2019 feels like a decade ago. That was the last time any of us attended the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival (TCMFF) thanks to a thing called COVID-19. The world is a different place now and I am a different person for several reasons. One thing has not changed, however, and that is my love of movies. I also miss being amongst movie-loving friends on Hollywood Blvd. and that will be moot soon as the lot of us converge in Hollywood for this year’s TCMFF, which takes place from April 21 to 24. The theme this year is appropriate for these times, All Together Now: Back to the Big Screen.
Social Media has been buzzing since the schedule for TCMFF 2022 was released on March 30 and there is a lot to be excited about. Following is my plan for the Festival, which I will be covering as a member of the media. Be sure to follow me on social media as Citizen Screen everywhere: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. Also expect an interview with Genevieve McGillicuddy, Executive Director of the TCM Classic Film Festival on this blog next week.
Before I get to my planned schedule know that it has already morphed several times since March 30th. Naturally, I reserve the right to morph this again as new insights appear. I take many things into consideration as I choose what screenings or events I want to attend including new-to-me movies, timing concerning some I absolutely must see on a big screen, and I like to mix and match presentations and movies. This year I have a back issue, which may render the Hollywood Legion Theater a tough haul between movies. This schedule is my back-up schedule based on the assumption I will not be able to run to the Legion. I should note that my favorite theater at past TCMFFs, The Egyptian, is not available this year because it is being renovated. I will miss it and its 30-degree auditorium.
Thursday, April 21
This year’s Festival poses tough choices from the get-go. I would really love to see George Sidney’s The Harvey Girls (1946) on a big screen but if I do that it is not likely that I will get into Preston Sturges’ Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) in the next time slot, which I really want to see. So, I am planning to start the festival with Jewel Robbery (1932), a fun pre-code introduced by film historian Cari Beauchamp, which is always a treat. Jewel Robbery is hardly a consolation prize. Directed by William Dieterle, the film is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and stars two of Hollywood’s greatest, William Powell and Kay Francis. Plus, it is screening in 35mm.
Friday, April 22
I seriously considered starting my Friday with Maisie Gets Her Man (1942) but now I am leaning toward Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967) with Leonard Maltin and Floyd Norman in attendance at El Capitan. I will follow that with The Looney Tunes in Hollywood presentation at Club TCM. Animation historian and author Mark McCray will present how animation directors from the studio era used cartoons as the ultimate expression of animation imitating celebrity lives. That seems the perfect combination to start the day. Things get tougher on my schedule as the day progresses.
The rest of Friday will be a crapshoot. Lots of hoping is going into this combination: Ranald MacDougall’s Queen Bee (1955) followed by William Wyler’s The Letter (1940) followed by Mark Sandrich’s The Gay Divorcee (1934). That is my dream triple feature, but I fully realize that for those three movies to present themselves to me on this day it will take more than the stars to be on my side, it will take Joan and Bette joining hands on my behalf.
Saturday, April 23
My Saturday will open with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in Mavel Shavelson’s Houseboat (1958). There are two main reasons for this. First, it’s Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. Second, this will be the only movie I will see at the historic Chinese Theatre.
My first choice following Houseboat is The Flame and the Arrow (1950), but it is playing at the Legion Theater which means I would have to run from the Chinese to make it to the line. Given the back issue I mentioned, I will try instead to get into Theater 4 at the Multiplex and Mervyn LeRoy’s Three on a Match (1932) which is also no guarantee. After Three on a Match, I will (hopefully) have enough time to get to the Legion for the pre-code of pre-codes, Alfred E. Green’s Babyface (1933). Since I have decided to make it a stress-free festival this year, I will be fine if my back says I cannot make it to the Legion in this timeslot. If that is the case, I will watch the new-to-me The Tall T directed by Budd Boetticher with Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, and Maureen O’Sullivan. I will end Saturday with Elvis Presley in Norman Taurog’s Blue Hawaii (1961) poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt. I truly hate to miss Force of Evil but it’s Elvis poolside with Angela Lansbury’s extreme Southern accent. I cannot miss all that fun.
Sunday, April 24
Nick and Nora Charles will welcome Sunday in delightful fashion in W. S. Van Dyke’s After the Thin Man (1936). It occurs to me that the people in the following image resemble festival goers looking at their schedules…
Anyway, I am hoping to have enough time to make into tiny Theater 4 for Robert Siodmak’s Fly-By-Night (1942). This new-to-me film noir is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. If there are enough seats, I would like to follow that with Stuart Walker’s Evenings For Sale (1932). This is – again – in the smallest theater. If that does not work out, I will wait for the TBA announcements as I’m sure that will include at least one screening I missed.
My final TCMFF 2022 screening will be Coffy (1973) with the fabulous Pam Grier in attendance.
There are lots of screenings with casts in attendance you may not want to miss, several fabulous interviews, and a myriad of special guests and honorees. There’s simply too much to mention so be sure to visit the complete TCMFF schedule for more details. No matter what you choose a good time is guaranteed. The thing is to have fun. I hope to see you in Hollywood!
A large part of the pre-fest fun is talking to other festival attendees about their schedules. It never fails that you change a choice or two because someone else’s perspective makes more sense than what you previously thought made sense. So, as is tradition, I encourage you to visit other bloggers’ schedules because you will undoubtedly learn something. This is particularly true if 2022 will be your first TCMFF. Here are a few other sites to visit…
Visit the Blog of the Darned for a massively impressive TCMFF guide.
Laura of Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings is always a great resource.
The Hollywood Revue has yet another take on the schedule.