vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,
vp19
vp19
carole_and_co

  • Mood:

Who's been in, er, 'under' the stars?



Like many classic movie fans, I've been thinking a lot lately about Turner Classic Movies' annual "Summer Under The Stars" festival, which kicked off today with 24 hours of Basil Rathbone. However, I haven't merely been thinking about the upcoming schedule, but looking back as well.

In my Friday entry on SUTS, I initially noted I couldn't track down a list of those who had been featured since the channel began the promotion in 2003. Thankfully, someone at the TCM message boards supplied a list, which I then added to the entry. In Saturday's entry on Gloria Swanson's relationship with Carole Lombard, I noted that Swanson had never been chosen for SUTS, and that got me thinking about who has (and hasn't) received the honor.

Using the American Film Institute's "legends" rankings as a starting point, I've noted how often each of the top 25 in each gender have been (or will be) SUTS subjects. Here's the list, with years chosen in parentheses:

Actors
1. Humphrey Bogart, 3 (03, 04, 05)
2. Cary Grant, 5 (03, 04, 05, 06, 09)
3. James Stewart, 5 (03, 04, 05, 06, 07)
4. Marlon Brando, 2 (05, 08)
5. Fred Astaire, 3 (03, 05, 08)
6. Henry Fonda, 4 (04, 08, 09, 10)
7. Clark Gable, 2 (03, 09)
8. James Cagney, 2 (03, 05)
9. Spencer Tracy, 4 (03, 05, 07, 08)
10. Charlie Chaplin, 2 (04, 08)
11. Gary Cooper, 3 (03, 04, 07)
12. Gregory Peck, 3 (03, 06, 08)
13. John Wayne, 5 (03, 04, 05, 06, 09)
14. Laurence Olivier, 1 (04)
15. Gene Kelly, 2 (03, 08)
16. Orson Welles, 0
17. Kirk Douglas, 4 (03, 04, 05, 07)
18. James Dean, 0
19. Burt Lancaster, 2 (04, 06)
20. The Marx Brothers, 1 (04 for Groucho)
21. Buster Keaton, 1 (07)
22. Sidney Poitier, 3 (04, 06, 09)
23. Robert Mitchum, 2 (03, 07)
24. Edward G. Robinson, 2 (04, 08)
25. William Holden, 2 (03, 07)

Actresses
1. Katharine Hepburn, 6 (03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 10)
2. Bette Davis, 3 (03, 04, 09)
3. Audrey Hepburn, 2 (06, 09)
4. Ingrid Bergman, 3 (06, 08, 10)
5. Greta Garbo, 2 (03, 08)
6. Marilyn Monroe, 0
7. Elizabeth Taylor, 4 (03, 04, 07, 10)
8. Judy Garland, 3 (03, 05, 09)
9. Marlene Dietrich, 1 (03)
10. Joan Crawford, 3 (03, 05, 07)
11. Barbara Stanwyck, 3 (04, 06, 08)
12. Claudette Colbert, 1 (04)
13. Grace Kelly, 0
14. Ginger Rogers, 1 (04)
15. Mae West, 0
16. Vivien Leigh, 0
17. Lillian Gish, 0
18. Shirley Temple, 0
19. Rita Hayworth, 2 (06, 08)
20. Lauren Bacall, 2 (05, 10)
21. Sophia Loren, 1 (05)
22. Jean Harlow, 1 (04)
23. Carole Lombard, 1 (06)
24. Mary Pickford, 0
25. Ava Gardner, 2 (04, 08)



Katharine Hepburn has more appearances than any actor of either gender, while there's a three-way tie for the top among males with Cary Grant, James Stewart and John Wayne with five apiece. (Doris Day, who's not on the AFI list, also has been on SUTS five times.) Four actors have been chosen four times -- Henry Fonda (2010 marks the third straight year for him), Spencer Tracy, Kirk Douglas and Elizabeth Taylor.



The most glaring omission -- and the only person in the top 10 of either gender yet to be honored -- is Marilyn Monroe, no surprise since most of her films were made at 20th Century-Fox and thus largely unavailable to TCM; that probably also applies to Shirley Temple. (Tyrone Power, who's not on the AFI top 25, is arguably the biggest male star associated with Fox, and he has never been featured on SUTS, either.) James Dean, who only made a handful of films, doesn't have enough material to fit the 24-hour SUTS concept; the same holds true for Grace Kelly and possibly Mae West. (Orson Welles might fit, but the latter part of his cinematic career is filled with plenty of incomplete projects.)




And while we noted to our dismay that Lombard has only once been featured on SUTS, she certainly isn't the only actress getting short shrift. Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Claudette Colbert and Jean Harlow also have only one SUTS appearance each -- and none have been honored since 2004! And, like Swanson, neither Lillian Gish nor Mary Pickford have been chosen. (Incidentally, were Lombard to see the AFI list, she'd probably say she was embarrassed to be ranked above Pickford, whom she admired as both an actress and a businesswoman.) Perhaps the selection of John Gilbert this year bodes well for silent-era ladies in future years.

To cut TCM programmers some slack, the supply of movies the network has to work with fluctuates regularly. Contracts with studios for film rights are limited. Also note that TCM has other promotions, such as Star of the Month, and I would guess that when comparing SUTS and SOTM rosters for the same year, there is very little correlation.

Just some things to ponder while enjoying this, the eighth edition of TCM "Summer Under The Stars."
Subscribe

Recent Posts from This Community

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment