Turner Classic Movies has carved out tonight as a tribute to writer-director Robert Benton, and the evening kicks off, as it should, with Bonnie And Clyde, the breakthrough Arthur Penn-directed movie Benton scripted with his frequent partner David Newman, and continues with the great 1979 divorce drama Kramer Vs. Kramer, starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep. Chances are you’ve seen both. If you haven’t, here’s a great chance to correct that. Either way, you should keep going with the 1977 film The Late Show, which follows them. Benton’s second effort, after the terrific revisionist Western Bad Company, the film stars Art Carney as aging detective Ira Wells and Lily Tomlin as Margo Sperling, a kook who becomes his unlikely partner in solving a mystery that begins with the death of Ira’s old partner. It’s a funny-but-elegiac take on classic mysteries and the golden age of Hollywood anchored by Carney and Tomlin’s terrific lead performances and a knowing portrayal of Los Angeles. (If nothing else, it’s one of the best movies about the humiliation of trying to get around L.A. via public transportation.) The Benton love then continues with Still Of The Night and Nadine. The Late Show airs, appropriately enough, at 12 a.m. Eastern.
May 19, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day