All links lead to each actor's IMDb page, set to open in a new tab.
Classic Movie Daily subscribers will find a couple of "birthday" images at the bottom of this page, plus a larger-format image of Louise Glaum and a collection of Pete Smith clippings inside today's mailing. Also sending today are TV-related images of W.C. Fields and Marion Davies, plus a cool piece of Nightmare Alley ephemera that I recently picked up.
TCM TV Alerts through Tuesday, September 8 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 presents a strong day for us fans of classic oldies, beginning with a run of five of the best "inside Hollywood" movies, 1928-1937, playing between 11:45 am and 8:00 pm. At 8 the schedule changes over to a marathon of four movies featuring W.C. Fields. Not bad, TCM, not bad!
—As far as the afternoon marathon goes, all five movies feature behind-the-scenes looks at Hollywood; high hopes, usually tempered by some reality; and a love story, usually between cast members playing the actors, and then always imbalanced in terms of star status. King Vidor's Show People (1928 - 1:45 pm) is the lone silent film among this quintet, and it rivals William Wellman's A Star Is Born (1937 - 11:45 am) for head of this class, though more viewers are likely to enjoy the later talkie, just because it is a talkie. A Star Is Born and What Price Hollywood? (1932 - 4:45 pm) could just as easily fit into a marathon with The Lost Weekend (1945) and Days of Wine and Roses (1962) as tragic tales of alcoholism, but each of today's Hollywood-themed movies are also filled with lighter moments. Show People and Make Me a Star (1932 - 3:15 pm), the latter a version of Merton of the Movies, are each about not taking yourself too seriously, and share some similarities. The odd duck of the group is Going Hollywood (1933 - 6:30 pm), the least effective of this group of movies, with some off-kilter leading parts that we're supposed to like: Marion Davies comes across as a slightly unstable stalker throughout the first hour of the film, and Bing Crosby just isn't very likable as a boozing egomaniac with a high sex drive. I found myself rooting for Marion to wind up with Stuart Erwin, but I had an idea that might be tough with Bing on the scene. Speaking of Stu, keep your eye on him in Make Me a Star, where he very subtly gives a great dramatic performance, playing a bumpkin, no less! Joan Blondell is at his side in that one, and through the middle-third I couldn't help be reminded of that little look she gives the Forgotten Man in Gold Diggers of 1933 as she plays guardian angel to down-on-his-luck Erwin. Both Make Me a Star and Show People include several Hollywood cameos, but be sure to look for them in the talkie film, as they're not all called off as they are in the silent. My favorite of the cameos in Show People was actually Marion Davies. You'll see Davies twice today, in Show People and Going Hollywood, and Stuart Erwin does double-duty as well, in Make Me a Star and Going Hollywood. In addition to Davies in Show People, and Erwin in Make Me a Star, there's another great performance on display today from Lowell Sherman in What Price Hollywood?. It's a quality run of movies, especially the first four. Hope you enjoy them!
—I like It's a Gift (1934 - 9:30 pm) best of the W.C. Fields grouping, though I like David Copperfield (1935 - 12:30 am) even more, I just don't consider it first and foremost as a W.C. Fields movie.
I have coverage of a few of the David Copperfield stars on the site, including lengthy bios of Freddie Bartholomew and Elizabeth Allan, plus the most you're going to find anywhere about Lennox Pawle, who you'll be looking for if you watch.
As for Fields himself, I'm going to send you over to Aurora at Once Upon a Screen for "Lovable Con Man: W.C. Fields - 100 Years in the Movies," new material that just posted on Thursday.
—Saturday TCM highlights include screwball comedy classic Theodora Goes Wild (1936 - 12:00 pm) with Irene Dunne and Melvyn Douglas; and an evening of Gladys Cooper that begins with a Bette Davis double-feature, Now, Voyager (1942 - 8:00 pm) and Mrs. Parkington (1944 - 10:00).
—Sunday TCM highlights include the George Stevens drama Penny Serenade (1941 - 8:00 am) with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant; Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait (1943 - 2:00 pm) with Don Ameche, Gene Tierney, and Charles Coburn; and German Expressionist classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919 - 12:00 am) takes the Sunday Silents spotlight.
—Monday TCM highlights include Billy Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution (1958 - 12:30 pm) with Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, and Charles Laughton; and at 8:00 pm the classic adaptation of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (1939) starring Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr.
—Nothing predating 1955 during Tuesday daytime, so it's bound to be a short TV section when I'm back on Tuesday.
As for the other days, the titles named above are the ones I'd love to sit down and catch up with over the weekend.
—I placed the Pete Smith clippings at the end of today's subscriber email because the collection of ads and articles winds up running pretty long. I learned a lot about the man behind the "Pete Smith Specialties" while putting it together, so I wanted to be sure you didn't miss it.
—Back when I stopped sending the Daily over weekends, I decided that Holidays are out too. I should be back with you Tuesday morning.
—I mentioned the BearManor Media book sale in yesterday's edition—on Thursday, I received a note from Warner Bros. shop announcing a Labor Day sale on the Warner Archive Collection. The deal is kind of hazy promising "up to" 22% off, but also includes a $10 off $100 purchase coupon: code is WACSAVEX. Happy shopping should you use it! By the way, if you shop the sale through my affiliate link, WB later issues me a small kickback that helps to support the site or, if you prefer, me.
—Coverage coming next week of Wild Boys of the Road (1933) for "The William Wellman Blogathon" hosted by Now Voyaging.
Have a great weekend—