July 30, 2012

Movie Monday: Summer Under the Stars! Week 1

It’s here, my second-favorite season of the movie year! Summer Under the Stars is the time of year when TCM dedicates one full day a month to a single actor or actress and plays only movies starring them for a whole day. Which makes for some very exciting binge watching. When I was a kid, it literally ran the entire summer and I loved it. Now it’s been parceled down to only being a month long. Times change I guess.

So for the next few weeks, Movie Monday will take a slightly different form. Rather than picking one movie for the week, we’ll preview this week’s Stars and highlight a few films you want to be sure and DVR/add to your rental list. I know, I know, everyone is watching the Olympics. But I promise, you’ll want to come back to these when it’s over, or when you get Bob Costas fatigue.

August 1
John Wayne

Stagecoach (8:15 AM CST) – A group of disparate passengers battle personal demons and each other while racing through Indian country. (JW’s first major movie role)
The Searchers (12:15 PM CST) - An Indian-hating Civil War veteran tracks down the tribe that slaughtered his family and kidnapped his niece. (JW’s favorite movie)
McLintock! (4:45 PM CST) - A cattle baron fights to tame the West and his estranged wife. (Hilarious comedy with Maureen O’Hara)
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (7:00 PM CST) - An aging Cavalry officer tries to prevent an Indian war in the last days before his retirement.
They Were Expendable (9:00 PM CST) - A Navy commander fights to prove the battle-worthiness of the PT boat at the start of World War II. (One of JW’s many military roles, arguably his most famous, based on a true story)

August 2
Myrna Loy

I’ll just be honest, Myrna Loy is my favorite ever, so you should just DVR the whole day. But the highlights:
Libeled Lady (12:00 PM CST) - When an heiress sues a newspaper, the editor hires a reporter to compromise her. (Fantastic comedy with an all-star cast)
The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (3:15 PM CST) - A teenage girl's crush on a playboy spells trouble, particularly when he falls for her older sister. (ML is the “older sister” to an adorable Shirley Temple, and plays a prominent female judge in the 1940s)
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (5:00 PM CST) - A New York businessman's dream of a country home is shattered when he buys a tumbledown rural shack. (Another great comedy with Cary Grant, where Murphy’s Law reigns supreme)
The Best Years of Our Lives (7:00 PM CST) - Three returning servicemen fight to adjust to life after World War II. (AKA One of my most favorite movies ever. MUST NOT MISS!! And bring tissues.)
The Thin Man (10:00 PM CST) - A husband-and-wife detective team takes on the search for a missing inventor and almost get killed for their efforts. (The very, very best mystery/comedy ever. Also one of my Top 5 All-time favorite movies. ML at her best.)

August 3
Johnny Weissmuller

Tarzan, The Ape Man (7:00 PM CST) - A British lord raised by apes kidnaps a beautiful noblewoman exploring Africa with her father. (I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of the Tarzan movies. But Maureen O’Sullivan is so cute, this one is worth checking out.)

August 4
Marilyn Monroe

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (3:15 PM CST) - Two singers work their way to Paris, enjoying the company of eligible men they meet along the way. (MM is adorbz with co-star Jane Russell)
The Seven Year Itch (5:00 PM CST) - A married man whose wife is on vacation falls for the blonde bombshell upstairs. (The famous white dress over the subway vent movie)
Some Like It Hot (7:00 PM CST) - Two musicians on the run from gangsters masquerade as members of an all-girl band. (With Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, my favorite MM film)

August 5
Claude Rains

Four Daughters (8:30 AM CST) - A small-town family's peaceful life is shattered when one daughter falls for a rebellious musician. (Melodrama to the hilt, a very moving tearjerker)
Kings Row (1:30 PM CST) - Small town scandals inspire an idealistic young man to take up psychiatry. (Based on the racy novel of the same name, also starring a young, affable Ronald Reagan)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1:15 AM CST – technically the 6th) - The bandit king of Sherwood Forest leads his Merry Men in a battle against the corrupt Prince John. (Vibrant color, cheesy humor, Errol Flynn in tights. Good stuff.)

And there you go, your highlights for the week, starting August 1. I know I listed a lot, but any of these would be excellent movie night choices. Pick a couple and let me know what you thought of them!


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