The July 4th mini-marathon on TCM also includes 1963’s Come Blow Your Horn (7:30 am EDT), with Frank Sinatra as a ring-a-ding-ding chick magnet; 1975’s The Sunshine Boys (9:30 am EDT), with Walter Matthau and George Burns as long-feuding ex-vaudevillians; and 1968’s The Odd Couple (3:30 pm EDT), arguably the finest and funniest of the many pairings of Matthau and Jack Lemmon. I haven’t seen any of these movies in decades – though I frequently reviewed the plays on which they’re based while covering dinner theaters, community playhouses and summer stock in the '70s and '80s. And I'm more than a little curious to see how they hold up so long after Simon ruled the Great White Way (and, to a lesser degree, movie theaters and drive-ins everywhere) as the undisputed King of the One-Liners.
Also on the program: 1977's The Goodbye Girl (1:30 pm EDT), an original Simon script later adapted into a Broadway musical, with Richard Dreyfuss giving an Oscar-winning performance that, for better or worse, forever defined his prickly on-screen persona. (Yes, even more so than Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.) I hope he -- and, for that matter, Neil Simon -- will have a very happy holiday. And, dear reader, I hope you do the same.