is a free online course which accompanies the series; the class runs from June 27th to August 7th. Details may be found here.

This month's Sunday morning Noir Alley lineup consists of THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1949) on July 2nd, T-MEN (1947) on the 9th, GUN CRAZY (195) on July 16th, DEADLINE AT DAWN (1946) on July 23rd, and BORN TO KILL (1947) on July 30th. All are noir essentials; I especially love BORN TO KILL (seen here) with sinister Lawrence Tierney, angelic Audrey Long, and one of the really great noir dames, Claire Trevor.

Below are a few of this month's additional TCM highlights. Click any hyperlinked title to read the corresponding film review and learn more about the casts.

...I really like NOBODY LIVES FOREVER (1942), showing on the evening of July 1st. John Garfield and Geraldine Fitzgerald star.

...TCM seems to be in holiday weekend mode with the lighthearted musicals VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964) and ON THE TOWN (1949) airing on Sunday, July 2nd.

...THE BRIBE (1949) is a stylish film noir starring Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, John Hodiak, Charles Laughton, and Vincent Price. It's showing on Monday, July 3rd.

...It wouldn't be Independence Day on TCM without showings of YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) and THE MUSIC MAN (1962)! They're here, along with Robert Stack in JOHN PAUL JONES (1959), Cornel Wilde and Michael Wilding in THE SCARLET COAT (1955), and the MGM musicals TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (1949) and SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954). An all-around fun day of patriotic films and musical Americana! P.S. If you can't catch YANKEE DOODLE DANDY on the 4th, it's also shown July 2nd.

...MGM's colorful version of LITTLE WOMEN (1949) airs as part of a birthday tribute to Janet Leigh on July 6th. June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Elizabeth Taylor, and Margaret O'Brien costar.

...Director Anthony Mann is honored a week after his June 30th birthday with a seven-film tribute on Friday, July 7th. The eclectic titles include the fun "B" musical THE BAMBOO BLONDE (1946), starring Frances Langford.

...The July 7th Hitchcock lineup includes Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara in JAMAICA INN (1939), which I saw in a beautiful new print last March, with two of Hitchcock's granddaughters and his colleague Norman Lloyd in attendance.

...I SHOT JESSE JAMES (1949) is an interesting film from director Samuel Fuller, starring John Ireland, Barbara Britton (seen at left), and Preston Foster. Definitely worth a look. It's showing on the 8th.

...Greta Garbo and John Gilbert star in the memorable FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926), showing on July 10th. Essential silent film viewing.

...July 11th features seven Doris Day musicals! The enjoyable lineup includes favorites like ON MOONLIGHT BAY (1951), BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON (1953), and MY DREAM IS YOURS (1949). Curiously, ON MOONLIGHT BAY airs after its sequel, SILVERY MOON, so those wanting to watch in order may wish to record them for later viewing.

..."The Bottom of the Bottle" is the theme on July 12th. Titles include NIGHT INTO MORNING (1951), with Ray Milland as a professor who starts drinking after his family is killed in an explosion.

...KID GLOVE KILLER (1942), an early credit for director Fred Zinnemann, is one of my all-time favorite "B" movies. Van Heflin, Marsha Hunt, and Lee Bowman star in this police lab procedural. It's on July 14th.

...I'm fond of ALL THE BROTHERS WERE VALIANT (1953) and was surprised to discover I haven't yet reviewed it here. It's an imperfect film but its attributes include a trio of great leads in Robert Taylor, Ann Blyth, and Stewart Granger; attractive Technicolor photography by George Folsey; and a stirring score by Miklos Rozsa. It airs early on July 15th.

...The 20th Century-Fox Western THE SILVER WHIP (1953) has its TCM premiere on July 16th. It's a pleasing film which stars Dale Robertson, Rory Calhoun, and Robert Wagner, supported by James Millican and Lola Albright. A Western can't miss with a cast like that!

...One of the best days on the calendar, as far as I'm concerned, is July 17th, with some interesting lesser-known Westerns on the schedule. FLAME OF THE WEST (1945) was a very pleasant surprise last summer, a well-plotted film with Johnny Mack Brown, Joan Woodbury, and a very good against-type performance by Douglass Dumbrille as a U.S. marshal. STAMPEDE (1949), seen at the left, is a terrific film with Rod Cameron, Gale Storm, and Brown. Also showing that day: WESTERN HERITAGE (1948) with Tim Holt, Nan Leslie, and Richard Martin; SOUTHWEST PASSAGE (1954) with Cameron, Joanne Dru, and her then-husband John Ireland; and THE GUN THAT WON THE WEST (1955) with Dennis Morgan.

...Another great theme is "Joel McCrea in the '30s" on July 19th. A whopping 10 early McCrea films will be shown, including the wonderful comedy THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (1934) with his frequent '30s costar Miriam Hopkins.

...Natalie Wood receives a six-film birthday tribute on July 20th, including the great American classic Western THE SEARCHERS (1956), directed by John Ford.

...Movies about large families and hard-to-parent children are featured during the day on July 21st. Titles include YOURS, MINE AND OURS (1968), starring Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball as widowed parents of large broods who decide to merge their families into one.

...Esther Williams and Red Skelton star in MGM's colorful BATHING BEAUTY (1944) on Saturday, July 22nd.

...The somewhat unlikely team of Fred MacMurray and Joan Crawford costar as honeymooning spies in the WWII thriller ABOVE SUSPICION (1943), based on a novel by Helen MacInnes. MacMurray and Crawford have very good chemistry in a film which is somewhat flawed yet overall quite enjoyable. It's shown on July 23rd.

...There are lots of great Westerns on TCM in July! July 24th features a day of James Stewart Westerns, including all-time favorites such as WINCHESTER '73 (1950), BEND OF THE RIVER (1952), and THE FAR COUNTRY (1954), all directed by Stewart's frequent collaborator, Anthony Mann.

...It's "Singing Sailors" day on July 28th, with a lineup which includes Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945) and ON THE TOWN (1949).

...BEAUTY AND THE BOSS (1932) is a delightful pre-Code confection starring Warren William and Marian Marsh, with droll support from Charles Butterworth. A must, on July 29th.

...On July 30th there's a film directed by Yasujiro Ozu which isn't in my collection: RECORD OF A TENEMENT GENTLEMAN (1947). That's a "must" for my DVR. Other Ozu films showing that night: TOKYO CHORUS (1931) and TOKYO TWILIGHT (1957).

The above are just a few of the interesting titles showing this month! For more on TCM in July, please visit the complete schedule.


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