Tuesday, December 5, 2017

TCM Star of the Month December 2017: Lana Turner

So we've got a new Star of the Month on TCM: Lana Turner, who, as I understand it, was selected in a TCM Backlot poll. Ooh, pay big bucks, and if I'm lucky, the person I pick from among TCM's choices may become Star of the Month. (To be fair, I think Charles Boyer is finally going to be Star of the Month in January, and I'm really looking forward to that. And it's not as if I'm not looking forward to Lana Turner.) As you can guess, Lana Turner will be on TCM in prime time into Wednesday morning every Tuesday night in December.

This first night in the salute has several of Turner's early movies; the first of them is in fact her first billed performance, in They Won't Forget at 8:00 PM. I recommended this one at the beginning of the year in the first of the Thursday Movie Picks I took part in, and it's a really good movie. Turner gets bumped off early on, and the movie is about the trial of the man put on trial for that murder, with Claude Rains playing the ambitious DA prosecuting the case. This one is based on the true story of Leo Frank, and is a very good movie.

The photo up at the top of the post is, I believe, from Dancing Co-Ed, which will be on at 11:45 PM tonight. Lana Turner plays a ringer in a college dance contest that is ostensibly supposed to pick a dance partner for a movie studio star, except that the studio already knows who they want (Turner). Turner falls in love with the editor of the campus newspaper (Richard Carlson), and all sorts of complications ensue. This is typical of the sort of B movie MGM made back in the late 30s and early 40s. It's more than good enough and probably better than a lot of MGM's B movies; as I think I've said on a number of occasions I generally prefer Warner's Bs.

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