TCM's annual 31 Days of Oscar® programming returns for its 29th year, kicking off on March 1st with a month-long showcase of films recognized by the Academy.
This year Turner Classic Movies will be celebrating Oscar by Genre.
In celebration of Warner Bros. Studios' 100th anniversary, TCM will spotlight some of Warner Bros.' most memorable films during this year's 31 Days of Oscar® programming. See the full list of programming by using this link.
I'm a huge fan of "31 Days of Oscar". For the first many years that I observed this annual tradition the event took place in February, which of course usually has only twenty-eight days (accept for leap years). So, in the beginning I was confounded by the moniker. Apparently the programming had appeared in the month of March, and when it was moved back a month the idea of renaming was deemed too confusing for the viewer. Turns out it was a good call since here we are with the special schedule back in March.
If you haven't previously watched TCM during this time of the year, then you're in for a treat. Of course the classic movie channel is virtually always a treat. However, it is during "31 Days of Oscar" that the station's programming wizards (non-gender specific in this usage) really seem to embrace the challenge of scheduling every day of a whole month around not only films with various Oscar nominations, but also a specific theme. And every year that theme is different than the year before, or even the years before. I was particularly impressed the year based on the concept of the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon". They had the brilliant idea of connecting each movie to the next by the association of an actor who appeared in both. For example, Cary Grant was in The Bishop's Wife which also starred David Niven, so the next film would have David Niven in, say, Separate Tables with Burt Lancaster. Then the next film would be a Burt Lancaster film, and so on, until the last film in the whole lineup brought you back to a Kevin Bacon film. I can only imagine the headaches of making that theme workout. Needless to say, they have yet to try that again.
This year the schedulers had the less daunting task of arranging each day's programming by genre. There's Romance on one day, and comedy on another. A quick glance at the schedule will reveal that not every day sticks to one genre, or even clearly denotes a specific genre. For example, March first begins with what can clearly be described as films about Family. Yet at 8:00pm, the genre switches to something I can't quite put my finger on. It starts with The Adventures of Robin Hood, includes Mutiny on the Bounty, and ends with Mighty Joe Young. I have a free @ClassicFilm cap for anyone who can crack that nut. I can only presume that the genre connection will be presented on the day of airing.
Regardless of the theme, or the tenuous connection of one film to another, "31 Days of Oscar" is a particularly great time of year for classic film fans, mainly because it's an opportunity to see the most honored films in cinema history, and discover movies they might not otherwise have seen. After-all, an Oscar nomination or win is a pretty good recommendation for seeing a film. The special programming this time of year is also a great way to experience everything TCM has to offer. Nobody presents as many great old classics as TCM, and no one does it better.