Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 TCM Film Festival Picks – April Madness Baby

First off, let me say that I decided to do this like NCAA college basketball tournament brackets, because, well, it’s March. Also, I’m only including the films. It started to get real messy when you included other things that are not film screenings. There are a number of films I have not seen, but frankly, it’s going to take a lot to get me to skip a film I really love on the big screen for one I’ve never seen. Finally, I placed titles mostly so I could get to my top two. Venue has nothing to do with anything.


Thursday is a bit of a crap shoot. While I do have strong opinions about the films, I might completely blow off or change the Thursday night screenings if I’m having fun at the opening night party.
  • Early evening – Seen all of these except Fifth Avenue Girl. American Graffiti by the pool very is tempting and ultimately may win out, but both Oklahoma and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane are better flicks.
Thursday – Early evening

  •  Late evening – Only one I’ve seen in this group is Johnny Guitar, good movie, but not something I would kick myself for missing. Of the two remaining, Bachelor Mother seems more appealing, doesn’t hurt that I caught about 5 minutes of it last week before leaving for work, and what I saw was really good.

Thursday – Late evening


Friday it starts getting really tough. I made a top 5 list based on what they had announced as of a month or so ago. Three of my top five fall between 6 and 10 pm Friday, so something had to give.
  • Morning – Not much of a contest here. Stagecoach is one my all-time favorite Westerns. The Thin Man is one my all-time favorite movies.
Friday – Morning

  • Mid-day – At first, this seemed like a no brainer. Nothing was really doing it for me. In fact, was tempted to use that as an opportunity to get a real meal at a real restaurant. Touch of Evil, like most Orson Wells, well-done movie, but not one I particularly like. Make Way for Tomorrow, I didn’t recognize until I read the plot summary. It is a great movie, but I’m not sure I would want to sit through it again. The World on Henry Orient haven’t seen and was fine with leaving it that way, until I read about it. The fact that George Roy Hill directed is swinging me that way.
Friday – Mid-day

  • Afternoon – Seemed like another no brainer. Really just a choice between Meet Me in St. Louis and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Then reading all descriptions, don’t think I’ve seen A Matter of Life and Death, but the times I’ve caught part of it, it was really good. Didn’t recognize the title of My Sister Irene at first, but I have seen it, and it’s really good as well (and Rosalind Russell to boot). What it comes down to is, I’m a big sci-fi geek, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers is my favorite 50’s sci-fi movie.
Friday – Afternoon

  • Early evening – This was my toughest decision of the festival. I really wanted to see both Why Worry and Double Indemnity. Both make my top 5 of the whole festival. It comes down to timing. Double Indemnity gets me out in time to get to Blazing Saddles early enough to ensure I get in. I may still try to poke my head inside the theater for a few minutes of Why Worry.
Friday – Early evening

  • Late eveningBlazing Saddles hands down. The Italian Job is one of the few movies where I like the remake better than the original. The Best Years of Our Lives is a great movie, and The Innocents sounds really good. The Music Man by the pool, how cool is that, but Blazing Saddles with Mel Brooks introducing. Seen it like 60 times and still laugh at each and every joke.
Friday – Late evening

  • Midnight – Never been a big fan of David Lynch and given the choice between a movie I may not like and sleeping and not being wasted the next day, Bed wins.
Friday – Midnight


Again, a lot of tough choices here.
  • Morning – This one seemed pretty easy at first. I had assumed The Jungle Book was the Sabu version, but when I found it was the Disney animated, that made it way harder. Father of the Bride is fantastic, but getting to see one of Chaplin’s best on the big screen has to take the day.
Saturday – Morning

  • Mid-day – I’m a huge fan of Woody Allen’s early films, but not so much of his later ones. Haven’t seen, I Remember Mama, and it sounds really good, but it really comes down to, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town or Godzilla: The Japanese Original. Sci-fi geekiness wins by a nose, Godzilla.
Saturday – Mid-day

  • Afternoon – Not a big fan of either The Goodbye Girl or How Green Was My Valley. Never seen that version of The Great Gatsby, but don’t think it will sway me away from Stormy Weather or The Good the Bad and the Ugly. Going with Stormy Weather, mostly because I’m not sure a 3 hour movie is such a hot idea on a day when I’m doing nothing but watching movies all day and night. Still, I might cheat and duck into The Good the Bad and the Ugly for a few minutes anyway.
Saturday – Afternoon

  • Early evening – This choice comes down to three movies. The Godfather, Part II, The Nutty Professor, and Hard Day’s Night. Okay, four, The Muppet Movie by the pool is tempting as well. I’m actually not a tremendous fan of Hard Day’s Night (like Help! better), but I am a huge fan of The Beatles. Also this is one where I’m letting celebrity sway me. Being introduced by Don Was, one of the Was's in one of my favorite 80s bands, Was Not Was, is enough to do it. May bring a copy of What Up Dog and try to get it signed.
Saturday – Early evening

  • Late evening – Wow, Sorcerer, The Pawnbroker, Her Sister’s Secret, and The Naked City, all sound great, but I really love This Is Spinal Tap and The Women. Going for The Women, mostly because I may get a chance to see Spinal Tap in the theater, not sure about The Women, being at the El Capitan doesn't hurt either.
Saturday – Late evening

  • Midnight – Much as I would love to sit in a darkened theater and chant, Gooble gobble, gooble gobble, one of us, one of us, I think by that point, I’ll be more in the mood to re-enact that scene with some TCM cronies in a bar over drinks.
Saturday – Midnight


Sunday is kind of a weird day, a lot of open slots, where I understand they repeat movies from the other days. I’m really hoping that some of the films I really wanted to see show up in some of these spots so I can catch them. There a couple in this list I could bail on if need be.
  • Morning – This one comes down to two movies, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Fiddler on the Roof, the latter of which I’ve never seen. I really do want to see it, but just never have had a chance to watch from start to end. This seems to be my big chance.
Sunday – Morning

  • Mid-day – Again, comes down to two movies. Gone with the Wind, which I have seen in the theater before, and Mr. Holland’s Opus, haven’t seen at all. Again going with the one I haven’t seen, I think.
Sunday – Mid-day

  • Afternoon – Big part of the reason I’m skipping Gone with the Wind is to catch The Quiet Man.
Sunday – Afternoon

  • Evening – Again, not a big fan of Orson Wells, Lady from Shanghai is an interesting extremely well made movie that I don’t particularly like. I’ve tried to watch, Hopson’s Choice, but it didn’t grab me. I’m a big fan of Hitchcock and getting to see The Lodger would be a treat. Getting to see The Wizard of Oz in 3D, bigger treat. I’ll be the guy in the back listening to Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon on headphones. Maybe not. Or maybe so. All depends on whether I can get that prescription for medical marijuana set up in time for the festival. Yes, doctor, I have a lot of stress. Yeah, stress, that’s the ticket.
Sunday – Evening