Wednesday, September 04, 2013

TCM Star of the Month: Kim Novak

Kim Novak is the September Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies.

16 films starring Novak will be shown on Thursday evenings, along with multiple airings of KIM NOVAK: LIVE FROM THE TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL (2013).

The series kicks off the evening of September 5th. I've seen three of that night's four movies, and they're all worthwhile: Hitchcock's VERTIGO (1958), costarring James Stewart; PUSHOVER (1954), in which she plays a femme fatale opposite cop Fred MacMurray; and 5 AGAINST THE HOUSE (1955), an unusual crime drama with Guy Madison and Brian Keith.

The other film that evening is THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (1955) costarring Frank Sinatra and Eleanor Parker. KIM NOVAK: LIVE FROM THE TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL also has the first of three airings on the 5th.

On September 12th the films will be PICNIC (1955) with William Holden; PAL JOEY (1957) with Frank Sinatra and Rita Hayworth; THE EDDY DUCHIN STORY (1956) with Tyrone Power; and JEANNE EAGELS (1957) with Jeff Chandler.

Of the films airing on September 12th, to date I've only seen PAL JOEY; it's been many years since I last saw it, but I think I enjoyed it a lot more than many critics, perhaps because I'm a big fan of the three leads. I treasure my LP soundtrack (that's right, LP!).

On September 19th, the four films shown will be BELL BOOK AND CANDLE (1958), the second film in which she "bewitches" James Stewart; Billy Wilder's KISS ME, STUPID (1964) with Dean Martin; THE NOTORIOUS LANDLADY (1964) with Jack Lemmon and Fred Astaire; and PHFFFT! (1954), with Lemmon and Judy Holliday.

The series comes to a conclusion on September 26th with MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT (1959), in which she plays a secretary who falls in love with her older boss, Fredric March; OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1964) with Laurence Harvey; THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE (1968) with Peter Finch and Ernest Borgnine; and finally THE GREAT BANK ROBBERY (1969) with Zero Mostel.

There's a lovely TCM ad on YouTube for Novak as Star of the Month; the sound balancing could be better, but it's still a visual pleasure.

For more on TCM this month, please visit TCM in September: Highlights.


Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Inexplicably missing is what I consider Kim Novak's best movie next to VERTIGO--and a role for her just as great. That is the very beautiful melodrama STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET (1960), directed by Richard Quine.

It's a Columbia movie like most of the others they are showing so this just makes no sense. The other three movies she made with Quine, with whom she was long engaged though they never married, are all on the schedule.

I like most of her films--and can't think of one made under the Columbia contract that I dislike--but STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET is special so it makes me sad.

That said, those who don't know her well should take the opportunity. Kim Novak was great, with wonderful vulnerability and soulfulness along with her beauty--a friend of mine called her "the thinking man's sex symbol."

11:46 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Blake, thanks so much for taking the time to champion STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET. Although I have increasing difficulty with Kirk Douglas, this movie has interested me since I read Robby's post on the locations at Dear Old Hollywood, and I have a recording from a prior TCM airing. Since they've shown it before it really does seem surprising this one isn't on the schedule. I'm interested to know it's such a great favorite of yours. Perhaps it's the movie which will make me a Kirk Douglas fan, you never know!

Best wishes,

11:58 PM  

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