I was pleasantly surprised when I paged through TCM’s Now Playing guide for July on Monday afternoon. You know I’m already excited for August and Summer Under the Stars and I recently got even more worked up about TCM’s Friday night pre-Codes coming in September, but July also turns out to hold a stacked schedule, at least by my tastes. This is going to take awhile.
The Star of the Month for July is Maureen O’Hara but the highlight here is going to be the 43 World War I-related movies that TCM will be playing on Fridays throughout July in observance of the centenary of the start of the Great War.
Top picks this month include rare showings of Ace of Aces (1933), which is my favorite movie starring the subject of my last post, Richard Dix. It plays Friday, July 11 during one of those WWI marathons and I am going to try to cover it on the site before TCM plays it. I also want to draw special attention to the totally unrelated, Jalna (1935), which plays Monday, July 21 at 9:45 am. TCM hasn’t played this one in a few years now, so Mazo de la Roche fans, be sure to set your DVRs!
More day-by-day picks and recommendations to follow below, but first a quick peek at what’s playing on GetTV:
The popular new channel (which Optimum still does not carry) plays several familiar oldies this month. Take a look at their complete July schedule for dates and times — programming is usually repeated throughout the month — and look for titles such as:
Ten Cents A Dance (1931) with Barbara Stanwyck; Twentieth Century (1934) with Carole Lombard and John Barrymore; They All Kissed the Bride (1942) starring Joan Crawford and Melvyn Douglas was a title I recently enjoyed for the first time; More Lombard with Jimmy Stewart in Made for Each Other (1939); a Stanwyck favorite in The Miracle Woman (1931); Our pal Richard Dix in The Whistler (1944), plus sequels The Power of the Whistler, Voice of the Whistler (both 1945) and Secret of the Whistler (1946); Orson Welles’ The Lady from Shanghai (1948) with Rita Hayworth; Peter Lorre and an especially good Marian Marsh in Crime and Punishment (1935); Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and Ronald Colman in George Stevens’ The Talk of the Town (1942); More Stanwyck with Shopworn (1932).
Plus several additional later titles up through the 1960s. The schedule looked a bit heavy on ‘50s Westerns for July, but all of those goodies mentioned above play several times as well!
Once more, you’ll find the complete GetTV schedule for July HERE.
TCM Picks for July 2014
As always: US schedule; all times EST; "days" begin at 6:00 am and last until the next morning at that same time.
TCM runs a birthday tribute to Leslie Caron (1931 — ) during the day on Tuesday, July 1 before getting right down to business with July’s Star of the Month, Maureen O’Hara, beginning at 8:00 pm. They play probably my favorite O’Hara title and maybe my favorite John Ford title, How Green Was My Valley (1941), Tuesday night at 10:15 pm EST.
Several ‘30s and ‘40s titles play on July 2 on a day that opens with a few from director A. Edward Sutherland — 1932’s Secrets of the French Police being of most interest here — and then hold a Chester Morris tribute that includes one co-starring Richard Dix that I have not seen, The Marines Fly High (1940), at 2:00 pm and an early Mervyn LeRoy title starring Alice White that isn’t ringing any bells either, Playing Around (1930) at 6:00 pm. Count me in on those. Right before I began typing first draft of this post I spent about a half hour gather Chester Morris images in hopes of having time to do a small biography for you for Wednesday (nothing insanely long like the recent Dix post, I promise!).
Everybody loves George Sanders (or at least loves to hiss at him). TCM celebrates his birthday (1906-1972) on Thursday, July 3 with an eight-movie marathon between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm that includes one of my favorites, The Moon and Sixpence (1942), based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel and starring Sanders as almost/sort of Paul Gauguin. It plays at 11:15 am EST.
That same night, beginning at 8:00 pm and running through to 3:45 am, comes a five-movie Mae West marathon that kicks off with her two with Cary Grant, I’m No Angel (1933) and She Done Him Wrong (1933) at 8:00 and 9:45 respectively.
TCM wishes us a Happy Independence Day with the usual titles during the day July 4, but their Friday Spotlight on WWI movies begins that same night at 8:00 pm with Sergeant York (1941). Also playing are The Fighting 69th (1940) with Cagney and O’Brien at 10:30 pm; the 1938 version of The Dawn Patrol with Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone and David Niven at 12:15 am; and William A. Wellman’s Academy Award winning classic Wings (1927) at 2:15 am. Wings is one of a handful of silent films I’ve covered on the site. You can read about my experience of watching it for the first time HERE.
Saturday, July 5 — More Maugham and I absolutely love Bette Davis in Of Human Bondage (1934), early that morning at 6:30 am. The 10:30 am series slot is filled by Bonita Granville as Nancy Drew all throughout July. Up first, Nancy Drew: Detective (1938).Fred and Ginger in Top Hat (1935) early Sunday morning, July 6, at 6:15am.
Another classic, Little Caesar (1930), plays early on Tuesday, July 8 at 6:15 am. Maureen O’Hara later that night.
At least two gems play on the evening of July 9 when the theme is “At Your Service.” The night kicks off with Charles Laughton in his best comedy role in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) at 8:00 pm. Much later at 2:30 am do your best to catch Robert Montgomery and Edward Arnold in The Earl of Chicago (1939).
During the day Thursday, July 10 TCM pairs a feature-length film with a short from the same director. Two of the features are of interest here because they’re movies with a couple of favorites top-billed and I definitely have never seen either before: Phillips Holmes stars in Man to Man (1931) from Alan Dwan at 2:00 pm; John Boles stars in Fight for Your Lady (1938) from Ben Stoller at 6:00 pm. That one is paired not with a Stoller short, but one from Ida Lupino who is also in the cast of the Boles movie.
Friday, July 11 features World War I movies all day and all night, for 24 hours. This is the day my Dix favorite, Ace of Aces, plays—you don’t want to miss that one at 1:30 pm. Another title that I’ve covered, actually another silent title that I’ve covered, is King Vidor’s classic The Big Parade (1925) starring John Gilbert. It plays at 12:15 am as the third film in the best possible WWI triple-feature I could ever dream of: Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory (1957) plays at 8:00 pm, a little late for me you might think, but actually one of my favorite movies of all time. Sandwiched between is Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) at 9:45 pm. I could just go on and on about the schedule for the 11th as the day opens with a Valentino movie (Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ) and closes with two German titles from G.W. Pabst, Westfront 1918 (1930) and Kameradschaft (1931), plus squeezes in the James Whale classic Waterloo Bridge (1931) and more. Great, great schedule from TCM on July 11.
Possibly the most depressing movie of the Golden Age plays on Sunday, July 13 at 10:00 am in Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow (1937). Have a hankie handy, tough guy.
Later that night come a pair of princesses with Shirley Temple starring in The Little Princess (1939) at 8:00 pm and Olivia de Havilland as Princess O’Rourke (1943) at 10:00 pm. The latter is kind of silly, but I like it!
TCM plays a pretty awesome Kay Francis marathon the evening of Monday, July 14 beginning at 8:00 pm with John Cromwell’s For the Defense (1930), one of Kay’s six with William Powell, and running through to Allotment Wives (1945), a goodie I only recently discovered, beginning at 4:30 am. In between comes the Ernst Lubitsch classic Trouble in Paradise (1932) with Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins; then a couple I’ve covered on the site, I Found Stella Parish (1935) at 10:45 pm, and the much better Jewel Robbery (1932), again with William Powell, at 12:15 am. They’re followed by Raffles (1930) starring Ronald Colman at 1:30 am and Stranded (1935), another decent little title, with George Brent at 3:00 am.
Tuesday, July 15 is meant to celebrate director William Dieterle’s birthday (1893-1972), but the way it opens forces me to call it Warren William day: Warren with Barbara Stanwyck in The Secret Bride (1935) to open the day at 6:00 am followed by the much maligned middle-version of The Maltese Falcon, Satan Met a Lady (1936) with Bette Davis at 7:15 am. A pretty good day of Dieterle movies follow, including several I’ve touched upon before: Paul Muni stars in The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936) at 8:45 am; more Kay Francis in the better than usually advertised The White Angel (1936) at 10:15 am and Kay again, this time with Errol Flynn, in Another Dawn (1937) at 12 noon. Interesting historical biopic with Edward G. Robinson in the lead in A Dispatch from Reuters (1940) at 3:00 pm and then the awkward biography of President Andrew Johnson, Tennessee Johnson (1942), with Van Heflin in the starring role at 4:30 pm.
Ginger Rogers (1911-1995) and Barbara Stanwyck (1907-1990) have to share a birthday schedule on Wednesday, July 16 with Ginger getting the early part of the day and Stanny taking over at 11:30 am. Somehow Stanwyck winds up stuck in the ‘50s during her five movies, so I’m partial to the triple-feature allotted to Ginger that opens the day: The Tip-Off (1931) with Eddie Quillan at 6:00 am; You Said a Mouthful (1932) with (guess who) Joe E. Brown at 7:15 am; and Finishing School (1934) with Frances Dee at 8:30 am. You’ll want to record those Ginger Rogers titles, I don’t think they’ve played any of them since Ginger was Star of the Month back in March 2010.
Oh, there's a touch more Stanwyck that same night when one of Robert Osborne’s picks is pre-Code classic The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932) from director Frank Capra. It plays at 10:30 pm.
More candles on Thursday, July 17, this time for James Cagney (1899-1986), who receives the royal treatment of a nine-movie, fourteen-hour pre-Code marathon beginning at 6:00 am, and I’ll just rattle off the entire schedule from there, with Taxi! (1932) co-starring Loretta Young; the recently reviewed Winner Take All (1932) follows at 7:15 am; Busby Berkeley choreographed classic Footlight Parade (1933) at 8:30 am; Mervyn LeRoy’s Hard to Handle (1933) at 10:30 am; Cagney and Mae Clarke, together again, in Lady Killer (1933) at 12:00 pm; my favorite of the marathon, The Mayor of Hell (1933), plays at 1:30 pm; Picture Snatcher (1933) at 3:15 pm; Cagney with pal Pat O’Brien in Here Comes the Navy (1934) at 4:45 pm; and one I somehow only ran into a week or two ago, the over-the-top hilarious Jimmy the Gent (1934) at 6:15 pm. Cagney is manic as hell here but watch Alan Dinehart closely for the real laughs.
But wait, there’s more … for pre-Code fans during the evening of July 17 when "Crime Remakes" pair two classic originals with their remakes, those originals: Walter Huston and Phillips Holmes star in The Criminal Code (1931) with Boris Karloff at 8:00 pm. Later that night, Paul Muni stars in gangster classic Scarface (1983) at 12 midnight … watch for the “X’s”.
Another 24-hour marathon of World War I related movies plays throughout Friday, July 18 and, I don’t say this often, but I believe the two best of the bunch are foreign films, each from France: Abel Gance’s J’Accuse (1919) opens the day at 6:00 am and Jean Renoir’s all-time classic Grand Illusion (1937) plays late that night at 2:00 am, setting some high standards to say the least! For those who don’t want to do any reading while they watch, I enjoy the somber Ever in My Heart (1933) with Stanwyck and Otto Kruger. It plays at 2:00 that afternoon.
Sunday, July 20 features Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat (1944) at 10:00 am and Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday (1940) at 2:15 pm. Beginning at 8:00 that evening and running through til morning are several features and shorts from the biggest and best known stars of silent comedy: Laurel & Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Roscoe Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin are among those featured. Looks like a lot of Lloyd late in the night.
TCM celebrates another pair of birthdays throughout the day on Monday, July 21 beginning with several titles featuring British character actor C. Aubrey Smith (1863-1948) including one highlighted at the top of this post, the John Cromwell directed Jalna (1935), which also stars Kay Johnson, Ian Hunter and David Manners (in the role that finally sold me on David Manners!). Director Rene Clair (1898-1981) is the subject of the afternoon; I’m always up for Veronica Lake and Fredric March in I Married a Witch (1942).
More Maureen O’Hara on Tuesday, July 22.
The Cinematography of William H. Daniels is celebrated throughout the day on Thursday, July 24 when TCM plays The Kiss (1929) starring Greta Garbo at 6:15 am and The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929) starring Norma Shearer at 7:30 am. Then a handful of movies I’ve never seen before play and my DVR records: Wise Girls (1929) with Elliott Nugent at 9:30 am; Strictly Unconventional (1930) with Catherine Dale Owen at 11:15 am; and one with Robert Montgomery and Madge Evans I’ve somehow missed, Lovers Courageous (1932), at 12:15 pm. Helen Hayes and Clark Gable in Victor Fleming’s 1933 version of The White Sister plays after those at 1:45 pm.
Kirk Douglas movies play that night beginning with one I recently dug deep into, Lust for Life (1956), at 8:00 pm.
The final day (and night) of World War I movies happens on Friday, July 25 beginning with a pair of Richard Barthelmess talkies that should really cause more appreciation for that actor: Barthelmess stars with David Manners and John Mack Brown in The Last Flight (1931) at 6:00 am, though I was completely captivated by Helen Chandler (best known from Dracula) in this one; It’s followed by the better known William A. Wellman film Heroes for Sale (1933), one of the top movies of the period. I was (finally?) charmed by Margaret Sullavan when I (finally!) caught The Shopworn Angel (1938) co-starring James Stewart semi-recently. It plays at 12:30 that afternoon. I’m sure I’ve called other movies my favorite this-or-that on the site before and I’d hate to be inconsistent, but since TCM is playing Random Harvest (1942) I think I’ll declare it my favorite romance of all-time. It plays at 8:00 pm on the 25th and it stars Greer Garson and Ronald Colman.
Ronald Reagan plays baseball Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander in The Winning Team (1952) at 1:30 pm on Saturday, July 26.
Later that same night Karloff stars in The Mummy (1932), shortly after midnight at 12:45 am. Co-star Zita Johann will play a major part in an otherwise unrelated post coming to the site sometime this month.
Errol Flynn stars in The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) Sunday morning, July 27 at 6:00 am. I mention it mostly to include this awesome movie card image:
For anyone wondering what all the hub bub is about when it comes to Louise Brooks be sure to catch Pabst’s Pandora’s Box (1928) late night on the 27th 12:15 am. (Wow, three Pabst movies in a single month!)
Monday, July 28 features a Joe E. Brown birthday tribute for all those who’ve managed to acquire the taste. I do enjoy baseball movies Elmer the Great (1933), which plays at 8:15 am, and Alibi Ike (1935), playing at 2:45 pm and co-starring Olivia de Havilland in her movie debut and probably the last place you’d expect to find her! Alibi Ike is also one of many sports films to feature William Frawley. By the way, Central Park (1933) starring Joan Blondell and Wallace Ford opens that day at 6:00 am. I don’t think it has any Joe E. Brown connection, but if I’m missing something, let me know.
TCM celebrates Maria Ouspenskaya’s birthday (1876-1949) with the three titles opening Tuesday, July 29: Judge Hardy and Son (1939) is sandwiched by the admittedly far superior Dodsworth (1936) and The Mortal Storm (1940).
Legendary stage couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne star in The Guardsman (1931) at 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 30. That afternoon, William Powell and Myrna Loy in one of my favorite non-Thin Man pairings, Double Wedding (1937) at 12 noon. Powell is a riot as the bohemian artist!
The month closes with “Bad Girls” throughout the day on Thursday, July 31. The day opens with the Marie Dressler-Wallace Beery classic Min and Bill (1930), which can be a bit hard to take, then moves on to a Helen Twelvetrees movie that I … have … not … seen! A Woman of Experience (1932) starring Helen and Lew Cody plays at 7:15 am. It’s followed by the movie that made me want to find more Mady Christians (alas, I haven’t yet), A Wicked Woman (1934), co-starring Charles Bickford at 8:30 am and highly recommended.
Now that’s a great month of TV! Be sure to check out Kristina’s round-up of all of the classic TV picks for July at the Speakeasy … should be a busy month with all that TCM has to offer!
Dare I say, it’s about to get even better:
Summer Under the Stars runs throughout August on TCM. I’m not sure how or if I’ll preview it next month, but the day-by-day lineup of stars has been posted to the site for awhile now.
Also posted separately are the complete line-ups for September’s 24-hour pre-Code marathons on TCM.
I’m going to try to be back to you tomorrow with a brief look at Chester Morris.
Til then, I'm going to close with a quick plug for my Immortal Ephemera Store, where you can shop movie cards and collectibles like those shown in this post. All items vintage to the period.