There’s something for everyone on this weekend’s movie menu broadcast and cable television. Check out these listings.
Some Came Running (1958)
Shirley MacLaine made new fans when she appeared on Downton Abbey a couple of years ago and she reminded us, last year, how magnetic she can be when she costarred with Christopher Plummer in Elsa and Fred. This remarkable Oscar-winner received her first Academy nomination almost 60 years ago for her devastating portrayal of a desperate woman in this film adaptation of a James Jones novel. Maclaine is haunting and hurting as a woman who simply wants to be loved.
Friday, April 24, 5:30 p.m., TCM
Big Business (1988)
Lily Tomlin is winning raves at the Tribeca Film Festival for her performance as a free-spirited matriarch in Grandma. Since she was nominated for an Oscar for Nashville some 40 years ago, she has mystified us in The Late Show, brought us to tears in Short Cuts and made us laugh in All of Me. In this ambitious comedy from Disney, Tomlin and Bette Midler play two sets of twins who manage their lives in different ways. While the script is inconsistent, Tomlin is a hoot.
Friday, April 24, 6:15 p.m., FLIX
Georgia Rule (2007)
Jane Fonda has been making headlines for more than 50 years as an actress and activist. Since she returned to movies in 2005 she has played an outrageous mother (Monster In Law), a thoughtful senior citizen (All Together) and an outspoken free spirit (Peace, Love and Misunderstanding). As a practical woman with little tolerance for bad behavior in this thoughtful film, Fonda shares the screen with Lindsay Lohan and Felicity Huffman.
Friday, April 24, 8 p.m., LMN
An American President (1995)
Michael Douglas has filled the tabloids in recent years with his issues of health and marriage. As an actor, he soared in Wall Street, stretched his range in Wonder Boys, and chewed the scenery as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra. In President, working from a script by Aaron Sorkin, Douglas generates believable chemistry with Annette Bening as they try to mix politics and romance. As Sorkin tried out themes for the upcoming The West Wing we get to feast on the rich material and performances.
Saturday, April 25, 8:45 a.m., Sundance
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
Kathleen Turner thrilled fans on Broadway in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. Her screen work has ranged from sultry (in Body Heat) to humorous (The War of the Roses) to touching (The Accidental Tourist). She won an Oscar nomination for this dramatic comedy about a middle-aged woman who gets a second chance to choose her life when a magic spell returns her to high school. Turner is touching in a role that is just right for her unique talents even though it was originally written for Debra Winger.
Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m., Sundance
The Princess Diaries (2001)
Julie Andrews was in the news recently when she marked the 50th anniversary of the release of The Sound of Music on screen. After starring on Broadway in My Fair Lady and Camelot, she won an Oscar for her film debut as Mary Poppins and almost won the next year for Music. And then she turned 31. Now almost 80, Andrews career ranged from disappointment (Star and Darling Lili) to triumph (Victor/Victoria) before attracting a new audience as the lovely Queen of Genovia in this comedy from director Gary Marshall. She is magic in any medium.
Saturday, April 25, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 26, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.: ABC Family
The Fugitive (1993)
Harrison Ford made big news last week with the first look at the trailer for the new Star Wars film. For more than 40 years he has entertained with his blend of humility and heroism. As a doctor wrongly convicted of murder in this big-screen adaptation of the television series, Ford makes us believe how far a man will travel to be able to go home again. The lovely Julianne Moore shines in a single scene as a nurse who wonders why Ford feels so at home in a hospital corridor. Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar for playing a persistent police inspector.
Sunday, April 26, 2:30 p.m., ION
What’s the Matter With Helen? (1971)
Debbie Reynolds grabbed headlines this year when she was awarded the lifetime achievement award by the Screen Actors Guild. While this legend is best remembered for Singin’ in the Rain, How the West Was Won and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, she delivers a credible performance in this would-be fright film from 1970. As a woman who tries to reinvent herself to hide her family’s past, Reynolds is moving, authentic and frightening as she reminds us how, at the movies, trying to escape the past can be a challenge.
Sunday, April 26, 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
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.