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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:27 PM

TCM Schedule for Thursday, November 22 -- What's on Tonight: Family Comedies

While you're fighting off the effects of tryptophan overload, TCM is offering a day of family movies. In prime time, they are family comedies based on best-selling books, but some of the daylight films are absolute tearjerkers, including Lassie Come Home (1943), Little Women (1949), and, especially, The Yearling (1946). Break out the hankies and enjoy!

6:30 AM -- God's Little Acre (1958)
A dirt-farmer lets his family fall apart while he hunts for his grandfather's buried gold.
Dir: Anthony Mann
Cast: Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Buddy Hackett
BW-118 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

Film debut of Tina Louise, Ginger of Gilligan's Island.

8:45 AM -- Anne Of Green Gables (1934)
A young orphan goes to stay with elderly relatives in the country.
Dir: George Nicholls Jr.
Cast: Anne Shirley, Tom Brown, O. P. Heggie
BW-78 mins, TV-G, CC,

The lead actress changed her screen name from Dawn O'Day to Anne Shirley after playing the lead character of the same name in this film.

10:15 AM -- Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)
A frantic radio producer must find the perfect Little Miss America for an advertiser's national program and discovers her in his country neighbor.
Dir: Allan Dwan
Cast: Shirley Temple, Randolph Scott, Jack Haley
BW-81 mins, TV-G,

Bill Robinson visited Shirley Temple at an exclusive and restricted hotel to rehearse the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" number for this film. Temple later recalled, "I asked Bill what cottage he was staying in. He told me, 'I'm staying in the chauffeur quarters above the garage.' It wasn't until years later that I understood why."

12:00 PM -- Lassie Come Home (1943)
A faithful collie undertakes an arduous journey to return to her lost family.
Dir: Fred M. Wilcox
Cast: Roddy McDowall, Donald Crisp, Dame May Whitty
C-89 mins, TV-G, CC,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Color -- Leonard Smith

Elizabeth Taylor replaced Maria Flynn for the role of Priscilla. Some sources say Flynn was afraid of the dog on the set. Others say that she grew taller than Roddy McDowall or that the strong Technicolor lighting caused her eyes to water. In any case, production was halted. The producer was walking the 600 block of North Foothill Road in Beverly Hills doing his nightly patrol as an air raid warden when he met Francis Taylor, who patrolled the 700 block. Knowing he and Sara wanted to get their daughter into the movies, he asked him to bring Elizabeth to the studio. There she was introduced to Lassie and the production resumed.

1:45 PM -- The Yearling (1946)
A Florida boy's pet deer threatens the family farm.
Dir: Clarence Brown
Cast: Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr.
C-128 mins, TV-G, CC,

Won Oscars for Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Color -- Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse and Edwin B. Willis, and Best Cinematography, Color -- Charles Rosher, Leonard Smith and Arthur E. Arling

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Gregory Peck, Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Jane Wyman, Best Director -- Clarence Brown, Best Film Editing -- Harold F. Kress, and Best Picture

Jane Wyman's daughter refused to speak to her for two weeks after she saw the film.

4:00 PM -- The Secret Garden (1949)
An orphaned girl changes the lives of those she encounters at a remote estate.
Dir: Fred M. Wilcox
Cast: Margaret O'Brien, Herbert Marshall, Dean Stockwell
C-92 mins, TV-G, CC,

In this film, Manchester-born George Zucco, the slimy mad doctor or smooth-talking villain of so many horror and mystery films - Prof. Moriarty in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; Charlie Chan in Charlie Chan in Honolulu; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Mummy's Hand; The Mummy's Tomb; The Mad Ghoul; Voodoo Man; etc. - has one of his few sympathetic roles as the kindly Dr. Fortescue.

5:45 PM -- Little Women (1949)
The four daughters of a New England family fight for happiness during and after the Civil War.
Dir: Mervyn LeRoy
Cast: June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien
C-122 mins, TV-G, CC,

Won an Oscar for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color -- Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse, Edwin B. Willis and Jack D. Moore

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Color -- Robert H. Planck and Charles Edgar Schoenbaum

The basket that Margaret O'Brien carries around in this movie is the same basket that her Meet Me in St. Louis co-star Judy Garland carried in The Wizard of Oz. Both Oz and Little Women were produced by Mervyn LeRoy.


8:00 PM -- Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)
A pioneering efficiency expert tests his theories on his large family.
Dir: Walter Lang
Cast: Clifton Webb, Jeanne Crain, Myrna Loy
C-86 mins, TV-G, CC,

The big house the family moves to in Montclair is the same house set originally built for Judy Garland's family in Meet Me in St. Louis. Fox didn't have an appropriate standing outdoor set so they rented time on the "St. Louis Street" on MGM lot #2.

9:30 PM -- Sitting Pretty (1948)
An efficiency expert tries to prove his methods apply to child rearing.
Dir: Walter Lang
Cast: Robert Young, Maureen O'Hara, Clifton Webb
BW-84 mins, TV-G, CC,

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Clifton Webb

Based on the novel Belvedere by Gwen Davenport.

11:00 PM -- Room For One More (1952)
A family with three children takes in troubled orphans.
Dir: Norman Taurog
Cast: Cary Grant, Betsy Drake, Lurene Tuttle
BW-95 mins, TV-G, CC,

Based on the true-life story of the Rose family, by Anna Perrot Rose, the character played by Betsy Drake.

12:45 AM -- Please Don't Eat The Daisies (1960)
A drama critic and his family try to adjust to life in the country.
Dir: Charles Walters
Cast: Doris Day, David Niven, Janis Paige
C-111 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format

Beginning her feature-film career portraying Katharine Hepburn's mother in Little Women, Spring Byington closed her movie years playing Doris Day's mother in this film.

2:45 AM -- Life With Father (1947)
A straitlaced turn-of-the-century father presides over a family of boys and the mother who really rules the roost.
Dir: Michael Curtiz
Cast: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor
C-118 mins, TV-G, CC,

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- William Powell, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color -- Robert M. Haas and George James Hopkins, Best Cinematography, Color -- J. Peverell Marley and William V. Skall, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture -- Max Steiner

The play's writers, Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, and Clarence Day's widow were on the set and were given veto power on all aspects of the film. According to author David Chierichetti, Mrs. Day approved Irene Dunne's characterization and even lent some jewelry that belonged to the real Vinnie.

5:00 AM -- Father's Little Dividend (1951)
In this sequel to Father of the Bride, a doting father faces a series of comic trials when his daughter has her first child.
Dir: Vincente Minnelli
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor
BW-81 mins, TV-G, CC,

The film was shot in 22 days.

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