Summer days can be so full that chilling with a film is just the ticket for family time. Take a look at what’s showing this weekend on broadcast and cable television stations.
Woman of the Year (1942)
How wonderful to go back in time to the first time that Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy work together on screen. This delightful comedy – about rival reporters for a big-city newspaper – defines the on-screen chemistry the couple would bring to films for the next 25 years. And it begins, off screen, one of the great romances in the history of Hollywood. Hepburn is forever young and charming, and Tracy a most appealing curmudgeon, in this lovely tale of opposites that truly attract.
Friday, August 7, 4:45 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Who can forget the first time to see this classic thriller from Steven Spielberg? Summer forever changed in New England after the killer sharks intimidate an island community in a film that created excitement as much from suggestion as visible threat. This is the movie that forver changed the business, too, as studios learned that opening a big movie in thousands of theaters at the same time – and making that movie an event – can be quite profitable. That is if the movie is the right movie. And Jaws certainly is.
Friday, August 7, 7 p.m.; Saturday, August 8, 10:30 a.m., AMC
The Lion in Winer (1968)
Katherine Hepburn delivers one of her most stirring performances as Eleanor of Aquitaine in this adaptation of James Goldman’s play. As King Henry II of England, Peter O’Toole is at his theatrical best in a performance of range and power. But this is Hepburn’s film. At age 58, at the peak of her dramatic powers, she invests in the role with the hunger of a pro who knows a good part when she sees one. She owns this film from its opening moments. And she won her third (of four) Oscars.
Friday, August 7, 10 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Friday Night Lights (2004)
About this time of the summer it’s easy to get the itch for football. This modern classic – based on the book by H.G. Bissinger – brings to life the passion and pride that define high school sports competition in West Texas. Billy Bob Thornton secures the film as a coach who understands the stakes when a community defines its value by the success of its local football team. He makes what could be an exaggerated story into something easy to access and absorb.
Saturday, August 1, 8 p.m., FX
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
It’s easy to take Cary Grant for granted. He makes everything look so easy from broad comedy to action thriller to romantic drama. The actor at his manic best in this hysterical comedy – based on the Broadway hit – about elderly sisters who kill people with their sweetness. And their arsenic. As a young man trying to make sense of the insanity, Grant is a riot in a performance that never loses its truth. Why did the Academy never give this man an Oscar?
Saturday, August 8, 5:45 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Yes, there are better musicals and, yes, other movie adaptations of Broadway hits may be more faithful. But few song and dance movies deliver as much fun as this celebration of the lunacy of the 1950s. or at least the show business view of that decade! John Travolta commands with his tongue-in-cheek portrayal of a tough guy who wants to impress the girl of his dreams. He has some magical musical moments, especially when trapped at a drive-in movie. Were the real 1950s this much fun?
Sunday, August 9, 9 p.m., ABC Family
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.