Saturday, August 26, 2017

A TCM Viewer's Guide for the Week of Aug. 28, 2017


TCM is airing 24 hours of George Sanders films this week.

TCM's August lineup is devoted to its annual Summer Under the Stars film festival, which offers 24 hours of films from a different actor for 31 days. This week's lineup kicks off with cowboy star Slim Pickens on Monday followed by the underrated Marion Davies on Tuesday. The festival winds up with suave leading man George Sanders on Wednesday and beautiful leading lady Elizabeth Taylor on Thursday. I'll have the complete SUTS lineup below, but first here's a rundown of the rest of the week's highlights. Note: All of the highlighted  titles have links to full length articles.

Noir Alley: Innocent truck driver Glenn Ford gets mixed up with femme fatale Janis Carter and an embezzlement scheme in Framed (1947) at 10 a.m. Sunday. Carter, who was usually a B-movie actress for Columbia, gets a chance to show off her acting chops in this film.

TCM Essentials: Astronauts Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood battle rogue computer Hal 9000 (voice of Douglas Rain) in director Stanley Kubrick's science-fiction masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Silent Sunday Nights: Rudolph Valentino becomes smitten with courtesan Alla Nazimova in the 1921 version of Camille airing at 12:15 a.m.

TCM Imports: Cesar (1936) at 2 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning. This final part of French director Marcel Paignol's Marseille trilogy is about the lies and secrets in one family.

Monday, Aug. 28


Slim Pickens: This former rodeo star went from playing sidekicks in B Westerns to significant supporting roles.
The Lineup: Rocky Mountain (1950) at 6 a.m.; The Story of Will Rogers (1952) at 7:45 a.m.; Gun Brothers (1956) at 9:45 a.m. The Glory Guys (1965) at 11:30 a.m.; Honeysuckle Rose (1980) at 1:30 p.m.; The Getaway (1972) at 3:45 p.m.; The Honkers (1971) at 6 p.m.; An Eye for an Eye (1966) at 8 p.m.; Blazing Saddles (1974) at 10 p.m.; Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) at 11:45 p.m.; Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) at 2 a.m., and 1941 (1979) at 4 a.m.
Bio: Born Louis Lindley, Jr., on June 29, 1919, in Kingsburg, Calif., Pickens was a  rodeo star who broke into films as Errol Flynn's sidekick in the Western Rocky Mountain. He continued playing amiable wingmen in Westerns like Gun Brothers and The Glory Guys and rodeo-themed film like The Story of Will Rogers. In the 1960s, he did get a chance to show off his acting chops in films like the revenge Western An Eye for an Eye, in which he plays a sadistic killer and in The Honkers, as the best friend of washed up rodeo star James Coburn.
Pickens had a career revival in the 1970s thanks to a memorable cameo role in The Getaway, and he was one of the busiest character actors of the 1970s in everything from big-budget disaster epics (Beyond the Poseidon Adventure) to Mel Brooks' spoofs (Blazing Saddles) to auteur Westerns (director Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid).  
Two of Pickens' later roles were in director Steven Spielberg's Pearl Harbor comedy 1941 and the country music saga Honeysuckle Rose.

Tuesday, Aug. 29


Marion Davies: This delightful actress is much more than just the inspiration for the character of Susan (Dorothy Comingore) in Citizen Kane (1941).
The Lineup: Hearts Divided (1936) at 6 a.m.; Operator 13 (1934) at 7:30 a.m.; Enchantment (1921) at 9 a.m. The Bride's Play (1921) at 10:30 a.m.; The Red Mill (1926) at noon; Five and Ten (1931) at 1:30 p.m.; Peg O' My Heart (1933) at 3:15 p.m. The Floradora Girl (1930) at 5 p.m.; The Patsy (1928) at 6:30 p.m.; When Knighthood Was in Flower (1922) at 8 p.m.; Show People (1928) at 10:15 p.m.; Marianne (1929) at midnight.; Blonde of the Follies (1932) at 2 a.m., and Page Miss Glory (1935) at 4 a.m.
Bio: Born Marion Douras on Jan. 3, 1897, in Brooklyn, Davies was a Broadway chorus girl when she caught the eye of powerful newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst. The smitten Hearst sponsored Davies career in Hollywood in the 1920s, where she made a series of movies that alternated between lavish costume dramas like When Knighthood Was in Flower and The Bride's Play (these were the kinds of roles Hearst promoted for Davies) and comic fare like Enchantment and The Red Mill, which took advantage of Davies naturally spunky personality.
Davies was one of the top stars of the late 1920s thanks to two sophisticated comedies directed by King Vidor, The Patsy and Show People, and she became one of the first old Hollywood stars to embrace sound with the musicals Marianne, The Floradora Girl, and Blonde of the Follies
Davies had mixed success later in the 1930s. She was great in comedies like Peg O' My Heart and Page Miss Glory, but she foundered in drawing room melodramas like Five and Ten and poorly received epics like the Civil War film, Operator 13. Davies retired shortly after making the costume drama Hearts Divided, in which she plays a Baltimore girl who wins the heart of Napoleon Bonaparte's younger brother (Dick Powell).

Wednesday, Aug. 30


Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, and George Sanders in Foreign Correspondent (1940).
George Sanders: This velvet-voiced English actor was both suave leading men and memorable villains.
The Lineup: Cairo (1963) at 6 a.m.; Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons (1960) at 8 a.m.; Village of the Damned (1961) at 10 a.m.; The Saint Strikes Back (1939) at 11:30 a.m.; The Gay Falcon (1942) at 12:45 p.m.; The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) at 2 p.m.; Foreign Correspondent (1940) at 4 p.m.; A Shot in the Dark (1964) at 6:15 p.m.; Death of a Scoundrel (1956) at 8 p.m.; Journey to Italy (1954) at 10:15 p.m.; A Touch of Larceny (1960) at midnight; Lured (1947) at 2 a.m., and Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) at 4 a.m.
Bio: Born July 3, 1906, in St. Petersburg, Sanders was the son of German-Russian aristocrats (the family fled to Great Britain after the 1917 Revolution) who got into acting on the advice of acquaintance Greer Garson.
Sanders broke into Hollywood in the late 1930s where he made big impressions as a villain in Confessions of a Nazi Spy and as Joel McCrea's upper-crust comrade in Foreign Correspondent. He also appeared in the popular mystery series The Saint (The Saint Strikes Back) and The Falcon (The Gay Falcon), and he played a memorable villain in the horror film The Picture of Dorian Gray and a sympathetic leading man in the film noir Lured.
His reputation as a ladies man led to caddish turns in films like Death of a Scoundrel and Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons, but he also took creative risks in the Roberto Rossellini-directed art film Journey to Italy (he plays Ingrid Bergman's workaholic husband), the quirky comedy A Touch of Larceny (he plays a military officer who fakes defection to the Soviet Union) and the horror classic Village of the Damned (he plays the parent of alien offspring). Sanders also continued to trade on his suave demeanor for plum supporting parts in films like the Pink Panther movie, A Shot in the Dark.

Thursday, Aug. 31


Elizabeth Taylor: This Anglo-American beauty was a great actor, a great humanitarian, and a great subject for tabloid gossip.
The Lineup: National Velvet (1944) at 6 a.m.; Father of the Bride (1950) at 8:15 a.m.; Rhapsody (1954) at 10 a.m.; Ivanhoe (1952) at noon; The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) at 2 p.m.; The Sandpiper (1965) at 4 p.m.; The V.I.P.s (1963) at 6 p.m; Butterfield 8 (1960) at 8 p.m.; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) at 10 p.m.; Raintree County (1957) at midnight; Night Watch (1973) at 3 a.m., and Elizabeth Taylor: An Intimate Portrait (1975) at 4:45 a.m.
Bio: Born Feb. 27, 1932, in Hampstead, England, Taylor was the daughter of a prosperous art dealer and his retired actress wife. After the family moved to Los Angeles because of the outbreak of World War II, Taylor was put under contract by MGM where she became one of their top child stars in films like National Velvet
Her success continued into her teenage years: MGM planned the family comedy Father of the Bride to coincide with her first marriage to hotel heir Nicky Hilton, and she was integral to the success of the swashbuckler Ivanhoe. As she matured, she appeared in the sudsy romances Rhapsody and The Last Time I Saw Paris and the Civil War epic Raintree County, but she also challenged herself as an actress with a searing performance in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and she won an Oscar for playing a call girl in Butterfield 8.
Taylor's romance and marriage to Richard Burton launched the covers of a thousand movie magazines, and they also appeared in films together like The V.I.P.s and The Sandpiper
Taylor mostly focused on her humanitarian work in later life, but she did appear in a few movies like the Gaslight remake Night Watch. She also continued to be a source of public fascination, inspiring the documentary Elizabeth Taylor: An Intimate Portrait.

Friday, Sept. 1

Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in Beach Party (1963).
Three daytime picks: TCM is kicking off September with the theme of underwater adventures. First up is the Clark Gable-Burt Lancaster submarine classic Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) at 6:15 a.m. followed by U.S. destroyer commander Robert Mitchum and German U-boat captain Curt Jurgens in a battle of the wits in The Enemy Below (1957) at 2 p.m. Finally, Don Knotts is the Navy's secret weapon in the fun family film, The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964) at 6:15 p.m.
Prime time lineup: TCM is hosting an end-of-summer fling with two wild and wet Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello movies: Beach Party (1963) at 8 p.m. and Muscle Beach Party (1964) at 10 p.m.
Late night: Surfer James Darren and his squad try to keep their beach hang out from being closed down in For Those Who Think Young (1964) at 2 a.m.

Saturday, Sept. 2

The Essentials series continues at 8 p.m. with host Alec Baldwin. He will be joined by director William Friedkin to discuss the science-fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) at 8 p.m. followed by two more films about rogue computers: Amusement park robot Yul Brynner turns deadly in Westworld (1973) at 10:45 p.m. while Julie Christie becomes the obsession of an advanced machine in Demon Seed (1977) at 12:30 a.m.

Sunday, Sept. 3

TCM's prime time lineup is all about Westerns starring Paul Newman. First up is he and Robert Redford's buddy romp Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) at 8 p.m. followed by his eccentric performance in director John Huston's revisionist Western The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) at 10 p.m.

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