My apologies for running a couple of days late with my June TCM preview, but I promise you lots of picks to follow below for June 3-30.
June 2013 features Eleanor Parker as TCM Star of the Month. She's an actress I look forward to getting better acquainted with myself this month (Robert Osborne refers to her as "Hollywood's most famous unknown movie star" in his Now Playing essay), though I do mention a couple of her films that TCM airs and I have previously enjoyed. There's also a Friday Night Spotlight on Noir Writers featuring movies based on original work of writers such as Dashiell Hammett, David Goodis, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler and others.
Since I'm running late, let's jump right in!
June 3 - Daytime features a Paulette Goddard (1910-1990) birthday marathon. 8 movies from 6 am to 8 pm. Besides the obvious classics I like Second Chorus (1940), a bit of a clunker starring Fred Astaire that still makes for an entertaining hour and a half. Also features Burgess Meredith plus Artie Shaw and His Orchestra with Shaw getting in a few amusing moments.
These picks are based upon Turner Classic Movies' US schedule (most also air in Canada). Any times mentioned are all EST because that's what TCM uses inside my Now Playing Guide and that's what I use when I set the clocks here on Long Island. The days are TCM's own slightly screwy time periods, typically beginning at 6 am and working through to the following morning at the same time.
This evening is the first of four nights featuring Star of the Month Eleanor Parker. Between Two Worlds (1944) is on at 11 pm and will be referenced again a few paragraphs from now.
June 4 - A couple that I enjoyed, Three Sons starring Edward Ellis at 10 am EST is the inferior 1939 remake of Sweepings (1933), based on Lester Cohen’s novel. At 1:45 that afternoon Lee Tracy stars in 1940 RKO B movie Millionaires in Prison. There are late George O’Brien Westerns sprinkled throughout the day as well.
June 5 - A 7-movie Robert Taylor marathon finishes up with the excellent 1951 William A. Wellman Western Westward the Women.
June 6 - “Creature Features” that evening includes classics Bride of Frankenstein (1935) at 8 pm EST and King Kong (1933) later on at 2 am.
June 7 - 1930’s Outward Bound is Leslie Howard’s first talkie, also featuring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Helen Chandler (of Dracula fame). While the 1944 remake Between Two Worlds has left the more lasting impression, this first adaptation was an early talkie hit. I’m looking forward to catching it for the first time on Friday. For a comparison of the two films see this write-up at the Classic Film and TV Cafe where Rick much preferred the later movie.
I wouldn’t blame you if you called The Return of Peter Grimm (1936) a slow moving downer, but it drew me in. Starring a cantankerous Lionel Barrymore with the always welcome Helen Mack at 8:15 that morning, just after Outward Bound.
That evening features films based upon Dashiell Hammett in the first of TCM’s Friday Night Spotlight on Noir Writers. If you haven’t bought this set yet, set your recorders to catch all three versions of The Maltese Falcon with the original 1931 movie occupying the prime 8 pm time slot. Starring Ricardo Cortez and Bebe Daniels in the roles later immortalized by Bogie and Mary Astor, those who have yet to meet this earliest screen incarnation will be delighted by how familiar the story and characters are and frustrated by how inferior the overall production otherwise is. If you can forget about John Huston’s 1941 masterpiece for 80 minutes or so, you’ll enjoy this 1931 version much more. Huston's classic airs at 2:30 am and the much maligned 1936 comedy adaptation, Satan Met a Lady starring Warren William and Bette Davis, is done no favors by immediately following it at 4:30 am. It’s better than its reputation would lead you to believe and will be enjoyed by fans of Warren William’s Perry Mason and Lone Wolf movies.Also airing that night is City Streets (1931), Sylvia Sidney’s feature debut alongside Gary Cooper, at 9:30 pm; William Powell and Myrna Loy in After the Thin Man (1936) at 11 pm. This one is the first of the Thin Man sequels in what was eventually a series of six movies; Another great team, Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd, in The Glass Key (1942) at 1 am. Once more, all of those stories originated with Hammett.
June 8 - Saturday mornings continue to be ruled by Tom Conway as The Falcon in The Falcon and the Co-Eds (1944) and Lassie in 1945’s Son of Lassie.
June 9 - 6 am DVR alert for Dames (1934) starring Joan Blondell, Dick Powell and most memorably for newcomers to this classic musical, Ruby Keeler, whose face(s) you’ve got to see to believe in the Busby Berkeley choreographed “I Only Have Eyes for You” number.
I recommend The Moon and Sixpence (1942) every time TCM shows it. George Sanders stars as a character loosely based on Paul Gauguin in this adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, which is also a great read. Herbert Marshall plays a character that Maugham based on himself, a bit of additional fun for fans of The Razor’s Edge (1946) in which Marshall played a character actually named Somerset Maugham. More fun Marshall-Maugham trivia: Marshall appears in different parts in both the 1929 and 1940 screen adaptations of Maugham’s The Letter. (Marshall is also in Maugham based The Painted Veil .)
Silent Sunday Night features a rare Clara Bow on TCM sighting with It (1927) at 12:30 am EST.
June 10 - Eleanor Parker night two of four includes Caged (1950) at 8 pm. Continuing our Somerset Maugham theme I should also mention that the 1946 version of Of Human Bondage airs at 11:30 that night. My favorite of this bunch is Never Say Goodbye (1946) starring Errol Flynn with Parker and including a fun performance from Forrest Tucker.
June 11 - If you’re nursing a happy hangover from Tough Guys month on TCM in May you’ll want to tune in at 1pm for a double feature beginning with They Drive By Night (1940) followed by Detour (1945).That evening TCM’s theme is “Working Women Who Surrender in the End,” and it begins with a pair of pre-Code favorites: Barbara Stanwyck in Baby Face (1933) at 8 pm, followed by Ruth Chatterton in Female (1933) at 9:30. By the way, there’s a brand new biography out about Ruth Chatterton by Scott O’Brien, who has previously covered stars of the period such as Kay Francis, Ann Harding and Virginia Bruce. If you’re interested in the book, be sure to see Emma’s interview with O’Brien at Let’s Misbehave.
I was a bit blah about Front Page Woman (1935) airing late that night at 4 am, but I did make brief mention of that title starring Bette Davis and George Brent in a previous post.
June 12 - I like The Toast of New York (1937) starring Edward Arnold as Jim Fisk with Cary Grant by his side, but every time I watch it I feel like it should have been a little better. It airs during dinner, 6 pm, on the 12th.
June 13 - Basil Rathbone (1892-1967) birthday celebration! If you enjoyed Sunday night’s double feature here are 8 more movies featuring Rathbone including the highly recommended Confession (1937) starring Kay Francis at 9:15 am, followed by the Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities (1935) at 10:45 that morning. The morning does begin with a pair of Sherlock Holmes titles, so tune in early if you’re looking for those!
24 hour tribute to the late Esther Williams begins at 8 pm, June 13.
Thursday, June 13
- 8 p.m. – Bathing Beauty (1944)
- 10 p.m. – Neptune’s Daughter (1949)
- 11:45 p.m. – Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
- 1:45 a.m. – Dangerous When Wet (1953)
- 3:30 a.m. – Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942)
- 5:15 a.m. – Thrill of a Romance (1945)
Friday, June 14
- 9:15 a.m. – The Hoodlum Saint (1946)
- 11 a.m. – Fiesta (1947)
- 1 p.m. – This Time For Keeps (1947)
- 3 p.m. – On An Island With You (1948)
- 5 p.m. – Pagan Love Song (1950)
- 6:30 p.m. – Texas Carnival (1951)
All times presumably EST
June 14 - Replaced by 24-hour tribute to Esther Williams.
Helen Hayes has yet to entirely win me over, but I’m willing to give another try at 9:15 am with Gregory La Cava’s What Every Woman Knows (1934). Also starring Brian Aherne and Madge Evans with great character actors in support such as Lucile Watson, Dudley Digges, Donald Crisp and Henry Stephenson. Based on a play by Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie, who was also responsible for the source material of the pair of Katharine Hepburn movies surrounding What Every Woman Knows that morning: The Little Minister (1934) at 7:15 am and Quality Street (1937) at 11 am. The Little Minister is preceded by a Hepburn documentary while Quality Street is followed by more Barrie, The Admirable Crichton (1957) at 12:30 pm … also the first of four films airing that afternoon that were directed by Lewis Gilbert.
June 15 - If I remember correctly TCM’s Robert Osborne is a big fan of H.M. Pullam, Esq. (1941) with Robert Young, Hedy Lamarr and Ruth Hussey. Count me amongst its fans as well. Set your DVR’s for 7 am EST if you’ve yet to catch it. More Falcon and Lassie later that morning and the Preston Sturges classic The Palm Beach Story (1942) airing at 8 that evening as TCM’s Essential.
June 16 - John Ford’s The Last Hurrah (1958) starring Spencer Tracy along with a host of other old timers airs at 4 pm and gives me good reason to mention that I’ll have a review of Scott Allen Nollen’s Three Bad Men coming later this month. In the meantime please do revisit my interview with Nollen about the book from earlier this year.
June 17 - A daytime 9 movie Ralph Bellamy (1904-1991) birthday marathon begins with a run of pre-Codes: Ever in My Heart (1933) at 6 am; Flying Devils (1933) at 7:15 am; Headline Shooter (1933) is one I’ve been waiting for TCM to air again ever since Hurricane Irene wiped it off of my DVR a couple of years back—I did get to watch it before the storm and memories are good! It plays at 8:30 am; James Cagney in Picture Snatcher at 9:45 am; Katharine Hepburn in Spitfire (1934) at 11:15 am. Screwball classic The Awful Truth (1937) will feature as a highlight for many at 2:30 pm and Bellamy’s turn as F.D.R. in Sunrise at Campobello (1962), the film which brought Greer Garson her final Oscar nomination, comes on at 5:30 pm to conclude the marathon.
Star of the Month Eleanor Parker night three of four fills the evening hours and continues past lunch that next afternoon.
June 18 - After the Eleanor Parker movies wind down that afternoon TCM airs three in a row starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy: Broadway Serenade (1939) at 1:30; Bitter Sweet (1940) at 3:30; Maytime (1937) at 5:45 pm.
June 19 - Ronald Colman is gentleman-thief Raffles (1930) at 6:45 am.
You won’t want to miss Joan Fontaine’s Oscar nominated performance in The Constant Nymph (1943) following at 8 am. I’ve only watched this one once so far but I was totally captivated by it and hope to fit it in again some time soon. For more on this film and its “otherworldly quality” be sure to read Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings from back when it first played on TCM in 2011. I’m pretty sure that post is what made the movie a must-see for me when I first caught it.
George Macready completely creeped me out when I first saw My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) starring Nina Foch. A pretty scary murder mystery from Gun Crazy (1950) director Joseph H. Lewis. I know a few readers are turned off when these old movies turn violent, but if you enjoy a little extra edge be sure to tune in to this one at 1:30 pm on the 19th.
Speaking of edgy, is Charles Laughton a little too fond of daughter Norma Shearer in 1934's The Barretts of Wimpole Street? Shearer is Elizabeth Barrett and Fredric March plays Robert Browning in a romance that left memories of Laughton’s controlling Edward Moulton-Barrett burned deepest into my mind. Maureen O’Sullivan is charming as usual in this one as one of Shearer’s sisters. It airs late that Wednesday, at 3:30 am of what is technically very early Thursday morning.June 20 - Richard Dix alert! Dix stars as a Reno divorce lawyer in RKO’s Reno (1940) at 10:30 that morning. Directed by John Farrow and co-starring Gail Patrick and Anita Louise.
June 21 - Academy Award winner Judy Holliday (1921-1965) didn’t get a chance to appear in too many movies, but TCM gives her a three-film birthday marathon this morning. That’s followed by four movies starring Jane Russell (1921-2011), who also celebrated a June 21 birthday.
June 22 - It’s Saturday so, yup, the Falcon and Lassie continue their adventures. One of my favorites, How Green Was My Valley (1941) comes on at 2 that afternoon. More John Ford that evening in the 8 pm Essentials slot with The Searchers (1956).
June 24 - Eleanor Parker, fourth and final night of programming, includes A Millionaire for Christy (1951) at 10 pm. I’m split on this one: Overall it charms me, but it gets a bit wacky for my tastes in a few spots. Definitely worth catching though!June 26 - I’m a fan of the Gene Kelly non-musical Black Hand (1950) airing at 4:15 that afternoon. I don’t know how Gene Kelly fans feel about it, but if you’re into mobster movies you’ll want to check it out.
Black Hand leads into a powerful evening of programming beginning with The Asphalt Jungle (1950) at 6 pm; They Died with Their Boots On (1941) at 8; Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940) at 10:30 and more Hitchcock at 1 am with Notorious (1942); Casablanca (1942) follows at 3 am. Those final four selections come courtesy of guest programmer Joseph Abboud, who apparently wanted to do an entire evening of Essentials!
June 27 - A six-movie Patricia Medina marathon runs from 11:30 am to 8 pm.
June 28 - Early musical The Vagabond Lover (1929) starring Rudy Vallee highlights my day at 7:15 am. This is Vallee’s first starring feature released just ahead of Glorifying the American Girl (1929), in which he featured as a performer.
June 29 - The Falcon/Lassie double feature continues and I’ll be curious to catch this particular Lassie feature, The Sun Comes Up (1949), because it stars Jeanette MacDonald in her final feature film role. Also in the cast: Lloyd Nolan, Lewis Stone, Percy Kilbride, Margaret Hamilton.
Auntie Mame (1958) is the TCM Essential at 8 that evening. It follows even more essential The Third Man (1949).
June 30 - TCM reels out the old Brooklyn double-feature the final night of June with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) at 8 followed by It Happened in Brooklyn (1947) at 10:15.
Paul Henreid takes over as TCM Star of the Month for July and my own favorite feature, Summer Under the Stars, returns in August.
Be sure to visit Kristina's June Guide to Classics on TV at the Speakeasy for TCM previews from other classic movie bloggers.
I'm still planning to post about both The Lost Squadron (1932) and Sweepings (1933) very soon. Plus I'll have a couple of new card galleries in the coming weeks as well as my review of Scott Allen Nollen's Three Bad Men.
Til next time,