Sunday, March 31, 2019

TCM in April: Highlights

Happy Silver Anniversary to Turner Classic Movies!

TCM celebrates its 25th anniversary on April 14, 2019. That is also the closing day of the 10th annual TCM Classic Film Festival, which runs this year from April 11th through 14th. Many more details regarding the festival may be found in my overview of the schedule.

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), the first film ever shown on TCM, will air in prime time on April 14th.

Greta Garbo is the April Star of the Month, her fourth time for that honor. She was Star of the Month in May 1994, just after TCM went on the air, so it's particularly appropriate that she be recognized again this Silver Anniversary month.

The Star of the Month screenings for April are being compressed into a single week. 23 Garbo films are scheduled to be shown on the evenings of April 1st through 5th, along with a documentary. Please note there will not be a separate Star of the Month post for April.

The April Noir Alley titles are 99 RIVER STREET (1953) on April 6th and 7th, NOBODY LIVES FOREVER (1946) the 13th/14th, WOMAN ON THE RUN (1950) April 20th and 21st, and M (1951) on April 27th and 28th.

As a side note, Southern Californians also have the opportunity to see 99 RIVER STREET on Monday, April 1st, at the Noir City Hollywood Festival. I've seen the rest of this month's Noir Alley films at past Noir City fests and am looking forward to seeing 99 RIVER STREET on a big screen for the first time!

Below are just a few of the highlights from the April schedule; click on any hyperlinked title for the related review:

...TCM celebrates Debbie Reynolds' birthday on April 1st. The seven titles include the enjoyable minor MGM musical I LOVE MELVIN (1953) with Donald O'Connor.

...THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946) is an interesting noirish crime film starring Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott, and Kirk Douglas. It's showing on April 2nd and rerunning on the 18th.

...LIVING ON VELVET (1935) is a good Warner Bros. melodrama starring Kay Francis, George Brent, and Warren William. It's on in the early hours of April 3rd.

...For those who can't make it to this year's TCM Classic Film Festival, there's a great opportunity to watch MY FAVORITE WIFE (1940) on April 4th. MY FAVORITE WIFE stars Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Randolph Scott, and Gail Patrick. I plan to see it at this year's festival!

...The beautiful silent Greta Garbo film FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926) will be shown on the evening of April 4th. This is a particularly great title for those who are new to Garbo to check out.

...There's more top-notch Garbo on April 5th when TCM shows the Ernst Lubitsch comedy NINOTCHKA (1939). The movie costars Melvyn Douglas in one of his best roles.

...Two of my all-time favorite films play back to back on Sunday, April 7th: YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942), starring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, is followed by ANGEL AND THE BADMAN (1947) with John Wayne and Gail Russell.

...An evening of films featuring female detectives on April 8th includes the marvelous Hitchcock film THE LADY VANISHES (1938) starring Margaret Lockwood. I didn't see this one until about 10 years ago but it quickly zoomed onto my short list of favorite Hitchcock films. Highly recommended.

...April 9th is a great day for Kay Francis fans, with a whopping ten of her films on the schedule. I FOUND STELLA PARISH (1935) is a good exemplar of a Francis melodrama, as she suffers nobly wearing fabulous Orry-Kelly gowns. Between this day and LIVING ON VELVET earlier in the month, Francis fans have plenty to keep their DVR's humming!

...The evening of April 9th features male detectives, with some really enjoyable films including Louis Hayward in THE SAINT IN NEW YORK (1938) and George Sanders in THE GAY FALCON (1941). I particularly enjoy Chester Morris in MEET BOSTON BLACKIE (1941). It's quite delightful, with a good plot and a particularly witty script along with a very good performance by Morris.

...A day of '50s melodramas on April 10th includes Lana Turner in the interesting A LIFE OF HER OWN (1950), costarring Ray Milland.

...The night of the 10th features husband and wife detective teams, including fun films such as Melvyn Douglas and Florence Rice in FAST COMPANY (1938), Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (1993), William Powell and Jean Arthur in THE EX-MRS. BRADFORD (1936), and Robert Montgomery and Constance Cummings in HAUNTED HONEYMOON (1940). I am loving the detective series featured that week!

...The evening of April 11th features several Westerns, including one of my all-time favorites, Randolph Scott in RIDE LONESOME (1959). It has a great supporting cast in James Coburn, Lee Van Cleef, and a surprisingly marvelous Pernell Roberts.

...It's musicals day on April 12th, with the lineup including a favorite of mine, LOVELY TO LOOK AT (1952). LOVELY TO LOOK at features the music of Jerome Kern and a cast including Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Marge and Gower Champion, Ann Miller, and Red Skelton.

...There are even more musicals on the 13th! Several MGM films are shown that day, including Keel, Grayson and Miller in the very entertaining KISS ME KATE (1953).

...I just saw IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) again last weekend and fell in love with it all over again. What better day to watch it than on TCM's 25th Anniversary on April 14th?

...The memorable pre-Code melodrama RIPTIDE (1934), starring Norma Shearer, Herbert Marshall, and Robert Montgomery, will be shown on Monday the 15th.

...A day of films set in Egypt on April 17th includes the Jeanette MacDonald espionage film CAIRO (1942), which I reviewed last fall. Robert Young costars.

...On Friday, April 18th, TCM is showing a film I like a lot, IMPACT (1949), with Brian Donlevy and Ella Raines. I keep hoping this one will turn up at a film noir festival! It has wonderful location shooting in San Francisco and Larkspur, California.

...Spring is the theme on April 19th. I especially recommend Margaret O'Brien and Dean Stockwell in THE SECRET GARDEN (1949), an excellent adaptation of the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

...Easter Sunday features EASTER PARADE (1948), of course! That movie is part of the soundtrack of the holiday for me, every Easter afternoon for most of my life.

...A day of films with Eddie Albert on April 21st includes FOUR DAUGHTERS (1939). I've had a yen to rewatch this series and just ordered the complete set in a Warner Archive sale! Very much recommended.

...Shirley Temple's birthday is celebrated on April 23rd with a really excellent lineup of eight films, including THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBY-SOXER (1947), another film showing at this year's TCM Classic Film Festival. It stars Cary Grant, Myrna Lloy, and Rudy Vallee. The day also includes ADVENTURE IN BALTIMORE (1949) and FORT APACHE (1948). It's a wonderful day to sit on the couch and watch one movie after another!

...The peerless Lubitsch classic THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, will be shown on the evening of April 25th.

...The Saturday morning lineup on April 27th includes George O'Brien and Laraine Day (billed as Laraine Johnson) in one of their three films together, THE PAINTED DESERT (1938). There's some very nice singing by Ray Whitley and the Phelps Brothers and good location shooting at California's Red Rock Canyon.

...A wonderful treat on the evening of Sunday, April 28th: Three Japanese films directed by Yasujiro Ozu, PASSING FANCY (1933), AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON (1962), and THE END OF SUMMER (1961).

...The evening of April 29th features several interview programs with Robert Osborne, as well as a new special, BEST OF PRIVATE SCREENINGS (2019).

...April wraps up on April 30th with a night of Mountie-themed movies including Errol Flynn in NORTHERN PURSUIT (1943), Stewart Granger and Wendell Corey in THE WILD NORTH (1952), and James Craig and William Lundigan in NORTHWEST RANGERS (1942).

For more on TCM in April 2019, please visit my post Quick Preview of TCM in April and TCM's complete online schedule.


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