by Brett Leveridge
While we're still being asked to isolate at home for our own sake and the safety of others, a classic motion picture is the perfect way to spend a late winter or early spring evening. From thrillers and mysteries to popular, award-winning musicals, here are 22 movies we think you'll enjoy that are airing on Turner Classic Movies in March 2021.
Monday, March 1, at 8 p.m. ET
This musical comedy marked TCM’s Star of the Month Doris Day's motion picture debut. Day plays a singer hired to impersonate a socialite (Janis Paige) on an ocean cruise, while the detective (Jack Carson) hired by the socialite's husband (Don DeFore) to spy on her ends up falling in love with her (or rather, with the singer who's impersonating her). Got all that?
Tuesday, March 2, at 6:45 p.m. ET
Glenda Farrell is delightful in her portrayal of reporter Torchy Blane in this fun and funny mystery. The Torchy Blane character proved so popular that it inspired eight sequels. Keep your eyes peeled for Jane Wyman in the role of a hatcheck girl; she would portray Torchy herself in the series' final installment.
Thursday, March 4, at 8 a.m. ET
Gower and Marge Champion were frequently supporting players at MGM, but this picture finds them starring as a married couple whose song-and-dance act is broken up when they learn that she is expecting a child. He continues to perform with a new partner, which, as we might expect, causes problems. Dennis O'Keefe costars.
Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m. ET
In what is one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films from his pre-Hollywood period, Robert Donat stars as a man who journeys to the Scottish Highlands in an effort to extricate himself from a web of intrigue and espionage into which he has been unexpectedly and inexplicably thrust.
Saturday, March 6, at 10:08 a.m. ET
William Powell stars as S. S. Van Dine's fictional detective, the aristocratic Philo Vance. The case involves the suspicious death of Vance's rival in the Long Island Kennel Club's dog show, and Powell, of course, coolly and calmly solves the mystery. Mary Astor and Eugene Pallette costar.
Saturday, March 6, at 3:30 p.m. ET
If you're a fan of classic whodunits, you'll enjoy this comedy, written by Neil Simon, that spoofs tropes of the genre as well as a number of beloved fictional detectives, among them Sam Spade, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Charlie Chan, and Nick and Nora Charles. Eileen Brennan, James Coco, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, David Niven, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, Nancy Walker, and Estelle Winwood star.
Sunday, March 7, at 1:15 p.m. ET
Kirk Douglas delivers an Oscar-nominated performance as artist Vincent Van Gogh in this acclaimed biopic, directed by Vincente Minnelli. Anthony costars in a portrayal of Paul Gauguin for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Monday, March 8, at 8 p.m. ET
Doris Day and Danny Thomas shine in this musical biopic that reviews the life and career legendary lyricist Gus Kahn, who cowrote such classic songs as Pretty Baby, Nobody's Sweetheart, My Buddy, Yes Sir! That's My Baby, It Had to Be You, Carolina in the Morning and many more. Frank Lovejoy, Mary Wickes and James Gleason costar.
Tuesday, March 9, at 9:30 a.m. ET
There have been many movies about the legendary bandit king of Sherwood Forest and there will no doubt be many more, but this beloved adaptation, nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Claude Rains and Alan Hale, Sr., remains the favorite of classic movie buffs everywhere.
Thursday, March 11, at 8 p.m. ET
In this first cinematic pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, sportswriter Sam and political columnist Tess, who at first don't like each other very much, eventually fall in love and get married. But Tess is such a prominent public figure that her busy schedule puts a strain on their relationship. Can their marriage be saved?
Friday, March 12, at 7:30 a.m. ET
In this comedy with a touch of drama (or is it a drama with a touch of comedy?), Robert Montgomery portrays a gangster on the. When the bullet he’s taken in the shoulder finally causes him to pass out on the side of the road, he's found by a kindly farmer who thinks him an innocent crime victim. Time spent with the farmer's family—especially his lovely daughter (Maureen O'Sullivan)—leads to the gangster reconsidering his path in life. Edward Arnold costars.
Saturday, March 13, at 12 p.m. ET
You'd be hard-pressed to find a cast more representative of the Golden Age of Hollywood than the threesome that headlines this film. Clark Gable portrays Jim Lane, a reckless test pilot who meets Ann Barton, a nice Kansas girl (Myrna Loy), when he is forced to make an emergency landing in a farmer's field. Spencer Tracy plays "Gunner" Morris, Lane's sidekick and mechanic, who teams with Loy in an attempt to keep Gable on the straight and narrow. Lionel Barrymoore costars.
Sunday, March 14, at 6 a.m. ET
This film, based on Ernest Hemingway's acclaimed novel, stars Helen Hayes as a British nurse who falls in love with an American ambulance driver in Italy during the First World War. Gary Cooper and Adolphe Menjou costar in this nomination for the Academy Award in the Best Picture category.
Tuesday, March 16, at 9:30 a.m. ET
This plot may sound familiar: A World War I fighter pilot thought to have died in action turns up alive and kicking after his wife, the mother of his child, has remarried. But most movies with similar plots are comedies; this one's a drama starring Joel McCrea and Constance Bennett.
Wednesday, March 17, at 8 p.m. ET
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! TCM is airing a number of Irish-themed movies today, but you'll have to check the listings for the others. We wouldn't think of recommending anything other than this classic film on this particular day. John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara and Barry Fitzgerald star in this beloved classic, but then you knew that.
Sunday, March 21, at 3:30 p.m. ET
This classic drama, based on a smash-hit Broadway play, stars Humphrey Bogart in an Oscar-nominated performance as a Navy captain who is slowly losing his moorings as he sinks into a state of extreme paranoia, leaving his crew forced to consider mutiny. José Ferrer, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, E. G. Marshall and Tom Tully costar.
Monday, March 22, at 8:30 a.m. ET
Olivia de Havilland garnered one of her two Best Actress Oscars for her performance in William Wyler's film adaptation of the Henry James novel, Washington Square. In the film, set in mid-19th-century New York, De Havilland plays Catherine Sloper, the plain and socially awkward adult daughter of a domineering father (Ralph Richardson), who is wooed and deceived by a handsome man of questionable character (Montgomery Clift), who appears to care much more for her family's wealth than for Catherine. It's arguably one of the finest dramas Hollywood has ever produced.
Thursday, March 25, at 2 p.m. ET
David Lean's adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, and deservedly so. John Mills plays Pip (Tony Wager plays Pip as a lad), an orphan who is suddenly made a gentleman of means, thanks to the support and assistance of an anonymous donor. Jean Simmons, Valerie Hobson and Alec Guinness costar.
Sunday, March 28, at 8 a.m. ET
In this classic example of the kind of dramatic film that was once called a "women’s picture," Ginger Rogers won an Oscar for her portrayal of the title character, a working woman facing a difficult decision: run away with her long-time love, a fellow from a blueblood family who promises a life of luxury (Dennis Morgan) and a man who's devoted his life to serving others as a doctor (James Craig).
Late Monday, March 29, at 2:15 a.m. ET
In this delightful adaptation of Jean Kerr's best-selling book of humorous essays about suburban life and raising four sons, David Niven and Doris Day star as a college professor and his wife who, after struggling to raise four sons in a cramped, two-bedroom New York City apartment, decide to buy a rundow...er, fixer-up mansion 70 miles outside the city, even as the professor transitions from his university position to a job as drama critic for a major newspaper. Janis Paige, Spring Byington, Patsy Kelly and Jack Weston costar.
Wednesday, March 31, at 8 p.m. ET
This giant monster movie, which inspired dozens of sequels and remakes (not to mention countless imitators), will be fun for the older kids in your life who are scary movie fans. Raymond Burr stars in this, the U.S. release of the original 1954 Japanese film, as American reporter Steve Martin, who is covering Godzilla's attack on Tokyo.
Godzilla is followed at 9:30 p.m. ET by the original King Kong (1933), which is surely not a coincidence, given the release today in theatres and on HBO Max of a new film, Godzilla vs. Kong.
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