It’s that time again! Here’s our list of the Ticklish Business TCM picks, for this third full week in January.
This week looks to be rather wide ranging as it relates to programing. Those enjoying the murder mystery line-ups have lots more gems coming their way, thanks to a night filled with Margaret Rutherford‘s “Miss. Marple” films. There’s a number of political movies playing, as well as quite a few “Film History 101” essentials. There’s something for most genre tastes, plenty for those looking to learn more about classic films, and even some deeper cuts too.
Well, without further ado, here are my picks for the week!
Employees Entrance (1933)
First time watch alert for your’s truly! I’ve admitted before that Pre-Code Hollywood remains an embarrassing blindspot in my film viewing. While I’ve started ticking off some of the really unforgivable misses, there are quite a few hanging over my head. This is the case with Employee Entrance.
The movie stars Loretta Young, Warren William and Wallace Ford, and is described as a romantic drama about a “shop girl” in a department store who has to contend with life, love and… Warren William as her boss. Factor all of this together and mix in a Pre-Code setting, it’s definitely intriguing. I’ll certainly be checking this one out.
Employee Entrance plays at 6:45am PST on January 19th.
Red Dust (1932)
We’re sticking with the Pre-Code pattern with this next pick. In fact, Red Dust is probably one of the first films I watched when I started my quest to remedy my Pre-Code blindspot. The movie paints a complicated love triangle as the owner of a rubber plantation (Clark Gable) finds himself involved with not only a local prostitute (Jean Harlow), but also the wife of a recently arrived employee (Mary Astor).
The movie features a cast that is difficult to top, especially when factoring in a great Gene Raymond performance alongside the legends already mentioned above. The Victor Fleming work is an important (and dare I say iconic) entry into Jean Harlow’s already impressive filmography. For those looking for an in-road into the actress’ career, look no further. This is a must see.
Red Dust plays at 10:30am PST on January 19th.
Murder at the Gallop (1963)
Last week, we discussed the delightfulness that TCM is handing us in the network’s tribute to murder mysteries this January. There are so many great films to choose, and the programming team keeps lining up some true gems.
Truth be told, I’ve never been a Miss. Marple fan. (Now, Ms. Marbles in Murder By Death is another story, but I digress). In fact, what Agatha Christie I have read has been Hercule Poirot. However, I started watching Margaret Rutherford‘s Marple series early in 2020, and I will say, she changed my mind. Single-handedly. In fact, I want to be Margaret Rutherford when I grow up. At the same time, if you’re downtrodden by 2020, 2021 and… life as we know it… you only need to watch Miss. Marple’s relationship with Mr. Stringer (Rutherford’s real life husband Stringer Davis). There is something so delightful and so pure. We need this couple.
Murder at the Gallop is another in the long line of traditional murder mysteries, complete with a flair only Rutherford can bring. So, if you’re a fan of the other movies TCM has been airing in the block, or heck Agatha Christie’s work, make sure you check this one out.
Murder at the Gallop plays at 6:45pm PST on January 20th ahead of a night of Rutherford’s Marple films.
The Best Man (1964)
Politics sucks. We know this. The Best Man follows the action at the 1964 Democratic National Convention as a party in turmoil tries to narrow down a field of many to a candidate of one. There’s drama, compromise (ha!) and plotting to bring each other down. It’s politics after all. There’s no crying in an election year.
The Best Man is a must see thanks to its star-studded cast alone: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Kevin McCarthy and Lee Tracy (in an Oscar nominated role) are just a few of the names filling the credits. Furthermore, the movie comes from legendary writer Gore Vidal, who brings his trademark, layered sophistication to these complicated and well-crafted characters. So, while most would say “no thank you” to a political drama after the year we’ve had, I couldn’t recommend this feature highly enough.
The Best Man plays at 10:30am PST on January 23rd.
Out of Past (1947)
Yes, yes, yes. I work a noir into the picks each week. Embrace the noir lifestyle! This week, TCM has one of the essentials of the movement. When you look up film noir in a textbook, there is likely going to be a screenshot from this movie. Robert Mitchum as the brooding lone-wolf hero wandering the rain soaked, city streets? Check. Jane Greer as the beautiful, but… deadly… femme fatale? Check. It’s all here. Add in the fact they’re under the direction of Jacques Tourneur? It’s going to be good.
Out of the Past plays at 5:00pm PST on January 23rd.
Send Me No Flowers (1964)
Doris Day keeps finding herself on the weekly picks this month! The sweet, blonde goodness continues on TCM this week with the delightful Send Me No Flowers.
The movie once again partners Day opposite Rock Hudson and Tony Randall. There’s also a fun supporting cast, including Paul Lynde, Clint Walker and Edward Andrews. Day stars as a woman who finds herself set up on dates by her hypochondriac husband (Hudson), who’s convinced that he’s terminally ill. In typical fashion, there’s a humorous misunderstanding before the couple eventually figures things out. This is probably the Day/Hudson vehicle I hear talk about the least, so if you’ve missed this one, be sure to check it off your list this month.
Send Me No Flowers plays at 5:00pm PST on January 24th.
Sunday in New York (1963)
Okay, I’m a recent convert to this movie. It was a first-time-watch in December 2020. Now I need everyone else to see this little ball of cuteness. The romantic comedy stars Jane Fonda, Rod Taylor and Cliff Robertson in a yet another early sixties sex comedy. If you haven’t figured this out, I love these movies.
Sunday in New York follows Fonda as a young woman who runs to the big city (New York) to visit her playboy, airline pilot brother (Robertson). She’s struggling with boys, relationships, and the whole question of sex. Life is just hard. However, things grow ever more complicated when she keeps bumping into a stupidly dashing executive (Rod Taylor) while riding a city bus. So, when her basic college boyfriend (a pre-most things Robert Culp) decides to come and work things out… she must decide what she truly wants. (The answer should always be Rod Taylor, folks).
Sunday in New York plays at 7:00pm PST on January 24th.
See what I mean? There’s quite the number of options this week, and there’s bound to be something delightful you haven’t seen yet. Check it out! What are your picks to watch this week. Shout them out in the comments.
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!