TCM Classic Film Festival: Day-by-day look at a celebration of the classics

By Daniel S Levine,

The 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival ran from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13 with everything from silent films, foreign classics, Hollywood rarities and the most well-known films ever made screening for fans. It was a whirlwind four days, which was covered live for TheCelebrityCafe.com on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on the site. Here is a concise home for all that coverage.

Day One

The first day started off with a press conference with hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz and programmers Charle Tabesh and Genevieve McGillicuddy. Full coverage of that event can be found here.

Next, was the red carpet event for Oklahoma!. Shirley Jones, along with many of the other stars who appeared at the festival, all walked the red carpet.

That night, I saw my first films of the festival - Cheaper By The Dozen (1950) and Bachelor Mother (1939). Both were 35mm prints, with Cheaper looking beautiful in three-strip Technicolor.

Day Two

Friday was my marathon day. It started early with the emotionally draining East of Eden (1955), then the Peter Sellers comedy The World of Harry Orient (1964) and the new restoration of A Matter of Life and Death (1946). Both Paula Prentiss and Merrie Spaeth attended the Harry Orient screening.

Next up was Why Worry? (1923) at the Egyptian, with maestro Carl Davis conducting a live orchestra for the Harold Lloyd comedy. Although I couldn't get in line for Blazing Saddles, I did get into Employees’ Entrance (1933), a rare Pre-Code film with Warren William.

Day Three

Saturday started off with Jerry Lewis’ handprint ceremony. I then stood in line for over an hour to see Maureen O’Hara at the El Capitan for How Green Was My Valley (1941).

Then, I checked out the rare The Stranger’s Return (1933), which was being screened for the first time in over four decades. The theater was surprisingly packed, as fans rushed to see this movie. (UPDATE: You can read my full review of the film here.) After a break, I went to Sorcerer (1977) with director William Friedkin there to introduce. The day ended with the midnight screening of Tod Browning’s Freaks (1932).

Day Four

For the final day, I saw Fiddler on the Roof, which concluded with a discussion featuring director Norman Jewison and composer John Williams.

After that, it was on to The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1967) with an animated Alan Arkin on hand.

My festival experience concluded with Orson Welles’ The Lady From Shanghai (1947) with Rita Hayworth. The film was presented in digital with a new 4K restoration from Sony. Overall, I saw 14 films, including six I had never seen before. I certainly can’t wait to see what TCM has in store for next year!

all images courtesy of Daniel Levine from Twitter and Instagram



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