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.
Looking back with the benefit of a half-century’s worth of media history, the original run of The Twilight Zone seems like it was a breeding ground for soon-to-be-famous stars: it featured early-career appearances from actors like Robert Duvall, William Shatner, Martin Landau, and many more. But The Twilight Zone also provided a home for well-established film actors to do something a little different than their typical bread-and-butter movie roles. That’s certainly the case for a Season 3 episode called “Once Upon a Time,” which aired in 1961 and starred one of silent film’s greatest stars: Buster Keaton.
After last month’s “break” from rarities, with a focus on Oscar’s best, brightest, and, logically, most easily available, TCM’s interestingly obscure programming returns in March with a whole slew of rare musicals. This includes several of my remaining That’s Entertainment entries, so I’m very excited to check a few more off of my list thanks to my DVR. There are also a few easily acquired That’s Entertainment titles (Anchors Aweigh, Gigi, and so on) airing this month, if you’ve missed any of those and need to catch up.
Well, I figured this was going to happen at one point—due to TCM’s exceptional “31 Days of Oscar” scheduling, we arrive at this month with only one musical that isn’t widely available on DVD. So, I’m also putting together a list of my favorites that they’re airing this month, which are worth another watch even if you already own the blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo set.
As my New Year’s resolution, I’m newly committed to finishing my That’s Entertainment project (that is, watching the original, full-length films from which That’s Entertainment was compiled). I’m down to 23, 8 of which are available on DVD from Netflix; 4 of which are currently rentable on Warner Archive Instant; and 4 more of which will be airing on TCM in the next couple months. Considering for a bit of overlap in those categories, that leaves only 8 unaccounted for, but I’ll start with those first 15.
TCM rounds out the end of the year with a spectacular lineup, thanks in part to its choice of Fred Astaire as December’s Star of the Month, which was, of course, a fantastic decision.