Turner Classic Movies’ month-long salute to actor Rock Hudson comes to an end with two of Hudson’s odder movies, made during an era when Hollywood was getting more experimental. The more famous of Hudson’s art-films is director John Frankenheimer’s 1966 chiller Seconds, in which Hudson embodies the handsome, young(ish) stud that a schlubby older businessman becomes, after some reconstructive surgery and a faked death. An elliptical, creepy study of alienation, Seconds was a few years ahead of its time, arriving a few years before a new generation of American filmmakers would make such cerebral pictures the norm. Director Roger Vadim’s erotic 1971 mystery/comedy Pretty Maids All In A Row, though, may have arrived a year or two too late, coming across at the time like another of the glut of faux-hip campus comedies that emerged during the era of hippie chic. But it’s a much more eccentric film than than all of those, with Hudson playing an oversexed high school football coach in a town where teen girls keep turning up dead. This is a dark, surprisingly explicit movie, which belongs to large body of 1960s/1970s Hudson films that look at how standards of masculinity warp men. Pretty Maids All In A Row airs at 12:30 a.m. Eastern, followed by Seconds at 2:15.
June 26, 2014 newsreel