TCM Classic Film Festival 2012: Preview

In just about two weeks’ time, the TCM Classic Film Festival will descend on Los Angeles once again, turning downtown Hollywood into a mecca for film fans hungry for the glamour and nostalgia of the days of yore. Waxing poetic aside, this is the third year for the festival, and it seems to be going as strong as ever. Last year, attendance nearly doubled over the first festival, so we’ll see what the crowds are like this year! In any case, with Robert Osborne and the TCM crew bringing in films big and small, essential and rare, along with star appearances and special events galore, it’s sure to be a weekend of fun for anybody who loves classic Hollywood. The theme this year is “Style in the Movies” – with an apparent eye toward costume design and set decoration. There are sidebars for specific designers, specific “looks,” especially style-conscious directors, and even the broader Essentials section has been curated to favor films that feature a unique design aesthetic. Confirmed special guests include Kirk Douglas (who was fantastic last year at a screening of Spartacus), Debbie Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, Shirley Jones, Kim Novak, Robert Wagner, Angie Dickinson, director Norman Jewison, and more.

Along with the festival, TCM sponsors a Road to Hollywood series of screenings in various cities throughout the weeks leading up to the festival, with Robert Osborne and special guests presenting the screening. That series continues with The Last Picture Show March 31st in Toronto, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers April 3rd in Denver, and Marty April 5th in Portland. TCM did this last year as well, bringing a taste of the festival to other cities, so even if you don’t live in LA, keep an eye on where TCM is holding these (free!) screenings. Plus, you may learn insider info before the rest of us – at a recent screening, Robert Osborne let it slip that Mel Brooks will be a special guest. But he caught himself before revealing what film Brooks will be introducing – could even be something not announced yet!

As far as the main event in Hollywood, taking place April 12-15, Matinee Festival Passes are still available, and individual tickets will be on sale before each screening. With no further ado, here is the line-up thus far announced. There could well be additions – as I recall, last year they added films into the “Discoveries” section almost right up to the festival start. And I hope they do that again; the pickings are a little slim in that section this year, though there are plenty I’m excited about in other sections. Without the schedule in hand, all my predictions of what I’m going to see are probably wrong – with only three days of festival and over fifty films, very difficult choices will have to be made. (Note: I took most of the synopses below from IMDb, so my apologies if they’re bland.)

Edit: I have amended this post to include the films announced on March 28 when the schedule was released, as well as additional guest star and presenter information. I’ve highlighted the additional films in red. Also, The Godfather, Part II has been removed from the lineup, citing “unforeseen circumstances.” Most notable among the newly announced guests – Stanley Donen will be appearing with all three of his films (not including his co-directed Singin’ in the Rain), producer Robert Evans will be introducing most of the New Hollywood films, with writer Robert Towne introducing Chinatown, Sara Karloff and Bela G. Lugosi will be presenting their respective fathers’ film The Black Cat, legendary makeup artist Rick Baker will introduce The Wolf Man, and John Carpenter will introduce Frankenstein.

Essentials

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Director: Richard Fleischer
Starring: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre
Synopsis: A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.
My take: I’ve not seen this before, but Disney’s first live-action feature film promises practical special effects galore, and I’m a sucker for those. Plus, any chance to see Kirk Douglas live is probably worth taking. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Kirk Douglas

Annie Hall (1977)

Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall, Christopher Walken, Colleen Dewhurst
Synopsis: Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditsy Annie Hall.
My take: I love this film a lot; in fact, it’s a constant battle between this and Manhattan for the title of my favorite Woody Allen film. Still, I think I’ll skip this in favor of things I haven’t seen a dozen times. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide

Auntie Mame (1958)

Director: Morton DaCosta
Starring: Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker, Coral Browne
Synopsis: An orphan goes to live with his free-spirited aunt. Conflict ensues when the executor of his father’s estate objects to the aunt’s lifestyle.
My take: I haven’t seen this film, despite liking Rosalind Russell a good bit. That said, it’s not that high on my list and scheduling being what it is, this probably isn’t the time. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Todd Oldham

Black Narcissus (1947)

Director: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
Starring: Deborah Kerr, Kathleen Byron, David Farrar, Flora Robson, Jean Simmons
Synopsis: After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension – both with the natives and also within their own group – as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
My take: I have seen this, but it’s been so long I don’t remember much of it. I’ve been wanting to rewatch it for quite some time now, and I’d definitely love the opportunity to see Jack Cardiff’s Technicolor cinematography on the big screen. Planning to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Thelma Schoonmaker

Cabaret (1972)

Director: Bob Fosse
Starring: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey
Synopsis: A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them.
My take: I love this movie, but this is the opening night premiere film, which is very difficult to get into. I’ve seen the film a lot of times, so I won’t bother with it here. Not seeing
Festival Guide
Screening notes: Opening night film; World Premiere of 40th anniversary restoration
In attendance: Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey

Casablanca (1942)

Director: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Pete rLorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Dooley Wilson, Conrad Veidt
Synopsis: Set in unoccupied Africa during the early days of World War II: An American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.
My take: I’ve seen this film more times than I can count, and it seems like they show it every year. So if you’re coming in from out of town and haven’t seen this on the big screen, by all means, do so. But I’ll save my time for other things. Not seeing
Festival Guide
Screening notes: 70th Anniversary digital restoration

Dr. No (1962)

Director: Terence Young
Starring: Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Bernard Lee, Joseph Wiseman, Jack Lord
Synopsis: James Bond’s investigation of a missing colleague in Jamaica leads him to the island of the mysterious Dr. No and a scheme to end the US space program.
My take: This remains one of the best Bond movies, though I still place it lower than Connery’s next two outings. It’d be fun to rewatch it on the big screen, but other things claim my time more strongly. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Eunice Gayson, Maud Adams

Duck Soup (1933)

Director: Leo McCarey
Starring: The Marx Brothers, Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Leonid Kinskey
Synopsis: Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.
My take: I usually place A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races as my favorite Marx Brothers film, but most people like this one the best. Time to re-evaluate? Since it’s a midnight movie with no timeslot competition, I think yes. Planning to see
Festival Guide

Elmer Gantry (1960)

Director: Richard Brooks
Starring: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Shirley Jones
Synopsis: Smitten with lay preacher Sister Sharon, fast-talking traveling salesman Elmer Gantry uses his swift wit and persuasiveness to join her ministry; but his unsavory past isn’t far behind.
My take: This film won Oscars for both Burt Lancaster and Shirley Jones, which I’ve known forever due to my early obsession with Oscars as well as my enjoyment of Jones’s Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals. Yet I’ve never actually seen it. If scheduling works out, I definitely wouldn’t mind catching up with it now. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Shirley Jones

Grand Illusion (1937)

Director: Jean Renoir
Starring: Jean Gabin, Erich von Stroheim, Pierre Fresnay
Synopsis: During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German POW camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
My take: This movie blew me away when I first saw it, and I absolutely wouldn’t mind seeing it again. (Anyone who hasn’t seen it needs to NOW.) But I’m not dead set on revisiting it, and will let the schedule dictate this one. Might see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: US Premiere of 75th Anniversary restoration

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Director: John Ford
Starring: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin, John Qualen
Synopsis: A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
My take: I saw this for the first time last year and was more than impressed with it, especially on a visual level (which I hadn’t expected); that would show up even better on the big screen, but I’m not sure I’m quite up fr a rewatch just yet. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide

High Society (1956)

Director: Charles Walters
Starring: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm, John Lund, Louis Calhern, Louis Armstrong
Synopsis: Tracy Lord is getting remarried, but her wedding is about to be crashed by her ex-husband and two reporters hoping for a big society scoop.
My take: As much fun as it sounds like it would be to watch a film poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt, and as innocuously enjoyable as this film is, I’m not a big enough fan of it to make much of an effort. Not seeing
Festival Guide
Screening Notes: Presented poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt

The Longest Day (1962)

Director: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki
Starring: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton, Paul Anka, Arletty, Sal Mineo, Robert Wagner, Richard Beymer, Jean-Louis Barrault, Bourvil, Red Buttons, Sean Connery
Synopsis: The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view.
My take: Even though I generally like war films more than the next girl, I haven’t taken the time to see this one yet, despite the all-star cast, and I likely won’t take three hours of time to watch it here. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Robert Wagner

The Pink Panther (1964)

Director: Blake Edwards
Starring: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Claudie Cardinale, Capucine, Robert Wagner
Synopsis: Bumbling and conceited French police inspector Clouseau tries to catch The Phantom, a daring jewel thief whose identity and features are unknown – and is acting right under his nose.
My take: I have seen this film and enjoyed it a lot, but it pales in comparison with its sequel, A Shot in the Dark, which I rewatched just a few weeks ago. So as fun as it is, I’ll give this a pass. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Robert Wagner

Rio Bravo (1959)

Director: Howard Hawks
Starring: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan
Synopsis: A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.
My take: Oh man, it’s incredibly tempting to sit down and relax with this film for the umpteenth time. And if the scheduling works out, I might just do it. Might see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Angie Dickinson

Sabrina (1954)

Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, William Holden
Synopsis: A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family’s chauffeur. But it’s his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.
My take: As a big fan of Billy Wilder, Audrey Hepburn, AND Humphrey Bogart, I’m a little surprised at how underwhelming I tend to find this film, especially since a lot of people like it a whole lot. If I take time to watch it here, it’ll be in full-on Rewatched and Reconsidered mode. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Janie Bryant

The Searchers (1956)

Director: John Ford
Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood, John Qualen
Synopsis: As a Civil War veteran spends years searching for a young niece captured by Indians, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable.
My take: Seeing this film on the big screen (and not just any big screen, but Grauman’s Chinese) would be a treat, for sure. I may pass it up for one of the less ubiquitous films at the fest, but I dunno. It’s really tempting. Might see
Festival Guide

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Director: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Starring: Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Jean Hagen
Synopsis: A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.
My take: Tempting, very tempting to catch one of my all-time favorite movies on the big screen. But I’ve seen it so many times and it plays the American Cinematheque with some frequency, so I can’t justify it unless the schedule is very, very forgiving. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: World Premiere of 60th Anniversary restoration
In attendance: Debbie Reynolds

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Director: Ben Sharpsteen, William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey Perce Pearce
Starring: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne
Synopsis: Snow White, pursued by a jealous queen, hides with the Dwarfs; the queen feeds her a poison apple, but Prince Charming awakens her with a kiss.
My take: I made time for Fantasia last year, and I might just make time for Disney’s pioneering animated feature this time (I am due for a rewatch on it). Might see
Festival Guide

Sullivan’s Travels (1941)

Director: Preston Sturges
Starring: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Porter Hall, Eric Blore
Synopsis: A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about Life…which gives him a rude awakening.
My take: This and The Lady Eve duke it out constantly as my favorite Preston Sturges film, and I’m more than overdue for a rewatch on this. But the scheduling doesn’t quite work out, unfortunately. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Ron Perlman

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

Director: Norman Jewison
Starring: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway
Synopsis: A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.
My take: Mostly all I remember from this film is the incredibly awesome chess-playing seduction scene, and I’d really love a refresher on the rest of it, even if it is largely a film of cool style over substance. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Norman Jewison

To Catch a Thief (1955)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis
Synopsis: When a reformed jewel thief is suspected of returning to his former occupation, he must ferret out the real thief in order to prove his innocence.
My take: This has never been among my favorite Hitchcock films, but I have to admit, it’s the one to choose when your theme is “Style in the Movies.” Style this movie has in spades. Still, I rewatched it hoping for a better reevaluation last year, and I’m not up for doing it again just yet. Not seeing
Festival Guide

Vertigo (1958)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Synopsis: A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
My take: My second-favorite Hitchcock film, always worthy of a big-screen rewatch. But I’m even more gung-ho about it this time since my husband has never seen it. This is the time. Planning to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Kim Novak

Wings (1927)

Director: William A. Wellman
Starring: Richard Arlen, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Clara Bow
Synopsis: Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.
My take: I saw this movie way back when I was intent on watching all the Academy Award winning films (this won the first Best Picture award); so, like, fifteen years ago. Now with my renewed interest in silent cinema, I’d love to look at it again with fresh and better-educated eyes. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: A.C. Lyles, Bill Wellman Jr.

The Women (1939)

Director: George Cukor
Starring: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, Paulette Goddard, Mary Boland, Virginia Wiedler
Synopsis: A study of the lives and romantic entanglements of various interconnected women.
My take: I have seen this film a dozen times, and I will take any excuse offered to see it again. It’s that much fun watching all these fabulous ladies duke it out over men who never appear onscreen. And I’m dragging Jonathan to it, too. Planning to see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Todd Oldham

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Director: Mel Brooks
Starring: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars
Synopsis: Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson, after years of living down the family reputation, inherits granddad’s castle and repeats the experiments.
My take: When Robert Osborne leaked that Mel Brooks would be a guest, I wondered if he might be introducing this film (especially with the Universal sidebar going on at the Fest), and I was right. I love this film dearly, but the 1000 times I’ve seen it might count against it here. I’m still undecided, though. Might see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Mel Brooks

Discoveries

Bonjour Tristesse (1958)

Director: Otto Preminger
Starring: Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Jean Seberg, Mylène Demongeot, Geoffrey Horne
Synopsis: Cecile is a decadent young girl who lives with her rich playboy father Raymond. When Anne, Raymond’s old love interest, comes to Raymond’s villa, Cecile is afraid for her way of life.
My take: I’ve vaguely heard of this film quite a bit, but I never knew very much about it until looking it up right now. Jean Seberg just before Breathless is certainly a tempting proposition. Might see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Barbara Tfank

Call Her Savage (1932)

Director: John Francis Dillon
Starring: Clara Bow, Gilbert Roland, Thelma Todd
Synopsis: Sexy Texas gal storms her way through life, brawling and boozing until her luck runs out, forcing her to learn the errors of her ways.
My take: Now we’re into ones that I know less about, and that’s all the better. I really enjoyed seeing Clara Bow’s final film Hoop-la at last year’s festival, and I’m more than down to see her in another pre-Code talkie. Planning to see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: New 35mm preservation print from Museum of Modern Art
Presented by: David Stenn and Katie Trainor, Anne Morra (at different screenings)

Fall Guy (1947)

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Starring: Robert Armstrong, Leo Penn, Teala Loring, Elisha Cook Jr
Synopsis: Penn stars as a hard-drinking veteran who awakens from a drug-induced blackout with vague memories of a murdered blonde. His search for the truth leads him through a demimonde populated by drug dealers, addicts, bar girls and even a stoolie (the screen’s best, Elisha Cook, Jr.).
My take: The festival guide calls in one of the “noirest of all noir.” I pretty much have to see that to find out if it’s more noir than Detour. Planning to see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Walter Mirisch

Lonesome (1928)

Director: Pál Fejös
Starring: Barbara Kent, Glenn Tryon, Andy Devine
Synopsis: Two lonely people in the big city meet and enjoy the thrills of an amusement park, only to lose each other in the crowd after spending a great day together. Will they ever see each other again?
My take: I have never ever heard of this film, but the descriptions I’m seeing (“a truly American approach to German Expressionism”, etc.) are giving me Sunrise vibes. This kind of thing is absolutely what I come to this festival to see. Planning to see
Festival Guide

The Macomber Affair

Director: Zoltan Korda
Starring: Gregory Peck, Joan Bennett, Robert Preston, Reginald Denny
Synopsis: Robert Wilson leads safaris on the Kenyan savanna, and is taking Mr. and Mrs. Macomber out to hunt buffalo. The obnoxious ways of Margaret Macomber make the three of them get on each others nerves, but sparks are about to fly.
My take: Another I’ve never heard of, apparently a Hemingway safari love triangle adventure story. I’m not against any of those things in any way, but this will come down to scheduling. Hoping to see
Festival Guide

A Night to Remember (1958)

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Starring: Kenneth More, Ronald Allen, Robert Ayres, Honor Blackman
Synopsis: The Titanic disaster is depicted in straightforward fashion without the addition of fictional subplots.
My take: I wasn’t too much interested in this one (I’ve already seen a couple of versions of the Titanic story – the boat goes down in them all), but the description of it as a non-fictionalized almost-documentary is kind of intriguing. We’ll see. Might see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: Newly restored print
Presented by: Don Lynch

Phase IV (1974)

Director: Saul Bass
Starring: Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy, Lynne Frederick, Alan Gifford
Synopsis: Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the desert inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them. But the ants have other ideas.
My take: Okay, hold up. Saul Bass directed a movie? And it sounds like a combination of “Leiningen vs.the Ants” and Them!? Oh yeah, I’m there. Thanks, TCM, for programming some midnight stuff. :) Planning to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Michael Murphy

Seconds (1966)

Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Rock Hudson, Frank Campanella, John Randolph
Synopsis: Want out of your life? Just pay the fee and we’ll fake your death, change your face, and set up a new identity for you…but you may or may not be pleased with the results.
My take: Now, this is one I definitely SHOULD rewatch. When I first saw it ages ago, I was rather underwhelmed, but it routinely makes “hidden gem” lists, so I definitely need to check it out again. But the scheduling may do me in once again. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Richard Anderson

Who Done It? (1942)

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Patric Knowles, William Gargan, Louise Allbritton
Synopsis: Two dumb soda jerks dream of writing radio mysteries. When they try to pitch an idea at a radio station, they end up in the middle of a real murder when the station owner is killed during a broadcast.
My take: I have a soft spot for Abbott & Costello, but even though I went through a bunch of their films as a teenager, I don’t think ever saw this one. I definitely would, though, as comedy-mysteries are always fun. Might see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: Will be screened with the 1949 Three Stooges short Who Done It?
In attendance: Michael Schlesinger

Built by Design: Architecture in Film

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Director: Howard Hawks
Starring: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, May Robson, Charles Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald, Virginia Walker
Synopsis: While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard “Baby.”
My take: I actually rewatched Bringing Up Baby a few months ago, and even though I love it, it’s a bit too manic for me to want to watch it again so soon. Maybe next time. Not seeing
Festival Guide
Presented by: Matt Tyrnauer

The Fountainhead (1949)

Director: King Vidor
Starring: Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, Raymond Massey, Kent Smith, Robert Douglas, Henry Hull
Synopsis: An uncompromising, visionary architect struggles to maintain his integrity and individualism despite personal, professional and economic pressures to conform to popular standards.
My take: Not a film I’ve ever been particularly interested in seeing; a film fraught with Ayn Rand’s philosophy just sounds too heavy to be any fun. On the other hand, the screencap above is pretty gorgeous. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Eric Lloyd Wright, Matt Tyrnauer

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)

Director: H.C. Potter
Starring: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas, Reginald Denny, Louise Beavers
Synopsis: A man and his wife decide they can afford to have a house in the country built to their specifications. It’s a lot more trouble than they think.
My take: Despite being a big Cary Grant fan and this being one of Grant’s more popular movies among his fans, I have never caught up with it. This may or may not be the time. Might see
Festival Guide

My Architect: A Son’s Journey (2003)

Director: Nathaniel Kahn
Synopsis: Director Nathaniel Kahn searches to understand his father, noted architect Louis Kahn, who died bankrupt and alone in 1974.
My take: I’m not that much of a documentary person, and with only the tenuous “architecture in film” tying this into the festival, I’ll skip it. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Matt Tyrnauer, Nathaniel Kahn

Deco Design

Counsellor-at-Law (1933)

Director: William Wyler
Starring: John Barrymore, Bebe Daniels, Doris Kenyon, Isabel Jewell, Melvyn Douglas, Thelma Todd
Synopsis: Successful attorney has his Jewish heritage and poverty-stricken background brought home to him when he learns his wife has been unfaithful.
My take: I’ve totally never heard of this film, but it’s definitely got an intriguing cast and director, plus the tagline on the Kino DVD case is “William Wyler’s hard-boiled comedy.” Still, I’m not sure that can over come potential scheduling difficulties. Might see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Illeana Douglas

Our Dancing Daughters (1928)

Director: Harry Beaumont
Starring: Joan Crawford, Johnny Mack Brown, Anita Page
Synopsis: Diana is outwardly the hit of the party but inwardly virtuous and idealistic. Her friend Ann is thoroughly selfish and amoral. Both are attracted to Ben Black, soon-to-be millionaire.
My take: I’ve actually been dying to see some of Joan Crawford’s silent stuff, but haven’t had a good opportunity. This is one of the best opportunities, so I’m pretty much not going to miss it. Planning to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Linda Snyder-Sterne

Swing Time (1936)

Director: George Stevens
Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Helen Broderick, Victor Moore, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blore
Synopsis: A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.
My take: This is one of my comfort movies; I can put it on any time and it cheers me up immediately. That said, I’ve seen it a hundred times, so I’ll likely skip it. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide

Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Starring: Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis, Charles Ruggles, Edward Everett Horton, C. Aubrey Smith
Synopsis: A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.
My take: Last year TCM Fest played Design for Living, and I was really disappointed I had to miss it. Hopefully that won’t happen this time, because I’ve been dying to rewatch both these early ’30 Lubitsch films for quite a while. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Matt Tyrnaver, Deborah Nadoolman Landis (at different screenings)

The Noir Style

Criss Cross (1949)

Director: Robert Siodmak
Starring: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne DeCarlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally
Synopsis: An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.
My take: This film noir has been on my list for a LONG time and I’ve never gotten around to it. It looks like this may finally be the time, and I’m really looking forward to it. Planning to see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Eddie Muller

Cry Danger (1951)

Director: Robert Parrish
Starring: Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, William Conrad, Regis Toomey
Synopsis: Ex-con Rocky Mulloy seeks the real culprit in the crime he was framed for, in a night world of deceptive dames and double crosses.
My take: Noir film I haven’t heard of AND it stars Dick Powell? Sign me up. Planning to see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: Preservation funded by The Film Noir Foundation
In attendance: Rhonda Fleming

Gun Crazy (1950)

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Starring: Peggy Cummins, John Dall
Synopsis: A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.
My take: This is a noir I always recommend to people; despite getting a lot of love from noir fans, it remains surprisingly underseen, and it’s loads of fun. If I can get to it, I’m due a rewatch. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Peggy Cummins

Night and the City (1950)

Director: Jules Dassin
Starring: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe, Herbert Lom
Synopsis: A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.
My take: It’s been a while since I saw this one, but I enjoyed it quite a bit – really great use of on-location London filming with a noir style. Not one I’m necessarily jumping to see again, especially with so many noirs I haven’t seen playing. Not seeing
Festival Guide
Presented by: Eddie Muller

Raw Deal (1948)

Director: Anthony Mann
Starring: Dennis O’Keefe, Raymond Burr, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt
Synopsis: After taking a prison rap for a friend, Joe mounts an escapes despite his friend’s double-cross.
My take: Another noir I’ve never heard of, AND it stars Claire Trevor, AND it’s directed by Anthony Mann? Sign me up twice. Planning to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Marsha Hunt

Legendary Costumes of Travis Banton

Cleopatra (1934)

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Starring: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Henry Wilcoxon, Joseph Schildkraut
Synopsis: The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Marc Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor.
My take: I’ve got to admit, I’m morbidly curious to see this; it doesn’t have the best reputation among DeMille’s canon, but sometimes a little over-the-top excess isn’t such a bad thing. Might see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Bob Mackie

Cover Girl (1944)

Director: Charles Vidor
Starring: Rita Hayworth, Gene Kelly, Lee Bowman, Phil Silvers, Leslie Brooks, Eve Arden, Otto Kruger
Synopsis: Rusty Parker wins a contest and becomes a celebrated cover girl; this endangers her romance with dancing mentor Danny.
My take: Frankly, this movie is fairly forgettable, aside from the dancing-with-himself number Gene Kelly did, prefiguring his later iconic ballet numbers. It’s worth watching once, but that’s it. Not seeing
Festival Guide

I’m No Angel (1933)

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Starring: Mae West, Cary Grant, Gregory Ratoff, Edward Arnold
Synopsis: Working as a lion-tamer and flirting with rich men to get presents on the side, Tira seeks the man a fortune-teller promised is the love of her life.
My take: I saw the other West-Grant film She Done Him Wrong aaaages ago and wasn’t too impressed; but that was aaaages ago and I’m actually really interested to check this out. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Deborah Nadoolman Landis

Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

Director: Max Ophüls
Starring: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan
Synopsis: A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember whom may hold the key to his downfall.
My take: I’ve seen this before, quite a while ago, and I remember being pretty bored and frustrated by it. But I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and I’m kind of curious to see if I was wrong. But I don’t know if I’m all THAT curious. Might see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: Preservation funded by The Film Foundation

Nothing Sacred (1937)

Director: William A. Wellman
Starring: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger, Walter Connolly, Sig Ruman
Synopsis: When a diagnosis of a terminal illness turns out to be incorrect, Hazel Flagg decides to milk it anyway, becoming the toast of New York thanks to a reporter hungry for a heartwarming story.
My take: This is one of Carole Lombard’s most iconic roles, solidifying her madcap comedienne persona; I remember it being a tad on the shrill side, but it’s been a while since the last time I saw it. Might see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Deborah Nadoolman Landis

The Scarlet Empress (1934)

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Starring: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe, Louise Dresser, C. Aubrey Smith
Synopsis: Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, but prefers Russian soldiers instead; eventually engineering a coup d’etat, she becomes Catherine the Great.
My take: I’ve spent weeks excited about this because I thought it was Shanghai Express. Now that I’ve learned better, I’m less excited. I’ve actually seen half of this movie and it looks nice, for sure, but beyond that it was kind of bland. Still, I guess I should finish it, just for completeness’ sake. Might see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Deborah Nadoolman Landis

The Films of Stanley Donen

Charade (1963)

Director: Stanley Donen
Starring: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, George Kennedy, James Coburn
Synopsis: Romance and suspense in Paris, as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Who can she trust?
My take: This is one of my all-time favorite movies, and one I recommend to everybody I know (and I’ve never had anyone disappointed yet). I’m sure I’d be right there for it again if I hadn’t JUST watched it like three times over the past couple of months. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Stanley Donen

Funny Face (1957)

Director: Stanley Donen
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson
Synopsis: A photographer, fashion editor, and bookish model head to Paris for a fashion shoot, punctuated by music and romance.
My take: I’ve never been as into this film as a lot of Audrey Hepburn fans; it’s the height of stylishness, that’s for sure, and has some solid Gershwin songs, but I doubt I’ll go far out of my way for a rewatch. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Stanley Donen

Two for the Road (1967)

Director: Stanley Donen
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney, Eleanor Bron, William Daniels
Synopsis: A couple in the south of France non-sequentially spin down the highways of infidelity in their troubled ten-year marriage.
My take: This film nigh unto blew me away when I saw it several years ago – one of the most grown-up films I’ve ever seen, with great performances and a fascinating non-linear structure to boot. Definitely love a rewatch, as it’s been a while. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: World Premiere of 45th Anniversary restoration
In attendance: Stanley Donen

The Paramount Renaissance

Black Sunday (1977)

Director: John Frankenheimer
Starring: Robert Shaw, Fritz Weaver, Bruce Dern
Synopsis: An Israeli anti-terrorist agent must stop a disgruntled Vietnam vet cooperating in a plot to commit a terrorist plot at the Super Bowl.
My take: I don’t know much about this film (I spent a few misused minutes trying to figure out how a Mario Bava film could be in a Paramount sidebar), but Frankenheimer is always solid, and it sounds interesting. We’ll leave this one up to scheduling. Might see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Robert Evans

Chinatown (1974)

Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Synopsis: A private detective investigating an adultery case stumbles on to a scheme of murder that has something to do with water.
My take: This is another one I’m definitely hoping to see with Jonathan; for me, it’s probably the quintessential neo-noir crossed with a peculiarly ’70s sense of alienation that hits on all cylinders. Planning to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Robert Towne

Love Story (1970)

Director: Arthur Hiller
Starring: Ryan O’Neal, Ali MacGraw
Synopsis: A pair of class-crossed lovers defy their parents’ distaste for their union, but can’t stop the inevitable as Jenny faces a terminal illness.
My take: I’ve never seen this, but I don’t have much desire to, either, except as pure academic curiosity. Which doesn’t take me very far in a very crowded festival. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Robert Evans

Marathon Man (1976)

Director: John Schlesinger
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Roy Scheider, Laurence Olivier
Synopsis: A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.
My take: Another one I only know about in bits and snatches, but that synopsis sounds AWESOME (much better than my mental picture of Dustin Hoffman running a marathon for two hours). If I can make time for this, I probably will. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Robert Evans

Rosemary’s Baby

Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavettes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Elisha Cook Jr.
Synopsis: A young couple move into a new apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins controlling her life.
My take: TWO Roman Polanski films at the fest, how about that? I watched this a couple of years ago and wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be, though there are certainly some good moments. I should re-evaluate at some point, but this probably isn’t the time. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Robert Evans

Universal’s Legacy of Horror

The Black Cat (1934)

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi
Synopsis: American honeymooners in Hungary are trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.
My take: I feel like I’ve seen this before, but maybe not – I definitely don’t recall Karloff and Lugosi playing chess. And I think I need to see that. Planning to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Sara Karloff, Bela G. Lugosi

Dracula (1931)

Director: Tod Browning
Starring: Bela Lugosi
Synopsis: The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.
My take: Neither my favorite version of Dracula nor my favorite Universal horror film; you definitely ought to see it once, but it creaks far more than even I like. Not seeing
Festival Guide
In attendance: Carla Laemmle

Frankenstein (1931)

Director: James Whale
Starring: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles
Synopsis: Horror classic in which an obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.
My take: This one is my favorite of the Universal horror cycle, and since Jonathan hasn’t seen it yet, I’m hoping to save a place for it on my schedule. But I have seen it a lot of times and I’m not going to be disappointed if I miss it. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: New restoration, with restored cuts made in post-1931 reissues to comply with the Production Code
In attendance: John Carpenter

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Starring: Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff
Synopsis: One of the sons of Frankenstein finds his father’s monster in a comma and revives him, only to find out he is controlled by Ygor who is bent on revenge.
My take: I initially blew this off looking at the schedule (sequels to sequels to sequels of horror films, nah), but the more I think about it, the more I’m curious to check it out. Maybe it’s just Lugosi and Karloff together again, but yeah. Might see
Festival Guide
Presented by: John Landis

The Wolf Man (1941)

Director: George Waggner
Starring: Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Claude Rains, Maria Ouspenskaya
Synopsis: A practical man returns to his homeland, is attacked by a creature of folklore, and infected with a horrific disease his disciplined mind tells him can not possibly exist.
My take: This is one of the few major Universal horrors I haven’t, and it’s one of the stories that interests me the most. I’ve had it on my list forever, and this is a great time to cross it off. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
In attendance: Rick Baker

Special Presentations

A Fine Mess: Laurel and Hardy

Program of shorts includes: Helpmates (1932), County Hospital (1932), Busy Bodies (1933)
Starring: Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy
Synopsis: A collection of three sound Laurel & Hardy shorts made for the Hal Roach studios, but after Leo McCarey left. Laurel supervised these films, though uncredited.
My take: I’ve liked the few Laurel and Hardy films I’ve seen (I’ve mostly seen silents, because they show them before silent features at Cinefamily sometimes), and I wouldn’t say no to these. But other things are likely to eclipse it on the schedule. Might see
Festival Guide

“A Trip to the Moon” and Other Trips Through Time, Color and Space

Program of early cinema shorts includes: A Trip to the Moon (1902, Georges Méliès), Après le bal (1897, Georges Méliès), A Trip Down Market Street (1906, Miles Brothers), Caruso sings “La Donna è Mobile” (1908, Alfred Duskes), The Acrobatic Fly (1910, F. Percy Smith), Balloon Land (1935, Ub Iwerks), and more
Synopsis: A curated collection of early films focusing on technical experiments and flights of fancy.
My take: I would LOVE to see the newly restored version of A Trip to the Moon, that’s for sure, and the other things listed on the program also intrigue me a lot, with my current fascination with early cinema. I’ll definitely make an effort to get to this program. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: 2011 restoration of A Trip to the Moon, with original hand-coloring and new score by AIR
Presented by: Director, producer, and historian Serge Bromberg

Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room

Director: Vera Iwerebor
Starring: “Baby Peggy” Diana Serra Cary
Synopsis: A documentary about “Baby Peggy,” one of cinema’s first child stars, doing pretty much all of her work by the age of 11, and all in the silent era.
My take: Cinefamily has shown Baby Peggy-related things before; in fact, I think they’ve shown one of her few surviving films (Captain January) with her in attendance. I’d frankly rather see that than a documentary about her, so as wonderful as it is that she’s still with us and willing to do appearances like this, I might have to skip this. Probably won’t see
Festival Guide
In attendance: “Baby Peggy” Diana Serra Cary, Vera Iwerebor

Girl Shy (1924)

Director: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Starring: Harold Lloyd
Synopsis: A shy, young man, who is completely incapable of talking to women, decides to write a book that details to other bachelors how to find a girlfriend.
My take: I’ve only seen a couple of Harold Lloyd films, and I enjoyed them both – this one is supposed to be one of his best, just shy of Safety Last, so if I can get to this, I will. Planning to see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: New score composed and conducted by Robert Israel

How the West Was Won (1962)

Director: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall
Starring: Debbie Reynolds, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, Thelma Ritter, Lee Van Cleef, Harry Dean Stanton
Synopsis: A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century–including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.
My take: I’m not a huge fan of this star-studded, bloating attempt to encapsulate the entire history of the Old West in less than three hours, but I am being swayed mightily by the opportunity to see one of the only Cinerama films ever made in one of the last remaining Cinerama domes. That alone is tempting. Might see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: Sponsored by ArcLight Cinemas and presented at ArcLight’s Cinerama Dome

Retour de Flamme: Rare and Restored Films in 3-D

Program of shorts includes: L’Arivée d’un Train en Gare de la Ciotat (1935 3D version, Lumière Brothers), Musical Memories (1935, Max Fleischer), Melody (1953, Disney), Motor Rhythm (1939), Falling in Love Again (2003, Munro Ferguson), Murder in 3-D (1941, Pete Smith)
Synopsis: A curated collection of 3D films and experiments from the 1930s through 1950s (and a few outliers).
My take: I don’t like 3D in general, but the opportunity to see films made with older and experimental 3D processes is kind of intriguing. And given several of these are animated, I’m not sure I can resist. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
Presented by: Director, producer, and historian Serge Bromberg

The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Director: Raoul Walsh
Starring: Douglas Fairbanks, Julane Johnston, Anna May Wong, Snitz Edwards, Charles Belcher, Sojin
Synopsis: A recalcitrant thief vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess.
My take: Cinefamily played this last year along with their Fairbanks retrospective, and I missed both screenings. I’d love to rectify that here. Hoping to see
Festival Guide
Screening notes: Accompanied by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Club TCM

Also vying for time are panels, lectures, displays, and events held at the passholder-only Club TCM in the Roosevelt Hotel. I usually try to hit one of these just for variety’s sake, but which one is dictated mostly by scheduling.

Meet TCM: The People Behind the Network
Thursday, April 12 1pm-2pm

The Maltese Touch of Evil: New Perspectives on Film Noir
TCM brand manager Shannon Clute and film scholar Richard Edwards – cohosts of podcast Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir
Thursday, April 12 3pm-4pm

The History of Oscars’ Red Carpet
Friday, April 13 12:30pm-1:30pm

The Ultimate Film Noir
Film noir expert Eddie Muller and actress Rose McGowan
Friday, April 13 2:30pm-4pm

So You Think You Know Movies
New York Film Forum’s Bruce Goldstein hosts movie trivia
Friday, April 13 5:30pm-6:30pm

The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful
Costume designer and author Deborah Nadoolman Landis
Saturday, April 14 12:30pm-2pm

African Americans On-Screen: 1903 to the Present
Film historian Donald Bogle
Saturday, April 14 3:30pm-4:30pm

Hollywood Home Movies: Treasures from the Academy Film Archive Collection
Presented by AMPAS representatives Randy Haberkamp and Lynne Kirste, with special guests Margaret O’Brien, and members of the MacMurray, McQueen, and Koster families
Saturday, April 14 6pm-7pm

Classic Movie Memorabilia Appraisals by Bonhams
Sunday, April 15 10am-2pm

Imagemakers: The Truth Behind Hollywood’s PR Machine from the Golden Age to Now
Moderator: Pete Hammond. Panelists: Henri Bollinger, Dick Guttman, Arnold Robinson
Sunday, April 15 12:30pm-1:30pm

Designing Iconic Movie Imagery
Moderator: Randy Haberkamp. Panelists: Jim Bissell, Terence March, Jim Pascale
Sunday, April 15 2:30pm-3:30pm

The Brown Derby: A Hollywood Legend
Mark Willems
Sunday, April 15 4:30pm-5:30pm

31 comments

  1. Jericho Slim

    Jandy, I’m definitely going next year. What are your thoughts about the logistics. Such as: Is it worth it to get a pass? And are all the screenings within walking distance so there’s no need to rent a car? Are there recommended hotels?

    • It’s definitely worth it to get a pass if you can afford it (or go for a media pass if you can). Firstly, because it’s MUCH easier and less hassle to get into the screenings, which is essential if you have a full schedule. Assuming they do it the same as last year, if you have a pass, you queue up and get a number, and then you can actually leave the queue and come back and you get to reclaim your spot based on the number you get. All passholders get in first, and only after all passholders are seated do they start selling individual tickets at all, so you’d have to get there early and stay in line to make sure you got an individual ticket at all. Secondly, because the Club TCM stuff is only for passholders, and though I don’t hang out there all that much, it’s fun to be able to pop over for a panel or something.

      The screenings are all walking distance, yes, so you don’t need a car as long as you’re also staying nearby. Most of the screenings are in the Hollywood and Highland Complex – Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Mann’s Chinese – and a few others are about three blocks away at the Egyptian Theatre.

      The Roosevelt Hotel is the “official” hotel of the festival. You’d likely be there anyway to pick up passes and go to Club TCM and stuff like that. It’s across the street from Grauman’s, so it’s convenient. There’s also the Renaissance Hotel attached to the Hollywood and Highland, so also very convenient. Both are likely pricey, though, so if you want to go down in price you might have to look a little further away. If you go far enough that you couldn’t walk, you might try and get something close to a Metro station if you can so you don’t have to rent a car and pay for parking at the festival. The LA Metro isn’t particularly extensive, but there’s a station right at Hollywood and Highland, so it’s convenient to the festival.

      Hope to see you there next year!

      • Jericho Slim

        Thanks! I’m already saving money for it. I might even try to get the big boy pass!

  2. Hi Jandy,

    I went to a critic meetup in Toronto last night and Kurt from RowThree suggested I drop you a line. I’m a huge classic film buff myself and I’ll also be going to TCMFF this year. I for one am really overwhelmed by the sheer volume of films that I desperately want to see on the big screen. Really love your breakdown of the films, have you gotten a schedule yet? I won’t be accredited this festival but I’m eager to start planning around the screenings. Hope you’ll check out my site and get back to me!

    • Hi, Titania! Kurt just mentioned to me that he’d talked to you and said you were coming to TCMFF. Hopefully we can meet up sometime during the fest. It’s definitely a nice line-up, isn’t it? Do we share many films we’re both hoping to see?

      No, they haven’t released the schedule yet to anyone. They may still be adding films, even. Last year, if I recall, they didn’t release the actual schedule until like two days before the fest. I was pretty manic for a bit there, trying to figure out how to fit everything in!

      I’ll definitely follow your site and add you on Twitter. I don’t use Twitter all that much, but it’s pretty much the easiest way to keep up with people during festivals.

      • We do! I’m a big musical buff, so a few you aren’t planning to see are on the top of my list – like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Swing Time”. I’m going to the gala opening of “Cabaret” which should be fantastic. Also my undying love for Humphrey Bogart is going to get me in a seat for “Casablanca” and “Sabrina”, come hell or high water haha.

        I do however really want to see “The Women” (which I’ve actually never seen all the way through before), and some of the Universal Horror films if I have time! I might have to make a list of my own, to help myself figure out what films I want to see the most.

        And thanks so much for taking a look at my site! It’s still a little bit under construction, but I do hope we can meet at TCMFF!

        • I’m still undecided on Swing Time, despite what I said above. My husband hasn’t seen it, and I need to indoctrinate him into my Fred & Ginger love at some point. I’m just not sure this is the right time to try to overcome his dislike of musicals. :) We’ll see what the scheduling is like.

          The Women is awesome. Definitely get there early for that one – it’s one of the few films I’ve seen sell out repertory screenings in cities where there’s no repertory culture. It has a huge number of fans.

        • Can agree on Jandy’s assessment of The Women. It’s a lot of fun!

          • And one of the very very few movies without a male speaking part. The only other one that comes to mind is Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s “Innocence” (though I think an old man grunts in it…).

          • There aren’t any males on screen at all, ever, much less speaking parts! Yet it still fails the Bechdel test miserably, because “it’s all about men.” :)

    • Wait, you’re going to Springsteen and TCM FF? I’m shaking both my fists at you now! B-)

  3. Kurt Halfyard

    My lord, scrolling down that list, I’d love to be in L.A. for this.

    • They definitely bring the goods, don’t they? One advantage is when you go to a classic film fest, you pretty much know the films are all good, or at least decent. The wheat to chaff ratio is much higher than at a regular film festival, where a lot of the films are relatively untried.

  4. Jandy, if I didn’t have the greatest girlfriend in the world, I would be on you like stink on a fish — largely for putting 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as the number-one bare essential. “Whale of a Tale” is quite possibly the greatest movie song of all time, not simply because it’s very funny and very catchy, but also because it has absolutely no purpose or bearing on the plot outside of breaking up the monotony of the first act of the film and making you like Kirk Douglas.

    And Douglas is amazing — he’s every bit as good a physical comedian as Gene Kelly, and you don’t think of him as a singer or performer, then again, you don’t think of a guy that masculine to deliver a very sexually ambiguous song, where he sings about lost loves in, well, frankly, the gayest way imagineable. But the buried sexuality of 20,000 Leagues is a topic for another day. Point is: amazing song, amazing performance, well done!

    • Not to burst your bubble, but the films are in alphabetical order. :) Also, I already have the greatest husband in the world, so… But I am looking forward to seeing 20,000 Leagues, it’s true.

  5. TCM just released the schedule. Gonna be poring over that tonight, ready for heartbreaking decision-making.

    And as I expected, there are a few new announcements, of both special guests and films. I’ll add those into the post in their proper places when I get time. Until then, from the email I just received:

    Some newly announced highlights include:
    * Filmmaker Mel Brooks will be on hand to introduce his brilliant parody YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974).
    * Screenwriter Robert Towne will join Robert Evans for a screening of Roman Polanski’s CHINATOWN (1974).
    * Actresses Maud Adams and Eunice Gayson will attend a screening of the James Bond classic DR. NO (1962) and participate in a conversation about being “Bond Girls.”
    * Filmmaker John Carpenter will introduce his favorite film, the seminal horror classic FRANKENSTEIN (1931).
    * Actress Carla Laemmle will participate in a screening of DRACULA (1931) as that film’s only surviving cast member.
    * Three design giants will join TCM’s celebration of Style in the Movies, with Bob Mackie appearing at a screening of Cecil B. DeMille’s CLEOPATRA (1934), Barbara Tfank discussing the Otto Preminger drama BONJOUR TRISTESSE (1958) and Todd Oldham basking in the opulence of The Women (1939) and AUNTIE MAME (1958).
    * Walter Mirisch will talk about FALL GUY (1947) at a screening of the first film he ever produced.

    EDIT:
    Plus there are more films on the schedule that weren’t on the program before. CRISS CROSS (1947), SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (1941), HIGH SOCIETY (1956), THE SEARCHERS (1956), BRINGING UP BABY (1938), NIGHT AND THE CITY (1950), even more than that…I knew I shoulda waited until they released the schedule to put this up. :)

    • That is a wealth of classic cinema for sure…A few too many obvious titles, but since you’d get a chance to see them on the big screen that still sounds fine by me.

      Even though I just saw it recently on the big screen, “Black Narcissus” is probably my first pick. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed seeing that projected.

      “Rio Bravo” and “Singin’ In The Rain” are favourites, but I’ve never seen either on the big screen, so those would be picks as well. And of course the Noir – “Raw Deal” (anything by Anthony Mann is going to look freaking awesome projected), “Criss Cross” (not my favourite, but kind of an “ultimate” Noir) and “Gun Crazy” are great. Oh, and “Trouble In Paradise” – definitely catch that. “Girl Shy” would be fun as well – the last 15 minutes or so stacks up with “Safety Last”.

      I think I’d be even more psyched for some of the stuff I haven’t seen. I’ve just finished reading “Hollywood Babylon” (by Kenneth Anger), so I’d love to see that Clara Bow film, the Joan Crawford silent, “Cry Danger”, “Scarlet Empress”, “Two For The Road”, etc.

      “Black Sunday” would be tempting. That’s all kinds of fun – I think anyway, it’s been years. “Nothing Sacred” didn’t seem as shrill as you mentioned, but it doesn’t match “My Man Godfrey” or “To Be Or Not To Be” when it comes to Lombard.

      And those panel sessions! Damn…I’ll try not to curse you too much.

      • The “obvious” titles are big crowd-getters, though. I can’t tell you how many times over the past couple of years I’ve been waiting in line for something rare and obscure and heard people walking by going “oh, I can’t wait to see Casablanca on the big screen.” A lot of people come in from places that don’t do rep cinema at all, so the chance to see beloved favorites on the big screen is a big draw. So I get why TCM programs those, even if I’d prefer a stronger slate of harder-to-find films. Thankfully, as expected, the last-minute adds beefed up the “Discoveries” section a lot.

        Looking at the schedule I think I’m going to be able to see most of what I really, really want to. Like the Crawford, the Mann, the Lloyd, the Bow, Black Narcissus, etc. I’m going to miss Cry Danger, though. Still, with the cast and director of Raw Deal, I was more gung-ho about that one anyway. I’ve never seen Criss Cross, so I’m looking forward to that one.

        The panels may be a loss this year, though. Too many good films to want to skip any! The panel I really want to see is on Thursday afternoon (the film noir one) anyway, and I didn’t get Thursday off work. Kinda bummed about that.

    • I looked at the schedule last night and it was too much for bear. I’m going to take a second look tonight and actually start choosing screenings. Eek, what a bittersweet task haha

  6. So much here that is awesome and so much here that I would LOVE to see on the big screen – even the ones I’ve already seen.

    But many I’ve never seen at all. Gotta admit I’m a little jealous.

    • It’s definitely a hard choice sometimes deciding between one you know and love but obviously have seen before and one you haven’t seen but don’t know if you’re going to like or not. It’s like, would I rather see a mediocre new-to-me film or see a beloved favorite in the best possible setting. Even rewatches have a different “something” to them on a big screen, in a festival setting.

  7. What I wouldn’t give for a thousand pounds and some free time so I could fly over to LA for this. It’s incredible! So so jealous.

  8. Biggest scheduling conundrums for me:

    Raw Deal vs. I’m No Angel vs. Elmer Gantry
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (with Kirk Douglas) vs. Frankenstein (with John Carpenter)
    Vertigo vs. Two for the Road vs. Cry Danger
    Chinatown (with Robert Towne) vs. Young Frankenstein (with Mel Brooks)
    The 3D Rarities program vs. Bonjour Tristesse vs. Trouble in Paradise vs. The Thomas Crown Affair
    The Black Cat vs. Gun Crazy
    Seconds vs. Call Her Savage
    Black Narcissus vs. How the West Was Won (in Cinerama!)

  9. Looks like my final itinerary is going to be:

    THURSDAY
    Our Dancing Daughters
    Criss Cross

    FRIDAY
    Wings
    Raw Deal
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
    Vertigo
    Chinatown
    Phase IV

    SATURDAY
    Fall Guy
    Lonesome
    Retour de Flamme – 3D Rarities
    Girl Shy
    The Black Cat
    Call Her Savage
    Duck Soup

    SUNDAY
    Black Narcissus
    Trouble in Paradise
    The Women
    The Thief of Bagdad

    Most painful misses: I’m No Angel, Two for the Road, Cry Danger, Gun Crazy, The Searchers, Young Frankenstein, Rio Bravo, Elmer Gantry, The Wolf Man, How the West Was Won in Cinerama (I don’t like How the West Was Won – but I’d like to watch about fifteen minutes of it in Cinerama, just to see it, but I don’t think I can manage that without missing a whole other movie). And, of course, the movie trivia event – which I would probably lose miserably at, because TCM fans know their stuff like whoa.

  10. Scott McGee

    great rundown of the fest, Jandy. I’ll be venue hosting and introducing films at the fest, as well as interviewing people. Will be at Our Dancing Daughters, Phase IV, Duck Soup, etc. Come find me!

    • Fabulous, Scott! I’m definitely planning on all three of those, though the timing between Chinatown and Phase IV is tight. Hopefully I make it in! Looks like you drew the late-night shifts, eh? :)

      I really enjoyed your appearance on the Cinementals podcast recently – thanks for doing that!

      • Doug Trumbull’s PHASE IV? I’d drop whatever I was doing to catch that one on the big screen. One of the strangest films, ever….Beautiful too.

  11. Oh my! What I would give to be able to attend this. Hopefully one day…

    I just want to say I actually have The Macomber Affair dvd and I quite like the story and of course, Peck as the hunky white hunter. I’m sure it’d look marvelous on the big screen!

    • It’s definitely worth attending if you get the chance!

      I ended up missing The Macomber Affair, but it had certainly piqued my interest. Good to know it’s available on DVD; I’ll have to try to check it out at some point. Thanks for the recommendation! I honestly hadn’t heard of it before this, despite liking Gregory Peck a lot.

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  1. Classic Flick Chick , Archive » TCM Classic Film Festival - [...] I also got e-introduced to Jandy, a fellow classic film buff, who wrote this great entry about what’s playing …
  2. Next year’s TCM Film Festival: Movie recommendations « REVEAL SHOT - [...] “The Pink Panther” (1963) was shown at the 2012 festival, this would be a logical follow-up. Considered by many …

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