Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"I am serious...and don't call me Shirley."--Day 3 of the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival

Welcome back faithful readers.  As promised here is a recap of Day 3 of the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival. Don't worry there's plenty of plutonium to keep our time machine running to get us all the way back to April 27th, 2013.
My favorite design from this year, I may have a coffee mug and a sweatshirt with the design
I ended up skipping the first block of movies, although in hindsight seeing Polly Bergen in attendance at a screening of Cape Fear probably would've been a wise decision, damn you past me.  That's what I get for commuting to the festival, the option of getting extra sleep is too tempting and something that hopefully doesn't happen again.

For my first movie of the day I went with Lady and the Tramp at the El Capitan.  I love that that theater is part of the festival and I definitely love the inclusion of Disney titles at the festival.  I grew up with Disney movies and still love them to this very day.  The theater is wonderful because they have an amazing live organ player who regales the crowd with organ versions of popular Disney songs, it's delightful.  The theater also has beautiful decorations and ornate detail.

The screening was introduced by Leonard Maltin, who is also always a delight to see.  It's so wonderful that he's been involved in the festival ever since it's inception and I'm sure he has helped to incorporate more Disney films into the festival.

He informed us that we were going to be watching the film in it's original ratio of 2:55:1, which is used for Cinemascope.  Something that I think the #AspectRatioPolice would appreciate. It was great getting to see a movie that I had probably seen over 100 times in that amazing theater on that amazing big screen.  The print looked stunning and the music was infectious.

Next up was On Golden Pond, starring Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, and Jane Fonda the screening was at the Egyptian Theater.  I was very much looking forward to this screening with Jane Fonda in attendance.  It's funny writing about it now because I really love the new Netflix series Grace and Frankie, which did not yet exist in 2013, but I digress.  Before the interview and movie I caught a glimpse of Jane in the "green room" taking pictures with Robert Osbourne, I'm gonna guess that this is one of the pictures they too together.

From TCM
It was such a thrill to be in her presence and to hear her speak so candidly with Robert.  It was also so wonderful that she was honored at the festival with a handprint ceremony.

Jane's interview was extremely emotional, there were moments when she cried remembering her father and the whole experience of filming the movie.  She talked about working with Katharine Hepburn and shared a few stories about working with both of them.  She did describe Hepburn as not being that nice or perhaps Hepburn not really liking her at first.  However, it sounded like Hepburn ended up being very encouraging and even a little playful with Ms. Fonda.  Jane Fonda shared that after she had lost the Oscar and Hepburn and Henry Fonda had won theirs, Katharine said to her, "you'll never catch me now."
One big happy family
It was great to get that context before the movie and understand just how personal the movie was to the Fondas and the ups and downs of getting it made.  It was also an extremely beautiful movie to see in a theater, the beautiful landscapes and shots on the water.  Really amazing experience.

After that emotionally charged movie I went with some lighter faire, The Lady Eve at the Chinese Multiplex.  Directed by Preston Sturgess and starring Barbara Stanwyck and none other than Jane's father, Henry Fonda.  Definitely an interesting Henry Fonda double feature, seeing him late in his career in On Golden Pond followed by his much earlier work in The Lady Eve.  The screening was introduced by Cari Beauchamp.

Ms. Beauchamp told us some interesting tid-bits about the cast and crew.  She told us that Barbara Stanwyck always took the time to get to know everyone in the cast and on the crew.  She talked about the acting talents of Henry Fonda.  She said that he would flip a switch and become a reflector.  She also told us that Roget Ebert often referred the scene (captured in the photo above and in the poster) as one of the sexiest scenes in cinema.

To end the 3rd day of the festival I decided on a screening of Airplane! at Grauman's Chinese theater.  I had originally planned to go to the screening of Mildred Pierce with Ann Blyth in attendance, but was swayed by the 2 friends and cousin who were kind enough to join me that evening of the festival.  I gave into the peer pressure, but ultimately I was glad that we had decided on the movie Airplane, because I don't think I ever remember laughing that hard in a movie theater.  And it is always nice to share the classic movie madness with friends and family.

Before the screening, the 2 writer/directors Jim Abrahams and David Zucker and Robert Hays were interviewed by / had a discussion with Ben.  Jim and David talked about the making of the film and leading man Robert Hays talked mostly about his involvement in a show called, Angie.  He talked about it so frequently that I found it to be a bit awkward.

Jim and David talked about how the movie came to be and about their inspiration: the film Zero Hour.  They also talked about the casting process and about preview screenings.  They were worried that the film had pacing problems cause the test audiences weren't responding to the second half, but luckily the pacing was just fine.  They also talked about having to convince Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, and Peter Graves to take on the roles due to the fact that those actors had predominately taken on more serious roles.
Lovely cast
Whatever the difficulties, the movie just works.  The comedy is so universal and so spot on, which was evident by the entire theater cracking up the entire film.  Every joke landed and you could sense the anticipation of memorable lines.  Seeing a comedy like this one in a packed theater like Grauman's was a truly remarkable experience and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who likes to laugh.

Alright, so that does it for Day 3 of the 2013 TCM Classic Film festival, only a few more to go before I'm all caught up, woo hoo!

I'm also working on some posts that will be up later this month as part of the TCM Summer Under the Stars Blogathon which is being hosted by Journey's in Classic Film.

Tune in next time, same blogging time, same blogging station.

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