A wild assortment of rare musicals this month on TCM, and even though we’ve moved on from the Summer of Stars, we still get some big ones: Bing Crosby, Eleanor Powell, Cyd Charisse, and Dolores Del Rio, among many others. Keep an eye out for the Powell and Pressburger opera, The Tales of Hoffmann, for something a little different than the typical MGM B pictures (though there’s plenty of those as well).
Thursday September 3
6:00am / In Caliente (1935)
Dancer Dolores del Rio faces off against the magazine editor who trashes her in print but tries to woo her in person. With numbers by Busby Berkeley.
10:30am / Sombrero (1953)
Intertwining love stories in Mexico, starring… well, at least one real Mexican (Ricardo Montalbán) as well as Pier Angeli, Cyd Charisse, Yvonne De Carlo, Vittorio Gassman, and Rick Jason.
3:45pm / Holiday in Mexico (1946)
Ambassador’s daughter Jane Powell only has eyes for Jose Iturbi, while ignoring boy-next-door Roddy McDowell in this fluffy Technicolor musical.
Friday September 4
6:30pm / Going Hollywood (1933)
French teacher Marion Davies heads to Hollywood, motivated solely by the power of Bing Crosby’s voice (and who among us could deny that?). Featured in That’s Entertainment. [This film also contains blackface.]
Saturday September 5
6:30am / Broadway Melody of 1936 (1936)
Eleanor Powell has to somehow convince beau Robert Taylor to put her in his show; when that bafflingly doesn’t work, she impersonates an over-the-top French dancer to make a mark. Fans of Singin’ in the Rain may find many of the songs hauntingly familiar.
Thursday September 8
10:00am / Tom Thumb (1958)
Musical about the tiny Tom starring Russ Tamblyn that won an Oscar for special effects; its poster boasted (?) that it was… “colorsome.”
Wednesday September 9
1:00pm / Good News (1947)
College football star Peter Lawford recruits June Allyson as his French tutor to woo another student, but little does he know…
Friday September 11
8:30am / Hallelujah, I’m a Bum (1933)
Freewheelin’ hobo musical starring Al Jolson and Frank Morgan, with music and lyrics by Rodgers and Hart.
12:30pm / Born to Dance (1936)
Eleanor Powell’s born to dance and luckily James Stewart is there to convince her. Score by Cole Porter and support by Virginia Bruce and Buddy Ebsen.
8:00pm / Evergreen (1934)
A daughter masquerades as her musical sensation mother on the London stage, both portrayed by Jessie Matthews. Music and lyrics by Rodgers and Hart.
Wednesday September 16
12:30pm / Let’s Do It Again (1953)
Musical reimagining of The Awful Truth, with Jane Wyman and Ray Milland as the feuding couple and Tom Helmore and Valerie Bettis as the potentially greener pastures.
Friday September 18
1:00am / Rio Rita (1942)
Abbott and Costello help Kathryn Grayson fight the Nazi spies who have infiltrated her hotel. (Really.)
Saturday September 19
6:00am / Shipmates Forever (1935)
Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler find themselves paired together again, this time with a naval twist.
Saturday September 26
6:30am / Naughty But Nice (1939)
Straight-laced music professor Dick Powell accidentally writes a hit tune, which singer Ann Sheridan tries to use to her advantage. Dick’s last film for Warner.
Tuesday September 29
1:30pm / Stingaree (1934)
Australian outlaw Richard Dix kidnaps Irene Dunne, who dreams of becoming an opera singer.
3:00pm / Sweet Adeline (1935)
Irene Dunne, a beer-garden singer from Hoboken, gets a shot at Broadway thanks to her composer boyfriend.
Wednesday September 30
3:15pm / The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)
Powell and Pressburger adapation of an 1850s opéra fantastique, starring Robert Rounseville as Hoffmann and Moira Shearer as his prima ballerina love.