Welcome to this week’s installment of TMP Recommends, the series where I give you five films that you should keep an eye out for on TCM over the next seven days! As usual, all times are listed in EST and come from the US version of the TCM schedule. Happy viewing!
The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953)
Airing on TCM: September 9, 4:45 pm
This film is a recent discovery for me, as I watched it for the first time during TCM’s Summer Under the Stars programming last month. Fans of Debbie Reynolds will love this silly-but-sweet flick about college students finding love on campus, despite their school’s very serious attitude toward education, and the student motto of “Learn, Learn, Learn — Work, Work, Work.” The cast, in addition to Reynolds, features Bobby Van and Bob Fosse. A lightweight but enjoyable musical.
The Gunfighter (1950)
Airing on TCM: September 10, 12:00 am
This film emerged victorious from the Lindsey Tries to Appreciate Westerns series here on TMP, one of the most-appreciated films watched for the project. Gregory Peck stars as a reformed gunslinger who has come to a small town in hopes of building a relationship with his son and reconnecting with his son’s mother. Unfortunately, in his gunslingin’ days he became somewhat of a legend, and it’ll be difficult to step out of the shadow of that reputation to live a normal life. The Gunfighter is well-scripted, well-acted, and just a great film all-around.
Miracle in the Rain (1956)
Airing on TCM: September 11, 6:00 pm
If you’re feeling weepy this week, tune in for the tear-jerking Miracle in the Rain, starring Jane Wyman and Van Johnson. Though released in the mid-1950s, this film feels every bit the ’40s wartime drama, which lends a sense of honesty and credibility to the World War II-set script. Shot on location in NYC, the film makes great use of its setting, as well as its actors.
Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
Airing on TCM: September 13, 12:00 pm
Jack Lemmon and Kim Novak give great performances in this charming, funny tale of a witch who casts a love spell on her neighbor. It may not be a knee-slapping, rib-cracking comedy, but it’s still a lot of fun to watch. Novak’s leading man here (the neighbor in question) is Jimmy Stewart, so the film is also worth a watch for fans of Vertigo, to see a re-teaming of these actors.
My Love Came Back (1940)
Airing on TCM: September 14, 7:45 am
Olivia de Havilland stars in this delightful rom-com as a violinist struggling to pay her way through school at the Brissac Academy of Music, until she receives some unexpected financial help from a wealthy, older man with a little crush on her. Olivia is wonderful in the leading role, and the supporting cast is strong as well — including Jane Wyman (in one of two films she and Olivia made together) and Eddie Albert. Aside from the performances, the film is well-paced and includes nicely-incorporated classical and swing music to get the viewer’s toes tapping.
On a little side note: I can’t recommend 1934’s Evergreen as I haven’t seen it… but I’d love to recommend it. The film stars Jessie Matthews, a completely underrated song-and-dance gal of British cinema fame. I adored her in It’s Love Again, First a Girl, and Sailing Along. I’ll be tuning in for Evergreen on September 11 at 8:00 pm, and you should, too!