Confession: it’s hard to remember to come over here every day and post the daily recommendation for 31 Days of Oscar. As you may have noticed, I neglected to do it yesterday and … um … the day before (bad Brandie!). So instead of worrying about whether or not my forgetful little brain will recall its simple little duty, here’s a handy-dandy streamlined list of the films we think you need to see this week on TCM:
Tuesday, February 8th
9:00PM EST: Gaslight (1944)
Ingrid Bergman in one of several “woman in peril” roles that defined the early years of her Hollywood career. She’s stellar as Paula, a young woman whose sinister husband (Charles Boyer) plots to drive her insane. Also features Joseph Cotten and Angela Lansbury (in her Oscar-nominated film debut). Winner of two Academy Awards including Best Actress (Bergman) and Best Art Direction.
Wednesday, February 9th
1:30PM EST: Ball of Fire (1941)
As the sultry Sugarpuss O’Shea, Barbara Stanwyck cozies up to a septet of naive professors while falling hard for one, a hapless, stuffy Gary Cooper. One of Stanwyck’s best comedic performances! TC favorite “Cuddles” Sakall also makes an appearance. Nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Actress and Best Writing for Billy Wilder’s charming screenplay.
Thursday, February 10th
10:00PM EST: An American in Paris (1951)
When it comes to Gene Kelly’s musicals, Singin’ in the Rain is (in my humble estimation) better overall, but nothing beats Paris’ showcase: the seventeen-minute final ballet. Beautiful and brilliant. Winner of seven Oscars including Best Picture (a controversial win considering its competition that year), Best Score, and Best Cinematography.
Friday, February 11th
8:00PM EST: The Graduate (1967)
The film that launched Dustin Hoffman’s career into the stratosphere, this is one of those movies that perfectly encapsulates the time period in which it was filmed. Welcome to the free-swinging 60s, when sex–and plastics–were king and parents really just didn’t understand. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Director (Mike Nichols).
Saturday, February 12th
10:00PM EST: Gone With the Wind (1939)
You knew this recommendation was coming. The granddaddy of epics, and one of the greatest–and most twisted–love stories of all time. Whether you love her or loathe her, Scarlett O’Hara is one undeniably intriguing character. Winner of ten Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), and Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel–an historic win marking the first Oscar awarded to an African-American actor).
Sunday, February 13th
12:30AM EST: Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)
Arguably the best film of Robert Montgomery’s career. He plays Joe, a boxer whose soul is prematurely removed from his body in a plane accident and is then transplanted into the body of a millionaire. Also features a great turn by Claude Rains as the title character and James Gleason in an Oscar-nominated performance as Joe’s manager. Won the Oscars for Best Original Story and Best Screenplay.
Monday, February 14th
10:00PM EST: Casablanca (1942)
Best movie ever. Don’t argue with me. If you’ve never seen it, you’ve been depriving yourself of a film that virtually defines the term “movie magic.” Rick, Ilsa, Nazi intrigue, pianos, gin, and sultry Moroccan nights–what more could you ask for? And, hey–this one’s got Cuddles, too! Set that DVR now. Winner of three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Curtiz), and Best Screenplay (a very deserving prize for one of the best screenplays ever written).