Posts in Category: TV Screenings

Ann Dvorak & Aline MacMahon Tear it Up in “Heat Lightning” on TCM


Heat Lightning is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Tuesday September 9th at 7:45am PST.


If you’re not aware of how much I adore Heat Lightning starring Aline MacMahon, Preston Foster, and our Divine Miz Dvorak, then you have not been following this blog very long or often! Even though Ann’s role is relatively small, it’s a great little pre-Code and one of my favorites. It’s even one of the few Ann Dvorak titles that I collect anything of, even if Ann is not pictured on it. You can take a look here to see all the times I have discussed this film previously.

This one is really not to be missed, so check it out if you can!

“Racing Lady” on TCM

Racing Lady is going to air on Turner Classic Movies in about 6 hours on September 8, at 3:00am PST.

Well, I kind of dropped the ball on this one. If you happen to checking this site anytime between now and 3 in the morning on September 8th, AND are an Ann Dvorak completest, set your DVR for TCM.

If you don’t read this in time, I can’t say you’re missing much with Racing Lady, other than it’s one of the few time Ann was the title character. Otherwise, it’s rather dry, Smith Ballew is pretty stiff, and Ann never even rides a horse.

We’ve got some pre-Code goodies coming up very soon on TCM so stay tuned!

“The Strange Love of Molly Louvain” & “Love is a Racket” on TCM

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Earlier this month, Paul Muni was featured as part of Tuner Classic Movies annual Summer Under the Stars. His 24 hours of programming included the two movies he made with Ann Dvorak. Tomorrow, it’s Lee Tracy’s turn and his line-up also features two Dvorak flicks.

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First up is The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932, Warner Bros/First National) which is airing at 11:30am PST. We’ve talked about Molly Louvain quite a bit on this website over the years, and if you’re a Dvorak devotee it’s a must. This is one of Ann’s few starring roles, this film where she hooked-up with Leslie Fenton (she would marry him within weeks), and contains one of her most memorable scenes – playing the piano while singing a scat version of “Penthouse Serenade.”

Next at 2:15pm PST is Love is a Racket, which is also a 1932 Warner Bros/First National production. Dvorak and Tracy are not the stars of this one, but they’re arguably more interesting to watch together than Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Frances Dee who are the leads. Ann doesn’t have too much to do other than glare at Frances Dee and hang out in a bathrobe, but it is worth noting that the day after this finished filming she eloped to Yuma, AZ with Leslie Fenton.

It’s been a Dvorak filled summer which looks like it’s going to carry over into the fall. Enjoy it while it’s going!

A Double Dose of Ann Dvorak on TCM

It’s August which means it’s that one glorious month of the year when Turner Classic Movies celebrates Summer Under the Stars, dedicating each day’s programming to one actor/actress. Tomorrow is Paul Muni day and both films he made with Ann Dvorak are on the roster.

First up at 6:30 pm PST is Scarface, co-starring George Raft, Karen Morley, Osgood Perkins, and Boris Karloff. I have extolled the virtues of this Howard Hawks classic numerous times, not least of which is due to Ann’s amazing performance. If you’ve made it this long without seeing Scarface, what are you waiting for?

Then at 10:00pm PST, Dvorak and Muni are teamed up again in Dr. Socrates. This second pairing is certainly not as strong as the first, but it’s watchable enough. Both of their characters are so far removed from Tony & Cesca Camonte that it’s an interesting comparison. Unlike Scarface, Dr. Socrates is not available on DVD which is another reason to check it out.

TCM is on a roll this summer with the Dvorak flicks, so enjoy ’em while you can!

Get Your Ann Dvorak on in July With Turner Classic Movies

July has shaped up to be a big month for Ann Dvorak over at Turner Classic movies where they will be airing not one, not two, not three, not four – but FIVE of her films. It’s not often that we’re treated to such a nice dose of Dvorak, so squeeze these in if you can!

A Life of Her Own – Monday, July 7, 5:15am PST

Ann’s screen time may be limited in this one, but she tears it up as a washed-up fashion model trying to come to terms with aging – and failing miserably.

Midnight Court – Tuesday, July 8, 4:45am PST

Ann doesn’t have to much to do as a court reporter/ex-wife of lawyer John Litel, but she does get to wear the fabulous Fish Dress, which I never get tired of talking about.

Scarface – Thursday, July 17, 9:00pm PST

If you’ve never seen Ann’s credited screen debut, then do yourself a favor and make time for this one. Not only is Ann positively riveting as the doomed Cesca Camonte, but the film as a whole is pretty damn good! I kind of love that TCM is following this screening with one of the 1983 remake with Al Pacino.  It’s the first time I’m aware of a Scarface double feature.

Stronger Than Desire, Thursday, July 24, 3:30pm PST

Husband Leslie Fenton received the chance to direct Ann in this MGM drama starring Walter Pidgeon and Virginia Bruce. Ann’s role is small, but she never looked more beautiful and her courtroom breakdown is worth the price of admission.

Bright Lights, Monday, July 28, 1:00pm PST

Ann and co-star Joe E. Brown make a believable husband and wife in this light comedy directed by Busby Berkeley.

Whew! That’s a lot of Dvorak (which is not a bad thing), so enjoy!

“Merrily We Live” On TCM

Merrily We Live is going to air on Turner Classic movies TONIGHT at 10:45PST.

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Geeze, I am really slacking off on my TCM Ann Dvorak schedule-watch and almost missed this one. If you happen to be home tonight and need a quick Dvorak fix (she’s in this one for maybe 10 minutes), set the dial to TCM. If you’re not home, don’t worry, they usually show this at least a couple of times a year.

My previous comments about the film are here. 

“This Modern Age” on TCM

This Modern Age is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Thursday, January 9th at 12:00am PST (which is technically Friday).

TCM continues its tribute to Joan Crawford tomorrow without another round of early titles, including This Modern Age. By 1931, when this film was made, the musical revues that Ann Dvorak had been appearing in as chorus girl had fallen out of vogue. Since MGM didn’t seem to want to elevate Ann’s status on the lot, she was instead relegated to “extra” parts, showing up in the background. This Modern Age is actually one of her more prominent extra parts and she gets a bit of screen time as a party crasher. It’s been years since I watched this one, but I recall liking it well enough.

Rain is also in the line-up at 7:00pm which is a favorite Joan Crawford performance of mine. It’s also worth noting that the role of Sadie Thompson was one Howard Hughes tried hard to get for Ann, but to no avail. While I love Joan, my heart aches thinking about Ann playing a part of that caliber.

“The Hollywood Revue of 1929” on TCM

The Hollywood Revue of 1929 is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Friday, January 3rd at 6:00am PST.

I swear I am going to take a break from blogging at some point! In the meantime, TCM continues to make me work by airing another early MGM flick with an appearance by an uncredited Ann Dvorak. Unlike yesterday’s film, Our Blushing Brides, where Ann is onscreen for seconds, she is present throughout most of Hollywood Revue as a member of the chorus. She even gets to utter two words and slap Jack Benny in the face. I wrote a bit more extensively about the film a few years back, which you can take a look at here.

The above photo is actually a fairly new purchase. Unfortunately, because it’s from the Lon Chaney number in the film (which he does not actually appear), I ended up paying way more on eBay than I would have liked, but so is the life of the crazed collector. Ann is on the far left.

Mercifully, for the first time in 367 days I shall not be blogging tomorrow (unless someplace like the New York Times reviews my book). Cheers!

“Our Blushing Brides” on TCM

Our Blushing Brides is going to air on Turner Classic Movies on Thursday, January 2nd at 9:00pm PST.

Creepers, no rest for the wicked huh? I finally get through 365 consecutive posts about Ann Dvorak and cannot get a break even for one day! Joan Crawford, one time mentor to Ann Dvorak, is TCM’s star of the month and they’re kicking it off tomorrow with some of Joan’s early titles, including Our Blushing Brides.

Ann was under contract at MGM at the time, but had only been employed as a chorus girl and assistant choreographer. She longed to break out of the chorus and Joan tried to help with that. Unfortunately, the most the studio was willing to throw Ann were extra parts like the one in Our Blushing Brides where Ann spends mere moments fawning over Robert Montgomery with four other gals.

If you watch this one, don’t blink or you might miss her!

“College Coach” on TCM

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 343

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College Coach is going to be on Turner Classic Movies on Wednesday, December 11th at 5:30PST.

I usually post these film airings the day before, so please note that is is earlier than usual because tomorrow’s post is already spoken for.

Go here to see my previously posted thoughts on College Coach.