by Brett Leveridge
With the school year ending, the kids in your life will soon have more time on their hands. There are more streaming services out there than we can count, but the costs add up. If you prefer to turn to that old favorite, Turner Classic Movies, for entertaining and inspiring fare, here are some recommendations, many of them family-friendly, for June.
Monday, June 1, at 2:45 p.m. ET
This inspiring movie, starring Mickey Rooney and Frank Morgan and written by playwright and author William Saroyan (he later adapted it into a novel) is a tale of the homefront during World War II, as told through the trials, tribulations and victories of a family in a small Calfornia town. Also in the cast are Fay Bainter, Marsha Hunt, Donna Reed and Van Johnson.
Tuesday, June 2, at 9:45 a.m. ET
Jack Benny and TCM Star of the Month Ann Sheridan play a married couple who are evicted from their Manhattan apartment because they have a dog. She convinces him to take a flyer on an old Pennsylvania house where George Washington reportedly once slept. As you might guess, things quickly go awry in very funny fashion.
Thursday, June 4, at 6:15 p.m. ET
The witty repartee flies fast and furious in this hilarious comedy, directed by the legendary Howard Hawks. Cary Grant is a conniving newspaper editor who was wants to lure back his best reporter (who happens to also be his ex-wife), played by Rosalind Russell. The trouble is, she's engaged to another fellow (Ralph Bellamy). This one's tons of screwball fun.
Wednesday, June 10, at 12:15 p.m. ET
This wartime romance finds a G.I. (Robert Walker), on a two-day leave prior to shipping out for Europe, meeting a local girl (Judy Garland) at NYC's Pennsylvania Station. Over the next 48 hours, they experience a whirlwind romance that could change their lives forever. Vincente Minnelli directs.
Thursday, June 11, at 8:00 p.m. ET
James Stewart teams up once again with June Allyson, this time portraying Glenn Miller, the trombonist who led one of the most popular orchestras of the big band era, and his wife, Helen Burger Miller. This is one of the most beloved biopics of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the music will have you tapping your toes.
Sunday, June 14, at 11:45 a.m. ET
This delightfully madcap comedy (with a touch of fantasy) finds a fun-loving couple (Cary Grant and Constance Bennett) suddenly and unexpectedly deceased—but that doesn't stop them from trying to help their stoic-bordering-on-stuffy banker friend (Roland Young) loosen up a bit. A true comedy classic.
Sunday, June 14, at 8:00 p.m. ET
This inspiring story of two runners—one a Jewish man (Ben Cross) of great achievement who battles an inferiority complex; the other a devout Christian (Ian Charleson) who intends to follow his parents into missionary work—striving to represent the U.K. in the 1924 Olympics won four Academy Awards (Best Picture among them) and was nominated for three others.
Monday, June 16, at 1:45 a.m. ET
Ann Sheridan and Dennis Morgan star in this nostalgic musical tale of Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth, vaudeville stars and song writers who are credited with composing many songs that are still sung today, among them Meet Me in Apple Blossom Time and Shine on, Harvest Moon.
Tuesday, June 17, at 6:15 p.m. ET
Fans of screwball comedy rank My Favorite Wife as one of the best in the genre, and deservedly so. Irene Dunne plays a woman who is rescued after a lengthy stay on a desert island following a shipwreak; she returns home to find that her husband (Cary Grant) is just about to remarry. That's when the fun begins.
Late Tuesday, June 17, at 3:45 a.m. ET
Joe E. Brown made dozens of comedies in the 1930s, and this is a favorite (in no small part because Ginger Rogers stars opposite him). Brown plays an inventor who, in order to sell his uninkable bathing suit, pretends to be a championship swimmer.
Saturday, June 20, at 8:00 p.m. ET
This classic romance/fantasy from the British filmmaking team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, released in the U.S. as Stairway to Heaven, is one of the most beautifully filmed movies you'll ever see. A fighter pilot (David Niven) in a disabled plane manages to simultaneously cheat death (it was his time; his survival was a mixup) and fall in love with Kim Hunter. Can he convince a celestial court that he should be alowed to stick around?
Sunday, June 21, at 5:45 a.m. ET
If you have kids (or grandkids) that you'd like to introduce to silent movies (or you're curious about them yourself), this Charlie Chaplin classic fits the bill. They'll definitely laugh but they'll feel a tug at their heartstrings, too. A very young Jackie Coogan ably portrays the title character, and Edna Purviance provides the romantic interest.
Sunday, June 21, at 12:00 p.m. ET
The Andy Hardy series is perfect vintage fare for the family, and this film, the first of 16 entries in the series, introduces us to the Hardy clan. Mickey Rooney is here, of course, as Andy and Cecelia Parker is on hand as his sister, Marian, but Lewis Stone and Fay Holden, who would portray Judge Hardy and wife, Emily, beginning with the second entry, You're Only Young Once (1937), had not yet joined the ensemble—instead, Lionel Barrymore and Spring Byington fill those roles.
Tuesday, June 23, at 4:15 p.m. ET
This wasn't the first film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's beloved novel—there were two movies in the 1910s that were based on it—but it may well be the most revered, and the stellar cast surely has much to do with that: Katharine Hepburn stars as Jo, Joan Bennett as Amy, Jean Parker as Beth, Frances Dee as Meg, Edna May Oliver as Aunt March and Paul Lukas as Professor Bhaer.
Saturday, June 27, at 12:00 p.m. ET
There have been numerous remakes and sequels to this classic "beauty and the beast" tale, but none has matched its appeal. Willis O'Brien's stop-motion animation is more magical than even the best CGI and no one can match Fay Wray's screaming skills. What's more, King Kong is the rare monster picture that leaves us sympathizing with the beast in the end.
Sunday, June 28, at 12:00 p.m. ET
Rarely in movie history has a director undertaken a remake of his own picture, but that's just what Leo McCarey did. You may be more familiar with the remake, An Affair to Remember (1957), which starred Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, but Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer are terrific in this, McCarey's first take on the story. Have a box of tissues handy.
Late Sunday, June 28, at 12:00 a.m. ET
If you've ever thought silent films were artless, clumsily filmed efforts compared to talking pictures, this is one movie that might change your mind. Director King Vidor's tale of the trials and tribulations of a young married couple trying to make a go of it in the big city is wonderfully filmed, beautifully acted and deeply moving.
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