Saturday, May 04, 2019

The 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival: Day Five

The final day of the TCM Classic Film Festival always comes too soon -- although admittedly it's nice to have time for more sleep and regular meals once it's over. During the festival, however, giving those up is all for a great cause!

After a memorable Saturday at the festival I began my Sunday morning with HOLIDAY (1938), starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

The film was introduced by Ron Perlman (who I watched on TV's 1987-90 series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) and Diane Baker (who I especially know from Hitchcock's MARNIE), a pair of actors who revere classic movies. I enjoyed their chat, which included what they appreciate about HOLIDAY.

HOLIDAY is an interesting and well-written film I've seen numerous times over the years; this was my third time to see it on a big screen.  Although I find it memorable and worth rewatching from time to time, I do seem to part company with most classic film fans in finding Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn's characters annoyingly immature, self-centered, and poorly equipped for interpersonal relations. More on that in a future review!

Next up, Douglas Sirk's MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954), introduced by Alicia Malone and supporting actress Barbara Rush.

Rush shared that she was initially so awed to be working with Jane Wyman that she was shaking hard enough to rattle the china cup and saucer she was holding in one scene! She loved Rock Hudson, who made her laugh. She also shared a delightful story about going to see E.T. (1982) with Robert Osborne and how much they loved it. Barbara Rush is a really delightful lady who clearly appreciates her experiences, and it was wonderful seeing her introduce two films at this year's festival.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, which I hadn't seen since a viewing on commercial TV when I was a teenager. The digital print was beautiful! I need to make it a point to catch up with the Irene Dunne-Robert Taylor version soon.

Then it was into a line once more at the Chinese Multiplex to see THE KILLERS (1964) for the first time. THE KILLERS is a crime film directed by Don Siegel (my second Siegel film of the fest) starring Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Ronald Reagan, and Angie Dickinson. Clu Gulagher, a front row regular I spot at Los Angeles classic film screenings, is memorable as a giddy hit man. The film was originally intended to be a TV-movie before ending up as a theatrical release.

I was thrilled by the opportunity to see Angie Dickinson in person for the first time, especially as she stars in one of my all-time favorite Westerns, RIO BRAVO (1959). In her interview with Ben Mankiewicz Angie shared that although she's a Democrat she liked and admired Ronald Reagan, noting that whenever he wasn't in front of the cameras he was buried in briefing books, preparing to run for governor of California. He took the role in THE KILLERS to get out of his contract so he could run, and she noted that he was a nice man who was very uncomfortable playing a villain.

When asked why she didn't have an even bigger career, Angie said that though she'd tried, she hadn't always gotten the big breaks she'd sought, and the fact she also enjoyed her life outside the show business was a factor as well. She was grateful for her role on TV's groundbreaking POLICE WOMAN (1974-78) but also said that making it was a tough grind, many days and long hours.

After a relaxing dinner with my husband it was time for the fourth and final film of the day, a nitrate 35mm print of THE DOLLY SISTERS (1946) starring favorites Betty Grable, June Haver, and John Payne and introduced by Alicia Malone.

One of my friends called THE DOLLY SISTERS "Emotional Manipulation - The Musical," and she's not wrong. I adore Fox musicals and the cast but the plot of this one was a bit exhausting -- and it took days for me to get "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" out of my head afterwards! That said, I will always be appreciative of the chance to see this on a big screen, and especially to see stunning Fox Technicolor in a nitrate print!

Then it was off to the Hollywood Roosevelt for a final time at this year's fest, to say farewell to friends at the closing night party.

The lobby outside Club TCM was packed! If you look closely you can spot Ben Mankiewicz in the center of the photo below. (Click on the image to enlarge this or any other photo for a closer look.)

In the lobby Film Historian Extraordinaire Leonard Maltin greets fellow TCMFF presenters, Oscar-winning sound effects whiz Ben Burtt and the Film Forum's Bruce Goldstein.

Leonard with his delightful daughter Jessie:

Jessie Maltin with festival presenter Jeremy Arnold:

Festival presenters Alan K. Rode and Victoria Mature inside Club TCM on closing night:

Alan and Victoria speak with Annmarie Gatti (back to camera) of Classic Movie Hub at the party. Victoria will be returning to this year's Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs in a few days, along with Alan, the Arthur Lyons Festival programmer and host.

It was a marvelous 10th Anniversary festival, as well as a very happy celebration of TCM's Silver Anniversary!

Many thanks to TCM for organizing another fabulous festival, and I look forward to returning in 2020!


Blogger Jerry Entract said...

It has been a great 5-day roundup, Laura. Thanks for sharing your fabulous experiences and feelings about the films with the rest of us!

2:31 PM  
Blogger barrylane said...

Your assessment of Holiday is right on my wavelength, and you might write something along similar lines relative to Bringing Up Baby, which remains a better picture all around. However, both are definitive Grant performances, athletic, beautiful, smart, and while Hepburn has her moments, you can't quite say the same about her.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much, Jerry! I'm delighted you enjoyed it. I only wish you and my other readers could be there too!

Interesting that you have some similar thoughts on HOLIDAY, Barrylane. Hope to write more soon. (So many posts to write, so little time, or something like that...) Appreciate your feedback.

Best wishes,

10:35 PM  

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