Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monthly Film Recommendations: March 2011

I've had a request to list my favorite classic films, so I've decided to provide a monthly list of my favorites that will be on TCM each month, to keep the list a bit more manageable!  For other movie recommendations, just click on the "movies" label at the bottom of the post or in the sidebar.  There are still a lot of old films I haven't seen, but I'm working on it!

March 2011 on TCM (all times are Central):
  • A Bout de souffle (Breathless) (M 3/21/11 3:00 a.m.)- I'm a huge fan of Jean-Luc Godard's style--this film is a great example
  • All About Eve (Tu 3/1/11 9:00 p.m. and Th 3/31/11 7:00 p.m.)- an aspiring actress (Anne Baxter) plots to take over Bette Davis's career and boyfriend; George Sanders won an Oscar playing critic Addison de Witt; look for Marilyn Monroe in a small role 
  • Around the World in 80 Days (W 3/2/11 9:00 p.m.)- David Niven heads the cast in this fun family film
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (W 3/16/11 7:00 a.m.)- Cary Grant has to deal with homicidal maiden aunts and a brother who believes he's Teddy Roosevelt in this Frank Capra comedy
  • Ascenseur pour l'├ęchafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (M 3/28/11 10:45 p.m.)- one of the best examples of French noir, starring the incomparable Jeanne Moreau, plus amazing Miles Davis music
  • Born Yesterday (W 3/16/11 9:00 a.m.)- William Holden is a newspaperman hired to tutor Judy Holliday, who turns out to be not a stupid as everyone thinks! 
  • Brief Encounter (F 3/25/11 7:15 a.m.)- unlike anything else by Noel Coward, heartbreakingly beautiful, one of David Lean's best
  • Bringing Up Baby (W 3/16/11 5:00 a.m.)- the classic screwball comedy starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and a leopard named Baby; I find this one amusing no matter how many times I see it
  • Captain Blood (W 3/2/11 12:30 p.m.)- the first pairing of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland; swashbuckling at its best
  • Follow the Fleet (W 3/16/11 1:00 p.m.)- pleasant Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film; fabulous choreography as always
  • Grand Hotel (Th 3/3/11 7:00 p.m.)- It's the "I want to be alone" movie; Greta Garbo and John Barrymore are top-billed, but Joan Crawford and Lionel Barrymore steal the show
  • I'm No Angel (W 3/30/11 10:15 p.m.)- I adore Mae West, who plays a circus performer in this pre-code gem; also stars Cary Grant
  • Jezebel (W 3/2/11 8:00 a.m.)- Bette Davis plays an unconventional Southern belle who goes after the affections of Henry Fonda
  • The Last of Sheila (Th 3/31/11 9:30 p.m.)- murder mystery with James Coburn and James Mason; bit later than "classic" (1973), but an enjoyable film
  • Libeled Lady (Tu 3/15/11 10:15 p.m.)- William Powell/Myrna Loy pairing, Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow co-star; newspapermen try to avoid a libel lawsuit
  • Love Me Tonight (Sa 3/12/11 7:00 p.m. and Th 3/31/11 7:30 a.m.)- Maurice Chevalier/Jeannette MacDonald pairing; not their best, but entertaining nevertheless; co-stars include Myrna Loy, C. Aubrey Smith and Charlie Ruggles
  • The Love Parade (Th 3/31/11 1:30 a.m.)- one of the best Maurice Chevalier/Jeannette MacDonald/Ernst Lubitsch collaborations; fabulous opening scene, wonderful costumes
  • Ninotchka (Th 3/24/11 9:00 p.m.)- Garbo laughs!  This is a comedic gem by Ernst Lubitsch starring Melvyn Douglas and, of course, Greta Garbo.
  • North by Northwest (Th 3/3/11 11:30 a.m.)- classic Hitchcock mistaken-identity thriller starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason; famous for train, crop duster and Mount Rushmore sequences; very stylish
  • Queen Christina (Su 3/13/11 2:45 a.m.)- last pairing of Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, who play a Swedish queen and a Spanish ambassador who fall in love when they have to share a room at an inn during a snow storm
  • Shall We Dance (Th 3/3/11 5:00 p.m.)- the film that got me hooked on classic film and Astaire and Rogers
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (Tu 3/22/11 2:45 p.m.)- there are few films more deeply tragic than this one, but it's amazing
  • Summertime (W 3/9/11 5:15 p.m.)- Katherine Hepburn falls for Rossano Brazzi (who wouldn't?) while vacationing in Venice
  • Sunrise (Th 3/17/11 12:15 a.m.)- a farmer (George O'Brien) gets involved with a vamp who wants him to kill his wife (Janet Gaynor) so they can be together; created to be a modern fable by F.W. Murnau
  • To Be or Not to Be (Su 3/13/11 12:00 p.m. and Th 3/31/11 3:30 a.m.)- Jack Benny and Carole Lombard star in this Ernst Lubitsch comedy about Polish actors who get caught up in the resistance movement during the German invasion
  • Trouble in Paradise (Th 3/31/11 12:00 a.m.)- description here
Because you need something pretty to look at--
This is a page from the Spring 1929 Sears and Roebuck catalog (via  My favorites are the "New 2-piece Jacket Ensemble" and the "All Silk Plaid Taffeta and Flat Crepe."  I think the details (pockets, cuffs) are so amazing!  What's your favorite? 


      1. So many of these films are on my list, I just need to find the time! The french on the building is from when they filmed Atonement (the Dunkirk scene was filmed on the beach there!), to answer your question! This is such a great list of recommendations, I shall definitely be checking these out.
        From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

      2. Uffffffff. I feel desperate, so many films to see! and so little time. what's TCM, please? a cable channel?

        and it's impossible for me to pick out only one outfit from this pic, since all are absolutely gorgeous.}

        Thanks for your list! I'll sure do some serious studying.

      3. I LOVE All About Eve! One of my all time favorites. The dialogue is spot on.

      4. "TCM" stands for Turner Classic Movies; it's a cable station. It's really the only reason we have cable service! Most (if not all) of the films I recommended are available on DVD, though.

      5. oh my gosh! i love old sears catalogues! i have quite a collection! :)

        love, polly

      6. I like the "All Silk Plaid Taffeta" - think I can still get it? I've seen a few of these movies (some of them with you) and your daddy and I will keep an eye out for the others!

      7. can you believe we can't get TCM from our cable provider where I am? boo. Oh well, one day I'll see all these films!!!

      8. Great list--thanks, Lauren. I also love Bringing up Baby, and I never get tired of All About Eve.


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