DECEMBER 2018 ON TCM
"Tis the season to be jolly!
But on TCM, in December, you can watch everything from the the sorrow of a war-displaced mother and daughter in Italy (Two Women) to the tuneful Irving Berlin classic, Holiday Inn.
Here are my takes on a month of classic flicks that will bring all the laughter and tears that movies have to give to you on your own TV:
12/1 Crack-Up - for those of you who thought that Pat O'Brien was just decoration for all those Irish-themed movies, here he is in an real Hitchcockian thriller with an excellent supporting cast.
12/2 The Shop Around the Corner - Jimmy Stewart is as good as he gets in this touching Xmas story about the owners and workers in a gift shop. Do yourself a favor, watch this movie. I guarantee it will become one of your favorites.
12/3 King Solomon's Mines - Before there was Indiana Jones, there was Allan Quatermain.
12/4 Norma Rae - with her bio recently released, Sally Fields is in the news - and she shines in this rare Hollywood movie about a female worker trying to make a better life for herself and her family.
12/5 Two Women - Sophia Loren won an Oscar for a displaced mother during WWII trying to keep her daughter safe.
12/6 A Midsummers Night's Dream - watch the stars of old Hollywood make Shakespeare come alive in this magical movie.
12/7 The Graduate - this is the movie that made a star of Dustin Hoffman. I will say one word about it - plastics.
12/8 Meet John Doe - a fired feature writer (Barbara Stanwyck) concocts a story about a homeless man (Gary Cooper) who is going to kill himself on Christmas, and gets her job back.
12/9 O. Henry's Full House - there was a time when Hollywood put out several movies that were 4 or 5 short films in one. This is one of the best, narrated by John Steinbeck. Chock full of stars from Marilyn Monroe to Charles Laughton.
12/10 Paths of Glory - this early Kubrick WWI tale stars Kirk Douglas, Adolph Menjou and incredible performance by the underrated George Macready.
12/11 Stagecoach - John Ford's masterpiece about the West. John Wayne and Monument Valley became staple stars of Westerns after this movie.
12/12 Jailhouse Rock - ok, so it's not Singing In The Rain. It is one of The King's best.
12/13 Page Miss Glory - a screwball comedy that delivers.
12/14 To Sir, With Love - somebody decided to cast Sidney Poitier as a teacher in a lower class London school where he teaches the kids how to grow up - and it works. Lulu's debut.
12/15 The Naked and the Dead - making great novels into movies is not easy, and this one shows why. Still, there is just enough of the fire of the book to keep us watching.
12/16 Children of Paradise - French film about love, life and the theatre.
12/17 Rififi - this is the daddy of all caper flicks, and it's French to boot.
12/18 The Absent Minded Professor - Fred MacMurray does his Disney thing.
12/19 Oliver Twist - David Lean adapted Dickens' classic story of a boy who gets taken in by a gang of child thieves.
12/20 Anna and the King of Siam - the non-musical version of the King and I starring Rex Harrison as the King of Siam. Hey, this was Hollywood in the 1950s where the Jewish-born Ira Grossel (known to us as Jeff Chandler) could get nominated for an Oscar for playing Cochise.
12/21 The Way We Were - Barbra's best acting role. Robert Redford had to be talked into playing the iconic Hubbell by director Sydney Pollock.
12/22 Ben Hur - saw this for the first time in a great, classic movie palace in Philadelphia, The Boyd. Sadly, along with about a dozen other movie palaces in the City Developers Love, The Boyd was demolished. But we still have Ben Hur with a much underrated performance by Stephen Boyd.
12/23 Holiday Inn - Irving Berlin's score introduced the world to Happy Holidays, Easter Parade and White Christmas. The later two songs were so popular, they were the titles of two other movies about the holidays.
12/24 In The Good Old Summertime - this is the musical version of The Shop Around the Corner with Judy Garland.
12/25 Lover Come Back - Doris Day is not everyone's dish, but she will make a believer out of you in this sophisticated comedy with her favorite co-star Rock Hudson.
12/26 Deliverance - if you have a holiday hangover, this is the movie that will snap you out of it.
12/27 Pitfall - did you like Fatal Attraction? Then you will like this film noir look at infidelity.
12/28 A Hard Day's Night - rock groups don't make critically acclaimed movies, except for the Beatles.
12/29 A Tale of Two Cities - this is a great movie from a great novel. Ronald Coleman gives one of the best performances by an actor in a movie. Watching this classic will be a far, far better thing you can do than anything else.
12/30 Love Me or Leave Me - this is Doris Day's best performance as the apple of minor gangster James Cagney's lustful eye. There is a scene at the very end of the movie where she is singing the title tune and he has to decide if he is going to let go of his passion for her - it all happens on his face.
12/31 That's Entertainment - bring in the New Year with some of Hollywood's greatest musical moments.