Sunday, June 17, 2018

Two Father's Day downers

Happy Father's Day for those who celebrate it on the third Sunday in June, which according to Wikipedia is not quite as many places as I thought. They claim that Australia and New Zealand celebrate in September, while a surprising number of Catholic countries in southern Europe and Latin America celebrate on St. Joseph's Day which is March 19.

Anyhow, since the day is celebrated today here in the US, it's unsurprising that TCM is spending the day with a bunch of father-themed movies. As with Mother's Day a month earlier, there are any number of movies that are old chestnuts for the day. As I write this there's an Andy Hardy movie playing, and tonight at 10:15 PM there's going to be Life With Father.

But I was surprised to see a pair of movies that I was a bit surprised to see show up today. First, at 3:30 PM, is The Entertainer. It's a really good movie; it's just that I wouldn't have thought of it as a Father's Day movie. Laurence Olivier plays a father and husband who's still trying to make it in the British summer resort music hall scene because that's the only life he knew, and that's what his father (Roger Livesey) did.

The Entertainer is followed at 5:30 PM by a TV movie version of Death of a Salesman. It's certainly got a family in it, but is it a movie that I'd think of when I want to think fondly of Dad? Um, no. Apparently, TCM has never been able to get the rights to the Fredric March movie version from the early 1950s, either. What's next for Father's Day? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof?

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