June 27, 2008

Tribute to Cyd Charisse Includes 3 Films Tonight

Three of the top films of leggy dancing star Cyd Charisse, who died in Los Angeles last week at the age of 87, will be shown tonight on Turner Classic Movies.

As a tribute, TCM host Robert Osborne said, "Cyd Charisse was one of the few who managed to have it all: a great career, a place in movie history, respect from her peers and a husband who adored her.

"My last time seeing her

just a few months ago in New York said it all, with photographers snapping pictures of the movie star while she smiled brightly on the arm of her husband of 60 years, Tony Martin."

The Cyd Charisse retrospective begins at 8 p.m. with a showing of 1952's Singin' in the Rain, about Hollywood in the late 1920s when sound films threatened silent movies and the stars whose careers were made by them. In it, Charisse is the sexy vamp who dances with Gene Kelly in the movie-within-the-movie "Broadway Melody Ballet" sequence.

At 10 p.m. it's 1953's The Band Wagon, about a group of actors who are trying to pull together a new Broadway show. Here Charisse co-stars and dances with Fred Astaire.

At midnight she's teamed again with Astaire in Silk Stockings, the 1957 widescreen musical remake of the 1939 Greta Garbo comedy Ninotchka. Charisse plays a cold Cold War-era Soviet official who is sent to Paris to check up on some comrades who have been seduced by capitalism. Along the way, her ideas about love and happiness are turned inside out by the debonair Astaire.

Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire dance in 1953's Band Wagon. It's on at 10 tonight on the Turner Classic Movies channel as part of a three-film retrospective that starts at 8.

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