Tuesday, September 01, 2015

TCM Star of the Month: Susan Hayward

The September Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies is Oscar-winning actress Susan Hayward.

28 Hayward films will air on Thursday evenings this coming month, starting on September 3rd.

The series kicks off with one of Hayward's earliest roles in BEAU GESTE (1939). It's a relatively small but winning role as Ray Milland's love interest. Gary Cooper, Robert Preston, and Brian Donlevy costar, directed by William Wellman.

Hayward is a bad girl in ADAM HAD FOUR SONS (1941) and a sweet girl in DeMille's REAP THE WILD WIND (1942). Also showing late on the 3rd is another of her earliest roles, GIRLS ON PROBATION (1938) with Ronald Reagan.

As Hayward's career picked up steam she starred with Dana Andrews and Brian Donlevy in the excellent Jacques Tourneur Western CANYON PASSAGE (1946). She was one of several women being juggled by womanizing Robert Young in THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME (1947), and she helps Bill Williams beat a murder rap in DEADLINE AT DAWN (1946).

September 3rd also includes TULSA (1949) with Robert Preston and SMASH-UP: THE STORY OF A WOMAN (1947). Hayward was nominated for the Oscar as Best Actress for SMASH-UP. (Another film for which Hayward was Oscar nominated, MY FOOLISH HEART, was on the original schedule for this evening but has since been removed for unknown reasons.)

September 10th features I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE (1951) with Dan Dailey and George Sanders, DAVID AND BATHSHEBA (1951) with Gregory Peck, and another Oscar-nominated role as singer Jane Froman in WITH A SONG IN MY HEART (1952).

Hayward does a wonderful turn as Rachel Jackson in THE PRESIDENT'S LADY (1953), costarring Charlton Heston, and plays a rodeo rider's wife in Nicholas Ray's THE LUSTY MEN (1952), costarring Robert Mitchum and Arthur Kennedy.

The lineup on September 17th starts with DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS (1954), costarring Victor Mature, and THE CONQUEROR (1956) with John Wayne. Like many who worked on THE CONQUEROR, which was filmed near an atomic testing site, Hayward would die of cancer.

Those films are followed by another Oscar-nominated performance as Lillian Roth in I'LL CRY TOMORROW (1955), seen with Richard Conte at the right, and her Oscar-winning role as a convicted murderess protesting her innocence in I WANT TO LIVE! (1958). The final film on the 17th is TOP SECRET AFFAIR (1957) with Kirk Douglas.

September 24th features eight films from the '60s, including THE MARRIAGE-GO-ROUND with James Mason and Julie Newmar, BACK STREET (1961) with John Gavin, and ADA (1961) with Dean Martin.

It should be noted that THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO (1952), in which Hayward stars with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner, will be shown as one of "Robert Osborne's Picks" on Friday, September 11th. It's the only time that Hayward film will be shown in September.

I recommend supplementing TCM's lineup with Hayward's hilarious role as Fredric March's fiancee in I MARRIED A WITCH (1942), as well as HOUSE OF STRANGERS (1949) with Richard Conte, RAWHIDE (1951) with Tyrone Power, and I'D CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN (1951) with William Lundigan. All are available on DVD.

For more information on TCM this month, please visit my recent post TCM in September: Highlights, along with the TCM schedule.

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