Thursday, December 15, 2011

William Powell, night #3

Tonight is the third Thursday in December, and the third night of TCM's salute to William Powell as the channel's Star of the Month. This weeks sees several of the movies from closer to the end of Powell's career. In fact, Powell's last movie was 1955's Mister Roberts, which you can see at 11:30 PM. That's followed by It's a Big Country, airing overnight at 1:45 AM. Powell only has a bit part here, as I mentioned when I blogged about the movie back in May, 2010.

For a starring role from Powell, you'd have to watch him in Life With Father, which kicks the night off at 8:00 PM. It's a story about a family in New York City in the 1880s, with Powell playing the patriarch. Come to think of it, it would be interesting in a double bill with I Remember Mama (although that of course doesn't star William Powell).

The last of the four later Powell movies is The Girl Who Had Everything, airing at 10:15 PM. I'm not certain if I've seen it before, but I know the story well, since it's a remake of A Free Soul. Powell plays the alcoholic father (played by Lionel Barrymore in the original), with Norma Shearer's part being taken by Elizabeth Taylor. The interesting thing here is that this is one of those "little" MGM films from the early 1950s (running only 69 minutes), yet it has a surprisingly big cast what with Powell -- admittedly near the end of his career -- and Elizabeth Taylor who was quite clearly a big star already by this point: not only had she done all those juvenile roles at MGM; this was two years after A Place in the Sun.

After It's a Big Country, it's back to early 1930s stuff starring William Powell, starting at 3:30 AM with One Way Passage.

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