Big movies, big stars

Big movies from big stars highlight the offerings this weekend on broadcast and cable stations. Check out the best of the listings.

How to Marry a Millionnaire (1953)

Three big stars of the early 1950s shine in this comedy about women in search of rich husbands. Betty Grable, who had been a sensation in the 1940s, was nearing the end of her screen reign, while Lauren Bacall was riding the crest of her performances opposite Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not and Key Largo. And Marilyn Monroe, fresh from her small role in All About Eve, was having a great year, also starring in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. This fun film is one of the first to be shot in widescreen Cinemascope.

Saturday, June 6, 12 noon, Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

Notting Hill (1999)

Julia Roberts had returned to the high crest of fame – after a slow period in the early 1990s – when she starred in a made-to-order role as a famous actress in this delightful comedy from Roger Michell and Richard Curtis. Co-starring Hugh Grant, fresh from his triumph in Four Weddings and a Funeral, this lovely film never ages with its special tale of opposites who discover each other through the layers of show business, London and complicated friendships. This is a treasure to see again and again.

Saturday, June 6, 5:30 p.m., Sunday, June 7, 3:30 p.m., POP

To Sir, With Love (1967)

Sidney Poitier was the star of the year when this gentle drama about a teacher in London was released in 1967. That same year he was also the object of Katherine Houghton’s affection in the ground breaking Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner as well as the tough-minded detective in Norman Jewison’s Oscar-winning In the Heat of the Night. Surprisingly, despite three strong performances, he was overlooked for a Best Actor nomination. Maybe he split the votes. With himself.

Saturday, June 6, 6 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

Born Yesterday (1950)

Judy Holliday was a little-known stage performer when she landed the role of Billie Dawn in the stage version of this Garson Kanin comedy days before it opened on Broadway in 1946. When Columbia Pictures wanted a big star as Billie in the film version, Katherine Hepburn gave Holliday a plum role in Adam’s Rib to convince the studio boss to cast the original. Holliday is so magical in the Born movie that she won the Oscar for Best Actress over Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. Now, that’s an accomplishment.

Sunday, June 7, 2 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

Gregory Peck was a huge star – after roles in Keys to the Kingdom and Spellbound when he scored a triumph as a writer who poses as a Jewish man to learn the realities of prejudice in the United States. He is magnetic in a performance of range and depth that was remembered with a nomination at Oscar time. And it would be 15 years before he got to play as complex a character in the unforgettable To Kill a Mockingbird for which he finally won an Oscar. Gentleman’s Agreement still teaches important lessons about tolerance, patience and understanding.

Sunday, June 7, 4 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)

The American President (1995)

Annette Bening has been so good in so many films that, hopefully, one day she will get “the part” to finally bring that Oscar she deserves. This comedy from director Rob Reiner, written by Aaron Sorkin, shows the actress at her best as a driven lobbyist who happens to fall in love with the President of the United States. While Michael Douglas is believable as the nation’s CEO it’s Bening to makes the film sing. Because we see him through her eyes we believe in a relationship that must face all kinds of opposition.

Sunday, June 7, 5 p.m., ION

Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online. And, when you watch as a family, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing. That makes it even more fun.