Sunday, April 23, 2017

The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Five

Sunday, the final day of the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival, was bright and sunny, the better to offset everyone's sadness that the festival was almost over!

First thing Sunday I made one more trip to the Egyptian Theatre, this time to see a digital print of THE EGG AND I (1947) starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert.

Here's a shot of Disney's El Capitan Theatre and the neighboring Ghirardelli shop which I took during my walk to the Egyptian. The El Capitan hasn't been a festival venue the last couple of years, but I hope it will be again in the future!

10:15 was the latest I began my movie watching days during the festival, which gave me plenty of time to check out of my hotel before heading off to a four-movie day.

THE EGG AND I was introduced by Tiffany Vazquez, who interviewed Kate MacMurray, daughter of Fred MacMurray and June Haver.

Kate spoke of her parents in glowing terms, relating charming anecdotes about Fred showing up to fix June's plumbing at the start of their courtship; early on he also filled June's fairly empty refrigerator with groceries. When she protested that he'd brought over things she didn't eat, he said, "No, but I do!" -- letting her know he was serious about spending lots of time together. Here's a shot of MacMurray and Haver at home:

Kate also said she had visited his sets only rarely, as he viewed a movie set as a "place of business."

Kate said that her father didn't think it was polite to talk about favorite leading ladies, but that enough years had passed she thought it was all right to say that his favorites were Carole Lombard and Claudette Colbert.

A nice surprise was that THE EGG AND I was preceded by a Merry Melodies cartoon which tied in to the movie's "chicken" theme. I'd love to see this done at the festival more frequently, although I imagine the schedules are already tight enough it might not be easy to pull off.

After THE EGG AND I it was time to head to the "big" Chinese for another Colbert film, THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942). Like THE EGG AND I, THE PALM BEACH STORY was a digital screening.

Before the film Cari Beauchamp interviewed Joel McCrea's grandson Wyatt, who did a wonderful job sharing some stories about his grandfather. Something I'd never noticed before is that the part in McCrea's hair changes midway through the film; McCrea changed it and director Sturges never noticed!

I loved that the Chinese interviews were also put on a big screen this year!

We visited McCrea Ranch with a few other bloggers the Sunday before the festival started; here's a shot of Wyatt I took on the front porch of his grandparents' home. A video interview with Wyatt should be available at Classic Movies and More in the near future.

As for THE PALM BEACH STORY, it's one of my all-time favorite comedies. What a joy to see it with a big crowd laughing along! (And something I never noticed before: The maid of honor in the opening wedding scene is the ubiquitous "dress extra" Bess Flowers.)

Some of Mary Astor's family were on hand along with members of the McCrea family, and Astor received big applause when she first appeared.

On my original schedule I planned to see SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) at this point unless there was a "Sunday repeat" I wanted to see more. It just so happened that the Lubitsch film ONE HOUR WITH YOU (1932), starring Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier, was shown in the Chinese multiplex, and I couldn't pass it up!

Tiffany Vazquez provided the intro to ONE HOUR WITH YOU:

I first saw ONE HOUR WITH YOU as a teenager at L.A.'s Vagabond Theater, and I revisited it a few years ago via DVD. Seeing it at the festival was a great experience; it was screened in UCLA's 35mm print, complete with some scenes in blue and sepia tints!

The very last film of the festival was Harold Lloyd in SPEEDY (1928). SPEEDY was shown in digital format.

My friend Jandy and I got in line very early, as the movie was showing in a somewhat smaller venue and we didn't want to risk missing out! I was the seventh in line, and I was happy to spend a couple of hours waiting, knowing I'd be in the audience for this special closing night screening.

SPEEDY was presented by Leonard Maltin and Harold Lloyd's granddaughter Suzanne, who shared the same duties three years ago presenting the Harold Lloyd film WHY WORRY? (1923).

The movie was accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra, a three-person ensemble which accompanies silent films at both live screenings and on DVDs. Here they take a deserved hand at the end of a very entertaining movie:

And just like that the 2017 festival was over! Time for a quick spin through Club TCM at the Hollywood Roosevelt to say goodbye to the many friends who are, year after year, the very best part of the TCM Classic Film Festival. What a joy to share so many great movies in a warm community of like-minded film fans from across the country and beyond.

Then I headed for home, with countless happy memories, already looking forward to seeing what's ahead at the 2018 festival!


Blogger DKoren said...

Wow! It was so much fun reading your write up of the Festival days. Thanks for sharing your report. Great stuff you got to see/hear. Next year, I may try to come down and attend more screenings on a standby basis. I can't wait to see what's going to be scheduled!

7:23 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Enjoyed all your posts, lots of fun viewing and good choices. It's a great time when you can fit in 2 Irene Dunne, 2 Claudette, Lubitsch, Red River and all the rest. Reading up on these recaps from bloggers & friends, it's always fascinating to see such different schedule combos and experiences, not to mention the neat "side" trips. Thanks for all the pix and details!

6:43 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, Deb and Kristina!

Deb, it was such a nice surprise to see you at RED RIVER! I would love if you came more next year -- the screenings in the "big" theatres (Egyptian and big Chinese) are the easiest to get into on standby, but it sometimes works with the multiplex as well. Hope to see you then! And if Kristina can come next year I'd love to introduce you!

It really was amazing, Kristina, to see 2 apiece of Dunne, Colbert, Lubitsch and Sturges! And there was so much more besides. Some of us were discussing on Twitter that we felt like we were at different festivals because we followed such different paths. Hope to see you there in 2018!!

Best wishes,

9:36 AM  

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