Checking out the movies on broadcast and cable stations this weekend offers a journey through the history of Hollywood. Take a look at what’s available.
Magnificent Obsession (1954)
In the 1950s, director Douglas Sirk created a unique visual identify with his stylized approach to stories about turbulent relationships. In this remake of a 1935 film starring Irene Dunne, the great Jane Wyman — long after she was Mrs. Ronald Reagan — won an Oscar nomination for playing a woman who survives the death of her husband, gets hit by a car, goes blind and waits for a handsome surgeon to discover a cure for her vision issues. The challenge, however, is he is the same man who drove the car. What will she do? How can she pursue a relationship with such a man even though her heart leads her to him? Wyman effectively underplays the histrionics while Rock Hudson poses his way through medical school. With Agnes Moorehead in another of her many roles as a supportive friend.
Sunday, July 27, 6 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Families need to communicate. The interaction within and between generations is essential to provide the emotional support that each member needs. But no family is perfect. This classic shows us what can happen when people who live in the same house refuse to listen to each other and disconnect when they need each other most. Director Nicholas Ray uses what could have been a routine story as an opportunity to explore the depth of relationships within a family and articulate the gap that can build between generations. The people in the film could walk down any street on any day as they express universal hopes and hurts. Look beyond the 1950s costumes and cars for moments of real tragedy and conversations of absolute misunderstanding. Without a commitment to communicate, no friends or family can bond, support and move forward.
Sunday, July 27, 4 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
The Nun’s Story (1959)
By the end of the 1950s, Audrey Hepburn had secured such a reputation with moviegoers that she could play just about any role. Fortunately she closed the decade with one of her strongest performances, as a young postulant facing the realities of life in the church during World War II. Hepburn is at her most authentic as a young woman who is torn between her obligations to her God and her feelings for a doctor she assists in the Belgian Congo. With a stoic Peter Finch and a warm Peggy Ashcroft, this Fred Zinneman adaptation of the best-selling book may be a bit long (at almost three hours) but that’s how they made epics in the 1950s. Hepburn shines in a tale of one woman’s epic journey to a peace of mind and a security of being.
Saturday, July 26, 3:15 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
The Pink Panther (1963)
The late, great Blake Edwards was a master of visual comedy. This creative director, who could make just about anything work on film, discovered his comic rhythm in the early 1960s when he first associated with the outrageous Peter Sellers. What was originally intended to be a supporting role in a comedy about a mysterious jewel thief became, instead, the foundation for a series of comedies about the incompetent French police Inspector Clouseau, played to the hilt by Sellers, a master of dialect and identity. While the panther is actually a diamond that everyone wants to steal, what matters is how Edwards uses every possible moment to create a world of visual lunacy in which Sellers is happily at home. The music by Henry Mancini adds to the fun.
Saturday, July 26, 8 pm, BBC
Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online. And, when you watch together, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing. That makes it even more fun.