Film Friday: Getting Ready for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival

By Daniel S Levine,

In just six days, Turner Classic Movies is not only celebrating its 20th anniversary as the country's premiere network for classic movies, but also hosting the fifth annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. It's been a dream of mine to go to this event since the first one, but I'm finally getting that chance this year.

Since the 2014 festival marks two big occasions for TCM, organizers decided to highlight the family of film fans that have built up over two decades. The theme is Family in the Movies: The Ties that Bind, so some of the best films about family were picked for the line-up. It means that I will have to make some really difficult choices. How can I pick seeing the incredible The Best Years Of Our Lives on the big screen over getting the opportunity of seeing Mel Brooks in person at the Blazing Saddles screening? Do I check out director William Friedkin's talk or see Margaret O'Brien? Then, there was the recent announcement that Alan Arkin will be interviewed on Sunday, at the same time Gone With The Wind is being screened. Yes, my head has exploded.

The festival runs from April 10-13 and I will be covering from as many angles as possible – on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and, of course, here. So, here are just a few of the many events I'm looking forward to.


The festival kicks off with a new restoration of Oklahoma!, the Rogers & Hammerstein musical Fred Zinneman brought to the big screen. Shirley Jones will be there for a discussion. But, probably the coolest event of the day is the Welcome Party at the Roosevelt Hotel. For avid TCM viewers, Robert Osborne has been our guide through movie history, so it will be really fun to see him in person. Actresses Kim Novak and Jane Seymour will also be there, as they show off the TCM at 20 exhibit, which features artwork by the stars.

Also on Thursday is a 35mm screening of The Heiress, the stunning film by William Wyler. Olivia de Havilland won her second Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in this film. Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? and Johnny Guitar are also being screened, but I'd like to get to The Heiress.


Bright and early Friday morning, I'm going to rush to see Elia Kazan's East of Eden. It has been awhile since I've seen the film, which features James Dean and Julie Harris. The film is based on John Steinbeck's novel and features an Oscar-winning performance from Jo Van Fleet.

Charlton Heston's son Fraser Heston will be on hand for Touch of Evil, but that will be at around the same time master documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles will talk about Grey Gardens. Hopefully, that will wrap up in time to see “A Conversation with Richard Dreyfus.” Although, that would all mean missing Meet Me In St. Louis with Margaret O'Brien.

The highlight of Friday will be Mel Brooks and Blazing Saddles. It's still one of the funniest films ever and maybe Brooks will give his thoughts on Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways To Die In The West.

Friday wraps up with a midnight screening of David Lynch's Eraserhead. Hopefully, Patton Oswaltt will help the audience avoid nightmares.

Next » the weekend


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