Thursday, November 21, 2019

2020 TCM Classic Film Festival Tickets On Sale


The much anticipated 11th annual Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival is now gearing up, set to happen in Hollywood April 16 - 19, 2020. The year's theme is "Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film" and tickets are on sale now at several price points:

Spotlight $2449
Essential $999
Classic $749
Palace $349

Click here for a complete description for each pass designation and links to more information and tickets purchase. Please note, individual tickets for most screenings and events are $20 - if seating is available.

According to the TCM website "Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film" will offer attendees "a wondrous journey to enchanted worlds of fantasy and stories beyond belief. From myths and magical creatures to ghostly encounters and travels through time..." Films on the schedule so far include Lost Horizon (1937), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Bishop's Wife (1947), Harvey (1950), The Time Machine (1960), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Somewhere in Time (1980). Festival special guests will be announced soon.

"TCMFF" tickets have a habit of selling out quickly, so now's the time to get on line and get yours.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Joyce Compton, What a Character!

This is my entry for the fabulous What a Character! blogathon hosted annually by Once Upon a Screen, Outspoken & Freckled and Paula's Cinema Club...check these blogs for links to entries from all participating blogs.


In perhaps her best remembered scene in a classic film, Leo McCarey's screwball masterpiece The Awful Truth (1937), Joyce Compton delivered a most memorable performance as a dizzy nightclub singer with an equally dizzy act:

She would be typecast in this sort of role for much of her career, but there's more to Joyce Compton's story than her turns as scatterbrained, Southern-fried blondes.

Saturday, November 9, 2019


Parlez vous French noir? 

Three years ago I discovered French film noir thanks to Don Malcolm and his annual "The French Had a Name for It" film festival in San Francisco. Don heads MidCentury Productions and since 2014 MCP has presented yearly - and, lately, more frequent - noir screenings at the city's Roxie Theater. This month brings "French 6," the last in MCP's series of French noir fests 'til further notice.
Le dernier tournant (1939), the postman always rings...
My introduction to French noir came with "The French Had a Name for It 3" in November 2016. It was there that I watched the rarely seen first film version of James M. Cain's scorching 1934 pulp sensation, The Postman Always Rings Twice. This was Pierre Chenal's 1939 adaptation, Le dernier tournant (The Last Turn), which, though lacking the glitter and gloss of MGM's 1946 version with Lana Turner and John Garfield, wanted for nothing in the way of style, a script faithful to Cain's book, and a superb cast, top to bottom. It was also at "French 3" that I saw the 1939 Marcel Carne/Jean Gabin masterpiece Le jour se leve (Daybreak) on the big screen for the first time and was introduced to the eccentric and edgy films of actor/director Robert Hossein. I was hooked.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Bridging Old Hollywood and New: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

This post is my entry for the Classic Movie Blog Association's Fall 2019 Blogathon. This year we're honoring the CMBA's 10th anniversary with "The Anniversary Blogathon" and participating member bloggers are celebrating all manner of classic film and classic film-related anniversaries. Click here for links to other member posts.

In this piece I take a circuitous look back at Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, "the Citizen Kane of buddy films," on its 50th anniversary


William Goldman
It was during the 1950s that William Goldman, then a young novelist, first got interested in "the Butch Cassidy story." He was so fascinated with Cassidy, ringleader of a late 19th century band of outlaws, and one of his gang members known as the Sundance Kid, that he would research them off and on for another eight years.

It was also in the 1950s that young "method" actor Paul Newman left the Broadway stage and made his way onto Hollywood's sound stages. Once there, he would steadily be cast in leading roles in films like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), for which he received his first Oscar nomination, The Young Philadelphians (1959), and From the Terrace (1960).

Monday, August 26, 2019

Hitchcockian: François Truffaut 's The Soft Skin (1964)

 ...For the Vive la France Blogathon...

35 years after his death in 1984, François Truffaut is best known today as the most successful of the youthful filmmakers to emerge from the nouvelle vague (New Wave) movement that swept French cinema in the late 1950s. But before he would write and direct his first full-length feature in 1959, Truffaut would make his name as an enfant terrible critic at the influential post-war film journal Cahiers du cinema (Notebooks on Cinema). It was Truffaut who authored a famous/infamous January 1954 article, an impassioned and polemic piece, that advanced the “auteur theory.”  This theory maintains that auteur films reflect the filmmaker’s personal/artistic vision and possess an identifiable style along with recurring themes and motifs. Alfred Hitchcock, a director revered by Cahiers’ young critics, personified the auteur concept and Truffaut was one especially smitten with his work. He would author 27 articles on Hitchcock over the course of the 1950s.