2020 TCM Classic Film Festival: Special Home Edition Recap

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the good folks at Turner Classic Movies (TCM) had to cancel this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival that was scheduled to take place in Hollywood, California on April 16-19, 2020. I was scheduled to attend this event and felt quite sad when it inevitably was called off.

However, TCM turned lemons into lemonade and they decided to turn this year’s festival into a “remote, stay the heck at home celebration” (to quote TCM host Ben Mankiewicz) by programming four days of great films along with a lot of special features that they played on the TCM network and on the TCM social media channels.

TCM host Ben Mankiewicz recorded this ad for this year’s festival.

As they do every year, TCM created passes for the festival. Here’s mine.

©️ TCM

Even though it was really a bum deal not to be able to travel this year to California (or anywhere for that matter), the festival weekend ending up being a total blast. I watched 16 films (14 features and two documentaries) over the four days and it was such a happy diversion during such an unsettling time.

Here’s a rundown of the films I watched, courtesy of my Instagram and Twitter feeds.

The Good Earth (1937)

Neptune’s Daughter (1949)

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

North by Northwest (1959)

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015)

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

They Live by Night (1949)

Safety Last! (1923)

Night Flight (1933)

Casablanca (1942)

Double Harness (1933)

Red-Headed Woman (1932)

Auntie Mame (1958)

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Floyd Norman An Animated Life (2016)

And one final sentimental tweet.

A huge thanks to all of the TCM team for giving this gift to classic movies fans everywhere. I hope to see you (and thank you) in person in Hollywood in 2021 at next year’s TCM Classic Film Festival.

2019 TCM Classic Film Festival Recap

This year’s Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival just wrapped up and it was wonderful.

The festival was held April 11-14, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Headquartered at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the festival screenings and events were held in nearby theaters, including the TCL Chinese Theater and Multiplex, the Egyptian Theater, the ArcLight Cinerama Dome, and the American Legion Post 43 Theatre.

The Films

I had a Classic Pass again this year, which provided access to all festival venues during all days of the festival (with the exception of the opening night gala screening and party) and it worked great. I got in line usually about 60 minutes before each screening and was able to get in every screening that I wanted to attend. I tweeted pics and summaries of the 14 films I saw at this year’s festival (copied below) in case you’re interested.

The Presentations

I also attended two presentations: the “Meet TCM” presentation on day one of the festival with a panel discussion from the TCM management team and a cool 20th Century Fox retrospective presented by Schawn Belton, Executive Vice Present of Media and Library Services at 20th Century Fox. Both were terrific.

The 20th Century Fox presentation was in a new venue for the festival—the American Legion Post 43 Theatre. Recently restored, the building and theater are just beautiful.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Overall, this year’s festival was just fantastic. The films, the presenters, the staff, and the venues for the most part were great. It was also such a pleasure to visit with so many nice people while in line at the festival and to have the opportunity to meet in person fellow TCM fans that I follow on social media.

Just a couple of gripes:

  • The seats in the TCL Chinese Multiplex are supremely uncomfortable. Low to the ground and with seat cushions that are in dire need of replacement, I was squirming in pain and discomfort throughout the screenings there. I know it’s not TCM’s responsibility, but I hope someone will pony up some money and help save us filmgoers who are spending hours in those horrible seats.
  • Even more so than the Mos Eisley spaceport, Hollywood Boulevard continues to be a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Having to navigate through the sea of tourists, the endless hawkers, and deafening street performers is something that I never enjoy. The venues at the TCM Classic Film Festival are wonderful and their surroundings are the worst.
  • Someone needs to coach me on where to find a good meal within the general area of the film festival. Everything that I ate this year was expensive and mediocre. I’ll keep trying…

Is It 2020 Yet?

I’m already planning my trip for next year’s festival. Many thanks again to TCM for providing this one-of-a-kind opportunity to see such an eclectic and excellent curation of classic films on the big screen!

(Image ©️ TCM)

Current Plan for the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival*

*Subject to change, of course. (Image ©️ TCM)

I am excited and grateful to be attending the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival again this year. Celebrating its 10th anniversary and with the theme of “Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies,” the wonderful team at TCM has again assembled an outstanding selection of films for this annual event. Now that the full schedule has been released, it’s time to make a plan for what films I hope to see.

As always, I want to see most everything. Since splitting into five people is not an option, I have to choose. It’s the ultimate in first world problems, but, still, it’s often a bit agonizing.

Day One – Thursday, April 11

My current plan is to spend the opening night of this year’s festival at the Egyptian Theatre. I’ll kick the festival off with the musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell and part of the festival’s tribute to 20th Century Fox. Next up is a 35mm nitrate screening of the comedy The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple.

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (Image ©️ 20th Century Fox)

Day Two – Friday, April 12

The difficult choices begin first thing on Friday. The festival is screening another film this year at the ArcLight Cinemas’ Cinerama Dome, Cinerama’s Russian Adventure (1966), which is the last of the Cinerama compilation films. On hand will be film historian and critic Leonard Maltin and editor Hal Dennis, Jr. Seeing a film in the Cinerama Dome is always a treat and this would definitely be a unique experience.

Instead, I’m probably going to start the day back at the Egyptian with screenings of the film noir The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and Walt Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty (1959), which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. (Even though I’ve recently seen Sleeping Beauty on the big screen courtesy of D23, I don’t want to pass up another opportunity to see this gorgeous film.)

Walt Disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY (Image ©️ Disney)

The next three films are in the TCL Chinese Multiplex: the classic silent film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927), François Truffaut’s dramedy Day for Night (1973), and the western Winchester ’73 (1950). (Or I might change my plans entirely in order to see Raiders of the Lost Ark in the TCL Chinese Theatre.) The midnight movie (if I can stay awake) is Mexican cult favorite Santo vs. the Evil Brain (1961). Honestly, I’d enjoy seeing any of the 20 movies playing Friday afternoon and evening (and I wouldn’t be surprised if I changed my plans).

SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS (Image ©️ 20th Century Fox)

Day Three – Saturday, April 13

There’s a new venue at the festival this year–the Legion Theater, part of Hollywood Post 43 of the American Legion. The theater was chartered in 1919 by World War I veterans who worked in the movie business and has recently undergone an extensive restoration. The pictures of it look beautiful and I’m excited to check it out.

The first two movies on Saturday are at the Legion Theater and are part of the festival’s 20th Century Fox tribute: the musical The Little Colonel (1935) starring Shirley Temple, and then a session dedicated to the history of 20th Century Fox entitled Fox: An Appreciation with a presentation by Schawn Belston, executive vice president of Media and Library Services at 20th Century Fox.

Then, it’s back to the TCL Chinese Multiplex for the comedy Father Goose (1964) with Cary Grant or the romantic drama Love Affair (1939), and Robert Altman’s Nashville (1975) with actors Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Jeff Goldblum, and Joan Tewkesbury in attendance.

NASHVILLE (Image ©️ Paramount)

One of the toughest decisions (again, first world problems) of the festival schedule for me is between living out a life-long dream of seeing the original (well, it’s the “Special Edition”) Star Wars movie in the TCL Chinese Theater, Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), or seeing one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures Escape from New York (1981) with an intro by director John Carpenter and actor Kurt Russell. Star Wars is probably going to win (it’s one of my favorite movies ever), but it most likely will be a game time decision.

When STAR WARS played at the Chinese Theater in the summer of 1977…

Day Four – Sunday, April 14

With five “TBA” slots on the Sunday schedule, I’m going to play it by ear that day. I also plan to attend a TCM Backlot event at 1:30 p.m. at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. I’m really hoping to be able to see The Godfather Part II (1974) on the big screen, but again, we’ll just have to see what ultimately gets scheduled and what’s going on.

While the TCM Classic Film Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary, the TCM network is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Its first day of broadcasting was on April 14, 1994 and the very first film the network played was the seminal classic Gone with the Wind (1939). The film will be shown in the TCL Chinese Theatre on Sunday afternoon at the festival, and it will also be shown on the network that same day. I’ve decided to record it on my DVR and watch it on TV when I get home, which somehow seems appropriate.

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in GONE WITH THE WIND (Image ©️ MGM, Warner Bros.)

The 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival will be held April 11-14, 2019 in Hollywood, California. For details, visit tcm.com/festival.

Full Schedule Released for 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival

The great team at Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has released the full schedule today for the upcoming 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival.

The full schedule is here. Read it and weep (because it is awesome).

I’m already agonizing (in a good way) about what films to see. So many choices! For the latest information and updates, visit tcm.com/festival. See you in Hollywood April 11-14!

Images ©️ TCM

More Films Announced for 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival

Yesterday’s announcements for the 2019 Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival got me pretty stoked.

Image ©️ TCM

Escape from New York is one of my all-time guilty pleasures and it blows my mind that I might have the chance to see it with both Kurt Russell and the film’s director John Carpenter in attendance. And the chance to see Nashville on the big screen, again with members of the cast there, is so cool and is just what the TCM Classic Film Festival is all about.

My pass arrived yesterday, too! Can’t wait!

With the theme of “Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies,” the lineup for the 10th annual TCM Classic Film Festival keeps getting better and better. For the latest information and updates, visit tcm.com/festival. See you in Hollywood April 11-14!

20th Century Fox Tribute and More Coming to the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival

More films were announced today for the 2019 Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival coming April 11-14, 2019 to Hollywood, California.

©️ 20th Century Fox

Of particular interest to me is the 20th Century Fox tribute now happening at the festival (most likely since 20th Century Fox’s sale to The Walt Disney Company will be finalized in the upcoming weeks). Check out this lineup of Fox films being shown at the festival:

  • The Sound of Music (1965) in 70mm
  • Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) Special Edition (wish we could get the original version, but I’m still stoked)
  • Life Begins at 40 (1935) starring Will Rogers and Richard Cromwell
  • The Little Colonel (1935) starring Shirley Temple, Lionel Barrymore, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell
  • The Robe (1953) starring Richard Burton and Jean Simmons

Along with these previously announced Fox titles:

  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) 50th anniversary screening
  • Hello, Dolly! (1969) 50th anniversary screening

And here’s a graphic with some additional films announced today, including more screenings in 35mm nitrate.

Of course, we can’t wait!

With the theme of “Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies,” the lineup for the 10th annual TCM Classic Film Festival keeps getting better and better. For the latest information and updates, visit tcm.com/festival. We hope to see you in Hollywood in a few weeks!

Images ©️ TCM

More Films Announced for the 10th TCM Classic Film Festival

We’ve snagged our pass, made our hotel reservations, and already can’t wait for the 10th annual Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival happening April 11-14 in Hollywood, California. Now comes the fun part—waiting to see what films are going to be screened during the festival.

Nine films were previously announced for the festival. Now today, TCM has announced five more films, including the opening night film, When Harry Met Sally with director Rob Reiner and actors Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in attendance.

Image ©️ TCM

With the theme of “Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies,” the festival lineup is starting to take shape. The other four films announced today fall right into the festival’s theme:

  • The Clock (1945), romantic drama starring Judy Garland and Robert Walker; directed by Vincente Minnelli
  • Indiscreet (1958), romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman; directed by Stanley Donen
  • Love in the Afternoon (1957), romantic comedy starring Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn; written and directed by Billy Wilder
  • Mad Love (1935), the horror/obsession film starring Peter Lorre and Frances Drake; directed by Karl Freund

Also, the TCM network will celebrate its 25th anniversary on closing night of the festival. It’s all exciting stuff for classic film lovers! We hope to see you in Hollywood in April!

First Films Announced for 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival

One of the great classic movie events of the year is the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, California. The festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019.

The 2019 festival dates were recently announced—April 11-14, 2019. And now, TCM has revealed the first nine films of the lineup with this graphic they posted to the TCM Facebook page.

©️ TCM

As is typically the case, the lineup looks diverse and interesting, with different genres and time periods represented. I’m particularly excited about seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Sunrise on the big screen.

Festival passes go on sale 12:00 p.m. ET on November 15, 2018 on the TCM Classic Film Festival website at tcm.com/festival

Citi, a sponsor of the festival, is doing a pre-sale for festival passes, allowing Citi cardmembers to buy tickets with their Citi credit card starting at 10:00 a.m ET on November 13, 2018. The link for the Citi presale is citiprivatepass.com.

We can’t wait! Make sure to follow TCM on Facebook and Twitter for the latest TCM Classic Film Festival updates. And hope to see you in Hollywood next April!

All images ©️ TCM

Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Marvel Studios is showing all 20 of its films in select IMAX theaters from August 30 to September 6, 2018.

Megaplex Theatres in Utah (where I live) offered a pass for all 20 movies for $75 + tax which provides a reserved seat in the IMAX theater for each of the films. They are also offering single tickets for each screening (which I wished I would have done since my schedule hasn’t permitted me to see as many films as I would have liked; more on that below).

Here’s the schedule of films that are being shown in the IMAX theater at my local Megaplex Theatres location, the Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons. 

Iron Man – 2:15 p.m.
The Incredible Hulk – 4:45 p.m.
Iron Man 2 – 7:00 p.m
Thor – 9:25 p.m.

Captain America: The First Avenger – 2:15 p.m.
Avengers – 4:40 p.m.
Iron Man 3 – 7:25 p.m.
Thor: The Dark World – 9:55 p.m.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – 2:15 pm.
Guardians of the Galaxy – 4:55 p.m.
Avengers: Age of Ultron – 7:20 p.m.
Ant-Man – 10:05 p.m.

Captain America: Civil War – 2:15 p.m.
Doctor Strange – 5:05 p.m.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – 7:20 p.m.
Spider-Man: Homecoming – 10:00 p.m.

Thor: Ragnarok – 2:15 p.m.
Black Panther – 4:55 p.m.
Avengers: Infinity War – 7:30 p.m.
Ant-Man and the Wasp – 10:20 p.m.

Iron Man – 2:15 p.m.
Spider-Man: Homecoming – 4:45 p.m.
Black Panther – 7:20 p.m.
Doctor Strange – 9:55 p.m.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 – 2:15 p.m.
Captain America: Civil War – 4:45 p.m.
Avengers – 7:45 p.m.
Avengers: Infinity War – 10:30 p.m.

Iron Man – 2:15 p.m.
Avengers – 4:45 p.m.

We’re at the midway point in the festival and while it’s been fun, the schedule has been a bit of a challenge for me, particularly since I have a day job along with a lot of extra commitments over the next few days (which isn’t Marvel’s fault). Probably my only complaint is that the screening schedule is a bit too condensed and it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to see all of the films. Even though they are showing some of the titles twice or more, I wish they could have spread it out over a couple of weeks to make it possible for us working folks to see more of these movies that we love. (At least they included Labor Day in the mix, so that helps.)

Still, the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival is a really fun idea and I will enjoy what I can. Check out this video about it from the IMAX YouTube channel.