Jackie Coogan

What’s on TCM: October 2015

Ida Lupino

Happy October, everyone! Get yourself a cup of coffee (or other caffeinated beverage of your choice) and free up some space on your DVR because October is going to be one amazing month on TCM.

First of all, every Tuesday and Thursday night in October, TCM will be spotlighting trailblazing women filmmakers ranging from the days of Alice Guy-Blaché through Ava DuVernay. Speaking of Alice Guy-Blaché, October is going to be a good month for silent movie lovers because not only is there a night of silent films all directed by women, on the 18th, there’s going to be a night of silent movies that were thought to be lost but have been rediscovered, including Harry Houdini’s The Grim Game from 1919. There are also birthday tributes to Lillian Gish and Jackie Coogan, so there are plenty of silent films on during the daytime this month, too.

David Niven is October’s star of the month and his movies will be shown every Monday night this month. Lastly, no October line-up would be complete without horror movies. Lots and lots of horror movies. Stay tuned on Friday nights, plus all day long on October 30th and 31st, for plenty of classic horror films.

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What’s on TCM: October 2012

October is upon us and that can only mean one thing — classic horror movies!  TCM certainly doesn’t disappoint in that department; every Wednesday night in October will be full of great horror movies to help you get into the Halloween spirit.  In addition to the great horror movies, there’s also a great Star of the Month — Spencer Tracy.  Every Monday night this month will be all about Spencer, but his movies also carry over into every Tuesday as well.

On Tuesday nights, TCM will be doing a series called “The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film,” which will examine how people with physical and mental disabilities have been portrayed in film.

One night that certainly sounds intriguing is the night of October 21st, a night full of animation rarities.  There will be selections of UPA cartoons as well as many cartoons from the silent film era, dating back as early as 1907!  I know I’m certainly looking forward to seeing those!

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Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film (1980)

If you have an interest in silent film, Kevin Brownlow and David Gill’s thirteen-part documentary series Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film is essential viewing.  This series truly is a treat for silent film fans.  It’s very insightful, has a great narration by James Mason, and is chock full of interviews with actors and actresses, directors, producers, writers, cameramen, stuntmen, and journalists who were all part of the film industry during that era.

Quite a few big names were still alive at the time and were able to be interviewed for this documentary including Gloria Swanson, Janet Gaynor, Anita Loos, King Vidor, Hal Roach, Bessie Love, Mary Astor, Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan, Colleen Moore, Louise Brooks, Frank Capra, and Charles “Buddy” Rogers, just to name a few.  Interviews with some of these people were quite rare, which makes this documentary an extremely important resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the silent film era.

Although the series was released on VHS and Laserdisc, due to copyright issues, it has yet to make its way to DVD.  Copies of the complete series on VHS are for sale on Amazon, but the asking prices are pretty ridiculous ($989 for a set?  Get out of here.)  I really hope the copyright issues can be worked out someday and it can be released on DVD, because it absolutely deserves to be seen.  In the meantime, the whole series is currently up on YouTube.  Each episode is just under an hour long, so it will take you a while to make your way through the series, but the time investment is absolutely worth it.   I’ve included a link to each episode along with my episode summaries.

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