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Remembering iconic film stars from another era

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Transcript: Remembering iconic film stars from another era

us where to find them. [c2]remembering iconic film stars-pkg summer under the stars is a showcase of films celebrating our favorite classic film stars. big names like john wayne, elizabeth taylor, and even elvis presley, are featured every night this month. in today's sponsored segment, we're joined by host ben mankiewicz to get a closer look at the series. ben, thanks for being with us today. tyson, thanks for having me. of course. now, i mentioned some names, but what are some of the films we'll see on this summer series? oh my gooodness. i mean, first of all, you gave an indication of what's to come. we started august 1st with marilyn monroe, we'll go through august 31st with elizabeth taylor. then each day, in between for 24 hours, we devote an entire lineup to the movies of a single star. yes, john wayne, barbara stanwick, eleanor parker...and you mentioned elvis presley on august 16th. that'll be the 40th anniversary of elvis' death. so on the 16th we'll have 24 hours of elvis movies. i've had the -- one of the great things about this job is i've had the opportunity to talk to some stars and get to know them. some have even become friends of these iconic stars from another era. i talked to two former elvis stars...ann margret who, you know, takes your breath away, and shelley fabares. and they're both so enormously protective of elvis, they really don't talk about him. but, when pressed and when they trust you, they'll say -- because what i'm curious about elvis is how good could he have been? he was such a wonderful performer and all of his movies made money. every movie we have that we'll show you, made money. they weren't all great, but they all made money. and they all said that if elvis had been allowed and sort of shake free of the grasp of colonel tom parker, and he'd been allowed to really work on being an actor, they all think he would have been great. because that presence that he has -- you can see it even in the films where he had little training. and the scripts so often were so silly and so telegraphed that hardly anyone could have shined. but i think you'll see, if you look carefully, how great elvis could have been. he really could have been an impressive hollywood talent. now, i know that you're somewhat of a movie expert. in your opinion, what traits does a film need to have to become a timeless classic? well, i don't that it's specific traits that a movie really needs to have. of course you need to have, you know, a compelling story, it has to be well written and well told, it's got to have a firm hand of a director. i've gotten to know more -- there's a famous line from a great classic director howard hawks that he told peter bogdonovich that after you see a film, you should know who made it. you should be able to identify the director by how the movie felt. but feelings is what matters. you know, a movie will last and a movie will, at some point, be considered by enough people a classic if it makes you feel something. maybe it's rage, maybe it's love, maybe it's ennui, maybe it's pain. but if the movie has you leave the theater -- or leave your couch if you're watching on turner classic movies -- that you will feel it through your body. and that is what then, over time, means that it will stand the test of time and someone -- maybe us -- will start considering it a classic. definitely, and emotion really plays a lot into that. people at home can watch summer under the stars every day this month on turner classic movies. we'll have all that info on our site at good4utah.com. ben, it was really a pleasure talking to you. thanks for joining us. you




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