Turner Classic Movies will devote much of its programming for Wednesday, January 15, 2014, to child star Margaret O'Brien, who will celebrate her 77th birthday on that date. Best remembered for her roles in films like "Jane Eyre" (1943), "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944), and "Little Women" (1949), O'Brien was a popular child actress during the 1940s who transitioned to a successful television career later in life. Here is the schedule of O'Brien features lined up for the day.
The morning begins at 6:15 am Eastern with O'Brien joining June Allyson, Peter Lawford, and Elizabeth Taylor for the 1949 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women." Janet Leigh and Mary Astor also star as members of the beloved March family.
At 8:30 am, O'Brien stars with Robert Young, Laraine Day, and Fay Bainter in the wartime story, "Journey for Margaret" (1942). The movie was O'Brien's first credited film role and inspired her name change from Angela Maxine to Margaret.
O'Brien appears with Ann Sothern in "You, John Jones!" (1943), a 10 minute short, at 9:52 am.
At 10:15 am, O'Brien plays a young girl with a racehorse in "Glory" (1956). Walter Brennan and Charlotte Greenwood also star.
O'Brien ventures into Western territory for "Bad Bascomb" (1946), which airs at noon. Wallace Beery and Marjorie Main also star.
At 2 pm, O'Brien stars in another World War II story in "Music for Millions" (1944). The cast also includes June Allyson, Jose Iturbi, and Jimmy Durante.
Supernatural comedy takes center stage with "The Canterville Ghost" (1944) at 4 pm. O'Brien plays a little girl whose inheritance is an ancient English castle haunted by a sympathetic specter. Charles Laughton stars as the spook, and Robert Young plans an American soldier who befriends both the child and the ghost.
The Margaret O'Brien block concludes with "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" (1945) at 6 pm. O'Brien stars as the child of a Norwegian farmer growing up in the American Midwest. Edward G. Robinson stars as the farmer, with Agnes Moorehead appears in a supporting role.
For even more Margaret O'Brien films, try "Lost Angel" (1943), "Tenth Avenue Angel" (1948), and "The Secret Garden" (1949).
Visit the official TCM website for a full schedule and more information. Other highlights of the month include Joan Crawford as the Star of the Month and a series focusing on science in the movies.
Jennifer Garlen writes as the Huntsville and National Classic Movies Examiner. Her book, "Beyond Casablanca: 100 Classic Movies Worth Watching," is available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.