With just over two weeks to go before the 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival, the programmers have given us something to chew on: the program. (No, we’re not chewing on programmers, Dr. Lecter.) Going over the schedule and picking out which films to see and which to skip is like picking out your favorite child. Some of the timeslots are particularly excruciating and makes me wish that the Thursday was a full day so they could spread the films out more.
There are a few must-sees that have already dropped off my radar because of the schedule. And Sunday is hard to put together because the TBA screenings are… well… TBA. Anyway, here’s some films that stick out at first glance of the schedule:
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Thursday
Seeing an Elia Kazan film on the big screen is great because you can better appreciate the performances he gets from his actors. I learned that in 2014 during the screening of East of Eden. Ted Donaldson, a former child actor who starred in the film, will be there.
Brief Encounter, Thursday
I may have a copy of David Lean’s romantic classic on Blu-ray, but that won’t stop me from seeing this wonderful film on the big screen.
Never Fear, Friday
This is where not having a press pass actually helps. I’m not obligated to go to the handprint ceremony, so I don’t have to skip the Friday morning block. It’s still a challenge though. I love Josef Von Sternberg’s work, so I had been looking forward to seeing Shanghai Express and I also love George Stevens’ The More The Merrier. But, I’d like to see some movies I’ve never seen before and Ida Lupino’s first official directing credit, Never Fear, fits the bill.
Double Harness, Friday
Who can resist a short, snappy William Powell pre-code movie? I did see this on TCM, but Pre-Code screenings are too fun to miss.
The Conversation, Friday
The first must-see for me in the main Chinese Theater is Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation. It’s a film that begs to be seen on a big screen since it’s so detail-oriented.
6 Hours To Live, Friday
This is the most difficult slot. Ever since it was announced, I said to myself that I MUST see The Passion of Joan of Arc on a big screen. However, this is playing at the Egyptian and it might be really hard for me to bolt from there to the Chinese Theater to get into the screening of The Manchurian Candidate with Angela Lansbury there. Perhaps if I stay close-by and see William Dieterle’s rare sci-fi movie 6 Hours To Live, I might get in for Lansbury. (Another option is seeing the pre-code Pleasure Cruise and then using the following block to… I don’t know… eat something.)
The Manchurian Candidate, Friday
See above. This is a must-see that I simply can’t miss. There’s no way I’m going to skip an opportunity to be in the presence of Lansbury.
90th Anniversary of Vitaphone, Saturday
I’ve been fascinated by Vitaphone ever since I bought the DVD of The Jazz Singer. One of the few bonus discs I frequently go back to is the disc of just Vitaphone shorts. Sure, seeing Bambi would be cool, but I don’t want to miss this presentation.
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Saturday
I’ve never seen Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid for some reason and Carl Reiner will be there… so, this is on my list.
The War of the Worlds, Saturday
The last time I saw the 1953 War of the Worlds was in high school astronomy. I have no idea why. One of the reasons I’m excited for this screening is that Star Wars sounds master Ben Burtt will be there.
I’ve Always Loved You, Saturday
This is a really tough block because I also want to see Band of Outsiders with Anna Karina. That means no The Long Goodbye at the Egyptian and I’m not sure I could get into The King and I. So, that leaves this Frank Borzage movie. (Again, this is also a block I could skip to eat, but who needs nourishment?)
Band of Outsiders, Saturday
I love this movie so much.
GOG in 3D, Saturday
I have to go to one of the midnight screenings and seeing a ’50s movie in 3D is a rare occasion. Can’t miss this.
Yeah, I probably should head over to the Cinerama Dome for Holiday in Spain, but I want to see Elliot Gould’s talk.
The Longest Yard, Sunday
This is a toughie because it sure would be cool to see Horse Feathers on a big screen. However, this is another pick based on who will be there. Burt Reynolds is going to be in attendance.
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, Sunday
I don’t think I can pass up missing a John Ford Technicolor Western. This is an underrated movie.
The Band Wagon, Sunday
My all-time favorite MGM musical is a great way to end the festival.