Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Celebrating the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood

Hollywood's legendary Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Just as Turner Classic Movies will pay on-air tribute to the films, talents and themes of the third annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood April 12 – 15, The Lady Eve’s Reel Life will also salute this year’s festival. From now until the 15th, TLE will feature posts and links to reviews of some of the 70+ film classics being shown in Hollywood and the end of this week.

TCM's Robert Osborne
Opening night, Thursday, April 12, features the world premiere screening of the 40th anniversary restoration of 1972 Best Picture Oscar nominee Cabaret.  The film's stars Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, both of whom won Academy Awards for their performances, will appear with TCM host Robert Osborne.

The festival's celebration of Style in the Movies will honor Audrey Hepburn: Style Icon with presentations of four of her films and the first, Sabrina (1954), screens Thursday night. Janie Bryant, acclaimed costume designer of the Emmy winning series Mad Men, will be on hand.

Style in the Movies: The Legendary Costumes of Travis Banton will spotlight Paramount's long-time costume Designer-in-Chief who, before he moved on to 20th Century Fox, mentored his successor Edith Head. Costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis will introduce all six Banton films (those asterisked below are part of the Travis Banton tribute). The Noir Style will also be celebrated and Eddie Muller, founder of the Film Noir Foundation, will be on hand for several noir screenings along with 'dames noir' like Rhonda Fleming, Marsha Hunt and Peggy Cummins.

There is so much packed into the four day festival that only a closer look at the daily schedules can give a real sense of how wide-ranging and spectacular TCMFF #3 promises to be. Click here (and scroll down) for Thursday's full schedule.

Friday offers a day of non-stop events:

James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo
At world-famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre: John Ford's masterpiece, The Searchers (1956), Funny Face (1957) with  director and festival honoree Stanley Donen (on his birthday) and Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) with its star, Kirk Douglas. Kim Novak will introduce the screening of Vertigo (1958) (click here for Brandie Ashe's review for this blog on Novak's performance) and the final Chinese Theatre presentation for the night, Roman Polanski's brilliant 1974 neo-noir, Chinatown, will be discussed by legendary producer and former Paramount exec, Robert Evans, and screenwriter Robert Towne, who won an Oscar for his screenplay.

Audrey Hepburn in Stanley Donen's Funny Face
Among the films screening Friday at Chinese Multiplex 1 are William Wellman's Wings (1927), presented by Bill Wellman, Jr., and former Paramount exec A.C. Lyles (a sprightly 93-year-old), the world premiere restoration of Two for the Road (1967) presented by Stanley Donen (click here for Kevin Deany's take on the film at Kevin's Movie Corner), and the U.S. premiere of the 75th anniversary restoration of Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion (1937). At Chinese Multiplex 3, highlights include screenings of Nothing Sacred* (1937) and the Astaire/Rogers classic Swing Time (1936). A Friday night high point at Chinese Multiplex 4 will be the screening of Max Ophuls' Letter From an Unknown Woman* (1948), starring Joan Fontaine (click here for R.D. Finch's reflection on this underappreciated gem at The Movie Projector). At the Egyptian Theatre, Shirley Jones will present the screening of Elmer Gantry (1960), and Rhonda Fleming will join 'czar of noir' Eddie Muller for the screening of Cry Danger (1951).

Click here for the complete schedule of events for Friday, April 13.

Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Film festivals are always frantically busy on weekends, and TCMFF will be no exception. On Saturday at Grauman's, Kim Novak will have her hand and footprints enshrined in the courtyard concrete. Later, screenings at the theatre will include Disney's Snow White (1937), Casablanca (1942) and the 60th anniversary world premiere restoration of Singin' in the Rain (1952) - introduced by Debbie Reynolds. At Chinese Multiplex 1, Robert Wagner will appear for the presentation of The Longest Day (1962) and director Norman Jewison will be on hand for a 25th anniversary screening of his 1987 classic Moonstruck. At Chinese Multiplex 3 fashion designer Barbara Tfank will appear for the screening of Otto Preminger's sumptuous Bonjour Tristesse (1958), Eddie Muller will introduce Jules Dassin's 1950 noir classic, Night and the City, and actor Richard Anderson will be on hand for the screening of John Frankenheimer's underrated 1966 film, Seconds (click here for John Greco's review at Twenty Four Frames). Chinese Multiplex 4 will feature a program of Laurel & Hardy shorts, A Fine Mess (1932 - 1933), and the astonishing Josef von Sternberg/Marlene Dietrich 1934 historical fantasy, The Scarlet Empress* (click here for my series on the von Sternberg/Dietrich collaboration).

Marlene Dietrich in The Scarlet Empress
The Egyptian Theatre will showcase the sparkling 1958 comedy Auntie Mame, with an appearance by designer Todd Oldham, director Norman Jewison will  discuss his very stylish The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) and Eddie Muller and actress Peggy Cummins (now 86) will discuss her best-known film, a standout of its genre and a shocker in its time, Gun Crazy (1950).

Click here for Saturday's full schedule.

Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief
Though Sunday's schedule isn't yet complete, the day is by no means quiet . At Grauman's: Hitchcock's glittering 1955 VistaVision romp To Catch a Thief, Robert Evans will appear at the screening of Roman Polanski's 1968 trendsetter Rosemary's Baby (my take here), Thelma Schoonmaker, Oscar winning film editor and widow of the incomparable Michael Powell, will introduce Powell's masterful 1948 collaboration with Emeric Pressburger, Black Narcissus (click here for Ivan G. Shreve's review at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear), and Todd Oldman is set to appear for the screening of George Cukor's sly and fabulous The Women (1939). At the Cinerama Dome, Debbie Reynolds will introduce the Cinerama epic How the West Was Won (1962). 

Deborah Kerr in Black Narcissus
Click here for the Sunday schedule. 

As even a brief glance at its schedule makes crystal clear, TCM's Classic Film Festival is truly bigger and better than ever in 2012.

John Wayne, The Searchers

Click here to watch a TCM festival promo...


  1. Wow! Some great events scheduled! Hope to go one year!

  2. Gilby - TCMFF seems to become grander - by leaps and bounds - every year. I also noticed that this year's cost of festival passes has a wider range than last year and that individual tickets to screening events are also available on a first come, first served basis. I'll be there next year and hope you will be, too.

  3. Awwww If only I could attend! I would take Christian as my date as this is right up his alley! : )

    I love Graumans. I've visited at least 20 times and seeing the footprints new and old is just as fun the 20th time. (I still haven't forgiven them for losing Charlie Chaplin's foot/hand prints though)

    A great choice of films and with Osborne hosting it is sure to be a fabulous weekend.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Lady Eve.

  4. Page - As the festival schedule has continued to fill up, I've been fighting the urge to just get on a plane and fly down to LA. I have to keep reminding myself of previous commitments. I'm sure, though, TCM will keep us updated on the festivities - and there are plenty of bloggers "on the ground" - The Cinementals, Kay of Movie Star Makeover, Brandon Kyle the Cinephile and Kimberly of GlamAmour - to name a few...

  5. An excellent selection of films with equally intriguing themes. I'll catch as many of the films that are included as part of TCM's regular programming, but I wish I were able to attend. I want to wish everyone who will be attending a lovely weekend and I look forward to reading your posts.

  6. 'Gypsy - The people responsible for the festival themes, films scheduled and guest appearances deserve tremendous kudos, don't they? It must've been a daunting undertaking - but they seem to have pulled it off beautifully. Maybe we'll all meet in Hollywood one year...

  7. Damn, I wish I could make it to LA for this. So many movies I'd love to see on the big screen--especially Seconds, one of my favorite movies of the 60s.

  8. Dave - "Seconds" is so underrated - even ignored - among Frankenheimer's films - and it's possibly the one opportunity Rock Hudson had to stretch as an actor (he's very good in a downbeat role). Would love to see it in a theater (as well as almost every other film on the TCMFF3 schedule).

  9. Well Lady Eve, I'll have to tough it out at TCM without either Page or you! Actually, you're in a perpetual state of confusion over which movie or which event you should go to next, and forget about trying to eat anything in between. It's much more sane to stay at home, which is probably why I'm going to LA.

  10. Christian - I'll be watching your blog for your reflections on TCMFF#3. I'm assuming you'll be at the Travis Banton screenings, but the "Style in the Movies" theme covers quite a bit more. As mentioned, I've been battling the impulse to abandon all sanity and head for LA at the last minute. Wishing you a wonderful time!

  11. Wow.. I hope to go some day.. What a great line up of films.. I will have to enjoy the event, by reading, those of you who are going posts..

    1. Dawn - You must get your new Twiggy self to TCMFF #4 in 2013. Must!