Saturday, March 26, 2016

A TCM Viewer's Guide for the Week of March 28, 2016


An American in Paris (1951), starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, is one of the old Hollywood favorites airing on TCM this week.

This week, TCM is airing great movies from stars like Judy Garland, Dirk Bogarde, and Paulette Goddard.  Plus, they are featuring films about dreams and the state of Wyoming. So, without further ado, let's jump right in to this week's offerings. Just a note: the highlighted text has links to full length articles.

I'll go in-depth a little further down in the article, but first here's a quick rundown.

Birthday tributes: Dirk Bogarde on Monday; Warner Baxter on Tuesday.

Sunday Prime Time: The classic comedy The Young in Heart (1938), starring Janet Gaynor, Paulette Goddard, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., at 8 p.m.

Silent Sunday Nights: Within Our Gates (1920) at midnight is about an African-American schoolteacher (Evelyn Preer) who raises funds for better schools.

TCM Imports: Wings of Desire from director Wim Wenders at 2:30 a.m.

Best Day to DVR: Monday night which features a great evening of movies about artists.

This is a great week for . . .: Mickey Rooney fans. Rooney gave one of his best performances as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is airing Wednesday morning, and Friday night's tribute to Judy Garland features two of her best movies with Rooney.

Monday, March 28


Daytime Theme: A birthday tribute to Dirk Bogarde who was born Derek van den Bogaerde on March 28, 1921, in London. He was one of the great matinee idols of British film in the 1950's, but he eventually moved into character roles in art house films. The Angel Wore Red (1960) at 9:15 a.m. features Bogarde and Ava Gardner as a priest and a shady lady who fall in love during the Spanish Civil War. The Password is Courage (1962) at 12:45 p.m. is a taut thriller about an escape from a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. One of Bogarde's best performances is in director Luchino Visconti's adaptation of Thomas Mann's novel, Death in Venice (1971) at 4:45 p.m. He plays an aging artist who is obsessed with a young man (Bjorn Andresen).
Primetime Lineup: TCM is featuring movies about artists each Monday in March. This week's selections are the little seen comedy, The Art of Love (1965) at 8 p.m. about a painter (Dick Van Dyke) who fakes his own death so he can sell his work. F for Fake (1973) at 9:45 p.m. is an underrated movie from director and star Orson Welles about an art forger.
 Late Night Pick: One of the best movies of the 1950's is An American Paris (1951) at 3:15 a.m. starring Gene Kelly as a struggling artist who falls in love with a young Parisian woman (Leslie Caron).

Tuesday, March 29


 Daytime Theme: A birthday tribute to Warner Baxter who was born March 29, 1889, in Columbus, Ohio. He was a popular leading man in silent movies, but he became an even bigger star in sound movies where he often played hard-charging characters or Mexican bandits. The Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936) at 11 a.m. features Baxter in one of his bandit roles in a Western directed by William Wellman. Next up, is the classic Warner Bros. musical 42nd Street (1932) at 12:30 p.m., which features Baxter as a hard-charging producer who tells Ruby Keeler "you're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star." Gypsy (1962) at 5:30 p.m. doesn't star Baxter, but it does have Rosalind Russell in an iconic performance as Mama Rose.
Primetime Lineup: TCM celebrates Peter Fonda's career with two of his best films. Fonda plays a suicidal mental patient in Lilith (1964) at 8 p.m. and he plays a reclusive beekeeper in an Academy Award-nominated performance in Ulee's Gold (1997) at 10 p.m.
Late Night Pick: Futureworld (1976) at 3:45 a.m. is an interesting science fiction film featuring Fonda as a reporter who uncovers secrets behind a theme park where guests live their dreams.

Wednesday, March 30


 Daytime Theme: Movies about dreams. Start off your morning with the sunny musical DuBarry Was a Lady (1943) at 6:30 a.m., which stars Red Skelton as a daydreaming nightclub employee who wants to go back in time with his lady love, Lucille Ball. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) at 8:15 a.m. is an all-star adaptation of William Shakespeare's comedy about a group of mortals who enter a forest inhabited by fairies. In my opinion, Wild Strawberries (1957), about a distinguished professor (Victor Sjostrom) who looks back on his life, is Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's best film. It's on at 12:30 p.m.
Primetime Lineup: Tonight's lineup is about movies that feature the classic song, "Pennies From Heaven." First up is (obviously) Pennies From Heaven (1936) at 8 p.m. Bing Crosby introduced the title song in this movie about the adventures of a street singer. Next is the French film, The Artist, at 9:30 p.m., which won the 2011 best picture Oscar for its portrayal of a silent star's struggle to make the transition to sound films.
 Late Night Pick: The delightful comedy Father of the Bride (1950), starring Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy is on at 4:15 a.m.

Thursday, March 31


Daytime theme: Movies starring Canadian actor Donald Woods, who was a popular leading man in the 1930's. Talent Scout (1937) at 10:15 a.m. is a fun musical about a former Hollywood agent (Woods) who helps a young girl (Jeanne Madden) achieve stardom. Song of Russia (1943) at 11:30 a.m. doesn't star Woods, but it is an interesting movie about an American (Robert Taylor) fighting for the Russian resistance during World War II. This movie later ran into trouble with the House Un-American Activities Committee during the 1950's. Love Me or Leave Me (1955) at 5:30 p.m. is a sensational musical starring Doris Day as torch singer Ruth Etting. James Cagney gives an Oscar-nominated performance as her gangster husband.
Primetime lineup: TCM is featuring movies condemned by the National Legion of Decency each Thursday night in March. First up is The Moon Is Blue (1953) at 8 p.m. This movie, from director Otto Preminger, is about two womanizers (William Holden and David Niven) who pursue an innocent young lady (Maggie McNamara). Baby Doll (1956) at 10 p.m. ran afoul of the censors for its depiction of the overheated relationship between a young bride (Carroll Baker) and her neighbor (Eli Wallach).
Late Night Pick: The classic jewel heist film, Rififi (1954), is on at 3:45 a.m.

Friday, April 1



Daytime theme: Movies featuring character actor Charles Butterworth. Hollywood Party (1934) at 9:15 a.m. is a fun vaudeville-type revue that features Butterworth along with Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges,  and Mickey Mouse. This Is the Army (1943) at 3:45 p.m. is a flag-waving musical starring Ronald Reagan and George Murphy. The two highlights of the film are Irving Berlin singing "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" and Kate Smith performing "God Bless America." Follow the Fleet (1936) at 6 p.m. is a great Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical co-starring Randolph Scott.
Primtime lineup: TCM will spend Friday nights in April celebrating the talents of its star of the month, Judy Garland. This week's selections feature her early films like Pigskin Parade (1936) at 8 p.m. and Listen, Darling at 9:45 p.m.
Late Night Pick: Babes in Arms (1939) at 1 a.m. is Garland and Mickey Rooney's first "let's put on a show" musical. It's also probably their best collaboration with rollicking numbers like "Good Morning" and the title tune.

Saturday, April 2

TCM's primetime lineup is all about classic Westerns set in the state of Wyoming. The night begins with director George Stevens' Shane (1953) at 8 p.m. followed by the 1946 remake of The Virginian  at 10:15 p.m. The night winds up with pals Wallace Beery and Leo Carillo riding the range in Wyoming (1940) at midnight.

Sunday, April 3

The Sunday Night Feature celebrates the career of Paulette Goddard with two of her best movies. Goddard is part of a family of con artists in The Young in Heart (1938) at 8 p.m. followed by the My Fair Lady-esque Kitty (1945) at 10 p.m., which co-stars Ray Milland as a British lord who is trying to pass street urchin Goddard off as a great lady.



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