Sunday, April 29, 2018

TCM in May: Highlights

It's hard to believe, but soon the TCM Classic Film Festival will be just a memory for those of us fortunate to attend -- which means it's time to look at the May schedule for Turner Classic Movies!

Marlene Dietrich is the May Star of the Month. It's been 16 years since the actress was last Star of the Month. Look for her films on Thursday evenings, beginning May 10th. (Due to my film festival schedule, there will not be a separate Star of the Month post for May.)

The first Thursday evening of the month, May 3rd, will be a celebration of the late Robert Osborne's birthday.

TCM is doing something really interesting in May, running weekly 48-hour marathons of over 20 different movie series. I've noted the various series below, and they're the main focus of this month's highlights post.

This month's Noir Alley titles: THE NARROW MARGIN (1952) on May 5th and 6th, CAGED (1950) on May 12th and 13th, CRIME WAVE (1954) on May 19th and 20th, and THE CLAY PIGEON (1949) on May 26th and 27th.

THE NARROW MARGIN and CRIME WAVE both rank not only among my top favorite film noir titles, but among my all-time favorite films of any genre. THE NARROW MARGIN stars Charles McGraw, Jacqueline White, and Marie Windsor (seen at right), while CRIME WAVE stars Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson, and Phyllis Kirk. Both films are tremendously enjoyable.

THE CLAY PIGEON, about a WWII veteran, is featured during the annual Memorial Day weekend war movies marathon. It stars the husband-wife team of Bill Williams and Barbara Hale.

Below are just a few of TCM's May highlights; click on any hyperlinked title for my review:

...The movie series marathons kick off on May 1st with half a dozen films from the Blondie series, including BLONDIE (1938). This series starring Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake ran for a dozen years and over 20 additional entries!

...The initial movie series marathon continues through May 3rd, featuring the Mexican Spitfire films, starring Lupe Velez; the trio of Four Daughters films; 10 Maisie films, starring Ann Sothern; and a quartet of Great Gildersleeve movies starring Harold Peary (and a very young Nancy Gates!).

...The birthday tribute to Robert Osborne on the night of May 3rd includes ROBERT OSBORNE'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE (2015) and PRIVATE SCREENINGS: ROBERT OSBORNE (2014).

...Last month I really enjoyed the Western WARLOCK (1959), with Richard Widmark, Dorothy Malone, and Henry Fonda, to name just three members of an outstanding cast. It's on May 5th.

...A tribute to Anne Baxter on May 7th includes a couple very good noirish titles, CHASE A CROOKED SHADOW (1958) with Richard Todd and THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953) with Richard Conte.

...As the movie series theme continues, TCM will devote roughly 48 hours, from May 8th through 10th, to Tarzan films (starring Johnny Weissmuller, followed by Lex Barker and Gordon Scott), Jungle Jim (also starring Weissmuller), and Bomba the Jungle Boy (starring Johnny Sheffield of the Weissmuller Tarzan movies).

...The celebration of Marlene Dietrich as Star of the Month begins on the 10th. Don't miss SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932)!

...TCM is showing Dick Foran "B" Westerns every Saturday morning in May. I especially enjoyed LAND BEYOND THE LAW (1937), showing on May 12th. Wayne Morris plays Foran's sidekick, and I love the song "The Prairie is My Home," which also turns up in some of Foran's other Westerns.

...The fun Mother's Day lineup on May 13th includes BACHELOR MOTHER (1939), LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (1962), and I REMEMBER MAMA (1948).

...From May 15th through 17th, the movie series featured are the Andy Hardy series, the Five Little Peppers, Dr. Kildare, and Dr. Gillespie. I haven't seen the Peppers series yet -- it's a goal, as I read all the books as a child! -- by the other three series are all from MGM and quality entertainment.

...A wonderful nine-film Robert Montgomery birthday tribute on May 21st includes favorites HIDE-OUT (1934) with Maureen O'Sullivan and TROUBLE FOR TWO (1936) with Rosalind Russell. Both films feature charming and original romances.

...Time for more movie series on the 22nd! TCM will feature 48 hours of crime-solving mysteries, including Nancy Drew, starring Bonita Granville; Miss Marple, starring Margaret Rutherford; Torchy Blane, most starring Glenda Farrell; the Thin Man movies with William Powell and Myrna Loy; Perry Mason films, most starring Warren William; and Dick Tracy films with stars including Morgan Conway and Anne Jeffreys.

...One of my favorite pre-Codes is MARY STEVENS, M.D. (1933) starring Kay Francis, Glenda Farrell, and Lyle Talbot. It's a great exemplar of what makes a pre-Code "pre-Code"! It's being shown May 25th.

...The annual Memorial Day war movie marathon begins the evening of May 25th. It includes a great many good films, including what might be the best war film of them all, John Ford's THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945), starring Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, and Donna Reed, airing May 26th. BATTLEGROUND (1949) on May 28th is another special film, tough to watch yet beautiful, with its atmospheric snowy scenes and a great cast headed by Van Johnson, John Hodiak, and Ricardo Montalban; William Wellman directed.

...The final movie series marathon, beginning May 29th and ending on the last day of May, kicks off with Chester Morris as Boston Blackie, followed by several Bulldog Drummond films with various stars; the Saint series, mostly starring George Sanders; the Lassie and Rusty films, centered on smart dogs; and finally a pair of '60s movies featuring Flipper the Dolphin.

For more on TCM in May, please visit my Quick Preview of TCM in May and TCM's complete schedule.

Happy viewing!!


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I've got the daughter booked for Warlock. After all, she hooked me on the Marvel Universe, so it's only fair.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Sounds good!! I hope she likes it.

Hoping to see INFINITY WAR before the weekend is done!

Best wishes,

10:34 AM  

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