Friday, May 21, 2010

TCM's Lena Horne Tribute

TCM is setting aside its previously-schedule programming tonight in order to honor the late Lena Horne, who died a week and a half ago at the age of 92. TCM is showing three of her movies in prime time:
The Duke is Tops at 8:00;
Cabin in the Sky at 9:30 PM; and
Panama Hattie at 11:15 PM.

I have of course recommended Cabin in the Sky before; perhaps more interesting anyway is The Duke is Tops. It's Horne's first movie, and it's one of the "race movies" of the 1930s that had almost entirely black casts and crews, made for the segregated black audiences of the day. As such, they often have a very different feel from the studio movies, and are always worth watching even when they're not very good.

The only unfortunate thing is that TCM had to preempt a night of comedies from the great British studio Ealing, including such classics as Kind Hearts and Coronets, in order to put on tonight's Horne tribute. But to be honest, there weren't too many places in the scheulde for TCM to put a tribute to her. Tuesdays and Thursdays are taken by the Native Americans on Film series, while Wednesdays go to Star of the Month Donna Reed.

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