Welcome to this week’s installment of TMP Recommends, 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!
Dangerous When Wet (1953)
Airing on TCM: June 24, 12:45 pm
This fun musical-comedy tells the story of a fitness-loving Arkansas family, obsessed with swimming. Each day begins with a swim in the lake for the Higgins bunch. When a Liquapep promoter comes to town and learns of the family’s past swimming feats, he sees the opportunity for a major publicity stunt, and tries to convince the family that they should swim the English Channel. The always-delightful Esther Williams stars as a daughter of the family and has a cute swim routine accompanied by cartoon Tom and Jerry. Though slightly slow in pace, Dangerous When Wet is still an enjoyable, light watch.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
Airing on TCM: June 26, 6:00 am
Based on a novel by James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice tells the story of a drifter (John Garfield) who stops at Cora Smith’s (Lana Turner) diner and ends up working for her. The drifter and Cora start having an affair… despite the fact that she has a husband (Cecil Kellaway), the owner of the diner. What Cora really wants is to take over the diner and ditch her alcoholic, much older husband… so the lovers cook up a plan to make that happen. John Garfield and Lana Turner make a stellar, sinister pair in this steamy noir, which is the best adaptation (in my opinion) of Cain’s novel.
Airing on TCM: June 26, 2:45 pm
Joan Crawford gives a striking performance as a woman who gets placed in a psychiatric ward, under the care of Dr. Willard (Stanley Ridges). She opens up to Dr. Willard and the story of her life’s downward spiral is told in flashbacks. Everything about this film is great: Joan’s performance, the use of flashbacks, the lighting and cinematography, and Van Heflin’s supporting performance. A fair amount of tension is built, the film bolstered by a sense of mystery. One of my favorite films from Joan’s filmography!
Dial M for Murder (1954)
Airing on TCM: June 28, 2:00 pm
Alfred Hitchcock spins a twisted tale of a man plotting to have his wife murdered. His life becomes much more complicated when his plan for the “perfect” murder goes awry, and someone other than the intended victim ends up dead. In typical Hitchcock fashion, there are plenty of twists and turns. The performances are solid, and the script is great. Not one of my absolute favorites from the legendary director, but a great watch!
Auntie Mame (1958)
Airing on TCM: June 30, 8:00 pm
Auntie Mame tells the story of a woman who takes in her nephew, Patrick, after her brother passes away. The film follows several years of their lives, from Patrick’s first days living with the eccentric Mame to his adulthood. This film is loads of fun to watch, thanks in large part to the stellar performance of Rosalind Russell — one of her best performances (and that’s a high compliment, considering how many great performances she gave)! The costumes and bright Technicolor photography are also delightful.