August begins tomorrow, and with it begins one of the most anticipated TCM programming events of the year: the annual Summer Under the Stars festival! Throughout the month of August, each day on TCM will be dedicated a different star, offering a day-long marathon of their films.
Every year since I began the blog, I’ve shared recommended viewing for SUTS. This year I’m switching up the format a bit. I’ll be sharing one recommendation for each day, usually of a lesser-known or underappreciated title, as well as one film I plan to tune in for.
Here are the recommendations and watchlist for week one, August 1st through 7th!
DAY 1: MARILYN MONROE
For Marilyn day, I have to recommend what’s possibly my favorite Marilyn film, Niagara (1953), co-starring Joseph Cotten. It airs at 10 pm EST on August 1st. I’ve seen most of the films airing this day, but want to tune in for a new-to-me viewing of Love Nest (1951). That one airs at 2 pm EST on August 1st!
DAY 2: RAY MILLAND
Jane Wyman co-stars with star of the day Ray Milland in Let’s Do It Again (1953), a musical based on the same play that inspired The Awful Truth (1937). That one airs at 2 pm EST on August 2nd and is worth a look. I’m looking forward to Alias Nick Beal (1949), a new-to-me noir airing at 12 am EST on August 3rd.
DAY 3: LON CHANEY, SR.
I have to take this opportunity to once again recommend He Who Gets Slapped (1924)! One of my absolute favorites, and very much worth a look, whether you’re seeing it for the first time or are due for a re-watch. It airs at 6:30 pm EST on August 3rd. For my new-to-me Chaney selection, I’ll be checking out The Blackbird (1926), airing at 10:45 am EST on August 3rd.
DAY 4: CLAIRE TREVOR
Claire Trevor gives a fantastic performance in the film that made me a fan of her (and an all-around great watch), Raw Deal (1948). You can catch it at 5 pm EST on August 4th. Since I don’t believe I’ve ever seen her in a Western, I’ll be tuning in for The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953) at noon on August 4th.
DAY 5: GENE KELLY
You can’t go wrong with any of Gene Kelly’s musicals. A personal favorite of mine is Cover Girl (1944), which co-stars Rita Hayworth and airs at 4 am EST on August 6th. Set an alarm, or set your DVR! I’ve seen most of the films airing this day but there’s one that will be new to me: Pilot #5 (1943), airing at 6 am EST on August 5th.
DAY 6: ROBERT MITCHUM
Angel Face (1943) appears in Mitchum’s “TCM Greatest Classic Legends” DVD set for good reason: it’s a top-notch noir with one of the genre’s most sinister femme fatales, and great performances by both Mitchum and leading lady Jean Simmons. You can catch it at 2:15 pm EST on August 6th. My new-to-me Mitchum pick is The Enemy Below (1957), a World War II adventure-drama directed by the multi-talented Dick Powell. That one airs at 2 am EST on August 7th.
DAY 7: ELEANOR PARKER
Paul Henreid and John Garfield share the screen with Parker in Between Two Worlds (1944), a fantasy about recently-deceased souls aboard a ship, waiting to learn whether they’ll spend eternity in heaven or hell. It’s surprisingly moving, with heartbreaking performances by Parker and Henreid. You can catch it at 6 am EST on August 7th. My new-to-me pick is Valley of the Kings (1954), an archaeological adventure set in Egypt, which airs on August 8th and 12:15 am.
Check back every Monday this month for more SUTS recommendations and watchlists!