GETTING READY FOR THE 2014 TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL
The full schedule of screenings and events set for TCM’s 5th annual classic film festival had just posted on the network’s website and I was eager to see what the four days and nights from April 10 – 13 have in store. As I scrolled through the listings for each day, I began feeling a little panicky. So many choices and so little time! To quote Holly Golightly out of context, “I must say, the mind reels!”
|Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) screens on April 11|
|How Green was My Valley (1941) screens April 12 - Maureen O'Hara appears in person|
And among films on the festival's "Discoveries" program are Tod Browning's Freaks (1932), The Great Gatsby (1949), starring Alan Ladd, Hat Check Girl (1932), a pre-code find, Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar (1954), Jules Dassin's The Naked City (1948), On Approval, the only film directed by actor Clive Brook, and William Friedkin's Sorcerer (1977).
All in all, films of eight decades, beginning with the early '20s through the mid-'90s, will be presented - from Harold Lloyd's final film for Hal Roach, Why Worry? (1923) to Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) starring Richard Dreyfuss (who will appear in-person at the screening).
|The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) screens April 13|
On Day One, April 10, will I see the newly restored Oklahoma! (1955), with special guest Shirley Jones, or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), with Charles Busch (actor/playwright/Bette Davis impersonator) in-person, or, possibly, American Grafitti with Candy Clark, Bo Hopkins and Paul LeMat as special guests? And later that night, I'll have to choose between between the new restoration of Johnny Guitar (presented by film historian Michael Schlesinger) and The Heiress (1949).
Day Two is even more daunting. In the morning, will it be The Thin Man or Stagecoach? In the afternoon, it's Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) vs. Invasion of the Body Snatchers vs. "A Conversation with Richard Dreyfuss" vs. "Ask Robert Osborne" and "A Conversation with William Friedkin." Later that evening, I'm determined to see Double Indemnity and The Innocents (1961), no matter what.
|Jack Clayton's The Innocents (1961), starring Deborah Kerr, screens April 11|
I'm hoping I'll be able to cover Jerry Lewis's handprint ceremony at Grauman's on the morning of Day Three, but if there's no room, I'll be forced to choose between Vincente Minnelli's Father of the Bride (1950) and Chaplin's City Lights (1931). After that, I don't want to miss "A Conversation with Thelma Schoonmaker," Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning film editor (and the widow of legendary filmmaker Michael Powell), but I'll have to hustle to get from there to the screening of the Alan Ladd version of The Great Gatsby, which I don't want to miss. Then, in the early evening, another killer decision will to have to be made - The Beatles in A Hard Days Night, or Bell Book and Candle (1958) with special guest Kim Novak or Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind (1956), or The Nutty Professor (1963), with special guest Jerry Lewis.
|Dorothy Malone won an Oscar for her performance in Written on the Wind (1956), screening April 12|
Day Four, the final day of the festival, still has a lot of "TBA" on the schedule, so I'm not going to think too much about that yet, tomorrow is another day...