Wednesday, December 01, 2021

TCM in December: Highlights

Happy December!

There's a wonderful month ahead on Turner Classic Movies, including a repeat of last year's week-long Christmas Movie Marathon. I'll have a complete rundown of this month's Christmas movies posted here in the near future, including films airing outside of the marathon.  (Update: Please visit TCM in December: Christmas Movies.)

The December Star of the Month is Ingrid Bergman. 31 Bergman films will be shown on Wednesday evenings.

This month's Noir Alley films are THE UNSUSPECTED (1947) December 4th-5th, CRUEL GUN STORY (1964) December 11th and 12th, and BLAST OF SILENCE (1961) on December 18th-19th.Noir Alley will take Christmas weekend off.

I've only seen one of this month's trio of Noir Alley films, THE UNSUSPECTED; it's great fun, with Claude Rains heading a top cast, including terrific supporting actresses Audrey Totter and Constance Bennett.

The TCM Spotlight, "Met on Set," focuses on actors whose real-life romances began on movie sets.

Saturdays will feature "Fireside Favorites," as TCM hosts take turns sharing favorite films. I'm thrilled that on December 11th Eddie Muller will host Deanna Durbin in LADY ON A TRAIN (1945), a favorite film which I've seen several times. With its Christmas setting, it's perfect December viewing.

On December 27th TCM will honor several actors who passed away this year and didn't receive more extensive tributes on the network.

Here are just a few more additional highlights from TCM's December schedule. Please click on any hyperlinked title to read my complete review.

...An evening of "Met on Set" films on December 2nd includes Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in NO MAN OF HER OWN (1932). Earlier this year I revisited this for the first time in a dozen years and was reminded how good it is.

...Friday night, December 3rd, TCM reruns IMAGE MAKERS: THE ADVENTURES OF AMERICA'S PIONEER CINEMATOGRAPHERS (2019). I was impressed with this documentary about filmmakers who were simultaneously inventing equipment and a new art form. I highly recommend it.

...Alicia Malone's "Fireside Favorites" picks on December 4th include the memorable "color noir" LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945), starring Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, and Jeanne Crain.

...December 5th features two Jane Powell favorites, A DATE WITH JUDY (1948), costarring Elizabeth Taylor, and TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE (1950), costarring Ricardo Montalban and Debbie Reynolds.

...A December 6th birthday tribute to Agnes Moorehead includes a Greer Garson-Walter Pidgeon film I found underrated: SCANDAL AT SCOURIE (1953), in which Garson and Pidgeon adopt little Donna Corcoran.

...A marvelous two-evening tribute to director Ernst Lubitsch begins on December 7th, including THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), CLUNY BROWN (1946) and other wonderful films. Incidentally, this month Martin Scorsese has written about Lubitsch for the TCM site.

...BLUES IN THE NIGHT (1941) is an interesting if imperfect film, with an all-time great theme song and an interesting cast including Priscilla Lane, Lloyd Nolan, and Jack Carson. It's not shown on TCM particularly often so catch it while you can, on December 8th.

...TCM marks the December 10th release date of the remake of WEST SIDE STORY (2021) by showing the original WEST SIDE STORY (1961) as part of a two-film tribute to Rita Moreno. Remarkably, Moreno is in both films, made six decades apart. She turns 90 on December 11th.

...There's a great day of film noir on December 13th. You can't go wrong with any of the titles but I'll especially mention two all-time faves, CRIME WAVE (1954) and THE NARROW MARGIN (1952). Jacqueline White, who costars in THE NARROW MARGIN, just turned 99 on November 23rd.

...December 14th is the second evening of Lubitsch films, this time focused on his earlier career. Titles include THE OYSTER PRINCESS (1919), which I saw at a 2018 Lubitsch tribute at UCLA, and SO THIS IS PARIS (1923), which I saw at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival.

...A "snow day" theme on December 16th includes the enjoyable comedy SNOWED UNDER (1936), with George Brent and Genevieve Tobin heading a fun cast in a short and sweet 63-minute film.

...December 17th the schedule includes one of my favorite Judy Garland musicals, THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946). A good time is guaranteed.

...On December 18th Jacqueline Stewart's "Fireside Favorites" include one of the great Warner Bros. musicals, GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (1933).

...After a week of Christmas movies conclude on Christmas Day, Ben Mankiewicz's "Fireside Favorites" on Christmas Night include the excellent mystery WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957) starring Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton, and Marlene Dietrich.

...Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers star in SWING TIME (1936) on December 26th.

...A day of musicals on December 28th includes THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (1964), honoring costar Nino Castelneuvo, who passed away September 6th.

...A day of romance on December 29th includes Olivia de Havilland and Robert Cummings in PRINCESS O'ROURKE (1943). It's a wonderful film which will help keep the positive holiday vibes going during the 12 Days of Christmas.

....Another member of the original cast of WEST SIDE STORY, Russ Tamblyn, celebrates his 87th birthday on December 30th. TCM will show WEST SIDE STORY all over again that day along with several other Tamblyn films, including SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954).

...New Year's Eve features the That's Entertainment! series followed by a Thin Man marathon starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. And Asta!

As the saying goes, "Watch this space" for my upcoming post on Christmas movies airing on TCM in December.

For more on TCM in December 2021, please visit my Quick Preview of TCM in December and TCM in December: Christmas Movies along with TCM's online schedule. In addition, TCM's December promotional video may be found on Twitter.

Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a very, very happy 2022!


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