Monday, October 7, 2019

TCM Star of the Month October 2019: Paul Muni

October started last Tuesday, but thanks to the way that TCM decided to schedule its Star of the Month, it meant that we didn't actually have a Star of the Month in last week's programming. Oh, we've got Godzilla as the Monster of the Month on Friday nights, but not the traditional Star of the Month until tonight. Every Monday in prime time, TCM is going to be running the films of Paul Muni. Muni was nominated for the Best Actor five times, only winning for The Story of Louis Pasteur which doesn't air until the 21st. Tonight, we get two of his Oscar-nominated roles, starting at 9:45 PM with I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, in which Muni is pictured at left.

The other Oscar-nominated role is a very early talkie, The Valiant at 11:30 PM. In this movie, Muni plays a man who comits murder in a big city because the guy needed dying, or at least that's what Muni says, not saying any more. News of his story his the press, and a family out in the midwest is convinced this is the son who left for the big city many years earlier.

One other movie that's worth mentioning is Hi, Nellie, which is on overnight at 2:30 AM. Muni plays a newspaperman whose constant campaign against corruption gets him in trouble with his bosses and the political powers, to the point that he gets demoted to writing for the "Miss Lonelyhearts"-style column. No big deal; Muni will find a way to keep up the campaign from there! I mention this movie because it's a hoary chestnut that is the first of its kind; Warner Bros. would remake it three more times in the next 15 years. The second version, called Love Is on the Air would move the action to radio and feature the movie debut of actor Ronald Reagan.

No comments: