There are some nice treats this month on TCM, musical-wise, including some fantastic mainstream stuff both on TCM’s “Essential” birthday celebration (April 14), as well as a full two days celebrating MGM’s 90th anniversary (April 17-18). On the more obscure side, the programming also includes some rare treats featuring stars like Eleanor Powell, Nelson Eddy, Donald O’Connor, Leslie Caron, and more. For my That’s Entertainment-ing purposes, I’m also pleased to see Rosalie will be airing this month, as it’s one of the few remaining titles I’ve yet to track down.
8:45am / Honolulu (1939)
A Prince-and-the-Pauper-esque tale in which a movie star (Robert Young) switches roles with a Hawaiian plantation owner (also Robert Young). The movie also features Eleanor Powell doing a HULA TAP and George Burns and Gracie Allen in their final collaboration.
6:00am / April Showers (1948)
Behind-the-scenes vaudeville drama, starring Jack Carson and Ann Sothern.
11:30am / Four Jacks and a Jill (1942)
Ah, the 1940s’ most confusingly common naming convention strikes again. I’d convinced myself I’d seen this, but then realized I was thinking of Four Jills in a Jeep. Nope. This one stars Ray Bolger as a nightclub singer, with Desi Arnaz providing support as a king exiled from his home country now working as a taxi driver.
6:00am / Rosalie (1937)* Featured in That’s Entertainment
Another That’s Entertainment entry to check off my list! Nelson Eddy with [dreamy sigh] Eleanor Powell, and Cole Porter score.
8:30am / She’s Back on Broadway (1953)
An actress whose star is fading in Hollywood attempts a return to Broadway—and the man who discovered her. Virginia Mayo and Gene Nelson.
10:30am / I Love Melvin (1953)
I audibly “OOH’d!” three times while reading the cast list for this one: Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, and Una Merkel. O’Connor plays a photographer’s assistant who slightly exaggerates his influence at his magazine to chorus girl Reynolds.
12:00am / Go, Johnny, Go! (1959)
Musician-packed film about a talent scout searching for the next big thing, who finds it in “Johnny Melody.” Features Chuck Berry, Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran, The Flamingos, and more…
11:00am / Muscle Beach Party (1963)
12:45pm / Bikini Beach (1964)
2:30pm / Pajama Party (1964)
4:00pm / Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
6:00pm / How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965)
Frankie and Annette beach day! The bigger question, perhaps: WHY AREN’T THESE AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX, HUH?
10:00pm / The Glass Slipper (1955)
Musical adaptation of Cinderella starring Leslie Caron, part of a day of fairy-tale primetime programming on TCM.
11:45am / Duchess of Idaho (1950)
Esther Williams tries to help her lovesick roommate but ends up with Van Johnson on her heels. This was, sadly, Eleanor Powell’s last film.
3:15pm / Nancy Goes to Rio (1950)
Leaving the exact TCM summary because it sounds perfectly Mommie Dearest: “Mother-and-daughter singers compete for the same role and the same man.” Remake of It’s a Date, which is playing… later this day! (see below) Mother and daughter are played here by Ann Sothern and Jane Powell.
12:00am / Holiday in Mexico (1946)
Jane Powell plays an ambassador’s daughter who falls in love with a bandleader in ol’ Mexico.
2:15am / It’s a Date (1940)
Same as above, only this the mother and daughter are Kay Francis and Deanna Durbin. This version is one of Robert Osborne’s picks.