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Wed Oct 24, 2012, 04:38 PM

TCM Schedule for Thursday, October 25 -- What's On Tonight: TCM Guest Programmer Jim Lehrer

Tonight's guest programmer is PBS' Jim Lehrer. Though I'm not crazy about his performance as the moderator of the Presidential debate, his choice of movies for this evening are excellent! Enjoy!

6:00 AM -- Texas Carnival (1951)
A penniless carnival worker runs up a mountain of debts when he's mistaken for a millionaire.
Dir: Charles Walters
Cast: Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Howard Keel
C-77 mins, TV-G, CC,

At the time "Texas Carnival" was filmed, Red Norvo's trio included an African-American musician, bassist Charles Mingus, and when they recorded their number for this film (backing Ann Miller on "It's Dynamite" Mingus played on the soundtrack. But when the number was filmed MGM executives insisted that a white bassist substitute for Mingus on screen.

7:30 AM -- Bundle Of Joy (1956)
A shop girl is mistaken for the mother of a foundling.
Dir: Norman Taurog
Cast: Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Adolphe Menjou
C-98 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

Around 1956, singer Eddie Fisher and his agent Lew Wasserman were discussing roles for Fisher's acting debut. A project being discussed at the time was "What Makes Sammy Run?" by Budd Schulberg and Stuart Schulberg. Fisher wanted to play aggressive producer Sammy Glick, "the ultimate Jewish hustler. I knew a lot of real Sammy Glicks and I felt confident that was a character I could play." Lew Wasserman decided that the character was too much of a classic negative Jewish stereotype and that it would be bad for Fisher to play it. So Fisher went in the complete opposite direction (in retrospect, perhaps too far) with then-wife Debbie Reynolds in this squeaky clean comedy that Fisher hated, made to capitalize on the birth of their daughter, future Star Wars "Princess Leia" Carrie Fisher.

9:15 AM -- Meet The People (1944)
A fading stage star tries to revive her career by taking a job in a shipyard.
Dir: Charles Riesner
Cast: Lucille Ball, Dick Powell, Virginia O'Brien
BW-100 mins, TV-G, CC,

Daws Butler, the voice actor for Hanna Barbera cartoon characters, patterned the voice of the lion Snagglepuss after Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. Butler took Snagglepuss's catchphrase "Heavens to Mergatroid" from Bert Lahr's having said it in the movie Meet the People.

11:15 AM -- She's Working Her Way Through College (1952)
A professor helps a burlesque queen get a college education.
Dir: Bruce Humberstone
Cast: Virginia Mayo, Ronald Reagan, Gene Nelson
C-101 mins, TV-G, CC,

Based on the play by James Thurber and Elliot Nugent.

1:15 PM -- The Opposite Sex (1956)
In this musical remake of The Women, a happily married singer lets her catty friends convince her to file for divorce.
Dir: David Miller
Cast: June Allyson, Joan Collins, Dolores Gray
C-117 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

When June Allyson slaps Joan Collins, June was told Joan would pull back before impact and Joan was told June would not strike her. The connection was made and we see a slap so hard, Joan's earrings fly off her ears. Joan would not speak to June for several days believing it was intentional.

3:15 PM -- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Two singers work their way to Paris, enjoying the company of eligible men they meet along the way.
Dir: Howard Hawks
Cast: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn
C-91 mins, TV-G, CC,

For this film Gwen Verdon coached stars Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe in both their dance and walk - Monroe with less sex, Russell with more. It's rumored that at one point in the film, Verdon dubs both Monroe's and Russell's swaying bottoms.

5:00 PM -- The French Line (1954)
A Texas heiress masquerades as a model in hopes of finding true love.
Dir: Lloyd Bacon
Cast: Jane Russell, Gilbert Roland, Arthur Hunnicutt
C-102 mins, TV-G, CC,

Jane Russell's dance to "Looking For Trouble" was shot in two versions. For the American release, she did her pelvic "bumps" behind a flower planter. For the European release, the "bumps" were done without anything hiding them.

7:00 PM -- A Night at the Movies: Hollywood Goes to Washington (2012)
BW-59 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format


8:00 PM -- All the King's Men (1949)
A backwoods politician rises to the top only to become corrupted.
Dir: Robert Rossen
Cast: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru
BW-110 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Won Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Broderick Crawford, Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Mercedes McCambridge, and Best Picture

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- John Ireland, Best Director -- Robert Rossen, Best Film Editing -- Robert Parrish and Al Clark, and Best Writing, Screenplay -- Robert Rossen

According to star Broderick Crawford, "During the filming, we never mentioned the name of Huey Long on the set. That was the unspoken law at the studio."

10:00 PM -- It Happened One Night (1934)
A newspaperman tracks a runaway heiress on a madcap cross-country tour.
Dir: Frank Capra
Cast: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly
BW-105 mins, TV-PG, CC,

Won Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Clark Gable (In 1996, Steven Spielberg anonymously purchased Clark Gable's Oscar to protect it from further commercial exploitation, gave it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, commenting that he could think of "no better sanctuary for Gable's only Oscar than the Motion Picture Academy".), Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Claudette Colbert (Claudette Colbert was so convinced that she would lose the Oscar to write-in nominee Bette Davis that she didn't attended the ceremony orignally. She was summoned from a train station to pick up her Academy Award.), Best Director -- Frank Capra, Best Writing, Adaptation -- Robert Riskin, and Best Picture

While shooting the scene where he undresses, Clark Gable had trouble removing his undershirt while keeping his humorous flow going and took too long. As a result the undershirt was abandoned altogether. It then became cool to not wear an undershirt which resulted in a large drop in undershirt sales around the country. Legend has it that in response, some underwear manufacturers tried to sue Columbia.

12:00 AM -- My Fair Lady (1964)
A phonetics instructor bets that he can pass a street urchin off as a lady.
Dir: George Cukor
Cast: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway
C-172 mins, TV-G, CC, Letterbox Format

Won Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Rex Harrison, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color -- Gene Allen, Cecil Beaton and George James Hopkins, Best Cinematography, Color -- Harry Stradling Sr., Best Costume Design, Color -- Cecil Beaton, Best Director -- George Cukor, Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment -- André Previn, Best Sound -- George Groves (Warner Bros. SSD), and Best Picture

Nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Stanley Holloway, Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Gladys Cooper, Best Film Editing -- William H. Ziegler, and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium -- Alan Jay Lerner

According to actress Nancy Olson, who was married to lyricist Alan Jay Lerner at the time he was writing the musical, Lerner and Frederick Loewe had the most trouble writing the final song for Henry Higgins. The two writers had based the whole concept of the musical around the notion that Higgins was far too intellectual a character to emotionally sing outright, but should speak his songs on pitch, more as an expression of ideas. However, both composer and lyricist knew that Higgins would need a love song towards the end of the story when Eliza has abandoned him. This presented an obvious problem: how to write an emotional song for an emotionless character. Lerner suffered bouts of insomnia trying to write the lyrics. One night, Olson claims, she brought him a cup of tea to soothe his nerves. As she entered his study, Lerner thanked her and said "I guess I've grown accustomed to you...I've grown accustomed to your face." According to Olson, his eyes suddenly lit up, and she sat down and watched him write the entire song in one sitting, based on the idea that although Higgins couldn't "love" Eliza in the traditional sense, he would surely notice the value she represented as part of his life.

3:00 AM -- North By Northwest (1959)
An advertising man is mistaken for a spy, triggering a deadly cross-country chase.
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
C-136 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

Nominated for Oscars for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color -- William A. Horning, Robert F. Boyle, Merrill Pye, Henry Grace and Frank R. McKelvy, Best Film Editing -- George Tomasini, and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen -- Ernest Lehman

Alfred Hitchcock couldn't get permission to film inside the UN, so footage was made of the interior of the building using a hidden camera, and the rooms were later recreated on a soundstage. Hitchcock filmed Cary Grant's entrance into the United Nations building from across the street with a hidden camera. When Grant gets to the top of the stairs a man about to walk down does a double take upon seeing the movie star.

5:30 AM -- MGM Parade Show #16 (1955)
Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald perform in a clip from "Maytime"; George Murphy introduces a clip from "I'll Cry Tomorrow." Hosted by George Murphy.
BW-26 mins, TV-G,

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