Received my new Now Playing yesterday and, as usual, there’s a lot worth watching on TCM next month. Just a few thoughts on the September schedule:
Fridays feature classic pre-code film, which I am a novice about so don’t trust my judgment. Two that look intriguing to me are both showing on Sept. 26: Downstairs (1932), starring John Gilbert, Virginia Bruce and Paul Lukas at 8a/5a and Call Her Savage (1932), starring Clara Bow, Gilbert Roland and Thelma Todd at 2:15a/11:15p. TCM is also showing a documentary on pre-code, Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-code Hollywood on Sept. 5, 6:45p/3:45p and again at 2:15a/11:15p on Sept. 19.
Also, in the category of never-seen-look-interesting are two noirish titles, Crossfire (1947), starring Robert Young, Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan and directed by Edward Dmytryk. That’s being shown as part of TCM’s The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film, a series of 20 movies airing on Tuesdays in September. The likely more noirish movie is Cover-up (1949), starring William Bendix, Dennis O’Keefe and Barbara Britton, at 1:45p/10:45a on Sept. 25.
Speaking of Dmytryk (Murder, My Sweet and The Caine Mutiny), TCM is showing six of his films in a row on Sept. 4, starting with The Devil Commands (1941) at 10:30a/7:30a. Another unofficially featured director is Gordon Parks. Four of his films are scheduled on Sept. 18, starting with The Learning Tree (1969) at 8p/5p.
Melvyn Douglas is the star of the month. I want to see new-to-me Two-faced Woman (1941), starring Greta Garbo, Constance Bennett and Douglas and directed by George Cukor, playing Sept. 10 at 4:30a/1:30a (that’s really the 11th in all time zones but listed on the 10th). And Douglas in my most favorite, already-seen film showing in September: Hud (1963), starring Douglas, Paul Newman, Patricia Neal and Brandon deWilde. (The Sea of Grass (1947), playing after at 11:45p/8:45p and starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Douglas and directed by Elia Kazan, sounds worth a look, too.)
Another already-seen film is Dear Heart (1964), a lovely, bittersweet movie starring Glenn Ford and Geraldine Page, airing Sept. 3 at 2p/11a. Dear Heart is an example of 60s-era films — the first movies I remember seeing when I was growing up – that mean something more to me than pure cinema-going appreciation.
Silent films return to Sunday evenings. I don’t think I’ve seen any of them but am going to catch as many as I can. TCM’s October and November schedules are already online. I’ve only glanced at a few days but already am excited to see a childhood favorite I haven’t seen in years: The Canterville Ghost (1944), starring Charles Laughton, Robert Young and Margaret O’Brien on Oct. 2 at 11:30p/8:30p.
Next time: thoughts on Buster Keaton’s first few films.