Thursday, June 05, 2014

TCM Star of the Month: Rock Hudson

Tonight TCM begins its tribute to Rock Hudson as the June Star of the Month.

Over 20 Rock Hudson films will be shown on Thursday evenings this month.

The five selections for tonight, June 5th, focus on "Westerns and War," beginning with Robert Aldrich's THE LAST SUNSET (1961) and Douglas Sirk's THE TARNISHED ANGELS (1957).

Next come two Anthony Mann Westerns which provided Hudson with early roles: BEND OF THE RIVER (1952), in which he's a charming gambler who spontaneously joins up with "the good guys" during a gunfight, and WINCHESTER '73 (1950), in which he's an Indian chief.

Last on the schedule is his very first film, an uncredited role in FIGHTER SQUADRON (1948).

Thursday, June 12th, the focus will be on some of Hudson's best-known '50s dramas, including three more films for director Douglas Sirk, MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954), ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (1955), and WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956).

I haven't seen MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION in decades and need to rectify that, but I really like both ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and WRITTEN ON THE WIND. I revisited WRITTEN ON THE WIND at the recent TCM Classic Film Festival and have been planning to write more about it when time permits. It's gloriously soapy fun, in gorgeous color.

The evening also includes what might be Hudson's best performance, as rancher Bick Benedict in George Stevens' GIANT (1956). The overnight lineup of Hudson films wraps up early on Friday the 13th with a TCM premiere of the Raoul Walsh seafaring drama SEA DEVILS (1953), costarring Yvonne DeCarlo.

On June 19th the focus turns to Hudson's popular romantic comedies, starting with three titles costarring Doris Day: PILLOW TALK (1959), LOVER COME BACK (1961), and SEND ME NO FLOWERS (1964). All are well worth watching, especially the first and best, PILLOW TALK.

Later in the evening there's the fun COME SEPTEMBER (1961), with Gina Lollobrigida, Bobby Darin, and Sandra Dee, followed by MAN'S FAVORITE SPORT? (1964) in which Howard Hawks directed Hudson and Paula Prentiss. I wasn't especially impressed by this one the first time around but have been meaning to revisit it to see if I continue to feel the same way. I love Prentiss in films such as WHERE THE BOYS ARE (1960).

The series wraps up on June 26th with some mysteries and adventure films including ICE STATION ZEBRA (1968) and SECONDS (1966).

I do wish TCM had been able to show more of Hudson's early Universal films, including THE DESERT HAWK (1950), TOMAHAWK (1951), SCARLET ANGEL (1952), SEMINOLE (1953), and more...but that said, it's a nice lineup with a number of very worthwhile and enjoyable films showcasing Hudson's abilities in both comedy and drama.

For more on TCM in June, please visit my post TCM in June: Highlights along with the complete June schedule.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older