TV Movie Menu: Savoring some big stars

As we savor the joys in Florence Foster Jenkins, let’s look at a range of movies that showcase big stars doing some of their best work.

Here is what’s showing this weekend on broadcast and cable stations.

 

The Usual Suspects: Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey.

The Usual Suspects: Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey.

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Kevin Spacey won his first Oscar for a superlative turn as a mysterious man at the center of a bewildering crime. With subtlety and spontaneity, Spacey turns what could be a one-dimensional character into the fascinating core of a fascinating, complex film.

Friday, August 19, 6:05 p.m., Flix

 

The Help (2011)

Viola Davis graces the screen as a lady who brings wisdom to every situation she encounters in the racially-charged South of the early 1960s. Davis brilliantly underplays the confusion and anguish this lady feels when the world expresses hatred without reason.

Friday, August 19, 8 p.m.; Saturday, August 20, 2:30 p.m.; CMT

 

42nd Street (1933)

Ruby Keeler shines as a chorus girl who becomes a star in this classic musical that later triumphed on Broadway. While the movie may have aged, and its situations can feel dated, the musical wonders created by choreographer Busby Berkeley still radiate.

Friday, August 19, 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

 

Julie and Julia (2009)

Meryl Streep shines as Florence Foster Jenkins on the big screen this August while her memorable turn as chef Julia Child still creates good food and great fun. Streep has a grand time in an Oscar-nominated performance of spontaneity and spirit.

Saturday, August 20, 9 a.m., LMN

 

The Fugitive (1993)

Harrison Ford makes us believe in the plight of a physician who claims he did not kill his wife in this adaptation of the famed television series. While Ford scores as the hero, Tommy Lee Jones nearly walks away with the film in his Oscar-winning turn as a curious man of the law.

Saturday, August 20, 12 noon, Sundance

 

Casablanca (1943)

Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Berman own the screen in this classic romance that won an Oscar as Best Picture. Rarely do we get to see such strong actors so perfectly cast in well-written roles that creatively connect. Bogart and Bergman make us want to believe in how time goes by.

Saturday, August 20, 2 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

 

Dark Passage (1947)

Humphrey Bogart – teaming with wife Lauren Bacall – brings his smoldering intensity to this story a man who uses plastic surgery to help escape an unfair verdict of murder. As a man who knows too much, Bogart is cynical, creative and crafty. And Bacall is a perfect foil.

Saturday, August 20, 4 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

 

Sabrina (1954)

Audrey Hepburn is at her most charming as a chauffer’s daughter who falls in love with someone outside her social reach. One year after winning an Oscar for Roman Holiday, Hepburn proves her initial success is no flash in the plan. She is a star for the ages.

Saturday, August 20, 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

 

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford electrify the screen in this grand melodrama from Director Robert Aldrich. The two veteran stars hit all the right notes as sisters who try to hold on to their fame and fortune from days long gone by. But time can be so unkind to the selfish.

Sunday, August 21, 1:45 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

 

Enjoy the movies!

 

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