Things have been totally insane lately. Rest assured, we’re all working hard to get things back on track again.
To start that whole “getting on track” thing off, let’s talk about some of the more obscure films showing during TCM’s glorious Summer Under the Stars.
Charles Chaplin – Aug. 2
Lots of good, little seen Chaplin shorts playing all day long. The Knockout, Sunnyside, and The Idle Class, among others. It always wonderful to see the master, especially in his earlier films.
Marie Dressler – Aug. 4
It’s wonderful that there’s a whole day devoted to this rather underrated star. Tillie’s Punctured Romance is a great early silent comedy, with Chaplin playing a bad guy. The Divine Lady is an excellent historical romance. Let Us Be Gay is an interesting pre-code with one of Norma Shearer’s best performances. Emma is one of Clarence Brown’s best pre-codes, with a good performance from Myrna Loy.
Claude Rains – Aug. 5
Rains is definitely one of the greatest character actors ever. Gold Is Where You Find It is an extremely entertaining film from Michael Curtiz. Four Daughters is a really unique film for the 1930s, with outstanding performances from the entire cast, especially Rains, Priscilla Lane, and John Garfield. The Lady With Red Hair is a pretty good movie, based on a true story, with an INCREDIBLE performance from Miriam Hopkins.
Greta Garbo – Aug. 7
I actually saw most of Garbo’s films for the first time during a Summer Under the Stars years and years ago. That time they played mostly her well known films. This time they’re spicing it up with a lot of her lesser knowns. Of course, they’re still playing greats like Camille, Anna Karenina, and Flesh and the Devil, but they’re giving love to some more obscure ones. The Temptress is bizarre and extremely sexy. The Mysterious Lady is better than the similar Mata Hari. A very exciting, atmospheric, and sensual film. Garbo has wonderful chemistry with Conrad Nagel. A Woman of Affairs is definitely one of Garbo’s best performances, and pairings with Jack Gilbert. The Kiss is shot in a very interesting way. Again, Garbo and Nagel are great together.
Fred MacMurray – Aug. 9
MacMurray is mostly known for Double Indemnity, but he did a lot of different types of movies. The comedy Too Many Husbands is excellent, and Jean Arthur is, as always, adorable.
Richard Widmark – Aug. 11
I’ll just say you might want to watch everything you can. Because there may or may not be a Richard Widmark podcast coming up in the near future.
Kim Novak – Aug. 12
Phfft! and The Notorious Landlady…. well…. I just think everything with Jack Lemmon in it should be seen.
Greer Garson – Aug. 14
Garson was such a dignified, lovely actress. That Forsyte Woman and Valley of Decision are both excellent, sweeping, romantic films.
Rita Hayworth – Aug. 15
They’re showing a lot of Hayworth’s earlier films, the great musicals. Hayworth was one of Astaire’s very best partners, and it shows in the hilarious You’ll Never Get Rich. She also shines in a supporting role in the romance Affectionately Yours.
Fred Astaire – Aug. 16
There’s no such thing as a truly bad Astaire film, so everything on is worth watching. Flying Down to Rio is his first film with Ginger. Carefree is a hilarious film, and Ginger shines fantastically. Roberta is my personal favorite of the Astaire/Rogers films. Follow the Fleet is so much fun, and packed with awesome dances.
Gene Kelly – Aug. 17
Kelly and Rita Hayworth are great in Cover Girl, one of the best musicals ever made.
Barbara Stanwyck – Aug 19
This might be the best day of the whole month. Instead of playing a bunch of well known favorites, they’re going all out and playing so much obscure stuff. Illicit is a wonderful pre-code about a trial marriage. Night Nurse is simply one of the best and craziest pre-codes. Forbidden is beautiful, one of Capra’s very, very best. Shopworn is adorable. Baby Face is sexy, smart, and amazing. You Belong to Meis worth watching for Stanwyck/Fonda.
Edward G. Robinson – Aug. 20
Kid Galahad is a great boxing movie. I love EG Robinson and Bette Davis together.
Henry Fonda – Aug. 24
Oh, Henry Fonda…… Let Us Live is a really interesting crime film. I Dream Too Much is a fun little love story.
Ingrid Bergman – Aug. 25
Rage In Heaven is a really interesting thriller. Robert Montgomery and George Sanders on the same screen is a piece of beauty. Intermezzo: A Love Story was Bergman’s first film in Hollywood, and it’s a lovely romance.
Tony Curtis – Aug. 27
Curtis has a small role in it, but Paris When It Sizzles is a great, totally insane, creative, and hilarious romance.
Spencer Tracy – Aug. 31
This is the most important day of the month. Why? Because they are FINALLY showing Man’s Castle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!