Well, well, well, it’s almost 2022 already. We blinked and somehow the year that was 2021 has passed like a shot. Do you know what that means? New picks, of course. It’s time for the TCM Top 10 for January 2022.
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
This is a movie I remember being fascinated by when I watched it during my film school years, but it has admittedly been a while since my last re-watch. Hence, the presence of this fascinating, skewering of popular culture on this list means one thing. I’m about due for a rewatch myself!
A Face in the Crowd makes very interesting use of America’s favorite small-town sheriff Andy Griffith three years before the debut of The Andy Griffith Show. The movie which is written by Bud Schulberg and directed by Elia Kazan tells the story of the media manufacturing of a massively popular singer… before his just as speedy fall from grace. This is a dark, cynical story about the Hollywood/American entertainment industry. You have to be in the right mood, but it’s a fascinating watch.
A Face in the Crowd airs on January 1st at 12:15 pm PST.
My Favorite Year (1982)
Sure, I’m taking it a bit late, but get used to it (there’s a little 1980s content coming your way soon!). My Favorite Year was one of our picks early in 2021 and I stumbled onto it again as I looked over the schedule. I have a real fondness for the rose-colored nostalgia goggles of the 1980s and 1990s. There’s something so bright and delightful about the era’s depiction of the middle of the century and it always stuck with me.
My Favorite Year drops viewers into a Sid Caesar-like television show hosted by King Kaiser (Joseph Bologna). When it’s announced they’re going to have an Errol Flynn-like actor (Peter O’Toole) on as a guest, baby writer Benjy Stone (Mark Linn-Baker) is over the moon. However, it soon becomes clear that the swash-buckler is not only a handful, but he’s struggling with a number of personal demons.
If you’re a sucker for nostalgia like yours truly or even just looking for a good slice-of-life story, definitely add this to your list.
My Favorite Year airs January 2nd at 3:15 pm PST
The Thing from Another World (1951)
This is a movie film culture knocked down a peg after John Carpenter‘s dynamic remake in 1982. However, this is a work that I absolutely adore and have decreed it deserves far, far more love.
The Thing from Another World follows a group of military scientists trapped in the arctic struggling to survive a battle with a blood-thirsty alien organism. The movie stars Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, and Robert Cornthwaite. Pop culture fans should keep an eye out for Marshall Dillon himself (James Arness), voice actor extraordinaire Paul Frees as well as noted announcer George Fennemen in the absolutely stacked cast.
This might not feel particularly geared towards the holiday season, but fans of horror and science fiction should turn this one on. This film stands at the forefront of the genre, folks and it is a delight (if I say so myself!).
The Thing from Another World airs on January 3rd at 3:30 pm PST.
The Hitch-Hiker (1953)
If there are two things that I will always recommend, one is film noir and the other is Ida Lupino. The Hitch-Hiker packs both, kids. While this movie has been remade a number of times, this first version will always be the best.
The Hitch-Hiker follows two men (Edmond O’Brien and Frank Lovejoy) who encounter a vicious criminal (William Talman) while they’re away on vacation. Ida Lupino directs the iconic work of noir.
You can already see just why this movie is essential. Ida Lupino emerged as one of the only women directing during this era of cinema and in her hands, she crafts The Hitch-Hiker into one of the darkest, most violent entries into the noir movement. On top of that, I would be shirking my duty if I didn’t recommend this picture because of my admiration of all things William Talman. Best known as Hamilton Burger in the Perry Mason tv series, I consider it one of my main responsibilities in life to sing his praises.
The Hitch-Hiker airs at 2:00 am PST on January 7th.
It’s a twofer on the noir recommendations this week, but I couldn’t look past the movie which remains my favorite entry in the movement. Gilda opened my eyes to so much in the pantheon of classic cinema and it remains one of my favorites.
Gilda follows Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) a n’er do well who falls in with a criminal (George Macready) and his wife (Rita Hayworth) in the operations of an Argentinian casino. There’s some MacGuffin-ey stuff about tungsten, but ultimately we’re here for the sexual chemistry. Few couples are better on-screen than Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth. You can feel the tension, you can feel the passion and you can see everything going through their minds. Both actors are rarely better than they are in this movie.
Gilda airs at 3:00 pm on January 8th.
The Time Machine (1960)
I am a card-carrying member of the Rod Taylor fan club. Heck, I’m a card-carrying member of the Alan Young fan club too. This movie brings all the good stuff, especially for someone like yours truly.
The Time Machine stars the above two mentioned performers, as well as Yvette Mimieux, Sebastian Cabot, and Whit Bissell in a take on the legendary H.G. Wells novel. The movie is a bright, beautifully crafted take on the iconic science fiction story. In fact, it remains my favorite filmed version of the tale.
The Time Machine airs at 12:30 pm on January 15th.
Rio Bravo (1959)
I’ve learned one thing during 2021… our Ticklish Business readers absolutely adore Dean Martin. Trust me, I do too! So, it’s with that little bit of information that I added this legendary Howard Hawks western to the picks for this month.
Rio Bravo stars John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, and Ricky Nelson. The story follows as the men unite in a typically western plot… they’re bringing law and order to the old west through various means.
This movie is a complete and utter delight, especially from a casting perspective. Dean Martin shines in one of his earliest roles separated from Jerry Lewis. Meanwhile, Ricky Nelson shows just why he was everywhere on television during the 1950s. Fans of classic westerns, the Rat Pack, and classic film, in general, should add this one to their lists.
Rio Bravo airs at 8:30 am PST on January 19th.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
This movie may or may not appear as a memorable Classic Entertainment Discovery for the Ticklish Trio… if that isn’t a recommendation, I don’t know what is.
Dog Day Afternoon is gritty, ‘New Hollywood’ cinema at its finest. The movie stars Al Pacino and John Cazale as bank robbers trapped in a heist gone wrong. The film comes from legendary director Sidney Lumet.
I would be once again shirking my responsibility if I didn’t spend at least a paragraph talking about John Cazale. We didn’t deserve him. A truly brilliant performer who we lost far too young, his contribution to cinema is still felt. He appeared in four films, each legendary in their own right. Frankly, he should have been Oscar-nominated in each. We should have had John Cazale for so much longer, but thank goodness we had him at all.
Dog Day Afternoon airs at 11:30 pm PST on January 20th.
King Solomon’s Mines (1950)
King Solomon’s Mines was a first-time watch for yours truly during 2021 and it, of course, had to be mentioned when I saw it on the listing this month. Do you know why? It co-stars Richard Carlson, of course!
Okay! Hear me out! The movie stars Carlson alongside Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger as a trio of explorers who venture into the deepest corners of uncharted Africa searching for a missing comrade. This is an adventure of the most classic variety. If you’re a fan of works like King Kong and literature which involves people wearing pith helmets (I can’t be the only one!), this picture is sure to appeal to you.
King Solomon’s Mines airs at 11:00 am PST on January 22nd.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw this movie airing on TCM during the month of January. I watched Over-Exposed not too long ago in a quest for all things Richard Crenna. The film was not only a first-time watch but really a discovery as it was one I knew nothing about.
This noir thriller follows the fascinating Cleo Moore as a former “dance-club” girl and up-and-coming photographer who crafts herself a career using the prominent underworld scene. The adorable Richard Crenna co-stars as a well-meaning journalist who really wants her to go straight and marry him.
This is a dark noir of the lowest budget variety. In fact, it borders on schlocky, exploitation. I found it an incredibly interesting watch as a fan of noir. At the same time, Cleo Moore is now on my list to learn more about.
Over-Exposed is the Noir Alley entry for this particular week, airing at 7:00 am PST on January 23rd.
Well, that brings us to a close for this month! There’s so much more to watch! What movies are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.
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Podcaster, film historian, and general lover of all things classic film and television. Studying the contributions of women behind the camera in classic television.
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