Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 TCM Classic Film Festival: Pre-festival festivities

This year's TCM Classic Film Festival kicked off a little earlier for me than in previous years.  I stopped by the Roosevelt Hotel Wednesday after work.  I wanted to scope out Club TCM and pick up my bag and program.  And also check out the boutique to see if there were any items I wanted to purchase (shockingly there were).  While at the Roosevelt I ended up catching a glimpse of Ben Mankiewicz.  This year I decided to stare at him and then kind of silently and awkwardly say "hi."  Last year I saw him wrestling some suitcases up the steps and I asked him if he needed help.  As you can see I'm really good at interacting with other humans. 
Love The Beatles!

Upon checking in, I got my festival bag and some other exciting goodies.  I was told that since I had attended the festival for all 5 years I was treated to the Conversations with Robert Osborne DVD and accompanying letter.  I was very touched!

And! Since I had used my Citicard to purchase my pass I also got this signed poster. It was exciting to get all of these things.  It was so unexpected. I ended up getting a second one through strange circumstances, perhaps I will do a giveaway or something.  I'll try to put that together.

I then made my way home so that I could get ready for the 2 tweet-ups I was planning on attending.  I also checked out the items in my festival bag:
This year it included the a beautiful book with a welcome letter from Mr. Osborne and great articles about movies that were screened this year and included Robert Osborne's top 20 moments with TCM.  A Bonhams guide, the 2013 edition of Noir City and The TCM Greatest Classic Films Family edition (fitting for the theme this year).

I was surprised and thrilled to be invited to the TCM tweet-up this year.  I decided that I would try to be more social and outgoing this year.  I tend to be a bit on the shy side or really just reactionary when it comes to social interactions, but it was such a treat to put so many faces to names and to connect with other classic film fans. And it was easy to engage with all of the wonderful classic film fanatics that I had the pleasure of meeting.  At the first meet up I spent a lot of time chatting with Jeff (@jlundenberger), Kristen (@salesonfilm), and TCM's own Scott (@bbunny1940).  I also got to meet Jessica (@hollywoodcomet) and chat more with Raquel (of Out of the Past fame).  There was also a very challenging trivia contest and an opportunity to chat with the TCM Party people.  All in all it was a great meet-up.

I also had a very strange moment at the first tweet up of the night.  At one point I was speaking with Mr. Mankiewicz, which is surprising in it of itself.  I was asking him which movies he was going to introduce and I asked him about Ryan O'Neal cancelling and then Illeana Douglas came over and tried to take a selfie with him, but it was dark and they needed the flash.  So I offered to take the picture of them, it turned into quite a to-do.  Illeana looked great in each picture, but Ben was having some trouble keeping his eyes open.  So I tried a couple of different ways to help Ben out so that he had his eyes open for the picture, I counted down from 3, tried saying "open" when he needed to be looking (we have to do this with one of my brothers too, cause he can never keep his eyes open for pictures).  I think overall it took about 10 tries to get a good one.  When I got home I was surprised to find:

It was exciting to have been the photographer for that shoot.  It was also fun to interact with Ben and Illeana on a very human level.  I'm such big fans of what they both do for classic film, so I was thrilled to be in their presence and if I had been slick enough I could've tried to nab a picture of with them, but I never think of those things until later.

It was then time to head over to the second tweet-up of the night.  I had the pleasure of driving Aurora (@citizenscreen), and Annmarie (@classicmoviehub) who didn't mind my messy car.  The second tweet-up was at the Formosa Cafe and had the added bonus of Warner Archive giving away free DVDs!   By the time I got there, there was slim pickings so I grabbed Soldier in the Rain starring Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen.  Seems worth checking out.  While at the 2nd tweet up, I had the immense honor of conversing more with Raquel, we discussed our game plans for the festival and getting to meet and talk with Will McKinley (@willmckinley and do yourself a favor check out his wonderful blog).  I also got to meet Kellee (@irishjayhawk66) who was super friendly and lovely and briefly met Marya (@oldfilmsflicker).

This was such a great way to gear up for the film festival.  I had a great time and am so honored to have been invited to the tweet-ups and get to meet so many lovely classic film fans.

Stay tuned for more recaps and fun memories from the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cary Grant Day (Day 4 of the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival)

Day 4 was very much a Cary Grant appreciation, but let's be honest, isn't everyday Cary Grant appreciation day?  I started the 4th day off by driving my mom to the airport, because she is a good, dedicated teacher and just had to get back to work, me, on the other hand took a couple of extra days to finish up the festival.  The reason she was able to attend the festival was because it fell during Spring Break.  If that ever happens again I'm sure I'll be able to get her back out here for another film festival.

Alright, onward and upward, Day 4.  After driving my mom I got back in time for a screening of To Catch a Thief at Grauman's.  The movie was introduced by Ben Mankiewicz, who is always a pleasure to see bright and early in the morning.  He started off his introduction by letting us know that his goatee was contractually obligated for his first few years at TCM.  Then he talked about the making of the movie.  He told us that Cary Grant was hesitant and had trouble with the sexual content, due to the age difference.  Grant didn't want the famous lean, but they just changed the music and it ended up being ok.

Ben also told us that Cary Grant would have all these ideas and changes and he would go to Hitchcock, Hitchcock would say oh that's wonderful and then send him to the writer to get approval, but Hitch had already told the writer not to approve ANYTHING.  They would then agree to shoot the scene both ways, but Hitchcock would speak to the crew beforehand and whenever they would shoot it Hitch's way the crew would applaud. Oh Hitch, that passive aggressive manipulator.
Seeing a Hitchcock thriller on the big screen is always a pleasure and this screening was no exception.  Grace Kelly looked gorgeous in all her amazing dresses and Cary Grant was his dashing self.

 Up next was Charade at the Egyptian Theater.  This movie is high on the list of my favorite classic film, even though I do not like having definitive favorites, Charade, ah! There's just so much to love.  Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Walter Matthau, George Kennedy, James Coburn, the thrills, the spills, it's really just the best.  When I first saw it I really thought that it was a Hitchcock film and was surprised to find that it was directed by another one of my favorite directors, Stanley Donen.  And I was pleased to find that many people refer to it as "the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made," which means I wasn't the only one.

Before the movie Stanley Donen was interviewed by Robert Osborne.  They talked about the journey of getting this movie made.  They lost Cary Grant for awhile, Howard Hawks wrote a script, Cary Grant came back, Audrey Hepburn was pregnant, but somehow the timing finally worked out and they got to be in it together. Donen always gives a very straight-foward interview and likes to tell it like it is.  He commented on the current condition of movies, he feels that movies today are made for kids and not adults, I can see that. It's always great to hear him speak and it's wonderful that he is an active participant at these events, hope he's back this year!

The movie was wonderful, as usual, the movie is the perfect combination of thrilling/serious and humorous/joke-y.  During the screening I noticed a re-dub that I had never noticed before.  During the scene gelato eating scene Audrey's mouth seems to say "assassinated", but the word coming out of her mouth is "eliminated."  I did some research cause I was quite curious and it turns out that the movie was released very soon after the John F. Kennedy assassination and the studio was worried about offending and upsetting, so they did the re-dub.  The more you know!

 After this I took a break from Cary Grant to watch The Women.  This was also at the Egyptian, so after Charade I got right back in line for more. This is by far one of my favorite movies, the cast is phenomenal and the acting is superb, the script is so carry and great and who doesn't love a George Cukor directed film.

The movie was introduced by Cari Beachamp and Todd Oldham.  They talked about the costumes and overall amazingness that is this movie.  It was such a treat to get to see this on the big screen, with a fun audience.

 To close out the festival this year, I didn't go for one of the bigger movies like Annie Hall at Grauman's or The Thief of Bagdad at the Egyptian, instead I went for Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Melvyn Douglas in one of the Chinese Multiplex Theaters.  The movie was introduced by a Vanity Fair writer, Matt Tyrnauer, who commented on this film being a representation of the change going on in society at that time.  And mirrored the influx of families moving to the suburb and what it meant to have that lifestyle.  He also talked a bit about architecture and design.  While I do find those types of connections interesting and enjoy recognizing the social significance and place in history of a film, I also just kind of get a kick out of the humor in this movie.

It is also worth noting that The Money Pit (1986), starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long, is a remake of this movie.

It also has one of my favorite exchange, always cracks me up, one of my friends also quotes it on occasion.
Muriel Blandings: I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin's egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don't let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. Now, the dining room. I'd like yellow. Not just yellow; a very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshine-y. I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you'll send one of your men to the grocer for a pound of their best butter, and match that exactly, you can't go wrong! Now, this is the paper we're going to use in the hall. It's flowered, but I don't want the ceiling to match any of the colors of the flowers. There's some little dots in the background, and it's these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now the kitchen is to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white. A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now for the powder room - in here - I want you to match this thread, and don't lose it. It's the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it! As you can see, it's practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me...
Mr. PeDelford: You got that Charlie?
Charlie, Painter: Red, green, blue, yellow, white.
Mr. PeDelford: Check.

So that does it (almost 2 years late) for the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival.  As always it was a great experience, I loved having the chance to see some amazing interviews, great movies that were new to me and some that I had seen tons of times.  I also enjoyed the theme that year, Style in Film, that was represented through costume, design and architecture.  I had a great time getting to see these movies in the theater and get to share these experiences with great crowds/fans and most importantly share it with my mother.

Hope to get the rest of 2013 up soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My (Tentative) Plan for 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival

The schedule has been released, yippeee!!!  Now the difficult task of picking and choosing has begun.  There are so many wonderful films that have been selected for the festival this year, which just makes the planning process that much more difficult.

So here is my tentative plan for this year's festival, we shall see how much this alters as we get closer to the festival.

I've got Thursday afternoon under control, basically because there are no decisions that need to be made-
Meet TCM: Special Edition at the Egyptian Theater
Sons of Gods and Monsters
Welcome Party/TCM at 20 Exhibit

Now my first issue, I'm not that jazzed about the opening night movie: Oklahoma, I don't know why, but it's not one of my favorite musicals and there isn't anything that's making me go: "Wow! I gotta see that."  But, I kind of feel guilty about it since I did buy the Essential Pass and I usually LOVE going to the red carpet opening night movie.  It would be the first year that I skip it, but, if I do skip it, I will probably go to the screening of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? instead, but I'm gonna keep hemming and hawing.

Then if I don't get my Vanity Fair party hook-up (like last year) I will most likely go to the screening of Bachelor Mother, it'd be interesting to hear what Greg Proops has to say about it.  I saw him introduce a screening of Lifeboat a few months ago.  He does a wonderful Tallulah Bankhead impersonation.

Friday is filled with a few tough choices, but I think I have it under control.  I plan to start with the screening of The Thin Man at the Egyptian.

After that I'm leaning towards A Conversation with Richard Dreyfuss and Illeana Douglas, but that would mean I'd miss 2 blocks of movies, so if I skip that I will probably go with Touch of Evil, since I don't want to weep through Make Way for Tomorrow.  And after that I would like to see A Matter of Life and Death introduced by Thelma Schoonmaker.

And then I'll finish out the day with Double Indemnity followed by Blazing Saddles, since I can't miss an opportunity to see Mel Brooks.

Saturday is my day of super tough choices.
I desperately want to see City Lights, but I kind of wish it were in the Egyptian or Grauman's and it's hard to pass on Father of the Bride and have a chance to see Spencer Tracy.  I will probably end up seeing City Lights, since that was one of my must-sees when it was first announced.

Next up will probably be Mary Poppins at the El Capitan, because that will be awesome.

Then I plan on The Goodbye Girl because of reasons, which include it being introduced by Richard Dreyfuss and that movie is amazing.

Then the next block of movies is my biggest conflict, but I think I have made my decision.  When they first announced having Kim Novak on hand for a screening of Bell, Book, and Candle, I knew that I had to see that and I felt the same way about the screening of A Hard Day's Night.  So, of course, the powers of be had to schedule both of those at the same time.  I think that I'm going to go with A Hard Day's Night, because it's The Beatles on the big screen! And I had the great luck of getting to see Kim Novak speak before a screening of Vertigo at the 2012 Festival.  Definitely a tough decision.

For the next block of movies I was going to see The Women, even though I had seen it at the 2012 Festival, but the draw this time was that it's obviously awesome and it was going to be introduced by Anna Kendrick.  But, after going through the schedule with my father, he strongly, strongly recommended The Pawnbroker, and he convinced me that it would be worthwhile to see a new-to-me movie, plus I'd get to have an opportunity to see special guest Quincy Jones.

I'm intrigued by the midnight screening of Freaks, if I'm able to stay up I may partake in my first film festival midnight screening.

Sunday is always interesting because there are a couple of slots with screenings that are TBA'd, but even without those movies listed I think I have a good idea of how my day will go.

First up will be Sunday in New York.

I'm then leaning towards Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, because of the young Paul Newman factor, but I'm also interested in the Judy Garland discussion at Club TCM.

Then I will probably go for Easter Parade, since I don't have that many musicals happening this year, but I'm still interested in the TBA at the time slot and I'm also interested in the 20 Years of TCM On-Air presentation.

For the final time slot of the festival I will likely go for The Wizard of Oz screening.  I avoided the 3-D, Imax release last year, but having it at the festival might be the push I need to see it in that format.

I will then party hard at the Official Closing Night Party, I'm excited this year because I don't have work/school the next day so I won't feel like I have to rush home.

So there's my tentative plan of attack, we'll see how closely I stick to this.  No matter how you look at it there are really no bad choices at the TCM Classic Film Festival.  It's really just a choose your own adventure and each adventure offers something wonderful.

Here are some other blogger's plans of attack:

Out of the Past

Backlot's will have their schedule up soon

I'm sure Will McKinley will share his schedule any day now

(Updated 3/29) The plans keep rolling on in:

Elise's Rambling


Aurora's Gin Joint

Blog of the Darned

Another one from Joel's Classic Film Passion

How's your schedule shaping up?  Any similar choices?  Let me know.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

TCM Movie Locations Tour Los Angeles

Hello Film Fans!! I got to go on the TCM Movie Locations Los Angeles bus tour this past Friday.  I had a wonderful time and enjoyed seeing Los Angeles through a different lens.  Throughout the tour I kept realizing that I had driven by many of these locations, many times but hadn't taken the time to notice them or was in too much in a rush to stop and appreciate them.  The tour, tour guide, and film clips covered the silent films of the 1910s all the way to the 2010s.

I was very much looking forward to this tour, after having such a great experience on the New York TCM Classic Film Bus Tour and having lived in Los Angeles twice, the first time for 8-ish years and this time for almost 2 years, I thought it would be fun to be a "tourist" here.  I arrived quite early and decided to grab coffee and mosey around the Grauman's area, I was drawn to Jack Lemmon's and Shirley MacLaine's hand and foot prints and couldn't help but enjoy being near the TCM Classic Film Festival headquarters.  There was a pretty decent turn-out, but I spoke to the Starline employees there and they mentioned that they haven't had a full bus yet.  And mentioned that 100 passes had been claimed today, but only 30 people had shown up, quite curious! Although I'm sure that won't be the case when it gets closer to the Festival.

Around 10am, we made our way over to the fancy-shmancy bus.  It looked beautiful, had very large windows.  The gentleman in the hat above warned us not to open or close the windows ourselves because they were quite heavy and that we would certainly lose an arm if we attempted to move them.  I was sure not to touch ANY windows.  There was a large screen at the front of the bus and a seat facing the riders for the tour guide.  Our tour guide was named Michael and he was wonderful.  He continuously asked if we were all doing ok, he really livened up some potentially dry facts (they wouldn't have been dry to me, but ya know) and conducted some fun trivia contests.

After getting situated and meeting our driver, Jose, we were on our way!  Things started off with an introduction video from Ben Mankiewicz welcoming us to the tour.  Michael gave us interesting information about the Roosevelt Hotel and movies that were filmed at the pool, such as Catch Me if You Can.  As we made our way to Sunset Blvd. Michael talked about famous Hollywood High Alum and the cool mural seen above.

We then drove past the former Charlie Chaplin Studio, which is now Jim Henson Studio (which explains the Tramp-esque Kermit atop it) and the Target complex, which I go to frequently, used to be the backlot for United Artists.

Behind the Target is the Formosa Cafe, which was a famous Hollywood hangout and is seen in LA Confidential.  Across the street from the Formosa is an area known as The Lot was owned by Fairbanks and films such as The Best Years of Our Lives, Some Like it Hot and West Side Story were filmed there.  We also drove by a color lab that Howard Hughes bought and used as an editing studio.  It's where he edited Hell's Angels.

On our way over to Cahuenga, we drove by the General Service Studio founded in 1919, which is now known as Hollywood Center Studios.  They filmed many of my Nick at Nite favorites: Get Smart, Mr. Ed and it was the original home of Desilu studios.  We then drove past Red Studios, which was used in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? as Maroon Studios. 

We then made our way down Melrose and drove past Paramount Studios, where we got to see the famous gate, which is most notably seen in Sunset Blvd.  After driving by Paramount we started heading downtown via. Wilshire Blvd.  There was another video with Ben Mankiewicz talking about the infancy of studios and filming in Los Angeles and the desire to 'move west.'

As we made our way downtown, we passed some lovely landmarks like the Wiltern (scenes from LaBamba and Barton Fink were shot there), the Ambassador Hotel (The Graduate, That Thing You Do), The Talmadge Apartments, and the Bryson (picture above).  There was also a beautiful park at Wilshire and Alvarado.

We then got to the heart of downtown where we saw ares like Bunker Hill and the Westin Bonaventure, which used to be the Marriot where scenes from True Lies, Nick of Time (awesome movie) and Rain Man were filmed.  We then went through the 2nd Street Tunnel, which has been used in movies such as, Blade Runner, City of Angels, and Transformers.

Then we came up to our first stop of the day, we got the chance to go into the Bradbury Building.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  The way the light came through and the stairs was amazing, even Charlie Chaplin was there!  It was such a treat to get to go inside.  And I just had to make a collage. 
Some movies that filmed scenes inside the Bradbury are Blade Runner and The Artist.

After getting a chance to stretch our legs and enjoy that beautiful building we got back on the bus and drove past Angel's Flight, which was lovely, the spot where the bench was in 500 Days of Summer and the Biltmore Hotel, which is where my father and I stayed when I first moved out to LA go to college.  Some movies that filmed at the Biltmore were Ghostbusters and Beverly Hills Cop.

We then headed for the jewelery district, which used to be home to tons of movie palaces.  They have now been converted into stores, churches, or just rundown nothing-ness.  It's sad to see what the beautiful movie palaces of the past have become.  The diamond in the first picture is where the WB shield once was on the theater.  During this part of the tour I was lucky enough to answer a trivia question correctly and won myself a TCM hat, it was very exciting!

Up next was our second stop to walk around.  This time it was at Union Station.   Some movies that were shot there were, Bugsy, Union Station, Blade Runner and Catch Me If You Can.  I had driven by Union Station a few time, had dropped off a friend there once, but had never actually been inside so that was a treat.  They were doing construction there too, so I couldn't get a nice picture of the main entrance, but inside looked very nice.

 There was beautiful detailing and old-fashioned touches.

 After the short break we got back on the bus and headed towards the Echo Park/Silverlake area.  We were treated to another video with Ben Mankiewicz telling us about how many silent films were shot in the area and that Disney had gotten its start there before moving North to Burbank.  We drove by Bob's Market, which was seen in The Fast and the Furious.

And a house that was used in LA Confidential, but I was on the far side of the bus and couldn't capture the whole house, but I did zoom in on the cute dog on the porch.

As we made our way through the area we drove by where the Music Box steps from the Laurel and Hardy short.  They are now a historical landmark.  It would've been nice to get closer to the steps, but I will be sure to make a trip over there sometime in the future.  We then got onto Hollywood Blvd and drove by the intersection of Hollywood and Western, which is where some scenes in Double Indemnity was shot.

The tour was rapidly coming to an end as we drove down Hollywood Blvd towards Grauman's.  We were able to see the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory from afar.  Michael shared an interesting story about the Hollywood sign.  When they were looking for sponsors to fund the renovation/rebuilding of the sign, apparently Alice Cooper bought one of the Os for his friend (who knew?) Groucho Marx. 

 We also drove by the Pantages Theater, The Egyptian Theater, The El Capitan and saw the Roosevelt Hotel again before returning to where we had started. Personally note, this got me VERY excited for the Film Festival coming up in just 18 short days.

Before getting back to the parking area we got a goodbye video message from Ben Mankiewicz and I took the opportunity to take a picture of the windows on the roof of the bus.

So that just about does it for me.  The tour ended up taking 3 and 1/2 hours total considering traffic and construction (for some reason there was a lot of it), but it was all enjoyable.  All in all, this was a wonderful experience, done very nicely by TCM.  I could have done without some of contemporary movies mentioned, such as Spider-man 3, Transformers and Fast and the Furious, but I guess it's helpful to get the full picture and show that these areas are still being used today.  Speaking of, we actually drove by a couple of films in production, so I guess we should continue to look out for these locations.

I'm so glad that TCM is doing all these wonderful things to help celebrate their 20th anniversary and that the fans get to be the ones to celebrate.  Happy Anniversary and many more!

Other bloggers who had the opportunity to take the tour and their posts:
Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

Lindsay's Movie Musings

Elsie's Ramblings

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" (Day 3 of the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival)

Before diving into Day 3, I'd like to take a moment to say how wonderful it was to get to share this experience with my mother! I somehow convinced her to make this trip with me and to take on everything that is the TCM Classic Film Festival.  She's a lukewarm classic film fan, at best, but was open to the opportunity and really threw herself right in.  She kept up with me and even ventured out on her own when we didn't agree on the same movie.  It was really so great and made it hard to going back to the festival solo.

Back to the recap! Our Saturday of the Film Festival began with an early morning screening of Auntie Mame, which was introduced by Todd Oldham, fashion designer extraordinaire.  It's always so excited to discover unexpected classic film fans.  Mr. Oldham mostly talked about his love of the movie and how funny it was and that he really enjoyed it.

I had previously seen this movie, but it was a completely different experience getting to see it in the Egyptian theater with a super into it audience.  The colors were vibrant, the costumes and sets kooky, Rosalind Russell was larger than life and a force to be reckoned with and having an audience to laugh with was wonderful.  It was just hilarious.

After Auntie Mame, I headed over to Grauman's for the screening of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, while my mom boldly stayed behind at the Egyptian for the screening of The Thomas Crown Affair.  I guess she had seen Snow White in the theater too many times.  Little story time: When I was quite young my mother took me to see Snow White at our local movie theater (Squire) approximately 10 times and each and every time the queen transformed into the scary witch she walked me out of the theater so I wouldn't disturb the other movie goers with my crying and to try to protect me from very scary imagery (thanks mom!)

Pretty, even though Snow White looks strange
The schedule indicated that Ginnifer Goodwin, actress and current Snow White on the show Once Upon a Time was going to be interviewed before the movie, but as an added surprised Marge Champion was in the audience.  Leonard Maltin introduced Marge and brought her up to the front of the theater.  She then shared that she had been the live action model for Snow White and that she had been born very close by.

 When Ginnifer arrived she seemed very, very excited to be there.  She was all smiles and giggles and just exuding excitement.  Leonard conducted an interview, which was more like a conversation and Ginnifer talked about growing up watching Snow White and all the Disney movies.  She shared that she was a HUGE Disney fan and when she was offered the role on Once Upon a Time she accepted it immediately.  She also said that she studied all the Snow Whites and always viewed it as a cautionary tale.  She also told us that her favorite scene was the scene at the well. 

After the interview/conversation she took a seat in the audience and sat next to her Once Upon a Time (and real life) Prince Charming [Josh Dallas] to enjoy the movie.  I always love getting a chance to see a Disney movie in a theater the songs are infectious and the animation and colors looked gorgeous.  And this time I was able to stay in the theater during the queen's transformation into a witch scene, I've really matured.

After our respective movies, my mother and I met up at the Chinese 6 for a screening of Counsellor-at-Law starring John Barrymore and Bebe Daniels and co-starring Melvyn Douglas and directed by William Wyler.  On hand to introduce it was the lovely Illeana Douglas, who is Melvyn's granddaughter and a wonderful friend of TCM. She also wore a super rad Groucho Marx sweater (as you can see below).

I'm glad that I had the opportunity to see this movie, I don't know if I would've seen it otherwise.  It was great to get to see these wonderful actors on the big screen. 

Up next was Singin' in the Rain at Grauman's complete with an interview with Debbie Reynolds beforehand and an outro with Patricia Ward Kelly.  Debbie Reynolds gave a very interesting interview.  There were times when I felt she was a little unnecessarily crass, especially regarding Gene Kelly, especially since his widow was in the audience, but I guess it was all in good fun and meant to be entertaining.  The interview began with Robert Osborne talking about how Judy Garland had always talked about working on the Wizard of Oz and how she just remembered being surrounded by lions and having her boobs tied down, he then asked Debbie if she had any memories like that.  She responded with, they couldn't tie her boobs down and she didn't work with lions but she did marry a few of them. 

She told some funny stories about working on the set and about her career.  Getting to see the movie in Grauman's was certainly surreal, especially since the opening of the movie takes place at a premiere at Grauman's.

And it's always a joy to get to see these musicals in a packed theater.  After the screening Patricia Ward Kelly came to the front of the theater and began by reading a letter written to her by a 4th grader who didn't like the movie, the bulk of the letter asked her why her husband danced so much and said that the movie would be better without all the dancing and one specific question was, "can't your husband stop thinking about dancing?"  She then read another letter to Gene where a child said, my mother doesn't let me climb on the furniture why does your mother?  These were very humorous and it was so nice of her to share them with us.

She then kind of went through a laundry list of fun factoids and tid-bits about the movie and things related to the movie.  She told us that there was no milk used in the 'Singin' in the Rain' number, that Gene Kelly had thought Donald O'Connor was an unsung talent, Gene felt that Moses Supposes was the best tap dance he had ever done, he thought that Jean Hagen was the glue that held that picture together, the black bob worn by Cyd Charisse was inspired by Lousie Brooks since Gene had a big crush on her and finally that the outfit in the Gotta Dance number was a one piece: vest, shirt, pants.
the bob and the one piece

Our final movie of the day was, Marathon Man at Grauman's.  The screening also included an interview with Robert Evans, conducted by Ben Mankiewicz before the movie.  Seeing and hearing Robert Evans was very interesting and informative.  He talked a great deal about getting the movie made, casting Laurence Olivier and the style of the film.  He started off by saying that Love Story had saved Paramount, it had cost 2.2 million to make and it made 102 million, his explanation for it being so successful was that it was an aphrodisiac and men would take women to see it 5 or 6 times.

Ben then asked how they were able to get Olivier in the movie.  Evans explained that they had Dustin Hoffman, John Schlessinger and Olivier was broke and dying of cancer, they couldn't get insurance, but Merle Oberon and David Niven helped to get him insured.  At first the insurance company would only give him 6 days, they managed to get the insurance company to give him 6 weeks.  Olivier even lived with Evans during the shoot and not only survived during those 6 weeks, but went on to live for 13 more years after the movie.

He then talked about the 2 different acting styles, of Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier.  Which reminded me of the well-known anecdote from the shoot.  I believe it goes like this: Hoffman showed up on set looking run down and haggard.  Olivier asked him what was wrong and Hoffman told him that he hadn't slept in 3 days because his character had been on the run and hadn't slept for 3 days.  Olivier replied by asking, "why don't you try acting?"

funny picture of the 2 on the set
Robert Evans said that the on set conflict between the actors and the different acting styles helped make the movie that much more tense and scary.  And I do have to say this movie is quite scary.  I had never seen it before and I didn't really know what to expect, it was a very tense, thrilling movie.  It was certainly a thrill to get to see it in a huge theater like that and I was grateful to have my mom next to me to reassure me during the scary parts :)

Alright, that does it for Day 3.  Tune in next time for Day 4, which I like to call Cary Grant day because I saw: To Catch a Thief, Charade, The Women (I know Cary's not in that) and Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House.