Born on this date: Sam Wood in 1883; Gail Kane in 1887; Robert Barrat in 1889; Slim Summerville in 1892; John Gilbert in 1897; Evelyn Laye in 1900; Lili Damita in 1904; Thomas Gomez in 1905; and Joan Marsh in 1914.
All links lead to each actor's IMDb page, set to open in a new tab.
Classic Movie Daily subscribers will find two images each of John Gilbert and Lili Damita, plus a shot of Evelyn Laye, inside today's Daily. Other birthdays are celebrated with smaller images at the very bottom of this post.
TV Alerts through Monday morning at 7 am:
Titles play on US schedules and all quoted times are for my own local Eastern time zone.
—TCM Friday, 24 hours of "Summer of Darkness." Titles I've seen and can recommend include mob film Black Hand (1950 - 10:30 am) without a single dance step from star Gene Kelly (I'd love to know how this casting came about!); Armored Car Robbery (1950 - 12:15 pm) with Charles McGraw and Adele Jergens ('nuff said!); film noir essential D.O.A. (1950 - 3:15 pm) with Edmond O'Brien; George Raft in Red Light (1949 - 8:00 pm), another of those tight little "B" crime flicks that have co-opted the film noir tag along the way; The Hitch-Hiker (1953 - 1:30 am) with Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy; The Blue Dahlia (1946 - 2:45 am) with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, and you've just got to mention William Bendix here too.
I wrote about Red Light HERE back in 2011 right after I saw it for the first time.
I'm kind of meh on Kiss Me Deadly (1955 - 9:45 pm), which always has me primed to expect more than what it is, and On Dangerous Ground (1952 - 11:45), from director Nicholas Ray, who always seems to leave too much of a personal imprint on his films for my taste, but they're otherwise well-regarded classics that you probably want me to mention so you don't miss them.
—GetTV Friday, begins with another Warren William Lone Wolf entry, this one The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date (1941 - 6:35 am), sloppy and predictable, but one of my favorites in the series. This post at my Warren William site explains.
Friday evening on GetTV offers a block of four starring Barbara Stanwyck: Meet John Doe (1941 - 7:00 pm) starring Gary Cooper; Shopworn (1932 - 9:50 pm); Golden Boy (1939 - 11:20 pm) with William Holden; and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946 - 1:35 am) with Van Heflin.
—TCM Saturday opens with Katharine Hepburn and Lucille Ball in Stage Door (1937 - 6:00 am); Beauty and the Boss (1932 - 7:30 am) with Marian Marsh and Warren William; and Duck Soup (1933 - 8:45 am) with the Marx Brothers. Pretty good breakfast vibes!
—TCM Essential at 8:00 pm is Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner (1940) with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. This one usually plays around Christmas, but TCM has dusted it off in July to open an evening of programming themed around Hungary. One of those Hollywood movies with an often inauthentic European feel that comes of a collection of American actors altering their usual performance to better fit the setting: Frank Morgan is most guilty here. But this title has grown greatly in my estimation over the years, not as I've come to love Lubitsch (which I do), but as I've come to embrace Margaret Sullavan, an actress I used to dislike who I now regard as one of the best of the era. You might know this story better from the later version, with music, In the Good Old Summertime (1949), which plays on the channel even more often.
—GetTV Saturday, a four-movie Boston Blackie marathon begins at 5:55 am with Alias Boston Blackie (1942) and continues through the morning with Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood (1942 - 7:30 am), Meet Boston Blackie (1941 - 9:05 am), and Confessions of Boston Blackie (1942 - 10:30 am). Chester Morris stars in all with regulars George E. Stone and Lloyd Corrigan in all but the first series entry (Meet Boston Blackie).
—TCM Sunday begins with William Powell and Jean Harlow somehow cast in a movie that's an effort to watch, Reckless (1935) at 6:00 am. Notable titles playing throughout the day include Robert Montgomery in Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941 - 12:00 pm); Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947 - 2:00 pm); and Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in Howard Hawks' Ball of Fire (1942 - 4:00 pm), but the interesting part of the day —
—and I do hope that T.S. and D. are reading, is the collection of 15 different shorts TCM is playing between 8 pm and midnight as part of their Summer "Movie Camp" feature. I'm sure some of the selections include the types we've been griping about, but there looks to be something for everyone here including Robert Benchley, a Dogville entry, the Christmas classic Star in the Night (1945), history, and even a 1933 comedy with Bess Flowers. The TCM schedule doesn't provide specific times, but hopefully if we tune in there are a few new and pleasant surprises included with the familiar favorites. Enjoy!
—Our first weekend edition, so format will be trial and error as per usual. I only included Friday's birthdays, figuring that saves a couple of days for next year, but highlighted the TV schedule over all 3 days because once those play they're over and gone.
—Quick editorial note on the TV schedules, specifically TCM versus GetTV: I'm beginning to think if I was zapped down from an alien planet for just one day—or, more plausible, if my cable provider were to actually allow access to GetTV for just one day—that it's more likely that I'd tune my TV to GetTV and not TCM that day (Unless that day were this Sunday, when GetTV is pretty lousy!). That said, I don't expect these GetTV previews to survive in this newsletter for too long. Too much repetition. Their catalog is just too small, too limited. But GetTV does seem to show what I expect a classic movie channel to show, keeping in mind my definition of classic is heavy on age. I continue to be wary of the evolution of TCM, wishing I could simply shout at them, "What would Turner do," but that argument loses steam since he'd probably just want to colorize the whole kit-n-caboodle. Sorry about that, I think I'm still ticked over those 100 or so hours without any pre-WWII movies on TCM earlier this week. It's days like those that I want to take my time machine back to, not 1933, but let's say 1989 for the excitement of a stray '30s movie or two on the old TNT schedule. TV is so much better now with so many more choices, but more often than not my choice is a DVD. And back into to Curmudgeons' Corner I go.
—Okay, so the review isn't in today's package of Daily posts. Hopefully you know by now not to listen to me about getting something done unless I actually link to the finished post. Yes, I get a lot done, but none of it is ever on time. My sleep schedule is topsy-turvy at the moment (today began at 3 am) which throws my working schedule into chaos. I probably shouldn't be allowed to use the word schedule, the folks at Webster or Oxford just ought to revoke those rights. On a brighter note, I did get some work done on the Twelvetrees book yesterday, so that gives me a jump on my weekend plans. Thursday was good for long-range plans, lousy for the near term.
—Short version, I really want to get the new review out to you tomorrow. If I can manage it (see point above and feel free to doubt me) you'll receive just the review post, no Daily package.
—I'm otherwise hoping that waking up at 3 am has some benefits. You see, despite my complaining up above, I consider myself a pretty positive person. Okay, it does takes a little effort sometimes. But as for today, after I finish up the Daily, I'd like to put another couple of hours in on the Twelvetrees book; I have a dozen or so still photos scanned and ready to list on eBay; and then there's the review post mentioned above to carry me through until morning. Here's hoping I take a bite out of all of that!
—Here's my eBay Summer Sale Link. Up to 60% off on over 2,000 items.
Have a great weekend, I'll be back Monday!