Happy 2020! This year’s movie watching project has me over the moon, truly.
I am planning to watch all 50 movies listed in the cool book from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) called Must-See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies that Are Out of This World by Sloan De Forest (Running Press, 2018; available at Amazon.com and Shop TCM).
Here’s the list of the 50 films (plus I’m also going to watch Disney’s wild and wacky sci-fi flick The Black Hole from 1979 which is not included in the book but is a total sci-fi guilty pleasure).
* Watched in 2019 ** Never seen before
A Trip to the Moon (1902)
Island of Lost Souls** (1932)
The Invisible Man (1933)
Things to Come** (1936)
The Thing from Another World** (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
It Came from Outer Space (1953)
The War of the Worlds (1953)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers* (1956)
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
The Fly (1958)
The Blob (1958)
The Time Machine (1960)
La Jetée** (1962)
These Are the Damned** (1962)
Fantastic Voyage (1966)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
THX 1138 (19710
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Silent Running** (1972)
The Man Who Fell to Earth** (1976)
Logan’s Run (1976)
Star Wars (1977)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
The Black Hole (1979); not on original list—added for my own guilty viewing pleasure
E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Blade Runner (1982)
The Brother from Another Planet** (1984)
The Terminator (1984)
Back to the Future (1985)
Jurassic Park (1993)
The Matrix (1999)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
District 9 (2009)
I hope you’ll join me in following along or, better yet, watching some or all of these films with me! I will be keeping a log of the films on my Instagram feed (@moviespap), my Letterboxd page (stanfordclark), and will be reporting regularly here on the blog and podcast.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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).
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.
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.
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.
The 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival will be held April 11-14, 2019 in Hollywood, California. For details, visit tcm.com/festival.
Yesterday’s announcements for the 2019 Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival got me pretty stoked.
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!
More films were announced today for the 2019 Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival coming April 11-14, 2019 to Hollywood, California.
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!
The plan is to watch one film a week from the list below (which is taken directly from Jeremy Arnold’s Essentials book), read Jeremy Arnold’s take on what makes the film “essential,” read any other pertinent writings and relevant information about the film, and then blog and/or podcast about my experience and learnings.
The always awesome Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival is happening next April 11-14, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Today, six more titles were added to the list of films being screened.
The Great K & A Train Robbery (1926), a silent western film starring Tom Mix and Dorothy Dwan; directed by Lewis Seiler
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), a comedy starring Dennis Price, Valerie Hobson, and Alec Guinness; directed by Robert Hamer
Marty (1955), the Academy Award-winning romantic drama starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair; directed by Delbert Mann
Open Secret (1948), a film noir starring John Ireland, Jane Randolph, and Sheldon Leonard; directed by John Reinhardt
Outlaws of Red River (1927), another silent western starring Tom Mix, Marjorie Daw, and Tony the Wonder Horse; directed by Lewis Seiler
Winchester ‘73 (1950), a western starring James Stewart and Shelley Winters; directed by Anthony Mann
With the theme of “Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies,” the festival lineup keeps getting better and better. For the latest information and updates, visit tcm.com/festival. We hope to see you in Hollywood next April!
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.