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  • Carrie Specht

TCM's Summer Under the Stars Returns for 2020


Every year during August, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) puts a little oomph into the other wise spice-less month with Summer Under The Stars (#SUTS). It's their time to dedicate every one of August's thirty-one days to a single classic Hollywood star. That's a different star every day, all month. With a fine mix of the well known and the less heralded, every twenty-four hours is an opportunity to celebrate, discover, and basque in the atmosphere of old (and not so old) Hollywood. So, fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be one hell of a ride!


I've been a big fan of this TCM tradition ever since it started. This and 31 Days of Oscar during the month of February (yeah, they know the month has only 28 days) have become my favorite times of the year. For a classic film fan it's just so thrilling to see one film after another with a beloved star. You can sit back and relax knowing you're going to like each film regardless of its actual quality, because it has Cary Grant, or Bette Davis, or who ever you adore in one film after another. It's like spending the day hanging out with them, learning more about them than their co-stars. It's a very intimate, and satisfying experience.


In the beginning, the network focused on only big names familiar to the masses. Of course, as the years went by it became not only necessary to mix up the selection, but advantages as well. The decision keeps the schedule fresh and full of anticipation as fans wait to see who is and who isn't included in the specially curated schedule. There's always a bit of relief and disappointment regarding the haves and have nots of the big names (Barbara Stanwyck, Lana Turner, Charlton Heston, etc.). Inevitably, there's someone dear to one's heart who doesn't make it for the year. But the disappointment is tempered by the surprise inclusion of those never before celebrated with their own day in August (S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Goldie Hawn are all first timers).


Naturally, the really big and most famous stars appear on the weekends. The newly added names may be overlooked for being scheduled for a week day. However, I encourage you to make an effort to watch at least one film every day. Prime time is most likely to satisfy your expectations. But take a close look at the day's offerings as you may find something intriguing enough to set your DVR for. I certainly hope that's the case because Hollywood is just too big a galaxy for you to limit yourself to just a few planets.



For a full schedule for the month of August go to summer/tcm.com. Cross your fingers before you do and make a wish for the inclusion of your favorite star, and look forward to the new discoveries awaiting you.