Welcome to this week’s installment of TMP Recommends! Here are five films you should be keeping an eye out for on TCM this week, if you’re one of the unlucky few who are not headed to Hollywood for TCM Film Festival activities. (It’s okay — I’m not going, either. I’ve never been able to go. Let’s start a support group, cry together, and continue watching TCM at home.)
All times are listed in EST and based on the US version of the TCM schedule, as usual.
A Letter to Three Wives (1948)
Airing on TCM: March 25, 8:00 pm
“All of them wondered, while one of them wandered!,” in this romantic drama of letters and disloyalty. Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, and Ann Sothern star as the three wives in the title. Each of these women receives a letter from Addie Ross (Celeste Holm), in which Addie states that she has left town with one of their husbands. Effective performances all around, and this film has a fantastic script (adapted by Vera Caspary from John Klempner’s novel, and screenwritten by Joseph L. Mankiewicz). A highly engrossing story is told as all three of the wives react to the letters.
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)
Airing on TCM: March 27, 1:00 pm
One of the lesser-discussed pictures from the filmography of the great Vivien Leigh, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone is a poignant exploration of an aging actress’ anxieties and loneliness. The film has its problems, the largest of which is the miscasting of Warren Beatty as a younger man that Leigh’s character meets and begins a relationship with while in Rome. However, it’s still a very good watch: dramatic, emotional, and with a very strong cast aside from Beatty. Recommended for fans of tragic, somewhat suspenseful dramas.
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Airing on TCM: March 29, 2:15 pm
One of the best rom-coms of the 1950s, How to Marry a Millionaire features a stellar cast, unmatched in charm. Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable star as three models looking for love and trying to make ends meet in the big city. They decide to rent a swanky apartment from a man who is running to Europe to avoid the IRS, in hopes that this lavish setting will help them attract rich husbands. The premise sounds shallow, but the script is great, and the central cast has wonderful chemistry.
Granny Get Your Gun (1940)
Airing on TCM: March 30, 7:00 pm
We’ve seen a million mystery-comedies starring witty couples or accident-prone detectives… but Granny Get Your Gun, as the title implies, offers something totally different to the genre: an elderly woman getting sleuthy! May Robson is wonderful as the “granny” in question. She doesn’t hesitate to take matters into her own hands when her granddaughter is accused of murder. She sets out to clear her granddaughter of the crime. Tons of fun!
Broadcast News (1987)
Airing on TCM: March 30, 10:15 pm
As a former student of journalism, who dreamed for years of working in the fast-paced and stressful environment of the newsroom, I still have a fondness for movies about the field. And movies about journalism, there are plenty! Broadcast News is one of the absolute best. I discovered this film on Netflix last year and it was an instant favorite. As I put it then, “Great dialogue, great characters, great story, great ending. I loved every minute of this film.” Though it falls outside of the “classic” period, it’s a must-watch!