'Summer Under the Stars,' Turner Classic Movies event, has a twist
Who's in, who's out? Who's new, who's not?
Here you go, movie buffs -- the 31 celebs of this August's annual "Summer Under the Stars" event from Turner Classic Movies.
Does your favorite performer get his or her own 24-hour-marathon salute? This year, sadly, James Cagney isn't included. But Humphrey Bogart is; he kicks things off Wednesday. And, hooray, there's "Gone With the Wind" scene-stealer Hattie McDaniel -- Hollywood's first-ever black Oscar winner -- making her initial appearance on TCM's marathon list.
That's the way it is with "Summer Under the Stars." Returning legends like Bogie and Doris Day (Friday) are joined this time by far-flung newcomers like France's Catherine Deneuve and Britain's Maggie Smith, currently enjoying a TV revival with "Downton Abbey."
For every recurrent heartthrob like Clark Gable, there's a first-time character actor like Martin Balsam of 1974's "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three." For each perennial icon like Elizabeth Taylor, there's newbie Glenda Farrell, the singing-dancing Depression "gold digger" who also played "girl reporter" Torchy Blane.
TCM's "Summer" hosts recognizable returnees, including Charlton Heston and still-active Kirk Douglas (one of the month's living honorees, alongside Smith, Day, Deneuve, Mickey Rooney, Shirley Jones, Joan Fontaine and Ann Blyth, whose marathon airs on her 85th birthday). But August also offers the special joy of savoring performers you've barely even heard of.
This year that includes Sunday's star, Mary Boland, who in her time made a mark in 1930s titles including "The Women." Another was once a global superstar: Ramón Navarro, the well-built lead of the silent original "Ben-Hur" and Greta Garbo's early talkie "Mata Hari," whose career would last through TV guest shots on "Bonanza" and "The Wild Wild West."
Discoveries like that make TCM's "Summer Under the Stars" a great way to while away hot days and humid nights. Or any other August interval.
'Summer Stars' lineup
Here's Turner Classic Movies' complete slate for August's "Summer Under the Stars" (plus key films being aired; full lineups at summer.tcm.com):
Wednesday Humphrey Bogart ("The Big Sleep")
Thursday Doris Day ("Calamity Jane")
Saturday Alec Guinness ("Lawrence of Arabia")
Sunday Mary Boland ("Ruggles of Red Gap")
Monday Charlton Heston ("Ben-Hur," 1959)
Tuesday Joan Fontaine ("Rebecca")
Aug. 7 Fred MacMurray ("Double Indemnity")
Aug. 8 Ramón Novarro ("Ben-Hur," 1925)
Aug. 9 Steve McQueen ("The Cincinnati Kid")
Aug. 10 Lana Turner ("Imitation of Life")
Aug. 11 Henry Fonda "The Grapes of Wrath")
Aug. 12 Catherine Deneuve ("The Umbrellas of Cherbourg")
Aug. 13 Mickey Rooney ("The Human Comedy")
Aug. 14 Bette Davis ("Dark Victory")
Aug. 15 Gregory Peck ("The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit")
Aug. 16 Ann Blyth ("Mildred Pierce")
Aug. 17 Wallace Beery ("Dinner at Eight")
Aug. 18 Natalie Wood ("Gypsy")
Aug. 19 Randolph Scott ("Ride the High Country")
Aug. 20 Hattie McDaniel ("Gone With the Wind")
Aug. 21 William Holden ("The Bridge on the River Kwai")
Aug. 22 Maggie Smith ("Travels With My Aunt")
Aug. 23 Elizabeth Taylor ("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof")
Aug. 24 Charles Coburn ("The Lady Eve")
Aug. 25 Clark Gable ("It Happened One Night")
Aug. 26 Jeanne Crain ("Pinky")
Aug. 27 Martin Balsam ("Seven Days in May")
Aug. 28 Shirley Jones ("The Music Man")
Aug. 29 Glenda Farrell ("Smart Blonde")
Aug. 30 Kirk Douglas ("Paths of Glory")
Aug. 31 Rex Harrison ("Unfaithfully Yours")