Sunday, December 29, 2013

TCM's Peter O'Toole programming tribute

TCM is spending this morning and afternoon honoring the recently deceased Joan Fontaine. They're going to be spending tonight honoring Peter O'Toole, who died the day before Fontaine. He's only getting three movies, in part because one of his films runs nearly four hours:

Peter O'Toole gets his first Oscar nomination for playing Lawrence of Arabia at 8:00 PM.
That's followed by an interview he did with Robert Osborne at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival, which is on at midnight.
At 1:00 AM you can see O'Toole's fourth Oscar nomination, in the musical version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
The last movie is O'Toole's seventh nomination, for My Favorite Year, at 3:45 AM.

It's a bit difficult to program a salute like this to Peter O'Toole. The thing is, you can't really omit Lawrence of Arabia, and if you put it in a less-than-prime slot, you're probably going to have people complaining. And there goes four hours of your schedule. There's a short on following My Favorite Year, so in theory you could get rid of the short and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, which isn't one of my favorites -- and O'Toole himself knew he couldn't sing very well; there's a "Word of Mouth" piece that shows up from time to time about this movie. But that only frees up three and a quarter hours, which means you'd have to find two shortish movies to fit in that slot, shich si going to be quite difficult for O'Toole. The Lion in Winter needs a 2:30 slot; so does Becket.

And I wouldn't want to remove the TCM Film Festival interview. It only runs an hour, which is a bit of a shame. I wasn't there, but somebody who was posted on the TCM message boards that O'Toole apparently really liked to regale everybody with stories from Lawrence of Arabia and the other movies, since the interview actually ended up going on for over two hours and the editors had to excise quite a bit. If memory serves, the interview as it airs also includes a fair bit of O'Toole talking about his early life before the movies.

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