The annual “TCM Remembers” tributes have become as much a part of the end of each year as Auld Lang Syne. The 2014 tribute, above, is one of the longest at 5:13, and needed to be given the many prominent film and TV performers and others connected to the entertainment industry who passed away in the past 12 months.
There are some obvious names here–Mickey Rooney, Ruby Dee, Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall, James Garner, Joan Rivers–but there are also many, many others. Sid Caesar, Harold Ramis, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elaine Stritch could not be left out. Nice to see TCM pay tribute to the Professor (Russell Johnson) and Bob Hoskins. Some fans may gripe that their star didn’t get more than a few seconds but that’s the way these tributes work.
The song, “All I Want” by Dublin rockers Kodaline, is perfectly moving and mournful. The setting is the historic Swan House, a 1928 estate now maintained by the Atlanta History Center; TCM is based in Atalanta, Ga.
Already commentators are pointing out omissions (Elizabeth Pena, who died Oct. 14, among them). The “deadline” was Dec. 15, and folks who pass away after that get put in the following year.
Stick around for the touching and even a bit chilling little coda at the end. TCM will keep doing these tributes, but Old Hollywood is pretty much gone with the wind.