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!

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