TCM Salutes Fred MacMurray

Posted on January 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm

Turner Classic Movies is leading off 2016 with a great choice for their star of the month: Fred MacMurray. I grew up watching him as the genial single dad in “My Three Sons,” and the inventor of flubber (flying rubber) in “The Absent-Minded Professor.” It was only when I was a teenager that I discovered he was outstanding in films that included dark comedy (the fiendish boss in “The Apartment”), light romantic comedy (“Take a Letter, Darling”), westerns (“The Trail of the Lonesome Pine”), musicals (“Where Do We Go From Here?”), Disney family movies (“The Shaggy Dog”), touching love stories (“Remember the Night”), and the film noir classic, “Double Indemnity.”

MacMurray worked with top directors including Edward Dmytryk (“The Caine Mutiny”), George Stevens (“Alice Adams”), Mitchell Leisen (“No Time for Love”), Billy Wilder (“The Apartment”) and Preston Sturges (“Remember the Night”) and actors Barbara Stanwyck, Humphrey Bogart, Marlene Dietrich and, in seven films, Claudette Colbert, beginning with “The Gilded Lily” (1935). He co-starred with Katharine Hepburn in “Alice Adams” (1935), with Joan Crawford in “Above Suspicion” (1943), and with Carole Lombard in four films: “Hands Across the Table” (1935), “The Princess Comes Across” (1936), “Swing High, Swing Low” (1937), and “True Confession” (1937). Here we see him go from insurance salesman to murder accomplice because Barbara Stanwyck is so impossible to resist. “I wonder if you wonder.”

On Wednesdays this month, TCM will show some of his best films, including “Double Indemnity,” “Too Many Husbands,” “Remember the Night,” “Woman’s World,” and “Callaway Went Thataway,” plus one of my favorite goofy movies, “Kisses for My President,” where he plays the husband of the first woman President.

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