Double Heads-up re: TCM, 8/12 and 8/13

Since I’ll be taking an up-north trip later today and won’t be back in Madison until tomorrow afternoon, today’s Heads-up will have to be a double; and what a double it is.

Today’s “Summer Under the Stars” marathon features an actor who’s no less iconic than yesterday’s subject, Audrey Hepburn: I’m referring, of course, to Clark Gable. I doubt I was alone in having woken up too late this morning to catch Manhattan Melodrama at 7:00AM, so that’s something of a bummer. A pair of W.S. Van Dyke romance films, both teaming Gable with Ms. Johnny Guitar herself, Joan Crawford, will bat clean-up this afternoon: Forsaking All Others (1934; 83 minutes), which also features performances by Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday) and Robert Montgomery, begins at 4:00PM; and Love on the Run (1936; 80 minutes) gets started immediately after at 5:30PM. Today’s main event may very well be the John Ford-directed safari adventure Mogambo (1953; 116 minutes), which pairs Gable with Grace Kelly (jeez, what a guy), and that starts at 8:30PM.

Tomorrow will be one of the most stacked “Summer Under the Stars” programs yet as it’s devoted to the former Mrs. Nicholas Ray, Gloria Grahame. Grahame gets all mixed up with Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell in the Josef von Sternberg-directed (most of it, at least) Macao (1952; 81 minutes), which gets going at 12:30PM; it’s a basically dopey but solidly fun little film. The first of two Nicholas Ray films playing tomorrow begins at 3:30 with A Woman’s Secret (1949; 83 minutes), which I personally haven’t seen and am actually quite bummed about not being able to see, so go ahead and watch it for me. Vincente Minelli’s The Bad and the Beautiful (1952; 118 minutes) is well worth a look at 5:00PM, nevermind the ferociously unsubtle acting that pervades it. It’s tough to imagine a double feature stronger than the combination of Ray’s In a Lonely Place (1950; 93 minutes) at 7:00PM and Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat (1953; 89 minutes) at 9:30PM; both films are cadillacs of the gritty-and-moody-but-not-quite-noir pseudo-genre, and they’re both mandatory viewing.

Today’s schedule is here and tomorrow’s is here.

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