Welcome to this week’s installment of TMP Recommends, a series in which I share five films you should be keeping 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!
The More the Merrier (1943)
Airing on TCM: June 17, 10:00 am
The impact of the war is felt on the homefront, and nowhere more than in Washington, where residents are facing a housing shortage. Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur) is looking for a roommate, and retiree Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn) is looking for a room. Though initially reluctant to rent half of her apartment to a man, Connie agrees to give Benjamin the room. Things get complicated when Benjamin invites a third roommate, handsome sergeant Joe Carter (Joel McCrea), to move in. You can’t go wrong with this lovable trio of charismatic players. The More the Merrier succeeds thanks to the chemistry of the cast, living up to all of the fun that can be expected from an “unlikely roommates” premise.
Mystery Street (1950)
Airing on TCM: June 19, 9:45 pm
When the skeletal remains of a woman are found on a beach, Lieutenant Peter Morales and Detective Tim Sharkey are on the case. They have no clues to work from, other than the bones themselves. Will they be able to solve the mystery with so little evidence? You’ll find out in Mystery Street, a forgotten-but-interesting film that gives the viewer a peek into the world of mid-century forensic investigation. Quirky side characters add a bit of fun to the film, though the focus remains largely on the ins-and-outs of the investigation. This film is definitely worth a watch for those interested in forensics or crime procedurals.
Father of the Bride (1950)
Airing on TCM: June 21, 2:15 pm
Elizabeth Taylor is getting hitched in 1950’s Father of the Bride, much to the distress of her easily-aggravated, worry-wart father (portrayed by Spencer Tracy). This classic tale of parenthood and American family life is a great watch. Tracy gives a wonderful performance, with the film’s appeal bolstered even further by a very witty script and Vincente Minnelli’s direction. I grew up watching the 1991 remake, which I adore, but this version is just as enjoyable!
Horror of Dracula (1958)
Airing on TCM: June 22, 9:30 am
TCM will celebrate the life and career of the legendary Christopher Lee (1922 – 2015) on June 22. Included in the line-up is one of my personal favorite Christopher Lee films, Horror of Dracula. Lee, of course, is Dracula himself, joined by Peter Cushing as Van Helsing. Both actors give great performances, and the film oozes stylish suspense. Giving this a re-watch (or discovering it for the first time!) is a great way to pay tribute to the man who brought us many scares, intimidating villains, and brilliant metal songs (including a cover of “My Way”). He will be greatly missed.
Airing on TCM: June 23, 8:00 pm
Dames tells the story of a millionaire who believes himself to be of superior morals. He wants to save the country from moral decline, beginning with New York City, the “hotbed of vice.” But scandal may be closer to home than he realizes, as some of his family members have become involved with the immoral world of the stage. With wonderful Busby Berkeley song-and-dance scenes, a fast pace, and a witty script, Dames is a real delight to watch. The stellar cast includes Zasu Pitts, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, and the always-wonderful Joan Blondell (pictured above).