Happy birthday, Ms. Young

image-Loretta YoungLoretta Young, as beautiful an actress as ever graced the silver screen, enjoyed an astonishingly long run, enjoying a career that spanned 77 years, from her first appearance in a silent movie in 1917 to a gig doing the narration for a television program called LIFE ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI in 1994, at the age of 81.

Young, who died in 2000, would have been 96 years old today, and TCM is paying tribute to the venerable star by airing her movies all day long.

I recommend the quartet of Pre-code offerings they’re showing starting at 8 am, and you can’t go wrong with Orson Welles’ THE STRANGER at 1:15pm. But perhaps my top recommendation would be the noir-ish thriller CAUSE FOR ALARM (1951). It’s well worth catching.

Here’s the full line-up:

6:45 a.m. — LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH (1928)
In this silent film, a circus clown falls for a young innocent in love with another. Cast: Lon Chaney, Loretta Young, Nils Asther. Dir: Herbert Brenon.

8:00 a.m. — PLAY GIRL (1932)
A young innocent falls for a compulsive gambler. Cast: Loretta Young, Winnie Lightner, Norman Foster. Dir: Ray Enright.

9:15 a.m. — LIFE BEGINS (1932)
A maternity ward becomes the focus for the patients’, doctors’ and nurses’ personal problems. Cast: Loretta Young, Eric Linden, Aline MacMahon. Dir: James Flood.

10:30 a.m. — HEROES FOR SALE (1933)
A veteran fights drug addiction to make his way in the business world. Cast: Richard Barthelmess, Aline MacMahon, Loretta Young. Dir: William A. Wellman.

12:00 p.m. — SHE HAD TO SAY YES (1933)
A secretary pads her salary by dating prospective buyers for her company. Cast: Loretta Young, Lyle Talbot, Hugh Herbert. Dir: Busby Berkeley.

1:15 p.m. — THE STRANGER (1946)
A small-town schoolteacher suspects her new husband may be an escaped Nazi war criminal. Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Orson Welles, Loretta Young. Dir: Orson Welles.

3:00 p.m. — RACHEL AND THE STRANGER (1948)
A mail-order bride finds herself attracted to a handsome drifter. Cast: Loretta Young, William Holden, Robert Mitchum. Dir: Norman Foster.

4:30 p.m. — KEY TO THE CITY (1950)
Two mayors meet and fall in love during a convention in San Francisco. Cast: Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Frank Morgan. Dir: George Sidney.

6:12 p.m. — Short Film: Loretta Young Biography (1962)

6:30 p.m. — CAUSE FOR ALARM (1951)
A woman fights to intercept a letter in which her husband tries to prove her guilty of murder. Cast: Loretta Young, Barry Sullivan, Bruce Cowling. Dir: Tay Garnett.

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