Cover of Hang 'Em High
Now to answer the most important question on my mind,"Who are the 31 Stars?" Well, the first of Schwabs illustrations revealed by the flash countdown was the iconic black silhouette of a man in western hat wearing a grey badge with a white noose in the fore ground, without reading the caption its easily recognized as Clint Eastwood ("Hang 'Em High") for the featured star for August 31st. I am not sure why we are first redirected to the end of the month.
A click on August 1st brings up the iconic profile of our favorite sleuth from "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" representing the first star Basil Rathbone. His Trading Card quote appears to be from the film as well. I won't spoil the rest for you, I'll let you enjoy the revelation of guessing each star and movie for the rest of the silhouettes.
At the bottom of the main navigation look for a link to the down-loadable printable PDF file available for you to view the entire months schedule at once and a link to list of DVDs for sale for this years SUTS movies.
I haven't determined if their is a connection for the particular iconic role that was chosen to represent each star. In some cases I would have chosen a different more recognizable profile for the star. I think I would have better recognized Norma Shear in her the sexy bob of the "liberated woman" in Precode "Divorcee" instead of the bejeweled head dress of "Romeo & Juliet."
Their were some surprises. Along with many well known favorites from the Golden Age of Hollywood, there were a few less known actors. For August 30th, I didn't recognize the purple dressed tea-cup holding silhouette of Thelma Todd from "Horse Feathers" nor the gun totting muscular profile of Woody Strode ("Sergent Rutledge") for August 5th.
Woody Strode is an African American actor known to that John Ford gave him the title role in Sergeant Rutledge (1961)as a member of the Ninth Cavalry falsely accused of rape and murder; he appeared in smaller roles in Ford's later films Two Rode Together (1961) another SUTS film. Strode was one of the last friends of Ford. This 6' 4" NFL star became a Golden Globe winner for best supporting actor in Spartacus in 1960. He was noted for film roles that contrasted with the African-American stereotypes of the time. I discovered him first in the opening sequence of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Thelma Todd was an American actress. Appearing in about 120 pictures between 1926 and 1935, she is best remembered for her comedic roles in films like Marx Brothers' Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. Her tea-cupped hand hints to her slef nick name "Hot Toddy." This blonde beauty queen was teamed up with ZaSu Pitts for slapstick comedies as Hal Roach's attempt to create a female version of Laurel and Hardy. Todd's shorts often cast her as a single working girl with her embarrassing side kick, Pitts struggling through some hilarious predicament. She also had roles in several Laurel and Hardy films. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning before her last film, the full feature comedy, The Bohemian Girl was completed.
TCM always satisfies by presenting my all time favorites as well as illuminating me on some screen gems that I had not discovered. I look forward to exploring both of these less discussed actors and their movies in this year's Summer Under The Stars.