A TCM Viewer's Guide for the Week of Dec. 18, 2017

It wouldn't be Christmas Eve without Christmas in Connecticut (1945) on TCM. The romantic comedy starring Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan is part of Sunday's all-day lineup of Christmas movies.

TCM is airing a weekend filled with holiday classics, including TCM fan favorites The Bishop's Wife (1947), Christmas in Connecticut (1945), and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). There's also more treasures from the Disney vault and two days of films from star of the month Lana Turner.

I'll go in-depth a little further down in the article, but first here's a quick rundown of what else is on the schedule. Note: All program times are EST.

Birthday tributes: Jane Fonda on Thursday.

Noir Alley: Not airing this week.

TCM Essentials: Troubled boxer Sean Thornton (John Wayne) returns to his ancestral hometown in Ireland in director John Ford's The Quiet Man (1952) at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Silent Sunday Nights: Not airing this week.

TCM Imports: Not airing this week.

Christmas movies: There's a full lineup of Christmas movies on Friday night. Saturday daytime has religious movies and there's 24 hours of holiday classics on Sunday. See each day's schedule and/or the Best Day to DVR section.

Best Day to DVR: Friday prime time and late night. TCM is airing a lineup of holiday movies starting with a Barbara Stanwyck double feature: The TCM fan favorite Christmas in Connecticut (1945) at 8 p.m. and the lovely romance Remember the Night (1940) at 10 p.m. Don't miss the short film Star in the Night (1945) at 11:38 p.m., which recreates the birth of Jesus in a desert motel. The late night lineup has two holiday musicals starring Judy Garland: Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) at midnight and In the Good Old Summertime (1949) at 2:15 a.m. If you're still wrapping presents in the wee hours of the morning, you can catch the delightful 1949 version of Little Women at 4:15 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 18

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964).
Three daytime picks: The theme is six degrees of Rock Hudson. The leading man and Sidney Poitier play childhood friends who are separated by a rebellion in Kenya in Something of Value (1957) at 6 a.m. followed by Poitier and Tony Curtis as two convicts on the run in The Defiant Ones (1958) at 8 a.m. Curtis and Burt Lancaster join the circus in Trapeze (1956) at 9:45 a.m. while Lancaster and frequent costar Kirk Douglas are on different sides during a military coup in Seven Days in May (1964) at 11:45 a.m. Douglas and Rhonda Fleming double cross private eye Robert Mitchum in the classic noir Out of the Past (1947) at 2 p.m. while Fleming and Douglas star in the classic Western Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) at 3:45 p.m. Finally Douglas and Hudson are on opposite sides of the law in the oater The Last Sunset (1961) at 6 p.m.
Prime time lineup: The prime time lineup features two classic musicals starring Rex Harrison. The leading man talks to the animals in Doctor Doolittle (1967) at 8 p.m. followed by his Academy Award-winning performance in My Fair Lady (1964) at 10:45 p.m. 
Late night pick: One of  Harrison's best films is the Noel Coward adaptation Blithe Spirit (1945) at 1:45 a.m. in which he plays a novelist who is haunted by the ghost of his first wife (Kay Hammond).

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).
Three daytime picks: A lineup of movies starring George Sanders starting with his role as suave private eye Simon Templar in the murder mystery The Saint Takes Over (1940) at 8:30 a.m Sanders plays another reformed jewel thief in A Scandal in Paris (1946) at 11:15 a.m., and he captains  a doomed ocean liner in The Last Voyage (1960) at 4:30 p.m.
Prime time lineup: TCM will be airing movies from star of the month Lana Turner every Tuesday in December. This week's lineup features Turner's fifties movies. The smash hit soap opera Peyton Place (1957) is airing at 8 p.m.
Late night pick: Turner gave exceptional performances in both the remake of Imitation of Life (1959) at 11 p.m. and the Hollywood drama The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) at 1:15 a.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Lana Turner
Three Daytime Picks: The Turner movies continue with the Grand Hotel remake Weekend at the Waldorf (1945) at 9:30 a.m. (Turner takes on Joan Crawford's part). Turner plays a working-class girl who marries judge Spencer Tracy in Cass Timberlane (1947) at 11:45 a.m. (she and Tracy are actually great together and this is one of her best performances). Army officer Clark Gable doesn't know if he can trust beautiful spy Turner in the World War II drama Betrayed (1954) at 6 p.m.
Prime time lineup: Film historian and critic Leonard Maltin unearths more treasures from the Disney vault. The Oscar-nominated Mickey Mouse cartoon Brave Little Tailor (1938) is airing at 8 p.m. followed by Disney's second live-action film Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952) at 8:15 p.m. The Sign of Zorro (1958) at 9:45 p.m. was compiled from the successful TV series starring Guy Williams.
Late Night Pick: Don't miss Helen Reddy, Mickey Rooney, and Shelley Winters in the original version of Pete's Dragon (1977) at 2:15 a.m. 

Thursday, Dec. 21

Jane Fonda with her father, Henry Fonda.
Three daytime picks: An 80th birthday tribute to actor Jane Fonda who was born Dec. 21, 1937, in New York City. Fonda, who is the daughter of old Hollywood legend Henry Fonda, made her film debut in the goofy comedy Tall Story (1960) at 6 a.m., which is about a co-ed (Fonda) who falls for dreamy basketball star Anthony Perkins. One of Fonda's earliest hits was the rom-com Sunday in New York (1963) at 2 p.m., which costars Cliff Robertson and Rod Taylor. Another early Fonda role was in the Christmas Eve comedy Period of Adjustment (1962) at 4:15 p.m.
Prime time lineup: TCM is putting the spotlight on The Great American Songbook each Thursday in  December. Host Michael Feinstein will bring his wealth of knowledge about America's mid-20th century popular music, which is such a wonderful part of many old Hollywood films. The prime time lineup starts with the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical Swing Time (1936) at 8 p.m., which features wonderful songs by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields, including "The Way You Look Tonight." Al Dubin and Harry Warren wrote a great score for the all-time great musical 42nd Street (1933) at 10 p.m. that includes standards like the title tune and "Shuffle Off to Buffalo."
Late night pick: The songs of Broadway legend George M. Cohan are featured in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) at 11:45 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 22

Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Three daytime picks: The musicals continue with Fred Astaire and Jane Powell attending a Royal Wedding (1951) at 8 a.m. The semi-sequel to On the Town It's Always Fair Weather (1955) at 1:30 p.m. stars Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, and Michael Kidd as three buddies returning from World War II. Finally, Elvis Presley goes from a convict to a rock 'n' roll superstar in Jailhouse Rock (1957) at 3:30 p.m.
Prime time lineup: See the Best Day to DVR section
Late night pick: See the Best Day to DVR section

Saturday, Dec. 23

The daytime lineup features religious films. The highlights are Boys Town (1938) at 8:30 a.m., Ben-Hur (1959) at 10:15 a.m., and The Song of Bernadette (1943) at 2 p.m.
This week's The Essentials film is director John Ford's Emerald Isle drama The Quiet Man (1952) at 8 p.m. followed by two more films about homecomings: Shipwrecked Irene Dunne returns to find her husband (Cary Grant) ready to marry someone else (Gail Patrick) in the screwball My Favorite Wife (1940) at 10:30 p.m. World War I veteran Gordon MacRae returns to his Indiana hometown in By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) at 12:15 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 24

TCM is airing 24 hours of Christmas movies. Here's the lineup: The Katharine Hepburn version of Little Women (1933) at 6 a.m.; the houseguest from hell comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941) at 8 a.m.; the rom-com It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947) at 10 a.m.; In the Good Old Summertime  at 12:15 p.m.; the romance Holiday Affair (1949) at 2:15 p.m.; Christmas in Connecticut at 4 p.m.; Meet Me in St. Louis at 6 p.m.; Angel Cary Grant saves the holidays for a minister (David Niven) and his family in The Bishop's Wife (1947) at 8 p.m.; There's a cute Nativity scene in the Going My Way (1944) sequel The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) at 10 p.m.; Eugene Pallette and Billie Burke are upper-class snobs who take in bum Joseph Schildkraut for Christmas dinner in The Cheaters (1945) at 12:15 a.m.; The Reginald Owen version of A Christmas Carol (1938) at 2 a.m., and Bette Davis plays an apple seller who gets a holiday surprise in A Pocketful of Miracles (1961) at 3:30 a.m.