Tuesday, December 01, 2020

TCM in December: Highlights

And so 2020 draws to a close...and none too soon for most of us, I suspect!

The good news is that Turner Classic Movies has some really wonderful things to enjoy on their December schedule as we also look ahead to better times arriving soon in 2021.

The December Stars of the Month are Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Their shorts and feature films will be shown every Monday, beginning in the morning and running through prime time.  Please note there will not be a separate Star of the Month post this month.

The December Noir Alley titles are TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY (1951) on December 5th and 6th; THE BURGLAR (1957) on the 12th and 13th; KISS OF DEATH (1947), which has a brief Christmas angle, on December 19th and 20th; and DETOUR (1946) ends the month on December 26th-27th.

TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY and KISS OF DEATH are both big favorites of mine; the latter film opens with a Christmastime crime, making it the perfect Noir Alley title for Christmas week.

The TCM Spotlight will be focused on composer Bernard Herrmann on the first three Wednesdays of the month, and then again on the 30th.  

There's a good reason for the TCM Spotlight taking Christmas week off: A week-long Christmas Movie Marathon running from the 18th through Christmas Day!

Christmas movies will also air earlier in December, beginning on Saturday, December 5th.  As usual, I will have a separate post detailing TCM's entire Christmas lineup available here in the near future.  (Update: Please visit TCM in December: Christmas Movies.)

Here's a look at additional highlights being shown on TCM this month.  Please click any hyperlinked title to read my review.

...A day of Dana Andrews films on December 1st includes ZERO HOUR! (1957), a highly enjoyable airplane disaster film which I revisited a few months ago.  Linda Darnell and Sterling Hayden costar.

...An evening of films scored by Bernard Herrmann will kick off on December 2nd with JANE EYRE (1944), starring Joan Fontaine in the title role.  Orson Welles, Margaret O'Brien, and Peggy Ann Garner also star.

...THEM! (1954) is part of a day of sci-fi films on December 3rd.  Little Sandy Descher, who has a memorable role early in the film, just turned 85 on November 30th...That night, there's a terrific lineup of "Pre-Code Classics" including BLESSED EVENT (1932) and EMPLOYEES' ENTRANCE (1933). The evening will be hosted by Bruce Goldstein, who I saw intro both of these films at past TCM Classic Film Festivals....

...I think of WALLFLOWER (1948) as one of those special "hidden gems" it's so delightful to unexpectedly come across.  Loving but competitive stepsisters Joyce Reynolds and Janis Paige (who recently turned 98) both have a crush on Robert Hutton.  They're seen here with Don McGuire.  WALLFLOWER is on December 4th.

...It was tremendous fun seeing GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) with a big crowd at last year's TCM Classic Film Festival.  A fun film guaranteed to lift the spirits!  It's on December 6th.  Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe star.

...I also saw HIGH SOCIETY (1956) at last year's TCM Fest and had a grand time, especially as the theater had a superb sound system.  I've always had a soft spot for this remake of THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940), starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm, John Lund, and Louis Armstrong.  It's on as part of a day of Grace Kelly films on November 8th.

...December seems to be a month for reflecting on past TCM Festival screenings; another film I saw at one of the festivals is KISMET (1955), which will air on December 9th.  The gorgeous, uplifting music makes it a perfect December watch.  Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, and Vic Damone star, directed by Vincente Minnelli.

...Marsha Hunt, who is now 103, will be honored with an eight-film tribute on December 11th, including a screening of the documentary on her life, MARSHA HUNT'S SWEET ADVERSITY (2015).  Other Hunt titles shown that day include THE HUMAN COMEDY (1943), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), and THE VALLEY OF DECISION (1945), seen here.

...THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS BRIDE (1935), with Warren William as Perry Mason, is a fun mystery.  It's even got Errol Flynn in a small early role!  Michael Curtiz directed.  It will be shown on December 12th.

...RICH MAN, POOR GIRL (1938) is a cute little MGM "B" movie I've been wishing would come out on DVD from the Warner Archive.  Robert Young and Ruth Hussey play the title roles, with Lana Turner as Hussey's kid sister.  It's on December 15th.

...Another very good pre-Code film is NIGHT NURSE (1931), starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell, and (as the villain!) Clark Gable, directed by William A. Wellman.  It will be shown on December 17th.

...After the week of Christmas movies concludes on Christmas Night, that evening will be spent with alternating films starring Audrey and Katharine Hepburn.  SABRINA (1954), with Audrey, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden, directed by Billy Wilder, is my pick of the evening.

...I revisited Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in SWING TIME (1936) just about a year ago, and though I'd previously seen it many times, I was entranced all over again.  Highly recommended.  It's on December 27th.

...Speaking of musicals, December 29th is filled with them!  A great lineup of MGM musicals includes GOOD NEWS (1947), SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952), and THE BAND WAGON (1953).

For more on TCM in December 2020, please visit TCM's online schedule as well as my Quick Preview of TCM in December and TCM in December: Christmas Movies.

Additionally, here's a link for TCM's December promo video.

Merry Christmas!  And advance good wishes for a very happy, healthy 2021!


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I appreciate your highlights articles and have noted Wallflower especially.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm so glad! I suspect you will really enjoy WALLFLOWER -- please let me know! :)

Best wishes,

11:29 AM  
Blogger dfordoom said...

TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY and KISS OF DEATH are both big favorites of mine

Both excellent movies with fine performances by two very underrated actors, Steve Cochran and Victor Mature.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Very much agree. Both Cochran and Mature are outstanding in their respective films.

Best wishes,

10:39 PM  

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