Saturday, September 28, 2019

TCM in October: Highlights

October is just about here, so it's time for a close look at the upcoming month's schedule on Turner Classic Movies!

The October Star of the Month is Paul Muni. Over 18 Muni films will be shown on Monday evenings in October. Please note there will not be a separate Star of the Month post for October.

Wednesdays will feature a fantastic series, "Short & Sweet," spotlighting 100 movies with running times of 75 minutes or less. The films will begin each Wednesday morning and continue through prime time.

"Short & Sweet" is really my kind of series! The films are grouped in 10 different genres, including romances, Westerns, musicals, and gangster films, to name a few. I've seen many of the films in the series and will be highlighting a number of titles below.

October Thursdays will focus on "Horror Classics," while Friday nights are devoted to Godzilla movies.

October's Noir Alley films are TRAPPED (1949) on October 5th and 6th, CLASH BY NIGHT (1952) October 12th and 13th, THIS GUN FOR HIRE (1942) on the 19th and 20th, and FORCE OF EVIL (1948) on October 26th/27th.

I really enjoyed TRAPPED, which was restored by UCLA; I was able to see it at both the Noir City Hollywood and Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs earlier this year. THIS GUN FOR HIRE with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake is also terrific.

Saturday morning programming in October will include Traveltalk shorts, Popeye cartoons, Ruth Roman in the JUNGLE QUEEN (1945) serial, Bowery Boys films, and a slate of minor crime movies: BULLETS FOR O'HARA (1941), airing October 5th, CODE OF THE SECRET SERVICE (1939) on the 12th, ESCAPE FROM CRIME (1942) on October 19th, and EXPERIMENT ALCATRAZ (1950) on October 26th.

Finally, a reminder that the Silent Sunday Nights series is now hosted by Jacqueline Stewart, a professor from the University of Chicago.

Here are a few more of the interesting titles being shown on TCM this month. Please click any hyperlinked title to read the corresponding film review.

...There are a number of lesser-known musicals airing on Tuesday, October 1st, including Jane Powell in THE GIRL MOST LIKELY (1958). It was the final film made at RKO and includes location shooting which took place on Balboa Island here in Orange County.

...The Short & Sweet series begins on Wednesday, October 2nd, with 11 romances, followed by 10 romantic comedies. Many -- but not all -- of the films are from the pre-Code era; the first day's schedule also includes the mid-'50s film INDISCRETION OF AN AMERICAN WIFE (1954). On this day I particularly recommend George Brent and Jean Muir in the charming DESIRABLE (1934) and Warren William and Marian Marsh in the delightfully amusing BEAUTY AND THE BOSS (1932), with a fun supporting performance by Charles Butterworth. There are many more worthwhile films on that date, including UNION DEPOT (1932) and JEWEL ROBBERY (1932) to name just two more titles.

...Thursday, October 3rd, features films set in Texas, including COW COUNTRY (1953), a "darn good Western" with Edmond O'Brien leading a strong cast. A foreign version of the poster is seen here.

...Later on the 3rd, the Horror Classics kick off for the month with James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Jack Lemmon in BELL BOOK AND CANDLE (1958).

...The Godzilla films start up on Friday night, October 4th, with GODZILLA (1954), known as GOJIRA in its native Japan.

...Short & Sweet continues with Westerns and war movies on October 9th. I really like the Johnny Mack Brown Western FLAME OF THE WEST (1945), and the schedule also includes good stuff like Wild Bill Elliott in THE LONGHORN (1951) and Randolph Scott in RIDE LONESOME (1959), one of the best short Westerns ever. There's also a fascinating look at the High Sierras town of Bodie, now a ghost town but filmed when it was still inhabited in 1929 for William Wyler's HELL'S HEROES (1930), one of the earliest surviving versions of the THREE GODFATHERS story which has been filmed multiple times.

...Short & Sweet switches to war films in the evening on the 9th, including the memorable and unsettling ADDRESS UNKNOWN (1944). I saw this film starring Paul Lukas at the 2017 Noir City Film Festival; it really stays with you.

...The goofy and entertaining QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (1958), with Zsa Zsa Gabor in the title role, will be shown October 10th.

...A tribute to George Stevens on October 11th includes several good films, including THE MORE THE MERRIER (1943). This delightful romantic comedy starring Joel McCrea, Jean Arthur, and Charles Coburn cannot be recommended too many times! Always delightful no matter how many times you've seen it...and if it's a first-time watch, the viewer is in for a real treat.

...The four-star classic LAURA (1944), with Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney leading a great cast, will be shown in prime time on Sunday, October 13th.

...A day of William Powell and Myrna Loy films on October 15th includes one of my favorite comedies, LIBELED LADY (1936), in which they costar with Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow.

...A scheduling note, since I highlighted this film in my October Preview last summer: It appears that the Irene Dunne film IT GROWS ON TREES (1952) has been dropped from the schedule; it was originally listed for October 15th. It no longer shows up on the monthly schedule or the Pacific Time version of the daily schedule, yet as I write, it still shows up on the daily schedule for a couple other time zones. I'll be watching this issue and update this post if I learn more.

...21 gangster and film noir titles will be shown as part of Short & Sweet on October 16th. I've seen the vast majority of the movies and could happily watch the entire day's lineup! There are many short yet memorable titles on the schedule, including Ricardo Cortez, Loretta Young and Franchot Tone in William Wellman's MIDNIGHT MARY (1933), seen here; Young and James Cagney in TAXI! (1932; Joan Blondell and Chester Morris in BLONDIE JOHNSON (1933); DILLINGER (1945) with Lawrence Tierney and Anne Jeffreys; KID GLOVE KILLER (1942) with Van Heflin and Marsha Hunt; and several more terrific films.

...A marvelous October 17th birthday tribute to Jean Arthur includes the charming IF YOU COULD ONLY COOK (1935), costarring Herbert Marshall (seen at left). It's another day with several great films in a row!

...The top-notch ghostly romance THE UNINVITED (1944) airs in prime time on October 17th. Ray Milland, Gail Russell, and Ruth Hussey star.

...The classic screwball comedy MY MAN GODFREY (1936), starring William Powell and Carole Lombard, will be shown October 20th.

...Musicals and comedies are the focus of Short & Sweet on October 23rd. I love RKO's WALKING ON AIR (1936) with Ann Sothern and Gene Raymond. (TCM accidentally showed this film stretched to widescreen a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping this showing will be in the film's appropriate Academy ratio.) Also on the 23rd: THE AFFAIRS OF DOBIE GILLIS (1953) with Bobby Van, Debbie Reynolds, and Bob Fosse.

...Earlier this year I reviewed Ginger Rogers in PROFESSIONAL SWEETHEART (1933). It's airing on October 25th.

...I revisited A KISS BEFORE DYING (1956) at this year's Noir City Hollywood Festival. I especially like the mystery-solving second half of this film which stars Robert Wagner, Joanne Woodward, Jeffrey Hunter, and Virginia Leith. I'ts shown October 27th.

...An excellent day of crime films on October 29th includes Marie Windsor in DOUBLE DEAL (1950), Lawrence Tierney and Claire Trevor in BORN TO KILL (1947), and Laraine Day, Bob Cummings, and Jean Muir in AND ONE WAS BEAUTIFUL (1940).

...The final day of Short & Sweet films on October 30th showcases short mystery and horror films. Titles include the very enjoyable TROUBLE FOR TWO (1936) with Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943) starring Frances Dee and Tom Conway.

For more on TCM in October 2019, please visit my Quick Preview of TCM in October along with the complete online schedule posted by TCM.

Happy October viewing!


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I have been threatening (should I use a different word?) my daughter with This Gun for Hire. Timing is everything!

Short and Sweet will have my undivided attention. Cow Country will be "new" to me - Thanks.

Warm sweaters, hot chocolate and TCM. October is shaping up to be my favourite month.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

It really will be a wonderful viewing month, Caftan Woman! I hope your daughter likes THIS GUN FOR HIRE. :)

And I hope you enjoy COW COUNTRY, I think it should be your kind of movie!

Best wishes,

4:54 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Thank you for this fantastic guide, Laura! I think I'm going to have to call in sick on Oct. 16th. Or use my version of the famous JAWS quote, "I'm gonna need a bigger DVR."

12:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're very welcome, Jonathan! Glad to know its been helpful as you plan your viewing! Hope you enjoy lots of great things ahead this month on TCM. :)

Best wishes,

12:58 PM  

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