Take comfort in the nostalgia of Old Hollywood during the month of May – Turner Classic Movies spotlights Edward G. Robinson and iconic films like Singin’ in the Rain with Gene Kelly, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman

Written by: Tami Goveia – April 28th, 2020 11:00pm pst

I’m not sure how many showers we’ll be getting here in sunny Los Angeles but TCM will be showering classic film fans with a storm of fantastic content in the month of May. To wet your whistle, TCM’s Star of the Month is the ferociously talented Edward G. Robinson and we can’t wait to celebrate his films. TCM is also spotlighting in their Essentials segment Donald O’Connor, whom I liken to Gumby, particularly in his dance number Make Them Laugh from Singin’ In The Rain. But I digress… 

Grab your favorite selection from the TCM Wine Club (#StayHomeWatchMoviesDrinkWine), or whatever libation suits your fancy because here are my 5 classic film recommendations (and an added BONUS PICK) for the week of May 1st through May 7th:

Airing Friday, May 1st (All times are PST)

12:45pm – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Synopsis: A dying plantation owner tries to help his alcoholic son solve his problems. (TCM)

Beyond the obvious blinding beauty of Elizabeth Taylor (Maggie) and Paul Newman (Brick), this film is literally one of my all time favorites for its ability to translate the heat and suppressive mendacity from the pages of Tennessee Williams’s play directly onto the silver screen. While Williams wasn’t happy with what he considered to be a “watered down” version of his story, the film’s entire cast is nothing short of superb. Considering Elizabeth Taylor had lost her husband, Mike Todd, in a fatal plane crash during filming, it leaves one breathless at her tenacity and ability to carry on. Sounds a little like Maggie the Cat, if you ask me.  

Enjoy a synopsis and review from film critic and historian Leonard Maltin+

Go to TCM for more tidbits and behind-the-scenes of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

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#babydollmovie #babydoll #carrollbaker

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2:45pm – Baby Doll (1956)

Synopsis: A child bride holds her husband at bay while flirting with a sexy Italian farmer

(TCM)

I saw this film for the first time last year, and couldn’t take my eyes off the twisted and desperate “love” triangle between the three characters played by Carroll Baker, Karl Malden and Eli Wallach (his film debut). Brilliantly directed by Elia Kazan, and partnering once again with Tennessee Williams in a screen adaption of his play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, it’s a story about desperately unhappy people looking for love in all the wrong places.  When it was released, this film was condemned for its indecent subject matter which never allowed the film to be fully appreciated during its day or make a dime. You had me at ‘condemned’.

Enjoy a synopsis and review from film critic and historian Leonard Maltin+

Go to TCM for more tidbits and behind-the-scenes of Baby Doll

7:15pm – It Came From Outer Space (1953)

Synopsis: No one believes an amateur astronomer’s spaceship sighting until the town’s people begin disappearing. (TCM)

I personally can’t say no to Sci-Fi films from the 1930’s through the 1960’s. It Came From Outer Space is a quintessential example starring Barbara Rush (Peyton Place) and Richard Carlson (Creature From the Black Lagoon). This was Universal Studios first foray into Sci-Fi AND 3D technology. It’s a rather sad tale about the human race and our propensity to destroy what we fear and don’t understand.

Enjoy a synopsis and review from film critic and historian Leonard Maltin+

Go to TCM for more tidbits and behind-the-scenes of It Came From Outer Space

Airing Saturday, May 2nd

PHOTO 4 Singin’ in the Rain

5:00pm – Singin’ in the Rain (1952) (Essentials spotlight on Donald O’Connor)

Synopsis: A silent-screen swashbuckler finds love while trying to adjust to the coming of sound. (TCM)

There are so many brilliant musicals in our cinematic history however, this one is hands-down my “I’ll watch it every time, all the time” musical. I still remember the thrill of seeing it in the movie theatre. (One of those films that SHOULD be seen on the big screen).  Sadly, it was on the heels of Debbie Reynolds passing which made it all the more poignant. The iconic musical score, the perfect script from Betty Comden and Adolf Green, and its “ stars aligned” cast of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Jean Hagen, Cyd Charisse, et al, make for pure magic. This musical will delight everyone. Even my husband, who says the only thing he doesn’t like about musicals is the singing and the dancing, really enjoyed it.  So there’s that.

Enjoy a synopsis and review from film critic and historian Leonard Maltin+

Go to TCM for more tidbits and behind-the-scenes of Singin’ in the Rain 

Airing Sunday, May 3rd

3:00am – After the Thin Man (1936)

Synopsis: Married sleuths Nick and Nora Charles try to clear Nora’s cousin of a murder charge.

Some people say I was born in the wrong era. Truth be told, if I could be any character in cinematic history it would be Nora Charles married to Nick Charles with our dog Asta. The wardrobe… the sleuthing… the wealth… the cocktails! Have I made my point? Myrna Loy’s intelligent, dry humor slays me and there are few words that can adequately describe William Powell’s comedic brilliance. The second film in the (6) Thin Man comedy series (based on the original 1934 novel by Dashiell Hammet), holds its own and doesn’t disappoint. Do yourself a favor and start with the first one, The Thin Man, and get your martinis ready for a binge-worthy experience. 

Enjoy a synopsis and review from film critic and historian Leonard Maltin+

Go to TCM for more tidbits and behind-the-scenes of After the Thin Man

BONUS PICK

Airing Monday, May 4th

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🌱 Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, the glory in the flower. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind. 🌱 🌱 No me gustan las traducciones que existen, así que la dejo así, en los huesos y vosotros la podéis traducir como mejor os venga. 🌱He venido aquí a hablar de libros, que no de películas, pero hoy hago una excepción y comparto ésta célebre cita que siempre va conmigo y que pertenece a William Wordsworth. 🌱Y ésta cita aparece y da forma de alguna manera a ésta película “Esplendor en la hierba”. Así que, se podría decir, que es una adaptación de un trocito de una Oda a una película. 🌱Preciosa película y mejor autor. 🌱 ¿Tenéis alguna cita célebre que siempre os acompañe? #williamwordsworthquotes #splendorinthegrass #clásico #poesía #eliakazan #filmstagram #película #esplendorenlahierba #libros #nataliewood#bookstagram

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5:00pm – Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Synopsis: Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood portray young lovers in the 1920s Midwest, whose inner struggles to retain a pure and virtuous love for one another lead them only to destructive ends. (TCM)

I added this as a Bonus Pick because it’s truly a “must see” for its cinematic relevance.  In his film debut, Warren Beatty is heartbreakingly beautiful as is Natalie Wood in her first pure dramatic role. Written for the screen by William Inge (Bus Stop, Picnic), and directed by Elia Kazan, this story about the path of young love and the often rocky and sometimes tragic turns it can take may require a box of tissues. Just saying.

Go to TCM for a synopsis and behind-the-scenes of Splendor in the Grass

There are so many wonderful films packed into this first week in May on TCM. Indulge your classic film whims!  Keep checking in weekly for more of our TCM picks.  If you’re a fan of TCM or classic movies please share this article and visit popcorntalknetwork.com for more articles, videos and podcasts on all things movie talk.

About The Author:

Tami Goveia is a producer, writer and entertainment host for AfterbuzzTV. Classic film and television are her passion, napping is her indulgence and saving all rescues is her mission.

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