Thursday, December 31, 2020

TCM in January: Highlights

Happy New Year!  I'm wishing all my readers an especially happy 2021.  We all deserve it after the year that was 2020!

There's lots to anticipate on Turner Classic Movies as we begin the New Year.  I'll post a link to the January schedule here as soon as it's available; TCM no longer has monthly schedules available before the start of a month.  I've cobbled together information from individual TCM pages and other sources to create this overview ahead of the 1st.

January 1st Update: This month's schedule has now been posted at the TCM site.

The January Star of the Month is Miriam Hopkins, who will be showcased with 17 films shown on Thursdays.  Please note there will not be a separate Star of the Month post for January; information on the Hopkins films screening this month may be found below.

The TCM Spotlight theme this month will be Whodunit Wednesdays, with several fun mysteries shown each week on Wednesday evenings.

On Tuesdays, the month's special theme will be The Studio System, a look at the major studios during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

January entries for Noir Alley are THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY (1945) on January 2nd and 3rd, THE GLASS KEY (1942) on the 9th and 10th, WITNESS TO MURDER (1954) January 16th-17th, BORN TO KILL (1947) on the 23rd and 24th, and THE KILLERS (1946) on the 30th and 31st.

All of the films I've seen are recommended, but if I had to choose just one it would be BORN TO KILL, which I rank near the very top of my list of favorite film noir titles.  It features a great cast headed by Claire Trevor and Laurence Tierney, seen here with Audrey Long to their left.

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

...New Year's Day starts the year off laughing, showing comedies all day, including a late-night screening of the gentle "rom com" MURPHY'S ROMANCE (1985). James Garner and Sally Field star.

...Last summer I saw A LITTLE ROMANCE (1979) for the first time, which stars Diane Lane in her film debut. It was an enjoyable film costarring Sir Laurence Olivier, with a good performance by Arthur Hill as Lane's thoughtful stepfather. It will be shown January 3rd.

...On January 4th there's a documentary which sounds quite interesting, CHURCHILL AND THE MOVIE MOGUL (2019).  It's shown as part of a two-night retrospective, "Produced By Alexander Korda."  Half a dozen of Korda's films will also be shown on this date, with seven more Korda films airing on January 11th.

...I saw fewer than 10 films in a theater this year, and one of them was  GILDA (1946), starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford.  See what I described as its "shimmering star power" on TCM on  January 5th.  It's part of the first evening of films saluting the "studio system."

...The first evening of "Whodunit Wednesdays" on January 6th includes DEATH ON THE NILE (1978), reviewed here last month.  Peter Ustinov and David Niven lead a cast of stars in this Agatha Christie mystery.  A couple years ago I also enjoyed Diane Keaton in the silly yet fun MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (1993), showing later that evening.

...January 7th features some good pre-Codes, including one of my favorites, THEIR OWN DESIRE (1929), starring Robert Montgomery, Norma Shearer, and the fabulous Norconian Resort.

...Later on the 7th it's the first evening of Miriam Hopkins films.  The five titles showing that night are THE SMILING LIEUTENANT (1931), DESIGN FOR LIVING (1933), MEN ARE NOT GODS (1936), TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1936), and DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1932).  I especially recommend THE SMILING LIEUTENANT and TROUBLE IN PARADISE; both  are four-star classics directed by Ernst Lubitsch, who also directed DESIGN FOR LIVING.

...A day of films to celebrate Elvis's birthday on January 8th includes my favorite of his movies, the colorful VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964), costarring Ann-Margret.  The poolside number with Ann-Margret in a yellow bathing suit is my favorite scene in the movie.  Great happy vibes, which we can all use as we head into 2021.

...On January 9th Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame star in the excellent crime film THE BIG HEAT (1953).

...THEODORA GOES WILD (1936), starring Irene Dunne and Melvyn Douglas, is a wonderful comedy to help start the New Year on the right foot.  It's on January 10th.

...January 12th: Astaire. Rogers. SWING TIME (1936). Be there!

...On January 14th the Miriam Hopkins Star of the Month films are THE OLD MAID (1939), WISE GIRL (1937), OLD ACQUAINTANCE (1943), and LADY WITH RED HAIR (1940).

...TCM celebrates Ann Miller with several musicals on January 15th, including EASTER PARADE (1948) and KISS ME KATE (1953).  Ann is seen here with Tommy Rall, who passed on in October.

...January 16th there's a variety of very entertaining films on the schedule, including ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC (1943) with Humphrey Bogart, RACHEL AND THE STRANGER (1948) with Loretta Young, William Holden, and Robert Mitchum, and REAR WINDOW (1954) with James Stewart and Grace Kelly.  It's a good winter day to stay curled up under a blanket on the sofa with good movies!

...Last spring I watched the heist film THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (1974) for the first time and really enjoyed it.  It will be shown on January 17th.  Walter Matthau stars as a member of the NY transit police who handles the case.

...The great pre-Code EMPLOYEES' ENTRANCE (1933) is being shown as part of an Alice White triple feature on January 19th.  Loretta Young and Warren William star.

...The MGM musical SUMMER STOCK (1950) with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly never fails to put a smile on my face.  Charles Walters directed; the supporting cast includes Gloria DeHaven and Marjorie Main.  It airs January 20th.

...It's time for another evening with Miriam Hopkins on January 21st.  I especially recommend the first title, THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (1934), costarring Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, and Reginald Denny.  Also being shown that night: THESE THREE (1936), VIRGINIA CITY (1940), SPLENDOR (1935), and WOMAN CHASES MAN (1937).

...One of my favorite movies, THE NARROW MARGIN (1952), is on the 22nd.  Charles McGraw, Jacqueline White, and Marie Windsor star in this short, snappy crime film almost entirely set on a train.  More good film noir titles follow this one, making the 22nd one of my favorite days on the January calendar.

...OUR VINES HAVE TENDER GRAPES (1945) is classic MGM Americana starring Edward G. Robinson and Margaret O'Brien, seen here with Jackie "Butch" Jenkins.  It's on on the 24th

...It's Yvonne DeCarlo night on January 25th, starting with CRISS CROSS (1949).  MGM is really outdoing itself showing so many of my favorite film noir titles this months, also including BORN TO KILL and THE NARROW MARGIN.

...I was interested to see the Universal Pictures film SIX BRIDGES TO CROSS (1955) on the schedule on January 26th as part of the "Studio System" series.  It's an interesting film I just reviewed a few months ago, with Tony Curtis as a crook who can never manage to reform and George Nader as the cop who tries to help him.  Julie Adams plays Nader's wife.  Also notable on the 26th: Deanna Durbin in one of her best films, IT STARTED WITH EVE (1941).

...There's a special gem being shown as part of "Whodunit Wednesday" on January 27th: The British mystery GREEN FOR DANGER (1946). I revisited it earlier this year for the first time in a while -- "movie comfort food" at its finest.  It's not shown on TCM with great frequency, so be sure to set the DVR!

...January 28th features a day of Westerns starring Alan Ladd and Randolph Scott. Ladd is up first with four titles including DRUM BEAT (1954) and GUNS OF THE TIMBERLAND (1960), followed by Scott in several films including CANADIAN PACIFIC (1949) and CARSON CITY (1952).

...The final evening of Miriam Hopkins films on January 28th features THE HEIRESS (1949), THE CHASE (1966), and THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (1961).

...The month closes out on January 31st with another classic comedy, I MARRIED A WITCH (1942) starring Veronica Lake and Fredric March.

Wishing everyone a great year filled with wonderful movies!  Happy  New Year!


Blogger mel said...

I think the world has gone mad... Everywhere I visit on the Internet, websites are being changed - and not for the better, I'm afraid. Imagine TCM not posting a monthly schedule until after the month has begun. It's insane!

And the IMDb is about to change its appearance; I had a preview peek at what it's going to look like and it's horrible...

Why "fix something when it ain't broken"?

I quote a song title from the musical, Li'l Abner: "Put 'Em Back The Way They Wuz"...

Thank you for your dedication and hard work in cobbling together this information, Laura - kudos to you and a hearty pat on the back!

12:22 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Mel,

Thank you very much for the kind words, I appreciate it!

I had not heard about IMDb "updating" and am nervous! As it is, I've been sticking to the less cluttered "reference view" there for years. I'll be sad if that goes away too.

It's been quite a challenge dealing with the Blogger platform and TCM simultaneously becoming more difficult and time-consuming to use. I can only imagine what it might be like if IMDb goes down the same path.

Thanks, as always, for your support! Happy 2021!

Best wishes,

12:52 AM  
Blogger dfordoom said...

it's been quite a challenge dealing with the Blogger platform and TCM simultaneously becoming more difficult and time-consuming to use.

I'm only just starting to cope with the changes to Blogger. And I still mostly don't like the changes. I fear the worst if they "upgrade" IMDb.

And I almost forgot - Happy New Year!

10:52 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I totally agree regarding Blogger. The changes have really slowed me down. Although last night I attempted to drag a photo into place and it actually worked! Most of the time that hasn't been working for me on the new platform. Could it be they've fixed that?

We'll cross our fingers on IMDb. The prospect of Blogger, TCM, and IMDb all embracing less functional sites simultaneously...yikes! Really makes me wonder what's going on in that regard.

Happy New Year!!
Best wishes,

9:45 AM  

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