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FLICK PICKS: Bogart, Capra, Christmas and more
December 1, 2009  | By Diane Werts

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, some Capra-corn, bunches of Bogart, and an elementary marathon of Sherlock Holmes. December's highlights on Turner Classic Movies also include a Thin Man sixpack and the 70th anniversary of Gone With the Wind.

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Bogart gets things going Wednesday night with the first of five weekly round-the-clock tributes that total 64 movies for his 110th birthday marathon. The titles span Bogie's bit parts in the early 1930s to '40s stardom to his 1950s valedictories, and TCM isn't saving the best for last -- it's all over the place. Dec. 2's prime-time lineup includes The Petrified Forest (Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET) and Dead End (9:30 p.m. ET), with overnight goodies like the Cagney-Bogart gem Angels With Dirty Faces (1:30 a.m. ET) and 1988's first-person tribute Bacall on Bogart (3:30 a.m. ET, all on TCM). Dec. 9 includes '30s tough guys James Cagney and Bogart teamed in the unlikely western The Oklahoma Kid (Cagney sings!), and Dec. 16 pretty much runs the table of Bogie essentials: The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and The African Queen.

This year's TCM Christmas -- Thursday nights all through December -- mixes some familiar titles (Reginald Owen's 1938 A Christmas Carol, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET) with more obscure finds (1947's homeless-to-penthouse heartwarmer It Happened on 5th Avenue, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. ET, both on TCM). Also look for a yule bonus this Sunday afternoon with the Barbara Stanwyck double feature of Christmas in Connecticut and Remember the Night (Dec. 6 at noon and 2 p.m. ET, TCM).

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Frank Capra's director of the month salute on Mondays starts Dec. 7 with an all-night all-star slam-dunk -- Clark Gable in It Happened One NIght (8 p.m. ET), Gary Cooper in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (10 p.m. ET), James Stewart in You Can't Take It With You (12 midnight ET), and Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace (2:15 a.m. ET, all on TCM).

TCM celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Atlanta premiere of Gone With the Wind Dec. 15 by screening the four-hour epic followed by the 1988 documentary The Making of a Legend.

A dozen of the classic 1940s Sherlock Holmes films of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce highlight the 17 Holmes titles celebrating Christmas Dec. 25-26. But we'll also get Billy Wilder's 1970 The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, among other alternatives.

And capping this completely classic month -- all six of the delightful mysteries pairing William Powell and Myrna Loy as married sleuths Nick and Nora Charles, as introduced by 1934's effervescent The Thin Man. The entire 1934-1947 series runs in release order starting at 8 p.m. ET New Year's Eve.

We'll keep track of other treats through the month. But in the meantime, consult tcm.com for details of the other franchises -- foreign faves, silent movies, underground classics -- with which commercial-free TCM continues to keep classic film buffs satisfied.


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