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Turner Classic Movies kicks off Summer Under the Stars lineup

Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger in "In the

Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger in "In the Heat of the Night." Credit: United Artists / Photofest

Is there a scene that captures summer in the city better than Marilyn Monroe standing on a subway grate to catch the breeze from an oncoming train in “The Seven Year Itch”? While Marilyn cooled off as the rush of air lifted up her dress, male moviegoers saw their temperatures rise.

How fitting that Monroe kicks off Turner Classic Movies’ annual Summer Under the Stars lineup on Tuesday, Aug. 1. Each day through Aug. 31, the cable channel will present a 24-hour marathon devoted to a different silver-screen favorite. Highlights of the Monroe lineup include “Some Like It Hot” (11:30 a.m.) and “The Seven Year Itch” (8 p.m.). But she’s not the only blonde the gentlemen and ladies at TCM prefer. Girl next door Sandra Dee pops up Aug. 9 in the surf-and-sand flick “Gidget” (4 p.m.) as well as the five-Kleenex weepie “Imitation of Life” (5:45 p.m.). Then, on Aug. 11, elegant Ginger Rogers cracks wise in comedies like “Bachelor Mother” (6:15 p.m.) and dances “Cheek to Cheek” with Fred Astaire in “Top Hat” (10 p.m.).

Also being feted are dramatic divas Barbara Stanwyck (Aug. 13) and Vanessa Redgrave (Aug. 14); foreign femmes Simone Signoret (Aug. 25) and Leslie Caron (Aug. 27); and grand Dames Angela Lansbury (Aug. 19) and Elizabeth Taylor (Aug. 31).

The guys are also well-represented, including tough hombres John Wayne (Aug. 12) and James Cagney (Aug. 26); Latin lover Ricardo Montalban (Aug. 15); suave sophisticates Cary Grant (Aug. 20) and George Sanders (Aug. 30), and pioneering Sidney Poitier (Aug. 10).

Not everyone on the schedule is a super-luminary. Western character actor Slim Pickens (Aug. 28) might be all but forgotten had it not been for taking a ride that was da bomb in “Dr. Strangelove.” Comedian Marion Davies (Aug. 29) is probably unfairly remembered more as the mistress of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst — and the inspiration for the character of failed opera singer Susan Alexander Kane in “Citizen Kane” — than for her movies.

TCM also acknowledges two milestones. The channel celebrates Robert Mitchum’s 100th birthday on Aug. 6, including two of his best films — the ghoulish “The Night of the Hunter” (8 p.m.) and the noir classic “Out of the Past” (10 p.m.). And it’s viva Elvis Presley Aug. 16 to mark the 40th anniversary of his death with 12 movies, including “Jailhouse Rock” (6 p.m.) and “Viva Las Vegas” (10 p.m.). Long live the King.

The schedule

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


1 Marilyn Monroe

2 Ray Milland

3 Lon Chaney

4 Claire Trevor

5 Gene Kelly

6 Robert Mitchum

7 Eleanor Parker

8 Franchot Tone

9 Sandra Dee

10 Sidney Poitier

11 Ginger Rogers

12 John Wayne

13 Barbara Stanwyck

14 Vanessa Redgrave

15 Ricardo Montalban

16 Elvis Presley

17 Rosalind Russell

18 Rod Taylor

19 Angela Lansbury

20 Cary Grant

21 Ann Harding

22 Glenn Ford

23 Greer Garson

24 Dennis Morgan

25 Simone Signoret

26 James Cagney

27 Leslie Caron

28 Slim Pickens

29 Marion Davies

30 George Sanders

31 Elizabeth Taylor

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