Category Archives: Classic Film
ATTN LANA TURNER FANS: Please help me raise about
$400 $70 more to help restore her favorite booth at the Formosa Cafe. Donations as little as $5 will help!
I was lucky enough to attend the TCM Film Festival in 2011, where Peter O’Toole was the honored guest. I saw him introduce Beckett and sat so close to him that I could see the color of his socks. My friend Kristen and I also saw him talk with Robert Osborne for an hour and it was magical. He also received his handprints (pictured above) and I was covering that as press and got a prime spot. He was every inch the gentlemen during that weekend and I am so grateful that I got to have that time with him (even if it wasn’t really with him). He lit up the screen and he truly was an actor *and* a movie star. That he never won a competitive Oscar is one of the biggest travesties in film history. When asked by Osbourne about this, he said he really did want to win one and he wasn’t dead yet. I guess it’s too late now, but we all know he should have won it several times over. He will go down in both film history, as well as human history, as one of the great entertainers of all time. We were lucky he shared his talents with us and he will be sorely missed. But at least he’s reunited with his pals Burton and Taylor and Harris and Reed. They can raise hell on higher level now.
I haven’t had TCM for Summer Under the Stars since 2010, but that was a good year. That was basically how I became a classic film addict and someday I will be able to afford television again if only for TCM *insert Scarlet O’Hara voice here). Anyways, there’s some great new names being celebrated this year.
Turner Classic Movies’s ultimate movie star showcase – Summer Under the Stars – returns this August for its 11th year as TCM pays tribute to 31 different stars in 31 days. Sixteen of this year’s stars are being celebrated for the first time during Summer Under the Stars, including Oscar® winners Joan Fontaine (Aug. 6), Mickey Rooney (Aug. 13), Wallace Beery (Aug. 17), Hattie McDaniel (Aug. 20), Downton Abbey star Maggie Smith (Aug. 22), Charles Coburn (Aug. 24), Martin Balsam (Aug. 27), Shirley Jones (Aug. 28) and Rex Harrison (Aug. 31). Also featured for the first time will be silent heartthrob Ramón Novarro (Aug. 8); legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve (Aug. 12), whose day features six films making their TCM debuts; Ann Blyth (Aug. 16), whose marathon will air on her 85th birthday; and Mary Boland (Aug. 4) and Glenda Farrell (Aug. 29), two outstanding character actresses who never received the recognition they deserved. They will join 15 returning favorites, including Humphrey Bogart (Aug. 1), Doris Day (Aug. 2), Charlton Heston (Aug. 5), Steve McQueen (Aug. 9), Bette Davis (Aug. 14), Elizabeth Taylor (Aug. 23) and Clark Gable (Aug. 25).
In all, more than 30 films will be making their first appearances on TCM during the 2013 edition of Summer Under the Stars, including Anatole Litvak’s poignant wartime romance This Above All (1942), starring Joan Fontaine on Aug. 6; Luis Buñuel’s steamy Belle de Jour (1968), starring Catherine Deneuve on Aug. 12; Otto Preminger’s witty The Fan (1949), starring Jeanne Crain on Aug. 26; and Burt Kennedy’s boisterous The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969), starring Martin Balsam on Aug. 27.
TCM’s popular franchises The Essentials, co-hosted by TCM’s Robert Osborne and Drew Barrymore, and The Essentials Jr., hosted by Bill Hader, will continue throughout Summer Under the Stars. The Essentials will feature presentations of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) on Aug. 3, The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) on Aug. 10, Grand Hotel (1932) on Aug. 17, The Lady Eve (1941) on Aug. 24 and Anna and the King of Siam (1946) on Aug. 31. TCM Essentials Jr. will include the family-friendly movies Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) on Aug. 4, The Grapes of Wrath (1940) on Aug. 11, The Great Race (1965) on Aug. 18 and It Happened One Night (1934) on Aug. 25.
The following is the roster of stars who will be celebrated during TCM’s 2013 edition of Summer Under the Stars. Names in bold indicate newcomers to the month-long programming event.
- Aug. 1 – Humphrey Bogart
- Aug. 2 – Doris Day
- Aug. 3 – Alec Guinness
- Aug 4 – Mary Boland
- Aug. 5 – Charlton Heston
- Aug. 6 – Joan Fontaine
- Aug. 7 – Fred MacMurray
- Aug. 8 – Ramón Novarro
- Aug. 9 – Steve McQueen
- Aug. 10 – Lana Turner
- Aug. 11 – Henry Fonda
- Aug. 12 – Catherine Deneuve
- Aug. 13 – Mickey Rooney
- Aug. 14 – Bette Davis
- Aug. 15 – Gregory Peck
- Aug. 16 – Ann Blyth (85th birthday)
- Aug. 17 – Wallace Beery
- Aug. 18 – Natalie Wood
- Aug. 19 – Randolph Scott
- Aug. 20 – Hattie McDaniel
- Aug. 21 – William Holden
- Aug. 22 – Maggie Smith
- Aug. 23 – Elizabeth Taylor
- Aug. 24 – Charles Coburn
- Aug. 25 – Clark Gable
- Aug. 26 – Jeanne Crain
- Aug. 27 – Martin Balsam
- Aug. 28 – Shirley Jones
- Aug. 29 – Glenda Farrell
- Aug. 30 – Kirk Douglas
- Aug. 31 – Rex Harrison
A complete schedule for Summer Under the Stars is available at http://summer.tcm.com.
At this point y’all should be pretty well-versed in Pre-Code Hollywood and all its glory. The Warner Archive is at it again, releasing Vol. 7 of the ever-popular Forbidden Hollywood series. This set features film that, while not the “best” films of the era, feature some of the most salacious scenarios that Hollywood had to offer at the time. These are the kind of morally “loose” films that caused the Catholic church to call the industry indecent. They’re also more sexually charged than most current Hollywood films. The films included in this set are: William A. Wellman’s The Hatchet Man, Edgar Selwyn’s Skyscraper Souls, Roy Del Ruth’s Employees’ Entrance and Robert Florey’s Ex-Lady.
I love the British New Wave. I really, really do. One of the first films from the era/style that I saw was Tony Richardson’s film The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner from 1962. I saw it on TCM as part of group of films hand-picked by guest programmer Benjamin McKenzie (some day, I’m gonna track him down and talk kitchen sink dramas with him!) and I was blown away by how great it was. Like many of the films in the wave, it’s based on a short story by Alan Sillitoe. Clearly, I need to get to reading his stuff.
As many of you know, I really love Glenn Ford. Like, really love. I am so excited about all the Glenn Ford media hitting the home video market in the last few months. Enter The Courtship of Eddie’s Father from the Warner Archive Collection. This was such a great film; I can’t believe I had never seen it before.
If you follow me on Tumblr, then you know that I really love Glenn Ford (man’s man). It seems like the gods of DVD and Blu-ray also love Glenn Ford. TCM just announced a new set of Glenn Ford crime films to be released in March.
I have actually only seen one of these films, so I am SO EXCITED for this set.
As part of their year-long 90th anniversary celebration, Warner Bros. has been releasing some really great boxed sets. From their 100 Film Collection and their 50 Film Collection, to several 20 Film Collection sets. Last month they released a boxed set of 20 Best Picture winners and coming soon they are giving the same treatment to comedies, thrillers and romance. Last week they released a boxed set of 20 classical musicals (some of the musicals are from MGM, whose back catalogue WB owns), that is simply to die for. Really, my only complaint about the set is that the discs are clearly culled from older releases (The Wizard of Oz is disc one of the special 70th edition from a few years back and Viva Las Vegas is definitely from a previous Elvis collection). Despite that, each film comes with special features and at this price point ($90 retail, $60-70 at most online shops), this collection is a real bargain. It’s also a fun way to get a great overview of how the musical has changed over the years. After the cut, I’ll go through each disc with a little review of the transfer quality, special features, etc.