December 24, 2021 Podcast

Welcome to the 78th episode of the Movies Past and Present podcast. And Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours!

TCM Big Screen Classics Series for 2022

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced the lineup of films for their 2022 Big Screen Classics series. This is a great opportunity to see classic movies in an actual theater along with some great context from a TCM host (typically TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz).

Here’s the list of films. For more info, visit

TCM Classic Film Festival 2022

The TCM Classic Film Festival is back again for 2022! The festival will take place April 21-24, 2022 in Hollywood, California. Select passes are still available online. For more information, visit

A Tribute to Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios recently released their 60th animated motion picture, Encanto. The film has been playing exclusively in theaters and will make its debut on the Disney+ streaming service today (December 24). Make sure to check it out!

A complete list of Disney Animation’s 60 films in chronological order is here.

To commemorate this wonderful milestone, here’s my ranking of all 60 films (solely based on personal taste and preference, not necessarily respecting the overall quality or historical significance of the film).

  1. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  2. The Jungle Book (1967)
  3. Cinderella (1950)
  4. Peter Pan (1953)
  5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  6. Aladdin (1992)
  7. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  8. 101 Dalmatians (1961)
  9. The Rescuers (1977)
  10. Tangled (2010)
  11. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
  12. The Little Mermaid (1989)
  13. Dumbo (1941)
  14. Bambi (1942)
  15. Mulan (1998)
  16. Zootopia (2016)
  17. Big Hero 6 (2014)
  18. Frozen (2013)
  19. Fantasia (1940)
  20. Tarzan (1999)
  21. The Lion King (1994)
  22. Pinocchio (1940)
  23. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
  24. Frozen 2 (2019)
  25. Moana (2016)
  26. Encanto (2021)
  27. Robin Hood (1973)
  28. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
  29. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
  30. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
  31. Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
  32. Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
  33. Saludos Amigos (1943)
  34. Hercules (1997)
  35. Fantasia 2000 (2000)
  36. Pocahontas (1995)
  37. Oliver and Company (1988)
  38. Bolt (2008)
  39. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
  40. Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
  41. Treasure Planet (2002)
  42. The Aristocats (1970)
  43. Winnie the Pooh (2011)
  44. Alice in Wonderland (1951)
  45. Meet the Robinsons (2007)
  46. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
  47. The Sword in the Stone (1963)
  48. Make Mine Music (1946)
  49. Melody Time (1948)
  50. Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
  51. The Three Caballeros (1945)
  52. Lilo and Stitch (2002)
  53. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
  54. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
  55. The Fox and the Hound (1981)
  56. Brother Bear (2003)
  57. Chicken Little (2005)
  58. Home on the Range (2004)
  59. Dinosaur (2000)
  60. The Black Cauldron (1985)

Thanks for Tuning In!

Subscribe to the Movies Past and Present podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and Stitcher. I hope that watching some great movies will bring you peace and comfort this week. Thanks for listening, be safe out there, and dedicate yourself to the truth.

2019 TCM Big Screen Classics Films Announced

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced the 14 films that will be included in their 2019 Big Screen Classics series. TCM screens these films in movie theaters across the U.S.A., giving film lovers the chance to see classic films on the big screen as they were intended to be seen. Also included with each screening is commentary before and after the film from Ben Mankiewicz and other TCM hosts that provides context, insights, and other pertinent details about the film. All in all, it’s always a great time at the movie theater.

Here’s the lineup for 2019.

All images ©️ Turner Classic Movies.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) 80th Anniversary – January 27, 29, and 30, 2019

My Fair Lady (1964) – February 17 and 20, 2019

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – March 24 and 27, 2019

Ben-Hur (1959) 60th Anniversary – April 14 and 17, 2019

True Grit (1969) 50th Anniversary – May 5 and 8, 2019

Steel Magnolias (1989) 30th Anniversary – May 19, 21, and 22, 2019

Field of Dreams (1989) 30th Anniversary – June 16 and 18, 2019

Glory (1989) 30th Anniversary – July 21 and 24, 2019

Hello, Dolly! (1969) 50th Anniversary – August 11 and 14, 2019

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – September 1 and 4, 2019

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 25th Anniversary – September 22, 24, and 25, 2019

Alien (1979) 40th Anniversary – October 13, 15, and 16, 2019

The Godfather Part II (1974)- November 10, 12, and 13, 2019

When Harry Met Sally (1989) 30th Anniversary – December 1 and 3, 2019

For the latest scheduling information and to find a theater near you where these films are playing, visit the Fathom Events website.

December 6, 2018 Podcast

Welcome to this week’s podcast!

New in Theaters


It’s all about Christmas movies this month. In the podcast, I give a review of the musical Scrooge (1970), one of my favorite film retellings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The film is available on Amazon.

Classic Cinema

Podcast is below. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, too. Thanks for listening!

“Rebel Without a Cause”

It’s been a couple of weeks, but I’m still thinking about my maiden voyage watching Rebel Without a Cause (1955) in its entirety. 

I think I started watching it a couple of times when the film played on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), but I just don’t ever remember finishing it. Well, that was a mistake which I’ll never do again now that I’ve seen the film on the big screen courtesy of this year’s TCM Big Screen Classics series (the film screened on September 23 and 26).

I found the film to be a riveting, compelling drama that’s worthy of its reputation. James Dean puts in a stellar, legendary performance as Jim Stark, a high schooler with affluent but out-of-touch parents (pictured above; all images ©️ Warner Bros.). He becomes friends with his neighbor and classmate Judy (played excellently by Natalie Wood) and John “Plato” Crawford (also excellently played by Sal Mineo), who also have serious issues happening at home. And, in a departure from most every film ever, while all of the adults seem dysfunctional, the one steady adult in the film is the neighborhood detective, played perfectly by Edward Platt. 

The tragedy that unfolds is, sadly, inevitable, but still heart-wrenching nonetheless. Director Nicholas Ray does such an excellent job with his storytelling. The visual cues of the families’ dysfunction is obvious, yet artfully brought in as part of the unfolding of the plot. The performances are stellar, as are the Los Angeles locations, particularly the beloved Griffith Observatory which is used so perfectly in the film.

I now get it why people were so crazy about James Dean’s performance and why it remains such a classic today. Sorry to be slow to the party, but I’m grateful that I at least arrived. Thanks again to TCM and their outstanding Big Screen Classics series!

Image ©️ Warner Bros. and TCM

Widescreen Thoughts on “The Sound of Music”

As part of 2018’s Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Big Screen Classics series, TCM and 20th Century Fox presented their classic film The Sound of Music (1965) on the big screen in September. And, let me tell you, seeing this film in all of its big screen glory was music to both my ears and eyes.

Seriously, I’ve seen this film on a TV screen so many times, both in old school (and frustrating) pan-and-scan as well as in widescreen formats. However, seeing the film in widescreen and with its beautiful digital restoration was almost like seeing the film for the first time (I’m sure that this will be an oft-used statement on this blog–I really prefer watching any film on the big screen, particularly classic ones).

Familiar scenes seemed new again. And the romance between Maria (Julie Andrews) and Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) seemed all the more real and believable by being able to watch their stellar performances in a magnified way.

All images ©️ 20th Century Fox

While I adored hearing all of the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs again in on the theater’s speakers, I mostly just came away so impressed with the craftsmanship that director Robert Wise and his team put into the film. One of my friends commented after the screening that “there’s not a bad shot in it.” And I would concur. Every shot is artful, beautiful, and meaningful. (And I want to know how in the world the team lit the famous “Something Good” gazebo scene. It’s just so good.)

I loved seeing this film again on the big screen and wish you all could have been there, too.

Image ©️ 20th Century Fox and TCM

“West Side Story” on the Big Screen

TCM showed West Side Story (1961) on the big screen a few days ago as part of their ongoing Big Screen Classics series and I can’t stop thinking about it. From the brilliant direction by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, to the masterful music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, to the electric performances by the entire cast, it’s no wonder this film is so beloved.

Here’s one of my favorite musical numbers from the movie, the “Tonight” quintet and chorus.

I’m also very excited about the news that director Steven Spielberg is set to remake the musical. We need its message now more than ever.

Many thanks to TCM and Fathom Events for bringing these classic films to the big screen for us film lovers to learn from and enjoy.

Image ©️ Turner Classic Movies

“Vertigo” Turns 60

Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller Vertigo turns 60 this year. Turner Classic Movies (TCM), along with Fathom Events, is screening Vertigo to honor the film’s 60th anniversary on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 as part of their excellent TCM Big Screen Classics film series.

Here’s the original trailer for the film:

When it was released in 1958, Vertigo was not a success. In fact, critics dismissed it and the film bombed at the box office. According to, Hitchcock himself kept the film out of circulation entirely between 1973 and his death in 1980.

It wasn’t until the passing of Alfred Hitchcock that critics and cinephiles began to more seriously take notice (although the film had the strong allegiance of early fans as evidenced in the interview below with director Martin Scorsese).

Now, Vertigo is considered by many to be one of the best films ever made. In 2007, it moved to the #9 spot in the American Film Institute’s (AFI) 10th anniversary edition of its prestigious “100 Years…100 Movies” list. And after a steady, multi-year climb, Vertigo was recognized as the #1 film in 2012 by the British Film Institute (BFI) in their “Greatest Films of All Time” poll, knocking Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane out of its long-held top spot.

British film critic Tim Robey had this to say about both the film’s ascent to the top of the BFI poll and his own opinions about the staying (and growing) power of this Hitchcock classic:

“Even though its rehabilitation as a classic was well under way at the time, I remember my first viewing being something of a disappointment, too. I was hoovering up Hitchcocks from their TV airings in my mid-teens, high on Psycho and Notorious, and found the whole structure of this one broken and bewildering. It didn’t satisfy my early notions of what ‘Hitchcockian’ meant, and the lure of it as romantic fantasy probably didn’t strike much of a chord either. Next to the addictive wickedness of his other thrillers, it was an oddly foreign proposition, arty and stilted-seeming.

“What I hadn’t realised is that Vertigo is the ultimate grower. If its laboriously slow ascent to the highest stratum of critical adoration has proved anything, it is that. In its very bones, the movie is about a repetitive pattern of romantic obsession, and it is entirely fitting that such a pattern makes more sense the more we see it repeated: it’s an experience that gets correspondingly more deep and dreamlike with every viewing, echoing further back into the reaches of the subconscious. There’s something quasi-religious about returning to it, knowing all the mistakes that Stewart’s Scottie Ferguson is going to make all over again, and recognising every facet of Kim Novak, from ethereally seductive to seemingly guileless to manipulative and doomed.”

Vertigo is also available on Blu-ray and your favorite digital download platforms, but don’t miss this opportunity to see the special 60th anniversary screening of this cinema classic on the big screen. Check the Fathom Events website for times and locations and for information about upcoming TCM Big Screen Classics.