Star of the Month: Robert Ryan


“An actor first and a star second.”

These words were spoken by Ernest Borgnine about the Star of the Month for May.  Robert Ryan often played ruthless villians or neurotic cops, but he was so much more.  Ryan was a former boxer and he helped found the Oakwood School in Los Angeles.  There are 38 of his films being shown this month.  Here are some of his best roles:

  1. Crossfire (1947)-Ryan received his only Oscar nomination for his portrayal as a vicious anti-Semetic solider.
  2. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)-Ryan portrays a vicious man who committed a hate crime in a small Southwestern town.  Also known as “The Movie Where One-Armed Spencer Tracy Judo Chops Ernest Borgnine to the Ground.”
  3. The Set-Up (1949)-Ryan portrays a boxer (he’s a good guy this time!) who refuses to throw a fight.


TCM Spotlight: American International Pictures (AIP)


TCM puts the spotlight on American International Pictures, a film production company founded in 1954 and dedicated releasing independent, low-budget films aimed at younger audiences, especially teens, which shockingly had never been done before.  The studio became a breeding ground for upcoming filmmakers and actors including Roger Corman, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanavich, Jack Nicholson, and Robert De Niro.

Memorial Day


The annual Memorial Day tribute includes Star of the Month Robert Ryan’s war films, several military comedies, including Abbott & Costello’s breakthrough movie Buck Privates, and several films covering different wars like the Boxer Rebellion (55 Days at Peking).


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