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Classic Film Watch Reviews and Articles by Mary McCord

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Sidewalk 101 Film Series

Sidewalk Film Center kicks off its 2023 101 Film Series with:

A Trip to the Moon, the first Sci-Fi Film Ever Made

    Georges Méliès directed and starred in the short silent film, A Trip to the Moon, in 1902. The film had a musical score and was even colorized. An original hand-colored print was discovered in 1993 and restored in 2011. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon and its 1870 sequel Around the Moon, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. The film screened at the Sidewalk Cinema during February and was the first installment of Sidewalk's 2023 Film 101 Series.
     Each month Sidewalk will feature an important, influential film from different decades, screening classic films and contemporary classics in many genres. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928 silent) will screen on March 16th. The Awful Truth (1937 screwball comedy) will screen on April 20th and 24th. The film stars Irene Dunne and Cary Grant and is considered to be Grant's breakout film. The film noir Double Indemnity, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson, is set to screen on May 18th and 21st.
    For a complete schedule of films and more information, visit

All Aboard for Movie Magic!
TCM presents the Classic Film Cruise
November 6-11 2023

    Experience the excitement, romance, comedy, and glamour of Hollywood. Turner Classic Movies presents the ultimate cinematic getaway, a five-night voyage overflowing with great movies. Join TCM November 6-11, 2023 aboard the Disney Magic on the journey from San Diego, California, to beautiful Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. Along the way, you'll rediscover some of your favorite movies, enjoy screenings, listen to conversations with special guests, learn from unique presentations by film experts, and more.
    As a Disney Cruise Line guest, you will also experience the magic of Disney, from outstanding dining to spacious staterooms, and luxurious amenities, including incredible musical performances. With dozens of screenings and TCM-themed events every day, you’ll find numerous ways to enjoy this unforgettable movie vacation at sea.
    For more details and to purchase cruise tickets, click here .

NOIR CITY 20 Celebrates Its Emerald Anniversary

    NOIR CITY, celebrated its 20th anniversary in the San Francisco Bay Area (Oakland) at the Grand Lake Theatre with a ten-day film festival featuring 24 films from the heart of Hollywood's noir movement–1948. Each of the 24 films on the schedule celebrated its 75th anniversary, with several of the movies having never before been screened at NOIR CITY. Film Noir Foundation founder and Turner Classic Movies host Eddie Muller and special guests lead a sinister excursion back in time at the screenings of noir favorites such as Key Largo, The Lady From Shanghai, Larceny, The Big Clock, and Sorry Wrong Number.

Upcoming 2023 NOIR CITY Dates

NOIR CITY Chicago, Aug. 25-31
NOIR CITY D.C., Oct. 13-26

    For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: .

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman To Receive American Film Institute
2023 Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute (AFI) Board of Trustees announced that Nicole Kidman will be the recipient of the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film, celebrating her career achievements.The award will be presented to Kidman at a Gala Tribute at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 10, 2023. She is the first Australian actor to receive this honor.
    “Nicole Kidman has enchanted audiences for decades with the daring of her artistry and the glamour of a screen icon,” said Kathleen Kennedy, Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. “She is a force both brave in her choices and bold in each performance. AFI is honored to present her with the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award.”
    Both a powerhouse performer, spellbinding movie star and accomplished producer, Kidman has captured the imaginations of audiences around the world throughout her prolific career, delivering complex and versatile performances onscreen.
    Kidman began her acting career in Australia with the 1983 films Bush Christmas and BMX Bandits. Her breakthrough came in 1989 with the thriller film Dead Calm. In 1990, she achieved international success with the action film Days of Thunder. She received greater recognition with lead roles in Far and Away (1992), Batman Forever (1995), To Die For (1995) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999). For her portrayal of writer Virginia Woolf in the drama The Hours (2002), Kidman won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She received additional Academy Award nominations for her roles in the musical Moulin Rouge! (2001) and the dramas Rabbit Hole (2010), Lion (2016) and Being the Ricardos (2021).

Permanent Festival of Restored Films To Be Held in Venice
March 2 - May 1, 2023

   From March 2 through May 17, 2023 at 7 pm, the Cinema Rossini movie theatre in Venice, Italy will host the fourth edition of the film series Permanent Festival of Restored Films, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, which is responsible for the International Venice Film Festival each year.
    The program will present ten film classics recently restored by the major film libraries around the world, in the original language version with subtitles in Italian. Each film will be introduced by an expert and followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Previous editions of the Permanent Festival of Restored Films were screened in conjunction with the annual Venice International Film Festival.
    Two restored classics from the USA being screened are:

          The African Queen (1951), Director John Huston
          Cast: Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart

          The Driver (1978), Director Walter Hill
          Cast: Ryan O’Neal, Bruce Dern


Heddy Lamar, Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp & Jeff Beck Pay Tribute
to actress Hedy Lamarr in New Album

    Johnny Depp and English guitarist Jeff Beck will be releasing a joint album on July 15, 2022. One of the songs has already been released as a video, which pays tribute to a “Golden Age of Hollywood” actress and titled “This Is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr”.
    The actress was known for her glamour and beauty in the films Ecstasy, Algiers and Samson and Delilah. She was also an inventor. Her work in spread spectrum technology led to her induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014. Today, various spread-spectrum techniques are incorporated into Bluetooth technology.
     She died at age 85 in 2000. Songs have been written about other stars: Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes and The Eagles’ James Dean. Even Depp had a song written about him by the late Wesley Willis, a Chicago musician, singer and prolific songwriter.To hear the song, click here .

Update: Jeff Beck who had a long and prestigious musical career passed away in early 2023.


©2023 Classic Film Watch is a non-commercial, film review and informational website. All photos or artwork, unless otherwise identified, are either in the public domain or believed to satisfy the four-point criteria of the U.S. copyright law for fair use. No infringement is intended. Photos and artwork are not used for commercial purpose.


TCM Film Festival 2022
Festival Posts
April 21-24, 2022

TCM Festival Virtual 2021
Festival Posts
May 6-9 2021

TCM Film Festival 2019
Festival Posts
April 11-14, 2019

TCM Film Festival 2018
Festival Posts
April 26-29, 2018

TCM Film Festival 2017
Festival Daily Posts

April 6-9, 2017

TCM Film Festival 2016
Festival Daily Posts and
Red Carpet Photos

April 28-May 1, 2016
Festival Screenings
The Freshman (1925 Silent); Los Tallos Amargos (1956); War of the Worlds (1953); He Ran All The Way (1951); Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982
More Photos

TCM Film Festival 2015
Festival Daily Posts
Red Carpet Photos

March 26-29, 2015
Festival Screenings
My Darling Clementine (1946; Out of Sight (1998); Psycho (1960); Rififi (1955); The Cincinnati Kid (1965); Why Be Good? (1929 Silent);
The Apartment

More Photos

TCM Film Festival 2014

Festival Daily Posts and
Red Carpet Photos

April 10-13, 2014
Festival Screenings
Touch of Evil (1958); On Approval (1944); Why Worry? (1923 silent)
The Great Gatsby (1949); Hat Check Girl (1932)

More Photos

TCM Film Festival 2013
Festival Review
IT, A Silent Review
Safe in Hell, A Pre-Code Review
The Donovan Affair, Early Talkie

TCM Classic Cruise
November, 2016
Review of Cruise & Events October, 2014
Review of Cruise & Events January, 2013
Review of Cruise & Events
December, 2013
Review of Cruise & Events

Sidewalk Film Festival August, 2019 Festival Review
August, 2018 Festival Review
August, 2017 Festival Review
August, 2016 Festival Review
August 2015 Festival Review

TCM "SUTS" Blogathon
Romance On The High Seas
Mata Hari
In A Lonely Place
The Maltese Falcon
Lullaby of Broadway

Hitchcock 9
Hitchcock Silent Films (Photo Feature)

Debbie Reynolds;
Carrie Fisher;
Robert Osborne
Click Here

Film Noir: Style or Story?


TCM Fest logo 2023 Rio Bravo

Theme: You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
Celebrated Enduring Film Legacies

April 13-16, 2023

 Thursday, Apri l3 Opening Night Film:
Rio Bravo (1959 Warner Bros.)
World Premiere of the 4K Restoration in Partnership with The Film Foundation

Special Guests: Actress Angie Dickinson
Film Foundation Board Members Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson

Highlights From The 14th Annual TCM Festival

Thursday, April 13:

    Opening Night of the 14th annual TCM Classic Film Festival kicked off with a screening of Rio Bravo (1959) in celebration of Warner Bros.' 100th anniversary, featuring a conversation with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and The Film Foundation Board members Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson. They talked about the world premiere of Rio Bravo's 4K restoration completed in partnership with The film Foundation and the mission of The Film Foundation.Rio Bravo star Angie Dickinson, was also present at the screening.

                                                                          Angie Dickinson Rio Bravo premiere(L-R) TCM host Ben Mankiewicz; General Manager, Turner Classic Movies Pola Changnon; Director and Film Foundation Board Member Steven Spielberg; Actress Angie Dickinson; and President and Chief Executive Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav attend the opening night gala and world premiere of the 4k restoration of "Rio Bravo" during the 2023 TCM Classic Film Festival at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 13, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for TCM)

Friday, April 14 Highlights:

    TCM host Ben Mankiewicz joined special guests George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh for a screening of Ocean's Eleven (2001). Other special screenings included:

George Clooney 2023
George Clooney, Ocean's 11 Interview.
(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TCM)

Beach Party Highlights

Groundhog Day, American Graffiti, Tobolowsky, Dreyfuss

Excerpts from Stephen Tobolowsky's Groundhog Day Interview

    Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film starring Bill Murray, Stephen Tobolowsky, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott. It tells the story of Phil Connors (Murray), a cynical television weatherman covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who becomes trapped in a time loop forcing him to relive February 2 repeatedly.
    In the film, Stephen Tobolowsky’s character, Ned Ryerson, is an acquaintance of Bill Murray’s character, Phil Conners, from 20 years before. Phil keeps running into Ned on the street each morning. At first, Phil doesn’t remember him, then later finds him totally obnoxious. Ned is an insurance salesman.
    There is an impromptu scene later in the movie where Phil rushes out and gives Ned a big hug. You can tell by the startled expression on Ned’s face that he wasn’t expecting it.
    In Tobolowsky’s interview with TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz before the screening, he said that during the last couple of weeks of filming, they decided they wanted more scenes featuring Ned. He also said that no one could come up with a script. They wound up using a script that Tobolowsky had written. He commented that he wasn’t given any screen credit or financial compensation for it.
    Since its release, Groundhog Day has been interpreted in different ways. Tobolowsky said he had been told that the film is about becoming a more perfect soul.

Rebecca De Mornay
Rebecca De Mornay
(Photo by Linda McCord, Classic Film Watch Contributor

Excerpts from Rebecca De Mornay’s Risky Business Interview

    During her interview with TCM Host Dave Karger, Rebecca De Mornay talked about her role in the 1983 film, Risky Business. Tom Cruise played a teenager, Joel, whose parents thought he was responsible enough to leave at home while they went on vacation. Rebecca played Lana, a prostitute in the film, who Joel hired for a night.
    Rebecca said that sometimes life imitates art in referring to her two and a half year relationship with Tom Cruise following the production of Risky Business.
    She talked about Tom Cruise’s iconic dance scene in the film. Two songs were considered for the dance. One was a Rolling Stones’ song and the other was Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock and Roll. The Bob Seger song was chosen because Tom, who was a great dancer, could move more easily to that music.
    Rebecca has recently completed three films.

Saturday, April 15 Highlights:

Group at TCMFF Robert Osborn Award
Actress and Singer Shari Belafonte, TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz, Film Historian Donald Bogle (recipient of the Robert Osborne Award), Actor Louis Gossett Jr., Film Producer Debra Martin Chase, and Actor and Singer Lawrence Hilton Jacobs attend the screening of CARMEN JONES (1954) at the Hollywood Legion Theater. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for TCM.)

Ann Margret, Shari Belafonte interviews

Sunday, April 16 Highlights:

The Big Chill interview

Shirley Jones and Family
Actress Shirley Jones and her family attend the screening of The Music Man at the TCM Festival.
(Photo by Linda McCord, Classic Film Watch Contributor.)

Excerpts from The Music Man Interview

    Ms. Shirley Jones, along with her sons and grandchildren, watched the film together as a family. Her youngest granddaughter wore an original band jacket from the film.
    Shaun Cassidy, singer-actor-screenwriter and television producer, talked with TCM Host Dave Karger and reminisced about his time on the set of The Music Man. As a four-year-old, he recalled visiting the set often and becoming friends with child star, Ronny Howard, who was also in the film. He remembered getting a tricycle during this time and learning to ride it on the set.
    Shaun said that his brother, Patrick, was also on the set in a manner of speaking, because his mother was pregnant during the filming. After filming started, she had to meet with the director to tell him of her pregnancy. She was assured that they would be able to hide it with costume adjustments, such as bustles and layers. When the scene on the bridge was filmed near the end of the movie, actor Robert Preston was able to feel a kick from the unborn child when he embraced Ms. Jones. Years later, Robert Preston saw Patrick backstage at a performance and commented, “We’ve already met.” Patrick, who was unable to be present at the screening, is an actor who is best known for his roles in musical theatre and television. In 2012, he played the role of Harold Hill in a stage production of The Music Man opposite his mother, who played the role of Mrs. Paroo.

—Linda McCord, Classic Film Watch Contributor

Ben Mankiewicz and Donald Bogle
TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz and Film Historian Donald Bogle
(Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for TCM.)

Donald Bogle Received 2023 Robert Osborne Award at TCM Festival 

    TCM's 2023 Robert Osborne Award was presented to film historian, author, and professor Donald Bogle for his pioneering studies of African American cinema and his tireless efforts to elevate the achievements of Black performers and filmmakers. This honor is presented annually at the TCM Classic Film Festival to an individual who has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic film alive for future generations.  
    Bogle, whose landmark book Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films was first published 50 years ago, was presented with the Award prior to a screening of Carmen Jones (1954), the Dorothy Dandridge musical that ignited his fascination and analysis of Black artists in the movies. 
    Leonard Maltin, last year’s recipient of the Robert Osborne Award, has said, “No one knows more (or has written more extensively) about the history of African American contributions to cinema than Donald Bogle.”
    Bogle’s celebrated work also includes the TCM book Hollywood Black: The Stars, The Films, The Filmmakers, as well as definitive biographies of actresses Dandridge, Ethel Waters, and Lena Horne, the last of which will be released in October 2023. 

Patrizia von Brandenstein and Russ Tamblyn

TCM Film Festival honored Patrizia Von Brandenstein and Russ Tamblyn 

    Academy Award-winning production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein and actor, dancer, choreographer, director, and artist Russ Tamblyn were this year’s tribute recipients during the Festival.
    Each year the TCM Classic Film Festival pays tribute to a select group of individuals whose work in Hollywood has left a lasting impact on film. Von Brandenstein earned critical acclaim for her work on Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for Amadeus (1984).
    Tamblyn’s early training as a gymnast prepared him for one of his earliest roles in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and he subsequently earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Peyton Place (1957).
All four films were screened at the Festival with introductions from von Brandenstein and Tamblyn. Both participated with TCM hosts in Club TCM at the Roosevelt Hotel for extended conversations about their lives and work.

What to do in Hollywood Once the Screen Fades Out

By Mary McCord, Classic Film Watch Editor
Photos by Linda McCord, CFW Contributor

    Once the excitement and film-filled days of the TCM Festival is over, you have time on your hands. I travel to the Festival with my sister, Linda, and in recent years, we have started staying a day or two longer to rest up from the busy schedule of the Festival and to see the sights.

The Hollywood Museum
     One afternoon, I went to the Hollywood Museum, which is housed in the old Max Factor Building in the theatre district. I had been before, but I was interested in seeing fairly recent exhibits for The Waltons TV series and the Our Gang film series. The Waltons' exhibit celebrates the show's 50th Anniversary and the Our Gang exhibit honors the film series' 100th Anniversary. There was also a large comic book exhibit along with life-size superhero figures. I always enjoy seeing all the different types of costumes throughout the museum, as well as, the old movie posters.

Hollywood Museum, Waltons, Our Gang

Warner Brothers Classics Studio Tour
    Warner Bros. offers four different tours, including a “Classics” tour that is geared toward the Golden Age of Film and TV. This tour includes the studio’s 110-acre Backlot and Museum.
    During the first part of the tour, a shuttle takes visitors throughout the Backlot. The guide points out the buildings used in many award-winning films that were shot from the early days of the Studio through the 1970s. Most of the buildings were used in many different films or TV shows with changes made to the façade or interior to fit the scene needed. During stops along the way, the guide gave basic information about the set-up of scenes explaining the importance of depth of field and camera angles. And you heard plenty of stories about the making of some of the more memorable films.
    After the Backlot, the shuttle lets you off at the Museum. One of the first exhibits includes a replica of the cafe that the characters frequented in the Friends TV series.
    Most impressive were the exhibits for the superheros Batman and Superman. Who knew there had been so many Batmobiles! There is also a big exhibit for the Harry Potter film franchise and Game of Thrones series.
    Throughout the Museum, there are many exhibits for costumes and props. There are also interactive exhibits, including one where you can create a costume. There is plenty of staff around to explain these exhibits.
    The “Classics” tour including the Museum, took around three hours. It was very informative and surprising at times. I would take this tour again.

Warner Bros. Backlot-1

Warner Bros Backlot-2

Yamashiro Restaurant and Gardens in the Hollywood Hills
    Our final day in Hollywood, we climbed up into the Hollywood Hills to go to the Yamashiro Restaurant and Gardens.Yamashiro means "mountain palace" in Japanese. It was named appropriately. The uphill excursion ended with a visual treat of spectacular views of the city, beautiful gardens, and Asian-inspired architecture, including a courtyard and 600-year-old pagoda. Its history is interesting, as well.
    Brothers Eugene and Adolph Bernheimer began construction of the mansion in 1911. The building was designed as a replica of a palace located in the mountains near Kyoto, Japan. It was completed in 1914 and was used as their residence and to house their large Asian art collection. After Eugene's death in 1922, Yamashiro was sold to Actor/Director Frank Elliott.
    In the early days of silent films, Hollywood actors and actresses were looked down upon and not accepted among society’s elite. Elliott decided to turn the hilltop mansion into a private club. The "Four Hundred Club" quickly became the hangout for actors, directors, writers and celebrities from the era.
     By 1926, however, political infighting arose. A new club sprang out of the controversy called the “Mayfair Club", which would remain in residence at the Biltmore Hotel. Elliott announced he would hold his gatherings at the Ambassador Hotel’s Fiesta Room. The Four Hundred Club began a slow deterioration, which lead to the selling of Yamashiro in the late 1920s. In the following years, Yamashiro was re-purposed as a boy's military school and then as an apartment building.
    Yamashiro was acquired in 1948 by Thomas O. Glover, who discovered the beauty beneath the disrepair and refurbished the space. When Glover’s son, Thomas Y. Glover, became owner, he started the Yamashiro Restaurant in the early 1960s.
     Since the 1920s, Yamashiro has been used in many film and TV productions, as well as commercials and photoshoots, Yamashiro is the setting for the final scene of Tom Ford's 2016 neo noir, Nocturnal Animals. Director Joshua Logan used the palace as the officers’ club in his Academy Award-winning 1957 film, Sayonara, starring Marlon Brando. Other Yamashiro film appearances include Memoirs of a Geisha, Blind Date, Playing God, and Teahouse of the August Moon. If you watch Classic TV, you may see a scene from Yamashiro. During the 1950s and 1960s, the mansion appeared on series such as I Spy, Route 66, Perry Mason and My Three Sons.
     In August 2012, the Yamashiro Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Yamashiro Restaurant and Gardens