On to the balance of the TCM’s Summer Under the Stars with my suggestions for each “star” being celebrated with a 24 hour salute.
August 16th …. Cary Grant (1904-1986)
The icon who had a style and voice all his own. From the early 30’s to 1966 when he exited the movies on his own terms, Cary Grant, was one of cinema’s most charismatic actors and his star endures to this day. Why not keep it light and tune in to Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House with Cary joined by Myrna Loy.
August 17th …. Maureen O’Hara (1920-2015)
The fiery redhead remains a favorite of mine and that is in large part due to her association with John Wayne and other action movies with tough guy leading men. Not only beautiful, she could hold her own with the boys. If possible check out This Land Is Mine with Maureen and Charles Laughton. Also showing is The Fallen Sparrow with John Garfield and our star of the day.
August 18th …. Warren Beatty
Warren has more or less been calling his own shots for years in the movie business and I guess when you score a hit like Bonnie and Clyde you’ve earned it. Yes that’s my recommendation on this day and why not, it’s a movie classic. You’ll even have the chance to see Beatty and Nicholson if you so choose in The Fortune.
August 19th …. Dolores Del Rio (1904-1983)
Imported from Mexico, Miss Del Rio, was a stunning beauty. There are plenty of new to me titles showing on this day so I’ll be looking for suggestions from you. If I can offer up a title it’s one I just featured recently, Bird of Paradise, with Joel McCrea co-starring.
August 20th …. William Powell (1892-1984)
The Thin Man himself, Powell, always entertains when he’s mixing with high society in both screwball and sophisticated comedy. Later on in his career he delivered one of my favorite Powell performances in the 1947 comedy, Life With Father, and that’s my suggestion to one and all. Also being televised is the weeper, One Way Passage, but keep the tissue handy.
August 21st …. Diana Dors (1931-1984)
England’s version of the blonde bombshell takes center stage with Diana Dors. There are some new to me titles showing that I’m looking forward to including a trio of J. Lee Thompson films, An Alligator Named Daisy, The Weak and the Wicked and As Long as They’re Happy. But to offer up one title I have seen, go with The Long Haul. An above average Victor Mature starrer with Diana playing the temptress.
August 22nd …. Natalie Wood (1938-1981)
The child actress who became a star and tragically left us too early. For my money the best film being played on her day of celebration is John Ford’s classic The Searchers and it’s required viewing. But it’s not really her film so while I’ll encourage one and all to take in the western classic why not give This Property Is Condemned (1966) a shot. A Sydney Pollack film that paired Natalie with Redford.
August 23rd …. Olivia De Havilland (1916-2020)
Time finally caught up to this beautiful lady and TCM has done right by including her in the August festivities to celebrate her life and career. Yes of course they are playing Gone With the Wind but why not tune in to see her Maid Marian opposite Flynn’s Robin Hood and do so with family if at all possible. One of the greatest adventures ever caught on film and the color photography is a marvel as are our leading players. Beyond this make sure you tune in to what might be her greatest performance, 1949’s The Heiress for which she won her second Academy Award.
August 24th …. George Raft (1901-1980)
Always finding himself playing it tough, Raft, was one of the original gangsters under contract to Warner Brothers and while he may have opened the doors for Bogie if the stories are half way true about his turning down some key roles, I still find enjoyment in some of the films he did star in. On that note I’d recommend that you check out Each Dawn I Die which cast him alongside Cagney. If you find the time for two titles than have a look at 1948’s Race Street.
August 25th …. Anne Shirley (1918-1993)
I’ve seen very few of Anne’s film appearances so again I’m more than happy to hear your suggestions on just which films I should be taking in during her spotlight. I have of course seen Stella Dallas so will nominate that title as one you shouldn’t miss. I also see that Bombardier is playing and with a mostly male cast heading to war it features Anne in the token female role and it’s worth a look if you can shoehorn it in.
August 26th …. Laurence Olivier (1907-1989)
I’ve often heard it said that Olivier was the greatest actor of them all though I don’t see it that way. Then again I hate to name any one actor as the greatest. I prefer to make statements like “he or she would be in my top 10.” Olivier? Maybe but I was never a big fan growing up because he wasn’t starring in movies that excited this youngster discovering films outside of Spartacus. Still I’ve come around to appreciating this fine actor as the years have passed. On this day I’ll suggest you take in his award winning 1948, Hamlet.
August 27th …. Claudette Colbert (1903-1996)
Before I learned to put names to faces outside of cowboy stars I knew that Miss Colbert was the leading lady in the movie that launched the Ma and Pa Kettle films, The Egg and I. But it wasn’t long before I knew exactly who she was thanks to seeing movies like Drums Along the Mohawk and It Happened One Night. She quickly proved to be irresistible and a comedic delight when the film role allowed it. I’ve been a fan since my teenage years. While all three of the titles I’ve mentioned are playing why not give Without Reservations a look. Another comedy opposite the Duke.
August 28th …. Paul Henreid (1908-1992)
Like many other fans of classic films, my first look at Henreid was thanks to his role ion Casablanca. But of course my eyes were on Bogie and Bergman and even Peter Lorre and Claude Rains whom I had discovered through horror films. It would take a few years before I came around to appreciating just how fine an actor Mr. Henreid was. If I might suggest something beyond films, find a copy of his self penned autobiography, Ladies Man. I liked him all the more after reading his life story. Go with Now, Voyager for the film of the day. That’s assuming you’ve seen Casablanca.
August 29th …. Eva Marie Saint
Having seen On the Waterfront at just the right age, meaning an impressionable newly minted teenager, Miss Saint, as the “girl next door” made an indelible impression on not only Brando’s Terry Malloy, but yours truly as well. And that alone is why I’ll be recommending On the Waterfront as my pick of the day celebrating the work of this beautiful lady who found her way into the Hitchcock classic North By Northwest. After all, she is a blonde.
August 30th …. Charlton Heston (1923-2008)
When I talk of film stars that feed the imagination of a young film fan, Heston, is a screen legend in this household. Apes, Ben-Hur, Moses, Soylent Green, The Omega Man and countless heroic deeds like being lowed into the cockpit of a passenger airplane in flight. Yes that’s one of my earliest big screen memories as is 1974’s Earthquake. For more fun on Chuck check out my Heston Cameo link. Because I loved the original Ape series growing up as much as kids today may love the Star Wars flicks, I’ll have to recommend Heston’s voyage to The Planet of the Apes for one and all. I will add that there is a very rare Heston title playing that I’m eager to revisit for the first time in 30 plus years, 1969’s Number One.
August 31st …. Alain Delon
Nice to see TCM shining the spotlight on an actor who is frequently featured here at Mike’s Take. Delon came into my movie going universe thanks to his occasional foray into English language films. Not surprisingly my earliest recollection is seeing him costar opposite Charles Bronson in 1971’s Red Sun. From there I’d spot him opposite other actors I’d become fans of, Anthony Quinn, Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin. Then you realize there is a whole career to discover of foreign language films and I’m still discovering them. Tough to settle on just one title but if I may, sit down and watch Le Samourai. Secondly if you can, squeeze in 1960’s Purple Noon.
So have fun and let me know what you’re intending to sit in and watch with our roster of stars.
Cheers’ ….. Mike.