by Brett Leveridge
With colder weather upon us and the holidays just around the corner, an evening of classic movies with the family will be just the ticket. Here are 20 movies airing on Turner Classic Movies in November 2020 that you’ll want to watch (or record for later viewing).
Early Sunday, November 29; 4:30 a.m. ET
Popular big band leader Kay Kyser stars as, well, Kay Kyser in this World War II comedy. Kyser is asked by the US Army to serve as an undercover agent in order to capture a spy working out of the nightclub where Kyser's orchestra is playing a nightly engagement. Jane Wyman, Ellen Drew and Robert Armstrong costar.
Saturday, November 28; 8 p.m. ET
This sumptuous musical tells the tale of two American pals, a painter (Gene Kelly) and a pianist (Oscar Levant), who meet a lovely French woman (Leslie Caron), with whom Kelly is quickly smitten (she's spoken for, of course). But you won't watch this film for the plot, but because it features the wonderful music of George Gershwin and dancing that will make you swoon with delight.
Monday, November 2; 7:30 a.m. ET
This romantic drama follows the trials, triumphs and romances of four young nursing students (Florence Rice, Una Merkel, Ann Rutherford, and Mary Howard). Alan Marshal, Kent Taylor and Buddy Ebsen costar.
Tuesday, November 3; 6 a.m. ET
A single, middle-aged, small-town postmistress (Geraldine Page), while in New York City to attend a convention, meets a charming (but recently engaged) salesman (Glenn Ford), and her life will never been the same. Angela Lansbury costars.
Friday, November 6; 11:45 a.m. ET
TCM is devoting much of today's programming to films in which Joel McCrea starred (he was born 115 years ago yesterday). In this drama, Maureen O'Sullivan stars as a woman falsely accused of murder (and endangered by the gangsters who actually committed the crime); McCrea plays the young lawyer who comes to her aid. Lewis Stone also starred.
Saturday, November 7; 12 p.m. ET
The entertaining film follows the story of two oil-field workers (Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy), rivals for the love of a woman (Claudette Colbert), who, over the course of two decades, become weathy (but no less competitive) oil barons. Hedy Lamarr, Frank Morgan and Lionel Atwill costar.
Sunday, November 8; 1 p.m. ET
In this delightful romantic comedy, Charles Coburn and Joel McCrea are each in search of a place to live during Washington, D.C.'s World War II housing shortage. As it turns out, Jean Arthur just happens to have an extra room or two (but she also has a rather stuffy fiancé). George Stevens directed this overlooked classic of the genre. Highly recommended.
Tuesday, November 10; 6 a.m. ET
A music educator with a love for the classics (Claude Rains) raises his four daughters (played by real-life sisters Priscilla, Rosemary and Lola Lane, plus Gale Page) to love music as he does. The household is thrown into turmoil when a tenant in their boarding house, a rebellious young composer (John Garfield), falls for the youngest daughter. This film was such a hit it inspired two sequels.
Wednesday, November 11; 5 p.m. ET
This beloved account of three servicemen trying to adjust to civilian life after returning from World War II earned seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (William Wyler), Best Actor (Fredric March), Best Supporting Actor (Harold Russell) and Best Screenplay (Robert E. Sherwood). Russell also won an honorary Oscar "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans."
Early Thursday, November 12; 3:30 a.m. ET
Director William Wellman helmed this inspiring biopic of Ernie Pyle (Burgess Meredith), the Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent for the Scripps-Howard newspaper syndicate who wrote about the war from the perspective of the men and women who were fighting it. Robert Mitchum costars.
Friday, November 13; 9:45 a.m. ET
In this film adaptation of a beloved classic children's book, a young, newly orphaned girl (Margaret O'Brien) is sent to live with her uncle (Herbert Marshall) in a drafty old mansion in England. Once there, she is largely on her own, as her uncle shows little interest in interacting with her. She learns that she has a cousin, Colin (Dean Stockwell), she didn't know about and a servant's son (Brian Roper) helps her discover a secret garden behind the home that changes the three young people's lives.
Sunday, November 15; 11:45 a.m. ET
Howard Hawks' classic screwball comedy is one of the best in the genre. Katharine Hepburn stars as a harebrained heiress with a troublesome leopard, who takes a buttoned-down zoology professor (Cary Grant) on a madcap misadventure. Charles Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald and May Robson shine in supporting roles.
Wednesday, November 18; 11:45 p.m. ET
This terrific musical showcases some of the greatest African-American entertainers of all time, including Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Dooley Wilson, Coleman Hawkins and the amazing Nicholas Brothers, among many others. There's a plot, but it's of little importance: The singing, dancing and playing of these legendary entertainers is the attraction here.
Friday, November 20; 3:15 p.m. ET
George Arliss shines as a wealthy stockbroker who decides he's had enough of his spoiled adult children and selfish wife taking their good fortune for granted. He pretends to be broke to bring them back down to earth. Mary Astor, Evalyn Knapp and Grant Withers costar.
Saturday, November 21; 12 p.m. ET
With Thanksgiving not far away, TCM's timing is ideal in airing this account of the Pilgrims' epic journey across the Atlantic on the Mayflower. Spencer Tracy, Gene Tierney, Van Johnson and Lloyd Bridges star.
Sunday, November 22; 6 a.m. ET
With a score by the great Cole Porter, this musical finds sailor-on-leave James Stewart falling in love with a struggling would-be Broadway star Eleanor Powell and doing all he can to advance her career. Virginia Bruce, Buddy Ebsen, Una Merkel and Frances Langford also star.
Monday, November 23; 6 a.m. ET
Director George Cukor's adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel is a film the whole family can enjoy. The cast is a stellar one: Edna May Oliver, Freddie Bartholomew, Basil Rathbone, Una O'Connor, Lionel Barrymore, W. C. Fields, Roland Young, Lewis Stone, Maureen O'Sullivan and Elsa Lanchester, among others.
Tuesday, November 24, 2:30 p.m.
An arrogant American student (Robert Taylor), known mostly for his athletic exploits, transfers to Oxford and finds his Brit classmates aren't as impressed with him as the old gang back in the U.S. was. Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Vivien Leigh, and Edmund Gwenn also star.
Thursday, November 26, 9 a.m. ET
This delightful film blends live action and animation in a tale of a mild-mannered bookkeeper (Don Knotts) who is in love with the sea, but gets rejected by the Navy for service in World War II. On a visit to Coney Island, he falls into the sea, turns into a fish (that's when the animation kicks in) and becomes a war hero.
Saturday, November 28; 8 p.m. ET
This sumptuous musical tells the tale of two American pals, a painter (Gene Kelly) and a pianist (Oscar Levant) who meet a lovely French woman (Leslie Caron), with whom Kelly is quickly smitten (she's spoken for, of course). But you don't watch this film for the plot, but because it features the wonderful music of George Gershwin and dancing that will make you swoon with delight.
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