Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray exchange grimaces (perhaps they were wagering on who could do the funnier one) in this still from "True Confession," oner of the few movies where Fred wore a mustache. If you're a MacMurray fan -- and a good many of us are -- Turner Classic Movies has good news for you: He's the channel's Star of the Month for Jnauary 2016.
Each Wednesday throughout the month, TCM will air lots and lots of MacMurray, an actor belatedly appreciated for his versatility and ability to complement nearly any star he was paired with. (And he teamed with many of the great leading ladies over the years.)
"True Confession" kicks off the whole shebang at 6 p.m. (Eastern, and note the earlier prime-time programing start!) Jan. 6, with "Swing High, Swing Low" airing at 2:15 a.m. Thursday. Already some at the TCM boards are griping about the poor print the channel will show, apparently not aware that it's the best print available. (The film is in the public domain, and a full-length 35mm print has been lost for decades -- strange, since it was Paramount's biggest moneymaker for all of '37. The 16mm segments you'll see are from director Mitchell Leisen's own print.)
While those films are welcome, to me the highlight of the month comes a week later, when all four of MacMurray's collaborations with Barbara Stanwyck will be shown in succession (albeit not in chronological order). Four films, four different genres teaming two of classic Hollywood's most versatile stars.
Things kick off at 6 (Eastern) with the 1944 film noir gem "Double Indemnity"...
...the Douglas Sirk drama "There's Always Tomorrow" at 8, the Leisen-directed romantic comedy "Remember the Night" at 9:45 and the western "The Moonlighter" at 11:30. (MacMurray isn't often thought of as a western star, but he made several.)
Here's the entire schedule:
Whether as heroes or as heels, MacMurray's artistry is always worth watching. Hope many of you will do precisely that on Wednesdays in January.