Tuesday, September 3, 2019

TCM's new themes for September 2019

Left to right: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, and Sidney Poitier in No Way Out (1950), on tonight at 8:00 PM

Now that we're done with Summer Under the Stars, it's time to get back into all of the monthly programming themes that are on the TCM schedule ten months out of the year when they don't have Summer Under the Stars in August or 31 Days of Oscar in February. The first of those is a new Star of the Month. This time, that's Sidney Poitier, and his movies will be running every Tuesday in prime time, starting tonight at 8:00 PM with his debut, No Way Out.

Wednesdays and Thursdays see what TCM is describing as a salute to the centenary of United Artists, although I'd really break it up into two separate spotlights. Wednesday -- starting in the morning and not with prime time -- is the traditional spotlight if you will, with a broad range of movies. Prime time is roughly chronological with silent films tonight, although the daytime schedule for Wednesday has early talkies, so not quite chronological. The Thursday prime time lineup will be James Bond movies, since those were distributed in the US by United Artists (and later MGM/UA after the merger). Those go in chronological order, too, starting with Dr. No this Thursday at 8:00 PM.

Friday nights will feature another spotlight, on college football in the movies. There are a lot to choose from, at least in the studio era when college football was bigger than the pro game. On three of the four Fridays, Ben Mankiewicz will be sitting down with a guest host to discuss the movies. Note that the overnights between Friday and Saturday still have TCM Underground, so this spotlight is an abbreviated one.

The Saturday morning block also returns, with the Bowery Boys taking the 10:00 AM Saturday slot. I was wondering if TCM would be doing an abbreviated set of Bowery Boys movies, since this Saturday's selection is Dig That Uranium! from 1956, but on the 20th they go back to Jinx Money from 1948.

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