Only The Lonely – Lenny – tape 1522

First on this tape is Only The Lonely, a John Hughes-produced Chris Columbus movie starring John Candy as a policeman who’s still living with his mother.

His mother is played by Maureen O’Hara.

His partner is Jim Belushi

There’s an appearance from a post-Home Alone Macauley Culkin

Candy falls for Ally Sheedy, the introverted daughter of the local funeral director, who makes up the faces of the dead people.

This really is woeful stuff. Candy is ineffectual, his mother is the most monstrous racist, horrified that Candy is seeing Sheedy, who is half Sicilian, half Polish.

And yet we’re still, I think, supposed to sympathise with her somewhat, as she is wooed by Anthony Quinn.

Chris Columbus has made some good movies, but this one just does nothing. It’s a shame to see all the talent put to no appreciable use.

After this, over to BBC2 and Alex Cox introduces a Moviedrome presentation of Bob Fosse’s Lenny.

I don’t know Lenny Bruce’s work much. I know his reputation, and vaguely his story, but I haven’t really seen much of his material outside of short historical clips on documentaries.

So I think the effect of his work is rather diminished by time. What he said was shocking at the time, but now it’s just another stand-up routine.

I was interested to discover that this film is the source of an image of Dustin Hoffman jumping in a corridor which Danny Baker uses all the time on Twitter, and whose origin had always puzzled me. It seems unusually playful for someone like Hoffman, so it’s not surprising it was for a role, rather than just a candid shot.

Valerie Perrine plays his wife, Honey, and she’s really good. Better than Hoffman, but perhaps I sympathised with her more.

Bruce comes across as not very likeable. I fear that today he’d be just another angry misogynist.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th June 1993 – 23:55

So that’s two films with fairly unlikeable characters.

After this, there’s a trailer for Horizon and a look ahead at programmes for Monday.

And with that, Sally Lawrence wishes us a very good night, as BBC2 closes down.

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