Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer Under the Stars: Spencer Tracy

Movie Dearest concludes our daily previews of Turner Classic Movies' month long "Summer Under the Stars" celebration:

Now Playing Star Profile for Spencer Tracy - Stardates: Born April 5, 1900, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; died 1967. Star Sign: Aries. Star Qualities: Rugged attractiveness, mastery of craft, naturalness, total empathy with camera. Star Definition: "Spence is the best we have, because you don't see the mechanism at work." -- Humphrey Bogart. Galaxy of Characters: Manuel Fidello in Captains Courageous, Father Flanagan in Boys Town, Adam Bonner in Adam's Rib, Macreedy in Bad Day at Black Rock.

TCM's 2008 edition of their "Summer Under the Stars" comes to a close tomorrow with one of my personal favorite actors, Spencer Tracy. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, he won two of them (in consecutive years), for Captains Courageous and Boys Town (also airing tomorrow).

In the former (based on the classic Rudyard Kipling novel), he plays Manuel Fidello, a brave Portuguese fisherman who teaches some important life lessons to spoiled rich kid Freddie Bartholomew. Tracy was not too keen on the role at first, mostly because he had to curl his hair (Joan Crawford told him he looked like Harpo Marx). He even said that his performance was one of his worst; Oscar begged to differ.

Captains Courageous airs tomorrow on TCM at 8:00 PM EST as part of their Essentials, Jr. series.

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