Christmas is a couple weeks out but there’s some great holiday classics on TCM this week.
Monday, December 12
Today begins with an Edward G. Robinson marathon. I had always thought of Robinson as a bad guy —as in The Little Giant (10:30 a.m.) — or a representative of law and order—as in A Bullet for Joey (6:15 p.m.), or I am the Law (3:00 p.m.)—but today’s schedule shows he took on a wide variety of roles, particularly during the 1930s.
Tonight is TCM’s celebration of the Bicentennial of Charles Dickens’ birth. While I admit Dickens is not one of my favorite authors, his work pretty much demands to be made into films, and they contain some really good showcases for actors. Alastair Sim as Scrooge and Alec Guinness as Fagin are the ones that stand out to me, I’m sure there are others.
8:00 p.m. A Christmas Carol (1951)
Technically Dickens’ bicentennial isn’t until February 7, 2012, but it makes sense to celebrate it now because of A Christmas Carol. I think it is Dickens’ most-read and best-loved work, and the most heartwarming, at least for me.Watch and tweet with #TCMParty.
Tuesday, December 13
4:00 p.m. B.F.’s Daughter Real-life pals Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin play a conservative financier’s daughter and the college professor she marries, despite her father’s strenuous objections. Also known for the debut of Barbara Stanwyck’s glamorous post-war style.
8:00 p.m. The Lemon Drop Kid
Bob Hope is the Kid of the title, who takes advantage of Christmas generosity to raise the money he owes a gangster. Based on a story by Damon Runyon and featuring “Silver Bells.” Watch and tweet with #TCMParty.
Wednesday, December 14
10:00 a.m. The Trespasser (1929)
I am interested in this because it stars Gloria Swanson, who made her name in the silents and continued into the talkies. She is best-known today for Sunset Boulevard.
11:45 a.m. The Moon and Sixpence (1942)
This film is based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham, which was loosely inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin. George Sanders stars as a stockbroker who abandons his job and family to become an artist.
3:00 p.m. A Page of Madness (1926)
A rare Japanese silent film which was declared “the first filmlike film born in Japan.”
Thursday, December 15
TCM concentrates on the late career and dramatic roles of Star of the Month William Powell, beginning at 8:00 p.m. withtonight’s TCM Party, Life with Father (1947), which also stars the brilliant Irene Dunne and a teenaged Elizabeth Taylor. The Powell block continues with The Girl Who Had Everything, where Powell and Taylor again play father and daughter; Mister Roberts, Powell’s last film; It’s A Big Country;One Way Passage, which reunites Powell with his Jewel Robbery co-star Kay Francis; The Key (1934); and Road to Singapore (1931).
Friday, December 16
1:00 p.m. In Gay Madrid (1930)
Ramon Navarro is a law student mixed up with at least two different girls.
6:00 p.m. The Wet Parade (1932)
Two families cope with the ill effects of both too much and not enough booze (aka Prohibition). The large cast includes Walter Huston, Myrna Loy and Jimmy Durante.
8:00 p.m. The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
Watch another Christmas classic with Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven. Tweet with #TCMParty.
10:00 p.m. Christmas in Connecticut
Barbara Stanwyck has been living a lie as the 1940s equivalent of Martha Stewart, a homemaking columnist for a magazine. When her publisher (Sydney Greenstreet) decides she should host a war hero for Christmas, it becomes evident that her stories about an idyllic farm and happy family are just that…stories. Watch and tweet with #TCMParty.
Midnight The Shop Around The Corner (1940)
If you’ve ever watched You’ve Got Mail, you owe it to yourself to check out the original Christmas classic with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as the feuding co-workers who don’t know they’re in love with each other. Also playing on Sunday, December 18 at 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, December 17
The absolute must-sees for today are the block of movies featuring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn: Bringing Up Baby (8:00 p.m.), The Philadelphia Story (10:00 p.m.), Holiday(midnight), and Sylvia Scarlett (2:00 a.m. Sunday).
Sunday, December 18
12:00 p.m. A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas!
This TCM original features clips and interviews with some of the stars and filmmakers involved in all-time favorite holiday classics.
8:00 p.m. It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)
A couple of homeless men occupy a spacious New York City mansion while the family are wintering in a warmer climate…what happens when the daughter returns unannounced?Watch and tweet with #TCMParty.
OK TCM fans, what are you watching this week? What is your favorite Christmas classic? Let me know in the comments…