As the weather heats up, get ready for a swarm of Bs — The Beatles, beach parties and bebop — courtesy of Turner Classic Movies. All throughout June, the channel will have movies devoted to the history of jazz on film to the history of the swimsuit, and more. Here are some highlights.
ALL THAT JAZZ What's cooler than jazz on a June night? Monday and Thursday evenings will feature films with a jazzed-up soundtrack starting with 1951's steamy "A Streetcar Named Desire" featuring Alex North's pulsating Oscar-nominated score. Other jazzy gems include "Bullitt" (3:30 a.m. June 2), "Young Man With a Horn" (10 p.m. June 8) and "Lady Sings the Blues" (9:45 p.m. June 25) starring Diana Ross as songstress Billie Holiday. The movies will be introduced by Eddie Muller and guest co-hosts including Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of Duke Ellington.
SAM, HE AM If ever a movie changed the way violence is portrayed on screen, it was Sam Peckinpah's gritty 1969 western "The Wild Bunch," which airs at 11 p.m. on June 3. It's part of a nightlong salute to the director that also features the 2019 documentary "Peckinpah Suite" at 8 p.m. and the 1962 horse opera "Ride the High Country" (9:15 p.m.) starring iconic cowboys Joel McCrea and, in his final role, Randolph Scott.
HOORAY FOR CAPTAIN SPAULDING And if you don't know who Capt. Spaulding is, find out in the zany 1930 comedy "Animal Crackers" at 10:45 p.m. on June 5. The early talkie is one of four Marx Brothers comedies on tap that night including "Monkey Business" at 8 p.m., "Horse Feathers" at 9:30 p.m. and "Duck Soup" at 12:30 a.m.
GETTING IN THE SWIM OF THINGS No one ever looked better in a swimsuit than MGM's queen of the aquacades Esther Williams. "Million Dollar Mermaid," the 1952 biopic of swimmer Annette Kellerman, kicks off TCM's History of the Swimsuit at 8 p.m. on June 10. Showing off their physiques on upcoming Wednesdays will be Johnny Weissmuller in "Tarzan the Ape Man" (8 p.m. June 17), Elvis Presley in "Blue Hawaii" (10 p.m. June 17) and Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in "Beach Party" (8 p.m. June 24).
HAPPY JUNE BIRTHDAYS Several famous Geminis and Cancers get saluted on their birthdays with daytime marathons of their movies. Honorees include Rosalind Russell (June 4), Judy Garland (June 10) and Peter Lorre (June 26). Best of all is June 22's lineup of films by director Billy Wilder including his first, "The Major and the Minor," at 7:30 a.m.
BEATLEMANIA John, Paul, George and Ringo conquered America — and the rest of the world — with "A Hard Day's Night" (8 p.m. June 27), their 1964 big-screen debut that's equal parts musical, documentary and screwball comedy. While hearing the Fab Four perform classics like "If I Fell," "Can't Buy Me Love" and the title tune is reason enough to tune in, the real scene stealer is the riotous Wilfrid Brambell as Paul's mischievous granddad. You'll love him, yeah, yeah, yeah.