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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Kellow Fiorini

Kay Francis is Star of the Month on TCM in January.

Happy 2022! Birthday girl Kay Francis is TCM’s Star of the Month. Francis was featured in Women of pre-Code last year, this is a great chance to check out her films every Monday night through Tuesday morning. Epic movie night is every Saturday, True Crime movies Thursday nights, and Tuesday nights spotlight Movie Accents — think Brits playing Americans and Americans playing Brits. On Martin Luther King day TCM premiers eight documentaries from The Film Group on the conflicts of the civil rights era, and January 19 features five films starring Jean Arthur and directed by Frank Capra.


Jewel Robbery 1932 Kay Francis, William Powell

Trouble In Paradise 1932 Kay Francis, Miriam Hopkins, Herbert Marshall

Raffels 1930 Kay Francis, Ronald Coleman


Mandalay 1934 Kay Francis, Ricardo Cortez

Abandoned by her lover, a woman becomes the main "hostess" in a decadent nightclub, but tries to put her past behind her on a steamer to Mandalay. Francis' last film before enforcement of The Code. Don't let the word "hostess" fool you, Francis character is sold into "white slavery" by her no-good lover. The censors were not happy.


Cynara 1932 Kay Francis, Ronald Colman

Infidelity threatens a lawyer's marriage when his fling decides to steal him from his wife. A pre-Code that features surprisingly modern conversations about infidelity.

The Keyhole 1933 Kay Francis, George Brent, Glenda Farrell


Gandhi 1982 Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergan, John Gielgud

George Wallace 1997 Gary Sinise, Angelina Jolie, Mare Winningham


The Great Escape 1963 Robert Graf, Nigel Stock

The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 William Holden, Alec Guinness


The Onion Field 1979 John Savage, James Woods


The Lady from Shanghai 1948 Orson Wells, Rita Hayworth

East of Eden 1955 Julie Harris, James Dean

The Barefoot Contessa 1954 Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner


The Defiant Ones 1958 Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier

The Learning Tree 1969 Kyle Johnson, Alex Clarke

The Murder of Fred Hampton 1971


Places In the Heart 1984 Sally Field, Ed Harris

The Friends of Eddie Coyle 1973 Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle


Rio Bravo 1959 John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson


You Can’t Take it with You 1938, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart

The French Connection 1971, Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider

Patty Hearst 1988 Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames


Looking for Mr. Goodbar 1977, Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld

Suspicion 1941 Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine


Easy Rider 1969 Denis Hopper, Peter Fonda

Mad Max 1979 Mel Gibson

Heavy Metal 1981 John Candy, Jackie Burroughs

American Pop 1981


A Letter to Three Wives 1948 Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Southern


Bad Day at Black Rock 1955 Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis


Allotment Wives 1945 Kay Francis, Paul Kelly, Otto Kruger

Unscrupulous women marry servicemen for their pay.

A Cry in the Dark 1988 Meryl Streep, Sam Neill


Happy Birthday Paul Newman

Cool Hand Luke 1967

Harper 1966


Wild Boys of the Road 1933 Frankie Darrow, Rochelle Hudson

A great pre-Code in spite of its slightly hokey, tacked on ending. If you forgotten from your history class what the Great Depression was like for kids this film gives you an almost neo-realist look at the time.


Birdman of Alcatraz 1962 Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter


Guilty Hands 1931 Kay Francis, Lionel Barrymore

I Found Stella Parish 1935 Kay Francis, Ian Hunter, Paul Lukas


The House on 56th Street 1933 Kay Francis, Ricardo Cortez, Gene Raymond

Mary Stevens M.D 1933 Kay Francis, Lyle Talbot, Glenda Farrell

Kay plays yet another doctor in this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink melodrama, In it's 70 minute run-time it deals with the trials of sexism for women doctors, drinking while doing surgery, divorce, pregnancy out of wedlock, a dramatic trip to Paris, polio, infant mortality, and best practices with hair pins (you'll know when you see it) - General Hospital would blush as the outrageousness of this plotline. And if you love it, this movie if finally available not just on disc but a beautiful blu-ray.


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