Coming in May…30 from the 30’s!

Fred and Ginger Follow the Fleet

It’s hard to believe it’s already almost May (wasn’t it just New Year’s Eve?), but I have something a little special in store for you guys in the upcoming month!

Since I will be turning 30 in May, I thought it would be fun to celebrate that milestone by spending the month writing about my favorite decade for films: the 1930’s. So stay tuned throughout May for my “30 From the 30’s” series, where I will be posting reviews about 30 movies released during the 1930’s. (I know May has 31 days in it, but I’m not turning 31 yet and “30 From the 30’s” has a better ring to it.) Unlike my 30 Days of Pre-Codes series, this series will feature movies from the entire decade of the 1930’s.

So stay tuned for lots of reviews of movies starring people like Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Joan Blondell, Jean Harlow, Norma Shearer, Ginger Rogers, and many, many more!

TCMFF 2015, Day 4: It’s the Last Day Already?

A large part of Sunday schedules at the TCMFF are always reserved for a handful of movies that were popular enough to deserve a second run and these movies are typically announced on Saturday. Although I had an interest in all of the movies that ended up filling the “to be announced” slots, I only made it to two: Don’t Bet on Women and The Smiling Lieutenant.

Don't Bet On Women 1931

Don’t Bet on Women is known for being the only film in which Jeanette MacDonald doesn’t sing. Edmund Lowe stars as Roger Fallon, a wealthy man who truly despises all women and wants nothing to do with them. But things get complicated when he makes a bet with his attorney Herbert Drake (played by Roland Young) that he can’t kiss the next woman who walks into the room within 48 hours and it turns out to be Drake’s wife, Jeanne (Jeanette MacDonald). When Jeanne realizes that she’s the subject of the bet, she decides to play along with it to prove to herself whether or not she’s a good girl.

Although the stars of the film are technically the male characters, it’s the women who end up stealing the show. It’s really too bad Jeanette MacDonald didn’t do more films like Don’t Bet on Women, because she’s really quite delightful in it. I don’t particularly have strong feelings toward Jeanette MacDonald one way or the other, but I really liked her in this. Una Merkel has a supporting role, but she was the one who got the most buzz from other festival attendees. I’d heard from other people who had been at its initial screening on Friday that Una Merkel was amazing in it, and I was not disappointed. I know Fox pre-codes are hard to come by, but I really hope this gets a DVD release someday because it’s a real gem of a movie.

The Smiling Lieutenant

The Smiling Lieutenant has long been one of my favorite pre-codes and since this isn’t the type of Lubitsch film I thought I would be likely to be shown in a theater at home, I couldn’t resist the chance to see it at the festival. I’m so glad I went; they showed a beautiful 35mm print and it was so fun to see the “Jazz Up Your Lingerie” scene on the big screen.

After catching lunch with the amazing Nora (you may know her as The Nitrate Diva) and her equally awesome mom, we headed over to Club TCM to catch the interview Leonard Maltin would be doing with Shirley MacLaine. For some reason, I failed to realize just how big of a draw Shirley was going to be for this event. Even though I got there about an hour early, it was already standing room only. The only other time I’ve seen a Club TCM event that crowded was during opening night in 2014 when Kim Novak was there discussing a painting she’d made, which was on display during the festival.

Shirley MacLaine Club TCM 2015

Shirley MacLaine discussing her career with Leonard Maltin in Club TCM. Photo courtesy TCM/Tyler Golden

Shirley MacLaine was an extremely entertaining interviewee; very vibrant and full of energy. And unlike many other stars, she doesn’t hold back when it comes to talking about the people she’s worked with. For example, during the previous day’s Sophia Loren interview, a question about which of her co-stars she didn’t care for was met with the response, “Why would you ask me that?” But with Shirley MacLaine, she was saying things like, “Oh, let’s not even get started on Debra Winger!”  The audience was loving her candor and boy, did she have a huge range of people to talk about. She had stories about Marlene Dietrich’s marathon 3-hour costume fitting session for Around the World in 80 Days, stories about Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, stories about Hitchcock, and so many more. As fantastic as the interview was, I only ended up staying for about half of it because I was getting too hot and too uncomfortable, but what a fun half interview it was.

The Philadelphia Story Stewart Grant Hepburn

The only movie I saw in the Chinese Theater this year was The Philadelphia Story, which in my book, is the gold standard of romantic comedies. It’s one of those rare movies that seems to get better and better each time I see it. I may have seen the movie before, but each time I watch it, there always seems to be a line of dialogue or somebody’s facial expression or a reaction shot that I never seemed to fully appreciate before. This screening was introduced by actress Madeline Stowe, who was very clearly not just enthusiastic about the movie, but about TCM in general. At one point during her discussion with Illeana Douglas, she said something along the lines of, “Let’s not talk about me, can we talk about how great TCM is?” I don’t really know much about Madeline Stowe, but the fact that she gets excited about TCM’s promos and filler material gives her some major points in my book.

My final movie of the festival was 1919’s The Grim Game starring the one and only Harry Houdini. Houdini isn’t widely known as a movie star, but he did make a handful of movies during his career. The Grim Game was, for many years, considered a lost film. The only complete print belonged to a Houdini collector, who bought it from Houdini’s estate and, aside from a handful of very small screenings, kept it to himself until last year when he agreed to let TCM restore it. This screening was the world premiere of that restoration and it was an experience you simply aren’t likely to have anywhere else.

Dick Brookz, Dorothy Dietrich, and Joe Monti Photo courtesy TCM/Edward M. Pio Roda

Dick Brookz, Dorothy Dietrich, and Joe Monti Photo courtesy TCM/Edward M. Pio Roda

Houdini experts Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz were on hand to introduce the film and to demonstrate a magic trick using a vest that belonged to Houdini himself. The Grim Game itself wasn’t a particularly great film; the premise was mostly built around finding ways to get Houdini to do the stunts that made him famous, so it’s very historically interesting in that respect. Houdini really gives the likes of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd a run for their money in the stunt department with The Grim Game. Not only does it feature Houdini escaping from handcuffs, getting out of a strait jacket, and dangling off the side of a building, it even has a plane crash, which was not staged. (Remarkably, everyone survived the plane crash.)

With the final screenings of the festival coming to a close, I headed back to the Roosevelt to fit in as much time as possible with my friends and fellow movie bloggers before we all had to venture off on our separate ways once again.

TCMFF 2015, Day 3: Light on Movies, Big on Star Power

In terms of how many movies I watched, Saturday (March 28th) was my slowest day at the festival. I had seen 5 movies the previous day and I would see 4 movies the following day (more on that shortly), but on this day, I only made it to 3 actual movies. Instead, I spent most of Saturday going to events rather than screenings but I had the chance to bask in some serious star power throughout the day.

Colleen Moore Why Be Good

My first movie of the day was 1929’s Why Be Good, the final silent film from Colleen Moore. As much as I love silent film, I’d never seen a Colleen Moore movie before and I was definitely not disappointed. If you see Why Be Good without knowing anything about Colleen Moore, you’ll have no problem seeing why she was a big star. She is an utter delight to watch; the perfect example of that youthful, exuberant flapper image. The movie itself is a lot of fun and offers great commentary on double standards for women, a fact that the audience seemed to appreciate very much.

Rory Flynn Book Signing

Rory Flynn Signing Autographs

From Why Be Good, I headed over to the Roosevelt, where Rory Flynn, daughter of Errol Flynn, was signing copies of her book “The Barron of Mulholland.” I would have loved to have been able to see the presentation she gave in Club TCM the previous day about her father’s life, so I wanted to at least be able to stop by, say hello, and get a copy of her book. If you ever have the chance to meet her, Rory is absolutely lovely and very approachable. One of the highlights of the festival was when she complimented my dress because, I mean, how often do you get complimented on your outfit by the daughter of one of the greatest screen icons of all time?

Sophia Loren TCMFF 2015

Photo courtesy of TCM/Edward M. Pio Roda

After the book signing, I took a stroll down to the Montalban Theater to get in line for the taping of the “Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival” interview with Sophia Loren. Although I’ve always looked forward to seeing these interviews on TCM, I’ve never attended the taping of one before and since I admire so many of Loren’s films, I figured this would be a good time to go to one. This is the kind of event that even some of the celebrity guests attending the festival wanted to be at; I spotted Greg Proops and Rory Flynn in the crowd.

Traditionally, these interviews are conducted by TCM host Robert Osborne, but since he wasn’t able to attend the festival this year due to health issues, Sophia’s son Edoardo Ponti was there to fill in for him. Robert Osborne is a brilliant interviewer, but there’s simply no way to replicate the dynamic between a mother and her child and it was very clear that Sophia adores her children. Sophia mentioned being a very shy person and I think having her son there with her helped put her at ease. Being able to see an icon like Sophia Loren being interviewed by one of her sons is a truly unique event that I never thought I would have had the chance to witness firsthand.

Just a few of the subjects she talked about included her family, growing up in Italy during World War II, trying to get a start in show business only to be told she wouldn’t make it because she wasn’t pretty enough, motherhood, working with Vittorio De Sica, her co-stars, and even the infamous photo of her with Jayne Mansfield. She explained that her reaction to Mansfield wasn’t judgement, but that she was trying to figure out technically, how she was managing to keep her dress on.

At one point, she talked about what the movies meant to her as a young girl and how she adored Blood and Sand with Tyrone Power. Although it was a simple anecdote, I liked that she talked about that. In the lobby of the TCL Multiplex, TCM set up a video booth and asked festival attendees to come in and talk about the moments that made them love movies, so it was like she unintentionally gave an answer to that. (If you want to see my answer to that question, my video is up here.)

After a quick dinner, it was back to the Roosevelt for Hollywood Home Movies. As always, they had a fascinating selection of clips including Gary Cooper and Esther Ralston behind the scenes of 1928’s Half a Bride (now a lost film); footage of Hollywood Boulevard around the time Hell’s Angels was released; a party hosted by Cedric Gibbons and Dolores Del Rio in 1935; some of Henry Koster’s home movies that show him visiting Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester. Jane Withers’ home movies; footage of Bob Hope, Frances Langford, Betty Hutton and Joe DiMaggio entertaining the troops in 1944; footage of Sophia Loren filming on location in Greece; and Steve McQueen at home.

Hollywood Home Movies Screenings Jane Withers Neile Adams McQueen

Bob Koster, Neile Adams, and Jane Withers at Hollywood Home Movies. Photo courtesy TCM/Edward M. Pio Roda

When they show these home movies, they often try to get family members of the people who were featured in the home movies or who donated them to the Academy to add to their collection come out to talk about them. This year, Jane Withers herself was there to talk about her contributions. Although there were other guests there, including Neile Adams (ex-wife of Steve McQueen), Jane Withers pretty much stole the whole show. She is an absolute riot and a real treasure; the crowd was absolutely going wild for her. Her comments were very candid and hilarious, including one moment where she shrieked, “Look how fat I was!” and then went on to talk about how she used to get so much fan mail from young girls who related to her chubbiness. She has so many stories to tell, I could have easily listened to her go on for hours.

Robert Morse Ben Mankiewicz at The Loved One

Ben Mankiewicz and Robert Morse discussing The Loved One

After a short break, it was time for 1965’s The Loved One with Robert Morse in attendance. This is a movie I had heard about before and thought it sounded like it would be right up my alley, and I was not disappointed. The movie is dark, twisted, and completely off the rails in the best possible way. This isn’t a movie that’s going to appeal to everyone, but I loved it. The Loved One is a satire of the funeral industry and features an appearance by Liberace as a coffin salesman. If you hear those statements and think, “I need this movie in my life,” you will probably like The Loved One. If you appreciate this style of humor, you’ll have a great time watching it at home, but it’s one that absolutely begs to be watched with a crowd who is totally into it (which was the case at this screening).

The whole thing was made even better by Ben Mankiweicz’s interview with Robert Morse before the movie. Robert Morse is a hugely entertaining character. He was hilarious and I don’t think he wanted to stop talking to the audience; it was clear he was having a lot of fun. As a Mad Men fan, I thought it was great that Allan Havey, who played Lou Avery in Season 7, tagged along with Robert. Havey didn’t talk to the audience, but I loved getting to see two Mad Men actors hanging around together. This was just a perfect screening for me; there wasn’t a single thing I can think of that could have gone better.

I wish I could have more to say about the final movie of the day, Nothing Lasts Forever from 1984. Nothing Lasts Forever, despite being produced by Lorne Michaels and featuring appearances by Saturday Night Live legends like Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, was never officially released theatrically due to a multitude of reasons. It had some television screenings in Europe and never made it to DVD, but eventually turned up on TCM Underground a while back. I think I made it about halfway through the movie and fell asleep, waking up in time to catch the very end but had absolutely no idea what was going on. But I did see that this movie will be on TCM Underground again in May, so I’ll give it another shot to find out what I missed.

TCMFF 2015, Day 2: Early Technicolor, Dustin Hoffman, and BOOM!

Today involved making a lot of my hardest decisions of the entire festival. In a way, it was actually kind of nice to get those done and out of the way, but still, the decisions were tough. When it all came down to it, I ended up spending the majority of my day hanging out at the Egyptian theater, getting out of one movie and getting right back in line for the next one. The line-up there that day was just incredible.

David Pierce Dawn of Technicolor TCMFF 2015

David Pierce at the Dawn of Technicolor presentation. Photo courtesy TCM/Tyler Golden

The day started with a presentation called “The Dawn of Technicolor” given by James Layton and David Pierce, authors of the new book “The Dawn of Technicolor.” Although their book isn’t specifically focused on early musicals, this presentation was mostly focused on early Technicolor musical numbers as well as information about the early Technicolor process and some of the problems that came along with it. Now, I’ve always had an odd fondness for the look of early two-strip Technicolor, so I was relieved to find out that I am not alone in that. The Egyptian seats about 600, making it the third largest venue at the festival (behind the Chinese theater and the El Capitan) and it was a pretty full house. It was pretty exciting to see so many people who were willing to get up early to go see examples of early Technicolor; it made me feel a little less alone in my nerdiness.

Most of the clips featured in the presentation were extremely rare; the only one I had seen before was “The Lockstep” musical number from the scrapped revue The March of Time, which was featured in That’s Entertainment! Part 3. The clips they showed ranged from entertaining to downright baffling. The “Tip-Toe Through the Tulips” number from the mostly lost Gold Diggers of Broadway gave us all an idea of why that movie was such a rousing success in 1929. A color version of the “Meet My Sister” number from 1929’s The Show of Shows was really fun to watch and featured appearances from Loretta Young, Dolores Costello, and Ann Sothern in her second film. We were treated to a restored version of 1930’s The Sultan’s Jester, a 10-minute short produced by Warner Brothers which features a lot of bad jokes and some pretty wild acrobatics. If you ever have the chance to see Layton and Pierce give this presentation, I very highly recommend checking it out.

Dustin Hoffman Lenny

One of the hottest events of the entire festival was Friday’s screening of 1974’s Lenny with Dustin Hoffman in attendance. I had been really interested in the Christopher Plummer handprint ceremony at the Chinese theater, which was immediately before Lenny started, but ultimately, I decided to skip it to get in line for Lenny since Dustin Hoffman is one of my all-time favorite actors and the star of some of my favorite movies. This proved to be a good call because I don’t think I would have been able to get in if it weren’t for the fact that I was able to get out of the Technicolor presentation and immediately get in line for Lenny; a lot of people were shut out of this one.

Prior to the festival, I had never seen Lenny and didn’t know anything at all about the real Lenny Bruce, so I can’t talk about how accurate the movie is at depicting Lenny’s life, but Hoffman was amazing. I’m not sure why I haven’t heard this movie discussed more, but it’s definitely time for more people to rediscover it. Hoffman’s performance was a real tour de force and he had a terrific co-star in Valerie Perrine as Honey, the wife of Lenny Bruce.

Following the film, there was a discussion between Dustin Hoffman and Alec Baldwin about what it was like making the film and about his career in general. Hoffman was an absolute delight to listen to; he was funny, honest, candid, even showed a very heartfelt moment of vulnerability when talking about his late friend Robin Williams.  This was an interview I could have listened to all day; I so adore Hoffman as an actor, it was the opportunity of a lifetime to be able to hear him talk about how he researched the role of Lenny Bruce and what it was like to work with Bob Fosse. He and Fosse didn’t always see eye-to-eye on his performance, but Hoffman admitted that ultimately, Fosse was always right and joked that he’ll admit to a lot of things 40 years later. (If you’d like to see a clip of the interview, someone has uploaded a clip onto YouTube, but I will warn you that this clip is the most R-rated bit of the interview. But you do get to see both Hoffman and Baldwin doing their best Buddy Hackett impressions.)

Ann-Margaret at the TCM Film Festival

Ann-Margaret at the TCM Film Festival. Photo courtesy TCM/Tyler Golden

Following the screening of Lenny, I went outside and got right back in line for The Cincinnati Kid, which would be introduced by Ann-Margaret. Gambling movies aren’t always my thing, but with a cast like Steve McQueen, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Karl Malden, and of course, Ann-Margaret, it was hard for me to resist. But the movie held my interest the whole time and had lots of suspense. It also gave Joan Blondell a lot of opportunities to be the ultra-sassy type of character I always love watching her play in her early 1930s films. And being able to see Ann-Margaret in person was a treat. She talked about things like making her film debut along with Bette Davis in Pocketful of Miracles and how wonderful Bette was to her, her love of motorcycles, and working with Steve McQueen, who she recalled saying, “Eh, let them worry, it’s their job,” when the studio asked him to stop riding his motorcycle to work.

Steamboat Bill Jr

After The Cincinnati Kid, it was time for me to get in line for Buster Keaton’s classic Steamboat Bill, Jr. with live music conducted by the great Carl Davis. Steamboat Bill, Jr. wasn’t a new movie to me, but it’s always incredible to see one of the great silent film comedies with a big audience, especially when the music is being conducted by one of the top composers of silent film scores. It’s truly an experience unlike anything else.

The Bank Dick WC Fields

I finally got a break from the Egyptian Theater after Steamboat Bill, Jr. when I went over to the TCL multiplex to see 1940’s The Bank Dick, introduced by Allen Fields and Ronald J. Fields, two of W.C. Fields’ grandchildren. Being able to see his grandsons was a real trip because one of them looked and sounded so much like W.C. Fields. In all honesty, my memory is a little hazy of this screening since I dozed off at a couple of points, but what I do remember of the movie, I immensely enjoyed.

Elizabeth Taylor Boom

I was willing to stay up til midnight to find out the context of how and why this hat was worn.

Oddly enough, one of the biggest highlights of the entire festival was the midnight screening of Boom!, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s film adaptation of Tennessee William’s “The Milk Truck Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.” Boom! is best remembered for being the only movie Taylor and Burton made together that lost money. And the movie does completely miss the mark in every conventional way, but that’s what made it so much fun to see in a theater. Boom! is the kind of movie that is best watched late at night after you’ve had a few drinks. John Waters has called the movie “so bad, it’s the other side of camp,” and everything else he has said about the movie is completely dead on. To give you an idea of what Boom! has to offer, I’ll quote the awesome Anne Marie of The Film Experience:

I know a lot of other people at the festival read John Waters’ comments about the movie and were totally sold on the movie by them. And judging by how many times I heard people around the festival doing their best imitations of Elizabeth Taylor shrieking, “WHAAAAAT!” I think it’s safe to say Boom! was a success. John Waters was right — it’s really best seen with an appreciative audience and this audience was, indeed, appreciative.

On that note, I will leave you with the trailer for Boom!

TCMFF 2015, Day 1: Tours, Red Carpets, and Garbo

Waiting for the TCM Film Locations Tour with Thomas, Kendahl (A Classic Film Blog), Jessica (Comet Over Hollywood), and Danny (Pre-code.com)

Waiting for the TCM Film Locations Tour with Thomas, Kendahl (A Classic Film Blog), Jessica (Comet Over Hollywood), and Danny (Pre-code.com) Photo courtesy of TCM.

For the first day of TCMFF 2015, my day started by taking a bus tour of locations that were featured in various films. This is the tour Turner Classic Movies partnered with Starline Tours to create. Unlike many other tours of film locations you can take in Los Angeles, the TCM Movie Locations Tour is unique in the sense that it not only encompasses more films from the classic era than most other tours, it’s the only film location tour that visits downtown Los Angeles.

The tour takes visitors by locations such as Chaplin’s former studios, Paramount Studios, Echo Park, Los Angeles City Hall, and the Formosa Cafe, just to name a few. The bus itself was nice; very comfortable with lots of windows so all passengers have a great view of the places they’re seeing. There’s also a large HDTV so people on the tour can see the locations as they appeared on film and as they look today.

Bradbury Building

The Bradbury Building

There are two stops on the tour where visitors are able to get off the bus and spend a few minutes exploring: the Bradbury Building and Union Station. In both cases, you’ll find yourself wishing you could stay and explore the buildings more. Walking into Union Station is like walking into a different era; it’s absolutely beautiful. And I couldn’t get enough of admiring the architecture of the Bradbury Building.

What impressed me the most about the tour was the wide range of films it references. Since this is a tour organized by Turner Classic Movies, you can naturally expect most of the locations to be related to classic film, but there are some modern films represented in the tour such as L.A. Confidential and The Artist.  Of course, there are plenty of familiar titles like Rebel Without a Cause and Sunset Boulevard that are referenced, but the tour also talked about locations used for less instantly recognizable movies such as Buster Keaton’s Battling Butlers and Barbara Stanwyck’s The Miracle Woman. I never though I would ever go on a film locations tour and hear anyone talk about The Miracle Woman, so that one really made me happy.

If you’re going to be in the Los Angeles area and are interested in taking the TCM Movie Locations Tour, I definitely recommend it. If you’re like me and not from the area, it’s a fun way to see the town in about 3 hours. Visit the Starlines Tours website for more information about ticket prices and when tours run.

After the tour, I went out to lunch with fellow bloggers Jessica (and her lovely parents), Raquel, Kendahl, and Danny and spent some time hanging out at the Roosevelt Hotel before heading off to my next big event — watching red carpet arrivals for The Sound of Music.

A view of the red carpet from the bleachers.

A view of the red carpet from the bleachers.

Festival attendees who weren’t attending The Sound of Music screening were able to watch the red carpet arrivals from some bleachers that had been set up by the red carpet. I joined some other movie bloggers to brave the heat (it was about 90 degrees and very sunny that day) and wait in line for the opportunity to get a brief glimpse of Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer

Many of the celebrities who appeared on the red carpet were people who were guests at the festival such as Keith Carradine, Robert Morse, Leonard Maltin, Diane Baker, Peter Fonda, Norman Lloyd, and of course, Christopher Plummer. Although she wasn’t doing any other events at the festival, Shirley Jones also made an appearance. While some of the stars stopped to address the crowd, others moved so quickly it was hard to even get a picture of them. Most of the pictures I took at the event could be compiled into a series called “Famous People Shielding Their Eyes from the Sun,” but it was worth attending because it gave me the chance to see some people I wouldn’t have been able to see in person otherwise.

Queen Christina Garbo Gilbert

My first film of TCMFF 2015 was 1933’s Queen Christina with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. If you ever have the chance to see Garbo on the big screen, you must go. Garbo had a face that was made to be seen on a larger-than-life screen. I’ve always loved the movie, but being able to see it on the big screen brought out many little nuances in her performance I had never noticed while watching it at home.

As an added bonus, they screened a rare Queen Christina lighting test from the Academy archives before the movie, which was an absolute pleasure to watch. It was a 2-and-a-half minute long silent clip of Greta Garbo simply being Greta Garbo. Since these were just lighting tests, she was relaxed in a way that you don’t see her being when she’s actually acting. Plus some of the shots were close-ups, which were simply breathtaking. If Queen Christina ever gets a blu-ray release, that lighting test would make a fantastic bonus feature.

My Man Godfrey Powell Lombard

After Queen Christina, I got in line to see 1936’s My Man Godfrey starring the incomparable Carole Lombard and William Powell. I was still debating what I would go see during this time slot up until I got out of Queen Christina. I like The Sea Hawk and after saying I had never seen Breaker Morant in my post about what I was planning to see, several people told me, “You must see Breaker Morant!” so I was definitely intrigued by it. In the end, Godfrey won because I was in the mood for something light and fun, but I fully intend on seeing Breaker Morant sometime in the near future. Godfrey was a digital print, which looked absolutely stunning; I’ve never seen it look better. Not only was tonight my first time seeing Garbo on the big screen, it was also my first time seeing Carole Lombard on the big screen. In both cases, it was an absolute delight. The crowd for Godfrey was very enthusiastic, which always makes classic comedies so much fun to watch.

What’s on TCM: April 2015

Anthony Quinn

Happy April, everyone! Ready for a new line-up of movies to look forward to?

Anthony Quinn will be TCM’s Star of the Month for April and his movies will be featured every Wednesday night this month. The theme for this month’s Friday Night Spotlight is A. Arnold Gillespie, MGM’s top visual effects artist. He helped bring some of MGM’s most famed movies to life, including The Wizard of OzSan Francisco, and Forbidden Planet, just to name a few.

One thing that will definitely be worth setting your DVR for is on April 14. TCM will be airing an all-star tribute to Robert Osborne, which was taped at the 2014 TCM Film Festival. I didn’t get to see it in person, but I heard it was one heck of an event, so I’m excited to finally see it for myself.

Now, let’s get on to the schedule!

(more…)

My Picks for TCMFF 2015

TCMFF 2015It’s that time of year again! The annual TCM Classic Film Festival is just around the corner and attendees are poring over the recently released full schedule, carefully making their choices and wondering how long they can go between meals. I am no exception to this.

Honestly, I think I’m more excited about this year’s schedule than I was about last year’s. I had a tremendous time last year, but I had a tendency to see things I had already seen before and only ended up seeing a couple of new-to-me movies. This year is shaping up to be the total opposite. If I stick to my plans as they currently are, I’ll only be seeing a few movies I’ve seen before. So I’m very excited to check out some movies I’ve never seen before because I’ve been really bad about watching things I haven’t seen before lately. It really will be awesome to make lots of discoveries this year.

Much like last year, I’m going into the festival this year fully expecting my plans to change at any time. If you’ve never been to TCMFF before, one of the best pieces of advice I have to give is to stay open to changing your plans. Things come up and you might not always end up sticking to your original schedule exactly, but that’s okay because you could end up doing some other awesome thing instead.

(more…)