Born on July 31: Clarence Kolb in 1874; Vera Sisson in 1891; James Flood in 1895; Paul "Mousie" Garner in 1909; Rose Stradner in 1913; Josette Day in 1914; Percy Herbert in 1920; and Don Murray in 1929.
All links lead to each actor's IMDb page, set to open in a new tab.
You'll find a handful of "birthday" images at the bottom of this post, plus Classic Movie Daily subscribers will find several larger images related to this weekend's TV schedule inside their morning mailing.
TCM TV Alerts through Monday, August 3 at 7 am:
These titles play on TCM's US schedule and all quoted times are for my own local Eastern time zone.
—TCM's "Summer of Darkness" wraps up with its final daylong film noir marathon on Friday. I'm going to be brief about it because I'm more excited for TCM's weekend programming. That said, there are some gems playing on Friday with recommended titles including Humphrey Bogart's final feature The Harder They Fall (1956 - 1:00 pm); Nicholas Ray's Party Girl (1958 - 6:15 pm) with Robert Taylor and Cyd Charisse; Jules Dassin's tough prison film Brute Force (1947 - 9:45 pm) with Burt Lancaster; John Huston's caper classic The Asphalt Jungle (1950 - 1:00 am) with Sterling Hayden and company, Louis Calhern's own company including Marilyn Monroe; and Alfred Hitchcock's haunting The Wrong Man (1956 - 3:00 am) with Henry Fonda falling prey to a costly bit of mistaken identity.
—But then "Summer Under the Stars" returns! In case you're new to TCM, this annual programming gimmick turns each day in August into a 24-hour movie marathon for 31 different selected stars, one for each day on the calendar. Now there will be days when I skip mentioning any movies on the "Summer Under the Stars" schedule, days when TCM goes a bit modern, but I'll still let you know whose day it is and link you over to TCM. I will make mention of it being Ann-Margret day on the 13th, and Alan Arkin day on the 21st, and Warren Oates day (yes!) on the 24th, but don't expect anything more than a mention. Now for Adolphe Menjou on the 3rd, and Joan Crawford on the 10th, and certainly Mae Clarke on the 20th, I plan to post something relevant to the celebration. I'll try to do something as long as it's a Golden Age movie star that TCM is playing during Classic Movie Daily's Monday-Friday publishing schedule. I mention planned coverage at the bottom of my Summer Under the Stars Lineup post.
—That means not much on two otherwise deserving selections this weekend. But here's what the TV is playing:
—TCM Saturday, Gene Tierney Summer Under the Stars (TCM's page) - Movies from the '50s at the start of the day, and '60s to close things out, but in between a nice selection of big titles from Gene Tierney's 1940s peak: Otto Preminger's Whirlpool (1949) at 2:00 pm; the classic Laura (1944) with Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb at 3:45 pm; Edmund Goulding's beautiful adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge (1946) at 5:30 pm; Tierney with Rex Harrison in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) at 8:00 pm, like the TCM synopsis says, only "a distant cousin to later TV sitcom,"; and Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait at 10:00 pm. My pick of this strong litter will always be The Razor's Edge, one of my all-time favorite movies, starring Tyrone Power with strong (Oscar-winning) supporting work from Anne Baxter. My review is HERE and will be linked at the top of the website (Today's Topics) throughout the weekend.
—TCM Sunday, Olivia de Havilland Summer Under the Stars (TCM's page) - It's days like these that Summer Under the Stars runs into a bit of trouble. Olivia de Havilland was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two—for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949)—yet not one of those five titles is among the thirteen de Havilland movies playing on Sunday. I can't fault them for skipping Gone With the Wind (1939), after all, there is a Vivien Leigh day later this month! At least they managed The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), but other than some later titles playing overnight, most of TCM's de Havilland schedule focuses on the kinds of movies she was trying to get away from. I can only guess the channel ran into licensing issues with Paramount title The Heiress and Twentieth Century Fox release The Snake Pit (1948), both of which they've played often in the past, but I doubt Miss de Havilland will be tuning in to see herself in most of these playing in their stead—though I will say I enjoy her tremendously in titles like The Male Animal (1942 - 12:15 pm), Princess O'Rourke (1943 - 2:15 pm), and even Government Girl (1943 - 4:15 am), which I've even written about. She's also a delight in her debut miscast opposite Joe E. Brown in just about the only Joe E. Brown movie I can really stand, Alibi Ike (1935), which begins the day at 6:00 am.
—TCM Monday, Adolphe Menjou Summer Under the Stars will be covered in Monday's issue. However, you may not get a chance to read that before TCM plays the first couple of Menjou titles, a pair of silent classics not typically remembered for Menjou: Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik (1921) opens Menjou-day at 6:00 am, followed by Charles Chaplin's A Woman of Paris starring Edna Purviance at 7:30 am. We'll pick it up from there on Monday, but if you'd like to get a jump on Menjou here's my review of his 1948 autobiography It Took Nine Tailors.
—This is why I love Hollywood's Golden Age so much. You might recall yesterday I made a snide comment about recording The Wild Man of Borneo (1941) because it sounded so terrible. Can you blame me:
The Wild Man of Borneo (1941) - "Good cast in weak sideshow comedy; Morgan masquerades as title character in one of his less memorable roles" (Leonard Maltin Review/TCM.com synopsis).
Of course, it wasn't terrible at all. I knew that from the moment of the opening credits, listing not only a deep cast, but crediting the story to a play written by Marc Connelly and Herman J. Mankiewicz. Sure, Frank Morgan does appear in blackface—and torso, with accompanying wig, trick nose bone, and mini skull-linked necklace—but the old pro handles his most dramatic scene of the film in that garb of the title novelty. Excepting that one scene, and a brief earlier bit to tease it, Morgan looks like he usually looks throughout the entire movie. No, The Wild Man of Borneo is not at all great, but it's not bad either.
Morgan plays a turn-of-the-century con man, hoping to leave behind the snake oil business to reunite with his adult daughter, who he had left behind as a toddler. They move into a theatrical boarding house run by Billie Burke, which counts among its inhabitants a bewigged and needling Donald Meek; gossipy mother Connie Gilchrist with perpetually fourteen-year-old daughter Bonita Granville; cook Marjorie Main, doing her Marjorie Main thing; and young Dan Dailey, playing a moving picture pioneer and obvious love interest to Morgan's daughter, Mary Howard, from the moment their eyes meet.
Morgan's character just can't help telling fibs to make himself sound big. He's so full of it that he even tells his daughter that the holes in his socks are a type of ventilation system he invented somewhere along the line. He eventually bumps into his best buddy, Walter Catlett, perfectly cast as his typical blowhard, and that's how Morgan, who claims to be good buddies with Shakespearean actor Richard Mansfield, winds up with the Wild Man of Borneo sideshow gig. Morgan is in his loud and silly mode for most of the movie, which surrounded by the large collection of supporting actors allows the movie to take on the fun and manic feel of better remembered plays/movies like You Can't Take It With You.
In the end the only terrible thing about The Wild Man of Borneo was its title. Fun little movie, hope you DVRed it too.
Have a great weekend—