Saturday, July 9, 2016

A TCM Viewer's Guide for the Week of July 11, 2016


The Heiress (1949), starring Olivia de Havilland, is one of the classic movies airing on TCM this week.

This week, TCM is airing great movies from stars like Tab Hunter, Walter Matthau, and Olivia de Havilland. Plus, they are featuring TCM host Robert Osborne's picks for July and movies from the 1970's. So, without further ado, let's jump right in to this week's offerings. Just a note: the highlighted text has links to full length articles.

I'll go in-depth a little further down in the article, but first here's a quick rundown.

Birthday tributes: Tab Hunter on Monday.

Sunday Prime Time: Two sixties dramas about political conventions.

Silent Sunday Nights: Souls for Sale (1923)  at 12:15 a.m. Eleanor Boardman stars as a young woman who is desperate to become a Hollywood star in this comedy, which features cameos from King Vidor, Charlie Chaplin, and Erich von Stroheim.

TCM Imports: Before the Rain (1994) at 2 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning. Macedonian director Micho Manchevski's war film is about the ethnic conflicts in former Yugoslavia.

Best Day to DVR: Friday night. TCM is featuring three of star of the month Olivia de Havilland's best forties dramas.

This is a great week for . . .:  teen idols. You've got "Sigh Guy" Tab Hunter on Monday. Plus, the beach movies theme on Thursday is bringing a heaping helping of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello and Sandra Dee as Gidget.

Monday, July 11

Tab Hunter
Three daytime picks: A birthday tribute to Tab Hunter who was born Arthur Kelm on July 11, 1931, in New York City. Hunter's blond good looks and successful recording career made him one of the top stars of the 1950's. Hunter made his name in war movies like The Sea Chase (1955) at 8:30 a.m., which co-stars John Wayne, and he and Natalie Wood were a popular screen team in films like the romantic comedy The Girl He Left Behind (1956) at 12:15 p.m. where Hunter plays a spoiled mama's boy who gets drafted into the army. The drama Lafayette Escadrille (1958) features Hunter as a World War I flyboy who falls in love with a shady lady (Etchika Choureau).
Prime time lineup: TCM host Robert Osborne has chosen two sensitive dramas about extramarital relationships for his July picks. First up is the bittersweet drama About Mrs. Leslie (1954) at 8 p.m. which stars Shirley Booth as a boarding house owner who reminisces about her years long relationship with a married man (Robert Ryan). Next is Brief Encounter (1945) at 10 p.m., which is director David Lean's drama about an affair between a housewife (Celia Johnson) and a doctor (Trevor Howard).
Late night pick: Osborne also chose two collaborations between Julie Andrews and her director husband, Blake Edwards, including the gender-bending musical Victor/Victoria (1982) at 11:45 p.m.

Tuesday, July 12


 Three daytime picks: TCM will feature old Hollywood Westerns each Tuesday and Wednesday in July. This week's daytime theme is epic Westerns starting with Kirk Douglas and Dewey Martin as 1830's traders on an expedition into the wilderness in The Big Sky (1952) at 6 a.m. followed by the all-star historical pageant How the West Was Won (1962) at 8:30 a.m. Finally, John Wayne and company make their last stand against the Mexican army at The Alamo (1961) at 2 p.m.
Prime time lineup: TCM focuses on the collaboration between actor James Stewart and director Anthony Mann with two of their best films, The Naked Spur (1953) at 8 p.m. and The Man From Laramie (1955) at 10 p.m.
Late night pick: There Was a Crooked Man. . . (1970) at 3:30 a.m. is writer and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's only Western starring Kirk Douglas as a thief who is trying to break out of an Arizona jail.

Wednesday, July 13


 Three daytime picks: The Westerns continue with singing cowboys. One of the first musical Westerns was Montana Moon (1930) at 6 a.m., which features Joan Crawford as a hard-partying flapper who settles down with cowpoke Johnny Mack Brown. Most of the songs are courtesy of Cliff Edwards (aka the voice of Jiminy Cricket) and a male chorus, but Joanie does warble a tune. The Bronze Buckaroo (1938) at 10 a.m. was a film for African-American audiences that stars jazz musician Herb Jeffries (billed here as Herbert Jeffery) as a singing cowboy. Finally, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, and George "Gabby" Hayes are all in fine form in Home in Oklahoma (1946) at 4 p.m.
Prime time lineup: The evenings selections focus on director John Sturges starting with his recreation of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and its aftermath in Hour of the Gun (1967) at 8 p.m., followed by Sturges best known film, The Magnificent Seven (196o) at 10 p.m.
 Late Night Pick: Sturges directed Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) at 12:15 a.m., which is one of the few modern-day Westerns.

Thursday, July 14

Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon
Three daytime picks: The theme is beach movies starting with the spring break classic Where the Boys Are (1960) at 10:15 a.m., which stars George Hamilton, Yvette Mimieux, and Connie Francis as coeds looking for fun in the Fort Lauderdale sun. Next, Sandra Dee plays iconic surfer girl Gidget (1959) at noon and Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello play Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) at 4 p.m. in the fifth of American International Pictures beach movies. 
Primetime lineup: TCM is featuring films made in the 1970's each Thursday night in July. This week's selections focus on feminism, starting with Ellen Burstyn's Academy Award-winning performance as a widow in search of fulfillment in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) at 8 p.m. followed by Katharine Ross as an independent woman who finds something very strange in suburbia in The Stepford Wives (1975) at 10 p.m.
Late Night Pick: Director James Bridges' drama The Paper Chase (1974) at 2:45 a.m. deals with a law student's relationship with his demanding professor (Oscar winner John Houseman) and the professor's daughter (Lindsay Wagner).

Friday, July 15

Olivia de Havilland
Three daytime picks: The theme is desert movies starting with Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart holed up in a desert cantina in The Petrified Forest (1935) at 8:30 a.m. followed by more Bette, this time as an heiress who is stranded in the desert with pilot James Cagney in The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941) at 10:15 a.m. Action in Arabia (1944) at 3 p.m. is an intriguing B movie that stars George Sanders as a reporter who is trying to stop a Nazi plot to blow up the Suez Canal.
Prime time lineup: TCM is celebrating the centennial of living legend Olivia de Havilland by airing her films each Friday in July. This week's selections feature some of her best forties movies starting with her role as a troubled young woman who struggles to cope in a mental institution in The Snake Pit (1948) at 8 p.m., followed by her Oscar-winning performance as an innocent young woman who is emotionally damaged by the casual cruelty of her father (Ralph Richardson) and the young man (Montgomery Clift) she loves in The Heiress (1949) at 10 p.m.
Late night pick: De Havilland won her first Oscar for playing a single mother who gives up her son in To Each His Own (1946) at 12:15 a.m.

Saturday, July 16

TCM's prime time lineup is all about actor Walter Matthau starting with his performance as the ultimate slovenly roommate in The Odd Couple (1968) at 8 p.m., followed by a rare role as an action hero in Charley Varrick (1973) at 10 p.m. Matthau plays a nuclear scientist in the Cold War thriller Fail Safe (1964) at midnight.

Sunday, July 17

The Sunday Night Feature focuses on political conventions starting with The Best Man (1964) at 8 p.m., which is based on Gore Vidal's play about the behind-the-scenes machinations involving one party's choice of Presidential nominee followed by Medium Cool (1968) at 10 p.m., which is director Haskell Wexler's cinema-verite account of the tumultuous 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.


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