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  • Carrie Specht

July on TCM Includes a Focus on 1939: Hollywood's Golden Year


It's July, and TCM has another great month of classic films lined up for for fans of old Hollywood films, and more. There's a special weekly tribute to the "Golden Year" of 1939, another to great Science Fiction films, a mini marathon of Tab Hunter films to commemorate his birthday, and the latest installment of The Essentials. Over all, it sounds like a pretty packed month of a variety of films to whet the appetite of just about any classic film fan.

Often heralded as the "The Greatest Year in Movies," 1939 enjoyed the release of some exceptional films, many of which can be considered as masterpieces. This month, TCM salutes this incredible cinematic year with a showcase of more than 40 of these movies including 1939's Best Picture Oscar winner, Gone With the Wind. The David O. Selznick spectacular epic of the Civil War stars audience fan, Clark Gable and Oscar winner as Best Actress of the year, Vivien Leigh. Of course The Wizard of Oz will make an appearance, and there's a 2009 documentary also scheduled to screen called 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year, which is a review of the year's best known classics. Tune in all day on Fridays in July and click here to learn more.

Another interesting series happening this month is TCM presents Out of This World: A Celebration of Sci-Fi Movies. Every Tuesday in July is dedicated to exploring the many realms of science fiction in cinema, including TCM's network premiere of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. There's also a special theme within a theme night of moon movies in honor of this month's 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Even if you think you're not into Sci/Fi, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find films in the genre that go beyond the expected and into the realm of personal relationships, as well as man's exploration into our place in the greater scheme of things. You can click here to watch a mini documentary on the history of science fiction films featuring insights from director Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption) and more. And click here to learn more about the films scheduled to appear.

If you were a movie-goer in the post war years, then you don't want to miss a special salute Thursday, July 11. On what would have been Tab Hunter's 88th birthday, TCM remembers the popular, and recently deceased actor (1931-2018). Three films from his 1950s heyday are scheduled, along with two screenings of Tab Hunter Confidential (2015), a documentary about the actor's life and career produced by Hunter's husband, Allan Glaser. The documentary, a TCM premiere, will be presented by Glaser and TCM Noir Alley host Eddie Muller. You can click here to learn more about the films, as well as the documentary.

And then there's TCM's own ongoing series The Essentials, which examines films that many experts consider to be "must sees". The co-host this year is the award winning director, Ava DuVernay, who like those before her, sit down with the network's prime time host (now Ben Mankiewicz) to discuss the elements that make these films so unique. Of particular interest is the June 13 episode when the 1981 Best Picture winner, Gandhi will be examined. Director Richard Attenborough's drama is based on the life of the renowned pacifist, Mahatma Gahdhi. The film won eight Oscars with Ben Kingsley winning the statuette for his portrayal of the eponymous character. Click here to learn more about the program.

That's a whole lot of reasons to keep your eye on TCM this month. But if you need a little more convincing, then I suggest you check out the complete schedule on their website. I know I'll be watching. Maybe we'll share in the experience.

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