Summer Under the Stars 2015: What I Watched

TCM’s Summer Under the Stars programming ended a little over a week ago. Having shared my recommendations for every day of the month with you over the previous four weeks, today we’ll be taking a look at what I ended up watching.

I never seem to accomplish quite as much SUTS viewing as I’d like. August is always the month of my annual camping trip with my dad and my sister — a tradition we’ve fulfilled nearly every year since my age was in the single digits. The trip was cut short, but that did not mean more SUTS viewing for me. My grandmother passed away, and I spent a lot of time at my mom’s cable-free house, tuning into the “Decades” channel and “MOVIES!” rather than TCM. (I may have become slightly addicted to “Buzzr,” an antenna network devoted to airing old game shows, from What’s My Line? to Child’s Play to Press Your Luck, haha.) On top of all of that, August is also the month leading up to the return of the school year, which means a lot of textbook-hunting, reading ahead, and other grad school preparations.

Despite the many complications of the month I did manage to get quite a bit of viewing in, a decent chunk of it from TCM or the WatchTCM app. I also caught a few films at the beginning of September that were still available on WatchTCM. Here is the list of films I managed to watch from the SUTS schedule, in order of release year:

  • The Kiss (1929)
    Score: 4.5/5
  • The Easiest Way (1931)
    Not scored, but recommended for fans of Constance Bennett.
  • Turn Back the Clock (1933)
    Score: 3/5
  • Having Wonderful Time (1938)
    Score: 3/5
  • Stronger Than Desire (1939)
    Score: 3.5/5
  • Flight Angels (1940)
    Score: 3/5
  • Turnabout (1940)
    Score: 4/5
(Image via moviemem.com)

(Image via moviemem.com)

  • The Tall Target (1951)
    Score: 5/5!
  • The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953)
    Score: 3.5/5
  • Give a Girl a Break (1953)
    Not scored, but highly recommended for anyone who loves a good dance number!
  • Hit the Deck (1955)
    Score: 2.5/5
  • Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
    Not scored, re-watch
  • A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)
    Score: 4/5
  • How Sweet It Is! (1968)
    Not scored, but I enjoyed it.

So, 14 in total. Not great, but almost the equivalent of watching a film every other day of the month. I’m glad I was able to watch as many as I did, all things considered. I watched three additional films on WatchTCM that were not a part of SUTS, but had aired on the network at the end of July. Turnabout was another I actually watched from the end-of-July-aired WatchTCM picks, but I’m including it here since it aired during SUTS as well.

(Image via Caftan Woman)

(Image via Caftan Woman)

As you can see from the scores listed above, I enjoyed most of my SUTS films this year. Stand-outs were A Big Hand for the Little Lady, with its twist ending that I did not anticipate at all; Turnabout, with its odd but successfully executed body-swapping premise; The Kiss, a stellar silent starring the great Greta Garbo; and, best of all, The Tall Target, in which Dick Powell saves recently-elected Abraham Lincoln’s life. I’ll save the rest of my commentary for the full reviews, which (with the exception of Turnabout, which is already up) will be posted in the coming weeks!

Naturally, there were quite a few films I hoped to catch but wasn’t able to. Mikey B of Screenkicker recommended several Michael Caine films to me, but I wasn’t able to tune in for any of them. These and many others have been added to my watchlist for future viewing. (Here’s hoping TCM will air them again soon!)

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2 thoughts on “Summer Under the Stars 2015: What I Watched

  1. Wish I could’ve seen ‘Turnabout’…I’m a fan of Carole Landis (I think you’re aware of this), and it’s hard to find many of her films! I’ll go check out your review right now.

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