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Michael Balderston

Best movies on Turner Classic Movies this week: 9 classic movies not to miss

Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon

There is arguably no better place to watch classic movies than Turner Classic Movies, the 24/7 channel that airs both iconic and award-winning movies we've all heard of and smaller movies from throughout Hollywood history that you can discover for the first time. Many of the movies that TCM shows are not readily available on the likes of Netflix, Max, Hulu and other major streaming services. That's why movie fans continue to show their support for Turner Classic movies.

I count myself among those fans of the channel, where I have watched many of my favorite movies for the first time. So, I'm paying it forward and running down some of the best movies on Turner Classic Movies this week, from Monday, August 21, to Sunday, August 27.

Below you'll read about my picks for this week's lineup, followed by the major highlights of each day this week. However, you should definitely explore everything that the channel has to offer this week by looking at the complete TCM schedule on its website.

Here are the Turner Classic Movies that are definitely worth a watch this week.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Image credit: Warner Bros./Allstar Picture Library Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo)

Airing on TCM: Monday, August 21, 2 pm
Directed by: Frank Capra
Starring: Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains

It's hard to pick a favorite among the many collaborations between Jimmy Stewart and Frank Capra, but Mr. Smith Goes to Washington must be in any conversation on the subject. It's a perfect vehicle for Stewart's wholesome charm as the optimistic and inexperienced new senator, Jefferson Smith, who quickly becomes a figure standing up against some of the questionable practices of politics. Perhaps it should be required viewing for all politicians, but for the general public as well, it is an inspiring story of a man standing up for his principles.

The Wild Bunch (1969)

Ben Johnson, William Holden and Ernest Borgine in The Wild Bunch (Image credit: Warner Bros./Seven Arts/Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo)

Airing on TCM: Friday, August 25, 10:45 pm
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Starring: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan

If you think classic westerns are missing an edge, then you have not seen The Wild Bunch. Made at a time when the western was fading in Hollywood, this story follows a similar angle, as a group outlaws go for one last score as the world they knew and thrived in is changing. A standout ensemble serves as the base for this entertaining ride, but a highly stylized level of violence for the time (and not exactly tame by today's standards even) was the frills for The Wild Bunch.

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon (Image credit: Warner Bros/Allstar Picture Library Limited./Alamy Stock Photo)

Airing on TCM: Sunday, August 27, 10 pm
Directed by: John Huston
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre

The Maltese Falcon is one of the definitive movies of the film noir genre and quite simply one of the most beloved movies of all time. It sees Humphrey Bogart play the iconic role of Sam Spade, as he gets involved in the dangerous search of a priceless jeweled statue with various criminals. It's a taut crime thriller with an ending line that has echoed throughout film history — "the stuff dreams are made of." Cross it of your must-see bucket list or watch for 12th time, either way, you won't regret it.

More movies to watch on Turner Classic Movies this week

Tuesday, August 22

  • The Three Musketeers (1973), 12:30 pm: "A country boy joins the famed musketeers and fights to protects the queen's name." Starring Michael York, Oliver Reed, Christopher Lee. Directed by Richard Lester.
  • Doctor Zhivago (1965), 4:30 pm: "Illicit lovers fight to stay together during the turbulent years of the Russian Revolution." Starring Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Alec Guinness. Directed by Davie Lean.

Wednesday, August 23

  • The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), 11:15 pm: "A young man investigates his sister's death in a mysterious castle." Starring Vincent Price, John Kerr, Barbara Steele. Directed by Roger Corman.

Friday, August 25

  • The Dirty Dozen (1967), 3:15 pm: "A renegade officer trains a group of misfits for a crucial mission behind enemy lines." Starring Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown. Directed by Robert Aldrich.

Saturday, August 26

  • Pillow Talk (1959), 8 pm: "A man and woman carry their feud over the telephone line they share into their real lives." Starring Rock Hudson, Doris Day, Thelma Ritter. Directed by Michael Gordon.

Sunday, August 27

  • Key Largo (1948), 6 pm: "A returning veteran tangles with a ruthless gangster during a hurricane." Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson. Directed by John Huston.
  • To Have and Have Not (1944), 8 pm: "A skipper-for-hire's romance with a beautiful drifter is complicated by his growing involvement with the French resistance." Starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan. Directed by Howard Hawks.
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