Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Summer Under the Stars is a special event on TCM. Every day a different great star is featured for 24 hours. That means the actor or actress (or, on rare occasions, director) must have about 11 movies that can be classified as classic, or fascinating, or iconic. The selections should be representative of the performer's whole career. And the actor or actress must be of passionate interest to classic film fans.

I am always hard on the folks at TCM for their choices.* So I want to take a crack at doing this myself. The restrictions I put on myself are that (1) I have to have seen all these movies and (2) I can't repeat anyone on the list for August 2011.† If I don't make myself crazy, I'll do it again next week.

Even then, I'll have only programmed 26 days. So I know going into it that it's not as easy as it looks. But I'm going to have fun trying! These performers are not necessarily my favorites, but they are ones I'm confident would capture the imagination of a variety of classic film lovers, which is what TCM has to do to stay in business.

I have programmed special events for star birthdays and anniversaries, like TCM does. I have tried to put the most popular films in the middle of the list, the way TCM does, so that they would air in prime time.

August 1 -- Paul Newman
Somebody Up There Likes Me
The Long, Hot Summer
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Cool Hand Luke
Sweet Bird of Youth
The Young Philadelphians
From the Terrace

August 2 -- Doris Day
Calamity Jane
Young at Heart
Love Me or Leave Me
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Pillow Talk
Midnight Lace
Move Over, Darling
That Touch of Mink
The Thrill of It All
With Six You Get Eggroll
Please Don't Eat the Daisies

August 3 -- Tony Curtis
Winchester '73
Son of Ali Baba
Goodbye, Charlie
Sex and the Single Girl
Sweet Smell of Success
The Defiant Ones
Some Like It Hot
Operation Petticoat
40 lbs of Trouble

August 4 -- Julie Andrews
Torn Curtain
Americanization of Emily
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Mary Poppins (if Disney will give TCM the rights)
The Sound of Music
Little Miss Marker
That's Life!

August 5 -- Richard Burton (on the anniversary of his death)   
Under Milkwood
My Cousin Rachel 
Anne of the Thousand Days
The Taming of the Shrew
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
The Night of the Iguana
The VIPs
The Sandpiper

August 6 -- Rock Hudson
Written on the Wind
Magnificent Obsession
All that Heaven Allows
A Farewell to Arms
Come September
Lover Come Back
Send Me No Flowers
Ice Station Zebra
Man's Favorite Sport

August 7 --  Clark Gable
Susan Lenox
Red Dust
The Misfits
It Happened One Night
Gone with the Wind
Manhattan Melodrama
Call of the Wild
Mutiny on the Bounty
Teacher's Pet

August 8 -- Dustin Hoffman (on his 75th birthday)
Little Big Man
The Graduate
Midnight Cowboy (if they can run it; I'm not sure their policies allows movies this adult)
All the President's Men
Marathon Man
Kramer vs. Kramer
Rain Man
John and Mary

August 9 -- Mickey Rooney
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Love Finds Andy Hardy
Boys Town
Babes in Arms
Strike Up the Band
Girl Crazy
National Velvet
Words and Music
Requiem for a Heavyweight
The Comic
Pete's Dragon

August 10 -- Jane Wyman
Footlight Serenade
The Lost Weekend
Night and Day
The Yearling
Johnny Belinda
The Glass Menagerie
Pollyanna (If Disney will give it up)
Lucy Gallant
So Big
Holiday for Lovers
How to Commit Marriage

August 11 -- Natalie Wood
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
The Star
Miracle on 34th Street 
Rebel Without a Cause
The Searchers
Marjorie Morningstar
Splendor in the Grace
West Side Story
Love with the Proper Stranger
This Property Is Condemned

August 12 -- Henry Fonda (on the anniversary of his death)
Yours, Mine and Ours
Jesse James
Young Mr. Lincoln
The Grapes of Wrath
The Lady Eve
Mr. Roberts
12 Angry Men
In Harm's Way
Big Hand for the Little Lady

August 13 -- Dean Martin
The Caddy
Artists and Models
Bells Are Ringing
The Young Lions
Some Came Running
Rio Bravo
Oceans 11
The Sons of Katie Elder
Robin and the 7 Hoods

For more information about 

the Thursday Thirteen,

or to play yourself, click here.

*This year they devoted one day to Johnny Weismuller and another to James Caan. I mean, REALLY!

†August 1 - Marlon Brando
August 2 - Paulette Goddard
August 3 - Bette Davis
August 4 - Ronald Colman
August 5 - John Garfield
August 6 - Lucille Ball
August 7 - Charles Laughton
August 8 - Orson Welles
August 9 - Ann Dvorak
August 10 - Shirley MacLaine
August 11 - Ben Johnson
August 12 - Claudette Colbert
August 13 -  James Stewart
 August 14 - Ralph Bellamy
 August 15 - Lon Chaney
August 16 - Joanne Woodward
August 17 - Humphrey Bogart
August 18 - Jean Gabin
August 19 - Debbie Reynolds
August 20 - Montgomery Clift
August 21 - Cary Grant
August 22 - Joan Crawford
August 23 - Conrad Veidt
August 24 - Joan Blondell
August 25 - Burt Lancaster
August 26 - Peter Lawford
August 27 - Linda Darnell
August 28 - Carole Lombard
 August 29 - Anne Francis
August 30 - Howard Keel
August 31 - Marlene Dietrich

Shame on me

I admit I have a guilty pleasure -- luring RWNJs into silly arguments on Twitter. Yesterday I had this one foaming. She kept calling me names and I just kept saying things like, "We have never met. What other delusional ruminations do you have about my character?" I got her to swear and then I tweaked her for her vulgarity and small vocabulary. The cooler I stayed, the angrier she got.

It was a good way to work through my hostility at my boss. I suppose it was mean, but it did seem to make her happy to call me "morally bankrupt," "full of bullshit," "hypocritical asshole" and "a member of the sisterhood of the bicycling fish."

Still, I really should stop doing this. It's immature and coarsens the discourse and besides, I kinda wonder if this poor woman is all there.

It would be more productive to run on the treadmill at lunch, wouldn't it? I do feel bad now that it's over.

August Happiness Challenge -- Day 22

Today's Happiness: vodka. Finally met my theater friend Barb for her birthday dinner (which we have been scheduling and rescheduling since June). This came after stopping for a drink with my coworkers (something I seldom do). It's funny but I really think the booze helped my mood. Or maybe it was being out in harmonious surroundings with people who made me laugh.


Why I hate my job

First I met the new guy my boss hired. The one he told me will be working on the super secret project that will be the future of marketing as we know it. What my boss didn't tell me is that the new guy would 1) be a director, instead of an associate director like me and 2) he would get his own office, while I share a space with three (!) other people.

As if that wasn't bad enough, and it was bad, today will be memorable because I got to make an appointment for a pap smear and mammogram in front of my three officemates. Why would I want privacy for that? I called the doctor's office when everyone was at lunch, but they called back three hours later, when everyone was just sitting there. I would have asked if I could call back in a few minutes, on my cell from the lobby (another place where one likes to discuss gynecological issues) but it took the office so long to get back to me today that I was afraid if I did that I'd be put back to the end of the queue.

There are three ways that a company can tell an employee she's appreciated: title, office space and salary. A person just in off the street beats me on all three. Earlier this month, my boss was disappointed that I didn't just automatically tell him, "Oh! What a wonderful idea!" when he willfully took us down the wrong path. Now this.

At least I got a lot of support from my account team when we went out for a drink after work. That was satisfying. And the second time they have come through for me during this difficult month at the office.

I realize there's a Recession out there and I'm in an industry that was hit hard. I know I can't just go out and get a new job that pays what this one does. I understand that, at this late stage in my working career, I have to do the smart thing and squirrel away what I can for retirement. And so I will do the mature thing and place one foot in front of the other, continue to do a good job, and keep my eyes open for another position. Hopefully the freelance work I'm doing for my friend Kathleen will lead to something.