MARCH 2019 ON TCM
The Star of the Month is Fredric March. I have been a fan of his since I first saw him in an early Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (he won one of his Oscars for this role) on the Late Late Show. Over the years, March could be depended on to find something human, something very personal in whatever character he was playing. One of my favorites is his portrayal of a returning GI in William Wyler's The Best Years of our Lives. March returns to his life as a banker but cannot shake the changes he went through as a Master Sergeant in the Pacific War. In every scene he is in, March tells us the story of this returning Ulysses who must now go back to the work of caring for a family and taking his place in society. Fighting for freedom was more dangerous in the Pacific, but fighting the good fight at home will be more difficult.
Here are movies I recommend you try this month on TCM:
3/1 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY You have to try and go back to when this movie was released in 1968 to get an understanding how much this movie changed the way we look at science fiction - and movies. This is one you have to see.
3/2 THE LAST PICTURE SHOW Peter Bogdanovich was supposed to be the next great director and this movie gives you the reason we all thought that in 1971. Great performances by Jeff Bridges, Cybil Shepard, Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman.
3/3 THE HEIRESS William Wyler was a magician and here he gets us to believe that Olivia De Havilland is an unattractive heiress dominated by her father, Ralph Richardson, in Richardson's best screen performance.
3/4 THE SET-UP Robert Ryan plays an all too honest fighter in this early Robert Wise classic.
3/5 MY FAIR LADY Audrey Hepburn gives a great performance (with Marni Nixon's singing voice) but was denied an Oscar nomination because Hollywood hated that Warner Bros. didn't cast the actress who made theatrical history when she starred in the role on B'way, Julie Andrews.
3/6 NORTHWEST PASSAGE I first saw this tale of Spencer Tracy exploring the American wilderness in the early 19th century in college in a film course and it has stayed with me.
3/7 ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN Two neophyte reporters bring down a President. It's a fairy tale that happened to be true.
3/8 THE CINCINNATI KID There are movies that are so good but never seem to make it into those lists of great movies - this is one. Watch and you'll see what I mean.
3/9 D.O.A. A guy shows up at the police station and says he wants to report a murder. Of who?, he is asked. Of me, he says.
3/10 LOOK BACK IN ANGER John Osborne wrote this play that was unlike any play written before - kind of Rebel Without a Cause meets The Glass Menagerie. Richard Burton shows why he was Richard Burton.
3/11 MADAME BOVARY Vincente Minnelli's movie of the classic novel with Jennifer Jones giving her best performance.
3/12 THE MALTESE FALCON Before Bogie and Huston, others tried to make a movie of this seminal P.I. novel but it never worked until Huston decided to film the book without changes.
3/13 HAWAII In 1966, this is how Hollywood made 'blockbusters' whether the public liked it or not. An all-star cast headed by the hottest actress on the planet (at the time), Julie Andrews, and based on a best-seller novel. It couldn't miss, right?
3/14 THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS There are few movies that can touch this one for a hard look at America, the media and celebrity. Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis give memorable performances - hey, don't miss this one!
3/15 WHAT'S UP DOC So after he made The Last Picture Show, Bogdanovich decided to make a screwball comedy. Barbra Streisand wanted to stop making musicals so she teams up with Ryan O'Neill and they have a blast - you will too.
3/16 RYAN'S DAUGHTER David Lean had made several great movies in a row before he lost his mind and decided to cast Robert Mitchum as the cuckold in a story about the Irish troubles and love. It's better than you would think.
3/17 THE RISING OF THE MOON John Ford returns to Ireland to do this story about Irish people living under British rule starring Tyrone Power who is much better than he is given credit for.
3/18 ROYAL WEDDING TCM has a day long tribute to the late Stanley Donen and this is part of it - Fred Astaire and Jane Powell play a brother/sister hit act, much like Fred and his sister were on B'way in the 1920's and just like his sister, Jane wants to quit the act to marry a British nobleman. Great Lerner-Lowe score.
3/19 A SLIGHT CASE OF MURDER Being an E.G. Robinson fan, I caught this one night on the Late Late Show - and lo and behold, it's a comedy! A very funny one to boot.
3/20 SOME CAME RUNNING Sinatra, Dino and an incredible performance by Shirley MacLaine make this Vincente Minnelli directed movie shine.
3/21 NETWORK Saw this when it opened and I left the theater speechless - now this is a movie!
3/22 NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH Early Carol Reed spy thriller that is a warm-up to his classic, The Third Man.
3/23 PRISONER OF ZENDA This is the one with Stewart Granger in the lead but James Mason steals the movie playing a dastardly rogue.
3/24 ODD MAN OUT Carol Reed again, and James Mason too and Ireland during the troubles, one more time..
3/25 GREAT EXPECTATIONS David Lean made his reputation making these great post-WWII movies about dear old England.
3/26 THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT From a Paddy Chayefsky play about an older man Fredrick March falling for a younger woman Kim Novak.
3/27 KING RAT WWII Japanese prisoner camp story that made a star of George Segal.
3/28 AUNTIE MAME Rosalind Russell plays the lead in a warm up to her Mama Rose performance in Gypsy.
3/29 DIAL M FOR MURDER Hitchcock's movie about an ex-tennis pro (Ray Milland) who wants to murder his wealthy wife (Grace Kelly) - and he is such a great director that you buy that premise.
3/30 LARCENY, INC Another EG Robinson comedy, this one finds him buying a luggage store so he can break into the bank next door. Problems arise when the store becomes a hit.
3/31 THE LAST HURRAH Spencer Tracy as an old time Irish Mayor fighting to get re-elected in the era of TV and money.