It's hard to believe April is here already, the year is flying by!
Turner Classic Movies will be celebrating Robert Taylor as Star of the Month in April. Four 24-hour marathons of a total of 54 Taylor films will begin airing next Tuesday, April 6th. I'll be posting more about Robert Taylor Month in the near future.
In the meantime, Taylor fans may want to be aware of an additional Taylor film showing this month. On Saturday, April 3rd, TCM is screening THE SECRET LAND (1948), a U.S. Navy documentary about Admiral Byrd's exploration of the Antarctic, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. The movie is narrated by Taylor, Robert Montgomery, and Van Heflin. The trailer is here.
Here's a look at a few of the other interesting titles being shown in April on TCM:
...Friday, April 2nd, TCM is showing MAIL ORDER BRIDE (1964). The Warner Archive DVD-R of this film was reviewed a few days ago by Glenn Erickson at DVD Savant. It stars Lois Nettleton, Buddy Ebsen, and Keir Dullea, and was written and directed by Burt Kennedy. Kennedy wrote several Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott Westerns and directed my favorite James Garner movie, 1969's SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF!
...I've heard good things about ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN (1941), the story of a minister and his family, starring Fredric March and Martha Scott. It airs on Easter Sunday, April 4th. And of course, don't miss the annual showing of EASTER PARADE (1948)!
...I very much enjoyed the "noir Western" BLOOD ON THE MOON (1948), showing on April 5th. It stars Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Preston, and Walter Brennan, and was directed by the great Robert Wise.
...The work of director George Stevens will be spotlighted on April 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th. The first night's lineup includes Stevens' great GIANT (1956).
...April 6th is a Loretta Young pre-Code title I've not yet seen, THE RULING VOICE (1931). It's one of several movies airing that day starring Walter Huston.
...The excellent 20th Century-Fox film DRAGONWYCK (1946) also airs on April 6th. Rupert reviewed this film a few days ago at Classic Movies Digest.
...THE SECRET FURY (1950), airing on April 9th, sounds interesting. It stars Claudette Colbert and Robert Ryan, along with Jane Cowl, who was so good as Robert Montgomery's mother in ONCE MORE, MY DARLING (1949). The film was directed by actor Mel Ferrer. There are other good Colbert films airing that day, including WITHOUT RESERVATIONS (1946) and THE SECRET HEART (1946).
...AT SWORD'S POINT (1952) should be a fun swashbuckler. It stars Maureen O'Hara and Cornel Wilde and airs on April 10th.
...Ann Miller receives a birthday tribute on April 12th. Several of her early Columbia musicals will be shown, followed by MGM's TEXAS CARNIVAL (1951), also starring Esther Williams and Howard Keel.
...Eight films with "Heaven" in the title are scheduled for April 16th. The diverse lineup includes RAGE IN HEAVEN (1941) with Robert Montgomery, Ingrid Bergman, and George Sanders; ALL THIS, AND HEAVEN TOO (1940) with Bette Davis and Charles Boyer; HEAVEN ONLY KNOWS (1947) with Robert Cummings, Brian Donlevy, and Marjorie Reynolds; and THE HEAVENLY BODY (1943) with William Powell and Hedy Lamarr.
...My favorite Fred Astaire movie is on April 18th: YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942), also starring Rita Hayworth. The magical Kern score includes "I'm Old-Fashioned" and "Dearly Beloved."
...Two films starring the late Kathryn Grayson will be shown on April 18th: THE DESERT SONG (1953) with Gordon MacRae and SHOW BOAT (1951) with Howard Keel. TCM will give Grayson a more extensive tribute this summer when she is honored with a 24-hour marathon during the August Summer Under the Stars festival.
...Shirley Temple will be honored with an eight-film birthday salute on Friday, April 23rd. I'm particularly looking forward to recording ADVENTURE IN BALTIMORE (1949), a turn-of-the-century film I've not yet seen. It costars Robert Young and Temple's then-husband, John Agar. Other titles showing that day include THE LITTLE PRINCESS (1939), KATHLEEN (1941), and John Ford's FORT APACHE (1948).
...Wednesday, April 28th, is an exciting day, a rare showing of Paramount's ARISE, MY LOVE (1944) starring Ray Milland and Claudette Colbert, directed by Mitchell Leisen. Can't wait!
...Debbie Reynolds, born on April 1st, has a belated birthday celebration with five films on April 29th. Fans of SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954) may want to check out the somewhat unusual musical ATHENA (1954), in which three of seven sisters are played by three of the "brides."
...Additionally, those of you who have Fox Movie Channel may want to be aware that OH, YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL (1949), starring June Haver and Mark Stevens, will be on on April 28th. Fox shows a relatively small number of "old" films and tends to recycle the same titles over and over, but there are usually a couple of gems each month. I'm looking forward to seeing this one for the first time; Haver is a delightful film personality.
Visit TCM for the complete schedule and lots more information about the movies they'll be showing in April.