Turner Classic Movies sets up us fans of the oldies with another sparkling month of programming in July. I have already covered July's Star of the Month, Leslie Howard, in detail, so he won't be mentioned on this page. I contemplated a separate post laying out the complete schedule for the five action packed Mondays in July, each featuring 24 hours of Classic Adventure films, 53 movies in all, but decided to just touch upon highlights here.
As always, when I say highlights I mean my highlights. I'm extremely partial to movies made between the start of the talkie era to about the end of World War II. I won't be mentioning the evening of Robert Redford films on July 11 any further than this paragraph. In brief, I love The Sting (1973), it's an all-time favorite. I don't look for it on TCM. Insert favorite classic movie vs. old movie argument here.
I'll be concentrating on the oldies in the remainder of this space and doing my best to highlight those I'm scared you might miss because they are airing at 2 pm when you're at work or 2 am when you've been out like a light for many hours.
The previous self-centered disclaimer is followed by the usual one:
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. If I say something airs at July 15 at 4 am your calendar will tell you that I'm technically referring to the very early morning hours of July 16.
Let's try something new before I get to my lengthy run-down. A short version (Do I have it in me?).
TCM in July, Quickie Edition
Most Exciting Day: July 17, Jack Conway birthday schedule
Top Pick: July 23, Captain Blood (1935); runner up, July 9, The Count of Monte Cristo (1934)
Most Wanted: Tie: July 10, Too Much, Too Soon (1958); July 17, They Learned About Women (1930); July 22, The Mating Call (1928)
Most Exciting Day is self-explanatory. If you want me to recommend a sick day from work, it'll be that day! Top Pick being those I have seen and would push you down on my couch and force you to watch if you even hint that you haven't seen it! Most Wanted being those I have to the best of my knowledge never seen but will be sure to check out this month.
TCM in July, Long Version
July 2 is the first of the 24 hour Classic Adventure marathons. The time frame of day 1 is a little weak for me, but I like the costly Trader Horn (1931) at 6 am and will be DVR'ing Johnny Weissmuller's first Jungle Jim (1948) movie, of the same name, at 1:30 pm.
July 3 is gonna be a bummer for anyone adhering to their Now Playing Guide and looking for the Saint and Falcon-filled George Sanders birthday celebration. It's been preempted as TCM gives over the daytime hours in remembrance of the recently deceased Ann Rutherford. Nothing I say will make the Sanders fans feel any better, they are a heartily devoted group, but I will say that TCM tends to make good on these type of changes somewhere down the line. In the meantime, TCM has put together a fine sampling of Ann Rutherford's work and segue nicely from Rutherford to Star of the Month Leslie Howard in airing Gone With the Wind at 8 pm.
I posted the Ann Rutherford schedule in my recent obituary post, but just in case this is the first you've heard of the programming change here's the entire July 3 daytime schedule once more:
Ann Rutherford TCM Tribute, July 3
- 6 a.m. – Of Human Hearts (1938), with Walter Huston and James Stewart; directed by Clarence Brown
- 7:45 a.m. – Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland; directed by George B. Seitz
- 9:30 a.m. – Four Girls in White (1939), with Florence Rice and Una Merkel; directed by S. Sylvan Simon
- 10:45 a.m. – Pride and Prejudice (1940), with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier; directed by Robert Z. Leonard
- 12:45 p.m. – Washington Melodrama (1941), with Frank Morgan and Kent Taylor; directed by S. Sylvan Simon
- 2:15 p.m. – This Time for Keeps (1942), with Robert Serling and Guy Kibee; directed by Charles Reisner
- 3:30 p.m. – Whistling In Dixie (1942), with Red Skelton and George Bancroft; directed by S. Sylvan Simon
- 4:45 p.m. – Two O'Clock Courage (1945), with Tom Conway and Richard Lane; directed by Anthony Mann
- 6 p.m. – Adventures of Don Juan (1948), with Errol Flynn and Robert Douglas; directed by Vincent Sherman
- 8 p.m. – Gone with the Wind (1939), with Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh; directed by Victor Fleming
Thursday, July 5 starts well at 7:00 am with Powell and Loy in Evelyn Prentice (1934), followed by Barbara Stanwyck as Annie Oakley (1935) at 8:30 and Mildred Pierce at 10:15, but then it looks like nap-time for me.
Nothing much to speak of on July 6 and then on July 7 TCM continues its Saturday am run of Rusty movies with Rusty Leads the Way (1948) at 10:45 am before beginning the Green Hornet serials at noon.
Skipping ahead to Monday, July 9, Classic Adventures Day 2, do not miss The Count of Monte Cristo (1934) with Robert Donat at 2:00 pm. The classic Alexandre Dumas based story may well be my second favorite action-adventure film of all-time. My favorite is the one I listed as Top Pick up above. You don't need me to tell you to turn on The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) at 8 pm. You'll be home, it'll be there and you will find yourself unable to change the channel.
I'm excited to catch Too Much, Too Soon (1958) for the first time on Tuesday, July 10 at 4:00 pm. Errol Flynn as John Barrymore? This one has been on my list for awhile now!
The rest of the week, with some exceptions, is a bit weak, so we'll speed through and mention giant ants at 10:00 am July 11 in Them! (1954); a Vincent Sherman birthday celebration lasting all day Thursday, July 12; Sam Fuller movies the evening of Friday, July 13, I especially like Park Row (1952) at 9:30 pm followed by the sometimes silly ("Nymphos!") sometimes shocking (A Klansman, really?) Shock Corridor (1963) at 11:00 pm.
Tucked into the early hours are George Arliss as Voltaire (1933) at 5:45 am on what TCM calls Friday the 13th, but which we know is actually part of the July 14 Bastille Day mini-marathon continuing with The Black Book (1949) at 7:00 am and a favorite, Ronald Colman in A Tale of Two Cities (1935), one of the two movies most responsible for my recent Elizabeth Allan obsession.
I guess Rusty never stormed the Bastille so things return to status quo with My Dog Rusty (1948) at 10:45 that Saturday morning, followed by more Green Hornet.
All the way at the very end of the Sunday, July 15 schedule you'll find Greer Garson trying her hardest to be funny in Julia Misbehaves (1948) at 4 am. It doesn't quite work for me, but it has its moments and I'll watch anything with Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
Monday, July 16 is strong with the third full day of Classic Adventure including one I need to see myself at 10:15 am, 1936's The Last of the Mohicans starring Randolph Scott with the lovely Binnie Barnes. Then also, The Four Feathers (1939) at noon; the rousing The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) with Flynn and de Havilland at 2:00 pm; Gunga Din (1939) at 4:00. Later that evening Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) quite successfully introduces us to Johnny Weissmuller in the role though I kind of forget about him once Maureen O'Sullivan is in her jungle garb. It's followed by Captains Courageous at midnight, and I'll be honest, Spencer Tracy grates on me in this one, but I love a good Freddie Bartholomew flick. At 3:45 am the adventure movies go silent with Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Baghdad (1924) and then we move on to another theme for Tuesday, but stay silent for awhile at least.
Silents and pre-codes mostly rule the day as TCM celebrates the birthday of director Jack Conway. The Tuesday, July 17 daytime Jack Conway schedule: Valentino is The Shiek (1921) at 6:15 am; silent flapper Joan Crawford in Our Modern Maidens (1929) at 7:45 am; more Joan, but we can hear her, in talkie Untamed (1929) at 9:15 am; can't wait to catch They Learned About Women (1930) at 10:45 am, baseball plus vaudeville should be fun, plus it features the talented Bessie Love and our old pal Turkey Mike Donlin shows up too; The Easiest Way (1931) with pre-fame Clark Gable included amongst a strong stable of MGM stars at 12:30 pm; Robert Montgomery was in that last one and he's in But the Flesh Is Weak (1931) right after at 1:45 pm as well; our old friend Elizabeth Allan co-stars with her old friend Herbert Marshall in The Solitaire Man (1933) at 3:15 pm; then we get a little more modern to close out the Jack Conway marathon with A Yank at Oxford (1938) at 4:30 pm and Let Freedom Ring (1939) at 6:30 pm.
I won't tell you to take the day off this time, but that July 17 daytime looks like my own most likely day to take it easy and plant myself in front of the television!
Wednesday, July 18 is another big day as TCM marathons a run of Hal Roach films throughout the daylight hours including four Laurel and Hardy films: Brats (1930) at 6 am; Swiss Miss (1938) next at 6:30; A Chump at Oxford (1939) at 8:00 am. Saps at Sea (1940) shows a little later at 12:30 pm with a pair of Victor Mature actioners that I like in between, Captain Caution (1940) at 9:30 am and One Million B.C. at 11:00 am.
Thursday, July 19 spends the day inside of prison with the better part of it spent more specifically in women's prison: Stanwyck in Ladies They Talk About (1933) at 6:00 am; Kay Francis in The House on 56th Street (1933) at 7:15 am; I don't know Condemned Women (1938) at 8:30 am or Within the Law (1939) following at 10, but I'll be recording! Eleanor Parker is Caged (1950) at 11:15 am and then TCM shows House of Women (1962) at 1:00 before switching over to a few men behind bars for the rest of the daylight hours.
Passing mention of The Searchers (1956) airing as part of an all-day Natalie Wood birthday marathon on Friday, July 20, but we're much more interested in the quartet of rarely shown early Stanwyck pre-codes beginning at 8:00 pm that same night: Shopworn (1932) at 8:00 pm; Lionel Barrymore directs Ten Cents a Dance (1931) at 9:15 pm; Illicit (1931) at 10:45 am; and Forbidden (1932) at 12:15 am.
Rusty Saves a Life (1949) at 10:45 Saturday morning, July 21 ... then more Green Hornet.
The Sunday silent for July 22 sounds interesting, Thomas Meighan is a World War I vet who loses his wife, Evelyn Brent, to a Klansman in The Mating Call (1928). Apparently Renee Adoree gets naked. I'm in.
Monday, July 23, Classic Adventure is back for the fourth time including an aging Errol Flynn in The Master of Ballantrae (1953) at 9:00 am. It tries it's hardest to recapture the best that younger Errol had to offer, though you can just wait til 10:30 to see a truly younger Flynn in The Sea Hawk (1940), one of his classics! A nice double-shot of Gable beginning at 6:30 pm with China Seas (1935), also starring Jean Harlow, and then an all-timer in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) at 8:00 pm. And there's my favorite action-adventure movie of them all, Captain Blood (1935), featuring Flynn at about as young as you're going to get him, buried at 2:30 am. Hey, something has to air at 2:30 in the morning, just be sure to record it if you haven't seen it. It's perfect.
Wednesday, July 25 TCM celebrates the birth of Walter Brennan with seven daytime movies beginning at 6:00 am with Northwest Passage (1940); classic Gary Cooper with Meet John Doe (1941) at 8:15 and Sergeant York (1941) at 10:30; Lana Turner in Slightly Dangerous (1943) at 1:00 pm; The North Star (1943) at 2:45 pm; The Green Promise (1949) at 4:45 pm; Raoul Walsh's Along the Great Divide (1951) starring Kirk Douglas at 6:30 pm.
There's a little dog theme going on early Friday morning, July 27, and I have to recommend I couple I have written about in The Case of the Howling Dog (1934) at 6 am and The Voice of Bugle Ann (1936) at 8:45 am. In Howling Dog Perry Mason comes to the screen for the first time and he's played by--Warren William. Bugle Ann is a fascinating look at Missouri fox hunting, a sport which probably isn't exactly what you think.
It's Rusty's Birthday (1949) on Saturday, July 28 at 10:45 am ... followed by more Green Hornet.
Early Sunday morning, July 29, Boris Karloff stars in The Walking Dead (1936) at 6:00 am, a bizarre one from Warner Brothers with Michael Curtiz directing. Zombies and gangsters, top that!
Day number five of Classic Adventure movies, July 30, winds down the feature with a heap of later movies highlighted by the 8:00 pm showing of Five Came Back (1939) starring Chester Morris with Lucille Ball.
Not sure why, but July finishes off with a day full of Marjorie Reynolds movies including two Mr. Wong entries with Boris Karloff beginning at 10:30. My only guess is that Reynolds was born on August 12 so she's typically shut out of any celebration by the annual Summer Under the Stars feature.
And that's where I'll leave you. Coming in August, TCM's Summer Under the Stars and they've got some very strong days set up. This site shall be very busy throughout all of August!
TCM in July, Covered Elsewhere
Excellent run-down, as always, from Laura at Laura's Miscellaneous Movies; Ivan's not big on Leslie Howard, but has a heck of a July preview at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear; Angela highlights her faves day by day at The Hollywood Revue; Journeys in Classic Film posts her Top 12 for July and matches a few titles to those mentioned above; Stacia at the revamped She Blogged by Night gives us not only her picks for TCM's best in July, but a few classics at Fox Movie Channel and Sundance Channel as well.
July 2012 TCM Tally
When I left off with the June tally my heart was no longer in the game. The tally was about to be killed off. I mentioned it elsewhere and a couple of respected blogging buddies told me that they liked it. And so I'm back in the game, enthusiasm rebooted, with the July 2012 TCM tally to follow!
Usual small print:
For those unfamiliar with this feature, this is the part of the entry where I open up my TCM Now Playing Guide to tally off every movie TCM shows during the month of July and record the results by decade. You'll find me rooting hard for the 1930's and 40's and holding my nose to big gains from the 1960's and later. I could go either way on the 50's.
To date, January 1-July 31, 2012:
725 - 1950's
682 - 1940's
558 - 1960's
526 - 1930's
136 - 1970's
67 - 1980's
55 - 1920's
10 - 1990's
7 - 1910's
A hollow victory for the 1940's over the 1960's this month as it was accorded multiple Green Hornet entries every Saturday. TCM shows 3 or 4 of them; Now Playing counts each separately. The 1890's breaks the chart and I could have given it a little edge by including each of the 17 Melies shorts airing inside a two hour block on July 15, but again, the Guide counts 'em as one. Jack Conway helped boost the 20's some this month. The 80's scored low and do so only through two timeless movies and two late-night Friday entries (one of which, Near Dark  is actually very good!). The 30's continues to push the 60's though who knows what happens next month when the tally is potentially thrown all askew by Summer Under the Stars programming.
I know Summer Under the Stars is going to disrupt this entire monthly feature to some degree ... but it will be in a good way. You really don't think I'm going to let 24 hour marathons for site favorites such as Myrna Loy, Claude Rains, Ginger Rogers, Freddie Bartholomew, Tyrone Power, Kay Francis and Warren William pass without special notice of their own, do you?
I promise to give you a break on Elvis day.
'Til next time, thanks for reading!