For many classic movie buffs, April is the most wonderful time of the year thanks to the TCM Film Festival. This year, TCMFF is celebrating its tenth anniversary! I’m envious of but very happy for everyone who can attend.
Since I’m once again forced to sit out the festival this year, I’ll be continuing the TMP tradition of sharing what I would be watching, if I were going.
The usual disclaimer: I’ve never been to the festival, so I’ve made no consideration for line times, theater sizes, travel between venues, snack breaks, or sleep. This is my dream schedule — not necessarily a realistic reflection of everything I’d be able to get to during the fest!
On to the picks!
Thursday, April 11
The festival is kicking off with several of my favorites, making for tough choices from the jump — When Harry Met Sally… (1989), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and Dark Passage (1947) are all pitted against each other in the opening slot! As much as I love all three of these films, I’d have to attend When Harry Met Sally… (6:30 pm, TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX), since Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, and Rob Reiner will all be in attendance. Plus, I just adore the film! (I may actually have to watch it on DVD tonight, after writing this.)
When Harry Met Sally… overlaps with Sergeant York (1941) and a poolside screening of Ocean’s 11 (1960), so my choices for the evening would be The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), Mogambo (1943), and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964). I’m a bit torn on this one as I’m sure Umbrellas is gorgeous to watch on the big screen, but my love for Cary Grant conquers all. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (9:30 pm, Egyptian Theatre) would be my pick.
Friday, April 12
The first full day of the festival has so many great films on the roster! The day opens with The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Merrily We Go to Hell (1932), The Clock (1945), and High Society (1956). Though the choice is rough, my first film of the day would have to be The Clock (9:00 am, Chinese Multiplex House 6) — one of my all-time favorite romances, starring Judy Garland.
Next, I’d check out a special presentation: “What’s Not to Love About Republic Serials?” (12:00 pm, Legion Theater Post 43). Love in the Afternoon (1957) is playing at the same theater as The Clock, which is tempting, but the Republic presentation looks neat. It’s a TCMFF-specific experience, and we all know how much I love low-budget oddities.
The afternoon means more Cary Grant! I’m intrigued by the “Coming Attractions: Trailers In Love” presentation, but I wouldn’t be able to miss My Favorite Wife (1940), playing at the Egyptian Theatre at 2:45 pm. It was one of my earliest Cary Grant discoveries and has been well-loved and re-watched ever since.
I would spend the evening with two more recent features: Day for Night (1973) and Do the Right Thing (1989). Eddie Muller will introduce Day for Night (6:00 pm, Chinese Multiplex House 1), with Jacqueline Bisset in attendance! Do the Right Thing (9:00 pm, TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX) is presented in partnership with the African American Film Critics Association and will feature a discussion with costume designer Ruth E. Carter, casting director Robi Reed, and Joie Lee (“Jade”).
I’ve heard fun things about the TCMFF midnight showings and based on the title alone I’d have to at least try to stay awake for Santo vs. the Evil Brain (1961) at the Chinese Multiplex.
Saturday, April 13
What’s better on a Saturday morning than a sci-fi feature? I’d spend the daybreak with When Worlds Collide (1951), beginning at 9:15 am at Chinese Multiplex House 1. Star Barbara Rush will be in attendance!
At noon, I’d head to the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX for Sleepless in Seattle (1993) — the second Meg Ryan film in my schedule! I’m such a sucker for Nora Ephron movies, and while this is a more recent pick, it includes wonderful classic film references!
From a movie that references An Affair to Remember to An Affair to Remember‘s predecessor — my next pick would be Love Affair (1939), at the Chinese Multiplex House 6 at 3:00 pm. I’ve only seen this film once, and it wasn’t on the big screen. I have a slight preference for An Affair to Remember (probably because I discovered it first), but Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer are such a great pair.
Next up would be It Happened Here (1964) at the Egyptian Theatre, 6:30 pm. I’ve never seen the film but am intrigued by it, and one of its directors, the spectacular film historian Kevin Brownlow, will be presented with the Robert Osborne Award at this screening!
In the evening, I would love to see Star Wars (1977) on the big screen again, but am not sure I’d want to compete for a seat in that auditorium! I’d go for Samson and Delilah (1949) at the Egyptian at 9:30 pm instead. Technicolor biblical epic on nitrate? Count me in!
Sunday, April 14
The final day of the festival is no less busy for those who want to pack in as many screenings as possible. There are several TBA time slots on Sunday; I’ve heard some rumors of what may screen but will ignore the TBAs for the purpose of this post, since I can’t actually attend them.
At 9:15 am at the Egyptian is a fantastic horror film I’d LOVE to see on the big screen, 1935’s Mad Love. I can’t rave enough about this film, which features one of my very favorite Peter Lorre performances.
In the noon-ish slot, I’d be torn between Magnificent Obsession (1954) at 11:45 and the Club TCM “Hollywood Love Stories” presentation at 12:30. I’m typically the type to opt for a film over a panel, but “Hollywood Love Stories” will be discussing the classic fan mags (of which I am an avid reader and collector) and is presented by David Pierce from the Library of Congress. Tough choice here!
I’d cap off the festival with Gone With the Wind (1939), showing at 4:30 pm at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. This film is special to me because it was one of the first classics I ever watched, introduced to me by my Grammy, who considered it her favorite. This was also the very first film that aired on TCM, and this festival would be an appropriate time to watch it since this year marks TCM’s 25th anniversary in addition to the festival’s 10th!
To those kicking off their TCMFF experience today, I hope you have a wonderful time and look forward to following your adventures on your blogs/Twitter feeds! For those stuck at home like me, feel free to share your own dream schedule picks (or general commiseration) in the comments.