As we hope the hints of warmer weather continue – and that spring actually returns – broadcast and cable television stations warm up the weekend with movies from the Hollywood archives. Take a look at what’s available.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
Even though the South has had its share of cold weather this winter, the days feel hot and humid in this lovely film about the friendship that women share in a small town in Louisiana. With Sally Field at her most endearing, Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis at their most humorous, and Julia Roberts at her most engaging, Magnolias touches as it tickles, especially in the quiet moments that remind us how much friends can mean to each other.
Friday, March 14, 4:35 p.m., Oxygn
Jurassic Park (1993)
What better way to spend spring break than at a theme park? Of course, the visitors to this unique destination find more than they expect in this adventure from Steven Spielberg. While you may have seen this movie many times, its spectacular sequences play as well as when the film was first released. And the hearty laugh from the great Richard Attenborough always tells us there’s more time come.
Saturday, March 14, 6:45 p.m.; Sunday, March 15, 3 p.m.; AMC
Years before he went looking for dinosaurs, Steven Spielberg reinvented the movies of summer with this blockbuster adaptation of the Peter Benchley novel. He breaks many traditions with this film, including how he tells the story, reveals the characters, builds to the climax and uses special effects. Plus opening the film in thousands of theaters at the same time changed the movie business. And the adventure begins with those strains of John Williams’ Oscar-winning music.
Saturday, March 14, 9:45 p.m.; Sunday, March 15, 12 noon; AMC
Magnificent Obsession (1954)
Today the name Jane Wyman may be remembered for her marriage to the late Ronald Reagan. She was a major actress in the 1940s and 1950s – an Oscar winner in 1948 for Johnny Belinda – and the star of classic melodramas from director Douglas Sirk. As a woman who suffers a tragic accident, and faces a life without sight, Wyman is touching, credible and inspiring in this much-loved drama that won her an Oscar nomination.
Sunday, March 15, 4 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
The Princess Diaries (2001)
As a lifelong fan of the great Julie Andrews, I welcome every opportunity to see her on the screen. In this delightful Disney comedy, she reaches a new audience in the first of two appearances as a mythical monarch who makes a difference in her granddaughter’s life. Dame Julie is wonderful in a role that reminds us why we have loved her for so many years. And her greeting to the people of San Francisco is classic.
Saturday, March 14, 6 p.m.; Sunday, March 15, 1:30 p.m.; E
Night of the Iguana (1964)
Many people escape the winter by traveling to Mexico. In this adaptation of the Tennessee Williams drama, we find ourselves in the sultry village by the sea, Puerto Vallarta, when a collection of eccentric characters visit a local inn. With Richard Burton as a troubled priest, Deborah Kerr as a deceptive poet and Ava Gardner as an earthy innkeeper, the temperatures keep rising in a story filled with all kinds of sordid moments.
Saturday, March 14, 5:45 p.m., Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955)
The lovely Jennifer Jones won an Oscar for The Song of Bernadette, broke William Holden’s heart in Love is a Many Splendored Thing, and danced with Fred Astaire in The Towering Inferno. One of her least remembered films is, actually, one of her most endearing. In this female version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Jones is touching as a lady teacher who devotes her life to making a difference to her students in a New England school.
Sunday, March 15, 11:15 a.m., FXM
The Insider (1999)
Since 1968, the television news program 60 Minutes has heated up home screens with its telling investigations into the situations that people and organizations may prefer to hide. That’s what happens when a whistle blower named Jeffrey Wigand contacts the program with information they can’t refuse about the realities of the cigarette industry. But nothing happens as easily it should in this modern classic from Michael Mann with a breathtaking performance from Russell Crowe.
Sunday, March 15, 3 p.m. FXM
Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online. And, when you watch as a family, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing. That makes it even more fun.