Monday, June 29, 2020

TCM in July: Highlights

Happy July and Happy Summer!

It's time for a close-up look at the July schedule for Turner Classic Movies.

Tony Curtis is the July Star of the Month. 17 Curtis films are scheduled to play on Monday evenings in July.

Please note there will not be a separate Star of the Month post this month.

TCM also has a pair of wonderful series this month! The Wednesday evening TCM Spotlight theme is "Feel Good Films." 27 films will be shown spread across Wednesday evenings, co-presented by all five TCM hosts.

The TCM website says, "In these turbulent times, we feel our viewers deserve a bit of escapist fare that will perhaps lighten our collective load and lift spirits." Sounds like a wonderful idea to me.

Director John Ford will be a "special theme" all day every Friday in July, with a total of 36 films shown this month.

The July Noir Alley titles will be THE SIGN OF THE RAM (1948) on July 4th and 5th, BODYGUARD (1948) on July 11th-12th, THREE STRANGERS (1946) on the 18th and 19th, and THE BREAKING POINT (1950) on July 25th and 26th.

It's a minor film but I really enjoy BODYGUARD -- Priscilla Lane and Lawrence Tierney (both seen here) plus Los Angeles and baseball...what's not to like?

Below are a few additional highlights from among the many movies being shown on TCM this month. Please click any hyperlinked title to read my review.

...TCM celebrates the 104th birthday of Olivia de Havilland with an eight-film tribute on Wednesday, July 1st. Titles include MY LOVE CAME BACK (1940) and GOVERNMENT GIRL (1943).

...Later on the 1st the first night of "Feel Good" films includes SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) and SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (1954). Perfection! (For anyone who may have missed my tribute to SEVEN BRIDES dancer Norma Doggett, who passed on in May, it can be found here.)

...The first day of John Ford films on July 3rd includes a movie I would also program as a "Feel Good" film: WAGON MASTER (1950). It's pure Western poetry, starring Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr., and Ward Bond along with a host of familiar faces.

...Independence Day includes some of traditional titles for the holiday, including YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) and THE MUSIC MAN (1962). Watching YANKEE DOODLE DANDY is a particularly moving prospect for me this year, having visited Jeanne Cagney's gravesite last weekend.

...The Independence Day theme continues early Sunday, July 5th, with the Revolutionary War spy film THE SCARLET COAT (1955) starring Cornel Wilde, Anne Francis, George Sanders, and Michael Wilding. Even better is the musical Western LET FREEDOM RING (1939), which I found most engaging when I saw it three years ago. Nelson Eddy and Virginia Bruce star (both seen at right).

...Monday, July 6th, is the first night celebrating Tony Curtis as Star of the Month. The lineup includes a favorite Western in which a young Curtis had a small role, Anthony Mann's classic WINCHESTER '73 (1950). That segues into another Mann favorite, THE TALL TARGET (1951), which is a marvelous suspense film set almost entirely on a train, starring Dick Powell.

...An evening paying tribute to director Samuel Fuller on July 7th includes a favorite crime film, PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953), starring Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, and Richard Kiley. Wonderful performances from the entire cast.

...The second night of "Feel Good" films on July 8th includes James Stewart in HARVEY (1950), Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in BRINGING UP BABY (1938), and Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur in MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936).

...There's a full day of "Falcon" mysteries starring Tom Conway on July 9th. It's a great day to spend on the couch watching nine films, released between 1943 and 1946, costarring actresses including Harriet Hilliard (Nelson), Jean Brooks, Barbara Hale, and Martha Vickers (billed MacVicar), among others.

...My favorite John Ford film showing on the 10th is DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK, which, as I wrote in my May preview, was my introduction to Ford. I'm hoping to revisit it soon thanks to the Twilight Time Blu-ray and finally have a review of it to share here! Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert lead a terrific cast.

...Early Saturday, July 11th, TCM is showing a movie I consider an ultimate "Feel Good" film: THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938), starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. I rarely miss an opportunity to recommend it! It's hard for me to believe it's already been half a dozen years since I saw a beautiful 35mm print at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, afterwards writing "If I had to choose just one film to represent everything I love about the classic film era, my vote would go to THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938), a truly perfect movie in every respect."

...If anyone's curiosity about actress Margaret Early was piqued by my visit to her final resting place last weekend, she can be seen on TCM in William Wyler's JEZEBEL (1938) on July 12th. She has a small role, billed 14th, as Stephanie Kendrick.

...The daytime theme on July 13th is musicals set on Broadway, including BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936 (1936) and KISS ME KATE (1953). All but one of the films with this theme was made by MGM; the other, TWO TICKETS TO BROADWAY (1951) was an RKO film featuring longtime MGM stars including Janet Leigh, Gloria DeHaven, Tony Martin, and Ann Miller.

...The "Feel Good" lineup on July 15th includes MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) and ON MOONLIGHT BAY (1951). More great choices!

...There's a prime time tribute to actor Charles Coburn on July 16th, and I'm especially excited about the lineup including a new-to-me Universal Pictures film, LOUISA (1950). It has a marvelous cast including Ronald Reagan, Ruth Hussey, Spring Byington, Edmund Gwenn, and Piper Laurie, not to mention faves Martin Milner and Connie Gilchrist. Can't wait!

...The John Ford films on July 17th include a pair of wonderful films with Maureen O'Hara, THE LONG GRAY LINE (1955) and HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941).

...There's an interesting 58-minute "B" movie airing on July 18th, THE LAW IN HER HANDS (1936) with Margaret Lindsay and Glenda Farrell. Then hang around for several more good movies that day including Dick Powell in MURDER, MY SWEET (1944) and John Wayne in RIO BRAVO (1959).

...There are more wonderfully lighthearted films showing on Sunday the 19th, including James Stewart and Jean Arthur in YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1938) and James Garner in SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF! (1969).

...A fun day of "B" movies on July 21st includes MISSING WITNESSES (1937) with John Litel and Jean Dale and SMASHING THE MONEY RING (1939) with Ronald Reagan.

...It's been a dozen years since I saw LOVE IN THE ROUGH (1930) with Robert Montgomery. It's showing on July 22nd.

...The "Feel Good" lineup on July 22nd kicks off with THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940). Other titles that night include SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963) and IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934). Terrific selections; when I revisited IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT at UCLA last year I described it as "Pure movie joy!"

...I really enjoy Robert Montgomery and Joan Crawford in NO MORE LADIES (1935), airing on July 23rd.

...There's one more Robert Montgomery film airing in late July, John Ford's THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945). Without a doubt, it's one of the greatest of all WWII films. John Wayne and Donna Reed costar. the air date is July 24th.

...I had a thoroughly good time revisiting GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) at the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival. Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe are delightfully amusing. It's being shown on the 26th.

...The very good Western SADDLE THE WIND will be aired on July 27th. Robert Taylor, Julie London, John Cassavetes, and Donald Crisp star.

...There's a wonderful five-film prime time tribute to Lizabeth Scott on Tuesday, July 28th. It kicks off with TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1948), costarring Dan Duryea and Arthur Kennedy, with excellent support from Don DeFore and Kristine Miller, seen here with Scott. The evening then continues with DEAD RECKONING (1947) opposite Humphrey Bogart, PITFALL (1948) with Dick Powell, THE RACKET (1951) with Robert Mitchum, and THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946) opposite Van Heflin, Barbara Stanwyck, and Kirk Douglas. It's a fantastic evening of entertainment which I highly recommend watching start to finish.

...The final evening of "Feel Good" films on July 29th includes THE THIN MAN (1934) and THE LADY EVE (1941).

...There's even more Lizabeth Scott when director Jacques Tourneur is honored with a multifilm tribute on July 30th. I especially recommend Tourneur's underseen EASY LIVING (1949), with Scott as the difficult wife of Victor Mature, who plays a man facing the end of his professional football career. The tremendous cast includes Lucille Ball, Lloyd Nolan, Sonny Tufts, Jack Paar, Paul Stewart, Dick Erdman, Jeff Donnell, and Jim Backus.

...The month wraps up on July 31st with a final day of John Ford films, including the excellent SERGEANT RUTLEDGE (1960) starring Jeffrey Hunter, Constance Towers, and Woody Strode. Also showing that day: TWO RODE TOGETHER (1961) starring James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Shirley Jones, and Linda Cristal, who sadly has just passed away.

For more on TCM in July 2020, please check out my Quick Preview of TCM in July and the complete TCM schedule.

Happy summer movie viewing!


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

July has a bit of everything and I intend to relax and enjoy all TCM is offering. Thanks for pointing out some great titles that might fall through the cracks.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

July is just about my favorite time of year to relax with movies -- and so much good stuff ahead on TCM! Delighted to be able to share. Thanks for reading!!

Best wishes,

7:00 PM  

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