Welcome to TMP Recommends, the bi-weekly series in which I share classic film recommendations from the TCM schedule and available through streaming services. This time around we’ve got a bit of McCrea, Lena Horne’s film debut, a Vivien Leigh drama, and one of Marilyn Monroe’s best roles. On to the recommendations!
Sullivan’s Travels (1942) – Airing on TCM on July 8 at 8:30 am EST
A director of fun but fluffy films decides it’s time for him to get serious. He wants to make a dramatic picture about social issues as his next project. To do the topic justice, he decides he needs some direct experience, and sets off on foot with raggedy clothes and only a dime in his pocket. Brilliantly written and directed by Preston Sturges, this film stars the fantastic Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake.
The Duke is Tops (1938) – Airing on TCM on June 30 at 5:00 pm EST
Lena Horne makes her film debut in this story of a singer who has found minor success with producer Duke Davis, who is also her boyfriend. When she gets the chance to go to New York and become a genuine star, Duke is willing to give up his show and their relationship in order to let her live her dream. A sweet, lovely-to-watch musical.
Dark Journey (1937) – Available on Hulu
Vivien Leigh plays spy in this film, a double agent who finds herself falling in love with the man she’s supposed to be investigating. A fascinating story with a stellar lead performance by our gal Viv.
Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) – Available on Netflix
Marilyn Monroe is given one of her most interesting roles in this film, which follows one night in the life of an emotionally scarred woman hired to babysit for a wealthy couple at a hotel. When she meets a pilot who reminds her of her deceased boyfriend, the evening takes a dark turn.