Saturday, April 9, 2016

A TCM Viewer's Guide for the Week of April 11, 2016


On the Town (1949), starring Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin, and Gene Kelly, is one of the old Hollywood favorites airing on TCM this week.

This week, TCM is airing great movies from stars like Judy Garland, Ann Miller, and Lionel Barrymore.  Plus, they are featuring films about saloons and seafaring adventures. 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: Ann Miller on Tuesday; director Stanley Donen on Wednesday.

Sunday Prime Time: Two seafaring adventures starring Clark Gable: Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) at 8 p.m. and Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) at 10:30 p.m.

Silent Sunday Nights: The Chinese film, Wild Rose (1932) at 12:15 a.m., directed by Sun Yu, is about the adventures of a country girl who moves to Shanghai.

TCM Imports: Jean Gabin stars in the comedy Four Bags Full (1957) at 2 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning.

Best Day to DVR: Wednesday daytime. The birthday tribute to Stanley Donen features some of old Hollywood's best musicals.

This is a great week for . . .: Ronald Reagan fans. Two of the future President's best movies are airing on Tuesday night, and his screen debut will be on Friday morning.

Monday, April 11

Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland in Dodge City (1939).
Daytime Theme: Movies that take place in saloons. You can start off the morning with crusading sheriff Errol Flynn cleaning out the dens of iniquity  in Dodge City (1939) at 6:30 a.m. Wholesome Judy Garland and saloon girl Angela Lansbury battle it out  in The Harvey Girls (1946) at noon. John Wayne, Dean Martin and company spend plenty of time in a saloon in director Howard Hawks all-time classic Rio Bravo (1959) at 5:30 p.m.
Primetime Lineup: TCM is featuring movies from the legendary Barrymore acting family each Monday in April. This week's selections are from Lionel Barrymore. He was one of the finest character actors in old Hollywood films, and he was one of the first actors to appear in a wheelchair (Barrymore suffered from severe arthritis). The evening starts off with one of Barrymore's few leading performances as a small-town doctor in One Man's Journey (1933) at 8 p.m. Barrymore plays pirate Billy Bones in the swashbuckling classic Treasure Island (1934) at 9:30 p.m.
 Late Night Pick: Barrymore gives a dynamic performance as a crotchety Florida innkeeper in director John Huston's classic film noir, Key Largo (1948), at 1 a.m.

Tuesday, April 12

John Garfield
 Daytime Theme: A birthday tribute to Ann Miller who was born Johnnie Lucille Collier on April 12, 1923, in Chireno, Texas. Miller was an exceptional tap dancer by the time she was a pre-teen, and she got a Hollywood contract at age 13. She appeared in dozens of B movies for Columbia Pictures and RKO before moving to MGM where she became one of the studio's top musical stars. Miller had a supporting part in Too Many Girls (1940) at 10:45 a.m., which is best-known today as the film where Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz met. Eve Knew Her Apples (1945) at 3 p.m. is a musical remake of It Happened One Night (1934) that features Miller as a radio star on the run. The Thrill of Brazil (1946) at 4:15 p.m. is an all-star musical that features Miller, Evelyn Keyes, and Keenan Wynn in a love triangle that is set in Rio.
Primetime Lineup: TCM host Robert Osborne's April picks focus on films starring Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan, who were a frequent screen team during their time at Warner Bros. First up is King's Row (1941) at 8 p.m., a film about small-town scandals that features the famous scene where Reagan yells, "Where's the rest of me?" Juke Girl (1942) at 10:15 p.m. is one of Warner's social problem movies about the plight of migrant laborers.
Late Night Pick: John Garfield gives a great performance as a desperate boxer in the classic film noir, Body and Soul (1947) at 2 a.m.

Wednesday, April 13


 Daytime Theme: A birthday tribute to director Stanley Donen who is turning 92 on Wednesday. Donen started out as a choreographer at MGM, but he moved into directing with the innovative musical  On the Town (1949), airing at 6 p.m. and he continued to pioneer the integrated musical with Singin' in the Rain (1952) at 4:15 p.m., and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) at 6 a.m.
Primetime Lineup: TCM will feature a festival of classic German cinema each Wednesday in April. Tonight's lineup starts off with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) at 8 p.m., a seminal film in German Expressionist cinema that influenced many later Hollywood films, especially the Universal horror films of the 1930's. Next up is the fascinating documentary From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses (2014) at 9:30 p.m. This  film, which is based on the works of noted sociologist Siegfried Kracauer, traces the connection between German cinema and German politics between 1918 and 1933.
 Late Night Pick: Marlene Dietrich and director Josef von Sternberg's legendary collaboration began on The Blue Angel (1930) at 4:30 a.m.

Thursday, April 14

George Chakiris in West Side Story (1961).
Daytime theme: Westerns with "trail" in the title. Start off your ride with The Bandit Trail (1941) at 10:30 a.m., a compelling B Western starring Tim Holt as an honest marshal who gets caught up in corruption. Next, mosey down Trail Street (1947) at 3:30 p.m. which stars Randolph Scott as legendary lawman Bat Masterson. Finally head back to the ranch with Slaughter Trail (1951) at 6:30 p.m. an Indians vs. cavalry oater starring Brian Donlevy and Gig Young.
Primetime lineup: Two musicals starring singer, dancer, and actor George Chakiris. First up is Chakiris' Academy Award-winning performance in West Side Story (1961) at 8 p.m. followed by the classic French musical The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) at 10:45 p.m.
Late Night Pick: Chakiris has an atypical role as a Norwegian resistance fighter in the World War II drama, 633 Squadron (1964) at 1 a.m.

Friday, April 15

Lucille Bremer and Judy Garland in a lobby card for Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
Daytime theme: Movies produced by Bryan Foy. This son of vaudeville legend Eddie Foy was a prolific producer for several studios, but he is best-known for the B-movie unit he headed up at Warner Bros. Foy produced Ronald Reagan's screen debut Love Is on the Air (1937) at 12:45 p.m., which is an expose of media corruption that centers around a controversial radio host played by the future President. One of Warner's B movie staples were the Dead End Kids pictures. You can catch up with Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, and company at military school in Dead End Kids on Dress Parade (1939) at 2 p.m. Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951) at 4:45 p.m. is a jailhouse drama that inspired a young Johnny Cash to write his famous song, "Folsom Prison Blues."
Primtime lineup: TCM will spend Friday nights in April celebrating the talents of its star of the month, Judy Garland. This week Garland co-stars with Gene Kelly in his film debut For Me and My Gal (1942) at 8 p.m. June Allyson made her film debut in the Garland-Mickey Rooney musical Girl Crazy (1943) at 10 p.m.
Late Night Pick: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) at 11:45 p.m. is one of MGM's best musicals of the 1940's featuring sensitive direction from Vincente Minnelli, classic songs from Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin, and great performances from Garland and co-star Margaret O'Brien.

Saturday, April 16

TCM's primetime lineup is all about horror movie spoofs. The night begins with director Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (1974) at 8 p.m. followed by director Roman Polanski's Dracula spoof, The Fearless Vampire Killers (1966) at 10 p.m. The night winds up with Bud and Lou scaring up some laughs in Abbott and Costello Meet Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) at midnight.

Sunday, April 17

The Sunday Night Feature has two seafaring adventures starring Clark Gable. First up is Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) at 8 p.m., a lavish MGM swashbuckler co-starring Charles Laughton as the infamous Captain Bligh. Next is Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) at 10:30 p.m. a World War II drama about life aboard a submarine that co-stars Burt Lancaster.



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