Oscar®-winning actress and entertainer Cher, who counts herself among Turner Classic Movies’ most devoted fans, will present four of her favorite films as TCM’s Guest Programmer for September. “The love of my life from the time I can remember has been movies,” she tells TCM host Robert Osborne during the introductions to the movies. She also confesses that whenever she enters a hotel room, the first thing she does is “click the TV until I see TCM.”
The four films Cher chose for her night as Guest Programmer are movies she has always loved, but which aren’t seen very often:
8 p.m. (ET) – Follow the Fleet (1936) – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers teamed up for the sixth time in this delightful farce about two sailors on leave who romance a dance-hall girl and her prim sister. Randolph Scott plays Astaire’s sailor buddy while Harriet Hilliard (later known as Harriet Nelson) is Rogers’ sister. Among the many highlights are the Irving Berlin classics “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” “Let Yourself Go,” “I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket” “Get Thee Behind Me Satan” and the hilarious opening number, “We Saw the Sea.” Future stars Betty Grable and Lucille Ball also show up in small roles.
10 p.m. (ET) – Hobson’s Choice (1954) – Charles Laughton, whom Cher calls a “consummate actor,” stars in this light-hearted film as a Victorian widower trying to keep his headstrong daughters in line. Directed by David Lead, the movie co-stars Brenda De Banzie, Daphne Anderson and Prunella Scales as the daughters and John Mills as Laughton’s unappreciated employee. Cher chose this winner of the 1954 British Academy Award because, “It’s a movie about hope.”
Midnight (ET) – The Big Street (1942) – This rare Damon Runyon love story stars Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda about a busboy and his relationship with a heartless singer. Cher considers this film a favorite because it gives Lucille Ball a chance to prove “she had the chops to be a dramatic actress.” The cast also includes Agnes Moorehead in her third screen role, following Citizen Kane (1941) and her Oscar-nominated performance in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).
1:45 a.m. (ET) – Lady of Burlesque (1943) – Cher closes out the night with this Barbara Stanwyck mystery about the murder of two strippers in a New York burlesque theater. The story is based on the novel The G-String Murders, written by legendary strip-tease artist Gypsy Rose Lee. Cher says the combination of Stanwyck’s sparkling performance and “lots of strippers hanging out” makes this movie “a perfect storm of happiness.”