Classic movie fans looking to get into the holiday spirit need look no farther than Turner Classic Movies, which will air more than 30 holiday films during the month of December. Most of the seasonal pictures will be shown on Sundays, with special schedules also lined up for December 17, 18, and 20, plus Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Different themes will dominate the offerings on weekdays, while double features will air on Sundays.
The schedule for Sunday, December 9, begins at 8 p.m. Eastern with “We’re No Angels,” a 1955 comedy starring Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov. At 10 p.m, TCM airs “Lady in the Lake” (1947), a noir thriller with Robert Montgomery and Audrey Totter than takes place at Christmas time.
On Sunday, December 16, at 8 p.m., Joseph L. Mankiewicz fans can see the director’s 1964 drama, “A Carol for Another Christmas,” starring Percy Rodrigues, Robert Shaw, and Sterling Hayden. The 1951 version “A Christmas Carol” starring Alastair Sim follows at 9:30 p.m. The documentary feature, “A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas!” (2011) begins at 11 p.m.
On Monday, December 17, the prime time theme is Christmas in Uniform, with “Destination Tokyo” (1943) starting at 8 p.m. “Battleground” (1949) follows at 10:30 p.m., with “The Fighting 69th” (1940) at 12:45 a.m. and “Never So Few” (1959) at 2:30 a.m. Night owls and early risers can catch “Salute to the Marines” (1943) at 4:45 a.m.
Musicals take precedence on Tuesday, December 18, with Judy Garland and Van Johnson in “In the Good Old Summertime” (1949) during the prime time slot at 8 p.m. Garland also stars in “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944), which airs at 10 p.m. Doris Day takes the lead in “On Moonlight Bay” (1951) at midnight, followed by Bob Hope in “The Seven Little Foys” (1955) at 2 a.m. and June Haver in “The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady” (1950) at 4 a.m.
TCM viewers can enjoy Christmas in New York on Thursday, December 20, beginning with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh in “Holiday Affair” (1950) at 8 p.m. Bob Hope stars in “The Lemon Drop Kid” (1950) at 9:30 p.m., followed by Ginger Rogers in “Bachelor Mother” (1939) at 11:15 p.m. Errol Flynn heads up the cast of “Never Say Goodbye” (1946) at 12:45 a.m., and Margaret O’Brien stars in “Tenth Avenue Angel” (1948) at 2:45 a.m.
The Christmas double feature returns on Sunday, December 23, with Cary Grant and Loretta Young in “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947) at 8 p.m., followed by Don DeFore, Ann Harding, and Charlie Ruggles in “It Happened on 5th Avenue” (1947) at 10 p.m.
TCM host Robert Osborne offers his Christmas Eve picks on Monday, December 24, starting with Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan in Ernst Lubitsch’s romantic comedy, “The Shop Around the Corner” (1940), at 8 p.m. Loretta Young and Celeste Holm star as nuns in “Come to the Stable” (1949) at 10 p.m., followed by Rosalind Russell as “Auntie Mame” (1958) at midnight. Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, and Monty Woolley round out the schedule with “The Man Who Came to Dinner” (1942) at 2:30 a.m.
On Tuesday, December 25, TCM offers a full day of holiday programming, beginning with a collection of religious favorites. Bing Crosby stars in “Going My Way” (1944) at 7:30 a.m., followed by “The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima” (1952) at 9:45 a.m. Audrey Hepburn stars in “The Nun’s Story” (1959) at 11:30 a.m., and Jennifer Jones also takes the veil for “The Song of Bernadette” (1943) at 2:15 p.m. The Christ story gets an epic classic movie treatment in “King of Kings” (1961) at 5 p.m.
Viewers can spend the prime time hours of Christmas Day with Mickey Rooney and the Hardy family in six films. The schedule opens with “Love Finds Andy Hardy” (1938) at 8 p.m., followed by “Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever” (1939) at 9:45 p.m. “Judge Hardy and Son” (1939) airs at 11:15 p.m., and “Andy Hardy Meets Debutante” (1940) begins at 1 a.m. At 2:45 a.m., TCM airs “Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary” (1941), followed by “Life Begins for Andy Hardy” (1941) at 4:30 a.m.
Check the TCM website for the full schedule and more information. Other highlights of the month include films starring Star of the Month Barbara Stanwyck and a series of movies from director Ernst Lubitsch.
Jennifer Garlen writes as the Huntsville and National Classic Movies Examiner. Her book, “Beyond Casablanca: 100 Classic Movies Worth Watching,” is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.