December can only mean one thing: Christmas movies galore! Up this month are plenty of traditional Christmas classics along with a few off-beat ones that will certainly please fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000. In addition to that, every Thursday in December, TCM will be saluting living legend Mickey Rooney by playing 24 hours of his movies, including every Andy Hardy movie and all his pairings with Judy Garland. Speaking of living legends, a new episode of Private Screenings will be premiering this month featuring Liza Minnelli. To celebrate, TCM will be taking two nights to showcase some of the best movies by Liza, Judy, and Vincente. This month’s guest programmer is Eli Wallach, who has made some very stellar choices. Fans of John Wayne will be glad to hear that on December 22, there will be 24 hours of nothing but John Wayne. When New Year’s Eve rolls around, why not bid 2010 adieu with Cary Grant movies all day and Marx Brothers movies all night? And to top it all off, the final two installments of the Moguls and Movie Stars series air this month on the first two Mondays and Wednesdays.
December 1: Moguls and Movie Stars continues with the second part of the Warriors and Peacemakers episode. Up at 8:00 PM is Stagecoach, Citizen Kane at 11:15 PM, Mildred Pierce at 1:30 AM, and Pinky at 3:30 AM, with a repeat screening of the Warriors and Peacemakers episode at 10:00 PM.
December 2: 24 hours of Mickey Rooney. Up today: The Beast of the City at 6:00 AM, Broadway to Hollywood (7:30 AM), The Chief (9:00 AM), The Life of Jimmy Dolan (10:15 AM), Blind Date (11:45 AM), Death on the Diamond (1:00 PM), Hide-Out (2:15 PM), Manhattan Melodrama (3:45 PM), Upper World (5:30 PM), Down the Stretch (6:45 PM), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (8:00 PM), Ah, Wilderness! (10:30 PM), Riffraff (12:15 AM), The Devil is a Sissy (2:00 AM), Live, Love and Learn (4:00 AM)
December 3: Lots of great noir on during the day. The Blue Dahlia at 10:15 AM, The Big Clock (12:00 PM), and Kiss Me Deadly (5:45 PM). Tonight’s Christmas movies include Fritzwilly at 8:00 PM, It Happened on 5th Avenue at 10:00 PM, Susan Slept Here at 12:00 AM. One of tonight’s TCM Underground selections is Night of the Living Dead at 3:30 AM. Nothing says “Merry Christmas!” quite like zombies!
December 4: Director Anatole Litvak is the man of the night. Up at 8:00 PM is The Snake Pit, followed by Confessions of a Nazi Spy at 10:00 PM, The Long Night at 12:00 AM, Act of Love at 2:00 AM, and Out of the Fog at 4:00 AM.
December 5: Lots of great things on during the day today. Holiday Affair at 12:30 PM, Love in the Afternoon at 3:45 PM, and Casablanca at 6:00 PM.
December 6: Moguls and Movie Stars night again! Tonight is episode six, Attack of the Small Screens, which premieres at 8:00 PM. The related movies are Marty (9:00 PM), A Face in the Crowd (12:00 AM), Sweet Smell of Success (2:15 AM), and A Streetcar Named Desire (4:00 AM).
December 8: I love this day! It starts out with a couple from Olivia de Havilland, To Each his Own at 6:30 AM, Devotion at 8:45 AM, and The Heiress at 10:45 AM. Then Natalie Wood takes over with Cash McCall at 12:45 AM, West Side Story at 2:30 AM, and Splendor in the Grass at 5:15 PM. Prime time is all about Moguls and Movie Stars again with Sunset Blvd. at 8:00 PM, Singin’ in the Rain at 11:15 PM, North by Northwest at 1:15 AM, and The Defiant Ones at 3:45 AM.
December 9: 24 hours of Mickey Rooney! Up today: Little Lord Fauntleroy (6:00 AM), Hold That Kiss (8:00 AM), Lord Jeff (9:30 AM), Love is a Headache (11:00 AM), A Yank at Eaton (12:30 PM), Killer McCoy (2:30 PM), The Big Wheel (4:30 PM), Quicksand (6:30 PM), Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (8:00 PM), Babes in Arms (9:30 PM), Strike up the Band (11:15 PM), Babes on Broadway (1:30 AM), Girl Crazy (3:45 AM), Words and Music (5:30 AM).
December 10: It’s another night of Christmas movies! A Christmas Carol (1938) is up at 8:00 PM, followed by Scrooge (1970) at 9:30, and The Man Who Came to Dinner at 11:30 PM. Now, here’s what MST3K fans are going to dig: a documentary, The Wonder World of K. Gordon Murray at 2:00 AM (which I believe features interviews from the cast of MST3K), followed by Santa Claus at 3:30 AM. That’s right, you too can see Santa Claus in all its completely baffling glory!
December 11: Spend the evening with Judy Garland, Vincente Minnelli, and Liza Minnelli. Meet Me in St. Louis starts at 8:00 PM, followed by the premiere of Liza’s Private Screenings episode at 10:00 PM, The Clock at 11:00 PM, The Pirate at 12:45 AM, An American in Paris at 3:30 AM, and Gigi at 5:30 AM.
December 12: A couple of holiday classics, The Shop Around the Corner and The Bishop’s Wife, are on at 10:15 AM and 12:00 PM respectively. Tonight’s Silent Sunday Night feature is D.W. Griffith’s silent epic Intolerance at 12:45 AM.
December 13: Lots of great stuff on today! The Naked City at 6:00 AM, Johnny Guitar at 8:00 AM, The Devil and Miss Jones at 10:00 AM, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town at 12:00 PM. The final episode of Moguls and Movie Stars, Fade Out, Fade In, premieres at 8:00 PM. Tonight’s related movies include Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (9:00 PM), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (12:00 AM), The Magnificent Seven (2:30 AM), and The Green Berets (4:45 AM).
December 14: Liza Minnelli shines all night long. An encore of her Private Screenings episode is on at 8:00 PM, followed by Cabaret at 9:00 PM, A Matter of Time at 11:15 PM, Stepping Out at 1:00 AM.
December 15: Lots of Barbara Stanwyck on today. The Locked Door at 10:45 AM, The Bitter Tea of General Yen at 12:00 PM, The Lady Eve at 1:30 PM, Roustabout (3:15 PM). The final Moguls and Movie Stars night kicks off with Night of the Living Dead at 8:00 PM, Bonnie and Clyde at 11:15 PM, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at 1:15 AM, Easy Rider at 3:30 AM.
December 16: A whole lot of Andy Hardy movies today! Andy Hardy Comes Home (6:00 AM), Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (7:30 AM), Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble (9:15 AM), The Courtship of Andy Hardy (11:15 AM), Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1:00 PM), Life Begins for Andy Hardy (2:45 PM), Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary (4:30 PM), Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (6:15 PM), Judge Hardy and Son (8:00 PM), Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (9:45 PM), The Hardys Ride High (11:30 PM), Out West With the Hardys (1:00 AM), Love Finds Andy Hardy (2:30 AM), Judge Hardy’s Children (4:15 AM).
December 17: The Andy Hardy movies continue with You’re Only Young Once at 5:45 AM and A Family Affair at 7:15 AM. Lots of great Christmas movies on in prime time tonight! Holiday Affair at 8:00 PM, In the Good Old Summertime at 9:30 PM, Little Women at 11:30 PM. Another one to make MST3K fans cheer is Santa Claus Conquers the Martians at 3:45 AM.
December 18: It’s all Gary Cooper all night long tonight. Meet John Doe starts at 8:00 PM, Mr. Deeds Go to Town at 10:15 PM, Friendly Persuasion at 12:15 AM, Along Came Jones at 2:45 AM, and Task Force at 4:30 AM.
December 19: Top Hat (6:30 AM), Auntie Mame (2:00 PM), The Major and the Minor (4:30 PM).
December 20: A few great comedies on during the afternoon: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World at 1:00 PM, The Out-of-Towners at 4:15 PM, and The Odd Couple at 6:00 PM. Eli Wallach programs tonight’s line-up: Baby Doll at 8:00 PM, The Shop Around the Corner at 10:00 PM, The Great Dictator at 11:45 PM, and 8 1/2 at 2:00 AM. I fully support any night that involves both Chaplin and Fellini!
December 21: Happy birthday to Jane Fonda! Cat Ballou at 10:30 AM, Sunday in New York at 12:30 PM, In the Cool of the Day at 2:30 PM, and Period of Adjustment at 4:00 PM. I love tonight’s prime time line-up! The theme of the night is classic couples and up first is Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in Sunnyside Up at 8:00 PM, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Swing Time at 9:30 PM, Myrna Loy and William Powell in The Thin Man at 11:30 PM, Kate Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Adam’s Rib at 1:15 AM, and Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in Rose Marie at 3:00 AM.
December 22: 24 hours of John Wayne. Rio Lobo (6:00 AM), Fort Apache (8:00 AM), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (10:15 AM), Rio Grande (12:00 PM), The Searchers (1:45 PM), 3 Godfathers (3:45 PM), The Sons of Katie Elder (5:45 PM), True Grit (8:00 PM), Rio Bravo (10:15 PM), McLintock! (12:45 AM), Big Jake (3:00 AM), The Man from Monterey (5:00 AM)
December 23: 24 hours of Mickey Rooney. A Slight Case of Larceny (6:00 AM), All Ashore (7:30 AM), The Extraordinary Seaman (9:00 AM), Sound Off (10:30 AM), Operation Mad Ball (12:00 PM), Young Tom Edison (2:00 PM), National Velvet (3:30 PM), The Black Stallion (6:00 PM), The Human Comedy (8:00 PM), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (10:15 PM), Boys Town (12:00 AM), Men of Boys Town (2:00 AM), Captains Courageous (4:00 AM).
December 24: One more chance to catch a lot of the Christmas classics TCM has played this month. My picks: Holiday Affair (10:30 AM), The Man Who Came to Dinner (2:00 PM), In the Good Old Summertime (4:00 PM), The Bishop’s Wife (8:00 PM), Remember the Night (12:00 AM), Meet Me in St. Louis (2:00 AM).
December 26: A couple of wonderful movies on late at night: The Red Balloon at 1:15 AM and The Bicycle Thief at 2:00 AM.
Like classic sci-fi? You’re in luck! Thing from Another World is on at 8:00 PM, followed by Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers at 9:30 PM, 2001: A Space Odyssey at 11:00 PM, Solaris at 1:45 AM, and Coma at 4:45 AM. Schedule change: In remembrance of Blake Edwards, the prime time line-up has been changed to include: Breakfast at Tiffanys (8:00 PM), Days of Wine and Roses (10:00 PM), The Pink Panther (12:00 AM), Victor/Victoria (2:00 AM), Operation Petticoat (4:30 AM).
December 28: Tonight is an evening with Will Rogers. A Connecticut Yankee at 8:00 PM, Doctor Bull at 10:00 PM, Handy Andy at 11:30 PM, In Old Kentucky at 1:00 AM, Life Begins at Forty at 2:30 AM, Too Busy to Work at 4:00 AM, and Down to Earth at 5:15 AM.
December 29: Take a look at some of the finest movies to come out of Ealing Studios: The Lavender Hill Mob at 8:00 PM, The Man in the White Suit at 10:30 PM, The Ladykillers at 12:00 AM, Kind Hearts and Coronets at 1:45 AM, and The Bells Go Down at 3:45 AM.
December 30: The final 24 hours of Mickey Rooney! My Outlaw Brother (6:00 AM), Drive a Crooked Road (7:30 AM), The Last Mile (9:00 AM), The King of the Roaring Twenties (10:30 AM), The Secret Invasion (12:30 PM), Ambush Bay (2:30 PM), It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (4:30 PM), The Strip (8:00 PM), Requiem for a Heavyweight (9:30 PM), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (11:00 PM), The Comic (1:00 AM), and Pulp (3:00 AM).
December 31: Happy new year! I can’t think of a more fun way to ring in the new year than with Cary Grant movies all day and Marx Brothers all night. The Cary Grant movies include: Bringing Up Baby (6:00 AM), My Favorite Wife (8:00 AM), The Philadelphia Story (9:30 AM), Penny Serenade (11:30 AM), Arsenic and Old Lace (1:45 PM), The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (3:45 PM), North by Northwest (5:30 PM). The Marx Brothers are: Animal Crackers (8:00 PM), Monkey Business (9:45 PM), Horse Feathers (11:15 PM), Duck Soup (12:30 AM), A Night at the Opera (1:45 AM), A Day at the Races (3:30 AM), and Go West (5:30 AM)