Friday, January 2, 2015

Time for a new Friday Night Spotlight

Since we're in the first week of a new month, we get a new Friday Night Spotlight on TCM. Every Friday in Januayr, Emmy Award-winning writer Ken Levine will be presenting the films of playwright Neil Simon. Some of the films are adaptations of Simon's successful stage plays; others are screenplays written directly for the screen. Since this month has five Fridays, it looks as though some of the Fridays are only going to have three movies instead of the four movies that most weeknights in prime time have one of the presenters talking about, be that presenter Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz, the Friday Night Spotlight, or a Guest Programmer.

Indeed, this first Friday in January only has three movies. The night begins at 8:00 PM with one of Simon's best known works, The Odd Couple. It's been done a whole lot of times, but this is the 1968 movie version with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as neat freak Felix Unger and slovenly Oscar Madison, who wind up sharing an apartment when their wives divorce them. It's also the version that gave us the familiar theme music which would be used for the long-running 1970s TV series with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman.

Jack Lemmon returns at 10:00 PM in The Out-of-Towners. This time, he plays a man from a small town in Ohio who goes to New York with his family since he's going to be interviewed for a job that would mean a big promotion. He plans to get there the day before and spend some quality time seeing the city, but unfortunately, everything that can go wrong does, leading him to wonder whether he can survive the city.

Finally, in Come Blow Your Horn at midnight, Frank Sinatra plays a swinging playboy in New York who is visited by his kid brother (Tony Bill), and the elder brother proceeds to teach the kid brother how to be a playboy too, much to the chagrin of their parents.

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