Turner Classic Movies announced that the 11th annual TCMClassic Film Festival will open with a 35th anniversary screening of BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985), with stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson and screenwriter/producer Bob Gale in attendance. BACK TO THE FUTURE personifies this year’s theme of GRAND ILLUSIONS: FANTASTIC WORLDS ON FILM, “a wondrous journey to enchanted worlds of fantasy and stories beyond belief. From myths and magical creatures to ghostly encounters and travels through time, you’ll escape with fellow movie lovers to places that will ignite your imagination.”
TCM also announced additional film titles including: George Cukor’s A DOUBLE LIFE (1947), starring Ronald Colman and Shelley Winters; Cukor’s pre-Code comedic drama DINNER AT EIGHT (1933), starring Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler; Alfred Hitchcock’s remake of his original 1934 thriller THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956); Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn in Sam Wood’s THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES (1941); and Alfred Santell’s drama THAT BRENNAN GIRL (1946).
Passes for the 2020 TCMClassic Film Festival are still available, but only limited quantities remain. Passes make a perfect holiday gift for the classic movie lover!
For more information about 2020 Festival passes, please click here.
Celebration to Take Place April 12th During The 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) announced it will honor iconic comedian, actor and author Billy Crystal with a hand and footprint ceremony at the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®in Hollywood during the tenth annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Friday, April12.Crystal, a Tony Award® and six time Emmy® winner and Golden Globe® nominee, starring in cinematic classics such as The Princess Bride(1987), When Harry Met Sally…(1989), City Slickers(1991) in addition to hosting the Academy Awards nine times.
“Billy Crystal has long been among the most versatile talents working in Hollywood. And I say “talent” because Billy is so much more than an actor. Trying to define his career into a signature role or moment feels futile. Is it his lead performance in When Harry Met Sally, the ensemble he led in City Slickers, or his scene-stealing supporting part as Miracle Max in The Princess Bride? Then again, it might be his prodigious resume of voice acting work or his consistently impressive work hosting the Academy Awards, which he’s done nine times (only Bob Hope has done it more). From Soap to Monsters, Inc. Crystal has emerged as one of the great story tellers of his generation –on the big screen, the small screen, and in front of a live audience,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM prime time anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. “For these and a fifty other reasons, we’re thrilled to be able to honor Billy for his contributions to this industry with a hand and footprint ceremony outside the TCL Chinese Theatre.”
This marks the ninth consecutive year TCM has featured a hand and foot print ceremony at the legendary TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®. In 2011, Peter O’Toole was the honoree, followed by Kim Novak in 2012, Jane Fonda in 2013, Jerry Lewis in 2014, Christopher Plummer in 2015, Francis Ford Coppola in 2016,Carl and Rob Reiner in 2017 and Cicely Tyson in 2018.
About the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival
For the tenth consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2019 festival is set to take place Thursday, April 11 –Sunday, April 14, 2019. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more.
TCM Prime time host Ben Mankiewicz will serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. The festival’s official hotel and central gathering point for the ninth consecutive year (was it not the first year?) will be The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will also offer special rates for festival attendees. Screenings and events during the festival will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre, as well as other Hollywood venues.
Whether it’s in the afternoon, at first sight, or in the air, the TCM Classic Film Festival will celebrate love in all of its forms. For the 10th annual Festival, and the 25th anniversary of TCM, there will be many-splendored moments to revel in romance and obsessions, delight in faithful friendships and surrender to the enduring allure of the silver screen with fellow classic movie lovers.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better at the TCM Classic Film Festival’s warm welcome on Wednesday evening, the extraordinary talent, Cicely Tyson, was honored with a Hand and Footprint Ceremony Friday morning, April 27th, 2018, at Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theatre. The diminutive Tyson is still working and shows little sign of slowing down. Enjoy the footage from the ceremony and check out what the festival wrote about Tyson below!
Actress, advocate, and humanitarian, Cicely Tyson is renowned for her portrayals of strong female characters on stage, screen, and television, from her stunning initial stage appearance as Barbara Allen in Dark of the Moon to her triumphant 2013 return to Broadway.
After a 30-year hiatus from the Broadway stage, Ms. Tyson returned as Mother Carrie Watts in Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful in 2013, for which she received rave reviews and the triple crown of theater awards: the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for Best Actress in a play. Ms. Tyson returned to the Broadway stage in September 2015 in The Gin Game co-starringJames Earl Jones.
Best known for her double Emmy performance (Best Lead Actress in a Drama as well as a Special, unprecedented Emmy Award for Actress of the Year) as Jane in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Ms. Tyson also was recently nominated in 2015 and 2017 for an Emmy for her recurring guest role as Ophelia, Annalise’s mother (Viola Davis) in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder. Ms. Tyson received her third Emmy Award for The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and was nominated for her performances in Roots, King, Sweet Justice, The Marva Collins Story and A Lesson Before Dying.
Ms. Tyson was nominated for an Academy Award in 1973 for her role in the film SOUNDER (1972). Her film credits also include The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), Hoodlum (1997), Because of Winn-Dixie (2005), Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), Madea’s Family Reunion (2006), Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010), The Help (2011), Alex Cross (2012) and most recently in 2017 Last Flag Flying directed by Richard Linklater.
In March 2014, Ms. Tyson served as the executive producer of the film version of The Trip to Bountiful, presented on Lifetime television network.In 1977, as a student of the American Film Institute, Ms. Tyson directed the one-act play, Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn.
In recognition of her talent, dedication, and contributions, Ms. Tyson has been the recipient of countless awards including numerous Honorary Doctorates, most recently by Columbia University in 2014, as well as an unprecedented number of NAACP Image Awards. Other notable honors have been bestowed on her by the Princess Grace Foundation, National Urban League, National Council of Negro Women, National Civil Rights Museum and other organizations: PUSH, CORE, SCLC and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center.
Ms. Tyson is among the elite number of entertainers honored with a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. She was recognized for her contribution to the performing arts at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. She is the recipient of the NAACP’s highest honor, the prestigious Spingarn Award. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016, the highest civilian award of the United States.
Since 1996, Ms. Tyson has served as the guiding force of the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts. This $143 million institution of academic and creative expression in East Orange, New Jersey serves 1,200 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. This cultural icon continues to develop her art as she takes on new roles and opportunities in her efforts to enlighten the human race.
Off to a warm start here at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, California!
I had the pleasure of chatting up TCM host, author, writer, director, producer and actress (the adjectives and accolades could literally go on and on – probably needs its own post), Illeana Douglas.
Having previously met Douglas at her book, I Blame Dennis Hopper: and Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies, signing, in 2016, and politely engaging periodically on twitter, my experience last night was comparable to catching up with that long lost, charismatic aunt we haven’t seen in years. Happy to hear about her forthcoming book, It Never Happened, tentatively scheduled for publication and release next year. She’s an extraordinary talent with a refreshing openness and keen sense of humor. And she promised It Never Happened parlays the “Other Stories” from her first title into stories, adventures and tales that never happened. (Wink. Wink) Keep an eye out for it! And, if you haven’t read I Blame Dennis Hopper yet, give it at least a “run through” until her new book, It Never Happened hits the shelves. But enough about Illeana Douglas for now…
The TCM Classic Film Festival Staff and Directors were out in full force for the 2018 Welcome Reception held at the Club TCM inside the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Wednesday, April 25th, 2018. TCM and FilmStruck General Manager, Jennifer Dorian, who was also recently named Executive Vice-President for Turner Portfolio 360 Brand Strategy, welcomed the guests explaining this year’s welcome would be a more casual affair focusing on creating and building relationships through conversation. Indeed!
Cocktails and soft drinks were provided with light appetizers.
This is a must see event! Check out the TCM Pressroom media release below. See you at the movies!
Acclaimed Actor and Activist Leonardo DiCaprio to Present Martin Scorsese with the Inaugural Robert Osborne Award at the TCM Classic Film Festival
Award Recognizes an Individual Who Has Significantly Contributed to Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Classic Films to Be Given Annually in Honor of TCM’s Iconic Host
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced that Leonardo DiCaprio will present friend and frequent collaborator Martin Scorsese with the inaugural Robert Osborne Award as part of the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival. DiCaprio, an Academy Award-winning actor, producer, and philanthropist, has appeared in five of Scorsese’s films, beginning with 2002’s Gangs Of New York and most recently in Academy nominated 2013’s The Wolf Of Wall Street. DiCaprio will present the award to the world-renowned filmmaker for his decades-long commitment to the legacy and preservation of classic films. The award will be presented on April 26 during opening night of the Film Festival.
In 1990, Scorsese established The Film Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history. The foundation has funded the restoration of over 800 films, which are made accessible to the public globally. In addition, The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project has restored 31 films from 21 countries representing the rich diversity of world cinema.
The Robert Osborne Award will be given out annually at the TCM Classic Film Festival to a recipient whose work has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic films alive and thriving for generations to come.
About the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival
For the ninth consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2018 festival is set to take place Thursday, April 26 – Sunday, April 29, 2018. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more.
TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz will serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. The festival’s official hotel and central gathering point for the ninth consecutive year will be The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will also offer special rates for festival attendees. Screenings and events during the festival will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre, as well as other Hollywood venues.
Description of the 2018 festival theme Powerful Words: The Page Onscreen
Writing focuses visions, reflects our feelings and inspires great performances on both sides of the camera. Join us for the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival, celebrating the representation of the written word on the silver screen. From original screenplays to unique adaptations to portrayals of writers real and imagined, we will celebrate the foundation of great film: the written word.
Leonard Maltin, one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians, introduced the screening of Rafter Romance, during the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival at the historic Hollywood Egyptian theater, built in 1922. The film stars Norman Foster and a young Ginger Rogers (just before her first film with Fred Astaire, Flying Down to Rio).
Rafter Romance is a pre-code romantic comedy about two roommates sharing an apartment in a multi-level tenement on a shift basis but have actually never met. As each begins to resent the other’s bad habits, they exchange barbed notes and engage in several hilarious pranks orchestrated against each other. Meanwhile, the two meet outside the apartment and fall in love. Both are juggling careers and trying to make ends meet providing several additional, highly comedic scenes.
Rogers displays a remarkable sweetness and delicious lightness as she moves through the set designs. Dutch-born David Abel provides an eye-pleasing cinematography with a plethora of medium shots coupled with luminous tracking shots. Costumer Bernard Newman, provides several, stylish wardrobe accoutrements with full-length skirts, business suits and accompanying hats for both male and female characters.
The film’s art department of John Hughes and Van Nest Polglase created the sets while Kenneth Holmes supplied props. In addition to the apartment sets, a countryside scene with a lake and accompanying rowboat stands out. Seemingly, most of the production design was deftly constructed to showcase the closeness and intimacy of the film’s lead characters, Mary (Rogers) and Jack (Foster).
Austrian composer, Max Steiner, who would go on to win three Oscars for Best Music and achieve legendary Hollywood status, composed and directed the musical score. Interestingly, the supporting cast of characters portrayed by George Sidney, Laura Hope Crews, Robert Benchley and Sidney Miller added an ethnic complexity that sublimely enhanced the film’s setting and the film’s narrative structure and that all but disappears in post-code films.
While Rafter Romance does have some risque pieces it wasn’t considered to have code issues, despite the suggestive title, and was remade in 1937 under stricter code enforcement as Living on Love.
Unfortunately, the film has rarely been screened in theaters since it’s initial circulation in 1933. Rafter Romance was one of six films handed over to former RKO studio head, Merian Cooper, to settle a lawsuit and he promptly removed them from circulation until their licensing for television in 1955-56. According to the TCM Classical Film Festival website, TCM acquired the films in 2006 and created restored prints with the help of Brigham Young University and the Library of Congress.
The print used for the screening was made possible courtesy of the TCM Collection at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Rafter Romance, directed by William A. Seiter, had a run time of seventy-three minutes and its rather abrupt ending left the audience wanting more. Seeing Rogers’ acting chops coupled with complex characters made this a most unexpected and quite an exceptional viewing treat. I highly recommend Rafter Romanc and, for full effect, I recommend viewing the film on the big screen – the way it was made to be seen!
Jack Conway of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) directed Love Crazy, the first film I viewed at the 2017 TCM Film Festival, dedicated to recently deceased, long-time TCM Host and film historian, Robert Osborne. The film screened at the historic Hollywood Egyptian Theatre, built in 1922, after a brief introductory backdrop of the film by special TCM guest, Dana Delaney.
Love Crazy was the tenth film (out of the fourteen the two made together) in seven years by the leading couple of William Powell and Myrna Loy. The duo was best known for their high brow quips and playful banter starting in 1934 with the pre-code, comedy-mystery, The Thin Man. Powell and Loy would go on to make five additional Thin Man movies; After the Thin Man (1936), Another Thin Man (1939), Shadow of the Thin Man (1941), The Thin Man Goes Home (1944), and Song of the Thin Man (1947).
Love Crazy opens with the familiar quips and double entendres as the couple they portray, Susan and Steve Ireland, is ready to celebrate four years of marriage together. To celebrate their anniversary, Steve insists they replicate their first dinner as a married couple. Only this time he stipulates they have dinner backwards to avoid him having to undertake a rather unpleasant task that took place at the beginning of their first shared meal as man and wife.
Without missing a beat, Susan’s mother, played by Florence Bates, shows up and immediately begins meddling in the couple’s affairs. Steve’s old flame, played by sweltering Gail Patrick, living down below the couple doesn’t help matters. Before long, a series of misunderstandings has Susan filing for divorce. A bewildered Steve discovers if he can fake madness, he can eventually be remanded to Susan’s custody for a period of five years if the Lunacy Commission warrants his release from custody. In a series of madcap situations where Steve pretends to have lost his grip on reality, he manages to get his way.
Yet, even the best laid plans can go awry. One of the high society doctors had crossed paths with Steve and was now serving on the insane asylum release board. Steve eventually escapes from the insane asylum in an outrageous sequence of events. Soon an all points bulletin is issued and an ensuing manhunt takes place as law enforcement officers begin searching the apartment building one apartment at a time. To keep the police, and almost everyone else at bay, Steve decides to go in drag (as Steve’s sister). In doing so, Powell shaves his trademark mustache for the only time in his silver screen career.
Love Crazy is generally regarded by critics as the zaniest of their films together. At it’s most basic level, it’s a marriage farce full of slapstick, references to Freudian psychology and an abundance of physical comedy.
And, MGM does it’s part with impeccable set designs and an abundance of supporting acting talent. The Irelands’ downstairs neighbor, who tries to help Susan pick up the pieces of her life, is a bumptious athlete in the form of Warner Bros. talent Jack Carson. In addition, the lead doctor from the insane asylum is well-known, dialect comic, Sig Ruman.
The film was shot in black and white and had a run time of 99 minutes. The seamless manner exhibited between Powell and Loy never really lets the audience believe the two will end up in divorce. Nevertheless, it doesn’t keep them from pushing the marital boundaries to the edge. Powell looked strong and full of vigor having recently married Diana Lewis, a woman twenty-six years his junior. Reportedly, the two had only known each other three weeks before marrying and would stay married for forty-two years. Loy, on the other hand, had recently separated and her performance had melancholic overtones. Love Crazy was listed as one of the top ten films of the year.
I recommend Love Crazy. And, if at all possible, see it the way it was made to be seen – on the big screen!
The TCM Classic Film Festival Team kicked off its 2017 edition with an hour-long press conference at the TCL Mann Chinese Theatres inside Auditorium 6, on April 5th, 2017. Jennifer Dorian, General Manager, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and FilmStruck, opened the event with a brief overview of the TCM Classic Movies Film Festival, including two nitrate film screenings, Laura (black & white nitrate) and The Black Narcissist (color nitrate), as well as several upcoming film history commemorations. The last nitrate film was produced in 1952. Dorian also noted emphatically this year’s festival is dedicated to long-time TCM host and film historian, Robert Osborne.
Without missing a beat, TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, Festival Director and Vice President of TCM Enterprises & Strategic Partnerships, Genevieve McGillicuddy, and Senior Vice President of Programming of TCM and FilmStruck, Charlie Tabesh introduced themselves and promptly opened up for questions from the press.
The first question posed inquired into this year’s theme of ‘Make ’em Laugh.’ VP of Programming, Charlie Tabesh, responded that while the theme is broad he had to ask himself about how much comedy could the festival contain with film anniversaries, the honoring of talent and special presentations. Nevertheless, Tabesh continued explaining overall an ardent effort was made to have balance for passholders to choose among a range of styles in addition to comedy including noir, tribute films and war movies.
Tellingly, a comment was made that this year’s theme was apropos. Dorian agreed sharing her identification with and the career influence of Mary Tyler Moore through her pioneering feminine role in television and film. TCM Host Mankiewicz chimed in adding what great company TCM is with its diversity as almost every male in the company has had a female superior during their careers.
Several questions surrounded Charles Osborne’s film legacy and the team revealed intentions to honor Osborne were underway with more specific details to come. Presently, numerous Osborne archival videos are available at TCM’s Backlot.
Other questions poured forth regarding the expansion of FilmStruck, the video-on-demand service for film aficionados, developed and managed by TCM in collaboration with the Criterion Collection. GM Dorian proudly stated FilmStruck would be expanding internationally with its deep roster of films from indie studios Janus, Flicker Alley, Icarus, Kino, Milestone and Zeitgeist as well as classic Hollywood studios.
Possibly the most poignant question surrounded the 70th anniversary of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) 1947 Congressional hearings and what, if any, plans were being made to commemorate the Hollywood Ten being cited in contempt of Congress for denouncing the tactics employed by HUAC. Festival Director McGillicuddy responded plans are being made for a major festival in October.
Without further adieu, three additional panelists were introduced – Randy Haberkamp, Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, Jennifer Ahn, Managing Director, The Film Foundation, and David Strohmaier, Editor/Director, Film Historian and Restorationist. The trio discussed at length the importance of preserving the legacy of film through various restoration projects including the retrofitting of the EgyptianTheatre to enable the festival to screen the historic nitrate films, Laura, The Black Narcissist and The Man Who Knew Too Much. In addition, Strohmaier expounded upon the Cinerama format and the Cinerama Dome mentioning the festival’s screening of the groundbreaking 1952 film, This is Cinerama.
The festival will run through Sunday, April 9th, closing with Speedy (1928) starring Harold Lloyd, followed immediately by the Official Closing Night Party held at Club TCM inside the Historic Hollywood Roosevelt.
On day two of the festival, we celebrated Carl Reiner & Rob Reiner with a Hand & Footprint Ceremony, spent time with Mel Brooks and Peter Bogdanovich. Once again, TCM Host Tiffany Vasquez leads as she shares more highlights from the 8th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, Californa: