Friday, February 10, 2023

Briefs for Feb. 10-11, 2023

Tonight has a bit of a weird lineup on TCM. Normally, TCM Underground starts around 2:00 AM between Friday and Saturday. But tonight's prime time lineup on TCM is three of the 1940s Dick Tracy movies (I can't remember if that's all of the 40s Dick Tracy series, or if there were more). But that's only enough time to get to 12:15 AM. The 105 minutes between then and what would be the regular start of Underground is a series of shorts from avant-garde filmmaker Curtis Harrington, whose best known mainstream would would probably be Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? and What's the Matter With Helen?. I thought the name sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it. I haven't seen any of the shorts, so I can't comment on those. The "regular" Underground slot includes Harrington's Queen of Blood at 2:00 AM, and a movie related by title only, Queen of Outer Space at 4:15 AM.

A couple of deaths worth mentioning. The one everyone's more likely to have heard of is that of composer Burt Bacharach, who wrote a slew of pop hits from the 1950s through to the 1980s. A lot of the versions you know best are actually remakes. As an example, I didn't know that the Carpenters weren't the first to do "(They Long to Be) Close to You"; instead, it was actually actor Richard Chamberlain of all people! Bacharach unsurprisingly has a connection to classic cinema, or at least some great movies of the era after the death of the Production Code. He won two Oscars, for writing the song "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as well as "Arthur's Theme" from the Dudley Moore movie Arthur. Bacharach was 94.

The lesser-noticed death would be Hugh Hudson, who died earlier today at the age of 86. Hudson earned an Oscar nomination for directing Chariots of Fire, and also directed Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan. Movies you've definitely heard of even if you don't remember the director.

And in happier news, yesterday was the 80th birthday of actor Joe Pesci. One of the things I hadn't known but learned in some of the reports I heard is that Little Joe Pesci started off as a singer of all things:

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