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Programming Notes:  Challenge #26

Week of January 4-January 10, 2015



Sunday.  I’m just one of many television viewers who grew up with Mrs. Olson serving up a fresh pot of Folger’s coffee to hapless folks, who would have been clearly baffled by Starbucks and the term ”Barista” today.  Virginia Christine actually did have a career in film.  Perhaps she decided to become Mrs. Olson as soon as Burt Lancaster dumped her for Ava Gardner in The Killers.


I was quite inspired to do a mini tribute to Director Yasujiro Ozu as soon as I walked out of a showing of the silent Dragnet Girl at this year’s San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Ooh, that sounds bad.  I did not leave the film before it ended.  I loved every minute.


Monday.  SAG aka Screen Actor’s Guild is a major force in film and television.  Here is a reunion of most of the founders.  I premiere Night World, a terrific little film with a fun number from Busby Berkeley. 


My new beginnings theme is devoted to people who suddenly become millionaires (or at least, very wealthy).  I premiere an all time favorite It Grows on Trees.


Tuesday.  Loretta Young was one of the most stylish women in Hollywood.  These films show her looking oh so chic (even when she’s not wealthy).  Three Blind Mice is the premiere.  This is an oft-told tale, next remade as Moon Over Miami.


My SOTM is Don Ameche.  I used to love watching his circus show on television when I was a kid.  I was happy that he made more films late in life (like Things Change).  This set of films is early in his career.  I premiere Ramona and Happy Landing, which has Sonja Henie, Don Ameche, Ethel Merman and Cesar Romero going for it.


Wednesday.  Not so long ago, I learned that actor Ricardo Cortez had a brother, Stanley, who also worked in Hollywood.  Nothing so unusual about that.  Ricardo was born Jacob Krantz and changed his name to Ricardo Cortez when he came to Hollywood, capitalizing on the Valentino craze for “latin lover” types.   What is unusual is that Stanley, an award-winning Cinematographer, also changed his name to Cortez.   It’s almost creepy to me but Stanley had immense talent and created some indelible cinematic moments in black and white.  I premiere Flesh and Fantasy.


The evening’s guest programmer is Dixie Belle Lee, the unforgettable novelty performer from The Awful Truth.  The selection of films that Dixie chose reflect: 1) her amazement that Marilyn Monroe must have seen her perform nearly two decades earlier, 2) that there’s an actress, named Joyce Compton, who looks a lot like her and gets to spend time with her performing buddies on tour and wearing beautiful gowns, 3) her delight of Cary Grant in any film, 4) her admiration of southern belles, and 5) the genteel southern lifestyle and down-home folks on a fox hunt.


Thursday.   I remember being completely surprised to learn that character actress Helen Broderick was Broderick Crawford’s mother.  Do you see the resemblance?  They are both wonderful in films.  Here is a sampling from both.  Broderick Crawford’s father was actor Lester Crawford.  I like how the parents combined names for their son.  As did actress Elizabeth Allen and Robert Montgomery for their daughter, Elizabeth Montgomery.  Elizabeth Montgomery was primarily known for television work but here are a couple of her film appearances in pre-Bewitched days.


I must have been influenced by this year’s “family” theme at TCM’s annual film festival in April.  The evening is a lineup of films featuring various combos of The Lane Sisters: Priscilla, Rosemary and Lola.  Actually, there was another performing Lane sister, Leota, who was known for her stage work.  I found out that Rosemary and Priscilla sang with Fred Waring’s band for several years before coming to Hollywood.


Friday.   “Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves” is the title of one of Cher’s most popular song hits of the early seventies.  I chose to program films about gypsies, tramps and thieves, as individual themes.  I premiere Gypsy Wildcat and Blanche Fury.  If only we could get more Maria Montez and Jon Hall films…


Gypsies are at the heart and soul of flamenco song and dance.  I love the flamenco films of spanish director Carlos Saura.  He is famous for other films, as well, but these are special to me.  I think that a month-long spotlight on world dance in film would be great.  This is just one Friday schedule.  I follow with a premiere of Knickerbocker Holiday because the very famous flamenco dancer, Carmen Amaya, makes an appearance.


Saturday.  The Firefly is my segue from spanish films to spy films.  Saturday daytime viewing is all spy films.


My Essentials pick is Nosferatu.  A true classic by F.W. Murnau.  The evening is devoted to vampires and my Underground pick is The Lost Boys.


Silent Sunday Nights


Dragnet Girl


TCM Imports


Tokyo Story


Star of the Month


Don Ameche


TCM Underground


The Lost Boys


The Essentials




Special Exempt Premieres


Artists and Models Abroad

Big Brown Eyes


El Amor Brujo

Blood Wedding





Night World

Million Dollar Ransom

It Grows on Trees

Three Blind Mice


Happy Landing

Flesh and Fantasy

Gypsy Wildcat

Blanche Fury

Knickerbocker Holiday

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Sorry for the dup postings.  I haven't done any posting to speak of since the changes to the website.  There was no confirmation that my post was successful and thus, the multiple postings.  It seems like all I could do was go back and delete the content but not the post.  Formatting is both easier and weirder at the same time.  But, I digress...


I have not read any of the schedules yet but I am looking forward to doing so now that I've posted my schedule and notes.  I hope there is no overlap with anyone else's schedule.  I certainly had fun doing mine and I really can't wait to see what everyone else did.

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At last, I now have a chance to provide programming notes for my schedule for Sunday June 21st through Saturday June 27th, 2015



I thank you for letting us into your thoughts re: your selections. I will pair up your Programming Notes with your schedule in the Voting thread.

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I thank you for bringing us a wonderful schedule! I had hoped very much that you would not disappoint me.


I love that you choose: Dixie Belle Lee as Guest Programmer. I would love very much to see Robert Osborne chat with her! I believe it would be a riot.


I agree that a newly-minted millionaire would indeed be entering a world new to them.


I find it very interesting that you transformed the optional country challenge into a dance theme. I applaud such ingenuity!

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countess, another great schedule. So much great stuff here. Yay for Don Ameche ("I'll catch you on the Ameche!") especially MIDNIGHT, one of my faves. Love "gypsies, tramps and thieves"-- clever! And-- wait--- Elizabeth Montgomery is Robert Montgomery's daughter!?!???!?? MIND BLOWN!!!!!

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Great schedule  --  so much to love  --  SAG Reunion (inspired choice), Loretta Young, The Cortez Brothers, Saturday Spies and Helen Broderick and son.  I really love Helen Broderick and have often thought of doing a Mother/Son tribute to she and Broderick Crawford.  Ditto for Robert and Elizabeth Montgomery.



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Finally getting a bit of time to go back and look at all of the schedules  --  I've already commented

on Countess D's schedule but here are some things I loved about the others:



The Rise (and Fall) of Fame was fabulous as was Mystery Novelists Solve Real Mysteries.

Lucy Ricardo as GP was such fun and Bette/Claude together always works for me.


Classic aficionado

You had such an interesting take on the "new and different" challenge and I loved the films

you selected.  Also, your "Essential" --  Showboat (1936) simply rocked.



Loved the "you can't go home again" theme and films, the Damon Runyon salute and

Debacles, Military and Moral.  You always feature such fascinating films.



I love Ray Walston   --  great idea to salute him  --  and also loved "the beginning of a beautiful friendship" films, WWII propaganda and the Road to Morocco films.  Great job as always.



You saluted some of my favorite Hollywood ladies  --  Joan Blondell (long overdue to be a SOTM

on TCM) Anita Loos, Ida Lupino and Garbo.  Madame Defarge as GP??  I can only say:  Wish I

had thought of that.


So many, great schedules . . . Congrats to all!


The clock is ticking on the end of the challenge.



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Many thanks for all of the nice comments from everyone about my schedule.  LP- it would have been my intention to show The Story of Alexander Graham Bell on the subsequent week, allowing Ben or Robert to explain the genesis of the  "Catch you on the Ameche" reference.  Thanks for mentioning it.


I have just finished perusing all of the schedules to date (you never know if more will squeak in there before midnight).  Wow!  They are all terrific.  I will go into more detail in the voting thread but a few brief highlights:

LP- Look Mama-I'm pretty.  Great use of the new beginnings theme.

Skimpole- Chishu Ryu as SOTM.  Great choice for someone who loves Ozu as much as I.

Lydecker- Lloyd Nolan films.  Love him.

Classic Afficionado- Joan Fontaine as SOTM.  Thanks for adding your programming notes.

Speedracer3- Rocky Horror Picture Show as your Underground (and then Clue).

Obrienmundy-exceptional Guest Programmer: Madame DeFarge.


I know that I will have a difficult choice amongst all of these great schedules, when I vote.  I, myself, wish to bow out of the vote.  Hopefully, the programmers will be watching the voting thread and will take all film suggestions and themes to heart and employ them at will.


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TCM Programming Challenge #26 is now CLOSED to entries!


I thank all who entered for their wonderful schedules!


I am sorry that there were no last-minute entries.


I am happy that I am not allowed to vote and so do not have to make a selection between them! :)


The Voting Thread is now open for votes and comments.


I give thanks to all who participated in any way in making this a very special Challenge.

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