Dim the house lights: My picks for the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival

I am ecstatic to be returning to California for my third TCM Classic Film Festival. Can you believe it’s my third? I can’t either!

This year, I will be covering the festival here on my blog and also serving as ambassador for the network. I can’t wait to bring you coverage from multiple social media channels. I’m truly honored to be a part of this and look forward to what’s in store!

This year’s theme is “Follow Your Heart: Love at the Movies” and while there are romantic films, you’ll find plenty of other offerings as well. The nitrate series is coming back for the third year and there’s a mix of new classics, too. Looking at you, Star Wars.

To the schedule!

THURSDAY, APRIL 11TH
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I will be starting my TCMFF with an old favorite: Ocean’s 11 with Angie Dickinson in attendance. In the humble beginnings of my classic movie fandom I went through a Rat Pack phase. I loved listening to old Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin records and I vividly remember a Rat Pack week on A&E that featured each of their biographies and a rare tv special from the ’60s. Ocean’s 11 is a fun film that I enjoy a great deal. Dickinson is a candid and vivacious storyteller. It’s also a poolside screening. This will be a treat and a great way to kick off the fest.

It’ll be cutting it close but I hope to make it to the screening of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg across the street at House Multiplex 1. I saw this for the first time late last year on the final night of FilmStruck and kept thinking that I really need to see it on the big screen. The colors are so rich and vibrant. TCM answered the call. I have no doubt that on the big screen it will take my breath away.

FRIDAY, APRIL 12TH

This will be the most packed day of the festival for me. I will start bright and early with the 9:30 a.m. screening of Dorothy Arzner’s Merrily We Go To Hell. I’ve never seen this film so I’m going into it blind but I make it a point to see at least one precode at every fest. This will follow my tradition. Fredric March and Sylvia Sydney? SIGN. ME. UP.

I debated on this block between Sleeping Beauty and The Descendants: Growing up in Hollywood panel at Club TCM. I strongly recommend the panels at Club TCM. They are engaging, candid and always a good time but because Disney is so protective of its library and the film’s animators will be on hand to discuss the film, I have to go with Sleeping Beauty.

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After that screening, I will hope back in line at the Egyptian for My Favorite WifeI’m a big fan of Mario Cantone having seen him on Broadway and of course in Sex and the City. If you follow him on Twitter or have seen him as a guest programmer on TCM, you’ll know his love for the classics is deep. Cary Grant’s daughter Jennifer Grant will discuss the film with Cantone before it screens. I’ve been watching a lot of 90210 since the passing of Luke Perry and she was on the show which is a funny tidbit. She’s a great storyteller and I strongly recommend her book about her dad, Good Stuff.

Although I swore I would never watch Steel Magnolias again after it broke me, it’s screening at TCMFF with Shirley MacLaine. I can’t not go to a theater where I have the chance to be in the same room as Shirley MacLaine! Who needs food? Shirley will feed my soul.

The marathon of a day will come to a close with Do the Right Thing featuring Ruth E. Carter who just won the Oscar for costume design for her gorgeous work on Black Panther.

SATURDAY, APRIL 13

I’ll be sleeping in during the first block of offerings Saturday and then make it to Fox: An Appreciation. I’ve long talked about how much Fox and their films mean to me and now that the studio has been gobbled up by Disney, I am intrigued to see what this presentation will offer.

After this I will book it to House Multiplex 1 to get in line for…JEFF GOLDBLUM. I’m a huge fan like the rest of the internet so I plan to go in ahead of time as he will be a big draw. I want to get a good seat to see Dr. Ian Malcolm.

I’ll round out the day with my first nitrate screening of the fest: Samson and Delilah. Truthfully, I’m not big on biblical epics but this is a Cecil B. DeMille fan and it’s bound to look gorgeous on nitrate.

SUNDAY, APRIL 14

And just like that, it’s the final day! The one film I’m looking forward to the most is the final film being shown at the festival. It’s… THE DOLLY SISTERS.

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You all know how much I love Betty Grable and this will be the first time I see a movie of hers on the big screen. And…it’s on nitrate.

I will cry.

Well, there you have it! The 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival.

What films do you plan on seeing this year? Let me know in the comments and see you in Hollywood!

 

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Nancy Olson at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival

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One of the highlights of this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival was hearing the fabulous Nancy Olson speak. I’ve been a fan of Olson’s for a while now and she is a great storyteller. Whether it be on television or in person appearances, she is always candid, respectful and full of memories and moxie. She’s attended the festival before but has eluded me. When I saw her on the lineup this year, I knew I had to make it. Olson is now 89 and her memories are as sharp as ever.

The theme for this year’s festival was “From page to screen” and what better film to spotlight than Sunset Boulevard? Arguably it’s one of the greatest screenplays ever written. On top of that, it’s William Holden’s centennial year so I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to hear, in person, from someone who worked with him four times! I love the screen teaming of Olson and Holden. There was a great deal of respect between the two and it shows on film.

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Below is the raw audio of Olson’s talk with Micheal Feinstein at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival.