Turner Classic Movies is doing something a little different in May, featuring a "Tough Guys" theme in place of the usual Star of the Month.
TCM will pay tribute to 16 different actors in May, starting on Tuesday, May 7th.
The series leads off with the classic THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950), starring one of the toughest of all movie tough guys, Sterling Hayden. This is a film I recall seeing at the Tiffany Theater on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood when I was a teen in the late '70s or early '80s. I haven't revisited it since, and I really need to given how much I've been enjoying Sterling Hayden's work over the last year or two.
Next in the lineup is Robert Ryan in CROSSFIRE (1947), costarring Robert Mitchum, Robert Young, Gloria Grahame, and Jacqueline White. As it happens, I just saw White in person at the TCM Classic Film Festival so this is another title I'd like to revisit, as it's been a while since I've seen it.
Mitchum then stars in OUT OF THE PAST (1947), the quintessential noir costarring Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas. The evening then wraps with John Garfield in OUT OF THE FOG (1941).
On May 14th TCM will show Richard Widmark in his electrifying film debut as gangster Tommy Udo in one of my fall-time favorite noir titles, KISS OF DEATH (1947). KISS OF DEATH stars Victor Mature and Coleen Gray; as was the case with Jacqueline White, I just saw Gray at the TCM Classic Film Festival. Both ladies are 90 now, elegant and articulate, with some great stories to tell.
The schedule on the 14th continues with Dana Andrews in WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950), Lee Marvin in POINT BLANK (1967), and Chow-Yun Fat in a more recent film, A BETTER TOMORROW (1986).
May 21st starts off with Edward G. Robinson as LITTLE CAESAR (1931), followed by Humphrey Bogart in THE PETRIFIED FOREST (1936), Jean Gabin in LE JOUR SE LEVE (1939), and James Cagney in WHITE HEAT (1949).
The series concludes on May 28th with four more recent titles: Charles Bronson in HARD TIMES (1975), Steve McQueen in BULLITT (1968), Clint Eastwood in PALE RIDER (1985), and Richard Roundtree in SHAFT'S BIG SCORE! (1972). There's a little something for everyone with this month's lineup!
For more on TCM in May, please visit TCM in May: Highlights or check out TCM's complete schedule.