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.”
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will remember the life and career of two-time Academy Award®-winning actress and beloved humanitarian Elizabeth Taylor on Sunday, April 10. The 24-hour memorial tribute, which is set to begin at 6 a.m. (ET/PT), will include both of Taylor’s Oscar®-winning performances, with Butterfield 8 (1960) at 8 p.m. (ET) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) at 10 p.m. (ET).
TCM’s tribute will also feature Taylor in such memorable films as the family classics Lassie Come Home (1943) and National Velvet (1944); the delightful comedies Father of the Bride (1950) and Father’s Little Dividend (1951); the historical epic Ivanhoe (1952); and the powerful dramas Giant (1956), Raintree County (1957) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). Also included is the spy drama Conspirator (1949), with Taylor in her first adult role.
The following is a complete schedule of TCM’s April 10 memorial tribute to Elizabeth Taylor (all times Eastern):
6 a.m. – Lassie Come Home (1943), with Roddy McDowall and Edmund Gwenn; directed by Fred M. Wilcox.
7:30 a.m. – National Velvet (1944), with Mickey Rooney, Anne Revere and Angela Lansbury; directed by Clarence Brown.
10 a.m. – Conspirator (1952), with Robert Taylor and Robert Flemyng; directed by Victor Saville.
11:30 a.m. – Father of the Bride (1950), with Spencer Tracy, Billie Burke, Joan Bennett and Don Taylor; directed by Vincente Minnelli.
1:15 a.m. – Father’s Little Dividend (1951), with Spencer Tracy, Billie Burke, Joan Bennett and Don Taylor; directed by Vincente Minnelli.
2:45 p.m. – Raintree County (1957), with Montgomery Clift, Eva Marie Saint, Lee Marvin, Rod Taylor and Agnes Moorehead; directed by Edward Dmytryk.
6 p.m. – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), with Paul Newman and Burl Ives; directed by Richard Brooks.
8 p.m. – Butterfield 8 (1960), with Laurence Harvey and Eddie Fisher; directed by Daniel Mann.
10 p.m. – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), with Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis; directed by Mike Nichols.
12:30 a.m. – Giant (1956), with James Dean and Rock Hudson; directed by George Stevens.
4 a.m. – Ivanhoe (1952), with Robert Taylor and Joan Fontaine; directed by Richard Thorpe.
In addition to TCM’s on-air tribute to Taylor, the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood will feature a special 60th anniversary screening of her brilliant performance opposite Montgomery Clift in George Stevens’ A Place in the Sun (1951). The TCM Classic Film Festival takes place April 28-May 1.