Throughout the month of August, TCM dedicates a 24-hour movie marathon each day to one star. For me personally, there’s a good number of stars featured this year that I adore, as well as a few others who I’m eager to watch more of. Just as I did for Summer Under the Stars last year, I’m only picking one film that I encourage you all to check out if you have the chance. My recommendations either showcase essential films for the day’s star, or they’re just movies that I think are underrated in general and deserve to be more widely seen.
All times listed are Eastern and Central (as I live in that time zone), so be sure to check your local listings and visit TCM’s website for additional information. Keep in mind that according to TCM’s schedule, a day starts at 6:00 AM (EST) and ends at 5:59 AM (EST). If you miss any of the films when they air, you can check to see if they’ve been added to the Watch TCM app, which is how I usually catch a lot of their films. And feel free to give me recommendations on movies to watch (or revisit); you can view the PDF schedule here. Also, all images and information are taken straight from TCM’s Summer Under the Stars website here.
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Airing on Tuesday, August 1st at 2 AM (EST)/1 AM (CST)
Three models pool their resources to rent a posh penthouse in hopes of snaring rich husbands.
Directed by Jean Negulesco
Starring Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall
The Major and the Minor (1942)
Airing on Wednesday, August 2nd at 6 PM (EST)/5 PM (CST)
A woman disguises herself as a little girl and ends up in a military academy.
Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Rita Johnson
The Unknown (1927)
Airing on Thursday, August 3rd at 2 PM (EST)/1 PM (CST)
In this silent film, an escaped killer pretends to be a sideshow’s armless wonder.
Directed by Tod Browning
Starring Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford
Born to Kill (1947)
Airing on Friday, August 4th at 8 PM (EST)/7 PM (CST)
A murderer marries a young innocent then goes after her more experienced sister.
Directed by Robert Wise
Starring Claire Trevor, Lawrence Tierney, Walter Slezak
It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
Airing on Saturday, August 5th at 2:15 AM (EST)/1:15 AM (CST)
World War II buddies get mixed up with gangsters and an egotistical TV star when they hold a 10-year reunion.
Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen
Starring Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Airing on Sunday, August 6th at 8 PM (EST)/7 PM (CST)
A bogus preacher marries an outlaw’s widow in search of the man’s hidden loot.
Directed by Charles Laughton
Starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Airing on Monday, August 7th at 4 PM (EST)/3 PM (CST)
A young innocent fights to survive the harsh life in a women’s prison.
Directed by John Cromwell
Starring Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead, Ellen Corby
Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
Airing on Tuesday, August 8th at 3:30 PM (EST)/2:30 PM (CST)
A British corporal goes undercover to infiltrate Field Marshall Rommel’s command.
Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff
Imitation of Life (1959)
Airing on Wednesday, August 9th at 5:45 PM (EST)/4:45 PM (CST)
Two mothers, one white, one black, face problems with their rebellious daughters.
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Starring Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee
A Patch of Blue (1965)
Airing on Thursday, August 10th at 6 PM (EST)/5 PM (CST)
A blind white girl falls in love with a black man.
Directed by Guy Green
Starring Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Hartman
Bachelor Mother (1939)
Airing on Friday, August 11th at 6:15 PM (EST)/5:15 PM (CST)
A fun-loving shop girl is mistaken for the mother of a foundling.
Directed by Garson Kanin
Starring Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Airing on Saturday, August 12th at 5:45 PM (EST)/4:45 PM (CST)
An experienced gunman and a peace-loving tenderfoot clash with a Western bully.
Directed by John Ford
Starring James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
The Miracle Woman (1931)
Airing on Sunday, August 13th at 3 AM (EST)/2 AM (CST)
A phony faith healer fights the temptation to go straight when she falls for a blind man.
Directed by Frank Capra
Starring Barbara Stanwyck, David Manners, Sam Hardy
Airing on Monday, August 14th at 8 PM (EST)/7 PM (CST)
To help a childhood friend, playwright Lillian Hellman carries money for the resistance into Nazi territory.
Directed by Fred Zinnemann
Starring Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards Jr.
Border Incident (1949)
Airing on Tuesday, August 15th at 3:30 PM (EST)/2:30 PM (CST)
Police try to crack down on the illegal immigration racket.
Directed by Anthony Mann
Starring Ricardo Montalbán, George Murphy, Howard Da Silva
Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Airing on Wednesday, August 16th at 10 PM (EST)/9 PM (CST)
A race-car driver falls for a pretty swimming instructor who wants him to slow down his career.
Directed by George Sidney
Starring Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret, Cesare Danova
Auntie Mame (1958)
Airing on Thursday, August 17th at 5:30 PM (EST)/4:30 PM (CST)
An eccentric heiress raises her nephew to be a free spirit.
Directed by Morton DaCosta
Starring Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker, Coral Browne
Sunday in New York (1963)
Airing on Friday, August 18th at 6 PM (EST)/5 PM (CST)
A philandering pilot gets real moral, real fast when his sister contemplates a premarital fling.
Directed by Peter Tewksbury
Starring Rod Taylor, Jane Fonda, Cliff Robertson
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Airing on Saturday, August 19th at 8 PM (EST)/7 PM (CST)
A Korean War hero doesn’t realize he’s been programmed to kill by the enemy.
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh
Penny Serenade (1941)
Airing on Sunday, August 20th at 6 AM (EST)/5 AM (CST)
A woman on the verge of divorce recalls her heartbreaking attempts to adopt a child.
Directed by George Stevens
Starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Beulah Bondi
It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)
Airing on Monday, August 21st at 6 PM (EST)/5 PM (CST)
Two homeless men move into a mansion while its owners are wintering in the South.
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
Starring Don DeFore, Ann Harding, Charlie Ruggles
Dear Heart (1964)
Airing on Tuesday, August 22nd at 2 PM (EST)/1 PM (CST)
A middle-aged postmistress falls for an engaged man during a convention in New York.
Directed by Delbert Mann
Starring Glenn Ford, Geraldine Page, Michael Anderson Jr.
Madame Curie (1943)
Airing on Wednesday, August 23rd at 8 PM (EST)/7 PM (CST)
The famed female scientist fights to keep her marriage together while conducting early experiments with radioactivity.
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Starring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Henry Travers
Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Airing on Thursday, August 24th at 12:30 PM (EST)/11:30 AM (CST)
A homemaking specialist who can’t boil water is forced to provide a family holiday for a war hero.
Directed by Peter Godfrey
Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet
Airing on Friday, August 25th at 10:15 PM (EST)/9:15 PM (CST)
A cruel man’s wife and lover plot to kill him.
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Starring Paul Meurisse, Véra Clouzot, Simone Signoret
The Roaring Twenties (1939)
Airing on Saturday, August 26th at 10 PM (EST)/9 PM (CST)
Three WWI Army buddies get mixed up with the mob in peacetime.
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Starring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart
The L-Shaped Room (1962)
Airing on Sunday, August 27th at 11 PM (EST)/10 PM (CST)
A single mother-to-be tries to build a new life in a low-rent London apartment house.
Directed by Bryan Forbes
Starring Leslie Caron, Anthony Booth, Avis Bunnage
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Airing on Monday, August 28th at 10 PM (EST)/9 PM (CST)
A black sheriff takes on a corrupt town boss and a sultry saloon singer.
Directed by Mel Brooks
Starring Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens
Show People (1928)
Airing on Tuesday, August 29th at 10:15 PM (EST)/9:15 PM (CST)
In this silent film, a small-town girl tries to make it in Hollywood.
Directed by King Vidor
Starring Marion Davies, William Haines, Dell Henderson
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Airing on Wednesday, August 30th at 4 PM (EST)/3 PM (CST)
An American reporter covering the war in Europe gets mixed up in the assassination of a Dutch diplomat.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Airing on Thursday, August 31st at 10 PM (EST)/9 PM (CST)
A dying plantation owner tries to help his alcoholic son solve his problems.
Directed by Richard Brooks
Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
Kristen at Journeys in Classic Film will also be hosting the Summer Under the Stars Blogathon throughout the month of August, so be sure to check out her site throughout the month to read posts celebrating TCM’s 2017 honorees (including some written by yours truly)!