Born on July 17: William Gillette in 1853; Marc McDermott in 1881; Murray Kinnell in 1889; Alice Terry in 1899; Renee Houston in 1902; Nora Swinburne in 1902; Delmer Daves in 1904; Alan Curtis in 1909; Wanda Perry in 1917; and Constance Dowling in 1920.
All links lead to each actor's IMDb page, set to open in a new tab.
Classic Movie Daily subscribers will find images of Marc McDermott and Alice Terry inside today's issue, plus a few additional pics related to this weekend's TV schedule. A few additional "birthday" images appear at the bottom of this page.
TCM TV Alerts through Monday, July 27 at 7 am:
These titles play on TCM's US schedule and all quoted times are for my own local Eastern time zone.
—TCM Friday, 6:45 am - 5:30 am, Summer of Darkness. Recommended titles this week are Kansas City Confidential (1952 - 1:15 pm) with John Payne and Preston Foster, and The Narrow Margin (1952 - 8:00 pm) with Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor. The day begins with a McGraw movie I haven't seen, Roadblock (1951 - 6:45 am), so I really hope my DVR isn't too full of Big Broadcasts to capture it for me this morning! I love Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan, but I've never cared for Beware, My Lovely (1952 -9:30 am). I haven't seen it in a very long time, but have fond memories of The Locket (1946 - 11:45 pm), which I recall being pure genius.
I actually put on my copy of The Narrow Margin earlier this evening and still count it among my favorites. The dialogue that often rings so phony to me in so many of these film noirs actually sounds authentic coming out of Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor. Great fight scene between McGraw and David Clarke too, perhaps even more realistic than all of the tough talk. Love a movie set on a train, and this is one of the best of that kind, and most other kinds you'd care to class it in as well.
—TCM Saturday, 6:00 am - Adventure (1945) with Clark Gable, Greer Garson, and Joan Blondell. You know, it's not great, but it's not nearly as bad as advertised either. I avoided this title for longer than I should of because no one ever has anything kind to say about it, but I enjoyed the three stars enough to sit through the couple of hours more than once since I first bothered to watch.
—TCM Saturday, 8:15 am - Skippy (1931) with Jackie Cooper. I can't for the life of me see the charm of Robert Coogan beyond his last name, but I don't think it lasted long beyond this movie's sequel, Sookie. The synopsis at TCM.com calls it dated, I call that Great Depression atmosphere.
—TCM Saturday, 8:00 pm - Swing Time (1936), Fred & Ginger's fifth feature together, with "Pick Yourself Up" and "Bojangles of Harlem," among other tunes.
—TCM Sunday, 9:30 am - Roberta (1935), Fred & Ginger's third feature together, with Irene Dunne sharing the bill. With "I Won't Dance" included among the songs. Plus Randolph Scott and the always awesome Claire Dodd.
—TCM Sunday, 11:30 am - Man Hunt (1941). That opening scene is so good that I always think the rest of the movie pales in comparison, but how could it not? Walter Pidgeon stars, George Sanders sics John Carradine on him, Joan Bennett's Cockney commoner grows on me more every time I watch. Directed by Fritz Lang.
—TCM Monday, 6:00 am - The Phantom of Paris (1931), John Gilbert stars as Chéri-Bibi in adaptation of Gaston Leroux's novel of that title. Not my favorite of Gilbert's talkies, but another solid piece of evidence in favor of his voice.
—GetTV highlights this weekend include Barbara Stanwyck in Shopworn (1932) Friday at 5:30 pm; Richard Dix in three consecutive Whistler entries beginning at 7:30 am Saturday; and Warren William in a couple of Lone Wolf entries to begin the day Monday.
—First draft of my Helen Twelvetrees book is now complete. The preface is still rough, but I'll tune it up first thing Friday morning. When I reached the end of Helen's life I had a difficult time deciding how to divide certain elements and general ideas between the preface and the end of her story without repeating myself. A moment of clarity split it all up nicely and I rolled to the conclusion from there. Then I raced to put the beginning together out of remaining notes, several of which were the first few ideas I jotted down. Now I'm looking forward to reading the biographical section beginning to end late Friday night. I'll make edits as I go and as long as I don't bump into anything too catastrophic I'll print the entire section out to attack with a pencil over the weekend.
—I have a lot of work to do on Red-Headed Woman yet, so I'll likely only run four issues of the Daily next week. This means a double-issue, probably on Tuesday.
—For more about William Gillette, who's featured in today's birthday round-up, see my review of Secret Service (1931) starring Richard Dix, an adaptation of Gillette's play. The backstory beats the movie on this one.
Enjoy your weekend, I'll talk to you on Monday—