TV highlights July 20-26 

MARILYN: An American Master.
  • MARILYN: An American Master.

11 p.m. Thursday, July 20
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

Though she came from humble roots and never quite made it as a serious actress, Marilyn Monroe was a lot more complicated than the “daffy blonde” persona created by Hollywood. Moody, manic/depressive, haunted by childhood sexual abuse, Marilyn was good at hiding her pain. Since her death in 1962, her delicate mix of va-va-voom and mystery has made her a world icon, the one woman in modern history who wholly encompasses what many people think of when trying to picture a sexy woman. Filmmakers with the “American Masters” program go in search of the hidden Marilyn.

ALIENS (1986)
9 p.m. Saturday, July 22
American Movie Classics (Comcast Ch. 31)

Though director James Cameron’s original “Alien” is a more artful film — equal parts xenophobia and claustrophobia — when it comes to kick-ass mid-’80s sci-fi, it just doesn’t get much better than the sequel, “Aliens.” This go-round finds Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the last survivor of the space-freighter Nostromo, discovered adrift after a 50-year hyper sleep in an abandoned life pod. After a few thousand cups of coffee, Ripley is recruited to accompany a squad of armed-to-the-teeth Space Marines back to the site of her earlier encounter with the alien. Soon, they’re fighting for their lives against several hundred of what might be the scariest monsters ever put to film. With Lance Henriksen, Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton. Weaver earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

7 p.m. Wednesday, July 26
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

Launched in 1953, the opulent Italian cruise ship Andrea Doria was the subject of intense pride for the country, a floating symbol of Italy’s industrial resurrection from the ashes of World War II. Catering to the trans-Atlantic trade in the days before reliable airline travel, the Doria was a floating palace, frequented by the rich and famous. Then, on July 19, 1956, in a fog off Nantucket, the Andrea Doria collided head-on with the Swedish liner SS Stockholm. Forty-six people were killed, and the Andrew Doria went to the bottom. Here, scientists and engineers try to recreate what happened.


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