Sunday, April 28, 2019

The 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Four

After a wonderful Friday seeing four films and a clip show, Saturday was another busy day at the TCM Classic Film Festival, with my first film beginning at 9:15 a.m. and the fifth film of the day, scheduled for 9:30 p.m., not starting until well after 10:00 p.m.!

Saturday kicked off in delightful fashion with a truly fun sci-fi film, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951). It was fantastic seeing it on a big screen at the Chinese Multiplex!

The theater as enthusiastic film fans filed in:

Prior to the film, Barbara Rush chatted with Dennis Miller. Rush is lovely and a great storyteller; they discussed her career, and she expressed admiration for George Pal. Miller is a real fan, of both Rush and movies, and I think he expressed the admiration of the entire audience when talking with her. Rush returned to the festival on Sunday to introduce MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954).

Then it was a quick return to the Multiplex line to get into the packed showing of the pre-Code TARZAN AND HIS MATE (1934)...

...with a special introduction by Ben Burtt and Craig Barron. As usual, they had prepared an elaborate, well-researched presentation with stills and video clips; they shared photos of MGM's rhino Mary, who appears in numerous films, and Ben detailed his research on the Tarzan yell, which he determined to be the human voice supplemented by...a clarinet?!

They shared photos of matte paintings created for the film which they tracked down to someone's garage, and they also showed a bit of the famous swimming sequence in which Maureen O'Sullivan's swim double very clearly had nothing on.

Four of the films I saw on Saturday were at the Multiplex, with the third being LOVE AFFAIR (1938) starring Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne:

It was introduced by Dana Delany, who I also enjoyed last year introducing WIFE VS. SECRETARY (1936). She has a clear love for classic film and does her research. She discussed the various films based on the story and expressed the opinion that LOVE AFFAIR is the best of them all. As she concluded she mentioned she was heading next to a memorial service for Luke Perry and that he had shared her love of classic movies, ending her remarks by saying, "This one's for you, Luke!"

The lighting prevented a better photo, but I'm sharing this for what it's worth to capture a bit of Delany's appearance.

As I mentioned in my festival overview, LOVE AFFAIR might have been my favorite film of the festival!

Back into the multiplex line once more, where I was fortunate to be the very last number of the "indoor" section of the line for the sold-out, very pre-Code BLOOD MONEY (1933). I was relieved I didn't have to wait outside in the overflow line and thus was fairly certain I'd get in, as indeed I did.

BLOOD MONEY starred George Bancroft, Frances Dee, and Judith Anderson. It was introduced by Bruce Goldstein of the Film Forum, who followed the screening with a fascinating succession of clips from the film, labeling the cities and states which banned each scene; I was amused that a couple of scenes were banned in Massachusetts, but only on Sundays!

Amazingly for such a busy day, I still had time to meet up with my husband for a great dinner at the Pig 'N Whistle...

...before we headed next door for the final film of the day, a nitrate 35mm screening of Cecil B. DeMille's SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949) at the Egyptian Theatre.

Thanks to the kind invitation of Victoria Mature, who we've gotten to know over the past year, my husband and I were honored to have special tickets...

...for the reserved section at the screening.

The "cheering section" for Victoria and screening host Alan K. Rode also included (left to right) Beth Accomando, Miguel Rodriguez, Pete Shaner, and Jemma Rode, as well as (unseen here) Karen Burroughs Hannsberry and her daughter Veronica.

Alan conducted a wonderful interview with Victoria prior to the film, as she reminisced about Victor Mature as her doting father in the years after he was mostly retired from show business.

She said women would come up to the family in restaurants and ask her mother if they could kiss her father, and little Victoria would exclaim "No!" She also told the delightful story of his attempt to join a country club which banned actors, saying something along the lines of "I'm no actor and have the films to prove it!"

She discussed how her father trained to get into shape for SAMSON AND DELILAH; she and Alan had visited the film's production archives, which include numerous bills for his personal trainer. She said her father would chuckle about "making with the holy look" in the Biblical epics he appeared in, and she imitated his soulful skyward look.

For those who would enjoy hearing more of Victoria's memories of her father, please visit video of her appearance at last year's Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival, and be sure to catch Part 2 as well.

Biblical epics aren't my most favorite genre, but I love the SAMSON AND DELILAH cast, which also included Hedy Lamarr, George Sanders, and Angela Lansbury, and it was a real treat to experience this memorable film for the first time in a nitrate print!

It was a very special evening celebrating a favorite actor at the TCM Classic Film Festival, one more great example of what makes the TCM Classic Film Festival such a wonderful experience.

Coming soon: The final day of this year's TCM Classic Film Festival!


Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Loved the remark about banning some scenes in Massachusetts on Sundays. We also had a law here whereby (at least through the early 1960s, I think) plays being performed on stage were scrutinized for unsavory language or references. These were, according to our "Blue Laws," to be censored from the script on Sunday -- but posted in the lobby for public review to show that they were being censored.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

Laura, I'm catching up with your TCMFF updates. I was so curious about your reserved seat and how nice to see that you have become friends with Victoria Mature! Thanks for sharing that experience. It's cool to see the reserved ticket! I've never seen one of those before. I'm glad you had a wonderful time at TCMFF.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jacqueline, I love your insight about Massachusetts Blue Laws! That's very funny. (PS I hope someday you might be able to attend!)

Raquel, thank you for checking out my posts, you were very much missed this year and I'm glad you're enjoying them! Victoria is a sweetheart and it's been delightful getting to know her. She's going to be doing some introductions at the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Fest next month!

Hoping to see you in 2020, if not sooner!

Best wishes,

7:09 PM  

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