This is the month of syrupy Christmas specials and movies. For every classic, such as A Charlie Brown Christmas, or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, there will be about 20 horribly lame attempts at creating new classics. In between all these specials, regular shows on the broadcast networks go on hiatus, and the cable networks new seasons don’t begin until next month.
What’s a couch potato to do?
Turner Classic Movies is putting on a month of GREAT stuff. First, it’s Frank Capra month. You’ll be able to see some of his movies that are not It’s A Wonderful Life. They air on Monday nights during the month.
Wednesdays are Humphrey Bogart days, and this coming Wednesday (Dec 16) is a beaut. During the day you can see some of his early gangster films, and his later WWII patriotic films, but in the evening you’ll be able to catch some of his very best movies: The Maltese Falcon (“when you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it“) , Casablanca (“of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine“), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (“nobody puts one over on Fred C. Dobbs“), and The African Queen (“there ain’t nothing so complicated as the inside of a torpedo“).
And on New Years Eve, they’ll be showing a Thin Man marathon, and if you just can’t stand another Christmas show, there’ll be a Sherlock Holmes marathon beginning on the evening of Christmas day. Most of the movies will be the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce ones, but they’ll also show The Hound of The Baskervilles, starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee — letter boxed, no less! (Not to be confused with the movie of the same name starring Richard Greene and Basil Rathbone, airing earlier that evening.)
If we have to watch classics in December, then it might as well be some good ones. Check the network’s program listing here.