There’s a lot to learn about the history of film from TCM‘s planned programming in September. While most cinephiles may be familiar with much of what’s in store, many who have only a peripheral knowledge of classic movies should be prepared for several eye-opening series. These include a 67-film spectacular dedicated to Pre-Code Hollywood, a 20-film showcase spotlighting Jewish history and heritage as portrayed on-screen and a month-long tribute to the underrated Melvyn Douglas, the network’s Star of the Month to whom I already dedicated a post. Here are some of the details so you can set your DVRs and plan your viewing schedules accordingly.
- TCM’s popular Friday night Spotlight series continues this September with weekly offerings of fun, sometimes disturbing Pre-Codes served in 24-hour increments. These oft sexually charged films that feature strong female characters and unrepentant villains and are not to be missed. The series will include pre-codes in all genres and will be introduced by Robert Osborne and Alec Baldwin. Worthy of special note is the documentary, THOU SHALT NOT: SEX, SIN AND CENSORSHIP IN PRE-CODE HOLLYWOOD (2008) directed by Steven Smith scheduled to air on September 8. I’ve seen it and know you don’t want to miss it.
- Tuesday nights in September will be dedicated to The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film. This series includes introductions by Dr. Eric Goldman, an expert on Yiddish, Israeli and Jewish film, founder of Ergo Media and author of two books about the history of Jewish depiction in film. Let me interject a moment to say I reached out to Dr. Goldman to express my excitement about this series, which includes many films I’ve never seen. It turns out that on his impressive resume is his role as adjunct faculty in a Yeshiva program offered at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where I too am an adjunct faculty member.
Anyway, just last week one of the Associate Deans at the University, knowing I’m a fan of both classic film and TCM gave me Dr. Goldman’s number in case I wanted to touch base with him after learning of the upcoming series. And of course I did simply to let him know how much I look forward to his introductions. Although I caught him at a bad time, Dr. Goldman could not have been more gracious. He thanked me for reaching out and even asked if I plan on going on the TCM Cruise. Unfortunately, my answer to that is no – unless I win the Lotto. So, thank you sir for taking the time to speak with me. I can’t wait for this series to begin, an important one that will offer an historical account of film history I am vastly unfamiliar with.
- On September 1st TCM will dedicate a 14-film tribute to the Telluride Film Festival featuring films that have played at Telluride through the years. There are several notables and a few TCM premieres to air as part of this series. I’m particularly excited about two films I haven’t seen, Irving Pichel’s and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME from 1932 and Richard Boleslawski’s THE GARDEN OF ALLAH from 1936. This tribute will showcase an impressive variety of films, including the relatively recent THE CRYING GAME directed by Neil Jordan, which premiered at Telluride in 1992.
- On September 11 the network will air five movies starring Jerry Lewis in primetime starting with THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963), which will include footage from this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival where Lewis introduced the film. Also included in this line-up are two films in which Lewis co-starred with Dean Martin, AT WAR WITH THE ARMY (1950) and THE CADDY (1953) as well as a couple more of Lewis’ solo outings.
- On September 15-16 TCM will remember Lauren Bacall with a 24-hour marathon of her films. Slated to air are all four films Bacall made with Humphrey Bogart, the 2005 Private Screenings: Lauren Bacall and many other films that span her incredible career.
And there you have just the tip of classic iceberg scheduled on TCM in September, as varied a program as I remember. Several other birthday tributes, guest programmers and the like are sure to interest you so be sure to visit the TCM site for details.
What are you most looking forward to?