Each Friday in the month of December, Turner Classic Movies will be turning its Spotlight on director Charles Walters, an MGM director who’s never really gotten the attention that his peers Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen have, even though he’s responsible for some of the most purely entertaining musicals of the studio’s golden age. TCM will be showing my two of my favorite Walters musicals tonight: 1947’s Good News (at 8 p.m. Eastern) and 1948’s Easter Parade (at 9:45). Those will be followed at 11:45 and 1:45 by two more Fred Astaire pictures, 1949’s The Barkleys Of Broadway (with Ginger Rogers) and 1952’s The Belle Of New York (with the remarkable Vera-Ellen). But the film to take special note of in this week’s slate is the underrated 1952 romantic comedy Three Guys Named Mike, starring Jane Wyman as a stewardess who juggles three suitors (played by Van Johnson, Howard Keel, and Barry Sullivan). Beyond the usual pleasure of seeing Wyman on the screen, Three Guys Named Mike is invaluable for people like myself who are fascinated by movies that freeze aspects of the culture that go largely undocumented. In this case, Three Guys Named Mike has a lot more detail about commercial air travel in the early 1950s than you might expect from such a breezy mainstream studio picture. Climb aboard at 3:15 a.m.
December 05, 2014 newsreel