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Robert Osborne - February 2013
Remind Me

Robert Osborne on 31 Days of Oscar®

Have you heard about the time Spencer Tracy's newly won Oscar® (for 1937's Captains Courageous) was sent out to be engraved and came back incorrectly inscribed "to Dick Tracy?" Or the year a film (1968's The Young Americans) was named the best documentary feature, but after a month of celebrating its win the film's producers had to hand back the Academy Award® statuette because it was belatedly discovered the film hadn't been eligible for the prize? Or the time a minor, undistinguished "Bowery Boys" movie titled High Society was nominated for a Best Story Oscar® because voters had mistaken it for a spiffier Bing Crosby/Grace Kelly/Frank Sinatra musical of the same name?

The Academy Award® story is awash with fascinating facts and tantalizing trivia and we'll be relating as much of it as time allows all this month on TCM, and we celebrate Oscar's® 85th birthday this February 24 with TCM's own 18th annual 31 Days of Oscar® salute. That means, of course, every film we show for 31 days starting February 1, be it feature-length or a 10- or 20-minute short, will either be an Academy Award® winner or nominee. (And you can enjoy them all in comfort because, as we hope you know, there are no commercials, no interruptions, no cuts here on Turner Classic Movies, 24/7.)

Each year when we do these marathons, we like to find a new way to serve up the goodies, and this go-around we're organizing the features, some 349 of them, according to the studio which made and/or released them, starting with four days of Warner Bros. films (everything Oscar® touched there from 1942's Casablanca and 1968's Bullitt to 1933's 42nd Street and 1969's The Wild Bunch). Then we're on to the other major studios (Twentieth Century- Fox, RKO, MGM and Paramount), the majorminors (Universal, Columbia, United Artists), independents (Selznick-International, Samuel Goldwyn Pictures, Walter Wanger Productions, Filmways, Cinerama) and various others.

Among the mix we'll also be having 11 TCM premieres, which include Cocoon (1985), the ode to the big band era Orchestra Wives (1942), Darryl F. Zanuck's 1944 bio-epic Wilson (which led Zanuck to declare "If this film isn't a success, I'll never make another movie without Betty Grable in it."), Anna and the King of Siam (1946), the Rita Hayworth musical My Gal Sal (1942), The Robe (1953), Can-Can (1960) and a brand-new documentary about the making of Casablanca and the history of the Warner Studio called Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot. During the month, you'll also be able to see 31 of the Academy Award®-winning "Best Pictures" that are in Oscar's® hall of fame, including the very first one to receive that much-lusted-after award (Paramount's 1927 air-spectacular Wings, which sent the film career of lanky 26-year-old Gary Cooper over the moon).

There's so much good stuff on the horizon--of all genres, sizes and types--you may want to put a "do not disturb" sign on your front door, zone out, sit back and wallow in the pleasure of the company of everyone from Cagney and Colbert to Captain Blood and Carmen Jones, from Zorro and Zorba to the Prisoner of Zenda. They'll all be dropping by. We hope you do, too. And often. To borrow a title from one of the six Hitchcock films we'll be showing, we hope you'll be Spellbound.

by Robert Osborne