Wednesday, May 5, 2010

TCM Star of the Month: Donna Reed

Now that we're in the first full week of a new month, TCM has a new Star of the Month. If you've been watching TCM, you will undoubtedly have seen the promos for Donna Reed, voiced by her daughter. Reed's movies are airing every Wednesday in prime time, making tonight the first night of the salute.

Tonight kicks off with a bunch of Reed's earlier movies, before she really became a star. These include Shadow of the Thin Man at 8:00 PM ET, in which the urbane detectives Nick and Nora Charles solve a murder at a race track. Reed plays a secretary here; typical of the supporting roles she had early on. It's nothing but useless trivia, but I note that another future star who shows up as a supporting role in a Thin Man movies is James Stewart, who would later star opposite Reed in It's a Wonderful Life. However, Stewart's appearance is not in tonight's movie, but in the earlier Return of the Thin Man. And, of course, It's a Wonderful Life isn't airing as part of the TCM salute; you don't think NBC/Universal would let TCM get the broadcast rights for even one airing, do you?

Reed would later go on to make a few movies in another series, that of the Dr. Gillespie medical dramas, opposite wheelchair-bound doctor Lionel Barrymore. Those movies air at 11:30 PM and 1:00 AM, right after yet another series, one of the Andy Hardy movies at 9:45 PM.

They don't make movies like they used to.

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