Sunday, February 15, 2015


At about this time last year, I posted a list of the top five movies I was looking forward to at the 2014 TCM Classic Movie Festival (TCMFF). This is what my list looked like last year:

[Read explanation here]

So far, they've announced the following films:

1776 (1972)
42nd Street (1933)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Calamity Jane (1953)
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
The Grim Game (1919)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Marriage Italian Style (1964)
Patton (1970)
Pinocchio (1940)
The Proud Rebel (1958)
Rififi (1955)
Roman Holiday (1953)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)

[Spartacus was pulled off the list.]

To be honest, I'm less psyched about the initial list of this year's offering than I was about last year's. Am I worried? Not in the least. Let me explain.

Last year, I only saw three of my top 5. First off, numbers 1, 3, and 4 were all playing between 6:00 and 10:00 pm on Friday night. Double Indemnity and Blazing Saddles were playing one after the other at the TCL Chinese IMAX. Why Worry was playing at a different theater more or less opposite Double Indemnity. I toyed with the idea trying to watch a bit of Double Indemnity, leaving early to pick up Why Worry, and trying to  make it back in time for Blazing Saddles, but decided it wasn't worth the risk. I might end up screwing up all three.

Number 5, The Wizard of Oz (new restoration in 3D), was playing opposite The Lodger (new restoration of Alfred Hitchcock silent film with live musical accompaniment). Although I had initially planned to see The Wizard of Oz, I completely changed plans on Sunday. It really came down to The Wizard of Oz, which I might get a chance to see in the theater vs The Lodger which I might never get a chance to see in the theater again. The Lodger it was. The Lodger was great, and Ben Mankiewicz was very funny in his intro. He told a great story about something that happened to him on his way over to the theater that night. And as it turned out, I ended up seeing The Wizard of Oz twice in the theater back home after the Festival anyway.

Were they good calls? Most definitely. So when I say, I'm not as psyched about what they are offering so far this year, I know this is just a small fraction of what they will be showing. I know if will be great, and I'll be just fine.

Without further ado, I give you my top 5.

5. The Proud Rebel  I honestly don't know if I've seen this or not, but it sounds really good.  Plus, David Ladd will be in attendance.
4. 42nd Street – I've never seen a Busby Berkeley film in the theater. I saw it a few weeks ago the first time. The choreography is not quite as impressive as some of the other Berkeley films, but I'll give it a shot.
3. Marriage Italian Style – One word, Sofia Loren. Okay, that's two words, but who's counting.
2. Pinocchio – Of the old Disney animated features, Pinocchio is my second favorite behind Fantasia. This year my 15-year-old daughter, Jasmine, is along. I don't think she's even seen it. I know we used to own it on VHS, but I don't think we ever replaced it on DVD. Jasmine is young enough to have not been around when we still had a functioning VCR.
1. Steamboat Bill Jr. – I love Buster Keaton, but I don't think I've ever seen one of his films on the big screen. This should be a treat.

Under normal circumstances, The Sound of Music would go in there somewhere. Since it is a special screening, and I can't get in with the level pass I have, I won't list it. Also Spartacus would probably make the top 5, but it got pulled from the schedule.

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