November 2nd, 2011

carole lombard 03
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Sail away (cinematically)

That's Carole Lombard with Lyle Talbot in a still from her 1932 Columbia vehicle "No More Orchids," part of which was set aboard an ocean liner. With Turner Classic Movies holding its inaugural cruise next month (, the channel has decided to go "at sea" this month, running an array of classic films (21 in all) dealing with nautical voyages. They'll run in prime time each Thursday.

While none of Lombard's films are included (had "The Princess Comes Across" been available, it might have been considered), her first husband, William Powell, and good friend Kay Francis (teaming for the sixth time) can be seen in 1932's "One Way Passage," a shipboard romance of two doomed lovers that won Robert Lord an Academy Award for best original screenplay. Perhaps Powell's best film during his tenure at Warners, it will run at 9:30 p.m. (Eastern) Nov. 10. Here's the movie's trailer:

The genres featured range from musicals (1948's "Romance On The High Seas," which set sail on Doris Day's movie career and kicks off the series at 8 p.m. Thursday)... comedies (the Marx Brothers are featured in "Monkey Business" and "A Night At The Opera" -- with that famous stateroom scene -- on Nov. 24)... more sobering fare ("Ship Of Fools," which would be Vivien Leigh's final film, with a memorable performance by Michael Dunn, airs Nov. 17).

To learn more, along with the complete schedule, go to|445518/Introduction-to-All-Aboard.html.

To close, Randy Newman and one of his finest, most sardonic compositions, reminding us that long voyages at sea weren't always benevolent. Here's a live performance in Berlin in 1994 of his slave trade tale, "Sail Away":

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