After a week of absence, “TMP Recommends” makes its triumphant return! Here are five films you should keep an eye out for on TCM this week. All times are listed in EST and come from the US version of the TCM schedule.
Nancy Goes to Rio (1950)
Airing on TCM: March 18, 8:00 PM
Ann Sothern and Jane Powell star as a mother and daughter who find themselves in love with the same man, and vying for the same stage role. A musical remake of the 1940 film It’s a Date, Nancy Goes to Rio is a fun and charming film — a little bit silly, but highly enjoyable. The performances are good, and the song-and-dance numbers are delightful.
Attack of the Puppet People (1958)
Airing on TCM: March 19, 10:45 PM
John Hoyt stars in this wonderful cheeser as a doll maker who has found a way to shrink people, turning them into little human dolls. His performance is the shining element of this strange little film. As I mentioned in my review of the film in 2012, as a little fun fact, this film also helped break open the Watergate scandal! The lookout man was reportedly watching this film and became so engrossed that he neglected his lookout duties, allowing detectives to slip right past him! So, if you’re looking to accidentally expose your own crimes, simply tune in to TCM at 10:45 pm at March 19.
Berkeley Square (1933)
Airing on TCM: March 20, 3:00 PM
Leslie Howard stars in this unique drama, which explores the concept of time travel. Howard is Peter Standish, a man who has just inherited a home in Berkeley Square, London. After discovering a diary written by one of his ancestors in the 18th century, he begins to believe that he will soon travel back in time to that century — and miraculously, his prediction comes true! Visiting the home as it existed in 1784 (occupants and all), Peter must follow the diary closely so he doesn’t accidentally change the course of history. The film lives up to its very interesting premise with a nice script that blends wit, science fiction and drama.
Airing on TCM: March 21, 10:00 PM
Lydia MacMillan (Merle Oberon) has reconnected with an old friend, who invites her to tea. When she arrives at his apartment, she finds that he’s also invited two other men from her past. As it turns out, Lydia rejected proposals from all three of the men in her younger days. The group reminisces on those years, with Lydia telling the story of all of her great romances. Lovable characters and a sweet, sentimental story make up this stellar romantic “dramedy.” Lydia is one of my very favorite romantic dramas, and it’s not available on home video, so don’t miss it on TCM this week!
Primrose Path (1940)
Airing on TCM: March 22, 6:00 AM
Ginger Rogers is Ellie May Adams, a girl who has lived a rough life. Her father is an alcoholic, and her mother and grandmother are both prostitutes. Ellie May is determined not to follow in their footsteps, and her chance at a better life looks promising when she meets Ed Wallace (Joel McCrea) at a restaurant. The two fall in love, but complications plague their romance. This film boasts an incredibly good lead performance by Ginger Rogers, a plot that takes a few unexpected turns, and a little bit of melodrama. I marked this film an “instant favorite” when I discovered it in 2012, and I love it more with each re-watch.