Your kids might know John Lithgow as a children’s book author or as the voice of Lord Farquaad in Shrek, but adults usually know him better as a Tony-, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor. Throughout this summer, he will be hosting a series for Turner Classic Movies (TCM) called TCM’s ESSENTIALS JR. These 13 classic films, shown on Sunday evenings, can be enjoyed by the whole family. The first movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), will be aired this Sunday. Here is the complete schedule:
June 7 - Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) June 14 - To Have and Have Not (1944) June 21 - Father of the Bride (1950) June 28 - The Philadelphia Story (1940) July 5 - Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (1953) July 12 - The African Queen (1951) July 19 - An American in Paris (1951) July 26 - High Noon (1952) Aug. 2 - Heaven Can Wait (1978) Aug. 9 - Notorious (1946) Aug. 16 - It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963) Aug. 23 - Gaslight (1944) Aug. 30 - You Can’t Take It with You (1938) I love old movies and can’t wait to check these out. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen many of them yet! I’ve seen the 1995 version of Father of the Bride starring Steve Martin, but I’d love to compare it to the original 1950 movie starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor.
And one movie in this line-up that I could watch over and over again is Heaven Can Wait, starring Warren Beatty as a professional football player who is accidentally sent to heaven in a biking accident. When he demands to be sent back to Earth, they must try to find another body for him as his has already been cremated! Needless to say, it’s not easy to find a suitable body that will be able to compete on the professional football scene. This is a hilarious madcap movie in which Dyan Cannon and Charles Grodin try all sorts of means to kill Warren Beatty’s character again so they can get their hands on his money. (His new body belongs to a man who was extremely wealthy.) This is one of my all-time favorite movies.
Sunday evenings are a great time to curl up on the couch with your kids and a bowl of popcorn to watch some terrific movies. I hope you’ll turn to Turner Classic Movies and revisit these masterpieces on TCM’s ESSENTIALS JR. with John Lithgow.