We’re just a couple of weeks away from the 3rd Annual TCM Classic Film Festival and the slate just keeps getting more exciting. The bulk of the extensive four-day lineup has already been announced (details at the official site), but a new opening night screening has been added of Cole Porter’s High Society with Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby singing and dancing their way through a musical retelling of The Philadelphia Story. If that’s not swank enough for you, the screening will be poolside at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.
In addition, the guest list is starting to come together as Hollywood luminaries (and luminaries’ descendants) commit to introducing their films. Highlights include Mel Brooks presenting Young Frankenstein (1974); John Carpenter and John Landis presenting Frankenstein (1931) and Son of Frankenstein (1939) respectively; 102-year-old Carla Leammle will present Dracula (1931) as the only surviving cast member; Ron “Hellboy” Pearlman will present one of his favorite films Sullivan’s Travels (1941); the 50th Anniversary screening of Dr. No (1962) will be followed by a discussion of Bond Girls with Eunice Gayson (Sylvia Trench in Dr. No and From Russia With Love) and Maud Adams (Andrea Anders in The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy in Octopussy); Kim Novak will be getting her hand and footprints at Grauman’s Chinese and will be present for a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (and screenwriter Robert Towne will join producer Robert Evans for the screening of Chinatown.
The full press release is after the jump, but be sure to hit the official site to see about festival passes and to find out how you can get individual tickets which will be available prior to each screening on a space-available basis.
Stay tuned to LiC for more coverage as I’ll be hitting the festival myself this year for the first time!
Opening Night Poolside Screening
High Society (1956) – Presented poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
The classic screwball comedy The Philadelphia Story gets a musical makeover from Cole Porter in this delightful toe-tapper starring Grace Kelly as a woman about to get married, only to have her impending nuptials complicated by her ex. Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby co-star opposite Kelly in her last film role.
Anniversaries, Restorations & More
Wings (1927) – 85th Anniversary Restoration, featuring live appearances by William Wellman Jr. and long-time Paramount producer A.C. Lyles
Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen and Clara Bow star in William A. Wellman’s high-flying World War I melodrama, the first movie ever to take home Oscar® for Best Picture. Wings set the gold standard for Hollywood when it comes to shooting aerial dogfights. Longtime producer A.C. Lyles, who originally saw Wings in 1927, when he was 10 years old, will be joined by actor William Wellman Jr., the son of the director, to provide the introduction.
Dracula (1931) – Featuring a live appearance by 102-year-old Carla Laemmle
Reprising the role that made him famous on Broadway, Bela Lugosi plays Bram Stoker’s hypnotic vampire. Directed by Tod Browning, this horror classic also features Dwight Frye, Helen Chandler and Edward Van Sloan. Actress Carla Laemmle, the niece of producer Carl Laemmle, speaks the first lines of the film and will be on hand to help introduce the screening. At 102, she is the only surviving member of the cast.
Frankenstein (1931) – Introduced by filmmaker John Carpenter
Horror director John Carpenter will introduce his favorite movie of all time, a film he calls, “a seminal work of horror.” James Whale’s wonderfully atmospheric version of Mary Shelley’s horror classic stars the one-and-only Boris Karloff as the creature, with Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein, Dwight Frye as Fritz, Edward Van Sloan as Dr. Waldman, Mae Clarke as Elizabeth and truly memorable makeup by Jack Pierce.
Son of Frankenstein (1939) – Introduced by filmmaker John Landis
Basil Rathbone stars as the title character in this third film in Universal’s Frankenstein franchise. Boris Karloff plays as The Monster for the last time, with Bela Lugosi particularly memorable as the deformed Ygor. The film features a tongue-in-cheek script by Wyllis Cooper, visually striking sets by Jack Otterson and spooky cinematography by George Robinson.
A Night to Remember (1958) – U.S. Premiere of Restoration, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic and followed by a discussion with author and historian Don Lynch
Decades before James Cameron swept moviegoers away with star-crossed lovers aboard a doomed ship, British director Roy Ward Baker presented a starker, less romanticized version of the sinking of the the “unsinkable” Titanic. This Golden Globe-winning docudrama, based on Walter Lord’s definitive book, stars Kenneth More as the ship’s dutiful second officer. The cast also includes David McCallum, Jill Dixon, Laurence Naismith, Frank Lawton and Honor Blackman. Don Lynch, author of Titanic: An Illustrated History and Ghosts of the Abyss: A Journey into the Heart of the Titanic, will introduce the screening, following which he will discuss the sinking of the vessel and its depiction in the movies.
Sullivan’s Travels (1941) – Introduced by actor Ron Perlman
This sharp and witty Preston Sturges comedy follows a highly successful director as he prepares to make a message picture by ditching Hollywood and living the life of a hobo. Joel McCrea stars as the director, with Veronica Lake as the stray he picks up along the way.
Auntie Mame (1958) – featuring a live appearance by designer Todd Oldham
Rosalind Russell plays the part of a lifetime as an eccentric and worldly aunt suddenly saddled with an orphan nephew. Patrick Dennis’ enormously popular novel makes a successful transition to film by way of Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee’s stage adaptation. Forrest Tucker, Coral Brown, Fred Clark and Roger Smith co-star, with Morton DaCosta directing.
Dr. No (1962) – 50th Anniversary screening, featuring a live appearance by Eunice Gayson and Maud Adams, who will participate in a conversation about “Bond Girls”
Strange happenings in Jamaica draw James Bond into the clutches of the notorious title character in this first big-screen outing for 007. Sean Connery makes the role of Bond all his own. Joseph Wiseman plays Dr. Julius No, with Eunice Gayson as Syvia Trench and Ursula Andress making a memorable entrance as Honeychile Ryder.
Young Frankenstein (1974) – featuring a live appearance by Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks mastered the art of the spoof with this brilliant sendup of Universal’s long line of Frankenstein pictures. Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Kenneth Mars and Gene Hackman give pitch-perfect performances, backed by an exceptional score by John Morris and terrific sets and laboratory equipment (much of it used in Universal’s original Frankenstein films).
Style in the Movies: Architecture in Film, Presented by Vanity Fair
Official festival partner Vanity Fair presents this collection of films that showcase architectural design in cinema. Matt Tyrnauer, Vanity Fair‘s special correspondent covering architecture and design, has curated the collection and will introduce each film.
Trouble in Paradise (1932) – Introduced by Matt Tyrnaeur
Ernst Lubitsch’s sparkling comedy stars Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins as a pair of crooks out to swindle a rich socialite, played by Kay Francis. Beautiful art deco designs complement Travis Banton’s lush gowns.
Bringing Up Baby (1938) – Introduced by Vanity Fair‘s Matt Tyrnauer
This Howard Hawks’ screwball comedy, considered by many to be the greatest of the genre, stars Cary Grant as a befuddled zoologist and Katharine Hepburn as the leopard-owning socialite making his life miserable. Among the architectural gems is the beautifully designed country cottage where much of the action takes place.
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) – Introduced by Vanity Fair’s Matt Tyrnauer
Cary Grant and Mrna Loy play a city couple determined to build their dream home in the country, with hilarious results all around. Melvyn Douglas and Reginald Denny co-star in this delightful comedy based on Eric Hodgins’ autobiographical novel.
The Fountainhead (1949) – Introduced by Vanity Fair‘s Matt Tyrnauer
Ayn Rand’s controversial philosophy known as Objectivism gets full play in this stark but fascinating drama. Gary Cooper stars as a brilliant architect whose designs are rejected by the establishment. Patricia Neal plays the daughter of one of those establishment demagogues who finds herself both attracted to and repulsed by Cooper’s individualism. King Vidor directs the film from a script by Rand herself.
My Architect (2003) – Introduced by Vanity Fair‘s Matt Tyrnauer, with a live appearance by filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn
In this powerful and insightful documentary, director Nathaniel Kahn seeks to understand his father, acclaimed architect Louis Kahn, who despite a distinguished career died bankrupt and alone. Nathaniel Kahn won a Directors Guild Award for his film.
Style in the Movies: The Legendary Costumes of Travis Banton
One of the most important costume designers of classic Hollywood, Travis Banton was the man who taught Edith Head and dressed the likes of Mae West, Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard and a host of other glamorous Paramount stars. The festival will feature seven films showcasing Banton’s work, several introduced by OscarÒ-nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis. The latest to join the list is Cecil B. DeMille’s grand epic Cleopatra (1934).
Cleopatra (1934) – Introduced by costume designers Deborah Nadoolman Landis and Bob Mackie
Cecil B. Demille’s lavish epic stars Claudette Colbert in the title role, with Warren William as Julius Caesar and Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Anthony. Fine performances, an intelligent script and Victor Milner’s OscarÒ-winning cinematography highlight this larger-than-life spectacle.
Style in the Movies: Deco Design
The TCM Classic Film Festival will feature several films bathed in the art deco style that was popularized throughout the world and especially onscreen in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to previously announced screenings of Swing Time (1936) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928), the collection will include the legal drama Counsellor-at-Law (1934). In addition, designer Todd Oldham will appear to discuss The Women (1939).
Counsellor-at-Law (1934) – Featuring an appearance by Ileanna Douglas, granddaughter of Melvyn Douglas
This vivid adaptation of an Edgar Rice play stars John Barrymore in one of his best roles as a Jewish lawyer who rises from poverty to become a success, only to have his past come back to haunt him. Bebe Daniels and Mevyn Douglas co-star under the direction of William Wyler.
The Women (1939) – New print, featuring an appearance by designer Todd Odham
Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell and Paulette Godard lead an all-female case in George Cukor’s hilarious film version of the popular Clare Boothe Luce play. The Women is a treasure trove of Hollywood style, from its sleek art deco sets to its glamorous gowns (including a full-color fashion show in the middle of the movie).
The Paramount Renaissance
The TCM Classic Film Festival will mark the 100th Anniversary of Paramount Pictures with screenings of five films from the studio’s remarkable years under the leadership of Robert Evans. Screenwriter Robert Towne has agreed to participate in the screening of Chinatown (1974).
Chinatown (1974) – Featuring appearances by Robert Evans and screenwriter Robert Towne
Roman Polanski brought film noir into the 1970s with this mystery about murder, adultery and water rights. Jack Nicholson (who later directed the sequel, The Two Jakes), Faye Dunaway and John Huston bring Robert Towne’s tough-talking, OscarÒ-winning script to life, while Jerry Goldsmith provides a wonderfully evocative score.
Fall Guy (1947) – Featuring a live appearance by producer Walter Mirisch
This appropriately moody film noir from Monogram Pictures marked Walter Mirisch’s first outing as producer. The story follows a man who tries to prove he is innocent of murdering an attractive woman, even though he has no memory of the night in question. Leo Penn, Robert Armstrong, Teala Loring and Elisha Cook Jr. star.
Bonjour Tristesse (1958) – Introduced by fashion designer Barbara Tfank
Otto Preminger directed this glossy, French Riviera-set drama based on a novel by Francoise Sagan. Jean Seberg plays a teenage girl determined to break up the romance between her father (David Niven) and his mistress (Deborah Kerr).
Phase IV (1974) – Featuring a live appearance by Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy stars with Nigel Davenport and Lynne Frederick in this unique and visually intriguing science-fiction thriller directed by famed title designer Saul Bass. The story follows a scientific team as it investigates a remarkable evolutionary development among ants that have them waging war on humans.
About the TCM Classic Film Festival
Each April, Hollywood rolls out the red carpet to welcome thousands of movie lovers, filmmakers and legendary stars from around the globe for the TCM Classic Film Festival. Marking its third year, the TCM Classic Film Festival is the place to experience classic movies as they were meant to be seen: on the big screen, in some of the world’s most iconic venues, with the people who made them. The four-day festival, which takes place Thursday, April 12 – Sunday, April 15, features more than 70 screenings, plus events and appearances starting early in the morning and going into the late evening.
TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne will serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, with TCM weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz also introducing several events. Among the highlights of this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival:
- A gala opening-night screening of the newly restored Cabaret (1972) with a live appearance by Oscar® winners Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey*
- A multi-tiered celebration of Kim Novak, including the taping of a TCM special, a hand and footprints ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and a screening of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo (1958).
- Live appearances by Debbie Reynolds at anniversary screenings of the newly restored Singin’ in the Rain (1952) and the western epic How the West Was Won (1962), the latter presented in all its Cinerama glory;
- Appearances by Shirley Jones, Angie Dickinson, Robert Wagner, filmmaker Norman Jewison, editor Thelma Schoonmaker and makeup pioneer Rick Baker, to name a few.
- A multi-tiered look at Style in the Movies, from film noir to art deco and from art direction to costume design.
- A salute to Paramount, featuring an appearance by Oscar®-winning producer Robert Evans. The U.S. premiere of the documentary Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room (2010), with live appearances by “Baby Peggy” Diana Serra Cary and filmmaker Vera Iwerebor,
- Newly restored editions of such landmark films as Wings (1927), Call Her Savage (1932), Grand Illusion (1937), Casablanca (1942), A Night to Remember (1958); The Longest Day (1962) and many more.
The third-annual TCM Classic Film Festival is produced by TCM. Since launching in spring 2010, the TCM Classic Film Festival has quickly established itself as a destination event for film lovers, drawing more than 25,000 attendees from around the country and around the globe in 2011. A limited number of passes are still available at http://www.tcm.com/festival.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first OscarsÒ ceremony, will serve as the official hotel for the festival, as well as home to Club TCM, a central gathering point for passholders. Screenings and events will be held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and, for the first time this year, Arclight Cinema’s Cinerama Dome and The Avalon.
* Schedule permitting
Filed under: Film Festivals