Yesterday was most certainly been the most five-star day on TCM this month! Yesterday afternoon, I was able to watch: The More the Merrier, The Devil and Miss Jones, The Lady Eve, and Ball of Fire. And those are only the ones I saw. I skipped Notorious, High Society, and most of A Foreign Affair since those were all on quite early and I’d seen them all before. I also caught Casablanca and The African Queen, but since I don’t have anything particularly unique to say about either one of those, I’m just going to skip writing about them. Plus this entry is going to be long enough as it is without those two movies.
It’s that time of year again! It’s already February, which can only mean one thing for classic film fans: it’s time for Turner Classic Movies’ annual 31 Days of Oscar. Make sure you have plenty of space on your DVRs or lots of blank DVDs for your DVD recorders because, like always, it’s going to be a marathon of wonderful movies.
31 Days of Oscar is an essential part of my winter. I’m from Michigan, so February tends to be one of those months where I usually don’t want to leave the house. Even if I’m not snowed in, it’s just too cold to really want to go anywhere. The only problem with that is by the time February rolls around, I’ve already been trying to stay in and avoid the cold for a few months already so I’ve run out of things to do around the house. 31 Days of Oscar gives me plenty of quality entertainment to keep me sane.
Looking at this year’s line-up, there’s certainly no shortage of amazing movies. There isn’t a lot that I haven’t already seen, but I’ll finally be getting around to some things that I’ve wanted to see for a while now.
My “To See” List: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Kitty (1945), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The French Connection (1971), Alice Adams (1935), Kismet (1944), Stalag 17 (1953), The Racket (1928), San Francisco (1936), Johnny Eager (1942), The Hollywood Revue of 1929
Of course, those certainly aren’t the only movies I’ll be watching for this year. There’s a ton of other movies that you just can’t go wrong with. February 14th looks particularly remarkable: Notorious, High Society, A Foreign Affair, The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire, Casablanca, and The African Queen all in one day! I also like that the early years of the Academy Awards seem to be getting more representation this year. In other years, movies from 1928-early 1930s tended to get lost in the shuffle. But this year, they’ve even got an afternoon of early nominees on February 22nd: The Divorcee, The Broadway Melody, and The Hollywood Revue of 1929. If you’re a silent film fan, you can look forward to seeing A Woman of Affairs, Our Dancing Daughters, The Racket, and The Crowd this month. If you have never seen The Crowd, I very highly recommend it. It’s one of the true masterpieces of the silent film era.
This year, the movies on the schedule are connected by a common actor/actress. I think it’s an interesting theme; there are certainly some connections I wouldn’t have guessed right off. I was scratching my head trying to figure out who was in both Gold Diggers of 1933 and a Chevy Chase movie (it’s Billy Barty, in case you were wondering). This format also often gives the opportunity to see a star at their very finest in two completely different ways. For example, on February 2nd, you can see Myrna Loy do comedy and drama with equal brilliance in The Thin Man followed by The Best Years of Our Lives. Or on February 12th you can see Joan Crawford as a flapper in Our Dancing Daughters, then as the mother of a troubled daughter in Mildred Pierce.
It’s going to be a fun month. Be sure to visit TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar website to get all the details.