January 07, 2016

#SOTM - TCM's Star of the Month Jan. 2016 - Fred MacMurray

Fred MacMurray Fast Facts
  • Born: Frederick Martin MacMurray on August 30, 1908 in Kankakee, Illinois. Raised in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
  • Died: November 5, 1991 (aged 83) in Santa Monica, California (pneumonia, pulmonary edema, sepsis syndrome, urinary tract infection, chronic lymphocytic leukemia)
  • Father: Frederick MacMurray - concert violinist. Died when young Fred was 5.
  • Mother: Maleta MacMurray, née Martin
  • Spouse #1: Lillian Lamont (née Lilian Wehmhoener) (June 20, 1936 - June 22, 1953) (her death) (2 adopted children, Susan and Robert)
  • Spouse #2: June Haver (née June Stovenour) (June 28, 1954 - November 5, 1991) (his death) (adopted twin daughters, Katherine and Laurie)
Doesn't he look like Fred?
Did You Know?
  • Artist C.C. Beck used MacMurray as the initial model for a superhero character who would become Fawcett Comics' Captain Marvel in 1939.
  • His nickname was Bud.
  • He was 6' 3" tall.
  • Was a fine singer and musician. He played saxophone, violin, piano and guitar.
  • he played saxophone in the Gus Arnheim and his Coconut Grove Orchestra when Bing Crosby was the lead vocalist and Russ Columbo was in the violin section.
  • He was a Boy Scout.
  • He was athletic and an expert outdoorsman.
  • Taught TV wife Beverly Garland how to golf.
  • Wore a toupee in later years.
  • His father's sister was vaudeville performer and actress Fay Holderness.
  • He never took an acting lesson.
  • Was the only actor to appear in all 380 episodes of My Three Sons on both (ABC) and (CBS) networks.
  • He was the first person honored as a Disney Legend, in 1987.
  • MacMurray Ranch in the Sonoma County, California's Russian River Valley supplied surplus fruits and vegetables to the Army in wartime. It is now MacMurray Estate Vineyards.

Those who only know the "Disneyfied" and "My Three Sons" Fred MacMurray of the 1960s and early 1970s are missing out on a treat. I consider him one of the most underrated actors of his generation. He appeared in more than 100 movies and had a career that spanned nearly 50 years, from 1929 to 1978.

Most often cast as an "everyman," he scored big when cast against type: Walter Neff in Double Indemnity, Lt. Thomas Keefer in The Caine Mutiny, Paul Sheridan in Pushover and Jeff Sheldrake in The Apartment.

Among my favorites of his "nice guy" pictures are: Alice Adams, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Remember the Night, Dive Bomber, Smoky, The Egg and I, The Miracle of the Bells, Woman's World, There's Always Tomorrow, and the westerns he did in the 1950s.

So glad TCM has chosen Fred MacMurray as its Star of the Month for January 2016. Many more people will come to recognize him as a genuine star of the classic era.

Fred MacMurray on TCM - January 6-7, 2016

True Confession (1937)
8:00 p.m. - B/W - 84 mins. - TV-G

D: Wesley Ruggles. Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, John Barrymore, Una Merkel, Porter Hall, Edgar Kennedy, Lynne Overman, Irving Bacon, Fritz Feld. True Confessions is a screwball comedy film based on the play Mon Crime, written by Georges Berr and Louis Verneuil.

Leonard Maltin: Alarmingly unfunny "comedy" about pathological liar Lombard and the trouble she causes for herself and good-natured lawyer husband MacMurray when she confesses to a murder she didn't commit. Remade with Betty Hutton as Cross My Heart.

Murder, He Says (1945)
9:30 p.m. - B/W - 94 mins. - TV-G

D: George Marshall. Fred MacMurray, Helen Walker, Marjorie Main, Jean Heather, Porter Hall, Peter Whitney, Barbara Pepper, Mabel Paige. Murder, He Says is a slapstick comedy film. It was filmed in the spring of 1944, but was held back for a year because Paramount had a backlog of product and felt it was more important to get war-related films released first, lest they suddenly date by the impending end of combat.

Leonard Maltin: Zany slapstick of pollster MacMurray encountering Main's family of hayseed murderers. Too strident at times, but generally funny; clever script by Lou Breslow.

Suddenly It's Spring (1947)
11:15 p.m. - B/W - 88 mins. TV-G

D: Mitchell Leisen. Paulette Goddard, Fred MacMurray, Macdonald Carey, Arleen Whelan, Lillian Fontaine. Suddenly, It's Spring is a comedy film.

Leonard Maltin: Strained comedy about married couple Goddard and MacMurray refusing to divorce each other.

Alice Adams (1935)
1:00 a.m. - B/W - 99 mins. - TV-G

D: George Stevens. Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone, Evelyn Venable, Ann Shoemaker, Frank Albertson, Hattie McDaniel, Charley Grapewin, Grady Sutton, Hedda Hopper. Alice Adams is a 1935 romantic film made by RKO. It was produced by Pandro S. Berman. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress.

Leonard Maltin: Excellent small-town Americana with social-climbing girl finally finding love in person of unpretentious MacMurray. Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel becomes fine film, if not altogether credible. The dinner table scene is unforgettable. Screenplay by Dorothy Yost, Mortimer Offner, and Jane Murfin. Filmed before in 1923.

Too Many Husbands (1940)
2:45 a.m. - B/W - 81 mins. - TV-G

D: Wesley Ruggles. Jean Arthur, Fred MacMurray, Melvyn Douglas, Harry Davenport, Dorothy Peterson, Edgar Buchanan. Too Many Husbands (released in the UK as My Two Husbands) is a romantic comedy film and another variation on the 1864 poem Enoch Arden by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Leonard Maltin: Jean is married to Douglas when husband #1 (MacMurray), thought dead, turns up. Excellent comedy from W. Somerset Maugham's play Home and Beauty. Remade as Three for the Show.

Swing High, Swing Low (1937)
4:15 a.m. - Color - 83 mins. - TV-PG

D: Mitchell Leisen. Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Charles Butterworth, Jean Dixon, Dorothy Lamour, Harvey Stephens, Anthony Quinn. Swing High, Swing Low is a romantic drama. It is the second film adaptation, after The Dance of Life (1929) and before When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948), of the popular Broadway play Burlesque, written by George Manker Watters and Arthur Hopkins.

Leonard Maltin: Musical drama with cornball plot of musician MacMurray's rise and fall. Redeemed somewhat by good cast, glossy production.

Dive Bomber (1941)
5:45 a.m. - Color - 133 mins. - TV-G

D: Michael Curtiz. Errol Flynn, Fred MacMurray, Ralph Bellamy, Alexis Smith, Robert Armstrong, Regis Toomey, Craig Stevens. Dive Bomber is an aviation film. it was written by Frank "Spig" Wead and Frank Buckner, and was based on an original story by Wead. The film is notable for both its Oscar-nominated Technicolor photography of pre-World War II United States Navy aircraft and as a historical document of the U.S. in 1941, including the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. The movie is dedicated to the flight surgeons of the U.S. armed forces "in recognition of their heroic efforts to solve the immensely difficult problems of aviation medicine."

Leonard Maltin: Exciting, well-paced aviation film of experiments to eliminate pilot blackout. Flynn, MacMurray, and Smith perform well in formula story.

Grand Old Girl (1935)
8:00 a.m. - B/W - 71 mins. - TV-G

D: John Robertson. May Robson, Mary Carlisle, Fred MacMurray, Alan Hale, Edward Van Sloan, Ben Alexander. Grand Old Girl is a drama film directed by John Robertson from a screenplay by Milton Krims, John Twist, Arthur T. Horman, adapted from a story by Wanda Tuchock. Gamblers engineer a veteran schoolteacher's firing. It was Fred MacMurray's first credited movie part.

Fred MacMurray on TCM - January 13-14, 2016

Double Indemnity (1944)
8:00 p.m. - B/W - 108 mins. - TV-PG

D: Billy Wilder. Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Tom Power, Fortunio Bonanova, Jean Heather, Bess Flowers. Double Indemnity is a film noir, co-written by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler (from the James M. Cain novel), and produced by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Sistrom. Praised by many critics when first released, Double Indemnity was nominated for seven Academy Awards but did not win any. Widely regarded as a classic, it is often cited as a paradigmatic film noir and as having set the standard for the films that followed in that genre.

Leonard Maltin: The script packs fireworks in account of insurance salesman MacMurray lured into murder plot by alluring Stanwyck and subsequent investigation by Fred's colleague Robinson. An American movie classic, with crackling dialogue throughout. Remade for TV in 1973 with Richard Crenna and Samantha Eggar, and the obvious inspiration for Lawrence Kasdan's Body Heat.

There's Always Tomorrow (1956)
10:00 p.m. - B/W - 84 mins. - TV-PG

D: Douglas Sirk. Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Joan Bennett, William Reynolds, Pat Crowley, Gigi Perreau, Jane Darwell. There's Always Tomorrow is a romantic melodrama produced by Universal-International. The screenplay, based on a novel by Ursula Parrott, is by Bernard C. Schoenfeld.

In 1934, Universal produced a same-titled version of this story, directed by Edward Sloman. The film provided an infrequent leading role for character star Frank Morgan, with Binnie Barnes as his old flame and Lois Wilson as his wife.

Leonard Maltin: MacMurray is in a rut, at work and at home, making him particularly susceptible to old flame Stanwyck, who comes back into his life. Sudsy but well-acted soap opera.

Remember the Night (1940)
11:45 p.m. - B/W - 94 mins. - TV-G

D: Mitchell Leisen. Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway. My favorite Christmas movie. Remember the Night is a romantic comedy, Christmas film, and trial film. The film was written by the great comic screenwriter Preston Sturges, and it was the last of his scripts shot by another director, as Sturges began his own directorial career the same year with The Great McGinty.

Leonard Maltin: Beautifully made, sentimental story of prosecutor MacMurray falling in love with shoplifter Stanwyck during Christmas court recess; builds masterfully as it creates a very special mood.

Moonlighter, The (1953)
1:30 a.m. - B/W - 78 mins. - TV-PG

D: Roy Rowland. Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Ward Bond, William Ching, John Dierkes, Jack Elam. The Moonlighter is a 3D Western film. It was written by Niven Busch, author of Duel in the Sun and screenwriter of The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Leonard Maltin: Dull Western loses its 3-D virtue on TV; MacMurray is a rustler and Stanwyck his ex-girlfriend.

Above Suspicion (1943)
3:00 a.m. - B/W - 91 mins. - TV-PG

D: Richard Thorpe. Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Conrad Veidt, Basil Rathbone, Reginald Owen, Richard Ainley. Above Suspicion is an American spy film distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The screenplay was adapted from the novel of the same name by Helen MacInnes, which is loosely based on the life experiences of MacInnes and her husband, Gilbert Highet.

Leonard Maltin: Crawford and MacMurray asked to do spy mission during European honeymoon on the eve of WW2. Pure escapism, with Joan more than a match for the Nazis.

Lady is Willing, The (1942)
4:45 a.m. - B/W - 91 mins. - TV-G

D: Mitchell Leisen. Marlene Dietrich, Fred MacMurray, Aline MacMahon, Arline Judge, Stanley Ridges, Roger Clark. The Lady is Willing is a Columbia Pictures screwball comedy film. During the making of the film, Dietrich tried to seduce MacMurray. He was happily married and notoriously faithful. MacMurray later said, "I had never had anything like this happen on a picture before and it was very embarrassing."

Leonard Maltin: Agreeable comedy; glamorous Dietrich wants to adopt a baby, so she marries pediatrician MacMurray. Dramatic segment near the end spoils lively mood.

Pardon My Past (1945)
6:30 a.m. - B/W - 88 mins. - TV-G

D: Leslie Fenton. Fred MacMurray, Marguerite Chapman, Akim Tamiroff, William Demarest, Rita Johnson, Harry Davenport. Pardon My Past is a comedy-drama film produced by Fred MacMurray and Leslie Fenton. Fred MacMurray grew up in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and this film, the only one ever produced by him, is made reference to no fewer than eight times, or once every eleven minutes in the movie.

Leonard Maltin: Excellent tale of unsuspecting lookalike for famous playboy, incurring his debts and many enemies; fine comedy-drama.

Innocent Affair, An (1948)
8:00 a.m. - B/W - 87 mins. - TV-G

D: Lloyd Bacon. Fred MacMurray, Madeleine Carroll, Buddy Rogers, Rita Johnson, Alan Mowbray, Louise Allbritton, Anne Nagel. An Innocent Affair is a comedy film written by Lou Breslow and Joseph Hoffman.

Leonard Maltin: Outmoded marital sex comedy of love and jealousy, bolstered by teaming of MacMurray and Carroll--their fifth and final pairing. Retitled: Don't Trust Your Husband.

On Our Merry Way (1948)
9:30 a.m. - B/W - 98 mins/ - TV-G

D: King Vidor, Leslie Fenton. Burgess Meredith, Paulette Goddard, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Fred MacMurray, William Demarest, Dorothy Lamour, Victor Moore, Harry James, Eduardo Ciannelli, Dorothy Ford, Hugh Herbert. On Our Merry Way is a comedy film, produced by Benedict Bogeaus and Burgess Meredith, and released by United Artists. At the time of its release, King Vidor and Leslie Fenton were credited with its direction, although the DVD lists John Huston and George Stevens, who assisted with one of the segments, as well. The screenplay by Laurence Stallings and Lou Breslow, based on an original story by Arch Oboler, is similar in style to that of Tales of Manhattan, another anthology film made up of several vignettes linked by a single theme. The picture marks the first joint movie appearance of James Stewart and Henry Fonda, who play a pair of musicians in their section of the film.

Leonard Maltin: Silly multi-episode comedy, with a buoyant Meredith posing as an inquiring reporter and asking people what impact a baby has had on their life. Strained slapstick throughout. Protracted sequence, with Stewart and Fonda as laconic musician pals, was written by John O'Hara. It is a.k.a. A Miracle Can Happen.

Fred MacMurray on TCM - January 20-21, 2016

Caine Mutiny, The (1954)
8:00 a.m. - Color - 125 mins. - TV-PG

D: Edward Dmytryk. Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Van Johnson, Robert Francis, May Wynn, Fred MacMurray, E.G. Marshall, Lee Marvin, Tom Tully, Claude Akins. The Caine Mutiny is a fictional drama film set during World War II. Produced by Stanley Kramer, it is based on the novel of the same name, the 1951 Pulitzer Prize-winner written by Herman Wouk.

The film received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Best Supporting Actor (Tom Tully), Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording (John P. Livadary), Best Film Editing, and Best Dramatic Score (Max Steiner).

Leonard Maltin: WW2 Naval officers Johnson and Francis mutiny against paranoid, unpopular Capt. Queeg (Bogart) and are court-martialed in this exciting adaptation (by Stanley Roberts) of Herman Wouk's Pulitzer Prize novel. Wartime mutiny scene during typhoon still packs a wallop. Followed by a TVM in 1988.

Apartment, The (1960)
10:15 p.m. - B/W - 125 mins. - TV-PG

D: Billy Wilder. Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, Edie Adams, David Lewis, Joan Shawlee. The Apartment is a comedy-drama film. It was a commercial and critical success, grossing $25 million at the box office. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, and won five, including Best Picture. The film was the basis of the 1968 Broadway musical Promises, Promises, with book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach, and lyrics by Hal David.

Due to its themes of infidelity and adultery, the film was controversial for its time. It initially received negative reviews for its content. Film critic Hollis Alpert of the Saturday Review called it "a dirty fairy tale." According to Fred MacMurray, after the film's release he was accosted by women in the street who berated him for making a "dirty, filthy movie" and once one of them hit him with her purse.

Leonard Maltin: Superb comedy-drama that manages to embrace both sentiment and cynicism. Lemmon attempts to climb corporate ladder by loaning his apartment key to various executives for their extramarital trysts, but it backfires when he falls for his boss's latest girlfriend. Fine performances all around, including MacMurray as an uncharacteristic heel. Oscar winner for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay (Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond), Editing (Daniel Mandell), Art Direction-Set Decoration (Alexander Trauner, Edward G. Boyle). Panavision.

Woman's World (1954)
12:30 a.m. - Color - 94 mins. - TV-G

D: Jean Negulesco. Clifton Webb, June Allyson, Van Heflin, Arlene Dahl, Lauren Bacall, Fred MacMurray, Cornel Wilde, Elliott Reid. Woman's World, also known as A Woman's World, is a Technicolor drama film about corporate America. The portrait at the center of Ernest Gifford's (Clifton Webb's) wall of paintings of his romantic conquests is the one of Gene Tierney used in Laura, which was Clifton Webb's first full-length talking picture and the first for which he earned an Oscar nomination.

Leonard Maltin: Sophisticated look at big business, the men and women involved, with arch Webb the corporation boss choosing a new successor. CinemaScope.

Kisses for My President (1964)
2:15 a.m. - B/W - 113 mins. - TV-PG

D: Curtis Bernhardt. Fred MacMurray, Polly Bergen, Eli Wallach, Arlene Dahl, Edward Andrews. Kisses for My President is a comedy film written by Claude Binyon and Robert G. Kane. Leslie McCloud (Bergen) makes history when she is elected the first female President of the United States. However, her husband Thad McCloud (MacMurray) is less enthusiastic.

Screen Directors Playhouse: "It's A Most Unusual Day" (March 14, 1956 - Season 1, Ep 21)
4:15 a.m. - B/W - 26 mins. - TV-PG

D: Claude Binyon. Fred MacMurray, Marilyn Erskine, Jimmy McHugh as himself, Veda Ann Borg, Carolyn Craig, Darla Hood, Diane Jergens, Ray Kellogg, Harry Lauter, Jana Lund, Jerry Mathers, Duncan Richardson, Frank Sully, William Traylor. A married couple take in a night club show starring Jimmy McHugh, and are prompted by his melodies to relive their past.

Millionaire for Christy, A (1951)
4:45 a.m. - B/W - 91 mins. - TV-G

D: George Marshall. Fred MacMurray, Eleanor Parker, Richard Carlson, Una Merkel. A Millionaire for Christy is a 1951 screwball comedy film. Scenes for this film were shot at the lavish Marion Davies Beach House in Santa Monica built for $7 million in 1927. It had been converted to a hotel by the time this film was shot.

Leonard Maltin: 1930s-type screwball comedy; fast, unpretentious, very funny, with winning performances by Parker and MacMurray in tale of gold-digging girl out to snare rich husband.

Never a Dull Moment (1950)
6:30 a.m. - B/W - 89 mins. - TV-G

D: George Marshall. Irene Dunne, Fred MacMurray, William Demarest, Andy Devine, Gigi Perreau, Natalie Wood, Philip Ober, Ann Doran. Never a Dull Moment is an RKO comedy film produced by Harriet Parsons. The film is based on the 1943 book Who Could Ask For Anything More? by Kay Swift.

Leonard Maltin: Chic Park Avenue songwriter Dunne weds rancher MacMurray, and adjusts to life in rural Wyoming. Silly, predictable comedy is only of interest for its cast; you'll find this especially annoying if you're a feminist or an Indian.

Pushover (1954)
8:15 a.m. - B/W - 88 mins. - TV-PG

D: Richard Quine. Fred MacMurray, Kim Novak, Phil Carey, Dorothy Malone, E. G. Marshall. Pushover is a black-and-white film noir. The film features Kim Novak in her breakthrough role. The motion picture was adapted from two novels, The Night Watch by Thomas Walsh and Rafferty by William S. Ballinger.

Leonard Maltin: MacMurray is cop who falls in love with gangster moll Novak; good cast covers familiar ground.

Borderline (1950)
9:45 a.m. - B/W - 88 mins. - TV-PG

D: William A Seiter. Fred MacMurray, Claire Trevor, Raymond Burr, Jose Torvay, Morris Ankrum, Roy Roberts. Borderline is a romantic crime film. Claire Trevor's husband, Milton H. Bren, co-produced the film.

Leonard Maltin: Odd thriller-comedy in which L.A. cop Trevor attempts to gather evidence against wily drug smuggler Burr while mixing with tough guy MacMurray in Mexico. Starts out promisingly, but soon bogs down in silliness. Burr makes a vivid villain.

Fred MacMurray on TCM - January 27-28, 2016

Absent-Minded Professor, The (1961)
8:00 p.m. - B/W - 97 mins. - TV-G

D: Robert Stevenson. Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn, Ed Wynn, Leon Ames, Tommy Kirk. The Absent-Minded Professor is a 1961 comedy film distributed by Walt Disney Productions based on the short story "A Situation of Gravity" by Samuel W. Taylor. The title character was based in part on Hubert Alyea, a professor emeritus of chemistry at Princeton University, who was known as "Dr. Boom" for his explosive demonstrations.

The film was a huge success at the box-office, and two years later became the first Disney film to have a sequel, 1963's Son of Flubber.

The original 1961 film was one of the first Disney films to be colorized (for the 1986 video release), and, along with 1959's The Shaggy Dog and 1963's Son of Flubber, it is one of Disney's few black-and-white films to be produced after 1941.

The special effects were created by Robert A. Mattey and Eustace Lycett, who were nominated for an Academy Award, and included the sodium screen matte process, as well as miniatures and wire-supported mockups.

The film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Art Direction (Carroll Clark, Emile Kuri, Hal Gausman), Best Cinematography (Edward Colman) and Best Effects, Special Effects.

TCM: A college professor fights off corrupt businessmen to market his new anti-gravity invention (Flubber).

Shaggy Dog, The (1959)
10:00 p.m. - B/W - 104 mins. - TV-G

D: Charles Barton. Fred MacMurray, Jean Hagen, Tommy Kirk, Annette Funicello, Tim Considine, Kevin Corcoran, Cecil Kellaway, Alexander Scourby. The Shaggy Dog is a black-and-white Walt Disney film based on the story The Hound of Florence by Felix Salten. It was Walt Disney's first live-action comedy.

The initial release of The Shaggy Dog grossed more than $9 million on a budget of less than $1 million--making it more profitable than Ben-Hur, released the same year. The Shaggy Dog also performed very strongly on a 1967 re-release.

Leonard Maltin: Disney's first slapstick comedy has fine fantasy premise (a boy who turns into a sheepdog through ancient spell) but sluggish script. Some good gags, but not up to later Disney standard. Jack Albertson has bit part as reporter. Sequels: The Shaggy D.A. and a 1987 TV movie, The Return of the Shaggy Dog. Remade for TV in 1994 and for the big screen in 2006.

Good Day for a Hanging (1958)
12:00 a.m. - Color - 86 mins. - TV-PG

D: Nathan Juran. Fred MacMurray, Maggie Hayes, Robert Vaughn, Joan Blackman, James Drury, Denver Pyle. Nathan Juran wasn't known for his Westerns, but he did well by the genre on Good Day for a Hanging. Of course, he was fortunate in having a good script, by Daniel B. Ullman and Maurice Zimm from a short story by John Reese, which owes a fair amount to High Noon. And Henry Freulich's color cinematography (non-anamorphic widescreen) never looks too pretty, attaining a decent level of realism that fits well with the raw emotions of the plot.

Leonard Maltin: Straightforward account of MacMurray taking over for slain sheriff and bringing in killer, only to find townspeople don't care if murderer is sentenced.

Face of a Fugitive (1959)
1:45 a.m. - Color - 81 mins. - TV-PG

D: Paul Wendkos. Fred MacMurray, Lin McCarthy, Dorothy Green, James Coburn, Alan Baxter, Myrna Fahey. Face of a Fugitive is a Western film based on the short story "Long Gone" by Peter Dawson, the nom de plume of Jonathan H. Glidden (older brother of Luke Short). The film was shot at the Bell Moving Picture Ranch, Corriganville (the ghost town) and on the Sierra Railroad. It also features an early film score by the prolific composer Jerry Goldsmith.

Leonard Maltin: OK Western about MacMurray forced to start over again in a new town when he's falsely accused of murder; his past still haunts him.

Callaway Went Thataway (1951)
3:15 a.m. - B/W - 82 mins. - TV-G

D: Norman Panama, Melvin Frank. Fred MacMurray, Dorothy McGuire, Howard Keel, Jesse White, Fay Roope, Natalie Schafer, Stan Freberg. Callaway Went Thataway is a 1951 comedy film. Fred MacMurray and Dorothy McGuire are in good form, and the large supporting cast (which includes several star cameos) is also a plus. While it is too modest a film to ever be more than a "little picture," it's an agreeable and inviting one.

Leonard Maltin: Gentle spoof of early TV's "Hopalong Cassidy" craze, with Keel as lookalike who impersonates veteran cowboy star for promotional purposes; good fun until it starts getting serious. Several MGM stars make cameo appearances.

Swarm, The (1978)
4:45 a.m. - Color - 116 mins. - TV-14

D: Irwin Allen. Michael Caine, Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Richard Chamberlain, Olivia de Havilland, Ben Johnson, Lee Grant, Patty Duke, Slim Pickens, Bradford Dillman, Henry Fonda, and Fred MacMurray (in his final film appearance). The Swarm is a 1978 science fiction, monster, horror film about a killer bee invasion of Texas. It was adapted by Stirling Silliphant from a novel of the same name by Arthur Herzog.

Despite negative reviews and being a box office failure, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

Don't miss Olivia de Havilland's "Scream Moan." She manages to moan and scream at he same time when she sees the dead children on the playground.

TCM: Killer bees extend their territory into the U.S., with devastating effect.

Fred MacMurray on the Radio

Fred MacMurray on Lux Radio Theatre

Bright Star (a.k.a. The Irene Dunne-Fred MacMurray Show) was a 30-minute syndicated radio comedy-drama broadcast in 1952-53.

The storyline followed the misadventures of Hillsdale Morning Star editor Susan Armstrong (Irene Dunne) and her idealistic ace reporter George Harvey (Fred MacMurray) as they attempted to keep the struggling newspaper in business despite continual financial problems.

Harry von Zell and, later, Wendell Niles were the announcers for the series, which was syndicated by Ziv.

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