Back to Back Issues Page
The Thorne Smith Newsletter, Issue #003 -- TCM Based on Thorne Smith Night
January 02, 2008

Thank you for subscribing to the Thorne Smith Newsletter!!!

Wow! Have I got great big news for you this month!

Turner Classic Movies is doing a special presentation on January 5th, TCM also used me as a source for a new profile, and a few key dates in January to pay tribute to, so let's get to it!

Issue 003 January 2008


Set your VCRs, program your TIVo or DVD Recorder for Saturday, January 5th at 8:00pm EST (that's East Coast time) for a special presentation of four films based on books written by Thorne Smith!

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is even calling that night


Their schedule states they will play the following films:

TOPPER at 8:00 PM (EST). Starring Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Billie Burke and the incomparable Roland Young as Cosmo Topper. This 1937 film seems to be the one most people associate with Thorne Smith and for good reason.

TOPPER TAKES A TRIP at 9:45 PM (EST) Starring Constance Bennett, Billie Burke and Roland Young with only flashback appearances by Cary Grant from the first TOPPER movie.

Most of you probably already know this but Roland Young was close friends with Thorne Smith. The two of them corresponded frequently over the years.

I had tracked some of the letters to collector John McLaughlin of The Book Sail bookstore and he generously agreed to provide me photocopies of all the letters but unfortunately he passed away before he could send them to me and now his estate is very slowly trying to go through his extensive collection.

Perhaps one day I'll hear from them.

John McLaughlin was a remarkable lover of books and personally a very kind man to me. He is deeply missed.

I MARRIED A WITCH at 11:15 PM (EST) Starring Fredric March, Susan Hayward and Veronica Lake. This 1942 classic also has guest roles by Robert Benchley, Cecil Kellaway and Robert Warwick. Warwick was also in the 1935's Universal feature of Night Life of the Gods.

I particularly love I MARRIED A WITCH because it doesn't follow the Norman Matson book THE PASSIONATE WITCH as much as it follows the 17 page script Thorne had written during his time in Hollywood. Matson had good intentions but he clearly did not understand Thorne's approach to life and missed the mark with THE PASSIONATE WITCH.

TURNABOUT at 12:45 AM (EST) going into January 6. Starring Carole Landis, John Hubbard and Adolphe Menjou. Based on Thorne Smith's novel, this classic tale of a man and his wife switching bodies.

I mentioned this in the October/November newsletter but I'll remind you again that this film has never been officially released on video or DVD, so be sure to tape it!!!


Okay, so here's a little bit of bragging.

If you haven't been to TCM's website lately, please go check out this link:

You'll recognize the personally tinted photo of Thorne Smith that I created for my web site at:

I am thrilled that they used it even though they neglected to acknowledge where they took the photo from. The good news is they had Lorraine LoBianco write a new profile on Thorne and she was kind enough to cite me as a source of information at the end of her article. So, my personal thanks to Ms. LoBianco.

If you get a chance, feel free to send an email of thanks to TCM for doing a BASED ON THORNE SMITH night.

I believe the email address where you can reach them is:

Yes, I wish they'd also aired NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS and TOPPER RETURNS and MENU again but I am absolutely delighted that Thorne Smith is getting his own special presentation on TCM.

Now if we can just get them to release nice new DVDs of all the Thorne Smith based films. I've even wrote them offering to do the bonus materials, liner notes and documentaries. Maybe one day...


January 18, 1904 Cary Grant (George Kerby in TOPPER) was born.

January 23, 1888 Franklin Pangborn, who appeared in the Thorne Smith penned short film MENU plus TOPPER TAKES A TRIP and TURNABOUT, was born.

January 27, 1964 Norman Z. McLeod, director of TOPPER and TOPPER TAKES A TRIP, passed away.

So, that wraps up the very first issue of the Thorne Smith Newsletter for 2008.

I know this one was a bit short but I wanted to make sure it got out to everyone before TCM had their BASED ON THORNE SMITH night this week.



P.S. If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favor and "pay it forward."

If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting...

Thorne Smith

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

Thorne Smith Newsletter copyright 2007, 2008 by Michael D. Walker

Back to Back Issues Page