I’ve made no secret of my love of all things classic cinema. In fact, I’m truly surprised that last year was my first time at the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival. As I told our own Kristen Lopez (the Dame responsible for getting me there), “I’ve found my people!”.
Check out Kristen’s picks over at Journeys in Classic Film!
The 2019 Turner Classic Film Festival is once again upon us, and this time I’ve resolved to be ahead of the game. As such, I faced the almost Herculean task of documenting my schedule. Boy, oh boy, was that a challenge. Take a look at some of my picks below!
Night World (1932)
The challenges started right off on opening night. However, when faced with the thought of missing a Lew Ayres pre-code, I just couldn’t pass this one up. Lew Ayres is one of my “Always and Forever” favorites, and I can’t wait for an opportunity to finally see him on the big screen in this rare drama. Add in a fascinating supporting cast led by the always delightful Boris Karloff and I’m absolutely set for this first time viewing.
The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (1947)
I can’t lie. I’ve seen this movie once before. However, Cary Grant and Myrna Loy on nitrate? Yes, please! This film is an absolute classic, and I can’t wait for the opportunity to see it on the big screen in the way it’s meant to be seen… on nitrate.
Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)
I’ve long sang the praises of my girl Dorothy Arzner and this year TCM is choosing to spotlight one of the talented director’s pre-codes. The drama features a delightfully young Fredric March. And yes, I do find baby Fredric March particularly delicious. IMDB also hypes a (equally young!) Cary Grant in a supporting role among others.
Merrily We Go to Hell is a first time viewing for yours truly.
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Sleeping Beauty is probably my favorite Disney animated movie. I exhausted video tapes. Heck, one of the first Halloween’s I remember I dressed up as Merryweather. So, this pick absolutely sold me. I will probably be a sobbing mess, but I don’t care. This is nostalgia.
My Favorite Wife (1940)
I’ve seen this movie once before, and I’m really excited at the opportunity to see it again. I’ll freely admit, I’m not the biggest Irene Dunne fan. However, Cary Grant and Randolph Scott? Mmmm-hmmm. Interestingly, the 1940 comedy is such a blip on the radar of Grant’s career. However, it’s such an important one due to it being a rare pairing with Randolph Scott. (Look it up, kids).
Vanity Street (1932)
I’m going to be living in pre-code land quite a bit during this year’s festival. This is probably a good thing, as it’s the Hollywood era I’m probably the least comfortable with. I didn’t know much about this film going into it. However, after a quick Google, I’m particularly excited to see Mayo Methot mentioned (Humphrey Bogart’s wife before Lauren Bacall). I’ve heard such fascinating and colorful stories about the actress and I’m thrilled to finally see her on screen.
Open Secret (1948)
Film noir *cracks knuckles*. Now, this is my jam. This is another first time viewing, and the movie is actually a new discovery for me. There were so many interesting films (not just noir) coming out of the poverty row studios, it’s great that TCM is able to showcase them in a way they’re meant to be seen.
Road House (1948)
Noooo! Not Patrick Swayze feature, you crazy kids. Look it up. This is another slightly B-list noir, but it is also one of my favorites. The movie was an early viewing for me, when I first discovered the slice of joy that is Richard Widmark. Plus, add in Ida Lupino, and you’ve got yourself a movie. I’m always there for Ida. This in itself is enough to forgive the movie for Cornell…
All Through the Night (1942)
Broadway gamblers? Nazi saboteurs? This 1942 crime drama leapt off the page when I started filling in the blocks of my schedule. Like some of the earlier films I mentioned, this is actually a new one for me. So, look for my thoughts!
Tarzan and His Mate (1934)
I’ve watched most of the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films at some point, but the first is always the best. I’ve never had the pleasure to watch these on the big screen, so I actually resolved to check this out as soon as it hit the schedule. Not to take this to a place of objectification, but Weissmuller’s abs need to be seen on the big screen.
Father Goose (1964)
This year’s festival sees me with an abundance of three things: pre-code, noir and Cary Grant. I first watched this little gem of a 1964 comedy when I was really young, and have fond nostalgic memories of it. The movie may have also started my Trevor Howard phase… yes, there was one of those too.
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Laurence Olivier on the big screen. Enough said. I made sure to catch the actor’s Hamlet at last year’s festival, and can’t wait to see Wuthering Heights for the first time in an embarrassingly long time.
Waterloo Bridge (1931)
Another brand new discovery! Am I a bit of a James Whale fangirl? You betcha. An intriguing World War I pre-code, I’m fascinated, but a bit out of my element. So, here’s to the joy of learning new things.
Student Nurses (1970)
This is another new discovery. However, as soon as I looked at the IMDB description, I realized I had to give it a whirl. What is it?!? This remains to be seen. However, I really wanna find out. Last year, I attempted the midnight screening, but my weak and pitiful human body couldn’t do it. So, let’s see what happens this time.
Mad Love (1935)
Yes… I had a Colin Clive phase for a while. The man is utterly fascinating and British. Okay, I digress. This new discovery intrigues the heck out of me. Add Peter Lore in the 1935 horror film and I can’t wait. Plus, when I learned Bill Hader would be introducing the thing, I realized I had to see it.
Magnificent Obsession (1954)
I enjoy the heck out of Douglas Sirk. All that pulpy, Technicolor goodness! Now, this is one which has long eluded me, so it desperately needed to make my list.
This is a repeat viewing for me, though it has been a few years. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it and resolved it needed to make my schedule when I saw it hit TCM. The film features Ernest Borgnine at his likable best. Marty is an understated gem of a movie and I recommend it heavily.
Woman of Affairs (1928)
Hear me out… I’ve never actually seen Garbo and Gilbert together. Add Douglas Fairbanks Jr into the fun, and this became a must see.
The Dolly Sisters (1945)
I have long heard of The Dolly Sisters, but never have actually seen it. So, when TCM announced the film as a closing night, nitrate screening? Yes, yes, yes! The 20th Century Fox musical will look absolutely luscious. Oh, have I mentioned my boy John Payne is in it?
All in all, I’m beyond excited for this year’s festival (which runs April 11th – April 14th In LA). This schedule killed me. I’m having to make some difficult cuts, but the abundance of new discoveries makes it absolutely worth it!
Interested in learning more? Check out the festival’s website here.
Stay tuned for continuing coverage of the TCMFF here on Citizen Dame.