‘Exorcist’ Director William Friedkin to Receive Turner Classic Movies Tribute

The two-night event will feature the TCM premiere of the 2018 documentary “Friedkin Uncut”

William Friedkin
William Friedkin (CREDIT: Getty Images)

William Friedkin, who died August 7 at the age of 87, will get a programming tribute courtesy of Turner Classic Movies in a two-part block on September 14 and November 26.

There will be a triple feature on September 14 of the Gene Hackman-starring “The French Connection,” to air at 8pm, followed by “To Live and Die in LA” at 10:00 pm.

The night will be capped off with “The Boys in the Band” from 1970, a pre-“French Connection” feature concerning a birthday party that was an, at the time, ground-breaking feature for LGBTQ representation.

Night two, over Thanksgiving weekend, will feature the TCM premiere of the 2018 documentary “Friedkin Uncut,” followed by “The Exorcist.” For those who still need more Friedkin gems, “Bug,” “Killer Joe” and “The Hunted” will fit the bill. 

One of Friedkin’s first breakthroughs jobs was directing one of the last episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” Hitchcock would reportedly scold the young filmmaker for not wearing a tie on set.  Friedkin directed several smaller features in the late 1960s before breaking into the A-list with “The French Connection.”

The one-two punch of that Oscar-winning action classic alongside the blockbuster chiller “The Exorcist” made him a New Hollywood icon.

Both “The French Connection” and “To Life and Die in LA” feature jaw-droppingly constructed car chase sequences. Both are now held up as modern classics of the grim-n-gritty action genre.  

William Friedkin was considered a great friend to Turner Classic Movies throughout his career. He attended the TCM Classic Film Festival several times, most recently in April 2023.