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Looking forward: January 2014 on TCM


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What are you looking forward to next month on TCM? There are some good offerings just around the corner:

 

1. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY airs on January 5th. And so does MOON OVER MIAMI, with Betty Grable.

 

2. The seldom shown LOVE LETTERS starring Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones on the 6th.

 

3. Merchant Ivory's THE REMAINS OF THE DAY on the 7th.

 

4. A batch of Dane Clark pictures on the 8th: EMBRACEABLE YOU; OUTLAW'S SON; THAT WAY WITH WOMEN; WHIPLASH; and BACKFIRE.

 

5. Don't miss Marion Davies in THE FLORADORA GIRL on the 9th.

 

6. The Hildegarde Withers series begins airing on Saturday mornings starting on the 11th.

 

7. I've earmarked three rarely seen films on the 12th: ANASTASIA; FATHER'S LITTLE DIVIDEND (often neglected in favor of its more well-known predecessor); and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY.

 

8. The day I am most looking forward to is the Kay Francis tribute on the 13th. This is noteworthy because two of her last films, DIVORCE and ALLOTMENT WIVES-- both made at Monogram in the mid-1940s-- are airing. The Kay Francis tribute also features a Universal picture she made with Deanna Durbin: IT'S A DATE.

 

9. THE CHILDREN'S HOUR returns on the 14th. So does TUGBOAT ANNIE which costars Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery. Love this film!

 

10. Beery teams up with Marjorie Main on the 15th in BAD BASCOMB. In fact, it's a salute to their young costar Margaret O'Brien: with LITTLE WOMEN '49; MUSIC FOR MILLIONS; and GLORY thrown in for good measure. This would be the charming equestrian classic from the 1950s, not the Civil War drama from 1989.

 

11. More horse pictures on the 16th: GYPSY COLT (a reworking of LASSIE); and PRIDE OF THE BLUEGRASS.

 

12. The 17th is an evening of Joan Crawford classics (she is Star of the Month), and this night has some of her rarely screened MGM pictures. Check out THE ICE FOLLIES OF 1939, in which she is teamed with Lew Ayres and James Stewart; and SUSAN AND GOD, made right after THE WOMEN, with Fredric March and Rita Hayworth.

 

13. Tallulah Bankhead is spotlighted on the 18th. FAITHLESS (a precode gem); LIFEBOAT and DIE! DIE! MY DARLING! are among the day's offerings.

 

14. PRETTY BABY, a charming Warner Brothers comedy with Betsy Drake on the 19th.

 

15. A good selection of Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier films make the cut on Martin Luther King's birthday. Includes BRIGHT ROAD and LILIES OF THE FIELD.

 

16. Luise Rainer films air on the 21st. I am looking forward to THE GREAT WALTZ. And there is also the rarely screened VOICE IN THE WIND, starring Francis Lederer.

 

17. On January 22nd, it's a well-deserved tribute for Jane Withers. Includes Fox titles BRIGHT EYES; PADDY O'DAY and PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES.

 

18. More Joan Crawford worth seeing on the 23rd: it's HUMORESQUE, with John Garfield. Great film.

 

19. Some William Powell-Myrna Loy treats hit the airwaves on the 25th, such as THE THIN MAN GOES HOME and DOUBLE WEDDING.

 

20. YOUNG MR. LINCOLN and DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK pair Henry Fonda and John Ford at Fox. And both are on TCM on January 26th.

 

21. THE VELVET TOUCH, an excellent drama with Rosalind Russell at RKO, airs on the 27th. Costars include Claire Trevor and Sydney Greenstreet. Don't miss it.

 

22. The 29th features MY KINGDOM FOR A COOK, an obscure film starring Charles Coburn. And there's a charming Laraine Day romantic comedy called BRIDE BY MISTAKE.

 

23. Philo Vance mysteries dominate the screen on the 30th. And there are a few titles with Jim Bannon as Jack Packard.

 

24. Finally, the month winds down on the 31st with Joan Crawford entries from the 60s: THE CARETAKERS and BERSERK! among them.

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I'm with you-seven films penciled in my schedule compared to 2 for December!

 

Funny, a few that excite me are not on your list:

 

1/4 FOR ALL MANKIND (1989)

For any space buffs, this is a fun film filled with footage from the moon that'll look great on your big flat screen TV (bonus if you have 5.1 sound)

 

1/19 WINGS OF DESIRE (1987)

A glorious spiritual romantic film well told by Wim Wenders. Superior to US remake CITY OF ANGELS. (bonus-Nick Cave on stage) I urge any film buff who hasn't seen this gem to take a look.

 

1/9 offers a Bette Davis film THE SISTERS followed by

1/12 rare CHAINED FOR LIFE featuring the Hilton Siamese twins seen in FREAKS. Fun double feature!

 

I also like 1/18 THE BEGINNING OF THE END with following THESE ARE THE DAMNED for a downer double feature.

 

Sorry I will miss Dane Clark day, I really like him too.

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In addition to many terrific pre-code and noir Crawfords, there are these seldom-screened rarities which make January the best month in a long time, a welcome relief between the Month of Musicals and 31 Days of Repeats:

 

P.S. Note that all but 6 of them are before 1960, with the great majority being from 1929 through the 1940's.

 

*2 Thursday*

2:00 PM Washington Masquerade (1932) A widowed U.S. Senator finds himself embroiled in scandal when he remarries. Cast: Lionel Barrymore, Karen Morley, Diane Sinclair. Dir: Charles Brabin. BW-88 min.

 

*4 Saturday*

2:00 AM Shoot First, Die Later (1974) The mafia tries to strong arm a crooked cop into stealing a police report. Cast: Luc Merendo, Richard Conte, Delia Baccardo. Dir: Fernando Di Lio. C-94 min.

 

*8 Wednesday*

8:00 PM Gunman in the Streets (1950) An American army deserter turns street criminal after escaping from police custody. Cast: Dane Clark, Simone Signoret, Fernand Gravet. Dir: Frank Tuttle. BW-88 min.

 

9:45 PM Embraceable You (1948) When he accidentally injures a young girl, a gangster risks his freedom to nurse her. Cast: Dane Clark, Geraldine Brooks, S. Z. Sakall. Dir: Frank Jacoves. BW-88 min.

 

2:45 AM Whiplash (1948) An artist becomes a boxer but finds that it may not have been the best career choice. Cast: Dane Clark, Alexis Smith, Zachary Scott. Dir: Lewis Seiler. BW-90 min.

 

*9 Thursday*

9:00 AM Millie (1931) A prostitute turns to murder to protect her teenage daughter?s honor. Cast: Helen Twelvetrees, Lilyan Tashman, Robert Ames. Dir: John Francis Dillon. BW-85 min.

 

10:30 AM Firebird, The (1934) A young girl's secret romance is exposed when her lover is murdered. Cast: Verree Teasdale, Ricardo Cortez, Lionel Atwill. Dir: William Dieterle. BW-74 min.

 

11:45 AM That Certain Woman (1937) A gangster's widow fights for love despite society's disapproval. Cast: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Ian Hunter. Dir: Edmund Goulding. BW-94 min.

 

*11 Saturday*

4:15 AM Child Bride (1938) A schoolteacher in a rural community campaigns to stop the practice of older men marrying young, underage girls. Cast: Shirley Mills, Bob Bollinger, Warner Richmond. Dir: Harry J. Revier BW-63 min.

 

*13 Monday*

6:00 AM Street of Women (1932) A property developer is torn between his wife and his mistress. Cast: Kay Francis, Roland Young, Alan Dinehart. Dir: Archie Mayo. BW-59 min.

8:30 AM Stolen Holiday (1937) A Paris fashion model marries a fortune hunter to protect him from the law. Cast: Kay Francis, Claude Rains, Ian Hunter. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-80 min.

5:15 PM Allotment Wives (1945) Unscrupulous women marry servicemen for their pay. Cast: Kay Francis, Paul Kelly, Otto Kruger. Dir: William Nigh. BW-78 min.

6:45 PM Divorce (1945) A frequently divorced woman sets her sights on a happily married man. Cast: Kay Francis, Bruce Cabot, Helen Mack. Dir: William Nigh. BW-70 min.

 

*15 Wednesday*

4:15 AM State's Attorney (1932) A district attorney's arrogance almost costs him his career. Cast: John Barrymore, Helen Twelvetrees, Jill Esmond. Dir: George Archainbaud. BW-79 min.

 

*18 Saturday*

8:15 AM Twelve Chairs, The (1970) A fallen aristocrat, a priest and a con artist search for a treasure of jewels hidden inside one of twelve dining chairs. Cast: Ron Moody, Frank Langella, Dom DeLuise. Dir: Mel Brooks. C-93 min.

10:15 AM Carson on TCM: Mel Brooks (2/75) (2013) TCM presents an interview from The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, with Mel Brooks from 2/13/75. C-10 min.

 

11:30 PM Die! Die! My Darling! (1965) A religious fanatic imprisons her late son's sinful fiancee. Cast: Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Peter Vaughan. Dir: Silvio Narizzano. BW-96 min.

 

*21 Tuesday*

7:00 AM Special Investigator (1936) A crooked criminal lawyer discovers his brother has been killed by one of the gangsters he kept out of prison. Cast: Richard Dix, Margaret Callahan, Erik Rhodes. Dir: Louis King. BW-61 min.

 

8:15 AM Absolute Quiet (1936) Murder follows when a plane filled with shady characters is forced to land on a tycoon's ranch. Cast : Lionel Atwill, Irene Hervey, Raymond Walburn. Dir: George P. Seitz. BW-70 min.

 

*23 Thursday*

7:45 AM Younger Generation, The (1929) A rising businessman tries to make his immigrant parents assimilate. Cast: Jean Hersholt, Lina Basquette, Ricardo Cortez. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-75 min. *FRANK CAPRA'S FIRST SOUND MOVIE. IGNORE THE LISTED RUNNING TIME, AS IT'S ACTUALLY 84 MINUTES.*

 

12:15 PM Soldier's Plaything, A (1931) A group of U.S. soldiers run riot through France after the end of World War I. Cast: Lotti Loder, Harry Langdon, Ben Lyon. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-57 min.

 

1:15 PM Are You Listening? (1932) A radio announcer accidentally kills his wife, then leads an on-air hunt for her killer. Cast: William Haines, Madge Evans, Antia Page. Dir: Harry Beaumont. BW-73 min.

 

3:45 PM Unashamed (1932) A society girl's brother goes on trial for killing her lover. Cast: Helen Twelvetrees, Robert Young, Lewis Stone. Dir: Harry Beaumont. BW-76 min.

 

6:45 PM Tough Guy (1936) To save his beloved dog, a boy runs away from home, only to get mixed up with gangsters. Cast: Jackie Cooper, Joseph Calleia, Rin Tin Tin. Dir: Chester M. Franklin. BW-76 min.

 

*27 Monday*

7:30 AM Juke Girl (1942) A migrant laborer becomes a champion of farm workers' rights. Cast: Ann Sheridan, Ronald Reagan, Richard Whorf. Dir: Curtis Bernhardt. BW-90 min.

 

*28 Tuesday*

8:00 PM Gambit (1966) A man dreams of the perfect robbery but can't seem to pull it off. Cast: Michael Caine, Shirley MacLaine, Herbert Lom. Dir: Ronald Neame. C-108 min.

 

10:00 PM Get Carter (1971) A small-time gangster searches for the truth behind his brother's death. Cast: Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland. Dir: Mike Hodges. C-112 min.

 

*29 Wednesday*

4:15 AM I Compagni (1964) (AKA The Organizer) At the turn of the century exploited textile factory workers fight for better working conditions. Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot. Dir: Mario Monicelli. BW-130 min.

 

*30 Thursday*

6:30 AM Le Notti Bianche (1957) An office worker falls for a woman who's pining for the man who deserted her. Cast: Maria Schell, Marcello Mastroianni, Jean Marais. BW-102 min. Dir: Luchino Visconti.

 

4:15 PM I Love a Mystery (1945) A detective tries to protect a man who has predicted his murder will take place in three days. Cast: Jim Bannon, Nina Foch, George Macready. Dir: Henry Levin. BW-69 min.

 

5:30 PM Devil's Mask, The (1946) A detective tries to identify a shrunken head found in a crashed cargo plane. Cast : Anita Louise, Jim Bannon, Michael Duane. Dir: Henry Levin. BW-66 min.

 

6:45 PM Unknown, The (1946) A woman with amnesia hires two detectives to keep her alive long enough to claim her inheritance. Cast: Karen Morley, Jim Bannon, Jeff Donnell. Dir: Henry Levin. BW-71 min.

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Thanks for mentioning those titles on the 9th, Andy. FIREBIRD is one of those rare programmers that casts Verree Teasdale (better known as Mrs. Adolphe Menjou) in the lead role.

 

This really is a great month on TCM.

 

I agree, and the only reason I didn't list even more of my favorites was because for space considerations I wanted to restrict the list to movies that rarely show up on TCM. There really is going to be something for everyone this time.

 

Once again I'd like to note that The Younger Generation is really 84 minutes rather than its listed 75. I discovered this the hard way when I only allowed about 80 minutes the first and (up to now) only time I recorded it. The movie is a somewhat generic Lower East Side sobber, but the sentiments are honest, the intergenerational conflicts depicted were all too real in many cases, and from an historic POV it's notable for being Capra's first sound film - - - - although because of severe budgetary restrictions the sound parts are interspersed randomly among the silent parts in about 8 to 10 places, giving the film a unique mix of the old and the new in more ways than one.

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http://www.tcm.com/schedule/monthly.html?tz=est&sdate=2014-01-01

 

The first two Silent Sunday Nights will be filled with Roscoe Arbuckle shorts.

 

The Gorilla (1939) starring the Ritz Brothers is listed for January 9. Somewhere, I have the first minute or two of this on a VHS tape when it was the second feature on some second-tier PBS station?s version of PBS Underground. Won?t be too surprised if TCM shows the same second-rate print. Mel Brooks lists the Ritz Brothers among his comic influences, so we could be in for a heapin? helpin? of -- figurative or literal -- flatulence.

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>"The Beginning Of The End" and the schedule reads "The Beginning Or The End", so just a heads up that there are two films with similar titles

 

Thanks for noticing....just a slip on my part, I already have "OF" the crazy grasshopper invasion movie. Looking forward to having a completely different movie.

My viewing choices are limited, so I have to pick & choose. Glad others think January is great too!

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Andy, I want to second your recommendation of *I COMPAGNI (THE ORGANIZER)* on the 29th. If you like good stories, interesting characters, and dramatic situations, this is a great choice even if you usually don't go for subtitled Italian films. Marcello Mastroianni stars as the rather shy and dedicated union organizer who tries to energize the factory workers to strike for better working conditions and more pay. The re-creation of an old-fashioned factory is breathtaking, too.

 

I also want to second TopBilled's recommendations of *THE REMAINS OF THE DAY*, a favorite, and *LOVE LETTERS*, one of the best romantic films of the 40s with one of Jennifer Jones' best roles. What life would a woman choose if she had amnesia and had forgotten her previous life?

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The highlight of the month for me is: *Anastasia* (1956) on the 12th.

 

It is a very powerful movie.

 

I believe Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar and several other awards for her performance. I believe Yul Brynner and Helen Hayes were nominated for several awards. I feel the casting of the movie was perfect.

 

The chemistry between Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner is amazing. The tension is intense.

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To you TCM archivists out there:

Anybody know when any of the following three films were last aired on TCM:

 

Ship From Shanghai (1929)

Washington Masquerade (1932)

Stage Mother (1933)

 

I know they are all airing tomorrow, January 2. I just want to know the last time any of them were on. Thanks for any help you can give.

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Quite by chance, I watched Stage Mother from a DVD I made of it just yesterday. The airing was on January 27, 2009. I don't know if it was shown anytime after that, but it is likely that it was, as I record a movie new to me the first time it airs, and movies usually repeat once or twice, at least.

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privatescreeningsrobertosborne_2014_208x

Looking at the TCM schedule for the first week in January. Let's start off with the stats:

 

Jan 1: 1930s=0; 1940s=1; 1950s=3; 1960s=8

Jan 2: 1930s=9; 1940s=0; 1950s=0; 1960s=0

Jan 3: 1930s=5; 1940s=1; 1950s=0; 1960s=2

Jan 4: 1930s=0; 1940s=3; 1950s=4; 1960s=1

Jan 5: 1930s=0; 1940s=7; 1950s=2; 1960s=3

Jan 6: 1930s=1; 1940s=10; 1950s=1; 1960s=0

Jan 7: 1930s=3; 1940s=3; 1950s=2; 1960s=0

 

TOTAL: 1930s=18; 1940s=25; 1950s=12; 1960s=14

 

On January 1st the primetime theme is 'Lost Worlds.' The evening kicks off with two Fox sci-fi classics: JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH from 1959 and THE LOST WORLD from 1960. JOURNEY is scheduled two more times in the near future, but this is the only airing of THE LOST WORLD for now. There are many classics from the 1960s on this day, covering a wide range of genres, not just science fiction. Earlier in the day THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE and SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS are featured.

 

On January 2nd the morning and afternoon hours bring us ten programmers directed by Charles Brabin. Brabin's output is from both MGM and RKO. The films presented date from 1929 to 1933. So the precode lovers will no doubt be happy. In the evening, TCM begins its month-long spotlight on Joan Crawford. The first slate of films are a treat for silent film fans and include her more famous jazz age roles. Also, some of her earliest talkies are featured. Years covered range from 1924 to 1930.

 

On January 3rd TCM continues its love for Crawford by showing nine more of her films. These were all produced at MGM. Of these, I particularly like PAID from 1930 which gives her the type of melodramatic role that she would excel in at the studio during the 1930s. The afternoon hours bring us three of the films she made with frequent costar Clark Gable: DANCE, FOOLS DANCE; LAUGHING SINNERS and POSSESED (1931).

 

The evening of the 3rd includes films where 'Science in the Movies' is featured. The night begins with Greer Garson as MADAME CURIE and ends with Gregory Peck MAROONED.

 

On January 4th, the Maisie series concludes its run on Saturday mornings with UNDERCOVER MAISIE. Kirk Douglas stars in ACT OF LOVE, a romantic drama from 1953, and he is also seen in a later segment from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Later, Walter Pidgeon is spotlighted in primetime with three of his MGM assignments: THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, where he has a supporting role; DESIGN FOR SCANDAL-- a meatier role with Rosalind Russell; and THAT FORSYTE WOMAN, with frequent costar Greer Garson, but billed below her and Errol Flynn on loan from Warners.

 

Let's go to January 5th. There is a hodgepodge of offerings on Sunday morning, and in my opinion, the best of the batch includes three offerings from 1940: FATHER IS A PRINCE; ALWAYS A BRIDE; and TEAR GAS SQUAD, a wonderful Warners B film starring Dennis Morgan and John Payne before both really shot to stardom. It's fun to see them just on the cusp of big things, and they have several great songs each. TEAR GAS SQUAD also features B actress Gloria Dickson, who would die tragically just a short time later.

 

The evening of the 5th gives viewers two Betty Grable flicks from her long run at Fox. The first one was made twelve years after the second one: HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE and MOON OVER MIAMI. This is followed by a collection of Fatty Arbuckle short films.

 

On January 6th, eight films from the 1940s lead off the day, starting with BLUES IN THE NIGHT and ending with THE LADY IN THE LAKE. Sandwiched in between are two great classic films noir from 1946: THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (John Garfield and Lana Turner never looked finer) and THE LOCKET. But my favorite title of the day airs in the afternoon: THE RECKLESS MOMENT, from 1949. Do not miss Joan Bennett and James Mason in this suspenseful drama from Max Ophuls.

 

The evening brings us a special edition of TCM's series Private Screenings with Robert Osborne. This time Mr. Osborne is in the interviewee's seat, and former Essentials cohost Alec Baldwin is asking the questions. The special airs twice and there are four films on tap, which I assume are probably Bob's picks for the night: THE THIRD MAN; LIBELED LADY; the rarely seen LOVE LETTERS; and THE BAND WAGON.

 

January 7th is next. May Robson gives what is arguably her best screen performance in Frank Capra's LADY FOR A DAY. Capra remade the film years later with Bette Davis in the role of Apple Annie, but in my humble estimation, nobody plays this kind of part as well as Robson does. The rest of the daytime and primetime line-up focuses on some of the great classics turned out by Columbia Pictures, in honor of the studio's 90th anniversary. Interestingly, all decades from the 1930s to the 1990s are represented with the exception of the 1960s.

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The TCM schedule when first "leaked" included two Columbia shorts for Jan. 7, 2014 during the day that seems to be devoted to all Columbia films. They were:

THE HECKLER (1940) starring Charley Chase, and

DISORDER IN THE COURT (1936) starring The Three Stooges.

This was an important event as it marks the first time TCM has run Columbia comedy shorts.

But lately, including today, I can't find those two shorts on the schedule any more. I know that when searching their schedule for shorts, one may get different results by searching the daily, weekly and monthly listings. But even knowing this, those two shorts seem to be gone from the schedule. Can anyone else confirm somehow whether or not they'll be shown on Jan. 7, as originally scheduled?

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The only notes I took of the potential January 7 schedule were

The Heckler, 20 minutes, between 8:44 and 9:30am

Disorder in the Court, 16 minutes, between 7:17 and 8:00pm

 

It appears that there has been considerable rearranging of the features for that day, so there are no longer any sufficient gaps for these shorts. It seemed particularly unlikely for a Columbia Stooges short to appear on TCM, as they are still in heavy rotation on AMC, IFC, and Antenna TV. In fact, Disorder in the Court is scheduled to run on AMC today at 9:35am ET. Enjoy the commercials, the popups, and the rest of the screen crud.

 

Thanks for trying.

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Looking at the TCM schedule for the second week in January. Let's start off with the stats:

 

Jan 8: 1930s=0; 1940s=3; 1950s=3; 1960s=8

Jan 9: 1930s=15; 1940s=0; 1950s=0; 1960s=0

Jan 10: 1930s=9; 1940s=1; 1950s=2; 1960s=0

Jan 11: 1930s=4; 1940s=1; 1950s=5; 1960s=2

Jan 12: 1930s=0; 1940s=3; 1950s=4; 1960s=3

Jan 13: 1930s=7; 1940s=5; 1950s=2; 1960s=1

Jan 14: 1930s=9; 1940s=0; 1950s=2; 1960s=2

 

TOTAL: 1930s=44; 1940s=13; 1950s=18; 1960s=16

 

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January 8th is Elvis Presley's birthday. He would have been 79 years old. As is TCM's annual custom on this day, the channel is airing a slate of the king's films-- eight of them in fact, mostly from the mid-to-late 1960s and produced at MGM. Then, after Elvis takes his last bow, it's an evening of Dane Clark films. Dane Clark was a very talented but somewhat underrated star, who began his lengthy screen career at Warner Brothers in the mid-1940s. Titles include WHIPLASH with Alexis Smith and Eve Arden; BACKFIRE with Viveca Lindfors and Virginia Mayo; and OUTLAW'S SON with Lori Nelson and Ellen Drew.

 

January 9th is a special day because it features one of Marion Davies' first talkies. Made at MGM in 1930, it's THE FLORADORA GIRL. Davies was better known as the mistress of William Randolph Hearst, but for cinemaddicts, she is even better known as one of Hollywood's best comediennes. The rest of the morning brings other 1930s offerings like MILLIE with Helen Twelvetrees. And by afternoon, Errol Flynn appears in GREEN LIGHT, a medical drama from 1937; and THE SISTERS, the first of two pictures where he is teamed with Bette Davis. The evening brings us back to Joan Crawford as the January Star of the Month. On this particular night, she checks into MGM's GRAND HOTEL and gets caught in a storm in Somerset Maugham's RAIN.

 

Let's go to January 10th. On Friday morning, it's more Crawford during her mid-to-late 30s phase. Make sure to see THE BRIDE WORE RED. And THE LAST OF MRS. CHEYNEY-- a remake that equals the earlier talkie version, which starred Norma Shearer. During the evening hours, it's a continuation of the special series 'Science in the Movies.' Step into the TCM lab for BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN; DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE; and THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD.

 

On January 11th, the Hildegarde Withers whodunits get underway. These films are part of a nicely-made mystery series produced by RKO in the 1930s. Of course, the stories would not be as fun as they are to watch without Edna May Oliver who assumes the main role as a sharp teacher-turned-sleuth. In the evening, TCM turns its focus to Frank Capra, airing several of his best comedies like IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT; ARSENIC AND OLD LACE; and LADY FOR A DAY. I don't know about you, but I can never watch IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT too many times!

 

Let's head on over to January 12th. If you're a Julie Andrews fan, you're in luck: VICTOR VICTORIA airs in the morning. And if you're a Danny Kaye fan like I am, you're also in luck: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY screens in the afternoon. It's no secret that the original Walter Mitty movie is by far one of the best in Kaye's career. After laughing at Danny Kaye's antics, it's time to get serious with Ingrid Bergman in primetime. Both her Oscar performances as Best Actress will air. Don't miss ANASTASIA, from 20th Century Fox in 1956, and the American version of GASLIGHT from 1944.

 

January 13th is my favorite day of the week. It's an entire morning and afternoon devoted to showing the films of Kay Francis. If you are not familiar with her pictures, this is a good time to sample a few. I highly recommend ANOTHER DAWN, with costar Errol Flynn; WOMEN IN THE WIND, a fabulous story about women flyers with Kay as one of the leads; and STOLEN HOLIDAY, from 1937. But wait there's more: PLAY GIRL and IT'S A DATE, both made in 1940. Plus, some of her final big screen productions, made in the mid-1940s at Monogram: ALLOTMENT WIVES and DIVORCE, which not only find Kay as the star but also as a behind-the-scenes producer. In the evening, TCM does its best to follow-up this incredible day of Kay Francis offerings by giving us a tribute to the 50th Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards.

 

Finally, on the 14th, there are some great Jean Arthur titles from the mid-30s. Check out PUBLIC HERO NO. 1 with Chester Morris and Lionel Barrymore, who was never better. And don't pass up the romantic film HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT, pairing Jean with suave Charles Boyer. The evening is a continuation of the SAG Lifetime Achievement tribute. Offerings include THE CHILDREN'S HOUR from 1960 and CARNAL KNOWLEDGE from 1971. Afterward, there is a TCM premiere you may want to look at: it's FORT VENGEANCE, an interesting B western from 1953 starring James Craig and this year's SAG honoree, Rita Moreno.

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