Monday, April 04, 2022

The 2022 TCM Classic Film Festival Schedule

It's hard to believe, but the TCM Classic Film Festival is now just a little over two weeks away!

It's even harder to believe that it will be a full three years since the last festival in Hollywood in 2019. When I said goodbye to my friends at the end of that festival, none of us could have foreseen the long, strange road it's been since then.

This year's festival theme, appropriately, is "All Together Now: Back to the Big Screen." Seeing many of my friends in person for the first time in three years will be an emotional experience.

The festival will take place from Thursday, April 21st, to Sunday, April 24th. I'm also looking forward to visiting with friends in the days preceding the festival, as well as the media reception on Wednesday, April 20th.

For anyone who might have missed the news previously, I'm honored to be covering my eighth TCM Classic Film Festival as a member of the credentialed media.

During the festival please follow me on Twitter for ongoing news and photos; I also recommend checking the Twitter hashtag #TCMFF to enjoy comments from many other festival guests.

After the festival I'll have an overview post and daily recaps with even more photos, as well as movie reviews.

As with the 2019 festival, there are again major venue changes this year. The Egyptian Theatre, which seats over 600 people, is in the midst of a long-term renovation and is unavailable. (When it reopens, the seating capacity will be reduced due to the removal of the theater balcony, which was added to the 1922 theater in the '90s.) To help make up for those lost seats, the festival is bringing back the small 177-seat Theater 4 at the Chinese Multiplex.

The Cinerama Dome, which has been used for a limited number of screenings at past festivals, closed during the shutdowns, though there is hope it will reopen in the future. To help offset that, the El Capitan Theatre returns as a festival venue, albeit just for one movie.

In summary, the 2022 venues will consist of the large Chinese Theatre and three smaller Chinese multiplex theaters, along with the El Capitan Theatre, all on Hollywood Boulevard; the Hollywood Legion Theater on Highland Avenue, a few blocks from Hollywood Boulevard; and poolside evening screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard.

Part of the festival fun (and agony!) is studying the schedule and mapping out a plan; I always say I could make two or three completely different plans and still be happy!

I take many factors into consideration when making my schedule plans: How much I want to see each film; whether it's new to me; how recently I've seen a previously viewed film, and whether I've seen it in a theater; the format (film, especially nitrate, gets priority over digital); and how the times and locations fit together with the other films on my list.

There are a couple films I'd really enjoy seeing this year, but I don't think I could make it to the next films on the schedule which I want to see even more! It's hard to complain too much about having so many good choices, though.

I've always stuck fairly close to my rough outline, although the occasional unexpected detours have sometimes led to my best festival experiences, so I'm always open to a last-minute change of mind!

Here's a look at my viewing plans for this year's festival. Please click any hyperlinked title to read a previous review.

Thursday, April 21st

My first pick of the last festival was an easy one, but that's not the case this year! I'll have to choose between a favorite MGM musical, THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946), which I've not seen on a big screen since I was a teenager, and the William Powell-Kay Francis pre-Code JEWEL ROBBERY (1932).

I was leaning toward THE HARVEY GIRLS but then realized that the time JEWEL ROBBERY ends is more conducive to being able to see my second pick of the evening, HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO (1944). I saw HERO in a theater when I was young and wasn't impressed, but I suspect I might appreciate it more now; I had a wonderful time seeing another film from director Preston Sturges, THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK (1944), at the 2018 festival. My backup pick for the second slot of the evening is Doris Day and Rock Hudson in LOVER COME BACK (1961).

JEWEL ROBBERY is playing in the smallest theater and is sure to be a sellout, which means getting in line early!

Friday, April 22nd

I saw THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967) at the El Capitan during the 2014 Festival, but I'm strongly tempted to see it again this year, as it will be introduced by Leonard Maltin and animator Floyd Norman. My backup options to start the day are MAISIE GETS HER MAN (1942) or THE GUNFIGHTER (1950); the latter film will be introduced by Alan K. Rode.

After lunch I'm leaning toward a new-to-me film, QUEEN BEE (1955), starring Joan Crawford and Barry Sullivan. The only reason I'm not picking THE PAJAMA GAME (1957), a favorite Doris Day musical, is I was fortunate to see it at UCLA in 2018 and again on Blu-ray last year.

If I can get in I'd like to follow QUEEN BEE with COCKTAIL HOUR (1933), a pre-Code starring Bebe Daniels and Randolph Scott, followed by Fred and Ginger in THE GAY DIVORCEE (1934) in the last slot of the day. THE GAY DIVORCEE is in the smallest theater, so if I'm unable to get in I'll instead go with I, THE JURY (1953), which starts later and which I thoroughly enjoyed at the 2013 World 3-D Film Expo.

Saturday, April 23rd

On Saturday I'm pretty sure I'll start the day with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in HOUSEBOAT (1958), which has been a favorite since childhood; I've never seen it theatrically. That is likely to be my only film of the festival in the "big" Chinese Theatre. Backup options are TOO BUSY TO WORK (1932) with Will Rogers and Dick Powell or THE THIRD MAN (1948), which I haven't seen in a theater since college.

Then I would hurry to the Hollywood Legion Theater for THE FLAME AND THE ARROW (1950), starring Burt Lancaster and Virginia Mayo, directed by Jacques Tourneur. It will be preceded by one of Craig Barron and Ben Burtt's great special effects/production history presentations. Also present will be former child actor Gordon Gebert, who I found to be a fascinating interview at the 2015 Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival.

The next time slot is a bit of a quandary. I'd love to see Bruce Goldstein of the Film Forum's presentation on BABY FACE (1933) at the Hollywood Legion or see Jane Seymour, a favorite actress, introduce SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980), but a combination of film ending times and distance for those films could make it difficult for me to be in line in time to see Margaret O'Brien introduce LITTLE WOMEN (1949). I've seen Margaret in person a couple of times previously and saw the film theatrically in the '70s, but they're both favorites and I really want to be there! So I may go see THE TALL T (1957), a favorite Randolph Scott-Budd Boetticher Western introduced by Jeremy Arnold, who I also saw intro the film at the Autry Museum of the American West in 2019.  A plus for choosing THE TALL T is I might have time to grab some food when it concludes!

I should note that spending most of the day at the Legion would also be a fine idea; THE FLAME AND THE ARROW and BABY FACE will be followed by a tribute to Leonard Maltin and a screening of the wonderful film COUNSELLOR AT LAW (1933), which I was fortunate to see in a nitrate print at UCLA in 2018.  It's a great example of the wealth of opportunities available at the festival.

After LITTLE WOMEN I plan to get right back in line at the same theater for PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948), starring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten. Seeing it at the Tiffany Theater circa 1980, with its widescreen tinted storm sequence and final Technicolor shot, is a cherished memory.

Sunday, April 24th

Sunday morning is perhaps the only slot where I'm not sure I'll see something. The most likely option is AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936), which I just watched on Blu-ray last year. WATERLOO BRIDGE (1940) is also playing, but while I love Robert Taylor, I'm not sure I want to start my Sunday in tears, so I might instead go have a nice breakfast!

In the second slot of the day I'll probably see Richard Carlson and Nancy Kelly in FLY-BY-NIGHT (1942); I saw it at the 2020 Noir City Festival, but it's short and a lot of fun. My backup option is HIGH NOON (1952); despite the great cast and my love for Westerns, I've never been a particular fan of this film, but it would be a chance to give it a fresh look. I've only seen it theatrically once, at the 1978 Filmex festival in Century City.

I'd really like to see Leonard Maltin introduce EVENINGS FOR SALE (1932), which he wrote about at his site earlier this year, but it only gets out half an hour before one of the films I most want to see, HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL (1952) starring Rock Hudson and Piper Laurie, who will be there in person. However, two other films in the EVENINGS FOR SALE time slot get out even later, and a lot of people will already be in the big Chinese for THE STING (1973), so it might well work out to make it from EVENINGS FOR SALE to HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL in time. I'll probably make a decision on whether to try it that day.

In the final Sunday night slot, unless there's something I really want to see playing a second time in one of the two "TBA" slots, I'll see the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra accompanying Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in 7TH HEAVEN (1927). The silent films I've seen at the festival with live music are some of my favorite festival memories.

I saw 11 films in 2013, 14 in 2014, 16 in 2015, 15 in 2016, 17 (including a block of Ub Iwerks cartoons) in 2017 and again in 2018, and 15 films plus a clip show on serials in 2019.  It will be interesting to see how many I'm able to catch in 2022!

My posts on the schedules for previous festivals are linked here in reverse chronological order: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013.

I invite anyone attending the festival to leave their picks, or a link to a post on their choices, in the comments!

Brief 2022 festival updates were also included in my "Around the Blogosphere This Week" link roundups on January 29th, February 5th, and March 26th, 2022.


Anonymous Barry Lane said...

An enormous undertaking. Claude and I attended several festivals, Including Cannes, Rochester, and Charlottesville, Virginia. I was good to go in the afternoon and evening, but she was out to a screening first thing. I never even thought about keeping up. I know you can do it, and it probably makes the experience stronger. Look forward to your reports from the front.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you, Barry! And what a delightful story about Claude. :)

The one rule I have for the TCM Fest is I never go to the midnight "cult film" screenings as I would not only not stay awake past midnight, I would also never get out the door the next morning for the first film of the day -- which is usually more my type of movie anyway. My festival roommate of several years usually goes to the midnight shows -- I admire that she can do it and stay awake! They sound like a lot of fun for those with the stamina.

I appreciate you following my festival coverage!

Best wishes,

8:05 PM  

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