Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March Movie Madness, Baby

Once again, I have decided to go with March Madness brackets for making selections the TCM Classic Film Festival (TCMFF). For the most part I have left off the panel discussions and guest interviews. I would rather see them for five minutes before a film I love than skip a whole block of films. The one exception is, A Conversation with Norman Lloyd. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do there. I did fudge the screenings around a bit to get the top picks to the top slots in the brackets.

This year at TCMFF I am bringing my 15-year-old daughter Jasmine. For the most part I am picking films that I think we both will like throughout the Festival, but on some of the really tough calls, I'm having her break the tie.

Early evening
With the very first block of the weekend, things are tough. If I was able to go to The Sound of Music, that would be the call, but since I can't, that makes it tough. Grease never really impressed me, so that brings it down to three. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is not super high on my list of top Westerns, but it is a very good movie. I haven't seen either Queen Christina or Too Late for Tears. The sexist pig in me really wants to see Garbo play bisexual, but I have a feeling Too Late for Tears is a better movie.

Since I was stuck here between The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Queen Christina, and Too Late for Tears, I gave Jasmine a little background on the three movies and had her read the descriptions and choose. Jasmine's choice, Too Late For Tears.

Thursday – Early evening
 Late evening
It really comes down to My Man Godfrey and The Seahawk. I really could go either way, so once again I am deferring to Jasmine, her choice, My Man Godfrey.

Thursday – Late evening

Here it really is a choice between Lawrence of Arabia and Inherit the Wind. Due to the length of Lawrence of Arabia, it would kill everything in the next block, edge Inherit the Wind. However, Lawrence of Arabia is playing at the El Capitan, big screen classic theater, Inherit the Wind, multiplex, smallest venue of the festival, edge Lawrence of Arabia. I described both to Jasmine. She thought Lawrence of Arabia sounded better. There you go.

Friday – Morning

This whole block is rendered moot by Lawrence of Arabia. My biggest regret here is missing Norman Lloyd introduce, Reign of Terror.

Friday – Mid-day

Not really much of a contest here. I would really love to see Limelight, but Pinnochio is probably my all-time favorite of the older Disney films. Also I don't think Jasmine has ever seen it. I know we used to have it on VHS, but Jasmine is young enough that I don't think we had a working VCR when she was growing up.

Friday – Afternoon

Early evening
This easily was the most agonizing decision of the weekend. Steamboat Bill, Jr. live orchestra vs Raiders of the Lost Ark, both in historic theaters. It's a really tough choice. Of course, I saw Raiders in the theater when it first came out and normally I would let that sway me to Steamboat Bill. Still Raiders Of the Lost Ark is such a great movie, and in terms of timing, Steamboat Bill would make it very tight on getting to On Her Majesty's Secret Service in the next block. Something had to give. Sorry, Buster, going with Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Friday – Early evening

Late evening
I would really love to see The Bank Dick. I do hope it shows up as one of the TBAs on Sunday. I think I would jettison one of my Sunday picks for it. But to be honest, there really is no contest. On Her Majesty's Secret Service all the way. This is such an underrated movie and George Lazenby in attendence. He was so good. I wish they had kept him as Bond, despite my love for Sean Connery. And yes, I am wearing the white dinner jacket I managed to find. Sturhann, Chris Sturhann. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but still.

Friday – Late evening

I can pretty much guarantee that Jasmine is going to bail on this, and I might as well. Of the Friday and Saturday night midnight movies, Boom! on Friday is the most tempting, but that may be just because some of old movie Twitter cronies are excited about it. Yeah, @joelrwilliams1, @salesonfilm, and @fallonthornley, I'm talking about you. Still, a really tough call between watching Boom! and the inside of my eyelids, especially with two full days to get through. I know this is a cop out, but I am going to just wait and see what happens.

Friday – Midnight

When I did my first pass picks for TCMFF, I realized that I hadn't selected a single screening at the Egyptian. That is too cool of a theater not to see anything in it the whole time.  I figured my best bet to rectify that was The Man Who Would Be King. Still, I would really love to see Norman Lloyd. I might jump ship here and catch Malcolm X in the next block.

Saturday – Morning

Rebel Without a Cause all the way, unless I do Norman Lloyd and go for Malcolm X instead. Still, the timing on Rebel Without a Cause is way way better. We could actually have something resembling real food for both lunch and dinner. I had heard rumors that you could get real food at TCMFF, but always assumed that was an urban legend. This might be the year for it.

Saturday – Afternoon

Early evening 
This another really tough call. I really love Mel Brooks, and I really love Billy Wilder. This is the one spot where I'm going to let celebrity sway me, Shirley MacLaine and The Apartment.

Saturday – Early evening

Late evening
Another tough call her. Adam's Rib is a great great movie, but when am I ever going to get to see hand-cranked silent films including Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon again, Return of the Dream Machine.

Saturday – Late evening

I think I'm going to opt for sitting in a bar and having a drink or six with some of my old movie homies.

Saturday – Midnight

Sunday has lot of open slots, where 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 we can catch them. Last year, I pretty much blew off what I had planned for Sunday and was not sorry I did.

Nightmare Alley is my pick here, but if the first of the two TBAs looks good I might go for that. The second TBA would likely ruin my Mid-day block, so that's out of the question.
Sunday – Morning

I saw Psycho in the theater last year, so I'm going to eliminate it. To be honest, Gunga Din is not a huge favorite of mine but I'm expecting the presentation that goes along with it to more than make up for it. Still, I really really love Desk Set. It's one of those movies that I watch about every three months and never tire of. Also, Joan Blondell is one of my favorite 30s actresses. When she was young, she was absolutely gorgeous. I gotta say even fiftyish heavyish Joan Blondell, still kind of doing it for me.

Sunday – Mid-day

This is another tough call. I seem to remember that Out of Sight was one of Ben Mankiewicz's favorite movies. I could be wrong. For that reason, I have always wanted to see it, and I still haven't got a chance to.  That said, The Philadephia Story is one of the very best Screwball Comedies, a genre I really adore. Gotta go with The Philadephia Story.

Sunday – Afternoon

I actually know absolutely nothing about Marriage Italian Style. I do know that Sofia Loren is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the planet (and probably the most beautiful 80-year-old currently on the planet). Now I suppose that if something weird happened to prevent me from seeing something at the Egyptian, I might do The Grim Game instead. Or if either of the two TBAs turned out to be really good, I might go for one of those. God, help me if that happens, because this is my one chance to see Sofia Loren.

Sunday – Evening

Other people's picks

Classic Movie Blog

Joel's Classic Film Passion

Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

The Nitrate Diva

Once Upon a Screen

Somewhere in London


  1. Of course, now that I've read the descriptions. I'm leaning toward Nothing Lasts Forever sounds like the better of the two Midnight movies. Don't think I could handle both.

  2. Just finishing my picks post so I stopped here to link to your. Love the brackets and your interesting picks. We'll have a few "hopes" in common but not many IF we both have luck getting into out first choices.

    Looking forward to seeing you and the gang!