Friday, May 01, 2020

TCM in May: Highlights

It's time to take a look at the May schedule for Turner Classic Movies!

Edward G. Robinson is the May Star of the Month. A total of 29 Robinson films will be shown on Thursday evenings in May, beginning on May 7th. I'll have a closer look at that schedule posted here next week. (Update: Please visit TCM Star of the Month: Edward G. Robinson.)

This month's TCM Spotlight focuses on Asian Americans on Film on May 6th, 13th, and 20th.

Another special series, Wonder Women, will be hosted by TCM's Alicia Malone and Jacqueline Stewart on Tuesdays, starting on May 5th.

The May Noir Alley films are FALLEN ANGEL (1945) on May 2nd and 3rd; MILDRED PIERCE (1945) on Mother's Day weekend, May 9th and 10th; THE CRIMSON KIMONO (1959) May 16th and 17th; CORNERED (1945) on Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd and 24th; and A KISS BEFORE DYING (1956) on May 30th and 31st.

I've seen all the Noir Alley films excepting THE CRIMSON KIMONO; they're all worthwhile, but I particularly recommend the 20th Century-Fox film FALLEN ANGEL, starring Dana Andrews, Alice Faye, and Linda Darnell. It's terrific, and for good measure it has interesting location shooting which took place in nearby Orange, California.

Director Brad Bird, whose films include animated gems including THE INCREDIBLES (2004) and RATATOUILLE (2007), debuts as cohost of THE ESSENTIALS on Saturday evening, May 2nd, showing SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952). Some of the additional titles he'll be hosting are THE GENERAL (1926), THE RED SHOES (1948), THE SEARCHERS (1956), and OUT OF THE PAST (1947), to name a few.

Bird was interviewed about his upcoming appearances on TCM by Variety.

Listed below are just a few of TCM's May highlights; click on any hyperlinked title for my past review.

...John Ford's classic MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946), with Henry Fonda, Victor Mature, Linda Darnell, and Walter Brennan heading a superb cast, airs on Saturday, May 2nd. It's a Darnell/20th Century-Fox "two-fer" that day, as FALLEN ANGEL airs that evening.

...This Sunday, May 3rd, is a special evening of three pre-Code premieres on TCM: THE SILVER CORD (1933), THE SIN OF NORA MORAN (1933), and ONCE TO EVERY WOMAN (1934). I'm especially excited about THE SILVER CORD, which I first saw a decade ago, as it stars favorites Joel McCrea, Irene Dunne, and Frances Dee. The SILVER CORD plot, about an ultra-obsessive mother unhappy about her sons marrying, is a wild one. As someone who increasingly admires Fay Wray I'm also particularly looking forward to ONCE TO EVERY WOMAN.

...A day of films with psychological themes on May 4th includes one of my favorite Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films, CAREFREE (1938). It might be slightly more screwball comedy than musical, but either way it's highly enjoyable.

...SOMBRERO (1953) isn't a perfect film, but it features really gorgeous Technicolor, and what a cast! Starring in three intertwining love stories are Ricardo Montalban, Pier Angeli, Yvonne DeCarlo, Cyd Charisse, and more. It airs on the 5th.

...Ida Lupino stars in THE MAN I LOVE (1947) on March 8th. It's another imperfect yet interesting film, with an excellent cast. Raoul Walsh directed.

...Mother's Day will be celebrated on May 10th with a lineup including THREE DARING DAUGHTERS (1948), LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (1962), and BABY BOOM (1987).

...TCM celebrates tap dancing with "Tip Top Tap" on May 11th. Featured stars include Bill Robinson, Eleanor Powell, and Ann Miller. The 1978 documentary NO MAPS ON MY TAPS will be shown twice in the evening hours.

...I really enjoyed THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET (1957) when I saw it years ago. This version stars Jennifer Jones, Bill Travers, and John Gielgud. It's on May 13th.

...I've never seen SONG OF INDIA (1949), also airing on the 13th as part of the Asian Americans on Film series. Sabu, Gail Russell, and Turhan Bey star. I've always loved Russell, and though I haven't seen much of his work, I thought Bey was delightful in OUT OF THE BLUE (1947).

...A day of films directed by Vincent Sherman on the 14th includes the excellent THE HARD WAY (1943) starring Ida Lupino, Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, and Jack Carson.

...Jules Dassin's THE NAKED CITY (1948) airs on May 17th. It's a terrific police procedural which I had planned to see on the big screen for the first time at this year's Noir City Hollywood festival, which had to be cancelled before that film was shown. If the festival resumes later in the year perhaps I'll still have that chance.

...An evening of college musicals on May 18th includes the always-delightful GOOD NEWS (1947), directed by Charles Walters and starring June Allyson and Peter Lawford.

...Allyson also stars in THE GIRL IN WHITE (1952), part of the Wonder Women series on May 19th. It's a well-done film about a pioneering woman physician.

...On May 21st TCM will celebrate the birthday of one of my favorite actors, Robert Montgomery. I've seen seven of the eight films showing that day; there are several good titles, including HIDE-OUT (1934), but I especially want to call attention to FUGITIVE LOVERS (1934). To my knowledge, FUGITIVE LOVERS hasn't been shown on TCM for many, many years, nor is it available via the Warner Archive. Montgomery's frequent costar Madge Evans is the leading lady, and the film also has beautiful cinematography. Be sure to see it!

...As always, TCM will commemorate Memorial Day with a full weekend of war films, which run from May 23rd through 25th. The series begins on the 23rd with John Ford's Colonial era film DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK (1939), starring Claudette Colbert and Henry Fonda. This colorful film was my introduction to Ford, as it played often on local television when I was growing up.

...The lineup on the 24th includes ASSIGNMENT IN BRITTANY (1943), a tale of French Resistance fighters starring Jean-Pierre Aumont and Susan Peters.

...Monday's Memorial Day films culminate in a series of titles with a "homecoming" theme, including an excellent film by that very name, HOMECOMING (1948), which deserves to be much better known. Clark Gable, Lana Turner, and Anne Baxter star, directed by Mervyn LeRoy.

...A perfect cozy film for our present challenging days airs on May 26th: I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING! (1945) starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey.

...More movie joy on May 27th: Doris Day and Howard Keel in CALAMITY JANE (1953). Makes me smile every time.

...I love the schedule on May 28th, when TCM honors Don DeFore with seven films and a short. The good films that day include IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE (1947) and TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949). Although it's not showing that day, I'd also like to recommend my favorite DeFore role, a terrific supporting turn in the Western RAMROD (1947) starring Joel McCrea.

...TCM honors actress Jean Peters on the evening of May 29th. A trio of good films will be shown: PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953), THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (1954), and NIAGARA (1953), seen here with Max Showalter (aka Casey Adams). I like all three of these films and particularly enjoy her cheerful "all-American girl/NancyDrew" persona in NIAGARA.

...May closes out on the 31st with some great escapism: KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1950) starring Stewart Granger, Deborah Kerr, and Richard Carlson.

For more on TCM in May 2020, please visit my Quick Preview of TCM in May and TCM Star of the Month: Edward G. Robinson along with TCM's official schedule.

Happy movie viewing!


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I introduced the family to The Crimson Kimono a few New Year's Eve's ago. And since I can't recall the exact year, we are probably past due for a rewatch.

We're all sure to enjoy Eddie G. as the star of the month. The Wonder Women spotlight sounds intriguing.

As I recall, Song of India was a run-of-the-mill matinee type adventure, but when you like the actors, you forgive a lot.

Drums Along the Mohawk sounds like a marvelous introduction to Ford. My daughter's was The Prisoner of Shark Island. She's been chronically suspicious of John Carradine ever since. He's just sneaky in Drums, but sadistic in Island.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

An overdue response! I caught up with THE CRIMSON KIMONO for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I haven't watched SONG OF INDIA yet but I'm willing to forgive Gail Russell almost anything LOL.

DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK really was a perfect intro to Ford -- so colorful! I love that about your daughter and Carradine. :) :)

Best wishes,

7:45 PM  

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