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TCM July highlights: Bogey, Bastille, birthdays

Humphrey Bogart plays detective Sam Spade in the

Humphrey Bogart plays detective Sam Spade in the 1941 classic "The Maltese Falcon," which airs July 18. Credit: Turner Classic Movies

There'll be plenty of fireworks on Turner Classic Movies in July with big celebrations for Independence Day, Bastille Day and Olivia de Havilland's birthday.

104 YEARS YOUNG Double Oscar winner de Havilland, one of the last surviving stars from Hollywood's golden age, turns 104 on Wednesday with an eight-movie birthday blowout starting at 6 a.m. Highlights include "In This Our Life" (4:15 p.m.), which pits her against scenery-chewing Bette Davis, and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (6 p.m.) opposite frequent co-star Errol Flynn.

FEELING GOOD The timing couldn't be better for TCM's slate of Feel-Good Movies Wednesday nights in July starting this week with a lineup of sunshine-y musicals including "Singin' in the Rain" (8 p.m.), "Annie" (10 p.m.) and "Top Hat" (12:15 a.m.). Equally joyful is the July 8 four-play of "Harvey" (8 p.m.), "Bringing Up Baby" (10 p.m.), "A Night at the Opera" (midnight) and the original "The Producers" (1:45 a.m.).

FORD TOUGH The adjective sure fits John Ford, the hard-as-nails director who helmed some of John Wayne's best Westerns. Ford's work is showcased Fridays in July including two of his best outings with The Duke: "The Searchers" (10 p.m., July 3) followed at 12:15 a.m. by "Stagecoach."

MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU TCM celebrates our nation's 244th birthday with a flag-waving lineup starting July 4 at noon with "John Paul Jones" starring Robert Stack as the great American naval hero. Also on tap are the holiday staples "1776" (2:30 p.m.) and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (5:30 p.m.) with James Cagney playing song-and-dance man George M. Cohan to the tune of an Oscar.

STAR OF THE MONTH BERNARD SCHWARTZ Also known as Tony Curtis who headlines 18 movies Monday nights in July including his Oscar-nominated turn in "The Defiant Ones" (10 p.m., July 6) and his should-have-been-nominated performance in "Some Like It Hot" (8 p.m., July 13). There's also the epic "Spartacus" (8 p.m. July 20) and guilty pleasure "Sex and the Single Girl" (8 p.m. July 27). But where is the medieval romp "The Black Shield of Falworth," in which he uttered the immortal line "Yondah lies da castle of my foddah?"

VIVE LA FRANCE The accent is on French films for Bastille Day. The night kicks off with the documentary "My Journey Through French Cinema" (8 p.m. July 14), followed by Jean Renoir's masterpiece "The Rules of the Game" (11:30 p.m.), the French gangster pic "Casque d'Or" (1:30 a.m.) and the crime drama "Le Samourai" with Alain Delon (3:30 a.m.).

BOGEY'S BIG BREAK Humphrey Bogart had toiled in Hollywood for five years, barely making an impression until 1941 when he starred in "High Sierra" (10 p.m. July 18) as over-the-hill gangster "Mad Dog" Earle, ready for one final score . Even bigger was "The Maltese Falcon" (8 p.m. July 18), in which he plays gumshoe Sam Spade who becomes involved with an assortment of oddballs all trying to get their hands on the statue of the title. It really is the stuff that dreams are made of,

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