Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day briefs

This being July 4, TCM is showing most of the not too many movies Hollywood made about the Revolutionary War, or at least most of the ones I can think of that were made during the studio era. That includes the shorts that studios churned out back in the day. Warner Bros. did a couple of historical two-reelers in the late 1930s dramatizing events from American history in lovely Technicolor. The Declaration of Independence is running just after The Scarlet Coat; that is, about 10:55 AM, featuring future Warner star John Litel as Thomas Jefferson. A year later, they'd do one on The Monroe Doctrine, although that's not airing today. Unfortunately, it's a bit difficult to get a list of all of them, as some are credited to Vitaphone and some to Warner Bros.

In between Drums Along the Mohawk and 1776, or at about 4:50 PM, is Historic Maryland, which you can probably guess from the title is a Traveltalks short, this one being set mostly in Annapolis, which is the home of the US Naval Academy.

Tonight's prime time lineup on TCM is a bunch of biopics of American composer/musicmakers that I think I've all mentioned in the past. The night kicks off with Yankee Doodle Dandy at 8:00 PM, starring James Cagney as George M. Cohan.
At 10:15 is Clifton Webb as John Philip Sousa in Stars and Stripes Forever, after which we get a short of the Marine Corps Band.
Coming up at midnight is James Stewart as Glenn Miller in the imaginatively-titled The Glenn Miller Story.
Robert Alda plays George Gershwin in Rhapsody in Blue at 2:00 AM.
Finally, at 4:30 AM, is David Carradine as Woody Guthrie in Bound For Glory.

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