Ayn Rand Atlas Society News'


June TV Films With A Ayn Rand Connection

Each month, cable and satellite television networks air films that have some connection to Ayn Rand. Here is a sampling of such offerings for June 2002, so prepare to mark your calendar…

As a girl in Russia, Rand fell in love with the character of Zorro, and repeatedly saw the 1920 silent film, The Mark of Zorro, starring the legendary Douglas Fairbanks. This rarely shown classic will be broadcast on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) at midnight Eastern time on June 25th; check your local listings and set your VCR.

A similar fiction hero loved by Rand was The Scarlet Pimpernel, whose exploits were translated to the screen in a 1935 adventure starring Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon. Catch it on the Mystery Channel the 10th and 14th, or on The Movie Channel on the 12th.

For a literary-based treat by a writer Rand whom enjoyed, see the 1950 film of Oscar Wilde's delightful stage comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest (1952), airing on the Showtime 3 channel June 7th, 8th, 10th, 20th, and 29th. Even better: rush out to see the wonderfully hilarious new film adaptation, starring Ruppert Everett, Colin Firth, and Judy Dench, playing now in movie theaters nationwide.

Greta Garbo—reputedly Rand's first choice for the role of Dominique in the film of The Fountainhead—starred in many movies depicting famous "fallen women." TCM features the Great Garbo throughout the month—as Anna Christie (1930) on June 12th, as seductive spy Mata Hari (1932) on June 20th and 27th, as another bad girl in Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise (1931) on June 20th, as courtesan Camille (1936) on June 26th, and as Tolstoy's doomed Anna Karenina (1935) on June 27th.

Garbo continues her wicked ways in Flesh and the Devil (1927) on June 6th. She is the regal Queen Christina (1933) on June 19th; the moody ballerina who "vants" to be alone inside the Grand Hotel (1932) on June 20th; a Two-Faced Woman (1941), June 26th; and a comically grim Soviet agent in the brilliant 1939 satire, Ninotchka, also on June 26th.

Katherine Hepburn—whom Rand once said would have been excellent as heroine Dagny Taggart in a film of Atlas Shrugged—teamed with real-life companion Spencer Tracy in Adam's Rib (1949). Watch this great comedy of modern relationships on TCM June 21st or 27th. Tracy and Hepburn paired in another fine romantic comedy, Desk Set (1957), appearing on Fox Movie Classics (FMC) June 2nd, 3rd, 17th, and 18th. The couple took a turn at gripping drama in State of the Union (1948), showing on TCM the 19th.

Kate can be seen as the object of romance from Rossano Brazzi (dashing co-star of Rand's film, We the Living) in Summertime (1955), broadcast on the Bravo network June 7th and 19th. And in The Philadelphia Story (1940)—possibly Hepburn's most beloved performance—she co-starred with Cary Grant and James Stewart; see it on TCM the 14th.

Actor Walter Pidgeon played the role of "Guts" Regan in Rand's stage drama, Night of January 16th. Pidgeon can be seen as the tormented mad scientist in the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, on TCM on June 29th. Pidgeon also co-starred with Greer Garson in the unforgettable 1942 WW II drama, Mrs. Miniver, on the HBO Signature channel June 5th, 19th, and 28th.

Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), starring Jose Ferrer in an Oscar-winning performance, remains the definitive English film version of Edmund Rostand's inspiring romantic play (Ayn Rand's favorite). The Biography Channel broadcasts it on June 9th and 10th.

Rostand, incidentally, considered himself the literary heir to Victor Hugo, whom Rand regarded as the greatest of novelists. The 1939 film rendition of Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame takes liberties with the plot, but features unforgettable performances by Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara; see it on TCM on the 30th.

In the Heat of the Night (1967) is an Oscar-winning detective classic of murder and racism starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger in iconic performances. This great film, a particular favorite of Ayn Rand's, airs on the TNT network June 11th.

For a total change of pace, sample the incomparable terpsichorean talents of Fred Astaire, whom Rand ranked among the finest of dancers. The 1948 musical Easter Parade, co-starring Judy Garland, will get your toes tapping when TCM broadcasts it on the 10th and 27th. Or dance with Fred at his Royal Wedding (1951), on TCM June 13th.

The Apollo space program that inspired Rand is celebrated in the gripping 1995 docudrama, Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks and Ed Harris. It will be shown on the USA network June 23rd, 24th, 29th, and 30th.

Regular readers of this feature also know that Rand thought highly of Alfred Hitchcock's work. Here's this month's TV sampler from the Master of Suspense.

On the OXGN network: Family Plot (1976) June 7th; Rope (1948), starring James Stewart, June 8th; Marnie (1964), starring Sean Connery, June 14th and 15th; Torn Curtain (1966) with Paul Newman and Julie Andrews, June 28th and 29th; and Psycho (1960) June 21st and 22nd.

On the LOVE network: Notorious (1946), with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, on the 5th, 13th, and 18th; Spellbound (1945), with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman, on the 6th, 21st, and 26th; and Rebecca (1940), with Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, on the 18th and 24th.

On Fox Movie Classics (FMC): Lifeboat (1944) June 6th, 7th, 23rd, and 24th. On TCM: Strangers on a Train (1951), June 20th. On the A&E; network: To Catch a Thief (1955), starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelley, June 29th.

Check your local TV listings for broadcast times in your area.

--Robert Bidinotto



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