News in a nutshell: The first films screening at the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival are announced, Susan Sarandon narrates a documentary on Hedy Lamarr, getTV prepares for Noirvember, and what’s new on DVD and Blu.
It’s hard to think that in five months it’ll be time for the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival! The festival theme is Moving Pictures, movies that move one to laughter, tears, or, in some cases, maybe anger. The first six films have been announced, two of which are receiving their worldwide premieres after being restored. The Marx Brothers’ Horse Feathers and Marlene Dietrich’s Shanghai Express (both 1932) have received the restoration treatment. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), The King and I (1956), and The Song of Bernadette (1943) will also be screened. The theme of Moving Pictures certainly gives the TCM programmers a broader palette of films to work with, and the spate of pre-1960s titles will appease those disappointed by the network’s more contemporary offerings at the festival this year. Personally, I’m a bit indifferent to most of these so far. It’s a Wonderful Life is an excellent choice that will command a wide audience, but I’m excited for The Song of Bernadette, which readers will recall was one of my favorite new discoveries awhile back. The 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival takes place in Hollywood April 28th-May 1st with passes going on sale on November 19th. You can find full event information at the festival website.
If you saw the Google Doodle at the beginning of the week then you knew about actress/inventor Hedy Lamarr’s 101st birthday. Variety is now reporting that actress Susan Sarandon will be producing a documentary on the actress, entitled Hedy: The Untold Story of Actress and Inventor Hedy Lamarr. (I’m unsure where it was reported, but I heard Sarandon would be narrating; Variety doesn’t mention this.) The doc will be directed by Alexandra Dean and will air as part of PBS’ “American Masters” series.
getTV joins the legions of writers celebrating Noirvember, the month of noir, with their Thursday line-up honoring the dark and shadowy. Films scheduled to air as part of Noirvember include In a Lonely Place (1950), Nightfall (1957), and Johnny O’Clock (1947). Also, for Thanksgiving, the network will do an 11-film block of 1950s noir. The month’s full schedule is up on their website.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Olive Films: Olive announced three titles receiving their DVD and Blu-ray debuts in January; Christmas Eve (1947), a four-film compendium of war documentaries directed by John Huston entitled Let There Be Light, and the 1915 Michael Curtiz silent film, The Undesirable will all be released on January 19th.
Warner Archive: Two new Blu-rays arrive from Warner Archive this week – Humphrey Bogart’s Passage to Marseilles (1944) and the star-studded musical, Deep in My Heart (1954). Also out this week are a cadre of murder mysteries: Death on the Diamond and Murder in the Private Car (both 1934), Murder in the Fleet (1935), and The Strangler (1964). All can be purchased on-demand via Warner Archive.