TCM to Highlight William Friedkin’s Best in 2-Night Tribute


With a two-night celebration, Turner Classic Movies will honor the late, great William Friedkin’s life and career. Five movies will be featured in TCM’s tribute, with the first three airing on September 14 and the final two on November 26. The French Connection, To Live and Die in L.A., and The Boys in the Band will be included in the September event, while The Exorcist and Friedkin Uncut, a documentary about Friedkin’s life and career, will open and close the November event, respectively.


The 87-year-old Academy Award-winning director passed suddenly in Los Angeles on August 7. Hollywood grieved the famed director after hearing the news of his passing, with former coworkers and movie lovers commemorating the legendary director.


Friedkin, according to TCM, was close to the network and attended a number of their Classic Film Festivals, including the one that took place this year in April. ‘The French Connection’, which airs on September 14 at 8 p.m. ET, is among the movies chosen by the network as being among Freidkin’s greatest. The movie, which stars Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, and Fernando Rey, is based on Robin Moore’s best-selling novel of the same name and follows two drug enforcement officers as they pursue a French heroin dealer. The movie won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Hackman, and Best Director for Friedkin.



Disney, who now owns FOX, infamously stealth-edited the film to remove some offensive racial language.


At 10 p.m. ET, “To Live and Die in L.A.” will start. Based on a novel by former US Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, the 1985 neo-noir thriller was created. Friedkin co-wrote the screenplay with Petievich and also directed the film. With William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Jane Leeves, and John Turturro in the lead roles, the movie tells the story of a secret service agent who becomes obsessively obsessed with finding and eliminating the counterfeiter who killed his partner.


‘The Boys in the Band’ will be shown around midnight to wrap out the evening. The play from 1970 portrays a gathering of gay guys in New York City as they prepare for a party. One of the earliest significant cinematic pictures with gay characters was the one in question.


The event will begin on November 26 at 8 p.m. ET with the TCM premiere of Friedkin Uncut. Friedkin’s life and career are examined in the 2018 documentary by Francesco Zippel, which has interviews with the late director as well as Wes Anderson, Dario Argento, Burstyn, Francis Ford Coppola, Dafoe, and Quentin Tarantino, among others.



The Exorcist, a timeless piece of terror by Freidkin, (and foolishly rebooted by Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, and Morgan Creek Entertainment) will be shown on TCM at 10 p.m. to round off the two-night celebration. The 1973 movie, which was adapted from William Peter Blatty’s book, tells the story of a young girl who is possessed by demons. The movie, which stars Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Jason Miller, and Blair, is widely regarded as one of the scariest films ever produced. Friedkin won a Golden Globe for best director, while The Exorcist won two Academy Awards for best sound and best screenplay.



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Chris Braly

I'm one opinionated, based geek. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several fellow "comic book nerds." Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly. My preferred adjectives are brilliant/beautiful.