Welcome to this week’s installment of “TMP Recommends,” where I share five of the best flicks airing on TCM over the next seven days! There is a ton of good stuff playing this week, and it was difficult to narrow my recommendations down to just five. As always, the schedule is subject to change and these dates/times come from the US version of the TCM schedule. Happy viewing!
The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Airing on TCM: February 4, 4:00 pm EST
I’ve probably mentioned a million times that I’m not a huge fan of sports movies, but there are a handful of exceptions, and The Pride of the Yankees got added to that list when I watched it for the first time last summer. Lou Gehrig’s story is somewhat sad but also inspirational. Through more than his fair share of hardship, he persevered, remaining humble and hard-working. Gary Cooper’s performance is worthy of high praise, and the relationship between Gehrig and his wife is beautifully portrayed by Cooper and Teresa Wright.
Also available on Amazon Instant Video (Min. $2.99 rental/max. $14.99 purchase), on DVD, and on Netflix (DVD only).
Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
Airing on TCM: February 5, 6:00 am EST
The famed screen team of Myrna Loy and William Powell share the screen with the legendary Clark Gable in this romantic crime drama. Two best friends (Powell and Gable) take opposite roads in life: one becomes a DA, the other a gambler involved in organized crime. Loy is the woman who gets fed up with her criminal boyfriend and decides to marry the DA, causing a rift between the old friends. Though this was actually the first film Loy and Powell made together, with W.S. Van Dyke at the helm one may expect it to be a carbon-copy of the Thin Man mystery-comedies. That is not the case. It’s got some of the same snappy dialogue, but quite a bit more drama!
Also available on DVD, on VHS, and on Netflix (DVD only).
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Airing on TCM: February 6, 1:45 pm
Splendor in the Grass is a top-notch romantic drama. It tells a familiar tale of young lovers who let their families get in the way of their romance. Bud (Warren Beatty) is pressured by his family to go to Yale, while Deanie (Natalie Wood) faces her mother’s expectations that she’ll be a “good girl,” straight-laced and not getting mixed up with a boy who is leaving for college soon. The film critiques society’s harsh judgment of young people — young women in particular. Natalie Wood gives a powerful performance that makes the film well worth a watch, even if romance isn’t your genre.
Also available on Amazon Instant Video (Min. $2.99 rental/max. $19.99 purchase), on DVD, and on Netflix (DVD only).
The Yearling (1946)
Airing on TCM: February 8, 5:45 pm
Based on the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, this family drama stars two TMP favorites: Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman. Their characters are a mother and father who have struggled greatly: only one of their children survives, an 11-year-old son. Though Peck’s character has a strong relationship with the boy, Wyman’s character is afraid to show love to her son for fear that he’ll also die. The title comes into play when the family takes in an orphaned deer, an event which changes their lives. This film is both a sentimental tear-jerker and a story of personal transformation.
Also available on Amazon Instant Video (Min. $2.99 rental/max. $12.99 purchase) and on DVD.
Airing on TCM: February 10, 6:00 pm
I’ve often struggled to name my very favorite Cary Grant film, but after many hours of re-watching and pondering, I’d have to name Charade as the one. The film has a lot working in its favor. Grant co-stars with the charming and talented Audrey Hepburn, and the two work splendidly together. The story is fast-paced, delivering thrills along with a heavy dose of quirk. It’s an incredibly fun watch that truly never gets old, no matter how many times you view it… so I suggest tuning in for this one even if you’ve seen it before!
Also available on Amazon Instant Video (Min. $2.99 rental/max. $12.99 purchase), on DVD, and on Netflix (both DVD and Instant).