Each year Turner Classic Movies creates a touching tribute to many people in the film world who passed away. This year’s 4:31 minute reel continues their tradition of editing together an impressive series of images and clips to remind us, if briefly, who these people were. Some are famous and we recognize them instantly. Others are faces we have seen but never known the name, often character actors who bring audiences so much pleasure but are underappreciated. And many of the behind-the-camera talent are not recognizable until this puts a face to a name and a job.
Inevitably some people are left out but it is so much more complete than the Academy Awards and other shows when they pay tribute to those we have lost.
We appreciate their remembering so many of the lesser-known heroes, especially film preservationist David Shepard. And the number of French actresses who left us in 2017 is surprising, lead by two of the greats, Jeanne Moreau and Danielle Darrieux. Emmanuelle Rive, Michelle Morgan, and Mirielle Darc will also be greatly missed.
The inevitable and most often asked question is about Carrie Fisher who died on December 27, 2016. TCM edited her into the already airing “TCM Remembers 2016.” When her mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed away the next day the folks at TCM made a decision that they could not do her justice with a last-minute insertion and would put Debbie in the 2017 Tribute. In a typically thoughtful TCM touch, she is seen holding baby Carrie in her arms.
In light of Carrie Fisher’s final film, The Last Jedi, fans offer tributes on the Internet on the anniversary of her passing. Carrie’s Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill made a touching tribute with “No one’s ever really gone,” the same line his character, Luke Skywalker, says to Fisher’s character, Leia Organa, in The Last Jedi. The director ands co-stars talk about her in this ABC interview.
Turner Classic Movies is available in many ways including cable and satellite where they show movies commercial free 24 hours a day as well as offer numerous titles On Demand. The schedule is here.
Between the movies there are all kinds of mini tributes and behind-the-scenes shorts.
In their desire to create community, TCM holds an annual TCM Classic Film Festival (April 26-29, 2018) in Hollywood and the TCM Backlot fan club, both bringing fans of classic movies together in person and online.
TCM collaborated with Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation and IBM to create The Story of Movies to tech middle-school students how to read movies and develop their visual literacy.
Wikipedia’s notable deaths in 2017 is thorough and chronological from today going backwards through the year.