Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter 2018

For those of a religious bent, I suppose I should with you a happy Easter. For movie fans, however, it's more just a chance to see some of the same religious epics that get trotted out every year.

ABC uses the opportunity to bring out the 1950s Charlton Heston version of The Ten Commandments yet again. This year, they're actually starting it at 8:00 PM ET. I think in years past they started it at 7:00 PM because by the time ABC adds in commercial breaks, the airing runs about 4:40. That's actually not a whole lot in terms of commercials, since IMDb claims the original running time was 220 minutes, so "only" a little over an hour in commercials if nothing has been cut out. I believe the traditional legal limit on commercials was 16 minutes in an hour so they could have put an extra 20 minutes in; more in the days when the networks still used to have news updates in prime time.

TCM is of course doing a lot for Easter, starting with the religious epics at 8:00 PM tonight with The Greatest Story Ever Told, and running through to 8:00 PM tomorrow. Sunday in prime time will have Easter Parade at 8:00 PM and Holiday Inn at 10:00 PM. There's no Noir Alley this week, unless somebody's been cheeky and let Eddie Muller host the movie in the Noir Alley time slot, The Bible... In the Beginning. After all, when I mentioned over at the TCM boards this was in the 10:00 AM Sunday slot on Easter, somebody humorously pointed out that Eve was the original femme fatale. Also, some of you will recall that this was one of the movies I mentioned at the end of last year in the Thursday Movie Picks theme of "origin stories".

FXM Retro isn't doing anything for Easter. The closest they get is Legions of the Nile at 1:25 PM tomorrow. This one is new to me; apparently it's an Italian sword-and-sandal movie about Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavius that was dubbed into English and distributed in the US by Fox in 1960, so while the troubled Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton Cleopatra was in production. (Wikipedia says the production was conceived back in 1958; I couldn't find when filming began although it stopped in March 1961 to take a break for another of Elizabeth Taylor's serious health issues.)

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