DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
SUMMER UNDER THE STARS: BARBRA STANWYCK
August 1, 2020  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 6:00 a.m. ET

 
So it’s August now. Another month of pandemic-imposed confinement. Sigh. Silver linings are hard to come by, but here’s one bright coat on our cumulative coronavirus cumulus: Starting today, and for the entirety of August, TCM presents its annual “Summer Under the Stars” celebration, filling each day with the work of one specific actor or actress. This year’s festival begins with Barbra Stanwyck, and watching several of her movies in a row is a great way to witness, and be knocked out by, her effortless range. The day begins at 6 a.m. ET with 1934’s Gambling Lady, her 18th film in seven years, with many more to come. Seek out just a few, and you’ll see why she’s so amazing. Daytime treats include 1949’s East Side, West Side (at 2 p.m. ET) and 1947’s The Two Mrs. Carrolls (at 4 p.m. ET). But look at what arrives in prime time. At 8 p.m. ET, Stanwyck plays sassy singer Sugarpuss O’Shea opposite Gary Cooper’s tightly wound Professor Potts in the 1941 comedy Ball of Fire. At 10 p.m. ET, she plays a seductive femme fatale corrupting Fred MacMurray’s insurance agent in 1944’s Double Indemnity (pictured). And at midnight ET, in 1941’s Meet John Doe, she plays a cynical newspaper reporter who persuades an affable nobody (Gary Cooper) to impersonate a person she concocted in one of her stories – a person whose popularity becomes both substantial and political. All three movies are great, as are the performances by Stanwyck and her leading men. Oh, and what directors: Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity and Meet John Doe are directed, respectively, by Howard Hawks, Billy Wilder, and Frank Capra. And after this, there are 30 days of “Summer Under the Stars” to go…
 
 
 
 
 
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