A TCM Viewer's Guide for the Week of March 20, 2017

The Wizard of Oz (1939), starring Margaret Hamilton and Judy Garland, is one of the classic movies airing during TCM's March Malice film festival.

This week, TCM is taking its cue from the annual March Madness basketball tournament with a March Malice movie marathon. The event runs from Monday prime time through Saturday late night, and features films from some of old Hollywood's greatest villains. Match ups include James Cagney vs. Edward G. Robinson, Robert Walker vs. Orson Welles, and Boris Karloff vs. Christopher Lee.

I'll go in-depth on each pairing a little further down in the article, but first here's a quick rundown of what else is on the schedule.

Birthday tributes: None.

TCM Film Noir Franchise: Tension (1950) at 10 a.m. Sunday stars Richard Basehart as a man who plots to murder his wife's lover (Lloyd Gough) only to be framed when someone else commits the crime.

Silent Sunday Nights: The Outlaw and His Wife (1917) at 12:30 a.m. is a landmark Swedish film from director Victor Sjostrom about a criminal on the run (Sjostrom) who goes to work for a wealthy widow (Edith Erastoff) in 18th century Iceland. The film is notable for its stunning vistas of northern Sweden, which stands in for Iceland. 

TCM Imports: The Scandinavian cinema continues with Swedish director Alf Sjoberg's teenage drama Torment (1944) at 2 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning and director Ingmar Bergman's psychological horror film Hour of the Wolf (1968) at 4 a.m.

Best Day to DVR: Monday daytime. There's a great lineup of movies directed by American auteurs starting with Alfred Hitchcock's World War II propaganda film Aventure Malgache (1944) at 6 a.m. and ending with the Charlie Chaplin short The Immigrant (1917) at 7:30 p.m. In between, there's a noir from Nicholas Ray (They Live by Night), one of John Ford's great Westerns (The Searchers), and Orson Welles adapting Shakespeare (Othello).

Monday, March 20

Bette Davis as Leslie Crosbie in The Letter (1940).
Three daytime picks:  The theme is movies directed by American auteurs starting with Nicholas Ray's first feature film They Live by Night (1949) at 10:15 a.m. about a pair of teenage outlaws (Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell). Next, comic genius Charlie Chaplin outlines the problems with Modern Times (1936) at noon followed by William Wyler's early noir The Letter (1940) at 4 p.m., which stars Bette Davis as an adulterous wife who almost gets away with murder. 
Prime time lineup:The March Malice marathon starts with a match up between two crazy killers: Mama's boy Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) in Psycho (1960) at 8 p.m. faces off against photography buff Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) in  Peeping Tom (1960) at 10 p.m.
Late night:  Next up is a duo of con artists: Preacher Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) in The Night of the Hunter (1955) at midnight is opposite folksy media sensation Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith) in A Face in the Crowd (1957) at 1:45 a.m. Finally, technology takes over when robotic cowboy Yul Brynner in Westworld (1973) at 4 a.m. faces off against snarky computer HAL 9000 (voice of Douglas Rain) in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) at 5:30 a.m. 

Tuesday, March 21

Edward G. Robinson as Rico Bandello in Little Caesar (1931).
Daytime: March Malice continues in a match up of experiments gone wrong with self-medicating physician Fredric March in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932) at 8 a.m. vs. disappearing chemist Claude Rains in The Invisible Man (1933) at 9:45 a.m.  Next, two serial killers battle it out: Child murderer Peter Lorre in M (1931) at 11 a.m. goes up against vengeful hairdresser George Hearn in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1982) at 1 p.m. Finally, there's a battle of schemers with Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) clawing her way to the top of the theater world in All About Eve (1950) at 3:30 p.m. vs. Regina Giddens (Bette Davis) clawing her way to her husband's fortune in The Little Foxes (1941) at 6 p.m.
Prime time: The battle of the femmes fatale features the insurance-salesman seducing wiles of Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity (1944) at 8 p.m. opposite the hitchhiking skills of Ann Savage in Detour (1945) at 10 p.m.
Late night: The revenge seeker match up finds Robert Mitchum trying to destroy a district attorney's family in Cape Fear (1962) at 11:30 p.m. vs. Lee Marvin trying to get back at his former partner in crime (John Vernon) in Point Blank (1967) at 1:30 a.m. The gangster battle features all-time great James Cagney in White Heat (1949) at 3:30 a.m. vs. all-time great Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931) at 5:30 a.m.

Wednesday, March 22

Joan Crawford as the title character and Ann Blyth as Veda Pierce in Mildred Pierce (1945).
Daytime: The morning starts out with two dastardly daughters: Killer kid Patty McCormack in Bad Seed (1956) at 7 a.m. vs. avaricious husband-stealer Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce (1945) at 9:30 a.m. Next, is a battle of mind games featuring wife manipulator Charles Boyer in Gaslight (1944) at 11:30 a.m. vs. sister tormentor Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) at 1:45 p.m. Finally, nature attacks with bloodthirsty plant Audrey Jr. in Little Shop of Horrors (1960) at 4:15 p.m. and the angry avians in The Birds (1963) at 5:45 p.m.
Prime time: The Western villains lineup features two all-time great dastardly dogs: Lee Marvin in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) at 8 p.m. and Richard Boone in Hombre (1966) at 10:15 p.m.
Late night: The heavyweight match up of bad cops features Orson Welles in Touch of Evil (1958) at 12:15 a.m. vs. Preston Foster in Kansas City Confidential (1952) at 2:15 a.m. The true crime movies pits murderous duo Shirley Stoler and Tony LoBianco in The Honeymoon Killers (1969) at 4:15 a.m. opposite bank robbers Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde (1968) at 6:30 a.m.
Thursday, March 23

Daytime: The hostage situations battle starts out with gangster Humphrey Bogart kidnapping Leslie Howard and Bette Davis in The Petrified Forest (1935) at 8:45 a.m. followed by Bogie and Lauren Bacall becoming the unwanted house guests of gangster Edward G. Robinson in Key Largo (1948) at 10:15 a.m. Robert Walker in Strangers on a Train (1951) at 12:15 p.m. and Orson Welles in The Third Man (1949) at 2:15 p.m. are dangerous friends. In the Nazis category, Welles plays a war criminal on the run in The Stranger (1948) at 4 p.m. followed by Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt) harassing everyone at Rick's in Casablanca (1943) at 6 p.m.
Prime time: The battle of the movie monsters pits Gojira (1954) aka Godzilla at 8 p.m. against King Kong (1933) at 10 p.m.
Late night: The aliens match up features the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) at midnight vs. giant vegetable James Arness in The Thing from Another World (1951) at 1:30 a.m. The second round of aliens pits giant reptile from Mars, Guilala, in the Japanese film The X from Outer Space (1967) at 3:15 a.m. against  monster from Venus, Ymir, in Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animation classic 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) at 5 a.m.

Friday, March 24

Simone Simon as Irena Dubrovna in Cat People (1942).
Daytime: The battle of silent villains pits vampire Max Schreck in Nosferatu (1922) at 6:45 a.m. against magician Werner Krauss in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) at 8:45 a.m. The animal shape shifter match up features lupine Lon Chaney, Jr., in The Wolf Man (1941) at 10:30 a.m. vs. feline Simone Simon in Cat People (1942) at noon. Next up are two battles of horror icons. First, the legendary Count (Christopher Lee) stalks Transylvania in the Hammer  film, Horror of Dracula (1958) at 1:30 p.m. while Frankenstein's Monster (Boris Karloff) wreaks havoc on village life in Universal horror picture Frankenstein (1931) at 3:15 p.m. The second round features Karloff as ancient Egyptian Imhotep in Universal's The Mummy (1932) at 4:45 p.m. vs. mythological Greek monster (Prudence Hyman) in Hammer's The Gorgon (1964) at 6:15 p.m.
Prime time: The fantasy villains battle pits The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) in The Wizard of Oz (1939) at 8 p.m. opposite wily wizard Sauron in The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) at 10 p.m.
Late night: The future crimes match up features mind-control victim Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange (1971) at 1:30 a.m. against the giant food conglomerate in Soylent Green (1973) at 4 a.m.

Saturday, March 25

Trevor Howard as Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).
Daytime: The first match up is a battle of good guys with all-American James Stewart playing a killer in After the Thin Man (1936) at 6:15 a.m. while crooner Frank Sinatra plays a ruthless Presidential assassin in Suddenly (1954) at 8:30 a.m. Adventure villains pits mustache-twirler Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone) in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) at 10:15 a.m. against cruel Captain Bligh (Trevor Howard) in Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) at 12:15 p.m. Home invasion villains starts with wife killer Ray Milland in Dial M for Murder (1954) at 3:45 p.m. followed by drug smuggler Alan Arkin in Wait Until Dark (1967) at 5:45 p.m.
Prime time: The prime time line up is the battle of dapper thieves starting with David Niven in The Pink Panther (1964) at 8 p.m. followed by John Barrymore trying to steal the Mona Lisa in Arsene Lupin (1932) at 10:15 p.m. 
Late night: The battle of haunted houses pits Hill House in The Haunting (1963) at midnight vs Auntie in the Japanese film House (1977) at 2 a.m.

Sunday, March 26

The prime time lineup features two films directed by Paul Newman and starring his wife, Joanne Woodward. First up is Rachel, Rachel (1968) at 8 p.m., which follows a shy New England schoolteacher during her summer vacation. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972) at 10 p.m. stars Woodward as an idealistic widow who is raising two daughters (Roberta Wallach and Nell Potts).