by Brett Leveridge
This month, Turner Classic Movies is holding its annual 31 Days of Oscar festival, during which TCM is featuring more than 335 films that each won at least one Academy Award. We're offering our own take on 31 Days of Oscar: We've picked one TCM offering for each day in March. So here are 31 movies we think you'll enjoy that are airing on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) this month.
Tuesday, March 1, at 2 p.m. ET
This heartwarming (and at times heartbreaking) family drama tells the tale of a lonely young teen (Claude Jarman, Jr.), an only child, who convinces his father to let him keep a young deer as a pet. When the deer is a year old, though, he brings all manner of trouble to the family farm. Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman head a stellar cast. This film was nominated for seven Oscars and won for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Color
Wednesday, March 2, at 5:45 a.m. ET
Gary Cooper won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Lou Gehrig, the baseball hall-of-famer known as The Iron Horse. He started 2,130 consecutive games for the New York Yankees until ALS ended his career and eventually his life. Teresa Wright won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Gehrig's wife, Eleanor, and Yankees legend Babe Ruth plays himself. This inspiring film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning six, including Best Picture.
Thursday, March 3, at 8:15 a.m. ET
This hard-hitting drama depicts the trial of four German judges who were accused of war crimes at a time when some in power were ready to move on from the prosecution of Nazis. The film's cast is one for the ages: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, William Shatner—the list goes on. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it won two: Best Actor (Schell) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Friday, March 4, at 12:45 p.m. ET
This biopic tells the story of the early years of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie (David Carradine), who uses his music to fight for the rights of migrant workers. Nominated for six Academy Awards, the film won two: Best Cinematography and Best Original Song Score.
Saturday, March 5, at 2:15 p.m. ET
John Wayne plays a Cavalry officer on the verge of retirement who is doing his best to prevent more violence between his troops and Native Americans. Like so many John Ford westerns, this film has a majestic setting, beautifully captured by Winton C. Hoch, who won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, Color.
Sunday, March 6, at 2:15 p.m. ET
In this comedic drama (dramatic comedy?), Brian Donlevy plays a hobo who gets drafted into crooked politics. Will he choose the honest path when it counts? This was the first directorial effort by Preston Sturges, up to then an acclaimed comedic screenwriter. So intent was he on becoming a director that he sold this script to Paramount for just $10, but only if he was allowed to helm the picture. Ironically, Sturges won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his trouble. Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff, Allyn Joslyn and William Demarest costar.
Monday, March 7, at 1:15 p.m. ET
This silent epic, directed by the great William Wellman, won the first Academy Award for Best Picture. It tells the tale of two young men, one wealthy, one not, who fall in love with the same woman and become fighter pilots in the First World War. The aerial battle scenes are remarkably well-shot for the time, garnering the Best Effects Oscar for Roy Pomeroy. The cast includes Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Richard Arlen, Clara Bow, and Jobyna Ralston, plus a memorable cameo by a very young Gary Cooper.
Tuesday, March 8, at 8 a.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. The film won Oscars for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White and Best Art Direction Black-and-White and was nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Wednesday, March 9, at 4 p.m. ET
William Wyler directed this 212-minute epic adaptation of Lew Wallace's best-selling 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The film won 11 Academy Awards (and was nominated for a 12th), including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Charlton Heston), who starred as Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur, Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith) and Best Cinematography.
Thursday, March 10, at 8:30 a.m. ET
Nominated for four Oscars (and winner of Best Costume Design), this delightful family-friendly film offers a fictionalized account of the lives of the Grimm Brothers, as well as reenactments of three of their stories: The Dancing Princess, The Cobbler and the Elves and The Singing Bone. Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Karlheinz Böhm, Walter Slezak, Barbara Eden and Oskar Homolka costar.
Friday, March 11, at 8 p.m. ET
This incisive drama tells the tale of a Manhattan ad executive (Dustin Hoffman) whose wife (Meryl Streep) suddenly files for divorce, leaving the executive, whose focus has long been on his career, to adjust his priorities so he can be a proper father to his son as his and his wife battle over custody. The film clearly resonates with audiences, as it won five of the nine Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hoffman), Best Actress (Streep), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director.
Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m. ET
This inspiring drama tells the true story of two runners who compete in the 1924 Paris Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scot who is motivated by his Christian faith, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew, who seeks to battle the prejudice his people face. Nominated for seven Oscars, it won three: Best Picture (in an upset), Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score.
Sunday, March 13, at 8:15 a.m. ET
Fredric March stars as the title character, an orphan who is eventually taken in by a merchant named Mr. Bonnyfeather (Edmund Gwynn), who is, unbeknownst to Anthony, his grandfather. Bonnyfeather's housekeeper (Gale Sondergaard in her screen debut) is in line to inherit his fortune, but she knows of Anthony's relationship to Bonnyfeather and fears the money will go to him instead. Throw in Anthony's star-crossed romance with Bonnyfeather's cook's daughter (Olivia de Havilland) and you can see that complications ensue. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and won four: Best Supporting Actress (Sondergaard), Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Score.
Monday, March 14, at 2:30 p.m. ET
Based on Emily Brontë's 1847 novel of the same name, this beloved drama stars Star of the Day Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier as Catherine and Heathcliff, star-crossed lovers who never stop caring for each other but are kept apart by societal strictures. William Wyler directs and David Niven costars. Nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Olivier) and Best Director, it won for Best Black-and-White Cinematography.
Tuesday, March 15, at 10:15 a.m. ET
Fred Astaire stars as—what else?—a hoofer whose partner (Ann Miller) has suddenly and unexpectedly gone solo. In order to make his former partner jealous, he teams with an inexperienced young Broadway chorus girl (Judy Garland), with whom he intends to keep things on a strictly business basis. Will he succeed? This beloved musical is filled to the brim with Irving Berlin songs, including the title song, and won the Oscar for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.
Wednesday, March 16, at 9:45 p.m. ET
The great Judy Holliday shines as Billie Dawn, an uneducated young woman whose boyfriend (Broderick Crawford), a crooked junk dealer, is embarrassed by her lack of education and social polish and so hires a journalist (William Holden) as her tutor. Comedic complications ensue. This classic comedy was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Director and Best Picture. Holliday took home the statuette for Best Actress.
Thursday, March 17, at 8 p.m. ET
This endearing and enduring musical has been delighting viewers for decades following a run of 1,375 performances on Broadway. Robert Preston stars as con-man Harold Hill, and Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett and Hermione Gingold costar. The Music Man was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Best Music and Best Art Direction.
Friday, March 18, at 6 p.m. ET
Neil Simon wrote this comedic tale of Lewis and Clark (George Burns and Walter Matthau), a legendary vaudeville team who are great when performing together but who never got along off-stage. After years apart, will they be able to put their enmity aside for a television comeback? Richard Benjamin costars as Clark's nephew who tries to keep their squabbles to a minimum until the TV special is completed. The film received four Academy Award nominations, with Burns taking home the Best Supporting Actor statuette.
Saturday, March 19, at 12 p.m. ET
Sidney Poitier became the first Black man to win the Best Actor Oscar with his indelible performance in this inspiring tale of a handyman in the Southwest helping a group of German nuns erect a chapel. This film was also Oscar-nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Lilia Skala), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Black-and-White Cinematography.
Sunday, March 20, at 10 a.m. ET
In this hard-hitting drama, based on a true story, Jane Wyman plays Belinda McDonald, a young deaf-mute woman who lives with her family on a farm on Cape Breton Island, off the east coast of Canada. Her family underestimates their daughter but a doctor (Lew Ayres), newly arrived in the area, takes on the role of her tutor and she begins to blossom. Scandal arises, though, when she is attacked by a local fisherman and impregnated. Charles Bickford and Agnes Moorehead costar as Belinda's parents. The film received a dozen Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Ayres), Best Supporting Actor (Bickford), Best Supporting Actress (Moorehead), with Wyman winning for Best Actress.
Monday, March 21, at 4 p.m. ET
In this classic screwball comedy, Irene Dunne and Cary Grant play a married couple, each of whom suspects (falsely, natch) that their spouse is not being true to them. They file for a divorce but in the 90-day waiting period set by the judge, they come to realize, though a string of comic situations, that they're not so eager to go their separate ways after all. Ralph Bellamy costars. This film received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Dunne), and Best Support Actor (Bellamy). Leo McCary took home the Best Director statuette.
Tuesday, March 22, at 8 p.m. ET
John Ford directed this acclaimed adaptation of John Steinbeck's National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The Joad family, an Oklahoma farming clan, rendered destitute by the Dust Bowl, head west to California in hopes of a better life. Henry Fonda memorably portrayed eldest son Tom, Jane Darwell and Russell Simpson played Ma and Pa Joad, and Charley Grapewin was Grandpa Joad. This classic film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Fonda), with Darwell winning Best Supporting Actress and Ford getting the nod for Best Director.
Wednesday, March 23, at 10 p.m. ET
Kirk Douglas delivers an Oscar-nominated performance as artist Vincent Van Gogh in this acclaimed biopic, directed by Vincente Minnelli. Anthony Quinn costars in a portrayal of Paul Gauguin for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film received two more nominations as well, for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Art Direction.
Thursday, March 24, at 6:30 a.m. ET
In this wacky musical comedy, a Roman slave (Zero Mostel) comes up with to gain his freedom, but his plan goes awry and comedic complications ensue. Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton and Jack Gilford costar; Stephen Sondheim wrote the songs. Ken Thorne won the Oscar for Best Score.
Friday, March 25, at 8 p.m. ET
This beloved musical is a film adaptation of the long-running (nearly eight years!) Broadway production that was based on the works of author Sholem Aleichem. Topol stars as Tevye, a traditional Jew who must contend with the cultural changes in his world and the growing anti-Semitism that threatens his family and the village they live in. The film was nominated for six Oscars, winning Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Music, Scoring Adaptation and Original Song Score.
Saturday, March 26, at 7:45 a.m. ET
This acclaimed account of three servicemen trying to adjust to civilian life after returning from World War II was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won seven, 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."
Sunday, March 27, at 7:45 a.m. ET
This classic romantic comedy from Frank Capra—truly one of the all-time classics of the genre—is as fresh and funny (and yes, romantic) as it was the day it debuted nearly 90 years ago. Clark Gable plays a newspaperman on the trail of a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert). This classic film was nominated for five Oscars and won them all—Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay—every one of them richly deserved.
Monday, March 28, at 6:15 p.m. ET
By 1938, John Wayne had already appeared in more than 165 films, but it was his portrayal of the Ringo Kid in this classic John Ford western that set him on the path toward becoming a Hollywood icon. Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine and Thomas Mitchell costar. This film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It won for Best Supporting Actor (Mitchell) and Best Score.
Tuesday, March 29, at 8 p.m. ET
Greer Garson shines as the matriarch of a British family's struggles during the first months of World War II. Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, Dame May Whitty, Reginald Owen, and Henry Travers costar. This inspiring film garnered a dozen Oscar nominations and won in six categories: Best Picture, Best Actress (Garson), Best Supporting Actress (Wright), Best Director (William Wyler), Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography, Black-and-White.
Wednesday, March 30, at 10:45 p.m. ET
Alfred Hitchcock was the rare director who remade one of his own pictures. This reworking of his 1934 picture of the same name stars Doris Day and James Stewart and delivers just the level of suspenseful entertainment you've come to expect from Hitchcock, as an American doctor and his family, while vacationing Morocco, first witness a murder and then learn that their son has been kidnapped. The film won an Oscar for Best Original Song with "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)."
Thursday, March 31, at 10:30 p.m. ET
Selina, a young white blind woman (Elizabeth Hartman), whose controlling mother (Shelley Winters) has kept her confined at home for years, meets Gordon, a kind office worker (Sidney Poitier) who helps her to expand her world. She falls in love with him, not knowing he is Black. When her mother learns of the relationship, she forbids her daughter from continuing to see Gordon because he is Black. Will true love win out? This film was nominated for five Oscars; Winters took home the Best Supporting Actress statuette.
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Click on a picture to enjoy more inspiring photos and stories.
Click on a picture to enjoy more inspiring photos and stories.