It’s that time again! A new month, a new schedule and lots more TCM picks to wade through. This month, I wanted to tackle things a little differently. Looking at the full month, as I did in December, I really feel like I left out some delightful picks. So, this month, I wanted to tackle things week by week… there’s lots, lots more to love this way.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Night at the Opera (1935)
Night at the Opera holds a place near and dear to my heart. Not only is this the first Marx Brothers movie yours truly ever watched, but it continues to be my favorite. The MGM classic features some truly memorable comedy bits (like that pictured above) as well as a well-crafted, enjoyable story following the Marx’s as they take the stuffed shirts at the New York Opera Company down a peg. Meanwhile, they also manage to unite the scrappy and likable lovers (the massively under-appreciated Allan Jones and Kitty Carlisle).
This is a WatchTCM pick, the movie aired at 3am PST on January 1st.
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
This one was a later discovery for me and I’m honestly not sure why. The comedy is an absolute delight, featuring a traditionally on form Cary Grant, with one of my favorite Shirley Temple performances. The script is a quirky one, following a dashing but troublesome middle-aged man (Grant) who ends up having to ‘take out’ a lovelorn local teenager (Temple) by decree of her sister, who just so happens to be a judge (Myrna Loy). This movie could only work in 1947; however, if you haven’t checked out this fun one yet, make sure to add it to your list.
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer airs at 7:30am PST on January 4th.
Boy’s Night Out (1962)
If there’s one thing I’m a fan of, it’s a good, fun, post-World War II sex comedy. Boys Night Out is one which I’m always surprised I don’t hear spoken about more. The movie follows a group of white collar men who join up to rent a bachelor pad to “keep” a sultry blonde sex kitten (Kim Novak), only to realize she’s actually a sociologist studying the sexuality of the suburban male.
The cast pictured above is absolutely flawless, as is Novak (along with Bell, Book and Candle, this is probably my favorite of her movies). Fans of works like Pillow Talk should definitely add this one to their lists.
Boys Night Out airs at 10:45am PST on January 4th.
Dear Heart (1962)
This one is a first time watch for your’s truly… embarrassing as it is. Those who know me are likely aware of my fondness for Glenn Ford, and every time this one plays on Turner Classic Movies, I’m always amazed by the glowing word-out-mouth coming across the #TCMParty social feed. The romance partners Ford with Geraldine Page in a September romance about two people finding love at a postmaster’s convention. By all accounts, this movie is absolutely adorable and needs to be watched. However, I seem to miss it every time it airs. I will remedy this in January.
Dear Heart airs at 1:00pm PST on January 4th.
The Sea Wolf (1941)
Just ask our own Kristen Lopez why this movie is a must-see. She’ll give you lots of reasons. I saw this one as a first-time-watch at TCMFF in 2019, and was absolutely blown away. Ida Lupino (check!). John Garfield (check! check!). Sultry, smoky noir visuals melded into an interesting period story (you know how this goes). The movie follows three, down-on-their-luck young people who find themselves trapped at sea, and at the mercy of a ruthless captain (Edward G. Robinson). Just how will they manage to get free?
Noir fans, Lupino fans and heck, all Garfield fans should add this one to their lists when it airs this month. It’s a bit of a deep cut, but definitely worth a watch.
This one is a Watch TCM viewing for most. The Sea Wolf airs at 1:15 am PST on January 6th
Viva Las Vegas (1964)
It’s Elvis’ birthday this month, so I’m sure this won’t be the first time you’ll hear me talk about this feature film. Viva Las Vegas is my first, and likely my favorite of Elvis’ many, many films. Is it complicated? No. It’s a fun and simple romp with the “King of Rock and Roll” and Ann-Margret through through 1960s Las Vegas. There’s fast cars, showgirls and music numbers. Plus, the two stars are absolutely loaded with charisma, making this a must see for fans of both.
Viva Las Vegas airs during an Elvis marathon on 1:45pm PST on January 8th.
The Big Heat (1953)
Noirvember might be over, but my love for film noir never ends. (This is also the second appearance of Glenn Ford on this list, by the way!). The movie follows Ford as a police officer fighting to take down a crime syndicate after his wife is murdered. This Fritz Lang directed noir is one of the icons of the movement, featuring Ford, opposite Gloria Grahame at her absolute best, and Lee Marvin, who was only starting to hit his form. It’s gritty, it’s dark, but it’s one heck of a film.
The Big Heat airs 9:00am PST on January 9th.
Midnight Lace (1960)
This movie is a bit of a deeper cut in the Doris Day pantheon, but it has always been one to stick with me since I first watched it, ever-so-many years ago. In fact, I rewatched it during 2020 and found myself still taken with this tense and spookily atmospheric drama. Midnight Lace follows a housewife who thinks she’s being stalked. However, she soon begins to question her own sanity when no one else will seemingly believe her. The film features great work by Day, in a role that’s somewhat against type for her. She plays opposite the characteristically good Rex Harrison and the always adorable John Gavin.
Midnight Lace airs 10:45am PST on January 9th.
Well, this wraps up my humble picks for the first part of January on Turner Classic Movies. It looks like there’s quite a bit of Glenn Ford popping up this month, quite a bit of Elvis’ work as well as the legendary director Alexander Korda. However, there will be a lot more coming as this month goes on. So, stay tuned and keep watching!
Podcaster, film historian, and general lover of all things classic film and television. Studying the contributions of women behind the camera in classic television.
You can find me on Twitter @kpierce624!