Taking a page from other bloggers (Speakeasy and ImmortalEmphemera to name two), I am going to try my hand at offering some suggestions and highlights from the January 2015 schedule for Turner Classic Movies!
The Star of the Month for January is Robert Redford and TCM will be showing his films every Tuesday starting at 8PM for the entire month. Friday Night Spotlight for this month will focus on the films of Neil Simon, showing a total of seventeen films every Friday in January. On January 12th the daytime spotlight will be on Luise Rainer, the two time Oscar winner who passed away at the end of December. The spotlight on Ms. Rainer’s films was originally intended to be a birthday celebration but will now be a tribute to the life and career of this phenomenal actress and woman. Celebrate the birthday of Patricia Neal on January 20th with seven of her films, including A FACE IN THE CROWD. January 22nd will showcase five films from SAG Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Debbie Reynolds. For those looking for a more exotic film experience, January 26th will have five films by Luis Buñuel. The late and great Sir Richard Attenborough will have his own special night on January 28th with five films. The guest programmer for January will be American composer Michael Feinstein, choosing four films which include RHAPSODY IN BLUE and CABIN IN THE SKY.
Here are some other themes for January that are of interest:
January 5th – This is a day where I would really like to just stay home and watch TCM all day. The morning theme will focus on Lew Ayres and the primetime programming will be all about the fabulous Jean Arthur. My DVR is already prepped!
January 6th – The morning and afternoon are all about Loretta Young! TCM is celebrating her birthday with a day full of films, including several pre-code corkers including EMPLOYEES ENTRANCE and HEROES FOR SALE.
January 10th – The primetime theme will focus on three films by Fritz Lang, METROPOLIS, MINISTRY OF FEAR, and THE BLUE GARDENIA. I have never seen METROPOLIS and 2015 is the year I change that!
January 21st – We all love our patron saint of TCM, Mr. Robert Osborne. The primetime lineup on the 21st will be made up of Robert Osborne’s picks and they seem to be a wide range of films, from A PLACE IN THE SUN to THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK.
January 27th – The morning programming will be a birthday tribute to one, Donna Reed.
January 28th – A morning and afternoon devoted to forties horror? Color me intrigued!
January 31st – I am so excited for this primetime lineup, which will be devoted to films starring John Barrymore! I can’t wait to watch TWENTIETH CENTURY, COUNSELLOR AT LAW, and TOPAZE.
This month The Essentials will be continuing their excellent programming every Saturday with BUS STOP, METROPOLIS, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER, and TWENTIETH CENTURY. TCM Underground will be showing NOTHING LASTS FOREVER, MIAMI CONNECTION, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, VIGILANTE, and TWICE UPON A TIME. Silent Sunday Nights continue with MORAN OF THE LADY LETTY, STOLEN MOMENTS, OLIVER TWIST, OUR HOSPITALITY, and FEU MATHIAS PASCAL. Finally, TCM Imports will be showing CHILDREN OF PARADISE, KNIFE IN THE WATER, THE WARPED ONES, and THE MAGIC FLUTE.
Now here are some films that I would personally recommend, or that I hope to catch myself this month. These are suggestions based solely on my opinion, but if you have liked the movies talked about on this blog so far, chances are you will like these too!
January 3rd – BUS STOP (8 PM ET) This is a film that I haven’t seen but am interested to try. Having recently seen a documentary about Marilyn Monroe and her time at the Actor’s Studio, this film is noted by many to be one of her best instances of acting. Having only seen Marilyn Monroe in films such as SOME LIKE IT HOT and HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE, I am excited to see another side of her acting.
January 4th – CHARADE (8 PM ET) Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, and Walter Matheau with guns, car chases, spies, and money. This is a fun ride and definitely worth checking out! The scene with Cary Grant in the shower alone makes the film worthwhile (it’s not what you think it is). MORAN OF THE LADY LETTY (12 AM ET) Not a film that I have seen, but definitely one that intrigues me. The description of a young Rudolph Valentino fighting to save a young woman from the smugglers who have kidnapped them grabbed my interest and I will be setting my DVR.
January 5th – HOLIDAY (3 PM ET) Amidst the Lew Ayres celebration is this gem. This is a terrific movie that pairs Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, as a free-thinking rebel with a snobby fiancé, and her independent sister. Lew Ayres appears as Hepburn’s brother whose sadness and frustration with his empty life manifest in drinking. This is a movie with a soul and a point of view…and it is directed by George Cukor! MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (8 PM ET) No, this isn’t the Adam Sandler film. This is the original Frank Capra movie starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. A tale of a small town poet dealing with newfound wealth and big city corruption, a great story and worth seeing. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (2:15 AM ET) Whenever I watch this film I feel a great sense of civic pride. Another Frank Capra film, this one showcases Jimmy Stewart as a small town Senate replacement who takes on corruption with Jean Arthur.
January 6th – EMPLOYEES ENTRANCE (3:30 PM ET) Warren William is the boss of a department store who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, especially from Loretta Young. Pre-code goodness abounds! HEROES FOR SALE (5 PM ET) This is a film I have previously recapped and it is one that I highly recommend. Watch it for Loretta Young but stay for Richard Barthlemess, Aline MacMahone, and the great story directed by William Wellman.
January 9th – I’LL BE SEEING YOU (9 AM ET) I loved this film when I watched it during the holiday season. It is a too little known gem and one that I strongly urge you to see. Starring Joseph Cotten and Ginger Rogers, this is one of the first films to deal with the subject of PTSD among WWII veterans. It is a truly wonderful film and if you missed it during December, here is your chance to catch it again!
January 10th – FOR THE DEFENSE (6 AM ET) Another pre-code film, this one stars William Powell as an attorney specializing in helping underworld criminals get out of jail. When his girlfriend drunkenly kills a man while out driving, he is faced with a moral dilemma because another man steps forward to take the blame. A different role for William Powell and a great film.
January 11th – THE MALTESE FALCON (12 PM ET) Humphrey Bogart in one of his most iconic roles. Directed by John Huston, co-starring Sydney Greenstreet and Mary Astor, this is a classic that needs to be seen! Bogart will always be Sam Spade to me.
January 13th – IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD (2:15 PM ET) A film from W.S. Van Dyke and Ben Hecht, starring Jimmy Stewart as a PI framed for murder who escapes from prison and Claudette Colbert as a runaway poetess who is helping him to clear his name. I watched this years ago after buying it from the Warner Archive and really enjoyed it. I’m excited to be able to catch this unique screwball comedy again!
January 21st – FEMALE (10:15 AM ET) Ruth Chatterton stars as a woman executive of a car company who uses men the way other men use women. George Brent stars as a young executive who challenges her life view. Another great pre-code movie!
January 22nd – TROUBLE IN PARADISE (6:45 AM ET) Ernst Lubitsch directs Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, and Herbert Marshall in this film about two thieves who find themselves in a love triangle with their intended victim. Interestingly enough, this film is being shown on the very day that I am writing a blog entry about it for the Miriam Hopkins Blogathon! Stay tuned!
January 29th – HAUNTED HONEYMOON (12:15PM ET) Robert Montgomery is British detective Sir Peter Wimsey, who finds his wedding celebration cut short after a man is found murdered in his honeymoon cottage. Call that a mood killer or what! I had heard of the Dorothy L Sayers literary character of Sir Peter Wimsey, and I love Robert Montgomery, so I am excited to see how he translates to the silver screen.
These are just some of the great offerings coming this month from TCM! If there are any other films you think I should recommend in January let me know in the comments!