Susan Hayward had quite a bit to cry about in the 1950s.
She won her only Academy Award (Best Actress) playing a hooker sentenced to the gas chamber for alleged murder in I Want To Live in 1958.
Three years earlier, however, Hayward channeled young Broadway star Lillian Roth, whose serious bumps in the emotional road led her to using the unsteady crutch of alcohol in the grisly biographical-drama I'll Cry Tomorrow.
Hayward was nominated for Best Actress for I'll Cry Tomorrow as well, but lost out to Anna Magnani of The Rose Tattoo (as did Katharine Hepburn for Summertime and Jennifer Jones for Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing).
Ms. Hayward may "cry tomorrow" in the powerful drama, but we'll have to wait until Thursday to see her do it. I'll Cry Tomorrow airs Thursday at 11 p.m. on TCM.
Please remember that all times listed in this weekly classic films on TV update are Central Daylight Time. (Check your local listings for times in your area.)
The theme of serious trouble continues this week with The Asphalt Jungle at 7:15 a.m. Friday on TCM. Even though Marilyn Monroe gets 11th billing in this one and is featured on the poster, the 1950 heist drama directed by John Huston stars Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern and Jean Hagen.
Both chronicle Hollywood's version of real-life stories. Julia Roberts took home a Best Actress Academy Award for portraying Brockovich, a legal assistant fighting to protect victims from polluted water (9 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday on AMC), and Russell Crowe got under the tormented skin of world heavyweight boxing champion James Braddock. Cinderella Man airs Saturday at 10 p.m. and Sunday at noon on the Sundance TV Channel.
If I had to pick just one classic movie to see this week, you know as a great escape from reality, it would be The Great Escape. The 1963 World War II prisoner-of-war drama stars Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough and Charles Bronson, just to name a few of the impressive actors at work here.
If it's McQueen, there must be a motorcycle involved. And as Hilts "The Cooler King," McQueen finds one in this tale that ranks as one of the great war flicks.
The unique thing about The Great Escape (9 p.m. Sunday on MGM HD) is that the first half of this based-on-truth story has a comic theme as POWs work to escape from an "escape proof" camp. In the final reels, however, the mood turns more serious.