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Thu Apr 8, 2021, 12:01 AM

TCM Schedule for Thursday, April 8, 2021 -- What's On Tonight: Oscar From A to Z

It's the start of the second week of 31 Days of Oscar. Today schedule begins with Natalie Wood in the slapstick The Great Race (1965) and finishes with Wood in the musical Gypsy (1962).

(And a brief
mea culpa -- I seem to have lost my mind and posted the schedule for next week! I'll get the rest of this week's schedule out by tomorrow.)

5:30 AM -- The Great Race (1965)
2h 37m | Comedy | TV-PG
A bumbling villain plots to win an early 20th-century auto race.
Director: Blake Edwards
Cast: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood

Winner of an Oscar for Best Effects, Sound Effects -- Treg Brown

Nominee for Oscars for Best Cinematography, Color -- Russell Harlan, Best Sound -- George Groves (Warner Bros. SSD), Best Film Editing -- Ralph E. Winters, and Best Music, Original Song -- Henry Mancini (music) and Johnny Mercer (lyrics) for the song "The Sweetheart Tree"

Hal Smith plays the mayor of Boracho, which is named after the Spanish word "borracho" ("drunkard"; Smith played Otis Campbell, the town drunk on The Andy Griffith Show (1960).

8:15 AM -- The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
3h | Musical | TV-G
Lavish biography of Flo Ziegfeld, the producer who became Broadway's biggest star maker.
Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Cast: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer

Winner of Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Luise Rainer, Best Dance Direction -- Seymour Felix for "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody", and Best Picture

Nominee for Oscars for Best Director -- Robert Z. Leonard, Best Writing, Original Story -- William Anthony McGuire, Best Art Direction -- Cedric Gibbons, Eddie Imazu and Edwin B. Willis, and Best Film Editing -- William S. Gray

The set for "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" took months to build and cost over $200,000. This was substantially more than it cost Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. to produce a whole show according to former Ziegfeld girl Doris Eaton.

11:15 AM -- Green Dolphin Street (1947)
2h 21m | Romance | TV-G
In 19th-century New Zealand, two sisters compete for the same man against a backdrop of political unrest and natural disaster.
Director: Victor Saville
Cast: Lana Turner, Van Heflin, Donna Reed

Winner of an Oscar for Best Effects, Special Effects -- A. Arnold Gillespie (visual), Warren Newcombe (visual), Douglas Shearer (audible) and Michael Steinore (audible)

Nominee for Oscars for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- George J. Folsey, Best Sound, Recording -- Douglas Shearer (M-G-M SSD), and Best Film Editing -- George White

The film's main music theme by Bronislau Kaper was published as a song, Green Dolphin Street (also known as On Green Dolphin Street) with lyrics by Ned Washington. It was soon adopted by jazz musicians, with recordings by Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Bill Evans, among others.

1:45 PM -- The Green Years (1946)
2h 8m | Drama | TV-PG
An orphaned Irish boy is taken in by his mother's Scottish relations.
Director: Victor Saville
Cast: Charles Coburn, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler

Nominee for Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Charles Coburn, and Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- George J. Folsey

Not only was Jessica Tandy two years older than Hume Cronyn who played her father, they had been married for four years (1942 to her death in 1994) and their second child Tandy Cronyn was born 26th November 1945, so she could have been carrying her during filming.

4:00 PM -- Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
1h 48m | Comedy | TV-PG
The daughter of a well-to-do white family comes home from a vacation to announce her intention to marry a black doctor.
Director: Stanley Kramer
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn

Winner of Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role -- Katharine Hepburn (Katharine Hepburn was not present at the awards ceremony. George Cukor accepted the award on her behalf.), and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen -- William Rose

Nominee for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role -- Spencer Tracy (Posthumously.), Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Cecil Kellaway, Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Beah Richards, Best Director -- Stanley Kramer, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration -- Robert Clatworthy and Frank Tuttle, Best Film Editing -- Robert C. Jones, Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment -- Frank De Vol, and Best Picture

John says to Matt that Joey "feels that all of our children will be President of the United States and they'll all have colorful administrations." In 1960, seven years before this movie was released, a black economics student named Barack Obama and a white anthropology student named Ann Dunham met in Hawaii, fell in love, and got married. Like the characters of John and Joey in this movie, Barack and Ann were an interracial couple who met at the University of Hawaii during an era when interracial relationships and marriages were still taboos or even illegal in many parts of the country. In 2008, the child that Barack and Ann Obama had together, Barack Obama, did indeed become President of the United States.

6:00 PM -- Gunga Din (1939)
1h 57m | Adventure | TV-PG
Three British soldiers seek treasure during an uprising in India.
Director: George Stevens
Cast: Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks

Nominee for an Oscar for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White -- Joseph H. August

Sabu was the first choice to play Gunga Din; when it became clear he was unavailable, Sam Jaffe was hired in his place. In an interview years later, Jaffe (a Jewish Russian-American) was asked how he so convincingly played an Indian Hindu. Jaffe replied he kept telling himself to "Think Sabu."


8:00 PM -- The Guns of Navarone (1961)
2h 37m | Drama | TV-PG
A team of Allied saboteurs fight their way behind enemy lines to destroy a pair of Nazi guns.
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Cast: Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn

Winner of an Oscar for Best Effects, Special Effects -- Bill Warrington (visual) and Chris Greenham (audible)

Nominee for Oscars for Best Director -- J. Lee Thompson, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium -- Carl Foreman, Best Sound -- John Cox (Shepperton SSD), Best Film Editing -- Alan Osbiston, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture -- Dimitri Tiomkin, and Best Picture

On seeing this movie, Sir Winston Churchill approached producer Carl Foreman about making a movie version of his autobiography, "My Early Life", It would be another eleven years before Foreman would guide it to the screen, as Young Winston (1972), directed by Sir Richard Attenborough, seven years after Churchill's death.

10:45 PM -- A Guy Named Joe (1943)
2h | Romance | TV-G
A downed World War II pilot becomes the guardian angel for his successor in love and war.
Director: Victor Fleming
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, Van Johnson

Nominee for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story -- David Boehm and Chandler Sprague

Along with Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne insisted the film's production be halted until Van Johnson was well after his auto accident, in which he was seriously injured. During this period, MGM snatched Dunne up to make The White Cliffs of Dover (1944), released the following year as the MGM 20th Anniversary film. As a thank you for her gratitude, Johnson appears in a small role in The White Cliffs of Dover.

1:00 AM -- Guys and Dolls (1955)
2h 30m | Comedy | TV-G
A big-city gambler bets that he can seduce a Salvation Army girl.
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Cast: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra

Nominee for Oscars for Best Cinematography, Color -- Harry Stradling Sr., Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color -- Oliver Smith, Joseph C. Wright and Howard Bristol, Best Costume Design, Color --
Irene Sharaff, and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture -- Jay Blackton and Cyril J. Mockridge

In 1952, Frank Sinatra was considered washed up. In 1953, he virtually paid Harry Cohn to allow him to play Maggio in From Here to Eternity (1953). By 1954, he had regained enough clout to force the creative team of Young at Heart (1954) to rewrite the original ending of their story, which he refused to play. In 1955, he swallowed his pride to play Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls , not yet having regained enough power to dethrone number one box office attraction Marlon Brando. One year later, obviously feeling he had once again reached the pinnacle, Sinatra walked off the set of Carousel (1956) in a fit of temperament on the first day of filming. Four years earlier, he could not get a job.

3:45 AM -- Gypsy (1962)
2h 29m | Drama | TV-PG
During New York's vaudeville days a tough stage mother tries to get her daughters to become stars.
Director: Mervyn Leroy
Cast: Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden

Nominee for Oscars for Best Cinematography, Color -- Harry Stradling Sr., Best Costume Design, Color -- Orry-Kelly, and Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment -- Frank Perkins

Rosalind Russell worked with June Havoc (the actual Dainty June) in My Sister Eileen (1942).

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