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Alternative Lineups for James Stewart's SUTS Day


sewhite2000
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It appears to me that sometimes TCM just has "give up" days, which I shouldn't knock too much because they probably save enough money to make other days possible, like the Claudette Colbert SUTS day, in which I was delighted to turn on my TV and find two Paramounts and a 20th Century Fox airing in prime time. But maybe the "give up" day that made that day possible was the James Stewart SUTS day, in which 13 films aired, and TWELVE of them were from MGM! (One was from Warner Bros.) It seemed grossly misrepresentative of Stewart's career, focusing very heavily on his prewar MGM years. There were none of his Hitchcock movies, none of his Westerns at Universal (The Naked Spur, the one Anthony Mann Western he made at MGM did air), none of his Frank Capra movies and none of his Oscar nominated performances (admittedly, the one film he won for is an MGM film, but even that wasn't shown this year).

 

In an overkill response, I am submitting five alternative playlists I would like to have seen or would like to see in a future Stewart SUTS day. I think they collectively show how amazingly long and diverse his career was. I compiled five lists of a dozen films each with no repeats, and it never felt like I was scraping the bottom of the barrel to keep from repeating. Heck, I picked 60 films, and somehow You Can't Take It with You or Vertigo or Flight of the Phoenix or The Spirit of St. Louis never even got on there, so there's plenty to choose from for a sixth completely original lineup (I deliberately avoided It's a Wonderful Life, because I think that's an impossibility). I wouldn't mind seeing some of these post-1960 films on TCM once in a while. Let's see Stewart in every phase of his career!

 

Bearing in mind that this is TCM, I even began by making the concession that four films on each of my lists would be MGM films, so hopefully I'm not asking the network to spend a zillion dollars to put one of these days together:

 

LIST #1:

1937 Navy Blue & Gold (MGM)

1938 Of Human Hearts (MGM)

1940 The Philadelphia Story (MGM)

1941 Come Live with Me (MGM)

1950 Harvey (Universal)

1950 Broken Arrow (20th Century Fox)

1955 The Man from Laramie (Columbia)

1956 The Man Who Knew too Much (Paramount)

1963 Take Her, She's Mine (20th Century Fox)

1964 Cheyenne Autumn (Warner Bros.)

1978 The Magic of Lassie (International Picture Show)

1980 Afurika Monogotari (Sonrio)

(Four from MGM, two from 20th Century Fox, no more than one from any other studio)

 

LIST #2:

1937 The Last Gangster (MGM)

1937 Seventh Heaven (20th Century Fox)

1940 No Time for Comedy (Warner Bros.)

1940 The Mortal Storm (MGM)

1949 Malaya (MGM)

1950 Winchester '73 (Universal)

1954 Rear Window (Paramount)

1955 Strategic Air Command (Paramount)

1962 How the West Was Won (MGM)

1962 Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (20th Century Fox)

1977 Airport '77 (Universal)

1978 The Big Sleep (United Artists)

(Four from MGM, two each from Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount, no more than one from any other studio)

 

LIST #3:

1936 After the Thin Man (MGM)

1936 Born to Dance (MGM)

1939 Destry Rides Again (Universal)

1940 The Shop Around the Corner (MGM)

1948 You Gotta Stay Happy (Universal)

1949 The Stratton Story (MGM)

1954 The Far Country (Universal)

1954 The Glen Miller Story (Universal)

1961 Two Rode Together (Columbia)

1962 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (Paramount)

1971 Fools' Parade (Columbia)

1976 The Shootist (Paramount)

(Four each from MGM and Universal, two each from Columbia and Paramount)

 

LIST #4:

1936 The Gorgeous Hussy (MGM)

1936 Speed (MGM)

1939 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Columbia)

1939 It's a Wonderful World (MGM)

1948 Rope (Warner Bros.)

1948 On Our Merry Way (United Artists)

1953 Thunder Bay (Universal)

1953 The Naked Spur (MGM)

1959 The FBI Story (Warner Bros.)

1960 The Mountain Road (Columbia)

1968 Bandolero! (20th Century Fox)

1970 The Cheyenne Social Club (National General)

(Four from MGM, two each from Columbia and Warner Bros., no more than one from any other studio)

 

LIST #5:

1936 Small Town Girl (MGM)

1936 Wife vs. Secretary (MGM)

1939 The Ice Follies of 1939 (MGM)

1939 Made for Each Other (United Artists)

1947 Magic Town (RKO)

1948 Call Northside 777 (20th Century Fox)

1952 Carbine Williams (MGM)

1952 Bend of the River (Universal)

1958 Bell, Book & Candle (Columbia)

1959 Anatomy of a Murder (Columbia)

1966 The Rare Breed (Universal)

1968 Firecreek (Warner Bros.)

(Four from MGM, two each from Columbia and Universal, no more than one from any other studio)

 

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Your original post brings home the problem that happens when viewers rely exclusively on TCM for all their classic film viewings.

 

If someone is a completist or looking for lesser known films featuring a superstar actor from the golden age of Hollywood, it is up to them, personally, to find films beyond TCM. TCM is a good starting point but it is not a comprehensive source of classic films (that is not a put down). So maybe instead of expecting TCM to do all the work for us, we need to check Classicflix, Netflix, the Internet Archive, Youtube, Ebay, iOffer and Amazon (and other places too numerous to mention).

 

Now one film that I feel should have been played because it has been awhile since it aired on TCM, is Columbia's THE MOUNTAIN ROAD. I see it in the original poster's List #4. That's a different sort of role for James Stewart-- and few people ever mention or think about this film when discussing his motion picture career.

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I agree that TCM could have made some better selections for Jimmy Stewart day.  Hardly any westerns? No Hitchcock?  No ANATOMY OF A MURDER?  It's my favorite Stewart movie and I haven't seen it in about six months!  Maybe TCM was going for some of his more obscure stuff, like his early supporting performances in AFTER THE THIN MAN and ROSE MARIE.  I did enjoy seeing MORTAL STORM; I hadn't seen it before but TCM could have mixed it up a little more with their offerings. 

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I think the only James Stewart movie I ended up recording was "It's a Wonderful World" that aired on Claudette Colbert day!

 

I would have liked to have seen "The Spirit of St. Louis" only because I caught part of it one day and wanted to see the rest.  I know what'll happen, since it's based on Charles Lindbergh and all; but it looked like a fun movie; except I'll have to admit I laughed when he said "Which way to Ireland?" It was the way he sounded when he said it.  I can't really explain further.  I know that "The Spirit of St. Louis" is a fairly big James Stewart film, so I'm sure it'll repeat again, and I think it's available on Netflix. 

 

I've wanted to see "Anatomy of Murder" too.  It's currently streaming on the Netflix Instant Queue.  I just need to remember to watch it before it leaves Instant Streaming.

 

I would have liked to have seen "Take Her, She's Mine" which I don't believe is on Netflix right now.  I only saw the film once and remember liking it.  I'd like to see it again.  I don't think it is on DVD right now, but I could be wrong. 

 

Finally, I would have liked to see "The Man Who Knew Too Much," the only collaboration of his with Hitchcock that I don't own and haven't seen before. 

 

James Stewart is a major actor however and a TCM favorite, so I'm sure the films of his will pop up eventually.  If not, I'll seek them out via Netflix.  Many films that aren't aired on TCM often are available on WB Shop Archives; but I'm not big on buying films I haven't seen; unless I have an inkling that I'll love the film, then I may take a chance.

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I think the only James Stewart movie I ended up recording was "It's a Wonderful World" that aired on Claudette Colbert day!

 

I would have liked to have seen "The Spirit of St. Louis" only because I caught part of it one day and wanted to see the rest.  I know what'll happen, since it's based on Charles Lindbergh and all; but it looked like a fun movie; except I'll have to admit I laughed when he said "Which way to Ireland?" It was the way he sounded when he said it.  I can't really explain further.  I know that "The Spirit of St. Louis" is a fairly big James Stewart film, so I'm sure it'll repeat again, and I think it's available on Netflix. 

 

I've wanted to see "Anatomy of Murder" too.  It's currently streaming on the Netflix Instant Queue.  I just need to remember to watch it before it leaves Instant Streaming.

 

I would have liked to have seen "Take Her, She's Mine" which I don't believe is on Netflix right now.  I only saw the film once and remember liking it.  I'd like to see it again.  I don't think it is on DVD right now, but I could be wrong. 

 

Finally, I would have liked to see "The Man Who Knew Too Much," the only collaboration of his with Hitchcock that I don't own and haven't seen before. 

 

James Stewart is a major actor however and a TCM favorite, so I'm sure the films of his will pop up eventually.  If not, I'll seek them out via Netflix.  Many films that aren't aired on TCM often are available on WB Shop Archives; but I'm not big on buying films I haven't seen; unless I have an inkling that I'll love the film, then I may take a chance.

 

I believe TCM shows SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS, ANATOMY OF A MURDER and THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH on a fairly regular basis.  TAKE HER, SHE'S MINE is seen occasionally on FMX Retro (the old FMC), as are other movies Stewart did at 20th Century Fox, like CALL NORTHSIDE 777, BROKEN ARROW, and MR. HOBBS TAKES A VACATION.  However, it seems like its been awhile since Fox aired NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY, and ages since his totally miscast turn as Chico in the 1937 remake of SEVENTH HEAVEN (it would have been perfect as a vehicle for whom it had been intended, Tyrone Power imho.

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TCM does show ANATOMY OF A MURDER quite a bit so I was half-kidding because I have seen it so many times.  But I love it and I do watch it as often as possible.

 

I assume Hitchcook films cost more to lease and the leasing terms may how limits (e.g. TCM can only show the film once in a given period) since he is the most popular director of all time. 

 

So while TCM will be showing many good Stewart films the list is mostly made up of films associated with TCM's "vault" (there really isn't a vault but I use the word to mean films TCM has easy and cheap access to).

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