Here is a list of what I’ll be watching and/or DVRing during Week 03 of TCM’s Summer Under The Stars (SUTS), the channel’s annual tribute to one star per day for the month of August. Emphasis is on films I haven’t seen yet and those increasingly rare rarities. Fun fact: I got hooked on TCM for good on Jean Gabin Day during the 2011 SUTS, so in a roundabout way, SUTS led to TCM Party. Picks for each day after the jump. As always, all times are Eastern.
This week is gonna kinda sorta be super random because I’m running late (it’s Tuesday as I write this) and I’m not crazy for anyone this week other than Joan Crawford and Toshiro Mifune, and many of these films play on TCM quite often. So I’ll really be looking for the odd and the rare.
Monday, August 15
I recorded Follow the Fleet (1936) and one of my all-time favorite films of any kind, My Favorite Wife (1940).
It turns out, I do have a limit to the number of Westerns I can watch. But I did enjoy The Man Behind The Gun (1953) in all its messiness. Scott stars as an undercover agent who, like an Old West James Bond, doesn’t bother too awful much with his cover story. It’s got a love triangle, corrupt senators, and a big catfight (blonde-vs-brunette, of course) involving Patrice Wymore, who is likely best-known as Errol Flynn’s third wife, but was really pretty good.
Tuesday, August 16
As everyone knows, Jo Raquel Tejada burned up the ’60s and ’70s as an international sex symbol. A Virgo from Chicago (September 5), she is half Bolivian and half Irish. She has had a six-decade career, having worked well into the 2010s (she was on TV in 2017). If a fur bikini is your thing, don’t miss One Million Years B.C. (1966) at 8:00 p.m. It’s not mine, so I recorded these:
2:00 p.m. The Last of Sheila (1973) — James Coburn, the titular Sheila’s widower, gathers their friends on a yacht for a fun? scavenger hunt/mystery game with deadly consequences. One of my favorite movies about making movies. I love this insane flick (maybe I should change the name of this blog to that).
4:00 p.m. The Three Musketeers (1973)
6:00 p.m. The Four Musketeers (1974) – These are sure to put a weird and/or darkly humorous ’70s spin on the immortal tale of a guy from Gascony who gets up to all sorts of nonsense in 17th century France. The cast also includes Faye Dunaway, Michael York, Oliver Reed, Christopher Lee, and mini-series king Richard Chamberlain, directed by Richard Lester.
Wednesday, August 17
I’ve ever seen Tracy acting. He just is.
8:00 a.m. San Francisco (1936) – Tracy as a priest is the perfect foil for Clark Gable’s character, a shady saloon keeper with designs on good-girl Jeannette McDonald.
10:00 p.m. Pat and Mike (1952) – My possibly unpopular opinion is this is Tracy and Hepburn’s peak chemistry.
11:45 p.m. Cass Timberlane (1947) — Who better than Lana Turner to play a younger woman from the wrong side of the tracks marrying a WASP daddy?
Beyond SUTS: Libeled Lady (1936); Desk Set (1957); A Guy Named Joe (1943)
Thursday, August 18
Shelley Winters might not have always looked like she did in the above photo, but she certainly created some indelible characters. Some years ago when I saw Winters in A Patch of Blue (just aired on Sidney Poitier Day (August 3)), I detested her for a while. She is heartbreaking in A Place in the Sun (1951). The mothers in Lolita (1962) and The Night of the Hunter (1955) are both fresh in my mind. And lonely, desperate Peg in He Ran All the Way (1951) is a poignant mess. But they are all difficult to watch. So I am going with the films I’ve never seen or even in some cases heard of.
9:30 a.m. My Man and I (1952) — Wild Bill Wellman directs Winters, Ricardo Montalban, Wendell Corey, and Claire Trevor in his last assignment for MGM.
1:15 p.m. I Died A Thousand Times (1955) — Jack Palance plays the Bogart role with Winters replacing Ida Lupino in this remake of High Sierra (1941). New to me.
3:15 p.m. Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1960) — I’ll be looking for Jeanne Cooper from my story, The Young and the Restless, in this sequel to Knock On Any Door (1949). New to me.
Friday, August 19
Japanese film is a blind spot of mine so I’m watching or recording Mifune most to all of the day.
Saturday, August 20
Whatever you want to say about this woman, she was a star. Another actress with a tough childhood, no one knows exactly what year she was born, and she had three completely different names, one crowdsourced. But she is infinitely watchable, and you can’t really go wrong with anything on this day.
9:15 a.m. Reunion in France (1942) — Set in occupied France before the U.S. entry into World War II, Reunion in France is the story of a formerly wealthy Frenchwoman (Crawford) who runs into a downed American pilot (John Wayne) and tries to get him out of the country to fly again. Crawford, in gowns by Irene, isn’t really believable as down on her luck, and she thought she was mismatched with Wayne. Wayne dodged the draft and was likely thinking about his next Western, but somehow, it all works. From a simpler time, it’s chicken soup for the classic movie soul.
2:00 a.m. The Damned Don’t Cry (1950) — Crawford portrays a socialite who has disappeared after the murder of her husband; we see her climb up society’s ladder in flashback.
Beyond SUTS: I mean, there’s so many. This woman worked for more than 50 years. Daisy Kenyon (1947), The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937), and the apotheosis of Crawford’s Depression-era rags-to-riches cycle, Sadie McKee (1934), are all worth seeing. Her silent film work is likewise worthwhile; she often showed off the dance moves she learned at her stepfather’s vaudeville house in Kansas City.
Sunday, August 21
I don’t even know what to say about Clint Eastwood, I’m not really his target audience. The spaghetti westerns are pretty good. I’ll probably check out The First Traveling Saleslady (1956) at 7:45 a.m., and I do know that Where Eagles Dare (2:45 a.m., 1968) is a pretty decent World War II espionage flick co-starring Richard Burton.
Come back next week for SUTS Week 04 Picks (August 22-27).