TCM

What’s on TCM: December 2016

Myrna Loy

Happy December, everybody! Oh, do we ever have a lot to look forward to on TCM this month.

Since we’re now officially in the holiday season, it goes without saying that there are lots of Christmas movies on the schedule this month. But the real highlight of the month is the fact that Myrna Loy is the Star of the Month! If you’re a big Myrna Loy fan, you’re going to want to clear out your DVR as much as possible because every Friday will be (almost) 24 hours of nothing but Myrna. Since Myrna Loy is one of my favorite actresses, I’m pretty delighted by this.

On Tuesday nights this month, TCM will be doing a spotlight on movies that deal with aging. Coming up on December 5th is a day-long celebration of the 90th anniversary of Vitaphone. I absolutely loved attending the presentation on Vitaphone at this year’s TCMFF, so it’s great that TCM is doing this. I’m also very excited to see Amy Heckerling is December’s guest programmer because she has made some excellent choices.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the schedule.

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What’s on TCM: November 2016

Natalie Wood

Happy November, everyone! Hope everyone had a great October and a very happy Halloween. Coming up in November, we have Natalie Wood as TCM’s star of the month to look forward to, as well as an excellent spotlight on documentary filmmaking. So let’s get to it and take a look at some of TCM’s scheduling highlights for November.

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What’s on TCM: October 2016

Christopher Lee Dracula

Happy October, everyone! Hope you have lots of space on the DVR, because there is a lot to look forward to in the upcoming month.

Naturally, since it’s October, there are a whole lot of horror movies on the schedule. Since I’m really digging horror movies at the moment, I’m totally excited about this. Every Friday night this month will be dedicated to classic horror films. Christopher Lee is the Star of the Month, so although not all of his films were horror, his work in those films are very well represented. And, as if that weren’t enough, they’re also doing a Monster of the Month tribute to Frankenstein every Sunday night.

Last October, TCM did an amazing spotlight on trailblazing women in the film industry, focusing on women who worked as directors. They’re doing another trailblazing women spotlight this month, but this time, they’ll be focusing on highlighting actresses who were more than just actresses. These are actresses who became moguls, fought against prejudice, made significant contributions during WWII, fought for social change, and so much more. Don’t miss this year’s trailblazing women spotlight every Tuesday and Thursday night, the lineup looks fantastic.

Without further ado, let’s get a better look at the schedule.

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What’s on TCM: September 2016

Gene Hackman The Conversation

Happy September, everyone! Summer may be winding down, but TCM sure has lots of great programming to look forward to. If you’re a fan of slapstick comedy, you’re going to be in heaven all month long. Similar to the spotlight they did to westerns a couple months ago, TCM will be doing a spotlight on slapstick comedy every Tuesday and Wednesday night this month. And much like they did during last year’s Summer of Darkness film noir festival, TCM has partnered with Ball State University to offer a free course about slapstick comedy.

In addition to all the pie fights and pratfalls, Gene Hackmann is September’s Star of the Month and his work will be highlighted every Friday night. And if you’re one of the millions of people saddened by the recent death of the great Gene Wilder, mark your calendar for TCM’s tribute to him on September 29th.

Now, let’s get on to the schedule.

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What’s on TCM: August 2016

Jean Harlow Swimming

Happy August, everyone!  Hope you’re all having a nice summer. August is always a great month on TCM thanks to their annual Summer Under the Stars programming. I’ve decided to skip my usual Blogging Under the Stars event this year since I feel like it just wouldn’t fit into my schedule this time around, but I’ll hopefully still be able to see lots of new-to-me movies during this year’s schedule.

First of all, if you’re a big fan of pre-code cinema, there’s a lot for you to look forward to in August. Stars like Fay Wray, Robert Montgomery, Constance Cummings, Ruby Keeler, and Jean Harlow all have days this month so it’s actually a pretty pre-code heavy lineup this year. (Not that I’m complaining!)

Aside from those stars, I’m very excited to see stars like Janet Gaynor, Anne Baxter, and Jean Arthur featured in this year’s schedule.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at this year’s Summer Under the Stars schedule.

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What’s on TCM: July 2016

Olivia de Havilland

Happy July, everyone! Hope everyone is having a nice summer so far. But while it’s tempting to go out and enjoy the nice weather this time of year, TCM has some pretty convincing reasons to stay inside and watch movies.

First of all, in honor of her 100th birthday, Olivia de Havilland is July’s Star of the Month! Since I’m a big fan of hers, I’m certainly looking forward to being able to see several of her movies every Friday night this month.

If you’re a fan of Westerns, you’re going to absolutely love this month’s schedule. TCM is doing a spotlight called “Shane (Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns),” so every Tuesday and Wednesday this month, it’s nothing but Westerns all day long. Westerns aren’t one of my favorite genres, but even I can find a few things to look forward to in that schedule.

Throughout the month, TCM will be doing a series highlighting some of the most definitive films to come out of the 1970s. And last, but certainly not least, there will be a two night spotlight on classic films made by African-American filmmakers, which should be fantastic. Many of the films in that series have never been shown on the channel before.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the rest of the schedule.

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Exploring the TCM Backlot

TCM Backlot

Right as the 2016 TCM Film Festival was about to kick off, TCM announced two major projects they have been working on. The first of which was FilmStruck, a new film streaming service that will include films from the Criterion Collection, Kino, and Milestone, which is expected to launch this fall. Secondly, there was the TCM Backlot, a new fan club for the network. I’m very excited for FilmStruck and I already look forward to writing a post about it once I’ve had a chance to check it out. However, TCM was kind enough to give those of us who had media credentials to the festival a chance to check out TCM Backlot.

By far, one of the coolest things about TCM Backlot is its archive of video content. I know a lot of TCM viewers are huge fans of the promo spots, introductions, and other video content produced by the channel, so being able to see some of these gems that haven’t aired on the channel in decades is a real delight. (Did you know TCM once had a contest where you could win Tony Curtis for a day?) Many videos available on there date from the very earliest days of the channel, including the very first TCM Remembers tribute.

Some of the things currently in the Backlot’s video archive are things that never actually aired on the channel, like introductions for movies that were Fathom event screenings; career tribute montages for people like Gina Lollobrigida, Elliott Gould, Max Von Sydow, Kirk Douglas, and Albert Maysles that were only shown at the TCM Film Fest; and unseen interview footage with stars like Jane Russell and Tony Curtis. New videos have been added pretty consistently so far, so this part of it is already shaping up to be a real treasure trove of footage.

TCM Backlot members also have a chance to influence upcoming TCM programming and other TCM-related things. With the first poll they had up, members could vote to determine two stars who would be featured during this year’s Summer Under the Stars lineup. (We had the chance to choose between Edward G. Robinson or James Cagney and Ava Gardner and Hedy Lamarr, with Robinson and Lamarr being the two winners.) A new poll is currently up for members to choose which picture of Gene Hackman they would like to see on the cover of the September Now Playing guide.

Joining the TCM Backlot also gives you the chance to enter exclusive contests, attend special events at other film-related events like the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, discounts at the TCM store, a digital copy of the Now Playing Guide, behind the scenes content, and more.

Whether or not the $87 annual membership fee is worthwhile, it all really comes down to what you want to get out of it. If you’re primarily interested in the video content, I can totally understand how you might think it would be a little expensive. But if you’re a fan who attends the TCM Cruise or the TCM Film Festival, becoming a Backlot member could be very worthwhile. If you go to the festival with either a Palace Pass or a Classic Pass, the two lowest level passes, your TCM Backlot membership would give you the chance to enjoy some nice extra perks and exclusive events during the festival without having to pay as much as you would for one of the higher level passes.

If you don’t attend either the festival or the cruise, but go to other film festivals around the country or live in the areas of Los Angeles, New York, or Atlanta, you might still be able to attend some of the events for members. It remains to be seen where a lot of these Backlot member exclusive events are going to be held, but I have a feeling a lot of them will be in those areas. However, I’d be thrilled if they organized events for fans who live in other areas of the country.