Welcome to TMP Recommends, the series where I share five films you should keep an eye out for on TCM over the next seven days. All times are listed in EST and come from the US version of the TCM schedule. Happy viewing!
Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
Airing on TCM: April 29, 7:30 am
Gregory Peck stars in this Elia Kazan-directed film about a writer covering a story on anti-Semitism for a national news magazine. While he is at first unsure of how to tackle the story, he decides to go “undercover,” pretending to be Jewish. He quickly learns that there is no shortage of material, as it takes very little time for him to begin experiencing discrimination and bigotry. Quite daring at the time of its release, the film may seem quite tame now, but its message is still very important.
Johnny Belinda (1948)
Airing on TCM: April 30, 3:00 pm
Jane Wyman gives an Oscar-winning performance as a deaf woman living on a farm, who is an outcast in her community. A doctor, played by Lew Ayres, helps her learn to communicate through sign language. The film’s subject matter is handled tastefully and with sensitivity. Wyman’s Oscar was certainly well-deserved, as she carries the film with a very powerful performance.
Goodbye Again (1933)
Airing on TCM: May 1, 9:00 am
I reviewed this film just last month, and I haven’t been able to stop recommending it since. Warren William stars as a best-selling literary sensation who is pursued by an ex-girlfriend (Genevieve Tobin). The woman is married, but is sure she was the inspiration for his latest novel. Meanwhile, the writer’s secretary, Anne (Joan Blondell), tries her darnedest to be a good influence and keep him on the right path. The script is well-written and steadily paced, which along with the great performances gives the film high energy. It’s a delightful watch!
The Richest Girl in the World (1934)
Airing on TCM: May 1, 11:30 am
Miriam Hopkins stars as Dorothy, the world’s wealthiest gal. What she has in dollars and cents, she lacks in the love department. Her fiance has decided to break off their engagement because he’s fallen in love with someone else. What’s a girl to do when she’s lost her love? Find a new one, of course. But to avoid picking up a man who is only interested in her bank account, Dorothy goes undercover, borrowing the identity of her secretary, Sylvia. Quick-paced, cute, and with plenty of laughs, The Richest Girl in the World is a delightful watch with a strong cast. (The always-wonderful Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, Reginald Denny, and others make supporting appearances.)
Of Mice and Men (1939)
Airing on TCM: May 3, 10:00 am
Adaptations of highly-regarded literature are usually a bit hit-or-miss, but if there’s one thing classic Hollywood excelled at in this regard, it’s adapting Steinbeck. It would be difficult to top John Ford’s 1940 version of The Grapes of Wrath, which is quite possibly my all-time favorite film adaptation, but Of Mice and Men comes close. The cast is perfectly-selected, with Lon Chaney, Jr. giving one of the greatest performances of his career. Whether you’re a Steinbeck fanatic or just a classic Hollywood buff, this one is definitely worth tuning in for.