A TCM Viewer's Guide for the Week of Dec. 12, 2016

TCM is airing dozens of classic holiday movies this week, including Christmas in Connecticut (1945) starring Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan.

This week, TCM is airing great movies from stars like Van Heflin and Myrna Loy. Plus, they are airing dozens of holiday classics. So, without further ado, let's jump right in to this week's offerings. Just a note: All times are Eastern Standard Time and the highlighted texts have 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: Van Heflin on Tuesday.

Holiday viewing: 
1. A lineup of Christmas movies on Monday prime time starting with Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) at 8 p.m.
2. More Christmas movies on Thursday prime time starting with The Shop Around the Corner (1940) at 8 p.m.
3. Religious movies on Saturday prime time starting with The Song of Bernadette (1943) at 8 p.m.
4. The musical, Scrooge (1970) at 8 p.m. Sunday
5. The silent version of Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ (1925) at 12:45 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning

Sunday Prime Time: Two musicals based on the novels of English author Charles Dickens.

Silent Sunday Nights: See holiday viewing.

TCM Imports: Italian director Roberto Rossellini's World War II drama Paisan (1946) at 3 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning is a series of vignettes about the Allied invasion of Italy.

Best Day to DVR:  Thursday prime time. There's a lineup of wonderful holiday romances including The Shop Around the Corner, Christmas in Connecticut, and Desk Set (1957).

Monday, Dec. 12

Van Johnson and Judy Garland in In the Good Old Summertime (1949).
Three daytime picks: The theme is a movies about warm weather starting with Honolulu (1939) at 10 a.m. in which Robert Young takes on dual roles as a movie star who switches identities with a Hawaiian plantation owner. Yvette Mimieux, Connie Francis and company find out Where the Boys Are (1960) at 1:15 p.m. followed by Troy Donahue and Connie Stevens enjoying a Palm Springs Weekend (1963) at 6:15 p.m.
Prime time lineup: The prime time lineup features two Christmas musicals starring Judy Garland. Meet Me in St. Louis at 8 p.m. and In the Good Old Summertime at 10 p.m.
Late night pick: Department store clerk Ginger Rogers adopts an abandoned baby during the holiday season in the delightful rom-com Bachelor Mother (1939) at 1:15 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Van Heflin.
Three daytime picks: A birthday tribute to Van Heflin who was born Emmett Evan Heflin, Jr., Dec. 13, 1908, in Walters, Okla. He was a popular leading man in the 1940s in movies like the Joan Crawford-soaper Possessed (1947) at 9:30 a.m. and the noir The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) at 2:45 p.m. Heflin was also a top Westerns star in movies like the sensational 3:10 to Yuma (1957) at 11:30 a.m.
Prime time lineup: TCM is featuring films about elderly people each Tuesday in December. This week's lineup features foreign films starting with Italian director Vittorio de Sica's neorealist film Umberto D. (1952) at 8 p.m. about an elderly man's struggle to pay his rent followed by the great director Victor Sjostrom's performance as an old man who looks back on his life in Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (1957) at 9:45 p.m. 
Late night pick: Japanese Director Akira Kurosawa's sensitive Ikiru (1954) at 11:30 p.m. follows a terminally ill bureaucrat (Takashi Shimura) who is looking for meaning in his life. 

Wednesday, Dec. 14

Three daytime picks: The theme is movies starring actor Dick Purcell. He is best known for playing Captain America in the movie serials, but he appeared in dozens of B movies like the prison drama Alcatraz Island (1937) at 7 a.m., the thriller Mystery House (1938) at 1 p.m., and the horror comedy King of the Zombies (1941) at 6:30 p.m.
Prime time lineup: The theme is movies about treacherous spouses starting with Jack Palance and his side-piece Gloria Grahame plotting to murder his actress wife (Joan Crawford) in Sudden Fear (1952) at 8 p.m. Robert Cummings saves Grace Kelly from the murderous clutches of Ray Milland in director Alfred Hitchcock's thriller, Dial M for Murder (1954) at 10 p.m.
 Late Night Pick: Humphrey Bogart plays a wife-murdering artist whose latest target is Barbara Stanwyck in The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947) at midnight.

Thursday, Dec. 15

Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart in The Shop Around the Corner (1940).
Three daytime picks: The daytime theme is movies directed by William Keighley. He was one of Warner Bros. most reliable contract directors in films like the Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell comedy Kansas City Princess (1934) at 9 a.m. about two Midwestern manicurists who travel to Paris. The back-to-nature romance God's Country and the Woman (1936) at 11:30 a.m. finds lady lumberjack Beverly Roberts falling for rival George Brent. Keighley worked with James Cagney several times, including in the World War I drama, The Fighting 69th (1940) at 3:45 p.m.
Primetime lineup: The prime time theme is two Yuletide romances starting with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as two bickering notions shop employees who are secret pen pals in The Shop Around the Corner  at 8 p.m. followed by homemaking columnist Barbara Stanwyck falling for wounded Navy vet Dennis Morgan in Christmas in Connecticut at 10 p.m.
Late Night Pick: One of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy's most delightful films is the holiday romance Desk Set (1957) at 1:45 a.m.

Friday, Dec. 16

Myrna Loy
Three daytime picks: TCM is devoting all of Friday to star of the month Myrna Loy. This week features many of her films with frequent co-star Clark Gable including Loy playing aviator Gable's loyal girlfriend in Test Pilot (1938) at 7 a.m. followed by the delightful screwball comedy Wife Vs. Secretary (1936) at 12:30 p.m., which finds businessman Gable caught between his wife (Loy) and attractive secretary (Jean Harlow). In Men in White (1934) at 6:30 p.m. society girl Loy distracts dedicated doctor Gable from his patients.
Prime time lineup: The Loy movies continue with the underrated comedy Broadway Bill (1934) at 8 p.m. about two lonely people (Warner Baxter and Loy) who take up thoroughbred racing. One of Loy's best performances was as the wife of returning World War II sergeant Fredric March in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) at 10 p.m.
Late night pick: Loy is back with Gable in late night as a lady aviator who catches the attention of a newsreel photographer in Too Hot to Handle (1938) at 4:15 a.m.

Saturday, Dec. 17

The prime time line up is all about religious movies starting with Jennifer Jones' Academy Award-winning performance as a young French girl who sees visions in The Song of Bernadette  at 8 p.m. followed by Bing Crosby as the amiable priest of an inner-city parish in Going My Way (1944) at 10:45 p.m. Finally, Susan Hayward plays the pastor's wife in a rural Georgia community in I'd Climb the Highest Mountain (1951) at 1 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 18

The Sunday Night Feature will put the spotlight on two musicals based on the works of 19th century English novelist Charles Dickens. First up is Scrooge at 8 p.m. which is based on The Christmas Carol followed by Oliver! (1968) at 10 p.m., which is based on Oliver Twist.