Opening night of the TCM Classic Film Festival!
The thing I enjoyed the most about opening night of the TCM Classic Film Festival was taking in the Greta Garbo film Ninotchka which I had never seen before and which I enjoyed immensely.
There were other offerings including South Pacific showing poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel to be introduced by Mitzi Gaynor (pictured above with Robert Hayes of Airplane! fame) as well as Funny Girl at Grauman’s Chinese Theater (sorry, I mean TLC Chinese Theatre – puleeeeeze).
Funny Girl star Barbra Streisand, currently busy on the East Coast, was not in attendance for the evening’s big screening but another iconic diva was: Cher.
It was Cher who appeared with festival host Robert Osborne before the screening to greet the audience and chat up the film. Cher is a longtime TCM devotee and occasional guest programmer and host.
While Cher provided major star power inside the theater, the red carpet was the most lackluster it has been in years – perhaps ever.
Last year I remember Liza Minnelli, Debbie Reynolds, Mickey Rooney, Robert Wagner, Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray and scores of other celebs from various eras.
This year, you kept waiting for the flood of arrivals and instead, it was just a trickle.
Since it would have taken them until next Tuesday to get to my spot way down the red carpet, I decided to forgo interviews and just camp out behind ABC 7′s George Pennacchio way up front and snap some photos of the stars who were there:
1. The great Mitzi Gaynor and actor Robert Hayes whose Airplane! is screening at the festival. 2. This was about as busy as the red carpet got at times 3. Oscar winner Eva Marie Saint still so lovely at 88. She will be at screening of her film On the Waterfront 4. Two-time Oscar nominee Max von Sydow 5. Mildred Pierce star Ann Blyth who also starred in all those Hostess commercials for Twinkies and Cup Cakes in the 70s 6. Jane Withers whose Giant will screen at festival and who was Josephine the plumber in those Comet Cleanser commercials 7. Festival host Robert Osborne 8. Tippi Hedren whose The Birds will screen over the weekend 9. Some cute guy interviewing game show host Wink Martindale.
Anyway, so the red carpet disappointed a bit.
The real joy of the TCM Classic Film Festival is being inside darkened theaters with fellow movie fans and seeing classic films with an audience – often for the first time. The group reactions are what I love most because even if you’ve seen a movie before, you might not have realized how funny or clever or sad it is until you see it in a theater on the big screen.
My schedule over the next three days includes: The Twelve Chairs, A Foreign Affair, Deliverance, Giant (or On Golden Pond – tough call), The Lady Eve, Mildred Pierce, Gilda, Kismit, Three Days of the Condor and Dial M for Murder.