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22 Classic Films to Watch on TCM in July 2021

This summer season, curl up on the couch with the kids to watch a classic film or two. Here are 22 favorites airing on Turner Classic Movies in July.

Summer is the ideal season for family, and there are few better ways to spend quality time with the kids (or grandkids) than curling up on the couch for a classic film from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Here are 22 favorites airing on Turner Classic Movies in July.

The Best Years of Our Lives poster

1 of 22/ The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Thursday, July 1, at 5 p.m. ET

This beloved account of three servicemen trying to adjust to civilian life after returning from World War II earned seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (William Wyler), Best Actor (Fredric March), Best Supporting Actor (Harold Russell) and Best Screenplay (Robert E. Sherwood). Russell also won an honorary Oscar “for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans.”

The Trouble with Angels poster

2 of 22/ The Trouble with Angels (1966)

Friday, July 2, at 6 p.m. ET

At St. Francis Academy, an all-girls Catholic school run by nuns, two students (played by Hayley Mills and June Harding) get into mischief and create comedic havoc. Rosalind Russell plays the Mother Superior. Binnie Barnes and Mary Wickes costar.

Yankee Doodle Dandy poster

3 of 22/ Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Sunday, July 4, at 8 p.m. ET

This beloved 1942 biopic depicts the life and career of George M. Cohan, proud patriot—he composed the title song, “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and “Over There,” among many others—and a giant in the world of late 19th- and early 20th-century entertainment. Cohan was a playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer, and James Cagney does him a great turn. Joan Leslie and Walter Huston costar.

1776 poster

4 of 22/ 1776 (1972)

Sunday, July 4, at 10:15 p.m. ET

After the fireworks have ended, settle in to watch this innovative musical which tells, in musical form, the story of the Continental Congress and the drafting of the Declaration of Independence (the young people in your life may be surprised to learn that Hamilton wasn’t the first musical take on the founding fathers). William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard and Blythe Danner star.

Petticoat Fever poster

5 of 22/ Petticoat Fever (1936)

Monday, July 5, at 6 a.m. ET

Most screwball comedies take place in big cities—New York or Los Angeles—but this very funny film is set as far afield from a big city as one could imagine. When an engaged couple (Reginald Owen and Myrna Loy) find themselves in the Alaskan wilderness, it falls to a radio operator (Robert Montgomery) to assist them. But since he quickly falls for Loy and is convinced that the stuffy Owen isn’t right for her (he’s probably right about that), he instead sets about delaying their departure in hopes of wooing Loy for himself.

The Earrings of Madame de... poster

6 of 22/ The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)

Tuesday, July 6, at 2:30 p.m. ET

If you’ve never experienced the lush and audacious filmmaking of director Max Ophüls, this romantic drama serves as a very good introduction. The film is centered around the journey of a pair of earrings sold by an aristocratic woman (Danielle Darrieux). Charles Boyer plays her husband, a count, and actor/director Vittorio De Sica portrays the man who will enter her life. The film’s real star, however, is Ophüls, whose films resembled no others.

Random Harvest poster

7 of 22/ Random Harvest (1942)

Thursday, July 8, at 8:30 a.m. ET

Greer Garson shines as a music hall performer who marries a World War I veteran (Ronald Colman) who has lost all memory of his pre-war life to amnesia. Their happy life together is turned upside down when he, while on an out-of-town excursion, suffers an accident that restores his memory of his early years (he was born into a family of wealth and privilege) but erases his knowledge of his life with Greer. Will the unlucky pair be reunited? This classic drama was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor (Colman).

Viva Las Vegas poster

8 of 22/ Viva Las Vegas (1964)

Thursday, July 8, at 8 p.m. ET

Elvis Presley, TCM’s Star of the Month in July, plays a race car driver who loses the money he was going to spend on a new engine for his car and must somehow raise the funds to can participate in Las Vegas’ first Grand Prix race. Oh, and by the way, he falls for a pretty swimming instructor (Ann-Margret) along the way and sings a few songs to boot.

The White Cliffs of Dover poster

9 of 22/ The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)

Sunday, July 11, at 7:45 a.m. ET

This drama stars Irene Dunne stars as a young American woman who in 1914 travels with her father (Frank Morgan) to England, where she meets a baronet who is a member of the landed gentry (Alan Marshall). The two fall in love and wed. They learn they are expecting their first child just before the start of the First World War but the baronet, an army officer, is killed in action in France. Years later, when World War II is on the horizon, Dunne worries that she may also lose her son (played as a boy by Roddy McDowall and as a young man by Peter Lawford).

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Million Dollar Mermaid poster

10 of 22/ Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)

Monday, July 12, at 2:45 p.m. ET

In this musical, romantic drama, Esther Williams stars as Annette Kellerman, an Australian woman who overcame a childhood weakness in her legs so severe that she was forced to wear steel braces to become a world-famous swimming champion, vaudeville star, film actress and writer. Victor Mature and Walter Pidgeon costar; Busby Berkeley choreographed the water ballets.

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

11 of 22/ The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1943)

Wednesday, July 14, at 8 p.m. ET

Preston Sturges wrote and directed this screwiest of screwball comedies, which finds Betty Hutton playing Trudy Kockenlocker, daughter of a small-town police chief (William Demarest) who is in a mess after attending a party for some soldiers who are being shipped overseas during World War II. She thinks she married one of the soldiers, but can’t recall his name (she hit her head during the party). Eddie Bracken plays Norval, the boy next door who loves Trudy and tries to help her navigate her dilemma.

The Secret Bride poster

12 of 22/ The Secret Bride (1934)

Friday, July 16, at 6 a.m. ET

This modest but engaging drama boasts a stellar 1930s cast. Barbara Stanwyck plays a young woman, who is the daughter of her state’s governor (Arthur Bryan); she’s also newly married to the state attorney general (Warren William). The problem is, her husband is investigating her father for accepting a bribe, so she and her new husband must keep their marriage a secret. Glenda Farrell, Grant Mitchell, Henry O’Neill and Douglass Dumbrille costar.

Thank Your Lucky Stars poster

13 of 22/ Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)

Sunday, July 18, at 7:45 a.m. ET

This bit of entertaining froth finds Eddie Cantor playing an Eddie Cantor lookalike who is tasked to organize an all-star show to help the war effort. What makes this picture special is the long list of stars who have cameos in the film, including Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Bette Davis, John Garfield, Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Ida Lupino, Jack Carson and Ann Sheridan, among others.

Stormy Weather poster

14 of 22/ Stormy Weather (1943)

Sunday, July 18; 10 p.m. ET

This terrific musical showcases some of the greatest African-American entertainers of all time, including Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Dooley Wilson, Coleman Hawkins and the amazing Nicholas Brothers, among many others. There’s a plot, but it’s of little importance: The singing, dancing and playing of these legendary entertainers is the attraction here.

Million Dollar Baby poster

15 of 22/ Million Dollar Baby (1941)

Wednesday, July 21, at 7:45 a.m. ET

In this romantic comedy, a older woman of means (May Robson) learns that her family’s money was ill-gotten, so she sets out to make it up to the granddaughter (Priscilla Lane) of the man her father swindled. The granddaughter is a working girl who resides in a boarding house and lives paycheck to paycheck, so a sudden windfall of a million dollars upends her life and causes tension with her equally working-class boyfriend (Ronald Reagan). Jeffrey Lynn and Lee Patrick costar.

Theodora Goes Wild poster

16 of 22/ Theodora Goes Wild (1936)

Thursday, July 22, at 10:45 a.m. ET

Irene Dunne shines in this delightful screwball comedy as the writer of a titillating, sensational novel who, in real life, is a member of a prim and proper New England family and keeps her status as a bestselling author a secret in the small town in which she resides. On a business trip to New York, though, she meets her book’s illustrator (Melvyn Douglas), who is intent upon helping her break out of her shell. Much hilarity ensues.

The Adventures of Robin Hood poster

17 of 22/ The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Saturday, July 24, at 6 p.m. ET

There have been many movies about the legendary bandit king of Sherwood Forest and there will no doubt be many more, but this beloved adaptation, nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Claude Rains and Alan Hale, Sr., remains the favorite of classic movie buffs everywhere.

Cause for Alarm poster

18 of 22/ Cause for Alarm! (1951)

Sunday, July 25, at 10 a.m. ET

Loretta Young shines in this film noir thriller as a woman whose invalid husband (Barry Sullivan), suffering from a delusion that his wife is having an affair with his doctor and plans to kill her husband, writes a letter to the local district attorney about the imagined plot. Young unknowingly mails the letter, only to have her distraught husband tell her of its contents right before suddenly dying, leaving Young, as the movie’s posters trumpeted, a “girl in trouble.”

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Johnny Belinda poster

19 of 22/ Johnny Belinda (1948)

Monday, July 26, at 8 p.m. ET

In this hard-hitting drama, based on a true story, Jane Wyman plays Belinda McDonald in an Oscar-winning performance as a young deaf-mute woman who lives with her family on a farm on Cape Breton Island, off the east coast of Canada. Her family underestimates their daughter but a doctor (Lew Ayres), newly arrived in the area, takes on the role of her tutor and she begins to blossom. Scandal arises, though, when she is attacked by a local fisherman and impregnated. Charles Bickford and Agnes Moorehead costar as Belinda’s parents.

Black Fury poster

20 of 22/ Black Fury (1935)

Wednesday, July 28, at 8:45 a.m. ET

In this topical drama, Paul Muni delivers an Oscar-nominated portrayal of an immigrant coal miner of Slavic background who is swept up by a split in the coal miners union between a faction prepared to strike to improve condition and a group of more moderate members. Karen Morley, William Gargan, Barton MacLane, John Qualen and J. Carrol Nash costar.

Love Crazy poster

21 of 22/ Love Crazy (1941)

Thursday, July 29, at 1:45 p.m. ET

TCM is celebrating William Powell’s 129th birthday by airing nine of his films, beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET. You can’t go wrong with any of the nine, but we’re recommending this delightful screwball comedy, in which Powell is paired with his most frequent costar, Myrna Loy. Loy wrongly suspects hubby Powell of being unfaithful to her, so to delay her pursuit of a divorce (thereby gaining time to prove his innocence), Powell pretends to be insane. Gail Patrick, Jack Carson, Florence Bates, Sig Ruman and Donald MacBride costar.

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The Late Show poster

22 of 22/ The Late Show (1977)

Saturday, June 31, at 6:15 p.m. ET

In this quirky mystery with some comic touches, Art Carney plays a retired private detective who pairs up with a female client (Lily Tomlin) to track down the people who killed his partner. Bill Macy and Joanna Cassidy costar.


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