Rare Musicals on TCM – February 2015

Short and sweet this month, though not for any lack of musicals—within a span of about a week alone, you can catch An American in Paris, Funny Girl, or Fame on TCM! The flip side is that the “rarities” are a little scarcer for my purposes here, due to the annual Oscar history celebration. Happily, that means most of the musicals airing this month are available for your viewing pleasure in just about every format, but here are a few to keep an eye out for if you so choose. Since we’re in the Oscar spirit, I’ve also included each film’s relevant award nominations or wins.

robertaTuesday February 3
5:45am / Roberta (1935)
*Nominated for Best Original Song*
Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott star as a princess/designer and football player, respectively. An Astaire and Rogers team-up (albeit in supporting roles) elevates this one to an essential, as well as classic songs like “I Won’t Dance,” “Lovely to Look At,” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” by Kern and Hornbach. Also a mid-movie fashion show!!!

Wednesday February 4
7:15am / Good News (1947)
*Nominated for Best Original Song*
Classic college musical starring smartypants June Allyson and Peter Lawford as the football star who loves her. Includes “The Varsity Drag,” featured in That’s Entertainment. (This one isn’t THAT rare, but the option to rent it on Netflix recently disappeared… which is my main criterion.)

Thursday February 5
5:45pm / Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) [my review] *Nominated for Best Original Song and Best Score*
Goofy retelling of Robin Hood in the form of 1920s Chicago gangsters, by way of the Rat Pack (plus Bing Crosby). They each get a good song or two—pretty routine at this point.

tomthumbSunday February 8
6:30am / tom thumb (1958)
*Won for Best Special Effects*
Russ Tamblyn stars as the titular tiny tom (too small for capital letters, even), who must face off against a villainous Peter Sellers, despite the size disadvantage.

Wednesday February 18
1:00pm / The Singing Nun (1966)
*Nominated for Best Score*
Cheery if corny biography of the real-life Singing Nun (“Dominque, nique, nique…”), portrayed here by Debbie Reynolds. Ricardo Montalbán, Greer Garson, and Agnes Moorehead round out the convent.

I totally left the January 2015 post languishing in my drafts, by the way—so hopefully anyone who actually reads these didn’t miss one of their favorites. :)

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