Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Great Films Not on DVD: April

Despite the craziness of signing up for classes this week and the sudden realization that I have five weeks left of school, I have managed to actually get this post out on time! I felt really bad for posting my March list so late that you may not have had time to catch some of the films.

Looking forward to the multitude of great films in April has really brightened my mood, considering that its ungodly cold here and actually snowed a bit today. Winter seems to be holding on for dear life and I’m trying as hard as I can to be patient for spring to finally take over. Well, enough about the weather, let’s get to the movies!

Bundle of Joy (1956)
Starring Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, and Adolphe Menjou
Airs April 1 on TCM

A cute little musical remake of Bachelor Mother. Debbie Reynolds is pretty decent as salesgirl Polly Parrish, but she is definitely no Ginger Rogers. It’s worth watching if you like the original. Click here for a short synopsis from a previous post.

The Actress (1953)
Starring Jean Simmons, Spencer Tracy, and Teresa Wright
Airs April 6 on TCM

Even though this film is now available for order from the Warner Bros. website, I’m still including it as a “Great Film Not on DVD”.

It’s based off of Ruth Gordon’s autobiographical play “Years Ago”. After seeing actress Hazel Dawn in a play, young Ruth dreams of becoming an actress to the dismay of her factory worker father. However, when her dream is suddenly crushed, her father steps in to help her build it up again.

Interesting fact: Anthony Perkins, in his film debut, plays Simmons’ love interest.

So Long at the Fair (1950)
Starring Jean Simmons and Dirk Borgarde
Airs April 17 on TCM

Yes, it’s another Jean Simmons film. If you didn’t know all ready, I’m a really big fan of hers and many of her films are still not on DVD.

The plot of this movie is very similar to that of Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes. Siblings Vicky and Johnny Barton travel to Paris for the Exposition Universelle in 1899. The morning after a trip to the Moulin Rouge, Vicky finds that Johnny is missing. After asking everyone at her hotel about her brother’s whereabouts, she realizes something fishy is going on. Everybody tells her she arrived at the hotel by herself. The only person who believes her is a young artist (Bogarde) staying at the hotel. Together, they unravel the mystery.

The Blue Dahlia (1946)
Starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake
Airs April 27 on TCM

In this third pairing of Ladd and Lake, Johnny (Ladd) returns from the war to find his wife with another man. After a dramatic fight, Johnny decides to take a road trip that is mistaken as running from the law when his wife is found dead. Once he learns what happened, he teams up with Joyce (Lake) to try and clear his name.

Interesting fact: This movie is rumored to be the inspiration for murdered actress Elizabeth Short’s nickname “The Black Dahlia”.

Also, if you are a Ginger Rogers fan like me, make sure your DVR is ready to go on April 8. TCM will be showing several of Ginger’s early films, most of which are not on DVD. I’m extremely excited because I haven’t seen a few of them and one of my goals in life is to see all of her films. Currently, I’ve seen forty of her seventy-five films.

TCM will be showing the following:

Suicide Fleet (1931)
Carnival Boat (1932)
The Tip-Off (1932)
You Said a Mouthful (1932)
Professional Sweetheart (1933)
In Person (1935)
Star of Midnight (1935)


Kate Gabrielle said...

I hadn't opened my April Now Playing for highlighting yet, so I was shocked to see that wonderful Ginger Rogers lineup you listed!! I can't wait! I love her early films, and they really just don't get shown enough. DVR is set, and ready to go :)

Robby Cress said...

It's amazing that Ginger Rogers has made as many movies as she has. I've seen quite a few, especially her pairings with Astaire, but I have so many more to see!

Rupert Alistair said...

Noting The Blue Dahlia; I'm so glad to see Turner Classic Movies showing more and more films from Paramount. Since AMC went commercial(and lowered the caliber of movies it shows) there's never really been a platform for some of the great Paramount films.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the post! I am very much looking forward to finally having the chance to see "Star of Midnight!" Two of my favorite people, Bill Powell and Ginger, together in the same movie?? Bestill my beating heart! :D

emme said...


I wish, wish, wish that we had cable...only so that I could watch TCM!

I've been a classic movie fan all of my life, so I've watched an enormous amount of classic film...but my sister & I have had to do it the "old-fashioned" way of hunting them down one-by-one. :)

*sigh* Oh, well. The "hunt" over the years has been fun...


Genevieve said...

Kate: I can't wait either! Ginger is absolutely adorable in her earlier films. She had such a cute, squeaky voice.

Robby: She did make quite a few movies in her day! Her films with Astaire are fantastic but do check out some of her solo films. Amazing!

Rupert: Thats so sad about all the Paramount films. I'm glad TCM has been able to get their hands on them so we can enjoy them!

Kitty: No problem! William Powell + Ginger Rogers= Heaven. I haven't seen Star of Midnight for a while so I'll have to watch it again!

Emily: Agreed! I only have access to TCM when I go home for breaks. I have no cable in my room or even a tv : (

Having to hunt down all those movies must be a ton of work! I've found that there many online. There are quite a few on youtube, surf the channel, and hulu.

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