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My recap of a star-studded TCM Classic film Festival

My 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival started with Bogie and Bacall in To Have and Have Not on Thursday night and by Sunday evening I had seen more than a dozen film and such stars as Jeff Bridges, Cicely Tyson, Sally Field, and Dyan Cannon in person to discuss their movies..

It is absolute film lovers heaven to make your way from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to the Egyptian Theatre and back again for screening and to drop by then Roosevelt Hotel for a Q&A or a poolside screening.

There’s a reason why people come from all around the U.S. to attend this festival each year held in the heart of Hollywood. With over 100 events over four days, the Festival offers something for every movie lovers taste and it’s impossible to catch everything. You just have to go with your heart or your mood on that day. These are classics so you can’t really be disappointed!

I think I chose well this year.

After To Have and Have Not on opening night, I took in Stage Door for the first time. Absolutely brilliant! I am now obsessed with Ginger Rogers who was my favorite in an astounding cast that also includes Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Ann Miller, and Constance Collier among others. I plan to watch this movie many more times just for all of Ginger’s zingers alone!

Highlights from the weekend:

JAMES IVORY and MAURICE: April 28: James Ivory, 89, appeared before a screening of his 1987 classic Maurice. He told us he had been set to make a gold hunting adventure with Tom Cruise which ended up not being made. He made Maurice instead – thank God. This was at height of AIDS epidemic and 30 years before Ivory won the Oscar for writing the screenplay for Call Me By Your Name. Ivory adapted E.M. Forster’s posthumously published novel about a young man’s reckoning with his homosexuality, deals with being gay with candor.

CICELY TYSON: Before a screening of the 1972 classic Sounder, we had the absolute joy of experiencing a Q&A with the great Cicely Tyson who was Oscar nominated for her performance. She’s a remarkable 93 with all kinds of wonderful stories from throughout her life and career. She didn’t win the Oscar but she has three Emmys, a Tony, the Kennedy Center Honors and in 2016 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

DYAN CANNON and BUCK HENRY at HEAVEN CAN WAIT: The ageless Dyan Cannon, 81, pushed the 87-year-old Buck Henry’s wheelchair onto the stage at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre for a discussion about the film which earned them both Oscar nominations – Cannon for supporting actress and Henry as co-director. Cannon said she twice turned down her role because she didn’t know how to play it. She certainly figured it out! The 1978 American fantasy-comedy film starred Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Jack Warden.

PIGEON SISTERS REUNITE: The screening of The Odd Couple was made all the more special by the post-screening appearances of Monica Evans and Carole Shelley, who played Oscar and Felix’s upstairs neighbors, Cecily and Gwendolyn Pigeon. The two actresses are the only performers to have appeared in the original Broadway production, the feature film, and the ABC television series. They had not seen each other in decades but slid right back into storytelling mode as they shared their memories of working with stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in the classic comedy.

SALLY FIELD and ROBERT BENTON: Before the screening of 1984′s Places in the Heart, TCM co-host Dave Karger introduced a career retrospective of the film’s writer and director Robert Benton. Then after the film, Benton appeared with the film’s star, Sally Field, who won her second Academy Award for her portrayal of a Depression-era Texas widow who tries to save the family farm with the help of a blind white man and a poor black man. This fine film is clearly a career highlight for both Field and Benton.

THE DUDE JEFF BRIDGES: Before the Saturday night screening of The Big Lebowski, star Jeff Bridges took to the stage to talk about one of the signature roles of his long career TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. He led the audience in some meditation and made an attempt to solicit questions from the crowd.

FILE UNDER: Film Festivals


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