Born on this date: George Fawcett in 1860; G.W. Pabst in 1885; Charles "Chic" Sale in 1885; Van Nest Polglase in 1898; Alice White in 1904; Michael Rennie in 1909; Ruby Keeler in 1910; Bob Crosby in 1913; Don DeFore in 1913; Van Johnson in 1916; Mel Ferrer in 1917; and Richard Greene in 1918.
All links lead to each actor's IMDb page, set to open in a new tab.
Classic Movie Daily subscribers will find images of Alice White (2), Ruby Keeler (2), Van Johnson, and Richard Greene towards the bottom of today's issue, and a few smaller shots of other stars born August 25 at the bottom of this post. Today's mailing also includes a couple of images picturing TCM's featured star of the day, Virginia Bruce, plus a Bruce-themed lightning review.
TCM TV Alerts through tomorrow at 7 am:
These titles play on TCM's US schedule and all quoted times are for my own local Eastern time zone.
—Tuesday, TCM Summer Under the Stars, Virginia Bruce day (TCM.com link). Probably my most anticipated day of Summer Under the Stars as the schedule is loaded exclusively with titles released between 1932-1940, my main area of interest. I'll be DVRing Shadow of Doubt (1935 - 6:00 am) and Flight Angels (1940 - 4:00 pm), which I don't believe I've seen, and, time permitting, tuning into a few of my old favorites throughout the day.
Among those favorites are a handful that I've written about in the past, so I can send you to the original posts for more information. Those titles are:
8:30 am - Arsene Lupin Returns (1938), featuring Bruce with Melvyn Douglas and Warren William. I've covered this one twice, and liked it a lot better, while going into greater detail in my second write-up, which is over at my Warren William site HERE.
10:00 am - There Goes My Heart (1938) is subject of today's new lightning review. Stars Fredric March with Bruce.
5:15 pm - The Murder Man (1935) isn't great Virginia Bruce, but it's underrated Spencer Tracy.
8:00 pm - Downstairs (1932) makes better use of John Gilbert than did the one we just talked about after Mae Clarke day, Fast Workers.
I have yet to cover my favorite title on Tuesday's schedule, Kongo (1932), but The Nitrate Diva did quite recently in this enjoyable post that captures much of the darkness of this film. Loaded with screen captures. The movie is not going to be for everyone. As the Diva puts it: "Kongo is so squalid, so sticky, so saturated in filth that it rises to the level of tragic art, an art of darkness." No, it's not for everyone, but it may be for you!
Another title of interest on Tuesday's schedule is Times Square Lady (1935), playing at 7:15 am, a fun little movie that is also, unfortunately, one of the top two or three biggest wastes of Helen Twelvetrees.
Helen has high billing, but her character just doesn't get enough to do, leaving supporting actors like Isabel Jewell and Nat Pendleton to shine brighter than she does. While Times Square Lady is a dud on the Twelvetrees-scale, it's otherwise an enjoyable mash of a light underworld film with an even lighter (cotton candy light) musical-comedy.
This is Robert Taylor's first shot at stardom after gaining notice in support of Lew Ayres in Society Doctor (1935), and it's a strong feature for Bruce (also in Society Doctor), who straddles Taylor's world while lending her smile to "Pinky" Tomlin's stylings in the musical portions of the film. Poor Miss Twelvetrees is straddled with playing the spurned woman after Bruce arrives on the scene and captures all of Taylor's interest. While Virginia Bruce is excellent in the film, the main priorities of Times Square Lady were putting over Robert Taylor as a leading man, and capitalizing on "Pinky" Tomlin's recent emergence through his hit song "The Object of My Affection," which he sings a few times.
Times Square Lady is recommended. It's like two movies in one, with Tomlin's tunes mostly kept separate from the underworld plot involving Taylor, Pendleton, and others (including Jack La Rue). It's one of 32 movies I'll be covering in much greater detail in my coming Helen Twelvetrees book, even if this one is a little light on Helen.
—Wednesday's Summer Under the Stars spends 24 hours with Greta Garbo (TCM.com link) beginning with The Temptress (1926), one of five silent films appearing on Wednesday's schedule.
—There was no issue Monday, my apologies if you were looking for it. I really don't feel like I caught up on much, despite the three-day weekend from the site.
—Relating to today's birthday calendar, my post about Alice White's Bad Rap continues to be one of the more popular articles ever posted to the site.
—Don DeFore's name on today's birthday list made me smile. I've mentioned in several issues how I've rushed to make deadline. In other words, this mailing sends at 7:00 am, and sometimes I've wrapped up work only a couple of minutes before it reaches you. When I've turned in on such mornings I've been reacquainting myself with the 1960s sitcom Hazel, featuring DeFore with Shirley Booth and Whitney Blake, on Antenna TV. I hadn't bumped into this one in syndication since taking sick days in Junior High, but I didn't care for it much then. Much better now, with DeFore's "Mr. B" my favorite of the main characters.
—My 10-50% sale continues in my eBay Store through the end of the month. I'll also continue to plug it here until that time.
Have a great day,
Been a busy travel week and I’m using some down time today to catch up on your newsletters of this week! I hope you got to check out SHADOW OF DOUBT which I really enjoyed and thought was quite well done.
I smiled over your mention of Don DeFore. I got to meet 2 of his sons at the Disney D23 Expo earlier this month and they were such nice guys! Hearing their stories about him — he owned a restaurant in DIsneyland for a few years — made me like him all the more. I watched HAZEL reruns as a child but don’t remember them. I plan to go back to the show now.
Also enjoyed your review of THERE GOES MY HEART, which I saw several years ago and remember thinking was a fun film.
Thanks for all the effort you put into your newsletters, they are very much enjoyed.
Cliff Aliperti says
I hope you’ve enjoyed your travels, I understand about being busy as I’ve been a bit MIA on Twitter lately, though I hope to catch up with everyone over there soon. Thanks for taking time to catch up my newsletters now that you’re back!
I DVR’ed Shadow of Doubt, but haven’t gotten to it yet.
Hazel is just a good solid show. Nothing too special, but the three leads are entertaining together. Just saw one with Alan Hale Jr. as guest star on Friday morning.
Thanks for checking in, Laura!