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TCM Programming Challenge #27 -- What A Character! (Challenges)

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Well Mrs. Capuchin, although the themes are kind of broad, and My Neighbor Totoro is really a 1988 film, moving through the decades is a nice idea.  I'm a Slave of Love fan myself, and as a Canadian, I would also like the chance to see Close-Up.


I did need a loose concept for weekly theme as I would not be working on schedule as a whole and would be doing bits and pieces as time allowed. This looseness of theme and broadness of topics did allow me to schedule movies which I love rather than ones which fit narrow restrictions.


My database shows: My Neighbor Totoro (1993) as being listed as 1993 movie in TCM schedule when it aired. I believe that may be due to that being the date for the English-dubbed version. It was convenient to use that date because there were so few movies of that genre in 1990s which I feel are important to air.


I am happy that you enjoy: A Slave of Love (1976). I find it a wonderful movie also. I feared to schedule it because few here know of it. 


Is: Close-Up (1990) never aired in Canada when it is on TCM U.S.A. schedule?

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Great schedule SansFin.  I loved the 70 years of marriage and the decades of divorce themes.  I also enjoy Judith Anderson.  The Romance through the ages day looked fun as well.  I also like the scheduling of My Neighbor Totoro.  Awesome job and congrats on the marriage and citizenship!

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Great schedule SansFin.  I loved the 70 years of marriage and the decades of divorce themes.  I also enjoy Judith Anderson.  The Romance through the ages day looked fun as well.  I also like the scheduling of My Neighbor Totoro.  Awesome job and congrats on the marriage and citizenship!


I thank you for your kind words.


I noted that you scheduled two Hayao Miyazaki movies also. I was relieved that you choose ones other than those which I wished to schedule. I can hope that continued interest in his movies may prompt TCM Programmers to air them again.

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I missed the last challenge, but I'm back for another go round:


June 12-18, 2016




British movies I haven't seen in their entirety


0600 The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943, The Archers, 163 min, p/s) dir. Michael Powell; stars Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook

0845 The Battle of Britain (1969, Spitfire, 132 min, p/s) dir.; stars Michael Caine, Curd Jurgens, Trevor Howard

1100 Look Back in Anger (1959, Orion, 98 min, p/s) dir. Tony Richardson; stars Richard Burton, Clare Bloom, Mary Ure

1245 Passport to Pimlico (1949, J. Arthur Rank, 84 min, p/s) dir. Henry Cornelius; stars Stanley Holloway, Betty Warren, Barbara Murray

1415 Get Carter (1971, MGM UK, 112 min, p/s) dir. Mike Hodges; stars Michael Cain, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland

1615 Vacation From Marriage (1945, London Film, 102 min, p/s) dir. Alexander Korda; stars Robert Donat, Deborah Kerr, Glynis Johns

1800 Madeleine (1950, Cineguild, 112 min, p/s) dir. David Lean; stars Ann Todd, Norman Wooland, Ivan Desny


Prime Time: So that's what Leo Forbstein looks like!


2000 Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934, First National, 89 min) dir. Ray ENright; stars Pat O'Brien, Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers

Short: Here's Howe (1936, WB, 21 min)

2200 Broadway Gondolier (1935, WB, 99 min) dir. Lloyd Bacon; stars Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Adolphe Menjou

Short: Frontier Days (1945, WB, 17 min)


Silent Sunday Nights


0000 The Volga Boatman (1926, DeMille, 120 min, exempt) dir. Cecil B. DeMille; stars William Boyd, Elinor Fair, Robert Edeson

Short: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928, Hal Roach, 21 min)


TCM Imports:


0230 Widower With 5 Daughters (1957, Göttinger Film Atelier, 96 min, exempt) dir. Erich Engels; stars Heinz Erhardt, Susanne Cramer, Helmut Lohner

0415 Drunken Angel (1949, Toho, 102 min, p/s) dir. Akira Kurosawa; stars Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune, Reizaburo Yamamoto




Which of these movies are about animals?


0600 Spirit of the Beehive (1973, Ella Querejeta, 95 min, p/s) dir. Victor Ence; stars Ana Torrent, Fernando Fernan Gomez, Teresa Gimpera

0745 The Sign of the Ram (1948, Columbia, 84 min, p/s) dir. John Sturges; stars Susan Peters, Alexander Knox, Phyllis Thaxter

0915 Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965, Ivan Tors, 92 min, p/s) dir. Andrew Marton; stars Marshall Thompson, Betsy Drake, Richard Haydn

1100 A Dog of Flanders (1959, Fox, 96 min, p/s) dir. James B. Clark; stars Theodore Bikel, David Ladd, Donald Crisp

1245 The Story of Seabiscuit (1949, WB, 93 min) dir. David Butler; stars Shirley Temple, Barry Fitzgerald, Lon McCalister

1430 Kes (1969, Kestrel, 110 min, p/s) dir. Ken Loach; stars David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie

1630 An Alligator Named Daisy (1955, Rank, 85 min, p/s) dir. J. Lee Thompson; stars Donald Sinden, Jeannie Carson, James Robertson Justice

1800 Two Mules For Sister Sara (1970, Universal, 116 min, p/s) dir. DOnald Siegel; stars Shirley MacLaine, Clint Eastwood, Manolo Fabregas


Movies named after women


2000 Lorna Doone (1951, Edward Small, 88 min) PREMIERE #1 dir. Phil Karlson; stars Barbara Hale, Richard Greene, Carl Benton Reid

Short: I Love My Mother-In-Law, But... (1949, MGM, 8 min)

2145 Marjorie Morningstar (1958, Beachwold, 128 min) PREMIERE #2 dir. Irving Rapper; stars Gene Kelly, Natalie Wood, Clarie Trevor

0000 Susan Slade (1961, WB, 116 min, p/s) dir. Delmer Daves; stars Troy Donahue, Connie Stevens, Dorothy McGuire

0200 Presenting Lily Mars (1944, MGM, 104 min) dir. Norman Taurog; stars Judy Garland, Van Heflin, Fay Bainter

Short: A Wife's Life (1950, MGM, 8 min)

0400 Cass Timberlane (1947, MGM, 119 min) dir. George Sidney; stars Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Zachary Scott




Burl Ives birthday salute


0600 Our Man in Havana (1959, Kingsmead, 111 min, p/s) dir. Carol Reed; stars Alec Guinness, Burl Ives, Maureen O'Hara

0800 Ensign Pulver (1964, WB, 104 min, p/s) dir. Joshua Logan; stars Robert Walker Jr., Burl Ives, Walter Matthau

0945 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958, MGM, 108 min) dir. Richard Brooks; stars Eilzabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives

1145 Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960, Columbia, 105 min, p/s) dir. Philip Leacock; stars Burl Ives, Shelley Winters, James Darren

1330 The Big Country (1958, UA, 165 min, p/s) dir. William Wyler; stars Gergory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker

1615 The Power and the Prize (1956, MGM, 98 min) dir. Henry Koster; stars Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Müller, Burl Ives


Carl Esmond birthday salute


1800 Her Highness nad the Bellboy (1945, MGM, 112 min) dir. Richard Thorpe; stars Hedy Lamarr, Robert Walker, June Allyson




2000 Romeo and Juliet (1936, MGM, 125 min) dir. George Cukor; stars Andy Devine, Edna Mae Oliver, C. Aubrey Smith

2215 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960, MGM, 107 min) dir. Michael Curtiz; stars Andy Devine, Judy Canova, John Carradine

0115 The Red Badge of Courage (1951, MGM, 69 min) dir. John Huston; stars Andy Devine, Audie Murphy, Royal Dano

0230 Two Rode Together (1961, Columbia, 109 min, p/s) dir. John Ford; stars Andy Devine, Shirley Jones, Richard Widmark

0430 Yellow Jack (1938, MGM, 83 mni) dir. George Seitz; stars Andy Devine, Buddy Ebsen, Charles Coburn




0600 Affair in Trinidad (1952, Columbia, 92 min, p/s) dir. Oscar Saul; stars Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, Alexander Scourby)

0745 Christopher Columbus (1949, Gainsborough, 99 min, p/s) dir. David McDonald; stars Fredric March, Florence Eldridge, Francis L. Sullivan

0930 The Tamarind Seed (1974, ITC, 119 min) PREMIERE #3 dir. Blake Edwards; stars Julie Andrews, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quayle

1130 The Emperor Jones (1933, UA, 72 min, p/s) dir. Dudley Murphy; stars Paul Robeson, Dudley Digges, Ruby Etzy

1245 The Comedians (1967, MGM, 152 min) dir. Peter Glenville; stars Richard Burton, Elizaeth Taylor, Alec Guinness

Short: Island Windjammers (1956, RKO, 8 min)

1530 The Cuban Love Song (1931, MGM, 86 min) dir. WS Van Dyke; stars Lupe Velez, Jimmy Durante, Louise Fazenda

1700 The Ghost Breakers (1940, Paramount, 85 min, p/s) dir. George Marshall; stars Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Paul Lukas

1830 A Lady Without Passport (1950, MGM, 74 min) dir. Jospeh Lewis; stars Hedy Lamarr, John Hodiak, James Craig

Short: Colorful Curacao (1939, MGM, 9 min)


Prime Time: Incredible Characters: the 50s


2000 Francis Goes to West Point (1952, Universal International, 81 min, IC-Exempt) dir. Arthur Lubin; stars Donald O'Connor, Lori Nelson, Francis the Talking Mule

2130 Magnificent Obsession (1954, Universal-International, 108 min, p/s) dir. Douglas Sirk; stars Rock Hudson, Jane Wyman, Agnes Moorehead

2330 The Brothers Karamazov (1959, MGM, 145 min) dir. Richard Brooks; stars Yul Brynner, Lee J. Cobb, William Shatner

0200 Nights of Cabiria (1957, de Laurentiis, 117 min, p/s) dir. Federico Fellini; stars Giulietta Masina, François Perier, Franca Marzi

0400 Knights of the Round Table (1953, MGM, 115 min) dir. Richard Thorpe; stars Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Mel Ferrer




Nobody watches musicals because nobody likes them ;-)


0600 Camelot (1967, WB, 179 min) dir. Joshua Logan; stars Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero

0900 Funny Girl (1968, Columbia, 155 min, p/s) dir. William Wyler; stars Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford

1145 It's Always Fair Weather (1955, MGM, 101 min) dir. Stanley Donen; stars Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse

1330 Good News (1947, MGM, 93 min) dir. Charles Walters; stars June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Patricia Marshall

1515 Show Girl in Hollywood (1930, First National, 80 min) dir. Mervyn LeRoy; stars Alice White, Jack Mulhall, Blanche Sweet

1645 Sunny (1930, First National, 78 min) dir. William A. Seiter; stars Marilyn Miller, Lawrence Gray, Joe Donahue

1815 The Cuckoos (1930, RKO, 97 min) dir. Paul Sloane; stars Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee


Prime Time: A Constancy of Constances


2000 Red Skies of Montana (1952, Fox, 99 min) PREMIERE #4 dir. Joseph M. Newman; stars Richard Widmark, Constance Smith, Jeffrey Hunter

2145 The Perils of Pauline (1947, Paramount, 96 min, p/s) dir. George Marshall; stars Betty Hutton, John Lund, Constance Collier

2330 Movie Crazy (1932, Paramount, 98 min, p/s) dir. Clyde Bruckman; stars Harold Lloyd, Constance Cummings, Kenneth Thomson

0115 All Fall Down (1961, MGM, 111 min) dir. John Frankenheimer; stars Eva Marie Saint, Warren Beatty, Constance Ford

0315 Shock Corridor (1963, Allied Artists, 101 min) dir. Sam Fuller; stars Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Gene Evans

0500 A Virtuous Vamp (1919, p/d, 50 min) dir. David Kirkland; stars Constance Talmadge, Conway Tearle, Belle Daube




Best Actress nominations I haven't seen


0600 The Little Foxes (1941, Goldwyn, 116 min, p/s) dir. William Wyler; stars Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright

0800 Camille (1936, MGM, 109 min) dir. George Cukor; stars Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore

1000 The Constant Nymph (1943, WB, 113 min) dir. Edmund Goulding; stars Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Alexis Smith

1200 Valiant Is the Word for Carrie (1936, Paramount, 110 min) PREMIERE #5 dir. Wesley Ruggles; stars Gladys George, Arline Judge, John Howard

1400 The Rose Tattoo (1955, Paramount, 117 min, p/s) dir. Daniel Mann; stars Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, Marisa Pavan

1600 Sudden Fear (1952, Joseph Kaufmann, 110 min) PREMIERE #6 dir. David Miller; stars Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame

1800 The Blue Veil (1951, Wald/Krasna, 113 min) PREMIERE #7 dir. Curtis Bernhardt; stars Jane Wyman, Charles Laughton, Joan Blondell


Friday Night Spotlight: Artists at Work


2000 The Horse's Mouth (1958, Knightsbridge, 97 min, p/s) dir. Roland Neame; stars Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh, Renee Houston

2145 The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965, Fox, 138 min, p/s) dir. Carol Reed; stars Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Diane Cilento

0000 Of Human Bondage (1964, MGM, 100 min) dir. Henry Hathaway; stars Laurence Harvey, Kim Novak, Robert Morley

0145 The Girl From Jones Beach (1948, WB, 78 min) dir. Peter Godfrey; stars Ronald Reagan, Virginia Mayo, Eddie Bracken

0315 The Mystery of Picasso (1956, Filmsonor, 78 min, p/s) dir. Henri-George Clouxot; stars Pablo Picasso


A salute to the greatest year in Hollywood history: 1939


0445 Full Confession (1939, RKO, 73 min) dir. John Farrow; stars Victor McLaglen, Sally Eilers, Joseph Calleia




0600 Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939, MGM, 82 min) dir. Richard Thorpe; stars Johnny Weismuller, Maureen O'Sullivan, Johnny Sheffield

0730 Balalaika (1939, MGM, 102 min) dir. Reinhold Schünzel; stars Nelson Eddy, Ilona Massey, Charlie Ruggles

0915 Miracles for Sale (1939, MGM, 71 min) dir. Tod Browning; stars Robert Young, Florence Rice, Henry Hull

1030 These Glamour Girls (1939, MGM, 79 min) dir. S. Sylvain Simon; stars Lew Ayres, Lana Turner, Tom Brown

1200 They Made Her a Spy (1939, RKO, 69 min) dir. Jack Hively; stars Sally Eilers, Allan Lane, Fritz Leiber

1315 Meet Dr. Christian (1939, Rko/pd, 68 min) dir. Bernard Vorhaus; stars Jean Hersholt, Dorothy Lovett, Robert Baldwin

1430 The Day the Bookies Wept (1939, RKO, 64 min) dir. Loeslie Goodwins; stars Joe Penner, Betty Grable, Richard Lane

1545 They All Came Out (1939, MGM, 70 min) dir. Jacques Tourneur; stars Rita Johnson, Tom Neal, Bernard Nedell

1700 Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President (1939, MGM, 70 min) dir. Robert Sinclair; stars Ann Sothern, Lewis Stone, Walter Brennan

1815 Babes in Arms (1939, MGM, 94 min) dir. Busby Berkeley; stars Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Guy Kibee


The Essentials: Britain at War


2000 Mrs. Miniver (1942, MGM, 134 min) dir. WIlliam Wyler; stars Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright

2230 The Devil's Disciple (1959, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, 83 min, p/s) dir. Guy Hamilton; stars Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier

0000 The Little Princess (1939, Fox, 93 min, p/s) dir. Walter Lang; stars Shirley Temple, Richard Greene, Anita Louise


TCM Underground: Two legends make their screen farewell in 1978


0145 Sextette (1978, Briggs/Sullivan, 91 min, EXEMPT) dir. Ken Hughes; stars Mae West, Timothy Dalton, Tony Curtis

0330 Just a Gigolo (1978, Bayerischer Rundfunk, 147 min, EXEMPT) dir. David Hemmings; stars David Bowie, Kim Novak, Marlene Dietrich

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I decided that for this Programming Challenge, I was going to set an extra challenge for myself: program an entire week of movies that I have not seen in their entirety. Now, there's a bit of cheating here. There are movies where I've missed the first five or ten minutes, only to have seen the rest. But there are some movies I've never seen, as well as movies that I've seen some of, but just can't sit all the way through because the parts that I've seen are unappealing. So it's not as if I haven't seen the movies at all; it's just that I haven't seen them beginning to end.


We start off on Sunday morning and afternoon with a bunch of movies made in the UK that I haven't seen before. On Sunday night, we put the spotlight on Leo F. Forbstein. If you've watched enough films on TCM, you'll have seen his name a hundred times as the conductor of the orchestra that played the scores of all those Warner Bros. movies. However, IMDb says he had appearances in two of those movies, unsurprisingly playing a conductor in both. He also wrote music for a small number of movies, including the two shorts.


For Silent Sunday Nights, I simply picked a movie that sounded interesting that fit the time slot and that I hadn't heard of. Of course, it wound up not fitting the time slot as well as I would have liked, and I had to figure out what foreign films to show. Widower With 5 Daughters is a movie my German relatives had on video when I visited them back in 1989, but that I never got around to seeing. (I did watch Mommie Dearest and Psycho dubbed into German on German TV, however.)


When The Spirit of the Beehive aired on TCM last Labor Day, I missed the first few minutes, but that's still enough to allow me to use it here. I decided to pick several films that may or may not be about animals, based on the title.


On Monday night, I picked a bunch of movies where the titles are women's names, both first and last. This was a bit difficult to program and stick to the challenge of using movies I haven't seen before, since I've seen Alice Adams, Marie Antoinette, Stella Dallas, and Annie Oakley among others.


I share my birthday, June 14, with Oscar winner Burl Ives, so I programmed several of his films on that day. However, they didn't fill 14 hours from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM, so I had to include a movie from Carl Esmond, who was also born on June 14.


For Star of the Month, I immediately picked Andy Devine, and then had to come up with enough of his movies that I haven't seen before, at least not in their entirety. Seeing the opening scenes of Romeo and Juliet, which has Devine and Edna May Oliver(!) trying to deliver Shakespearean dialog, has always been enough to put me off the movie. The rest of the night's lineup is filled with movies that, for whatever reason, I haven't seen.


The last of the movies in the Tuesday night lineup, Yellow Jack, is set at least in part in the Caribbean, so it leads in nicely to the Wednesday lineup of movies set in the Caribbean (including the shorts).


On Wednesday night, we have some "incredible" characters, all from the 1950s. First, the idea of a talking mule is incredible. That's followed by the incredible characters of Magnificent Obsession. Rock Hudson's character is so over the top evil and selfish that nobody could be like that. And the dead doctor is implied to be impossibly virtuous. Then there's the wacky Christian guy who changes Hudson's life. It's usually around this point that I turn off the movie because it's such blunt balderdash. The Brothers Karamazov fits in this lineup because the idea of William Shatner as a Russian Orthodox priest is incredible. The prostitute with a heart of gold is also a fairly unbelievable character, which is why I included Nights of Cabiria. (Or does she lose that heart in the second half?) And the characters in Arthurian legend are all incredible.


I put two movies about Arthurian legend together, because the second is a musical, one of my least favorite genres of films. So I picked a bunch of random musicals I haven't seen before to air on Thursday morning and afternoon.


I didn't realize how many actresses there were named Constance. So we get a constant stream of them on Thursday night. However, I cheated a bit. As far as I'm aware, A Virtuous Vamp is not yet available in a format for viewing on TCM. The IMDb reviews state that the intertitles are only available in a foreign language. But it was selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry in 2013, so I figured its existence, and being in the public domain since it's from before 1923, wouldn't bar it from use in the Programming Challenge.


There are a surprising number of Oscar-nominated films I haven't seen, including some nominated for Best Actress. Friday morning and afternoon is the day for those.


The month's Friday Night Spotlight is artists in various forms. That's followed by a salute to the films fo 1939, although most of the movies are B-movies or programmers, with one or two exceptions to get things to time out properly.


I still haven't seen Mrs. Miniver in its entirety. I've seen the last half hour or so, and the boring first half-hour that has Walter Pidgeon going nuts over Greer Garson's roses. So it's a natural for the Essentials. It was also a good place to start a half night of films of Britain at war.


A few days ago, I was listening to a program on German radio where the person being profiled mentioned the movie Just a Gigolo as being Marlene Dietrich's last movie, and with her starring with David Bowie. There's a pair. So I realized I had to use it for the TCM Underground. But what to pair it with? Imagine my great joy when I realized that Mae West's final film was released the same year. They make a natural pair. Or maybe not, since I haven't seen either.


Star of the Month: Andy Devine

Silent Sunday Nights: The Volga Boatman

TCM Imports: Widower With 5 Daughters

Friday Night Spotlight: Artists at Work

TCM Essential: Mrs. Miniver

TCM Underground: Sextette and Just a Gigolo


Non-exempt Premieres (7):

Lorna Doone

Marjorie Morningstar

The Tamarind Seed

Red Skies of Montana

Valiant Is the Word For Carrie

Sudden Fear

The Blue Veil

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Welcome back to the challenges! Love the conceit of adding an additional challenge to Challenge #27!  You've picked some fascinating films (Brit films are among my favorites)  and I am sure Francis the Mule is happy to be one of your "most memorable characters!"  Andy Devine is a great character actor SOTM and the "Constancy of Constance" was so clever.  Now you have me intrigued about "A Virtuous Vamp."


Only 13 hours left until the end of Challenge #27!!  



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Fedya, I love your schedule, love the idea of scheduling movies you haven't seen all the way through. The tongue-in-cheek approach to "Hollywood's Greatest Year" is fun, too.


Actually, Spencer Tracy plays the title role in Cass Timberlane.


I like the constancy of Constances. Constance Smith was the first wife of Bryan Forbes. According to his autobiography, they both realized quickly that the marriage was a big mistake.



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Actually, Spencer Tracy plays the title role in Cass Timberlane.

Serves me right for not watching the movies I'm programming. LOL.


This might actually be worse than the mistakes Robert and Ben make. ;)

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