May is an exciting month for TCM. One of the greatest film legends is the Star of the Month, a celebration of the movie series, the annual Mother’s Day and Memorial Day marathons, and a special tribute to the great Robert Osborne.
STAR OF THE MONTH: MARLENE DIETRICH (THURSDAYS IN MAY)
TCM pays tribute to the icon with 21 films (one TCM premiere-1946’s Martin Roumagnac (May 25 @ 4am/3am), starting with her breakthrough film 1930’s The Blue Angel (May 10 @ 8pm/7pm) and ending with the 1957 film The Monte Carlo Story (June 1 @ 4am/3am).
TCM SPOTLIGHT: MOVIE SERIES
(TUESDAYS & WEDNESDAYS IN MAY)
TCM celebrates the movie series where the film studios developed a lineup of movies based on already established characters and recurring themes. The movie series was also used to introduce up-and-coming stars. TCM will be showing 165 films and 25 different movie series. The festival starts with Columbia’s Blondie (starting May 1 @8pm/7pm) series, based off the comic strip, which ran from 1938 to 1950 with 28 films, and TCM will show six of them (all TCM premieres). Some of the Blondie films featured Columbia stars such as Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth, who co-stars in the 1940 entry, Blondie on a Budget (May 2 @ 1:30am/12:30am). The other 24 series are as follows (if I say “all airing on TCM” that means the entire series will air):
- RKO’s Mexican Spitfire starring Lupe Velez (8 films on May 2-all airing on TCM)
- Warner Bros. Four Daughters (3 films on May 2-all airing on TCM)
- MGM’s Maisie starring Ann Sothern (10 films on May 2/3-all airing on TCM)
- RKO’s Fibber McGee and Molly (3 films-2 airing on May 3)
- RKO’s The Great Gildersleeve (4 films on May 3-all airing on TCM)
- MGM’s and RKO’s Tarzan (28 films-17 films airing on May 8-9)
- Columbia’s Jungle Jim starring Johnny Weissmuller (16 films-5 films airing on May 9-10)
- Monogram’s Bomba, the Jungle Boy starring Johnny Sheffield (12 films on May 10-all airing on TCM)
- MGM’s Andy Hardy series starring Mickey Rooney (16 films-15 films airing on May 15-16)
- Columbia’s Five Little Peppers (4 films on May 16-all airing on TCM)
- MGM’s Dr. Kildare starring Lew Ayers (9 films on May 17-all airing on TCM)
- MGM’s Dr. Gillespie starring Lionel Barrymore (6 film-3 films airing on May 17)
- Warner Bros. Nancy Drew starring Bonita Granville (4 films on May 22-all airing on TCM)
- MGM’s Miss Marple series starring Margaret Rutherford (4 films on May 23-all airing on TCM)
- Warner Bros. Torchy Blaine series (9 films on May 23-all airing on TCM)
- MGM’s The Thin Man starring William Powell and Myrna Loy (6 films on May 23-24-all airing on TCM)
- Warner Bros. Perry Mason series (6 films on May 24-all airing on TCM)
- RKO’s Dick Tracy (4 films on May 24-all airing on TCM)
- Columbia’s Boston Blackie series starring Chester Morris (14 films-5 airing on May 28
- The Bulldog Drummond series (19 films-6 airing on May 29)
- RKO’s The Saint series (8 films on May 30-all airing on TCM)
- MGM’s Lassie starring Lassie (who else?) (7 films on May 30-31-all airing on TCM)
- Columbia’s Rusty series starring Ted Donaldson (8 films-6 airing on May 31)
- MGM’s Flipper (2 films on May 31-all airing on TCM)
ROBERT OSBORNE BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE (MAY 3)
TCM celebrates what would have been the “heart and soul” of the channel’s 86th birthday. The lineup includes Osborne’s 20th Anniversary Tribute (11:30pm/10:30pm) and his Private Screenings interview hosted by Alec Baldwin (8pm/7pm), plus two of his favorite movies, 1936’s Dodsworth (9:30pm/8:30pm) and 1944’s Laura (12:30am/11:30pm), starring his favorite actress, Gene Tierney. So grab some ice cream (it’s what Robert would have wanted) and sit back to watch some of Bob’s Picks.
AUDREY HEPBURN BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE (MAY 5)
Hollywood’s storybook princess would have turned 89 years young on this day. TCM celebrates her life with six films co-starring Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Anthony Perkins, Albert Finney, and Alan Arkin.
STARRING ROBERT DONAT (MAY 7)
The guy who beat out Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler and Jimmy Stewart’s Jefferson Smith for the 1939 Best Actor Oscar is TCM’s star of the night with five films, including the only movie he made in the U.S., 1934’s The Count of Monte Cristo (May 8 @ 3:15am/2:15am).
MOTHER’S DAY (MAY 13)
TCM’s annual Mother’s Day celebration with accidental Moms, self-sacrificing Moms, Moms who don’t get to raise their kids, and everything in-between.
MEMORIAL DAY MARATHON (MAY 25-28)
TCM gives tribute to the men and women who served and are currently serving our country with 37 movies ranging from the Civil War to the Korean War. The majority of films are set during the WWII era.