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  • Carrie Specht

TCM to Celebrate Director Stanley Donen with Marathon of Films


TCM will celebrate legendary director, Stanley Donen, who recently passed away on February 21 at the age of 94. The special tribute will air Monday, March 18. The programing will preempt the regular schedule and include the Singin’ in the Rain, and On the Town.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate the life and career of the iconic director and choreographer with a five-film tribute beginning at 8:00 pm (EST), March 18. With 32 films to his director resume, Donen first worked as a choreographer in many films (such as Anchors Aweigh and The Kissing Bandit) before collaborating with Gene Kelly as a choreographer on Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Donen would make his directorial debut alongside Kelly with 1949’s On the Town - when he was just 25 years old! Donen would go on to direct some of Hollywood’s most glittering movie musicals with the talents of such stars as Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and his former mentor, Gene Kelly.

Donen never received a competitive Oscar, but was awarded an honorary one for his body of work in 1998. The Academy said that the bestowing of the honor was, “in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation.” If you have ever seen one of Donen's films you know just how apt these words are. There is a lighthearted, loveliness, and "joie de vivre" (as the French would say) in every frame of his films. This is particularly true of his work with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Charade, and Cary Grant with Ingrid Bergman in Indiscrete. And Arabesque is a lot of fun with Gregory Peck doing what I think is a dead on Cary Grant impersonation opposite Sophia Loren. Unfortunately, none of the previously mentioned films are included in the marathon. But, honestly, you really can't go wrong with anything by the prolific filmmaker. And there are plenty of great movies scheduled to air March 18 on TCM. However, I do want to emphasis that you really should make the effort to watch as many Donen films as you can. His talent reflects an era that has long gone by and is never likely to return again. The same can be said of the man as well.

The following is the complete schedule for the tribute, TCM Remembers Stanley Donen – Monday, March 18 at 8:00 p.m.

Private Screenings: Stanley Donen (2006) - Director Stanley Donen discusses his life and career with host Robert Osborne. 11:00 p.m.

On the Town (1949) – Three sailors wreak havoc as they search for love during a whirlwind 24-hour leave in New York City. 9:00 p.m.

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – A silent-screen swashbuckler finds love while trying to adjust to the coming of sound. 1:00 a.m.

Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954) – When their older brother marries, six lumberjacks decide it’s time to go courting for themselves.

3:00 a.m. Royal Wedding (1951) – A brother-and-sister musical team find romance when they tour to London for Elizabeth II's wedding.

5:00 a.m. It’s Always Fair Weather (1955) – World War II buddies get mixed up with gangsters and an egotistical TV star when they hold a 10-year reunion. For more information visit: http://myt.cm/Donen.

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