TCM – Shadows of Russia Film Showcase
[Press Release – Released by TCM]
From the last days of the Tsars and the Russian Revolution to the intrigue of the Cold War, from student demonstrations to anti-communist fervor, cinema has provided an ideal canvas on which to paint the story of Russia and its effect on the world. This winter, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will present the 20-film festival Shadows of Russia, showcasing a rich array of movies from and about the era. The festival will air Wednesdays in primetime throughout January.
Mission to Moscow, which will be receiving a rare prime-time TCM showing as part of the series, is a unique $2 million pro-Soviet propaganda epic. Made by Warner Bros. at the personal request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to generate American support for Russia in World War II, the film was directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca ) and stars Walter Huston as a U.S. ambassador who praises Dictator Josef Stalin. After the war, Mission to Moscow was cited as evidence of Communist infiltration of Hollywood during the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings.
TCM’s Shadows of Russia event was conceived and created by New York Post critic Lou Lumenick and film blogger Self-Styled Siren (Farran Smith Nehme). They brought the idea to TCM after writing in-depth about TCM’s February 2009 presentation of Mission to Moscow. “The showcase is a fascinating opportunity to see how cinema has depicted the rise of communism in Russia and the country’s relationship to the world,” said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM.
Among the outstanding titles featured in TCM’s Shadows of Russia are The Scarlet Empress (1934), Reds (1981), Ninotchka (1939) and The Way We Were
(1973). In addition, TCM will present three infrequently seen movies making their first appearances on the network: The North Star (1943), starring Huston and Dana Andrews as Russian villagers battling Nazi invaders, directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front) from an Oscarr-nominated script by Lillian Hellman; My Son John (1952), about a young man (Robert Walker in his final film) whose parents suspect him of being a communist, directed by Leo McCarey; and I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951), with Frank Lovejoy in a documentary-like spy thriller.
Each night of TCM’s Shadows of Russia will focus on two themes, beginning with Twilight of the Tsars and Red Romance on Jan. 6; The Lighter Side of the Revolution and The Left on Campus on Jan. 13; Our Red Army Pals and Diplomatic Immunity on Jan. 20; Spies Among Us and The Height of the Cold War on Jan. 27. The following is a complete schedule:
Wednesday, Jan. 6
Part One: Twilight of the Tsars
8 p.m. The Scarlet Empress (1934) – starring Marlene Dietrich and John Lodge.
10 p.m. Rasputin and the Empress (1932) – starring John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore.
Part Two: Red Romance
12:15 a.m. Red Danube (1949) – starring Walter Pidgeon and Ethel Barrymore.
2:30 a.m. Reds (1981) – starring Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson and Maureen Stapleton.
Wednesday, Jan. 13
Part Three: The Lighter Side of the Revolution
8 p.m. Comrade X (1940) – starring Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr.
10 p.m. Ninotchka (1939) – starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas.
Part Four: The Left on Campus
Midnight The Way We Were (1973) – starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.
2:15 a.m. Spring Madness (1938) – starring Maureen O’Sullivan, Lew Ayres, Ruth Hussey and Burgess Meredith.
3:30 a.m. The Strawberry Statement (1970) – starring Bruce Davison, Kim Darby and Bob Balaban.
Wednesday, Jan. 20
Part Five: Our Red Army Pals
8 p.m. The North Star (1943) – starring Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews and Walter Huston.
10 p.m. Mission to Moscow (1943) -starring Walter Huston, Ann Harding and Oscar Homolka.
Part Six: Diplomatic Immunity
12:15 a.m. The Kremlin Letter (1970) – starring Bibi Andersson, Richard Boone, Max von Sydow and Orson Welles.
2:15 a.m. Conspirator (1949) – starring Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor.
4 a.m. Counter-Attack (1945) – starring Paul Muni and Marguerite Chapman.
Wednesday, Jan. 27
Part Seven: Spies Among Us
8 p.m. My Son John (1952) – starring Helen Hayes, Robert Walker and Dean Jagger.
10:15 p.m. I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951) – starring Frank Lovejoy and Dorothy Hart.
Part Eight: The Height of the Cold War
Midnight The Manchurian Candidate (1962) – starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury.
2:15 a.m. The Bedford Incident (1965)
– starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier.
4:15 a.m. Scarlet Dawn (1932) – starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Nancy Carroll.
5:15 a.m. The Doughgirls (1944) – starring Jane Wyman, Ann Sheridan, Alexis Smith and Eve Arden.