Thursday, May 05, 2016

TCM Star of the Month: Robert Ryan

The May Star of the Month on Turner Classic Movies is Robert Ryan.

Over three dozen Ryan films will be shown every Friday in May. In an unusual move for TCM, some of Ryan's films will be shown during the day on Fridays, preceding the primetime lineup.

Several of Ryan's war films will be shown the last Friday of May, segueing into TCM's traditional Memorial Day Weekend war movie marathon.

The month kicks off with over a dozen of Ryan's film noir classics on Friday, May 6th. Titles previously reviewed here being shown on the 6th include CLASH BY NIGHT (1952), THE RACKET (1951), BERLIN EXPRESS (1948), BORN TO BE BAD (1950), BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955), CROSSFIRE (1947), ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1951), and BEWARE, MY LOVELY (1952). (Click any hyperlinked title for the related review.)

I particularly recommend ON DANGEROUS GROUND, costarring Ida Lupino, which has one of Ryan's most searing and heartbreaking performances.

Additional films shown on the 6th are THE WOMAN ON THE BEACH (1947), THE WOMAN ON PIER 13 (1950), ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959), THE SET-UP (1949), and ACT OF VIOLENCE (1948).

Dramas shown on May 13th range from early Ryan movies, in which he played small roles, to more substantial leading parts in a variety of films. The titles on the 13th are THE IRON MAJOR (1943), GANGWAY FOR TOMORROW (1943), TENDER COMRADE (1943), BILLY BUDD (1962), ABOUT MRS. LESLIE (1954), THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR (1948), GOD'S LITTLE ACRE (1958), HER TWELVE MEN (1954), and BACK FROM ETERNITY (1956).

The first four films on May 20th are all Westerns: TRAIL STREET (1947), RETURN OF THE BAD MEN (1948), THE NAKED SPUR (1953), and BEST OF THE BADMEN (1951).

Those movies are followed by five late-career Ryan films, LOLLY-MADONNA XXX (1973), THE OUTFIT (1973), THE WILD BUNCH (1969), CAPTAIN NEMO AND THE UNDERWATER CITY (1969), and EXECUTIVE ACTION (1973).

Ryan war films being shown on May 27th are BATTLE OF THE BULGE (1965), THE LONGEST DAY (1962), THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967), MEN IN WAR (1957), BOMBARDIER (1943), BEHIND THE RISING SUN (1943), MARINE RAIDERS (1944), and FLYING LEATHERNECKS (1951). You can't do better than the D-Day epic THE LONGEST DAY, with a large all-star cast all managing to create memorable characters, sometimes in limited screen time.

I've written more about Ryan's personal life and career for ClassicFlix. The article includes more detailed discussion of several of the films which will be shown on TCM this month.

For more on TCM in May 2016, please visit TCM in May: Highlights.

Update: For more on Robert Ryan, please visit my review of the excellent biography on the actor by J.R. Jones.


Blogger john k said...

Hi Laura,

Welcome back from seems that it was a total blast!

Regarding Mr Ryan I note recently Kino Lorber have announced a Burt Kennedy film
that I have never heard of;Wolf Lake..
On Kino's Facebook page I requested that they might consider releasing
THE CANADIANS Kennedy's first film as director starring the great Robert Ryan.
(Kino are releasing loads of Fox titles.)
I have very fond memories of this lovely CinemaScope Western which I suggested
partly as a homage to Kristina. :)
Furthermore I would rather Kino release this film rather than Fox giving us
a horrid 4x3 MOD.
Anyway my suggestion generated a couple of "likes" so others would love to see
this film get released.Any Western that headlines Ryan and John Dehner is of great
interest to me.
Kino would really make my day if they released THE PROUD ONES on Blu Ray which
for me is one of the most underrated of Westerns and one of Robert Ryan's very best

6:19 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

Yes, welcome back to the "ether", Laura! I bet you had a fantastic time.

What an amazing tribute to Robert Ryan, one of my personal favourite actors, and a favourite of many readers here....
The 6th May they are showing quite a number of my all-time favourite "noirs". "THE SET-UP" is the best boxing movie ever IMHO and "CROSSFIRE", "ON DANGEROUS GROUND"..on and on!
On the 20th, some terrific westerns and on the 27th some fine war movies, especially Ryan in "MEN IN WAR", directed by Anthony Mann. They've done him proud.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Although they are showing most of his best movies, it's a shame they would not license "The Iceman Cometh"--kind of a last testament for him and although the original play by Eugene O"Neill was written many years before, Ryan's role could have been written for him, as anyone will know who's seen it. He is magnificent there, never better perhaps, and that's saying a lot. Of course, among his classics most folks know I'm with you on "On Dangerous Ground" in which Ryan is as soulful and complex a character as any film in that mood can claim (kind of a film noir turning into a film blanc).

In any event, one of the top tier of all caters in American cinema--and I mean the TOP tier.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Of course I meant "...of all actors in American cinema--"

2:30 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you all so much for the warm welcome back!! It's been a great couple of festivals. Now trying to catch up on work and blogging...before leaving for a few days in Arizona next week!

John, you are always on top of new DVD/Blu-ray news and it's appreciated! I enjoyed THE PROUD ONES on DVD a few years back. Loved the cast. Haven't seen THE CANADIANS.

Jerry, MEN IN WAR and THE SET-UP are high on my "need to see" list. I saw a lot of Mann movies in UCLA's series a while back bu tnot that one.

Blake, thanks for adding your feedback on THE ICEMAN COMETH (one I've never seen) and the sublime ON DANGEROUS GROUND. I really appreciated seeing that one in Palm Springs last year -- complete with a talk with Ryan's biographer! He was a superb actor and a fascinating man.

Best wishes,

6:48 PM  

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