Monday, June 06, 2011

TCM Star of the Month: Jean Simmons

June's Star of the Month at Turner Classic Movies is Jean Simmons.

TCM will be showing Simmons films every Tuesday evening beginning on June 7th. Simmons appeared in many different types of films, including an impressive number of classics and near-classics.

As I mentioned last month, I wish TCM would have been able to show THE BLUE LAGOON (1949) as part of the month's Simmons fest, but otherwise it's a terrific lineup of movies.

The first evening, titled "Early British Films" in the TCM guide, will feature five films Simmons made as a teenager, beginning with her appearance as Estella in GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1946).

That's followed by BLACK NARCISSUS (1947), HUNGRY HILL (1947), UNCLE SILAS (1947), and THE WAY TO THE STARS (1947), known in the United States as JOHNNY IN THE CLOUDS.

On the 14th the focus remains on British films. The evening leads off with TRIO (1950), followed by SO LONG AT THE FAIR (1950) and the charming ADAM AND EVELYNE (1949), which costarred her real-life love, Stewart Granger. Simmons and Granger were married in 1950.

The movies continue into the night with the classic Olivier version of HAMLET (1948), in which Simmons played Ophelia, and concludes with CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA (1945), starring Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh in the title roles. Simmons had a bit part in the latter film, while Granger played Apollodorus.

On June 21st the focus changes to "Early Hollywood," beginning with THE ACTRESS (1953), costarring Spencer Tracy and Teresa Wright. Next comes the film noir ANGEL FACE (1952) with Robert Mitchum and then the costume drama YOUNG BESS (1953), again costarring Granger, as well as Deborah Kerr.

There are several more films that evening, including the musical GUYS AND DOLLS (1955), the western A BULLET IS WAITING (1954), the drama AFFAIR WITH A STRANGER (1953) with Victor Mature, and the comedy SHE COULDN'T SAY NO (1954) with Robert Mitchum. The evening wraps up with FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG (1955), another Simmons-Granger collaboration; and THIS COULD BE THE NIGHT (1957), directed by Robert Wise.

The month concludes on June 28th with HOME BEFORE DARK (1958), ELMER GANTRY (1960), LIFE AT THE TOP (1965), THE HAPPY ENDING (1969), and MISTER BUDDWING (1966).

The final two films are the memorable William Wyler classic THE BIG COUNTRY (1958), costarring Gregory Peck and Charlton Heston, and the moving WWII drama UNTIL THEY SAIL (1957), a homefront story about four sisters in New Zealand. Simmons' sisters are played by Joan Fontaine, Piper Laurie, and Sandra Dee. Paul Newman plays the American soldier who falls for Jean.

For more information on TCM in June, please visit TCM in June: Highlights or see the complete schedule.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older