Saturday, April 05, 2014

The TCM Classic Film Festival 2014 Schedule

It's almost time for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival!

The Festival begins in Hollywood next Thursday, April 10th, and continues through Sunday evening, April 13th.

I'll have the privilege again this year of covering the festival from start to finish as a member of the credentialed media.

During the festival please watch for my updates on Twitter and also on the Twitter list created by Turner Classic Movies, the Fest Social Crew 2014. Along with my fellow classic film bloggers, we'll be bringing you all the latest news on the festival as it happens in real time.

When the festival comes to an end, I'll be presenting a series of detailed daily recaps and movie reviews.

The schedule was released a couple of weeks ago, and I've been carefully studying it and making difficult decisions.

As was the case last year, I've eliminated from consideration films I've seen in a theater in the recent past, such as FIFTH AVENUE GIRL (1937), MARY POPPINS (1964), THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938), or THE GREAT GATSBY (1949). I might make an exception for THE QUIET MAN (1952), depending on the "To Be Announced" film selected for an encore showing Sunday afternoon.

Flexibility is the name of the game, and so I've marked second and sometimes third choices for each time slot. That said, last year I did end up seeing the majority of my first choice picks, so hopefully that will be the case again this year!

Here are some of the films I'm hoping to see:

Thursday, April 10th:

CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (1950) - I'm a huge fan of Jeanne Crain -- please visit my new profile of her at ClassicFlix -- yet I've never seen a single one of her films on a big screen. This is my chance! The film was originally due to be introduced by Tim Conway but his name has disappeared from the schedule so the host will be a surprise.

Then it's a tough choice: One of my favorite comedies, Ginger Rogers in BACHELOR MOTHER (1939), or the chance to see JOHNNY GUITAR (1954) on a big screen. Since I just saw JOHNNY via DVD two months ago, I'm leaning towards BACHELOR MOTHER, but that one is playing in the smallest theater so JOHNNY may still win in the end!

Friday, April 11th:

STAGECOACH (1939) - I love John Wayne and John Ford and have never seen this on a big screen. It's even got Tim Holt! No contest for my pick in this time slot, although I'll regret not seeing the unveiling of the Charlton Heston postage stamp. (Stephanie Zimbalist is among those who will attend the ceremony, along with Heston's son Fraser.) This year I'm spending the first night of the festival in a local hotel so that I can make the early showing without having to get up and fight rush hour traffic.

TOUCH OF EVIL (1958) - Charlton Heston's son Fraser, who I saw at a screening of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) a few years ago, will be on hand at the Chinese Theatre to introduce this movie. Although I've admired the film's amazingly long opening shot a couple of times, I've never seen the movie all the way through. It sounds pretty strange, but it's something I should check out, especially given how much I admire both Heston and leading lady Janet Leigh.

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944) - This is one of my three most favorite movies, and I've seen it on a big screen an amazing seven times. The last time, however, was nearly a quarter century ago, and with Margaret O'Brien in attendance this is a "can't miss."

WHY WORRY? (1923) - A Harold Lloyd-Jobyna Ralston silent, with Carl Davis at the Egyptian Theatre conducting his world premiere score.

EMPLOYEES' ENTRANCE (1933) - I may not have time to get from the Egyptian to the Chinese Multiplex in time to catch this classic Warren William-Loretta Young pre-Code, but I'm going to try! If I don't make it then I'll have an early night.

Saturday, April 12th:

STELLA DALLAS (1937) - Not only is it classic Barbara Stanwyck, it's another movie with Tim Holt in the cast! But THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967) at the El Capitan is also a great option.

MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936) - I haven't seen this Cooper-Arthur-Capra classic in years, and TCM will debut a restored print. I'd also love to see Irene Dunne in I REMEMBER MAMA (1948) in the same time slot, but that would mean cutting it a little too close for the next screening.

HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941) - I just saw this for the first time at New Year's, but if Maureen O'Hara is there, I'm there. I can't miss the opportunity to see the star of some of my most favorite films, including MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947), RIO GRANDE (1950), THE QUIET MAN (1952), and THE PARENT TRAP (1961). TCM wisely scheduled this in the festival's biggest venue, the El Capitan Theatre.

I've next been leaning toward seeing Kim Novak in person at BELL BOOK AND CANDLE (1958), but there may be an opportunity to see her on the opening night of the festival. If I see her then, I may switch gears and go see WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956), as I would love the chance to see Douglas Sirk's Technicolor magic on a big screen. That might also allow me the time to check out the pre-Code HAT CHECK GIRL (1932) with Sally Eilers and Ginger Rogers.

HER SISTER'S SECRET (1946) - Margaret Lindsay and Nancy Coleman in an obscure Edgar Ulmer film? Sold!

Sunday, April 13th:

SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963) - I really enjoyed this colorful romantic comedy a few years ago and think Rod Taylor on a big screen sounds like a great way to start the day.

The middle of the day is uncertain, depending on which films receive encore presentations, but THE QUIET MAN (1952) or EASTER PARADE (1948) are possibilities. Or I could devote the entire middle section of the day to GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)!

THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) - It's been a long time since I last saw this, and revisiting this classic seems like the perfect emotional closing to the festival. I'm a bit skeptical about "retrofitting" films in 3D but am kind of curious about this one thanks to feedback from Will at Cinematically Insane.

Last year I saw 11 movies in three and a half days, so we'll see if I can improve on that number at this year's festival!

For enjoyable peeks at varied schedule picks by other bloggers, please check out posts by Raquel at Out of the Past, Lindsay at Lindsay's Movie Musings, Joel at Joel's Classic Film Passion, Eve at The Lady Eve's Reel Life, Jandy at The Frame, Jill at CC2K, and Aurora at Once Upon a Screen.

Update: Here's more plans from KC of Classic Movies and an epic post by Will at Cinematically Insane.

To visit coverage of last year's festival, click here.


Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Just take this for what you think it's worth, Laura.

I would seriously consider skipping TOUCH OF EVIL and going to ZULU--a really great movie in Panavision that deserves the big screen--at the Egyptian instead.

You may not be aware of this, but many of us who love TOUCH OF EVIL are unhappy at how Rick Schmidlin's supposed "restoration" of the "director's cut" has been so readily accepted as definitive. The truth is much more arguable and I can tell you that one of my critical colleagues, who is a devoted Wellesian and highly respected for it, agrees with me that the first release version is actually the best and really represents Welles best, too, and many besides us prefer either this or the second, longer preview cut found later--in both of these version, credits appear over the long, elaborate opening shot but certainly do not hurt its effect and at the same time, Henry Mancini's title music, now taken out, is a compelling and perfect piece of music that creates a tremendous mood and beautifully sets the tone for the whole.

I won't go on about the other dubious changes. I saw it once and would not go back to it. On DVD, the UK Masters of Cinema edition has all three versions (and in two aspect ratios--something that is also argued about with this film). But I'll just be blunt about this--the Rick Schmidlin version of it makes it a film tampered with by late twentieth century sensibilities long after its director's death and takes it away from being the film of its time that was also so modern and individual. In this version it is now less, not more, than the movie it was.

It's kind of like putting THE WIZARD OF OZ in 3D Just because one can do it doesn't make it right.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Blake, thanks so much for all this info, had no idea about the controversy on the TOUCH OF EVIL cut. If I see it I will definitely make it a point to try to follow up with the original version as well so I can compare. Fascinating stuff.

I see on the schedule that ZULU was directed by Cy Endfield, who also did the memorable TRY AND GET ME.

Best wishes,

12:41 AM  
Blogger john k said...


Since you name-dropped Cy Endfield and knowing that you admire
his HELL DRIVERS I thought that I would mention another Endfield
movie that is just your cup of tea.
Knowing your liking for airline movies Endfield's rarely seen
JET STORM (1959) is one of his best pictures.
Richard Attenborough intends blowing up a plane carrying a
passenger that he feels is responsible for his child's death.
It's a very tense affair with a once in a lifetime cast including
Stanley Baker,Mia Zetterling,Sybil Thorndike,Elizabeth Sellars,
Diane Cilento,Jackie Lane,Marty Wilde,George Rose and many others.
Sadly this film is not yet available on DVD but it's the sort of
film that Network in the UK mikght release some time in the future.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Looking forward to your reports with all the other armchair festival enthusiasts.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out, Laura. Looking forward to seeing you at least a few of these!

9:53 AM  
Blogger KC said...

I'm cracking up. We've picked so many of the same things as first choices! Our Friday picks are almost identical. Except I must see Grey Gardens. It must be true: great minds think alike.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Melissa Clark said...

I'm looking forward to reading your updates during and after this year's Film Festival. It's nice being able to enjoy it all vicariously through you and other bloggers who are attending.

Hope you have a wonderful time! :)

5:41 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

"It's even got Tim Holt!"

The most perfect description of "Stagecoach" ever!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Just now catching up with some comments after all the festival madness! Thank you all so much for your comments.

John, I would dearly love to see JET STORM!

Jacqueline, MC, and everyone else commenting here, I so wish that you could all attend the festival one day! It would be such fun to meet and share some movies together.

Will and KC, the festival is now in our memories and I so enjoyed seeing you both!

Caftan Woman, when I watched STAGECOACH and saw Tim Holt I thought of you. I'm so glad you enjoyed my description. :) As for the blew me away! One of my favorite experiences of the festival.

Best wishes,

5:49 PM  

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