The Psychotronic Film Society’s award-winning weekly series of underappreciated titles from around the world continues with a special memorial tribute to the beloved actor Peter “Columbo” Falk, almost seven years to the day since his death at the age of 83. In his honor, they’ll screen a forgotten gem: the 1996 made-for-TV adaptation of playwright Neil Simon’s Broadway play “The Sunshine Boys.”
Based on real-life characters, this fictionalized tale of a once-popular comedy duo who have aged into bitter, spiteful enemies made it to the big screen in 1975, in an Oscar-winning feature film starring legendary comedic actors George Burns and Walter Matthau as the feuding ex-partners. Those roles are handled ably in this production by Falk and Woody Allen, respectively. Simon wrote the script for this TV version himself, updating his original play to better suit these two masterful actors, and this is the only time that updated version has been performed, which makes it quite unique.
Also worth noting is that this is one of very few projects in which Allen has starred, but which he did not also write and/or direct. It features Sarah Jessica Parker, “Better Call Saul’s” Michael McKean and Liev Schreiber in supporting roles, and has not been widely seen since its original broadcast. Showtime 8 p.m., with discounts on craft beer and organic wine during the show.