Tuesday, March 31, 2020

TCM in April: Highlights

Happy 26th Anniversary to Turner Classic Movies!

The network celebrates the completion of 26 years on the air on April 14, 2020.

This year will be a little different as, as anyone interested must know by now, the 2020 TCM Classic Film Festival, originally scheduled to take place in Hollywood from April 16th to 19th, has had to be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.

TCM came up with a wonderful idea for everyone stuck at home, announcing a "Special Home Edition" of the festival to take place on the network on the original festival dates.

While most of the schedule was inspired by films shown at past TCM Classic Film Festivals -- many of which I was honored to see -- there are also four films scheduled for Sunday evening which were on the 2020 schedule. It's anticipated that this year's festival schedule will be held over for the 2021 festival.

The complete "festival at home" schedule may be found here. Please note all times on the schedule are Eastern.

Update: For more information, please visit my post The TCM Classic Film Festival 2020 Special Home Edition.

On a related note, TCM host Alicia Malone has shared some of her favorite TCM movie suggestions to watch while isolating at home this month. It's a good list of upbeat films including Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Harold Lloyd, and an MGM musical -- some of my favorite "go to" kinds of films in times of stress.

The entire April schedule, including the special "at home" festival dates, may be found here.

The April Star of the Month is Jane Russell. Russell's career will be celebrated on Mondays beginning April 6th. 17 of Russell's films will be shown. I'll be taking a closer look at the Russell lineup in a separate post a few days from now. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Jane Russell.)

April's Noir Alley titles will be ADDRESS UNKNOWN (1944) on April 4th and 5th, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (1956) April 11th and 12th, and WICKED WOMAN (1953) April 25th and 26th. The latter film is memorably weird!

The previously scheduled Noir Alley film WITNESS TO MURDER (1954), originally scheduled for April 18th and 19th, has been pulled due to the at home edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival. I assume it will be rescheduled at a future date, though that may take a while as Noir Alley films are typically scheduled far in advance.

The TCM Spotlight on Thursday evenings, starting April 2nd, focuses on "New York in the '70s." Please note that the TCM Spotlight films originally scheduled for Thursday, April 16th, were moved to Tuesday the 28th to accommodate the "Festival at Home" schedule.

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

...On Wednesday, April 1st, TCM will celebrate the centennial of Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune. I've seen several of the films on the schedule and while they are all good, my highest recommendation goes to the crime drama HIGH AND LOW (1963). It's a gripping film which maintains audience attention for all of its 144 minutes.

...April 2nd begins with a trio of Joan Fontaine films, including the very enjoyable "B" film THE MAN WHO FOUND HIMSELF (1937), in which charming young Joan helps a troubled doctor (John Beal). It was directed by "B" film specialist Lew Landers.

...A day of films about maids and household staffers on April 3rd includes the very entertaining 58-minute "B" film PERSONAL MAID'S SECRET (1936) starring Margaret Lindsay, Ruth Donnelly, and Anita Louise; the latter two actresses are seen here. I've watched this one a couple of times and really enjoyed on both occasions.

...On April 4th the schedule includes the superb Anthony Mann Western WINCHESTER '73 (1950) starring James Stewart and an outstanding cast.

...The classic World War II "British homefront" drama MRS. MINIVER (1942), starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, airs on April 5th. William Wyler directed. Perhaps this is a good month to remember others who went through tough times -- and prevailed.

...While the world battles the coronavirus, why not be distracted by a day of battling sci-fi monsters? April 7th features some terrific films including THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953), seen here, and THEM! (1954), to name just two.

...Later on April 7th it's the TCM premiere of one of my very favorite film noir titles, 20th Century-Fox's CRY OF THE CITY (1948). Victor Mature and Richard Conte star, directed by film noir master Robert Siodmak. I highly recommend catching this one.

...A day of minor MGM musicals on April 8th includes LADY BE GOOD (1941), with Eleanor Powell, Robert Young, and Ann Sothern leading an excellent cast. The score includes the Oscar-winning "The Last Time I Saw Paris." Even "lesser" MGM musicals were top quality!

...Stay-at-homers can enjoy a wonderful day of pre-Codes on April 9th, including favorites such as FEMALE (1933) with Ruth Chatteron and George Brent and HOLD YOUR MAN (1933) with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.

...THE UNSUSPECTED (1947) is a very entertaining crime drama starring Claude Rains, Joan Caulfield, Audrey Totter, and Constance Bennett. It airs on April 10th.

...The Easter Sunday schedule on April 12th will include, as always, EASTER PARADE (1948) starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland, with Ann Miller and Peter Lawford offering delightful support.

...April 13th is a full day of MGM musicals directed by Stanley Donen. Along with big-name favorites like SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954) and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952), the schedule includes one of my favorite lesser-known films from MGM, GIVE A GIRL A BREAK (1953). Debbie Reynolds, Bob Fosse, and Marge and Gower Champion star. It's a delight.

...TCM honors actor Clifton Webb on the evening of April 14th with four wonderful films: CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (1950), THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS (1956), LAURA (1944), and SITTING PRETTY (1948). They're all really good -- LAURA is one of my all-time favorite films -- but I want to particularly call attention to THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS which I saw for the first time just a few weeks ago. It's an outstanding WWII spy drama.

...April 15th is a day of seven Fred Astaire films, consisting of half a dozen of his films with Ginger Rogers plus the marvelous THE BAND WAGON (1953) with Cyd Charisse. A marvelous day!

...The Special Home Edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival kicks off on the evening of Thursday, April 16th, with A STAR IS BORN (1954). As mentioned above, the at-home festival runs through Sunday the 19th. A highlight from the first night's schedule, shown in the wee hours of the 17th, is NEPTUNE'S DAUGHTER (1949) starring Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban, Betty Garrett, and Red Skelton.

...I was present for the 2016 TCMFF screening of another favorite film, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949), introduced at the festival by Keith Carradine. John Wayne leads a terrific cast in this classic John Ford film, which also "stars" the Oscar-winning Technicolor photography of Winton Hoch. SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON will be shown on the 17th.

...The pre-Code DOUBLE HARNESS (1933), starring William Powell and Ann Harding, is legendary among TCMFF attendees for drawing crowds of such sizes that more people were probably turned away than got in to its two screenings, so I love that TCM included it on the April 18th "festival at home" schedule! (Incidentally, when I saw I wouldn't get into the initial screening of DOUBLE HARNESS I ended up down the street at the Egyptian for HE RAN ALL THE WAY, which turned out to be an excellent backup choice!)

...On April 19th, the final night of the Special Home Edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival will include FLOYD NORMAN: AN ANIMATED LIFE (2016), about the longtime Disney animator. Mr. Norman was due to be honored at this year's festival, and I hope that will be able to take place in 2021!

...A day of film noir and crime films on April 20th includes Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford in GILDA (1946), which I just reviewed after seeing it at this year's truncated Noir City Hollywood Festival.

...The April 21st schedule has some terrific crime films, first with a train theme and then switching to films about homicidal husbands. The lineup includes two of the very best train films, THE LADY VANISHES (1938) and THE NARROW MARGIN (1952), and I can't recommend them highly enough. Later in the day the lineup includes JULIE (1956), which I just rewatched a few weeks ago. Barry Sullivan and Frank Lovejoy try to save Doris Day from her murderous hubby, Louis Jourdan; by the end of the film stewardess Doris is at the controls landing a plane! Great fun to watch.

...You can't find better distraction than MY MAN GODFREY (1936), one of the all-time classic screwball comedies of the '30s, starring William Powell and Carole Lombard. It's on April 24th.

...On April 25th TCM will be showing a favorite little film I just watched last week, A DATE WITH JUDY (1948) starring Jane Powell and Elizabeth Taylor. The Technicolor photography by Robert Surtees is gorgeous, and the song "It's a Most Unusual Day" is guaranteed to lift spirits.

...Another MGM film I'm fond of is MUSIC FOR MILLIONS (1944) starring June Allyson, Margaret O'Brien, and Marsha Hunt. It airs on April 27th.

...The month wraps up with a tribute to Eve Arden on April 30th, including a favorite romantic comedy, THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE (1948), shown on TCM under its alternate title, ONE FOR THE BOOK. Eleanor Parker and Ronald Reagan are top-billed in a charming romance.

For more on TCM in April 2020, please visit my posts Quick Preview of TCM in April and TCM Star of the Month: Jane Russell, along with TCM's complete schedule.

Update: Here's a special post on the TCM Classic Film Festival 2020 Special Home Edition.


Blogger dfordoom said...

The Unsuspected is a very good little movie. Audrey Totter is of course awesome.

Wicked Woman sounds great! Totally unavailable here unfortunately.

And I agree about Cry of the City. Victor Mature is very underrated. When he was given a good rĂ´le he was excellent.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I really like THE UNSUSPECTED. I was fortunate to see it at UCLA as part of a Michael Curtiz series a couple of years ago. Glad to know you also like CRY OF THE CITY!

WICKED WOMAN is such an odd but fun movie. Hope it will be available in your country before long.

Best wishes,

6:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older