Interesting week on TCM. Leslie Howard month wraps up and Summer Under The Stars kicks off with two of my favorites, John Wayne and Myrna Loy. As always, all times are Eastern.
Monday, July 30
9:30 p.m. Island in the Sky (1953)
Captain Dooley (John Wayne) is the pilot of a plane that crashes “so far north that the area is barely on the map.” He’s in charge of the stranded crew, which has very limited provisions, only a wood fire for heat and barely any juice for the radio signal. Can the Duke keep everyone alive until they’re rescued? Look for us on Twitter with #TCMParty…watch and tweet along with our guest hosts @biscuitkitten and @ScribeHard.
Tuesday, July 31
Star of the Month: Leslie Howard
8:00 p.m. The Scarlet Pimpernel (1935)
This is one of my favorite Leslie Howard films ever. In the 1790s, an apparently shallow British nobleman, Sir Percy Blakeney (Howard), defies the evil French revolutionary Chauvelin (Raymond Massey) by spiriting his fellow aristocrats away from the guillotine and out of France. Also starring the beautiful Merle Oberon as Lady Marguerite Blakeney and luxuriously produced by Alexander Korda, this is perhaps not the most realistic film ever made about the French Revolution, but it may be the most fun.
Beginning early Wednesday at 1:30 a.m., TCM has booked three mystery films starring Joan Blondell: There’s Always a Woman (1938), co-starring Melvyn Douglas and Mary Astor; The Famous Ferguson Case (1932), directed by Lloyd Bacon; and Miss Pinkerton (1932), with George Brent. I haven’t seen any of these, but Blondell’s sassy presence is enough to get me to set the DVR.
Wednesday, August 1
Summer Under The Stars kicks off today. It’s difficult to go wrong with anything on the schedule…seriously…it’s John Wayne. If you need to start somewhere, and can only DVR one movie today, I recommend Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956) or Rio Bravo (1959).
Thursday, August 2
Loy is another favorite of mine who is mostly known today as Nora Charles in The Thin Man series, but she made around 80 films before she became a star in 1934 with the first of those films. So the films she made before that are lesser-known. There’s five of them this morning beginning with The Great Divide (1929) at 6:00 a.m. and including The Naughty Flirt (1931), The Barbarian (1933), When Ladies Meet (1933), and The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933). Then tonight at 8:00 p.m., Loy has a supporting but pivotal role in William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives, one of the best movies ever made. It’s also our ***TCM PARTY*** for tonight. Look for us on Twitter with #TCMParty…watch and tweet along!
Friday, August 3
What can I say, a lot of people dig Tarzan pictures. Maybe I’ll check some of them out.
Saturday, August 4
The film I haven’t seen today is Clash By Night (1952) and it’s got an interesting director and cast. Directed by Fritz Lang, it stars Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan and Monroe. I’m expecting something in noir, seeing as Lang directed M, The Woman in the Window, Scarlet Street, The Big Heat, etc.
Sunday, August 5
You can’t really go wrong with anything today either. I say that a lot. If I’m forced to pick, I’ll go with The Invisible Man (1933) and Mr. Skeffington (1944). Did you know that in addition to being a great actor, Rains was an acting teacher? Two of his most famous students were Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud.