Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray have murder on their minds in...

Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray have murder on their minds in Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity" Aug. 1 on TCM. Credit: Turner Classic Movies

For the 18th August in a row, Turner Classic Movies is heating things up with Summer Under the Stars in which a different actor takes center stage for 24 hours each day. This year's lineup runs the gamut from A (for top tapper Ann Miller) to S.Z. (rubber-faced character actor S.Z. Sakall). Here are some highlights.

STANWYCK ON FIRE Kicking things off Aug. 1 at 6 a.m. is leading lady par excellence Barbara Stanwyck. She stars in 13 movies including two Oscar-nominated performances: as a nightclub dancer who teaches stuffy professor Gary Cooper about the facts of life in Howard Hawks' snappy "Ball of Fire" (8 p.m.) and as a hard-boiled murderess in Billy Wilder's definitive film noir "Double Indemnity."

"CUDDLES" UP If you don't know the name S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall, you're sure to recognize the face, especially those blubbery cheeks. The Budapest-born character actor shines on Aug. 4 in two holiday-themed movies: the charming "In the Good Old Summertime" with Judy Garland at 8 p.m. and the screwball farce "Christmas in Connecticut" with Stanwyck at 10 p.m.

LEADING LADIES Stanywck isn't the only cinema queen getting her close-up. Ravishing Rita Hayworth sizzles in her signature role as "Gilda" (10 p.m. Aug. 3). Ann Miller taps up a storm in "On the Town" and "Kiss Me, Kate" (10 p.m. and midnight Aug. 5). Maureen O'Hara's Aug. 17 birthday is celebrated with back-to-back gems "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Miracle on 34th Street" (8 and 10:15 p.m.). Finally, TCM pays tribute to Olivia de Havilland, who died on July 26, with 11 of her movies on Aug. 23 including "Gone With the Wind" and her Oscar winners "The Heiress" at midnight followed by "To Each His Own" at 2:15 a.m.

HEARTTHROBS AND HUNKS It's not all about the women. Rock Hudson gets crowned king for a day on Aug. 2 with the laugh riot "Pillow Talk" (8 p.m.) and the towering "Giant" at midnight. Another Rock shares the spotlight with Burt Lancaster in "Birdman of Alcatraz" (10:45 p.m. Aug. 6). And Steve McQueen proves why he was the King of Cool on Aug. 14 in "Bullitt" (4:15 p.m.), "The Thomas Crown Affair" (8 p.m.) and "The Great Escape" (10 p.m.). If you prefer your men suave and sophisticated, you can't do better than Cary Grant who pairs with Grace Kelly in "To Catch a Thief" and Audrey Hepburn in "Charade" (8 and 10 p.m. Aug. 16).

THE GENTLEMAN IS A TRAMP We sure can use a good laugh right now, and Charlie Chaplin will be delivering them all day on Aug. 8 in masterpieces like "The Circus" (11:15 a.m.) and "Modern Times" (9:45 p.m.) Best of all is "City Lights" at 8 p.m., but when you're done laughing, break out the Kleenex because the final moments are among the most heartbreaking ever put on film.


Here's the lineup for TCM's Summer Under the Stars. Festivals start at 6 a.m. each day. Titles and times at

Aug. 1 Barbara Stanwyck

Aug. 2 Rock Hudson

Aug. 3 Rita Hayworth

Aug. 4 S.Z. Sakall

Aug. 5 Ann Miller

Aug. 6 Burt Lancaster

Aug. 7 Sylvia Sidney

Aug. 8 Charlie Chaplin

Aug. 9 Goldie Hawn

Aug. 10 Norma Shearer

Aug. 11 Sammy Davis Jr.

Aug. 12 Lana Turner

Aug. 13 John Barrymore

Aug. 14 Steve McQueen

Aug. 15 Nina Foch

Aug. 16 Cary Grant

Aug. 17 Maureen O'Hara

Aug. 18 Warren Beatty

Aug.19 Dolores Del Rio

Aug. 20 William Powell

Aug. 21 Diana Dors

Aug. 22 Natalie Wood

Aug. 23 Olivia de Havilland

Aug. 24 George Raft

Aug. 25 Anne Shirley

Aug. 26 Laurence Olivier

Aug. 27 Claudette Colbert

Aug. 28 Paul Henreid

Aug. 29 Eva Marie Saint

Aug. 30 Charlton Heston

Aug. 31 Alain Delon

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