It's cold and snowy outside, so why not settle down on the couch with a hot cup of cocoa and old Hollywood favorites on TCM. My picks for this week include an essential noir (photo above of Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past), two eye-popping ancient spectacles, and a (literally) haunting psychological horror film. All times are Eastern and the highlighted text has links to full-length articles.
Here's a link to the complete schedule for the week of Jan. 14-Jan. 20.
Monday Pick of the Day
Out of the Past (1947) at 11:45 pm Monday, Jan. 14: A night of films devoted to old Hollywood icons Robert Mitchum and James Stewart features this seminal noir from director Jacques Tourneur that made Mitchum a star in Postwar America. Mitchum plays a world-weary private eye with a low-key elegance and casual masculinity that would mark so much of his later screen work.
More Mitchum: The Mitchum-Stewart tribute begins at 8 pm with a 2017 documentary about the lives of the two men followed by Stewart playing aviator Charles Lindbergh in The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) at 9:15 pm. Also airing are the classic rom-com The Philadelphia Story (1940) at 1:45 am and noir Macao (1952) at 3:45 am.
GIF of the Week
The Public Enemy (1931) at 5 pm Monday, Jan. 14: James Cagney walks through the rain in this seminal crime film from director William Wellman.
Tuesday Pick of the Day
|Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Pamela Britton in Anchors Aweigh (1945).|
Happy 82nd Birthday, Margaret O'Brien
The former child star, who was born Angela O'Brien on Jan. 15, 1937, in San Diego, will receive a birthday tribute on Tuesday, Jan. 15. My pick would be the wonderful nostalgia piece Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945) at 10 am, but O'Brien is also wonderful as a buttoned-up child genius in Lost Angel (1943) at noon, a lonely Victorian girl in The Secret Garden (1949) at 1:45 pm, and March sister Beth in Little Women (1949) at 5:45 pm.
Wednesday Pick of the Day
|Julie Harris in The Haunting (1963).|
Photo of the Week
East of Eden (1955) at 8 pm Wednesday, Jan. 16: James Dean in Mendocino, Calif., while filming this adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about a dysfunctional family in the early 20th century.
Thursday Pick of the Day
|Deborah Kerr and Robert Taylor in Quo Vadis (1951)|
Alternative Thursday Pick
|Sophia Loren and Stephen Boyd in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)|
The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) at 11:15 pm Thursday, Jan. 17: If you like your ancient epics a little less reverent than Quo Vadis, check out director Anthony Mann's movie about the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Alec Guinness). Although there are plenty of big-name stars (Sophia Loren, Omar Sharif, James Mason), lots of spectacle, and a propulsive Dimitri Tiomkin score, the film's brooding, melancholy tone really makes it an art film masquerading as an epic.
Set Your DVRs for Thursday Afternoon
|Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron in An American in Paris (1951)|
An afternoon of movies about artists starts with the Academy Award-winning musical An American in Paris (1951) at 12:30 pm Thursday followed by Humphrey Bogart as a mysterious artist and Barbara Stanwyck as his new wife in the thriller The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947) at 2:30 pm. Kirk Douglas' wonderful performance as Vincent Van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956) at 4:15 pm is followed by the pre-code mystery Arsene Lupin (1932) at 6:30 pm starring brothers John Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore.
Friday Pick of the Day
|Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, and Humphrey Bogart in The Petrified Forest (1936)|
The Petrified Forest (1936) at 6:15 am Friday, Jan. 18: This taut gangster film about an escaped convict (Humphrey Bogart) who holds a writer (Leslie Howard) hostage at a remote restaurant was the breakthrough movie for Bogart, who had up until that time struggled to find good acting jobs in both Broadway and Hollywood. Bogart went on to make several all-time classics, but he was never more electrifying than as the desperate Duke Mantee in this film. Part of a morning lineup of films based on the work of Robert Sherwood.
The Mark of Zorro (1940) at noon Saturday, Jan. 19: Forget about your weekend chores (at least for a few hours) and settle down on the couch to watch star Tyrone Power (gif above) buckle a fine swash in this action-adventure film.
Saturday Pick of the Day
The Last Hurrah (1958) at 8 pm Saturday, Jan 19: This sentimental Spencer Tracy film about a big-city mayor's final campaign conjures up nostalgia for both old Hollywood (the deep roster of character actors includes James Gleason, John Carradine, and Donald Crisp) and a more honorable time in American politics.
Noir Alley, Jan. 19 edition
Murder, My Sweet (1944) at midnight Saturday, Jan. 19 and 10 am Sunday, Jan. 20: Dick Powell (gif above) gives the definitive screen portrayal of detective Philip Marlowe in this caustic adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel, Farewell, My Lovely. Also features Claire Trevor in one of noir's great femme fatale performances (FYI, I found this gif on Pinterest, but I'm not sure who should get the credit for creating it; the other gifs in this article were created by me).
Sunday Pick of the Day
All That Heaven Allows (1955) at 8 pm Sunday, Jan. 20: Well-off widow Jane Wyman falls for her hunky gardener (Rock Hudson) in this premier example of fifties melodrama. Director Douglas Sirk, who specialized in this type of film, combines glossy visuals (the Technicolor cinematography is breathtaking) with a stifling sense of ennui and a critical eye on the suburban conformity of Postwar America.