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If I Could Program A Year of SOTMs They Would Be . . .


lydecker
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If I could make all of the SOTM programming decisions for a single year,

trying not to repeat some of the more obvious choices, (otherwise, William
Powell and Myrna Loy would be at the top of my list) here’s what I would do:
(What would you do?)
 

January 

Joan Blondell
Who could warm up a cold, dreary January better than Joan Blondell?
 
February
The Un-Oscars
Saluting those actors, directors and behind the scenes folks who should have
won Oscars but didn’t.
 
March
Pat O’Brien
This poor guy gets no respect.  So, I’m going to give him some by making him my March SOTM
since, who better to be SOTM, in a month which contains St. Patrick’s Day???
 
April 
Walter Huston
I worship this guy and he deserves a month all to himself  —  not “lumped in”
with John Angelica and Co.
 
May
Billy Wilder
I’d be in heaven if it was “Billy Wilder Month” on TCM.
 
June
Paul Douglas
Good movies, bad movies, he made them all (and not
nearly enough movies) but he made all of them better by being in them.
 
July
Jane Russell
I don’t think she has ever been SOTM and, if not, this needs to be 
rectified immediately.  Every performance crackles with wit and energy.
She’s a treasure.
 
August
Summer Under The Stars - Character Actors/Supporting Actors 
Not to bore you with my entire list but some of them would include:
Verree Teasdale, Edna May Oliver, Una Merkel, Dean Jagger, Joseph Calleia, Aline MacMahon,
James Gleason, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Eve Arden, May Robson, Regis Toomey, Nat Pendleton, etc. etc.
 
September
Gene Hackman
One of the most talented, versatile actors of the post studio system era.  OMG.  TCM would actually
have to go out and lease some films they don’t already own to fill out the month.
 
October
Constance Bennett
Yes, she's been SOTM but I love all of her work and her “Topper” performances meet the so-called requisite “spook” factor needed in October.
 
November
George Sanders
Yes, I’d finally give him his month.
 
December
Ann Sheridan
Has she ever been SOTM?  I think so but this lady has got it all and
fits perfectly in a holiday season, even appearing (against type)
as the screen siren in the holiday classic:  “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
 
Wow.  This has been fun.  If only it could come true.
 
Lydecker
 
 
 
 
 
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I have a feeling we're going to get Gene Hackman in August, because they always feature two or three post-code stars. It has to be his turn this year.

 

I like the Un-Oscars idea very much! If only... :)

I hope you are right about Hackman.  As for Un-Oscars, I doubt we'll ever see them as much as it would be a welcome change from 31 Days ad nauseum!

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I hope you are right about Hackman.  As for Un-Oscars, I doubt we'll ever see them as much as it would be a welcome change from 31 Days ad nauseum!

Yes, the reason they would never do an Un-Oscars theme is because they are partnering each year with ABC to promote the Oscar telecast. They would lose that revenue from ABC if they did anything Un-Oscar.

 

But I don't care, because I still love your idea!

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What would you do?

 

What a quandry this would be.

 

Do I program what I want to see or do I attempt to program to please a wide audience?

 

I would love see a month dedicated to Geraldine Page, but would there be enough movies to show? She preferred stage work to film work.

Maybe one day she will get a day during Sumnmer Under The Stars.

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Definitely like your suggested Gene Hackman month, lydecker. He's been my favorite post-studio era actor for decades. What a great run he had in the '80s and '90s especially, and within films such as "Under Fire", "Hoosiers", "Class Action", "Crimson Tide", "Unforgiven" and the penultimate role of his career in 2003's "Runaway Jury". 

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I have a feeling we're going to get Gene Hackman in August, because they always feature two or three post-code stars. It has to be his turn this year.

 

I like the Un-Oscars idea very much! If only... :)

 

I looked up "Special Effects" academy awards and found none for many years, such as for major earthquake sequences, giant floods, etc. None were given out in the old days, such as 1936 when no awards were given out, including none for the Earthquake special effects in SAN FRANCISCO. No special effects awards for 1933-34, so no nominations for KING KONG.

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Since this is a fantasy, I would choose a lot of Universal-Paramount stars...

 

Bela Lugosi

Nancy Carroll

Fay Wray

Richard Arlen

Randolph Scott

George Raft

Charles Ruggles

Maria Montez

Evelyn Ankers

Dick Foran

Lon Chaney, Jr.

Anne Gwynne

 

I'm with you (as well as some Columbia stars).   If we are going to dream we might as well get movies and stars that TCM tends not to feature much.    

 

One point:  To me most of Raft's best movies are when he was under contract to WB and TCM has access to these films.     

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Definitely like your suggested Gene Hackman month, lydecker. He's been my favorite post-studio era actor for decades. What a great run he had in the '80s and '90s especially, and within films such as "Under Fire", "Hoosiers", "Class Action", "Crimson Tide", "Unforgiven" and the penultimate role of his career in 2003's "Runaway Jury". 

Yes, my favorite post studio actor for decades, too.  The films you mentioned are among my "must see" Gene Hackman.

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Since this is a fantasy, I would choose a lot of Universal-Paramount stars...

 

Bela Lugosi

Nancy Carroll

Fay Wray

Richard Arlen

Randolph Scott

George Raft

Charles Ruggles

Maria Montez

Evelyn Ankers

Dick Foran

Lon Chaney, Jr.

Anne Gwynne

By the way, Nancy Carroll will be the honored star at this year's Capitolfest in Rome, NY.  I'm going just to see more of her work since very little of her stuff plays on TCM.

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January: Setsuko Hara

February: Ronald Colman

March: Fredric March

April: Basil Rathbone

May: Jack Palance

June: Audrey Hepburn

July: Steve McQueen

 

August: James Gleason, Adolphe Menjou, Lewis Stone, Buck Henry, Samantha Eggar, Monty Woolley, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Gene Tierney, Glynis Johns, Claire Trevor, Nina Foch, Paulette Goddard, Alan Hale, Fay Wray, Sammy Davis Jr, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn, Wendy Barrie, Barry Fitzgerald, Red Buttons, Ina Claire, Alexis Smith, Virna Lisi, Walter Matthau,  ZaSu Pitts, Eve Arden, Michael Redgrave, Dick Powell, Donald Crisp, Paula Prentiss

 

September: James Mason

October: Bela Lugosi

November: Toshiro Mifune

December: Alec Guinness

 

For those unfamiliar with her name: Setsuko Hara is a much-beloved actress who appeared in some of Japan's most important movies.

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I looked up "Special Effects" academy awards and found none for many years, such as for major earthquake sequences, giant floods, etc. None were given out in the old days, such as 1936 when no awards were given out, including none for the Earthquake special effects in SAN FRANCISCO. No special effects awards for 1933-34, so no nominations for KING KONG.

Interesting, Fred. And this month's Friday Night Spotlight is focusing on one of MGM's special effects wizards during the studio era, for productions like SAN FRANCISCO. I wonder if Ben and his guests have discussed that (I haven't caught all the wraparounds).

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January: Setsuko Hara
February: Ronald Colman
March: Fredric March
April: Basil Rathbone
May: Jack Palance
June: Audrey Hepburn
July: Steve McQueen
 
August: James Gleason, Adolphe Menjou, Lewis Stone, Buck Henry, Samantha Eggar, Monty Woolley, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Gene Tierney, Glynis Johns, Claire Trevor, Nina Foch, Paulette Goddard, Alan Hale, Fay Wray, Sammy Davis Jr, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn, Wendy Barrie, Barry Fitzgerald, Red Buttons, Ina Claire, Alexis Smith, Virna Lisi, Walter Matthau,  ZaSu Pitts, Eve Arden, Michael Redgrave, Dick Powell, Donald Crisp, Paula Prentiss
 
September: James Mason
October: Bela Lugosi
November: Toshiro Mifune
December: Alec Guinness
 
For those unfamiliar with her name: Setsuko Hara is a much-beloved actress who appeared in some of Japan's most important movies.

 

Wow.  I am loving this schedule.  And, damn it, I forgot about Charles Coburn in my "If I could . . ." schedule.  I would dearly like to make him a SOTM.

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I love this topic.  It'd be cool if TCM did an entire year of fans voting for who they'd like to see as SOTM and SUTS.  Those who get the most votes are featured.  Although, depending on whether more laymen movie watchers are voting, we could end up with a bunch of the "usual suspects," or, we could end up with more unique choices if the more avid film buffs cast votes.

 

JANUARY-  Rosalind Russell. Start the year off right with the sassy Rosalind Russell.

 

FEBRUARY- I like Lydecker's idea of saluting all the great artists of the Golden Era who never won an Oscar.  I'd choose the films that featured performances, direction, costumes, etc. that should have been nominated and weren't.  Some films that would be featured would be Gentleman Jim (for Errol Flynn's performance of James J. Corbett), Psycho (for Norman Bates' portrayal of the best creeper of all time, Norman Bates), The Thin Man (Myrna Loy's Nora Charles), Of Human Bondage (Bette Davis' star-making role), Preston Sturges' Palm Beach Story, just to name a few.

 

MARCH- Fred MacMurray.  See MacMurray's films before Disney and My Three Sons.  However, this month could also include a Disney Vault centered around MacMurray's contributions like The Absent Minded Professr and The Shaggy Dog.

 

APRIL- The Rat Pack. A month of films featuring the members of the Rat Pack.  A night of Dean Martin, a night of Sinatra, a night of Sammy Davis Jr. and a night featuring all the Rat Pack films.  If there was somehow a fifth night to fill, I would feature the films of Peter Lawford.  (I'm not the biggest fan of Lawford--his voice irritates me, that's why he's a bonus option).  

 

MAY- George Sanders.  I second everyone's desire to see this man recognized!

 

JUNE- Betty Grable.  A great way to kick off the summer with the #1 Pin Up Girl herself. 

 

JULY- Olivia de Havilland.  This month would also feature a brand new edition of Private Screenings before it's too late! The lady is a few months from being 99! Hop to it TCM! If she can't fly to the US, fly to her home in Paris for godsakes!

 

AUGUST-

1. Joan Blondell (which will feature the premiere of The Perfect Specimen with my boyfriend Errol Flynn)

2. Myrna Loy

3. Agnes Moorehead

4. Jack Lemmon

5. Gene Tierney

6. Lucille Ball

7. Montgomery Clift

8. Peter Lorre

9. James Cagney

10. Thelma Ritter

11. Marjorie Main

12. Bette Davis (which will feature the premiere of Beyond the Forest with Joseph Cotten)

13. Ann Sheridan

14. Raymond Massey

15. Vera-Ellen

16. Brian Keith

17. Ida Lupino

18. Jack Nicholson

19. Mitzi Gaynor

20. Tony Curtis

21. William Holden

22. Priscilla Lane

23. Madeline Kahn (including the premiere of the greatest movie based on a board game ever, Clue).

24. Rita Hayworth (this day will include Salome where Rita performs her version of the dance of seven veils).

25. Burt Lancaster

26. Charles Coburn

27. Jean Harlow

28. William Powell

29. Claude Rains

30. Angela Lansbury

31. Hayley Mills (TCM will score rights to air Mills' Disney films including Pollyanna, The Parent Trap and Summer Magic).

 

SEPTEMBER- Anne Baxter. She's a great actress and overdue for a SOTM honor.

 

OCTOBER- Basil Rathbone.  His role in horror films like Son of Frankenstein makes him a good candidate for Halloween month.

 

NOVEMBER- Jean Arthur.  I just love her and want to see more of her films.

 

DECEMBER- James Stewart.  This will be the time that TCM obtains viewing rights to It's a Wonderful Life because of some colossal blunder than NBC commits which causes Paramount to retract their agreement.  This paves the way for Time Warner to swoop in and obtain exclusive viewing rights. The film will be shown un-cut and commercial free--the way ALL films are intended to be seen.

 

There are so many more combinations I could have gone with.  I didn't go for some of my pet choices like Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Judy Garland and Gene Kelly (just to name a few) because I own/have seen so many of their films, I wouldn't gain anything new from these actors being featured. 

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Since this is just a fantasy, I won't pay any attention to considerations of rights acquisitions or cost (which I'm sure would be prohibitive), and I won't schedule any stars who've been chosen before.  I want premieres!  :)

 

January:  George Sanders

 

February:  Jean Gabin

 

March: Susan Hayward

 

April:  Lon Chaney

 

May:  Richard Conte

 

June: Al Pacino

 

July:  Judy Davis

 

August:  31 character actors, trying not to overlap too much by reaching back to the silent era and taking it up to today's films

 

September:  Toshiro Mifune

 

October:  Daniel Day-Lewis

 

November:  Robert De Niro

 

December:   Setsuko Hara

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Wow.  I am loving this schedule.  And, damn it, I forgot about Charles Coburn in my "If I could . . ." schedule.  I would dearly like to make him a SOTM.

Lydecker:  I second your love of SansFin's list.  Maybe he should consider his list as a topic and see how many votes he gets. 

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Wow.  I am loving this schedule.  And, damn it, I forgot about Charles Coburn in my "If I could . . ." schedule.  I would dearly like to make him a SOTM.

 

I thank you for your kind words.

 

I attempted to chose those whose exposure on TCM is limited to an extent because the same movies are repeated, and they are scattered haphazardly through the schedule.

 

I am sorry that there was not proper room in my schedule for: George Sanders. To give him one day in August felt as if I was shrugging him off. He does deserve a proper month. 

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APRIL- The Rat Pack. A month of films featuring the members of the Rat Pack.  A night of Dean Martin, a night of Sinatra, a night of Sammy Davis Jr. and a night featuring all the Rat Pack films.  If there was somehow a fifth night to fill, I would feature the films of Peter Lawford.  (I'm not the biggest fan of Lawford--his voice irritates me, that's why he's a bonus option).  

 

 

I like this idea very much! Perhaps they could otherwise make it a: Friday Night Spotlight?

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Lydecker:  I second your love of SansFin's list.  Maybe he should consider his list as a topic and see how many votes he gets. 

 

I thank you for your kind words.

 

I am sorry to have to correct you on one matter: I am not a: "he." Trust me. I am a nurse. They teach us to know the difference. ;)

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September:  Toshiro Mifune

    December:   Setsuko Hara

:)

It is nice to see that you have the same taste in Japanese actors!

 

Well, the truth is that while I've long considered Mifune as co-holder of the Greatest Actor Ever title (along with Jean Gabin and Barbara Stanwyck), I have to admit that I chose Hara only because your selection of her jogged my memory.  I've only seen her in a relatively few movies (Tokyo Story and No Regrets For Our Youth being my favorites among them), but on the basis of them I'd love to see as many more as I can.

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