Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Viewer's Guide for Week 3 of Summer Under the Stars


All About Eve (1950) is one the classic movies TCM will feature during week three of the 2016 Summer Under the Stars film festival.

Each August, TCM presents Summer Under the Stars, a month-long film festival that celebrates the talents of some of old Hollywood's most beloved actors with 24 hours of their best movies. This year's Summer Under the Stars continues on Monday with child star Roddy McDowall followed by versatile actress Anne Baxter on Tuesday; African-American pioneer James Edwards on Wednesday; blonde beauty Angie Dickinson on Thursday; singing and dancing sensation Ruby Keeler on Friday; tough guy Humphrey Bogart on Saturday, and all-time great Bette Davis on Sunday.

Each week I'll have a viewer's guide with information about each actor and my top picks. FYI: the highlighted movies have links to feature articles.

Monday, Aug. 15: Roddy McDowall



Born: Sept. 17, 1928, in London.
Died: Oct. 3, 1998, in Studio City, Calif. McDowall was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.
Bio: Born Roderick McDowall to a merchant seaman and an aspiring actress, McDowall began working as a model while he was still a baby, and he appeared in several British films before the outbreak of World War II forced his family to move to the U.S. He made his American film debut as the young Welsh coal miner Huw Morgan in director John Ford's How Green Was My Valley (1941) at 11:30 p.m. followed by several successful films for MGM, including The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) at 6 a.m., My Friend Flicka (1943) at 8 p.m., and Lassie Come Home (1943) at 9:45 p.m. In the late 1940's, McDowall made several adventure films for Monogram Pictures, including the Robert Louis Stevenson adaptation Kidnapped (1948) at 9:45 a.m. and the Jaws precursor Killer Shark (1950) at 8:15 a.m. In his later career, McDowall preferred theater and TV, but he did have some memorable film roles, including playing Octavian in the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton epic Cleopatra (1963) at 1:45 a.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 16: Anne Baxter



Born: May 7, 1923, in Michigan City, Ind.
Died: Dec. 12, 1985, in New York City. Baxter is buried in Unity Chapel Cemetery in Wyoming, Wis.
Bio: Baxter was born into a prominent Midwestern family that included Baxter's grandfather, legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Baxter was bitten by the acting bug while appearing in a school play, and she studied with famous actress Maria Ouspenskaya and appeared on Broadway while still in her teens. Baxter lost the lead role in Rebecca (1940), but she did get some good supporting parts in movies like the World War II drama Five Graves to Cairo (1943) at 2:45 a.m., where she played a French maid. Baxter's breakthrough came in the introspective drama The Razor's Edge (1946) at 12:15 a.m. for which she won a best supporting actress Academy Award for playing a troubled young woman who loses her husband and child in a car crash. She became one of the top stars of the 1950's in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller I Confess (1953) at 1 p.m., the noir, The Blue Gardenia (1953) at 4:15 p.m., and the backstage drama All About Eve (1950) at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 17: James Edwards



Born: March 6, 1918, in Muncie, Ind.
Died: Jan. 4, 1970, in San Diego. Edwards is buried in Evergreen Memorial Park in Hobart, Ind.
Bio: After serving his country during World War II, Edwards began acting while he was attending Northwestern University on the G.I. bill. He quickly found parts on Broadway, which led to his leading role in director Stanley Kramer's movie Home of the Brave (1949) at 8 p.m. about an African-American serviceman who experiences racism in the South Pacific. Edwards quickly found more work especially in noirs like The Phenix City Story (1955) at 10 a.m. and The Set-Up (1949) at 9:45 p.m., and Korean War dramas like Men in War (1957) at 4:15 p.m., The Steel Helmet (1951) at 6:15 p.m., and Pork Chop Hill (1959) at 2:45 a.m. Edwards later career was often overshadowed by younger stars like Sidney Poitier, but he still worked steadily in TV and in small roles in movies like the Taylor-Burton romance The Sandpiper (1965) at noon.

Thursday, Aug. 18: Angie Dickinson


Born: Sept. 30, 1931, in Kulm, N.D.
Bio: Born Angeline Brown, Dickinson got into acting after successful appearances at beauty pageants in the Burbank,Calif., area.  At first, she only appeared on TV, but she gradually got into movies, mostly in B Westerns like Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1957) at 8 a.m. and noirs like Cry Terror (1958) at 4 a.m. Dickinson's breakthrough came in director Howard Hawks' Western Rio Bravo (1959) at 10 p.m. where she plays a saloon singer who wins the heart of John Wayne. Dickinson then became one of the top stars of the 1960's in movies like the political potboiler A Fever in the Blood (1961) at 3:30 p.m., the travelogue/romances Rome Adventure (1962) at 11:15 a.m. and Jessica (1962) at 1:30 p.m., the medical melodrama The Sins of Rachel Cade (1961) at 5:45 p.m., and the gangster saga Point Blank (1967) at 8 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 19: Ruby Keeler



Born: Aug. 25, 1909, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Died: Feb. 28, 1993, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Keeler was buried in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange, Calif.
Bio: Born Ethel Ruby Keeler, the actress grew up in New York City in a large Irish Catholic family. A parochial school teacher spotted Ruby's talent and agreed to teach her dance for free. Soon, Keeler was dancing in speakeasies and getting work as a showgirl. She eventually moved up to parts on Broadway like the show Whoopee! where she met her first husband, Al Jolson. Hollywood came calling with the backstage musical 42nd Street (1933) at 8 p.m. She then became one of Warner Bros. top musical stars of the 1930's in movies like Colleen (1936) at noon, Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) at 6 p.m., Dames (1934) at 11:30 p.m., and Footlight Parade (1933) at 1:30 a.m. Keeler mostly left show business after her marriage to businessman John Lowe in 1941, only making occasional appearances on TV and Broadway until her death from cancer in 1993.

Saturday, Aug. 20: Humphrey Bogart


Born: Dec. 25, 1899, in New York City.
Died: Jan. 14, 1957, in Los Angeles. Bogart is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif.
Bio: Born into a prominent New York City family -- Bogart's father was a heart surgeon and his mother was an illustrator and suffragette -- Bogart drifted into acting after a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War I. His success on Broadway as the ruthless gangster Duke Mantee in the play The Petrified Forest got him noticed by Warner Bros., which put him under contract where he mostly played in B movies like Crime School (1938) at 6 a.m., King of the Underworld (1939) at 7:30 a.m. and San Quentin (1937) at 8:45 a.m. Bogart's breakthrough came in director John Huston's noir The Maltese Falcon (1941) at 2 a.m. where he played private detective Sam Spade in a twisty tale of murder and deceit. Bogart solidified his box-office clout with Casablanca (1942) at 2 p.m. and in his films with his fourth wife, Lauren Bacall, like Dark Passage (1947) at 4 p.m. and Key Largo (1948) at 6 p.m. Bogart remained a top box-office draw in films like Sabrina (1954) at 8 p.m. until his untimely death from cancer.

Sunday, Aug 21: Bette Davis


Born: April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Mass.
Died: Oct. 6, 1989, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Davis is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in L.A.
Bio: Born Ruth Elizabeth Davis, Bette was bitten by the acting bug at a young age and she gradually worked her way up in the theater and eventually into Hollywood. After a brief, unhappy stint at Universal Pictures, Bette landed at Warner Bros. where she made her mark in films like Housewife (1934) at 6 a.m. and It's Love I'm After (1937) at 7:30 a.m. before winning two back-to-back Oscars and becoming one of the studios top stars in films like The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) at 6 p.m. Bette was one of the top actresses of the 1940's winning accolades in movies like The Letter (1940) at 9:15 a.m., Mr. Skeffington (1944) at 11 a.m., Now, Voyager (1942) at 8 p.m., The Little Foxes (1941) at 10:15 p.m., and Old Acquaintance (1943) at 12:15 a.m. Davis career faltered a bit in her later years, but she always made a comeback in roles like her Oscar-nominated performance as a bizarre former child star in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) at 1:45 p.m.



Check back Monday for my review of How Green Was My Valley and on Tuesday for my look a the character of Eve Harrington in All About Eve. Plus, I'll be posting photos, videos, and GIFs of each star every day on social media. You can follow me on TumblrGoogle+ or Pinterest or like Old Hollywood Film's page on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter @oldhollywood21.





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