Sunday, March 01, 2020

TCM in March: Highlights

The annual 31 Days of Oscar series on Turner Classic Movies concludes this year on Monday, March 2nd.

TCM's March schedule then kicks off in earnest on March 3rd. There's a terrific month ahead on TCM, including the return of Noir Alley, the TCM Spotlight series Life at Sea every Monday, and much more.

The March Star of the Month is Joe E. Brown. Over 20 Brown films will be shown on Wednesday evenings this month. Please note that there will not be a separate Star of the Month post for March.

After taking February off for Oscar month, Noir Alley returns on March 7th and 8th with Robert Montgomery's excellent RIDE THE PINK HORSE (1947) from Universal Pictures. The March Noir Alley schedule also features Betty Grable and Victor Mature in Fox's I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941) on March 14th and 15th, the French film ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (1958) on the 21st and 22nd, and one of my all-time favorites, CRIME WAVE (1954), on March 28th-29th. I strongly recommend all three of the Noir Alley films I've previously seen.

Although the 20th Century-Fox musicals THREE LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE (1946) and THE SHOCKING MISS PILGRIM (1947) are now blank spots on TCM's online schedule, other TCM sources confirm they are airing this month, on March 10th and March 31st, respectively. MISS PILGRIM is a TCM premiere. Be sure to calendar those dates!

Also, a note that RAILS INTO LARAMIE (1954), which I mentioned in my March preview, has disappeared from the schedule. I'll be watching for it to hopefully return to the schedule at a future date.

Here are just a few of TCM's March highlights; please click on any hyperlinked title for an extended review.

...It seems as though it's been a while since TCM showed I WANT YOU (1951), which airs on March 2nd. Dana Andrews plays a WWII veteran returning to service for the Korean War. The top cast includes Dorothy McGuire, Peggy Dow, Farley Granger, Martin Milner, Robert Keith, Ray Collins, and Jim Backus. Mark Robson directed. This film had a VHS release but to my knowledge has never been released on DVD or Blu-ray.

...Jean Harlow receives a seven-film birthday tribute on March 3rd, including the very pre-Code RED-HEADED WOMAN (1932) and the classic comedy LIBELED LADY (1936).

...The first night of Joe E. Brown films on March 4th includes the 20th Century-Fox musical PIN UP GIRL (1944) starring Betty Grable.

...There will be a 24-hour memorial tribute to Kirk Douglas on March 5th. Eleven Douglas films will be shown, beginning with his first film, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946). I particularly recommend OUT OF THE PAST (1947), THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952), seen here with Lana Turner, and SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964). I'll be recording ALONG THE GREAT DIVIDE (1951), a Western I've never seen with fave Virginia Mayo.

...THE LAW AND JAKE WADE (1958), starring Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark, will be shown on March 7th. I visited the site of the movie's ghost town location at last fall's Lone Pine Film Festival.

...On March 8th Clifton Webb stars as the unorthodox child minder Mr. Belvedere in SITTING PRETTY (1948). Maureen O'Hara and Robert Young play the harried parents of three little boys.

...Later on the 8th there's a two-film prime time tribute to James Stewart consisting of THE RARE BREED (1966) and THE FAR COUNTRY (1954), a very good Anthony Mann Western I revisited last December.

...The Life at Sea series begins on March 9th. The day's theme is shipwrecks, with titles including THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932) starring Joel McCrea, ABANDON SHIP (1957) starring Tyrone Power, and THE LAST VOYAGE (1960) with Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone. Despite my love for Tyrone Power, I've never watched ABANDON SHIP, as I hear it's a very tough watch.

...There's a terrific seven-film tribute to actor Reginald Denny which starts in prime time on Thursday, March 12th. Titles include PRIVATE LIVES (1931) with Robert Montgomery, Norma Shearer, and Una Merkel and Cecil B. DeMille's nutty, highly entertaining MADAM SATAN (1930), costarring Kay Johnson. I've written here in the past about Denny's fascinating sideline as a drone inventor; last fall a book on Denny was published, PRINCE OF DRONES by his granddaughter, Kimberly Pucci.

...The very good romantic comedy FIFTH AVENUE GIRL (1939), starring Ginger Rogers and Tim Holt, is on the schedule March 13th.

...Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, and Rory Calhoun star in the entertaining Western RIVER OF NO RETURN (1954) on March 14th.

...A Sunday evening double bill on March 15th features women disguised as children. Billy Wilder's THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (1942), starring Ginger Rogers (left) and Ray Milland, still works beautifully nearly 80 years after it was filmed.

...The March 16th lineup of "sea" films includes Errol Flynn in the classic THE SEA HAWK (1940), which also stars Erich Wolfgang Korngold's dazzling musical score.

...This year's St. Patrick's Day schedule includes Marion Davies in PEG O' MY HEART (1933) and a prime time lineup of Irish-themed films directed by John Ford: THE RISING OF THE MOON (1957), YOUNG CASSIDY (1965), and, of course, THE QUIET MAN (1952).

...There's a Robert Montgomery film I've never seen airing on March 18th: BIOGRAPHY OF A BACHELOR GIRL (1935), costarring Ann Harding. It's also scheduled to air on the 29th.

...There's more unseen Montgomery on March 19th, with WAR NURSE (1930), also starring Anita Page. It's part of a lineup of films about nurses and doctors serving in war zones.

...The evening of the 19th there's a marvelous series of films about Wyatt Earp, including a trio of superb films: MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946), WICHITA (1955), and WINCHESTER '73 (1950), in which Earp makes a brief appearance in the person of Will Geer. I'm also fond of the minor yet enjoyable BADMAN'S COUNTRY (1958), with Buster Crabbe as Earp and George Montgomery as Pat Garrett. It's a wonderful night of viewing on TCM.

...ANY NUMBER CAN PLAY (1949), airing on March 20th, is an excellent drama with Clark Gable and an all-star cast. Gable plays the owner of a high-class gambling establishment whose doctor tells him he must retire to a quiet life due to a heart condition. Alexis Smith is his wife, and there's a terrific supporting role for Barry Sullivan as Gable's loyal, bespectacled aide who dotes on an unseen ill wife but shows himself capable of near-lethal punches. The supporting cast includes Audrey Totter, Wendell Corey, Mary Astor, Darryl Hickman, Frank Morgan, Leon Ames, Lewis Stone, and William Conrad. That's MGM entertainment for you!

...I need to see D-DAY THE SIXTH OF JUNE (1956), starring Robert Taylor, Richard Todd, and Dana Wynter. It's on March 22nd.

...The "Life at Sea" series on March 23rd focuses on war films, including John Ford's great THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945) with Robert Montgomery and John Wayne. I also enjoyed the submarine movie TORPEDO RUN (1958), starring Glenn Ford. The excellent supporting cast includes Dean Jones, Ernest Borgnine, and Robert Hardy.

...On March 24th a tribute to silent filmmaker Alice Guy-Blache kicks off with the documentary BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHE (2018), which incidentally was recently released on DVD by Kino Lorber.

...It's Maureen O'Hara Day on March 25th, with a lineup of seven films including JAMAICA INN (1939) and THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943).

...Sterling Hayden's March 26th birthday is celebrated with seven films including SUDDENLY (1954), playing a small-town sheriff contending with a would-be Presidential assassin (Frank Sinatra).

...I love the title TRUCK BUSTERS (1943); it's a "B" movie airing on March 28th. It's nothing special, but a quick and entertaining 58 minutes.

...TCM is hosting a Mankiewicz Family Weekend March 27th-29th. The seven titles shown include the odd yet marvelous PEOPLE WILL TALK (1951), starring Cary Grant and Jeanne Crain, shown on the 28th. The sequence with model trains is a favorite of my entire family.

...THREE DARING DAUGHTERS (1948), shown on March 30th, is an opportunity to pay tribute to former child actress Ann E. Todd, who recently passed away. Todd, Jane Powell, and Elinor Donahue play the title roles as Jeanette MacDonald's daughters.

...March 31st features a baseball theme all day, including James Stewart and June Allyson in THE STRATTON STORY (1949), followed by an evening of films which are part of a centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment, including ADVENTURE IN BALTIMORE (1949) starring Shirley Temple, John Agar, and Robert Young.

For those who are interested, here's Joel Williams' breakdown of the movies airing on TCM this month by decade. Over 24% of this month's movies are from the 1930s.

And here is TCM's March video montage via the TCM Twitter account.

For more information on Turner Classic Movies in March 2019, please visit the full TCM schedule along with my post Quick Preview of TCM in March.

Happy March viewing on TCM!


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Looking forward to two I haven't seen in quite a while, People Will Talk and I Want You.

Sorry to hear about Rails to Laramie "disappearing". The same thing happened to "Destry Rides Again" a few months back.

I'm actually looking forward to seeing more of Joe E. Brown. My attitude toward him has softened somewhat in recent years, and we may be pals before March is over.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Dr. OTR said...

I've never seen any Joe E Brown films If I watched only one or two this month, which ones would be most recommended?

12:49 PM  
Blogger Lee R said...

So happy Oscars month is finally over. It's the one month of the year I avoid TCM like the plague. Every movie has been shown 600 times already on TCM. Don't really need to watch a 601st time.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm belatedly catching up on comments after a crazy early March. Caftan Woman, I'll be watching and hoping that RAILS INTO LARAMIE turns up on the TCM schedule in the future!

Dr. OTR, I've seen so few Joe E. Brown films that sadly I cannot give particular recommendations.

Hope you are enjoying the March schedule, Lee!

Best wishes,

11:55 AM  

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