TCM in October is just behind Summer Under the Stars as my favorite time of year because of all the Halloween films they do! Classic horror is the theme this year and there’s so many excellent horror films I wanted to include but considering I’m doing my own 31 Days of Halloween I tried to limit the scary movies as much as possible. Let’s see what’s worth watching this month!
**As always the schedule is subject to change at TCM’s discretion. All times are Pacific. **
I have Cat People on my 31 Days of Horror, a film I love to no end; and yet I was completely unaware there was a sequel! Apparently the story tells of a little girl whose imaginary friend is our main character from the first Cat People. The TCM note on this mentions it’s not a horror movie but a “moody fantasy” which I would consider the first film to be. I’m interested in comparing this with Cat People! It’s on early in the morning, 7:30am on October 5th.
Curse of the Demon just sounds fantastic. Here’s the premise direct from TCM: “An anthropologist investigates a devil worshipper who commands a deadly demon.” I’m all for a good Satanist story and this stars legendary actor Dana Andrews! The film is also directed by equally acclaimed director Jacques Tourneur so expect fantastic atmosphere and a strong story. It airs a few hours after Curse of the Cat People (11:45am) on October 5th.
There’s quite a few stories about gangster molls trying to escape the life on this month and I went with the one that boasts an actress I’m trying to learn more about, Ms. Cyd Charisse. The movie is also directed by Rebel Without a Cause director Nicholas Ray. Combine that with some expected dancing by Charisse and I doubt the story will be anything to write home about, but the dancing and acting should entice audiences. Party Girl’s on at 3:00am on October 6th.
I feel bad that I keep placing Greta Garbo movies on here and yet I still haven’t watched the ones I’ve already taped! I know Queen Christina is the must-see for Garbo fans or those with an interest. It’s ambiguous sexual tone is also pretty shocking for 1933 although I expect Queen Christina to end up with a man by the end. With director Rouben Mamoulian it’s bound to be an opulent epic…..Garbo continues to elude me. Queen Christina airs at 4:45am on October 8th.
Every Wednesday in October TCM is showing classic horror films and how did I not know that Ray Milland made a horror film?! The guy from The Lost Weekend did a horror film? I understand the connotations of doing a film in this genre were different at the time but still, it’s always surprising to see certain actors in these types of films. Milland and Ruth Hussey are a brother and sister who buy a house they fear is haunted. The premise and the actors are certainly interesting and the mini-review boasts there’s no trick ending here which I always appreciate (unless the ending sucks). The Uninvited airs, during an evening of classic horror, October 10th at 7:00pm.
I might be cheating with this one because I actually own Born Yesterday (in a comedy pack with The Awful Truth and His Girl Friday) and I haven’t watched it yet. There’s literally no good excuse because it has William Holden (my movie love) and Judy Holliday who I adored in Adam’s Rib. Either way I need to finally see this movie because it’s a classic, I’ve heard it’s extremely quotable, and did I mention the Bill Holden thing (I seem to be on a kick of late). Born Yesterday is on during an evening of American Politics on Film at 5pm on October 12th.
Okay look at that poster, how is that not a movie worth seeing? The Devil’s Bride is the second film from the Wednesday line-up of classic horror and involves Satanists and brother/sister duos. Seem to be developing a pattern here. Different than the others is the appearance of Christopher Lee making me think this is a Hammer film and I’m all for seeing a good Hammer horror film. Of course I’m assuming the sister of our duo will become the infamous Devil’s Bride? Hope that wasn’t a spoiler! The Devil’s Bride airs at 11:15pm on October 17th.
You know any film starring my girl Veronica Lake would be on this list! The Glass Key is a film of her’s I’ve been dying to see! It’s a film noir based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett that apparently inspired Akira Kurosawa’s film Yojimbo (I need to see this just to compare it to that film). I’ve also never seen any of Lake’s pairings with actor Alan Ladd and considering their status as a legendary film couple I need to show my support. You can see the fantastic Veronica Lake in The Glass Key on October 19th at 7:15pm.
Isle of the Dead is another Val Lewton production (Lewton is slowly growing as one of my favorite directors/producers) and has quite a diverse cast including the legendary Boris Karloff and Jason Robards. One of those things is not like the other in my opinion. The story involves a group of characters on an island with the fear that one of them is a vampire. Dare I say that it’s Karloff? That might be way too easy. Isle of the Dead is on at 6:00am on October 20th.
I’ve been burned before by non-musical adaptations of this film (and yet I own the Liam Neeson version of this film so go figure). Regardless, with the new musical version coming out I wanted to see an older installment of the acclaimed classic. I am a little leery of casting, I mean Michael Rennie will always be Klaatu in my opinion, but I’m interested in seeing this glossy epic in a 1950s light. Les Miserables airs at 9:00am on October 21st.
I wanted to do at least one film starring TCM’s Star of the Month Spencer Tracy. I figured I’d put up a film with his lady-love Katherine Hepburn. Without Love sounds interesting if not a little schmaltzy as it puts Hepburn and Tracy in a marriage of convenience. It also includes Lucille Ball who I adored paired up with Hepburn in Stage Door. Fingers crossed I like it more than Desk Set. Catch Without Love at 7:00pm on October 22nd.
Our lone documentary of the month (and there were several options) is Spine-Tingler: The William Castle Story. I enjoy the heck out of William Castle films, especially considering he’s one of few directors who loved the notion of the gimmick with his movies (insurance policies handed out to guests and special 3D glasses were some of his tricks). He was a showman who crafted films that had silly stories but were entertaining. The documentary will obviously explore Castle’s works, his gimmicks and the directors and other people of Hollywood who came to love his films. Spine Tingler is on October 26th at 12:15am.
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.