Monday, September 04, 2017

TCM Star of the Month: Jennifer Jones

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Jones is the September Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies.

17 Jennifer Jones films are on the September schedule, airing Tuesday evenings beginning on the 5th.

As I wrote at the time Jones passed away in 2009, despite a relatively short filmography, numbering just over two dozen films, she has quite an impressive body of work. Jones was nominated for five Oscars -- four for a leading role and one for supporting actress -- and won once; beyond those roles she made several other fine films which have stood the test of time.

The first night of Jones films, on September 5th, begins with THE SONG OF BERNADETTE (1943), for which Jones received her Oscar statuette.

The evening continues with LOVE LETTERS (1945), which netted her another Best Actress nomination. Joseph Cotten, who appeared with Jones in four films, costars.

The delightful Ernst Lubitsch comedy CLUNY BROWN (1946), costarring Charles Boyer, is must viewing. Since Jones tended to play dramatic roles, it's a wonderful chance to see her lighter side. In addition to my review, available at the title link, be sure to check out Caftan Woman's thoughts on this charmer.

Jones and Cotten starred with Gregory Peck in the Western opus DUEL IN THE SUN (1946), which I just reviewed here a couple of weeks ago. The evening concludes with the WWII classic SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944), costarring Cotten, Claudette Colbert, Shirley Temple, and Jones's real-life husband, Robert Walker. Jones received a Best Actress nomination for DUEL IN THE SUN and a Supporting Actress nomination for SINCE YOU WENT AWAY.

On September 12th the evening begins with my pick of the month, the mystical PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948), again costarring Joseph Cotten. It's a very special film I was fortunate to see on a big screen at a young age, complete with a widescreen color-tinted storm sequence. The film (seen at left) was mostly shot in black and white, but along with the color tinted storm, there's a concluding Technicolor image which is unforgettable.

Later in the evening are WE WERE STRANGERS (1949) with John Garfield, directed by John Huston; Vincente Minnelli's MADAME BOVARY (1949), costarring James Mason, Van Heflin, and Louis Jourdan; RUBY GENTRY (1952), costarring Charlton Heston and directed by King Vidor; and Huston's offbeat BEAT THE DEVIL (1953), costarring Humphrey Bogart and Gina Lollobrigida.

On September 19th the focus is on Jones's mid-'50s films, beginning with GOOD MORNING, MISS DOVE (1955), in which she plays a schoolteacher.

The classic weeper LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING (1955), which netted Jones her final Oscar nomination, plays later on the 19th. William Holden and the classic Webster-Fain title song costar. No matter how many times I've seen it -- and it's been a few -- I invariably find myself gulping down sobs as the music soars at the end.

Jones reunited with her DUEL IN THE SUN costar, Gregory Peck, for THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT (1956), a somber drama about a New York businessman which now seems to foreshadow the TV series MAD MEN. The final film of the evening is INDISCRETION OF AN AMERICAN WIFE (1954) with Montgomery Clift.

The series wraps up on September 26th with a film I love, THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET (1957). This was my introduction to BARRETTS, and while I later enjoyed the 1934 March-Shearer version, this faithful remake is my favorite; I found it equal parts gripping and romantic. Bill Travers, Virginia McKenna, and John Gielgud costar.

That film is followed by A FAREWELL TO ARMS (1957) with Rock Hudson and TENDER IS THE NIGHT (1962), also starring Jason Robards and Joan Fontaine.

For more information on this month's schedule, please consult TCM in September: Highlights along with the schedule.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Thank you so much for including my look at Cluny Brown.

I truly enjoyed your insights into the career of Jennifer Jones and the TCM line-up. Good Morning, Miss Dove was a particular favourite of my late father. For the first time in my memory Since You Went Away will be screened on TCM Canada. I'm quite excited as I haven't seen it in years.

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