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Thu Apr 25, 2013, 11:30 PM

TCM Schedule for Friday, April 26, 2013 -- Friday Night Spotlight: A Woman's World

It looks like we are having a morning of films written by Anita Loos (born on 26 April 1888, Mount Shasta, Sissons, California), and an afternoon of films featuring Guy Kibbee (who specialized in playing jovial, but not particularly bright, businessmen and government officials). And in prime time, we have the last installment of April's theme of a woman's world, featuring women with man troubles. Oh, well, don't expect any films that pass the Bechdel test! Enjoy!

7:30 AM -- Blondie Of The Follies (1932)
Two showgirls on the road from rags to riches compete for the same man.
Dir: Edmund Goulding
Cast: Marion Davies, Robert Montgomery, Billie Dove
BW-91 mins, TV-G,

For the most part, this was Billie Dove's last film. She retired to raise a family and was reportedly disgruntled over the "behind the scenes" interference from Randolph Hearst over the amount of time alloted to her on film.

9:15 AM -- The Barbarian (1933)
An Arab prince masquerades as a tour guide to court a beautiful American.
Dir: Sam Wood
Cast: Ramon Novarro, Myrna Loy, Reginald Denny
BW-84 mins, TV-PG,

Myrna Loy wrote in her autobiography that she was wearing a flesh-tinted body suit in the supposed nude scene.

10:45 AM -- Hold Your Man (1933)
A hard-boiled babe and a con man wear down each other's rough edges.
Dir: Sam Wood
Cast: Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Stuart Erwin
BW-87 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Third of five movie pairings of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.

12:15 PM -- The Girl From Missouri (1934)
A gold-digging chorus girl tries to keep her virtue while searching for a rich husband.
Dir: Jack Conway
Cast: Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore, Franchot Tone
BW-72 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Director Sam Wood shot additional scenes, uncredited.

1:30 PM -- Biography Of A Bachelor Girl (1935)
A portrait painter is reunited with a lost love when her upcoming memoirs threaten his political career.
Dir: Edward H. Griffith
Cast: Ann Harding, Robert Montgomery, Edward Everett Horton
BW-83 mins, TV-G,

The line "You used to be quite a nice boy - fun occasionally" prompted a complaint letter to the Hays office from the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae, the members of which heard "You used to be quite a nice boy - fornicationally."

3:00 PM -- Mama Steps Out (1937)
A dizzy society matron runs wild on the Riviera.
Dir: George B. Seitz
Cast: Guy Kibbee, Alice Brady, Betty Furness
BW-65 mins, TV-G,

The original play, "Ada Beats the Drum," opened in New York on 8 May 1930, with Mary Boland and George Barbier in the roles of Ada and Leonard Cuppy, the roles played in this film by Alice Brady and Guy Kibbee.

4:15 PM -- Sunday Punch (1942)
A young girl copes with a boarding house full of boxers.
Dir: David Miller
Cast: William Lundigan, Jean Rogers, Dan Dailey Jr.
BW-76 mins, TV-G,

Based on a story by the husband and wife team of Fay and Michael Kanin.

5:45 PM -- While the Patient Slept (1935)
A nurse investigates murder at a mysterious mansion.
Dir: Ray Enright
Cast: Aline MacMahon, Guy Kibbee, Lyle Talbot
BW-66 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Remade in 1941 as The Nurse's Secret, starring Lee Patrick and Regis Toomey

7:00 PM -- The Big Noise (1936)
A meek businessman turns hero when he refuses to pay the mob for protection.
Dir: Frank McDonald
Cast: Guy Kibbee, Warren Hull, Alma Lloyd
BW-57 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Based a story by Edmund L. Hartman.


8:00 PM -- The Great Lie (1941)
Believing her husband to be dead, a flyer's wife bargains with his former love to adopt the woman's baby.
Dir: Edmund Goulding
Cast: Bette Davis, George Brent, Mary Astor
BW-108 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Mary Astor

When Pete returns from seeing his lawyer, early in the film, he finds Sandra's agent in the living room listening to her latest recording. This is an excerpt from the first movement of the Piano Concerto No 4 in D minor by Anton Rubinstein, a great rarity and certainly not recorded by anyone else in 1941. It was possibly chosen by Max Steiner because it was no longer in copyright, but whatever the reason, it was a most unusual and sophisticated choice.

10:00 PM -- Kitty Foyle (1940)
A girl from the wrong side of the tracks endures scandal and heartbreak when she falls for a high-society boy.
Dir: Sam Wood
Cast: Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, James Craig
BW-108 mins, TV-G, CC,

Won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Ginger Rogers

Nominated for Oscars for Best Director -- Sam Wood, Best Sound, Recording -- John Aalberg (RKO Radio SSD), Best Writing, Screenplay -- Dalton Trumbo, and Best Picture

Among the many letters that Ginger Rogers received for her work in the film, this was the one that she treasured the most: "Hello Cutie - Saw "Kitty" last night and must write this note to say "That's it!" Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! You were superb Ginge - it was such a solid performance - the kind one seldom sees on stage or screen and it should bring you the highest honors anyone can win!! Hope to see you soon, As ever your, Fred."

12:00 AM -- The Palm Beach Story (1942)
To finance her husband's career, a married woman courts an eccentric millionaire.
Dir: Preston Sturges
Cast: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor
BW-88 mins, TV-G, CC,

In-joke: The character John D. Hackensacker performs the song "Goodnight Sweetheart", associated in the 1930s with Rudy Vallee who plays the part.

1:45 AM -- The Women (1939)
A happily married woman lets her catty friends talk her into divorce when her husband strays.
Dir: George Cukor
Cast: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell
BW-133 mins, TV-PG, CC,

In addition to its all-female cast, every animal that was used in the film (the many dogs and horses) was female as well. In addition, none of the works of art seen in the backgrounds were representative of the male form.

4:15 AM -- Ball Of Fire (1941)
A group of professors takes in a nightclub singer hiding from the law to protect her gangster boyfriend.
Dir: Howard Hawks
Cast: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Oscar Homolka
BW-112 mins, TV-G, CC,

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Barbara Stanwyck, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture -- Alfred Newman, Best Sound, Recording -- Thomas T. Moulton (Samuel Goldwyn SSD), and Best Writing, Original Story -- Thomas Monroe and Billy Wilder

The roles of the seven professors (besides Gary Cooper) were inspired by Disney's Seven Dwarfs. There is even a photograph showing the actors sitting in front of a Disney poster, each one in front of his corresponding dwarf: S.Z. Sakall - Dopey; Leonid Kinskey - Sneezy; Richard Haydn - Bashful; Henry Travers - Sleepy; Aubrey Mather - Happy; Tully Marshall - Grumpy, and Oskar Homolka - Doc.

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