TCM Classic Film Festival begins two weeks from today, on March 26, 2015!
The festival, which takes place at several venues on Hollywood Boulevard, runs through Sunday, March 29th.
Again this year I'll have the privilege of covering the entire festival as a member of the credentialed media.
This year I'll also be staying at a hotel for the entire festival; it's going to make the late nights and early mornings so much easier not having to struggle through freeway traffic!
During the festival please follow me on Twitter for real time updates on what I'm watching, along with the latest festival news and photos.
As I have done for the past couple of years, I'll be presenting a series of detailed daily recaps and movie reviews once the festival comes to an end.
The final schedule was released on Monday, and I've been studying it and making difficult decisions!
TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949), which I just saw for the second time last weekend, and I'll also be passing on Craig Barron and Ben Burtt's entertaining and educational presentation on GUNGA DIN (1939) which I was privileged to see at the Lone Pine Film Festival last fall. 100-year-old Norman Lloyd introducing REIGN OF TERROR (1949) will probably also not make the cut, as I was able to see him introduce the same film at the Noir City Film Festival in 2012.
Last year I found I stuck pretty close to my original schedule, other than swapping out STELLA DALLAS (1937) for THE JUNGLE BOOK (1937) and BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (1962) for WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956), and I was happy with both choices. I was also able to add ON APPROVAL (1944) to my schedule when it was shown a second time on Sunday after being sold out earlier in the festival. It will be interesting to see how this year's schedule plays out! I could easily map out two or three completely different schedules and still end up happy, which is part of the TCM Classic Film Festival's magic.
Before the movies get underway, I hope to take some photos of the cast arriving on the red carpet for the opening night screening of THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965). Then it's time for movies! I saw 11 in 2013 and 14 in 2014. What will the tally be this year?!
Here are my initial picks:
Thursday, March 26th:
MY MAN GODFREY (1936) - This is one of my favorite comedies, and there's nothing more fun than seeing a classic comedy with a packed audience. BACHELOR MOTHER (1939) was so much fun on opening night last year! That said, I certainly wouldn't mind attending my second choice for the night -- Errol Flynn's daughter introducing THE SEA HAWK (1940).
Friday, March 27th:
STAGECOACH (1939) was scheduled opposite the Charlton Heston stamp ceremony, and this year Ford's MY DARLING CLEMENTINE is scheduled opposite Christopher Plummer's handprint ceremony! Decisions, decisions. I've never seen CLEMENTINE on a big screen, so I'm going to hope to see Plummer earlier in the festival and go for John Ford, especially as last year STAGECOACH was probably my favorite of the 14 movies seen -- and I especially love supporting cast members Victor Mature, Linda Darnell, Ward Bond, and Tim Holt. CLEMENTINE will be introduced by Peter Fonda and Keith Carradine; Ford biographer Scott Eyman will also be at the festival so I wonder if he might moderate.
A note to other festival attendees -- THE SMILING LIEUTENANT (1931), which I just saw, is a fantastic option in this time block!
THE GREAT GATBSY (1949). This is one of the films I'm most excited to see this year.
AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957) - This pick is very iffy; in the same time frame I've got the chance to see Ann-Margret in person at THE CINCINNATI KID (1965); Ford's YOUNG MR. LINCOLN (1939), which I love but have at least previously seen on a big screen, albeit long ago; or PINOCCHIO (1940), which I find very dark in tone, but I do love "When You Wish Upon a Star" and it would be great to see another Disney film at the El Capitan Theatre. This will be a last-minute choice!
WHY WORRY? (1923) was up there with STAGECOACH as my favorite experience of 2014, so I'm leaning strongly toward seeing Davis conduct his score for this Buster Keaton film. However, I would also be perfectly happy seeing RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1980) with an audience for the first time in decades, and I always like seeing films at the El Capitan.
10 Favorite Films of the Last 25 Years. Seeing it on the huge screen at the Chinese should be a thrill -- I can already imagine the music playing during the spectacular launch sequence -- and Jim Lovell will be there in person! How often does one get a chance to see an Apollo astronaut?! That said, if I can't make it over from the Egyptian in time, I certainly wouldn't be sad to see one of my very favorite Hitchcock films, REBECCA (1940), instead. The last time I saw REBECCA on a big screen was at round-the-clock Filmex marathon when I was a teenager.
Saturday, March 28th:
WHY BE GOOD? (1928) - This Colleen Moore film was once "lost" and is another chance to experience a new-to-me movie!
SO DEAR TO MY HEART (1948) - I watched this on DVD in 2012, but it seems unlikely I might have another chance to see this rarely shown Disney film on a big screen. However, I'm torn as it's opposite 42ND STREET (1933), which I've never seen on a big screen. I hope whichever one I miss will make one of the "TBA" spots on Sunday! The wealth of excellent choices means I will likely also pass on the chance to see another Ford film on the big screen, THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (1945), which I just revisited on DVD last year.
AIR MAIL (1932) - Ralph Bellamy and Pat O'Brien in a John Ford "airplane" film. Sold!
CHRISTMAS IN JULY (1940) - Dick Powell on the big screen. Especially if I miss 42ND STREET!
Hollywood Home Movies - This was really fun and interesting in 2013. Second choice: Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon in MADAME CURIE (1943). With each movie I see him in I realize just how much I enjoy Pidgeon.
IMITATION OF LIFE (1959) - I'm not especially sold on anything in this time block. I've seen my second choice, ADAM'S RIB (1949), a million times over the years so Douglas Sirk directing Lana Turner in a new-to-me film seems like the best pick. Although I probably wouldn't have time to make it if I end up at MADAME CURIE!
Sunday, March 29th:
CALAMITY JANE (1953) - With apologies to Tyrone Power, Coleen Gray, and NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947), this spot is no contest. Doris Day for the win! This should be as joyous a viewing experience as SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963) was on Sunday morning last year; that experience last year ranks up there with STAGECOACH and WHY WORRY? for sheer movie bliss.
DESK SET (1957) - This is one of the Tracy-Hepburn films I like the best, although a good option in the "TBA" spot would draw me away. There's a Jeanette MacDonald pre-Code, DON'T BET ON WOMEN (1931), I'd really love to see. Or I might lose my mind and go see PSYCHO (1960) for the first time, especially as Kristina has offered to sit next to me if I get brave!
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) - Another I've seen many times, but not lately. Or maybe I'll see one more "newer" film and go watch OUT OF SIGHT (1998) for the second time.
MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE (1964) - I know nothing about this movie, but the last film at the Chinese is always the "official" closing night movie, and it's my big chance to see Sophia Loren in person! But what a spectacularly good second option there is seeing KISS ME KATE (1953) in 3D. I saw it in 3D twice at the Tiffany Theater many moons ago, but the technology nowadays is so much better! If I happen to see Sophia in Club TCM or elsewhere earlier in the fest, I might switch over and close out the festival with this wonderful MGM musical.
Last year the vast majority of films I watched were titles I had previously seen; this year it looks like I will probably increase the number of films which are completely new for me.
For peeks at the schedules designed by other bloggers, please visit Kendahl at A Classic Movie Blog, Raquel at Out of the Past, Angela at The Hollywood Revue, and Lara at Backlots. I will probably be updating this list with additional links as they are posted!
Update: Here are the tentative viewing schedules posted by Aurora at Once Upon a Screen, Joel at Joel's Classic Film Passion, Diane at Classic Movie Blog, Chris at Blog of the Darned, and Nora at The Nitrate Diva.
Update: More links! Here's Kim's schedule posted at I See a Dark Theater, Lindsay's at Lindsay's Movie Musings, Ariel's at Sinamatic Salve-ation, and Kendra at Viv and Larry.
Update: More schedule links from Michael at It Rains...You Get Wet and Jandy at The Frame.
March 18th Update: Sad news today: Robert Osborne has announced he will be unable to attend the festival due to the need for what he describes as a "minor health procedure." His letter to the TCM community is here. I know I'm joined by TCM and classic film fans everywhere in wishing him a very speedy and complete recovery.
Update: The 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival in Review.
A look back: My post on the 2014 schedule is here, and thoughts on the 2013 schedule are here.