TCM is airing The Quiet Man (1952) this week during the Summer Under the Stars film festival. This romance set in Ireland stars Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne.
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 the next 31 days. This week's lineup kicks off with versatile actor Eleanor Parker on Monday and continues with leading man Franchot Tone on Tuesday. The rest of the week features teen sensation Sandra Dee on Wednesday; pioneering actor Sidney Poitier on Thursday; dancing queen Ginger Rogers on Friday, and all-time greats John Wayne on Saturday and Barbara Stanwyck on Sunday.
Note: All of the highlighted titles have links to full length articles.
Monday, Aug. 7
Eleanor Parker: This versatile actor is best-known today for her role as The Baroness in The Sound of Music, but she carved out a successful old Hollywood career in a wide variety of roles.
The Lineup: Between Two Worlds (1944) at 6 a.m.; Never Say Goodbye (1946) at 8 a.m.; A Millionaire for Christy (1951) at 10 a.m.; Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) at noon; Interrupted Melody (1955) at 2 p.m.; Caged (1950) at 4 p.m.; Many Rivers to Cross (1955) at 6 p.m.; The Naked Jungle (1954) at 8 p.m.; Scaramouche (1952) at 10 p.m.; Valley of the Kings (1954) at 12:15 a.m.; The Woman in White (1948) at 2 a.m., and Of Human Bondage (1946) at 4 a.m.
Bio: Born June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio, Parker got a contract with Warner Bros. at age 18 after a stint in summer stock and at the famed Pasadena Playhouse. Parker at first got supporting parts opposite top stars like John Garfield (the fantasy Between Two Worlds) and Errol Flynn (the romantic comedy Never Say Goodbye), but she soon made a mark of her own in films like the remake of Of Human Bondage, in which she takes on the role made famous by Bette Davis in the 1934 original, and in the Gothic chiller The Woman in White.
Parker earned three Academy Award nominations in the 1950s, including two best actress nods for her work in the prison drama Caged and in the biopic Interrupted Melody about opera star Marjorie Lawrence's battle with polio. During this time period Parker's remarkable versatility led her to be cast in everything from rom-coms (A Millionaire for Christy) to Westerns (Escape from Fort Bravo; Many Rivers to Cross), but she really excelled in the action-adventure films like the George Pal-produced Amazon adventure The Naked Jungle and the archaeology saga The Valley of the Kings. However, Parker's best film in this vein is as one of the object of Stewart Granger's affections (the other is Janet Leigh) in the swashbuckler Scaramouche.
Tuesday, Aug. 8
Franchot Tone: This son of prominent New York family appeared opposite most of the great leading ladies of old Hollywood's golden age.
The Lineup: Today We Live (1933) at 6 a.m.; Dangerous (1935) at 8 a.m.; Exclusive Story (1936) at 9:30 a.m.; Fast and Furious (1939) at 10:45 a.m.; The Wife Takes a Flyer (1942) at 12:15 p.m.; Uncle Vanya (1958) at 1:45 p.m.; Five Graves to Cairo (1943) at 3:30 p.m.; Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) at 5:30 p.m.; The King Steps Out (1936) at 8 p.m.; The Unguarded Hour (1936) at 9:45 p.m.; Gentlemen Are Born (1934) at 11:30 p.m.; Quality Street (1937) at 1 a.m.; The Girl from Missouri (19) at 2:45 a.m., and Between Two Women (1937) at 4:15 a.m.
Bio: Born Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone on Feb. 27, 1905, in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Tone grew up in a socially prominent family, but, instead of becoming a powerful businessman like his father, Tone took up acting. He was a founding member of the famous Group Theater until he hit it big in Hollywood in the World War I romance Today We Live opposite future wife Joan Crawford. Tone then embarked on a prolific period that found him appearing opposite almost every big female star in thirties Hollywood, including Bette Davis (Dangerous); Grace Moore (The King Steps Out); Loretta Young (The Unguarded Hour); Katharine Hepburn (Quality Street); Jean Harlow (The Girl from Missouri) and Maureen O'Sullivan (Between Two Women).
Tone did sometimes get the chance to make his mark on his own, most memorably in Mutiny on the Bounty, but also in the newspaper drama Exclusive Story and in the Lost Generation saga Gentlemen Are Born. Tone and Ann Sothern even got their own The Thin Man-like series as booksellers turned detectives (TCM is airing Fast and Furious).
After his divorce from Crawford, Tone mostly returned to the theater, but he did appear in the World War II films Five Graves to Cairo and The Wife Takes a Flyer, and he brought his successful stage adaptation of Uncle Vanya to the screen in 1958.
Wednesday, Aug. 9
Sandra Dee: The wholesome teen sensation behind Gidget (1959) and the Tammy movies also appeared in serious fare such as director Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life (1959).
Bio: Born Alexandra Zuck on April 23, 1942, in Bayonne, N.J., Dee was a child model who was pushed into acting by her mother. Her film debut was the courtroom drama Until They Sail, and Dee's perky blonde looks and her wholesome demeanor soon led to plum supporting parts in the charming comedy The Reluctant Debutante (she's Rex Harrison's daughter), the soaper The Restless Years (she's Teresa Wright's daughter), and the Western The Wild and the Innocent (believe it or not, she's Strother Martin's daughter).
1959 was a breakthrough year for Dee. She appeared opposite close friend Troy Donahue in the soaper A Summer Place, and she had a plum role in the Douglas Sirk-directed melodrama Imitation of Life, but she became America's favorite teenager thanks to her roles as surfer girl Gidget. Dee continued her winning streak in the Tammy movie series (TCM is airing Tammy Tell Me True) and with director, writer, and star Peter Ustinov's comic retelling of William Shakespeare in Romanoff and Juliet.
Dee appeared in three popular films with husband Bobby Darin, including That Funny Feeling but after their painful divorce she was dropped by Universal Pictures and her comeback vehicle, a comedy about an unexpected pregnancy called Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding. didn't do well at the box office. Dee's final film was the low-budget adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's story, The Dunwich Horror.
Thursday, Aug. 10
Sidney Poitier: This Civil Rights icon became the first black actor to win an Oscar.
The Lineup: Brother John (1971) at 6 a.m.; A Warm December (1972) at 8 a.m.; Goodbye, My Lady (1956) at 10 a.m.; Edge of the City (1957) at noon; Something of Value (1957) at 2 p.m.; Buck and the Preacher (1972) at 4 p.m.; A Patch of Blue (1965) at 6 p.m.; To Sir, With Love (1967) at 8 p.m.; The Defiant Ones (1958) at 10 p.m.; In the Heat of the Night (1967) at midnight; The Bedford Incident (1965) at 2 a.m., and Cry, the Beloved Country (1952) at 4 a.m.
Bio: Born Feb. 20, 1927, in Miami, Poitier grew up on a farm in the Bahamas, but emigrated to the U.S. as a teenager. Poitier was working as a dishwasher when he became interested in acting, eventually earning roles on Broadway and small parts in Hollywood movies like the Apartheid drama Cry, the Beloved Country and the family film Goodbye, My Lady. Poitier gained widespread attention as a struggling dock worker in the political thriller Edge of the City and as a Kenyan caught up in the Mau Mau uprising in Something of Value.
Poitier's breakthrough role was in the prison-escape drama The Defiant Ones in which he and Tony Curtis play shackled convicts who escape from a chain gang. Poitier became one of the top stars of the 1960s, not only in racially charged films like A Patch of Blue and In the Heat of the Night, but also in crowd-pleasing roles in To Sir, With Love and in the all-star submarine drama The Bedford Incident.
Poitier continued to be a box-office draw in movies like the fantasy Brother John and the romance A Warm December. He also began a fruitful career as a director with the buddy Western Buck and the Preacher, which co-stars Poitier's great friend Harry Belafonte.
Friday, Aug. 11
Ginger Rogers: One half of old Hollywood's greatest dance team, Rogers was also a top box-office draw in the 1940s.
The Lineup: Tenderfoot (1932) at 6 a.m.; Flying Down to Rio (1933) at 7:30 a.m.; Chance at Heaven (1934) at 9:15 a.m.; Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934) at 10:45 a.m.; Star of Midnight (1935) at 12:30 p.m.; Follow the Fleet (1936) at 2:15 p.m.; Tom, Dick, and Harry (1941) at 4:15 p.m.; Bachelor Mother (1939) at 6:15 p.m.; Kitty Foyle (1940) at 8 p.m.; Top Hat (1935) at 10 p.m.; Dreamboat (1952) at midnight; Tight Spot (1955) at 1:45 a.m., and Once Upon a Honeymoon (1950) at 3:45 a.m.
Bio: Born Virginia McMath on July 16, 1911, in Independence, Mo., Rogers was a Broadway sensation when she came to Hollywood in the early 1930s. She started out in a wide variety of roles in films like the Joe E. Brown comedy The Tenderfoot, the small-town drama Chance at Heaven, the murder-mystery Star of Midnight, and the radio days musical Twenty Million Sweethearts. Rogers was paired with newcomer Fred Astaire in the musical Flying Down to Rio, which led to nine more successful films from the duo, including all-time classics Follow the Fleet and Top Hat.
After splitting with Astaire, Rogers became one of the top box-office draws of the early 1940s, especially in romantic comedies like Bachelor Mother opposite David Niven, Tom, Dick, and Harry opposite George Murphy, and Once Upon a Honeymoon opposite Cary Grant. Rogers even won a best actress Oscar for her role as a working girl made good in Kitty Foyle.
Rogers continued to get great roles in the 1950s, such as her part as a faded silent film star in Dreamboat and as a gangster's moll in Tight Spot.
Saturday, Aug. 12
John Wayne: A star of Westerns and war movies, Wayne made some of old Hollywood's greatest films with his frequent collaborator, director John Ford.
The Lineup: The Long Voyage Home (1940) at 6 a.m.; McLintock! (1963) at 8 a.m.; Chisum (1970) at 10:15 a.m.; Stagecoach (1939) at 12:15 p.m.; She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1948) at 2 p.m.; The Train Robbers (1973) at 4 p.m.; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) at 5:45 p.m.; The Quiet Man (1952) at 8 p.m.; The Searchers (1956) at 10:30 p.m.; Rio Bravo (1959) at 12:45 a.m., and They Were Expendable (1945) at 3:15 a.m.
Bio: Born Marion Morrison on May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, Wayne was a B movie actor mired in a series of forgettable Westerns when director John Ford cast him as the outlaw the Ringo Kid in his groundbreaking Western Stagecoach and the seafaring saga The Long Voyage Home.
After Ford returned from service in World War II, He and Wayne embarked on a series of collaborations that are among the best movies ever made in old Hollywood. They include the story of World War II PT boats, They Were Expendable; the cavalry film She Wore a Yellow Ribbon; the Emerald Isle romance The Quiet Man, and Westerns The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. During this time period, Wayne was also one of old Hollywood's top box-office draws in films in the Western romps Rio Bravo and McLintock!.
Wayne continued to be a top box-office draw in the 1970s in Chisum and The Train Robbers.
Sunday, Aug. 13
Barbara Stanwyck: This all-time great leading lady's career spanned pre-code, film noir, and fifties melodrama.
The Lineup: So Big (1932) at 6 a.m.; The Purchase Price (1932) at 7:30 a.m.; Ladies They Talk About (1933) at 9 a.m.; The Mad Miss Manton (1938) at 10:30 a.m.; The Lady Eve (1941) at noon; Ball of Fire (1942) at 2 p.m.; These Wilder Years (1956) at 4 p.m.; My Reputation (1946) at 6 p.m.; All I Desire (1953) at 8 p.m.; The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) at 9:30 p.m.; Crime of Passion (1957) at 11:45 p.m.; Baby Face (1933) at 1:30 a.m.; The Miracle Woman (1931) at 3 a.m., and Jeopardy (1953) at 4:45 a.m.
Bio: Born Ruby Stevens on July 16, 1907, in Brooklyn, Stanwyck was a successful stage actress before heading to Hollywood with first husband Frank Fay where she quickly garnered attention as a female evangelist in The Miracle Woman and as a pioneering schoolteacher in the soaper So Big. Stanwyck's forthright demeanor was especially well-suited to the frank nature of pre-code movies where she played loose-living women in The Purchase Price, Ladies They Talk About, and Baby Face.
Stanwyck's comic talents gave her three great roles in the screwballs The Mad Miss Manton, Ball of Fire, and The Lady Eve, and she was also one of the first A-list stars to appear in films noir like The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Crime of Passion, and Jeopardy. Stanwyck was also quite popular in fifties melodramas like My Reputation (she plays a widow who falls for George Brent), These Wilder Years (she plays a social worker who helps James Cagney find his lost son), and All I Desire (a period soaper from director Douglas Sirk in which she plays a wife and mother who abandons her family for a stage career).