A TCM Viewer's Guide for the Week of Oct. 2, 2017

TCM is featuring a night of movie monsters on Tuesday. The lineup includes Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster (photo above) in Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

On Tuesday, TCM is airing a night of movies featuring some of the best Universal Pictures movie monsters including Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy, and The Invisible Man. There's also an evening of films from star of the month Anthony Perkins and a daytime celebration of the June Allyson's centenary. (BTW, TCM fan Jennifer Churchill is writing a children's book called Movies Are Magic about the history of classic film. Click here to learn more/donate).

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: Buster Keaton on Wednesday; June Allyson on Friday.

Noir Alley: Robert Young and Susan Hayward play an adulterous couple who plan to kills his unsuspecting wife (Rita Johnson) in They Won't Believe Me (1947) at 10 a.m. Sunday.  The plot for this film is a bit like a gender-flipped Double Indemnity (1944) with an unexpected twist ending.

TCM Essentials: The great character actor Burl Ives has a small but significant role in the John Steinbeck adaptation East of Eden (1952) at 8 p.m. Saturday. 

Silent Sunday Nights:  The seminal German horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) at 12:15 a.m. Director Robert Wiene's film about a magician (Werner Krauss) who hypnotizes a man (Conrad Veidt) to do his evil bidding influenced everything from low-budget monster movies to film noir (Veidt's memorable makeup also influenced the look of every Goth kid you went to high school with).

TCM Imports: Two Japanese horror films from director Nobuo Nakagawa starting with a theology student's journey through hell in Jigoku (1960) at 2 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning. The ghost story Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan (1959) at 4 a.m. is based on a 19th century Kabuki play.

Best Day to DVR: Tuesday prime time and late night: A night featuring five of Universal Pictures greatest movie monsters. There's two films starring Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster: Frankenstein (1931) at 8 p.m. and The Bride of Frankenstein at 9:30 p.m. (Elsa Lanchester plays the title character in the second film). In late night, Karloff is all wrapped up as The Mummy (1932) at 11 p.m., Lon Chaney, Jr., transforms into The Wolf Man (1941) at 12:30 a.m., and Claude Rains does a disappearing act in The Invisible Man (1933) at 4:45 a.m. Also airing are Charles Laughton as a mad scientist in Island of Lost Souls (1933) at 2 a.m. and the bizarre Karloff-Bela Lugosi chiller The Black Cat (1934) at 3:30 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 2

Joan Crawford and John Garfield in Humoresque (1946).
Three daytime picks: The theme is movies starring old Hollywood actors named Joan. First up is Joan Bennett as the long-suffering matriarch of the Banks family in Father of the Bride (1950) at 8:15 a.m. followed by Joan Crawford as a society woman who becomes infatuated with classical violinist John Garfield in Humoresque. Finally, Joan Blondell has a small role in the gangster saga The Public Enemy (1931) at 5:45 p.m.
Prime time lineup: Each Monday in October, TCM is partnering with the non-profit organization Women in Film to put the spotlight on the trailblazing ladies who worked behind the scenes in old Hollywood. Tonight's lineup features screenwriters who worked in the 1920s and 1930s. Respected screenwriter Bess Meredyth worked on the silent film Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) at 8 p.m. Writer Dorothy Parker lent her sharp wit to the script of the original version of A Star Is Born (1937) at 10:30 p.m.
Late night pick:  One of the most prolific screenwriters in early film was Frances Marion who co-wrote the Greta Garbo-Robert Taylor romance Camille (1936) at 3 a.m.

Tuesday, Oct 3

Cowboy star Tim Holt.
Three daytime picks:  The theme is Westerns about outlaw gangs. First up, buxom outlaw Belle Star (Jane Russell) leads a bank-robbing scheme in Montana Belle (1952) at 7:15 a.m. followed by several Tim Holt oaters including The Bandit Trail (1941) at 10 a.m., Rustlers (1949) at 12:30 p.m., and The Forty-Niners (1954) at 1:45 p.m. (In these films, Holt plays variations on the good guy who is valiantly fighting against the dastardly crooks). Undercover agent Dick Powell tries to stop a gang of gold thieves in Station West (1951) at 3 p.m. 
Prime time lineup: See the Best Day to DVR section.
Late night pick:  See the Best Day to DVR section.

Wednesday, Oct. 4

Buster Keaton.
Three Daytime Picks:  A birthday tribute to Buster Keaton who was born Joseph Keaton on Oct. 4, 1895, in Piqua, Kan. Keaton was a seasoned vaudevillian when he began his film career in a series of comedies with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle including Coney Island (1917) at 6 a.m., The Bell Boy (1918) at 8 a.m., and Good Night, Nurse (1918) at 8:30 a.m. Keaton achieved almost complete creative control of his films in the late 1920s, which led to  comic masterpieces like The Cameraman (1928) at 3:15 p.m., Steamboat Bill Jr (1928) at 5:15 p.m., and The General (1927) at 6:30 p.m. Keaton continued to make films in the sound era, the funniest of which is Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (1931) at noon.
Prime time:Tonight's lineup is devoted to movie duels. The centerpiece of the swashbuckler Scaramouche (1952) at 8 p.m. is a seven-minute duel between Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer. The title character (Ryan O'Neal) is involved in two pivotal duels in director Stanley Kubrick's period piece Barry Lyndon (1975) at 10:15 p.m.
Late night pick: John Gilbert and Lars Hanson battle it out for the affections of Greta Garbo in Flesh and the Devil (1926) at 1:30 a.m.

Thursday, Oct. 5

Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (1947).
Three daytime picks: The theme is movies from director Jacques Tourneur. Tourneur started off as a director of low-budget fare like the B detective movie Phantom Raiders (1940) at 9:15 a.m. (Walter Pidgeon saves the Panama Canal) before earning acclaim for a series of evocative horror films he made with producer Val Lewton. Tourneur's Postwar career included film noir (Out of the Past (1947) at 6 p.m.), thrillers  (Berlin Express (1948) at 6 a.m.), and Westerns (Witchita (1955) at 7:45 a.m.).
Prime time lineup: Tonight's lineup features movies about childhood adventures starting with the 1960 adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn at 8 p.m., which stars Eddie Hodges as the wily orphan. A young Dean Stockwell helps Errol Flynn save the British Army in Kim (1951) at 10 p.m.
Late night pick: Freddie Bartholomew bonds with Spencer Tracy in the seafaring adventure Captains Courageous (1937) at 4 a.m.

Friday, Oct. 6

June Allyson.
Three daytime picks: An 100th birthday tribute to actor June Allyson who was born Eleanor Geisman Oct. 7, 1917, in The Bronx. Allyson was an understudy in the Broadway musical Panama Hattie when an MGM talent scout spotted her. Allyson rose to stardom in pleasant musicals and comedies like The Sailor Takes a Wife (1945) at 7:30 a.m., and she later made three successful films with James Stewart including the baseball biopic The Stratton Story (1949) at 12:45 p.m. She co-starred with real-life husband Dick Powell in the political comedy The Reformer and the Redhead (1950) at 2:45 p.m.
Prime time lineup: Every Friday in October TCM will air films from star of the month Anthony Perkins. Tonight's lineup features Perkins' early work starting with his role as the romantic interest of a stagestruck Jean Simmons in The Actress (1953) at 8 p.m. Perkins earned a best supporting actor Academy Award nomination for playing a 19th-century Quaker boy who is caught between his pacifist faith and his desire to fight for the Union in Friendly Persuasion (1956) at 9:45 p.m.
Late night: Perkins plays a young sheriff who seeks assistance from bounty hunter Henry Fonda in the underrated Western The Tin Star (1956) at 12:15 a.m.

Saturday, Oct. 7

The Essentials series continues at 8 p.m. with host Alec Baldwin. He will be joined by former late night host David Letterman to discuss the John Steinbeck adaptation East of Eden (1955) at 8 p.m. followed by two more films starring Burl Ives: The Western Day of the Outlaw (1959) at 10:15 p.m. finds Ives and his crooked cronies taking over a small town followed by Ives as a notorious Florida poacher in Wind Across the Everglades (1958) at midnight

Sunday, Oct. 8

TCM will air Dracula movies every Sunday night in October. Tonight's lineup includes three B movies starting with the mysterious count (Francis Lederer) moving in with a middle-class California family in The Return of Dracula (1958) at 8 p.m. Dracula (John Carradine) tries to find a cure for his bloodsucking ways (spoiler alert: It doesn't work) in House of Dracula (1945) at 9:30 p.m. Carradine reprises his role as Dracula in the low-budget horror/Western Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966) at 10:45 p.m.