Postcards From the Edge poster




Red River poster

2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

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 In The Heat of The Night on screenIn The Heat of the Night was the opening night film at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival.
Photo courtesy of TCM.

TCMFF logo 2017

Films and More Films! Something for Every Classic Film Fan.

    There was something for every fan at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival. More than 80 films from all genres were shown in packed theatres from early morning to late evening.
    Several of the films were screened to celebrate special anniversaries. A classic film fan favorite, Casablanca, was shown, recognizing its 75th anniversary. In The Heat of the Night was the opening night film, screened in celebration of its 50th anniversary. This film was produced by Walter Mirisch, directed by Norman Jewison and starred Sidney Poitier. There was also a 40th anniversary screening of the musical-drama, Saturday Night Fever.
    TCM has a reputation for showing little known films that have been forgotten, along with the solid, popular classics. This year, they showed Philippe de Broca's King of Hearts, which stars Alan Bates and Genevieve Bujold. This screening was a 50th anniversary North American restoration of the film. Another discovery was Red-Headed Woman, a pre-code comedy that was so controversial, it helped usher in the era of the Production Code. Also screened was a recently restored print of Panique, a French thriller/film noir about a town that turns against the town loner when a woman turns up dead.
    Each year, TCM honors a select group of actors and filmmakers whose work represents the highest achievement. This year, the Festival honored the unique contributions of Peter Bogdanovich, director of popular films, The Last Picture Show and What's Up Doc, which were shown at the Festival. Also honored was actress Lee Grant, In the Heat of the Night and The Landlord. The late actresses Debbie Reynolds, Singin' In The Rain, and Carrie Fisher, Postcards From the Edge, were honored with screenings of their films. Carl Reiner and Rob Reiner were honored with a hand and footprint ceremony in the courtyard of the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. Their films, The Jerk and The Princess Bride, were screened. Michael Douglas introduced his film, The China Syndrome, and later was interviewed in front of a live audience of Festival Passholders.
     As usual, the Festival was non-stop fun. I had a list of the films I wanted to see, but this fell by the wayside because of schedule conflicts and the discovery of other interesting films and events. The only good thing about the Festival ending was that I could get off of my diet of popcorn and softdrinks!

—Mary McCord, Editor
Classic Film Watch

TCM Classic Film Festival Highlights

Photos courtesy of TCM

Sidney Poitier, Lee Grant

TCM kicked off opening night of the annual TCM Classic Film Festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of
In The Night of the Night, which is considered to be a landmark of its time. Shown here are some of the stars and film makers who created the film -- First Row: Walter Mirisch, producer; Sidney Poitier, actor; Quincy Jones, composer. Second Row: Norman Jewison, director; Lee Grant, actress.

Red Carpet scene

Scene from the Red Carpet opening night at the Festival. Photo by Tyler Golden, courtesy of TCM.

Robert Osborne

The 2017 Festival was dedicated to long-time TCM Host Robert Osborne. A special "Remembering Robert" presentation was held at the Chinese Multiplex in Hollywood on the first day of the Festival. Photo by Edward M. Pio Roda, courtesy of TCM.

High Anxiety posterSome Like It Hot poster

The Festival's theme was "Make 'Em Laugh: Comedy in the Movies". From slapstick and screwball
comedies to witty and sophisticated humor, Festival-goers were offered
many of their favorites.

Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was shown poolside at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

.Dawson City, Frozen Time

The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival offered several discussions/screenings related to recent film discoveries and restorations. The documentary, Dawson City: Frozen Time, told the story of how preservationists stumbled across the greatest treasures in film history. Around 165 miles south of the Arctic Circle, they found a buried cache of 1,500 reels of nitrate film, a good deal of it still viewable thanks to its
being encased in permafrost.

Carl and Rob Reiner

Legendary actor, writer and director Carl Reiner and his son, Rob Reiner, actor and director, both were honored in a hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman's Chinese) in Hollywood on the second day of the TCM Classic Film Festival.

Leonard Maltin, Lee Grant

Film critic Leonard Maltin interviewed Lee Grant during "A Conversation" with the actress. She starred
in two films screened at the Festival, In The Heat of the Night and Detective Story.

Michael Douglas

Actor Michael Douglas shown being interviewed by Ben Mankiewicz, TCM host. This special "Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival" interview will be shown on TCM at a future date.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Scene from Arsenic and Old Lace, a 1944 dark comedy directed by
Frank Capra and starring Cary Grant.

Eleanor Parker and Kirk Douglas

Eleanor Parker and Kirk Douglas starred as a husband and wife in a difficult relationship in the film, Detective Story, which was screened on the last day of the Festival. The film was set entirely
in a police station where Douglas's character worked.

Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher

Legendary actress Debbie Reynolds and her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, were remembered with screenings of Singin' In The Rain and Postcards From The Edge on the last day of the Festival.

Harold Lloyd in Speedy

Harold Lloyd's silent comedy, Speedy, was one of the Festival's closing night films.
The Alloy Orchestra performed Carl Davis's score.

TCM Club Closing Night

The closing night party for the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival was held in the TCM Club located in the historic Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard.

Fan Favorites
Contributed by Linda McCord

Postcards From The Edge

  This film, adapted from Carrie Fisher's semi-autobiographical novel, is loosely inspired by Fisher's life experiences. The screening was TCM's tribute to Carrie, who died in late December 2016. In attendance were Todd Fisher, brother of Carrie and son of Debbie Reynolds, and Richard Dreyfuss, long-time friend of Carrie's and an actor in the film. They shared their recollections with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.
      Dreyfuss became quite emotional when discussing his long friendship with Carrie. Although he had attended her memorial service, he indicated that this was the first time he had cried since her death. He spoke lovingly of Carrie's kindness to others and her honesty, especially in discussing her life challenges.
      Todd Fisher spoke of how difficult it was to lose both his mother and sister in such a short period of time. However, he said the family takes comfort in the fact that they both left bodies of work that would endure. Both Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher will be remembered for their iconic roles: Debbie in the classic musical, Singin' In The Rain, and Carrie as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies.
      When discussing the screening of this film, Fisher recalled that Shirley MacLaine asked him how he felt about her playing his mother and he responded, "You are my mother". Meryl Streep shows her amazing versatility in this film, both in her acting ability and as a singer, receiving one of her many Oscar nominations for this role, which was inspired by Carrie Fisher's life experiences. It is truly amazing to hear her belting out the closing song in the movie as the credits are rolling.
      As I listened to the discussion my thoughts went back to the first TCM film festival that I attended in 2011.  Debbie Reynolds was the first celebrity that I encountered. I stood in a very long line at a signing and eventually met Ms. Reynolds. I will always treasure my autographed copy of Singin' In The Rain. A few years later I took a Starline tour of Hollywood which took us by the homes of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. I was struck by the fact that their homes were next to each other. This is a testament to how extremely close their mother-daughter bond was.

Red River

     The opportunity to see a well-loved Western on the big screen is always a treat. This epic story, which centers on the relationship between a Texas cattleman and his adoptive son, takes on a new dimension when they clash over the best route to get their cattle to market. John Wayne gives his usual fine performance as the cattleman, but the real revelation, in my opinion, is the amazing performance by Montgomery Clift in the first film that he shot. If you look closely, you can see Shelley Winters in a brief scene as a passenger on a wagon train.  She would later star with Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor in the acclaimed 1951 drama, A Place In The Sun.
      In keeping with the Festival's theme of comedy in the movies, this film, although basically a drama, has several humorous moments throughout. The humor is mainly provided by veteran character actor, Walter Brennan, One humorous scene involves Brennan losing his false teeth to an Indian during a card game on the cattle drive. Throughout the remainder of the drive, it becomes a running joke that Brennan is only allowed possession of his false teeth at mealtimes.
      Although Wayne and Clift reportedly did not bond during the making of this film due to differences in acting styles and personalities, this was not evident. In fact, these differences may have enhanced their performances, because of the film's emphasis on generational conflict and the cattleman's resistance to the new ideas proposed by his adopted son.
      This 1948 film was based on an original story by Borden Chase, which appeared in serial form in The Saturday Evening Post. Chase would also collaborate on the screenplay. Director Howard Hawks did an amazing job, focusing on character development as well as action. The epic film was shot on location in Arizona.

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