Required Viewing: TCM Pays Tribute To Montalban

Lattin LoversTurner Classic Movies is preempting its schedule tomorrow, Friday January 23rd, in order to pay tribute to one of Hollywood’s classiest men, Ricardo Montalban.

The following films are scheduled to air:

7:30 AM Fiesta (1947) – Here is the movie that brought Montalban to Hollywood and secured him a contract with MGM.

9:30 AM Neptune’s Daughter (1949) – Neptune’s Daughter isn’t a memorable comedy, but it is worth the watch to see Montalban sing “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

11:15 AM Latin Lovers (1953) – When his dear friend, Fernando Lamas, departed from the film due to bad publicity surrounding his romance with Latin Lovers star Lana Turner, Montalban stepped in as worthy replacement. Turner and Montalban sizzle, as seen by their smooth samba number.

1:00 PM Border Incident (1949) – Underrated and underappreciated, Border Incident spotlights Montalban as a tough Mexican detective in director Anthony Mann’s coarse noir piece.

2:45 PM Battleground (1949) – Battleground, which also stars Van Johnson, is still a noteworthy WWII flick which carefully explores the human nature of GIs caught in the Battle of the Bugle.

4:45 PM Across the Wide Missouri (1951) – Across the Wide Missouri is one of Montalban’s meatier pictures. This movie also stars MGM’s biggest box-office magnet, Clark Gable, and is punctuated by an unfortunate mishap. While filming, Montalban suffered a spinal cord injury – something he worked hard to conceal onscreen for much of his acting career.

6:15 PM The Singing Nun (1966) – This wispy musical, also starring Debbie Reynolds, highlights Montalban’s affinity for song and dance.

Montalban died earlier this month in Los Angeles. He was 88.

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February 11, 2009 5:24 pm

Ricardo Montalban must have been a contender for Lady’s Man of the year at least a few times during his lifetime

April 2, 2009 12:02 am

And yet, despite that lengthy film resume, he’ll always be Mr. Roarke to me :)

“My dear guests! I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome… to Fantasy Island!”