For the ninth consecutive year, the TCM Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood, April 26 through 29, 2018, as it salutes “Powerful Words: The Page Onscreen.” The festival showcases classic films and stars on the big screen as they were meant to be seen, highlighted by special programs, interviews, ceremonies, and star appearances. It offers a variety of genres for every type of vintage film fan: silents, pre-codes, epics, documentaries, sci-fi, and literary adaptations.
To honor its long time host and icon, the festival will present its inaugural Robert Osborne Award to legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who has tirelessly worked to keep the cultural heritage and legacy of classic films alive for generations to come, just like the inimitable Osborne. The event occurs opening night Thursday, April 26 as part of the official Opening Night Gala at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, which includes the screening of the 1968 film “The Producers,” highlighted by an interview with its director Mel Brooks.
Cicely Tyson will attend a showing of “Sounder” and have her handprints and footprints preserved at the TCL Chinese Theatre.
Several other special and unique events occur throughout the 2018 Festival. A hand and footprint ceremony honoring actress Cicely Tyson occurs Friday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre. Saturday morning, April 28 at 10 a.m., passholders receive the unique treat of visiting the American Society of Cinematographers Clubhouse on Orange Drive for a Panel Discussion called “Writing With Light.” Before its use as a Clubhouse, the home served as the residence of silent actor Conway Tearle. On Sunday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to noon, Bonhams auction house will provide appraisals on classic movie items, as well as display certain select items to be featured in upcoming auctions.
Club TCM remains the place to be for those who enjoy eclectic, informative, and unique programming. Alexa Foreman’s documentary, “Scandal: The Trial of Mary Astor,” detailing the 1936 scandal that almost overwhelmed Astor after her private diaries were stolen, premieres at Club TCM on Friday night. Film historian J. B. Kaufman presents a program saluting Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday entitled “Mickey in Hollywood” on Friday, along with other programs including a Film Biographers panel featuring Donald Bogle, Scott Eyman, and William J. Mann, a “Conversation with James Ivory,” and a documentary on the life of actress Nancy Kwan.
Martin Scorsese will receive the first Robert Osborne Award for film preservation.
Saturday’s programming features another amazing “Hollywood Home Movies” program from the Academy Film Archive hosted by Randy Haberkamp and Lynne Kirste. Other programs that day include conversations with directors Gilliam Armstrong and Robert Benton and the program, “Through a Lens of Color: Black Representation in Film.”
Sunday’s Club TCM programming opens with a program called “Growing Up Mankiewicz,” featuring TCM host Ben Mankiewicz and other relatives discussing their famous family heritage. That afternoon, TCM hosts a truncated version of the Mostly Lost Film workshop held at the Library of Congress and hosted by Rob Stone, in which unidentified clips of films are shown in hopes they can be identified. Ben Model will also present a short program on how silent film comedians employed camera trickery.
“Stage Door” will be among the films shown at the festival.
The festival features a cornucopia of films and related programming throughout the weekend at various venues like the TCL Chinese Theatre, Egyptian Theatre, Cinerama Dome, and for the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Linwood Dunn Theatre at the Pickford Center on Vine Street. Some of the special programming includes Haberkamp presenting 3-D photography by renowned comedian Harold Lloyd at the Pickford Center, along with a special concert by Joe Rinaudo on the restored Photoplayer. Nitrate prints of “Stage Door,” “Spellbound,” “Leave Her to Heaven,” and the 1937 “A Star Is Born” will also screen at the Egyptian Theatre, while the Cinerama film “Windjammer” plays at the Cinerama Dome.
Author and historian Mindy Johnson will give a presentation on “An Invisible History: Trailblazing Women of Animation,” the unrecognized contributions of women to the animation industry, while Jerry Beck presents a program of Pink Panther cartoons as well. Andrea Kalas, head of Paramount Pictures Archives, will give a presentation entitled “Crackin’ Wise,” featuring quips from a variety of classic films in the Paramount archives. Visual effects artist Craig Barron and sound designer Ben Burtt return with a program on effects in the 1956 epic “The Ten Commandments” by Cecil B. DeMille.
Silent films also receive their due, with Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra accompanying the 1925 “The Phantom of the Opera” on Sunday night and Ben Model accompanying the 1928 Marion Davies-William Haines’ film “Show People on Saturday night.
“None Shall Escape” will be shown at the festival.
There are several rare films screening during the festival, highlighted by the moving and prescient 1944 film “None Shall Escape,” showing the trial of a Nazi leader following the conclusion of World War II and featuring an appearance by the beautiful Marsha Hunt. Other special films screening include the 1950 Ida Lupino film “Outrage,” focusing on issues of sexual assault and harassment, the 1932 pre-code “Blessed Event,” the 1932 film “I Take This Woman,” the 1931 film “Girls About Town,” the rare 1960 British film “Tunes of Glory,” and the restored 1941 Michael Curtiz film “The Sea Wolf” starring Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield.
For those looking for really obscure programming, the 1962 film “The World’s Greatest Sinner” starring one of Hollywood’s most eccentric actors, Timothy Carey, screens as late night programming. The film features one of the first film scores by a young Frank Zappa.
For those looking to socialize, more events have been added this year, including a first-timers meet-up on Thursday morning, a Roaring Twenties Party on Friday night, and a Musical Fans meet-up and sing-a-long on Saturday morning.
The TCM Classic Film Festival offers a smorgasbord of special film programming to excite any classic film fan, along with the opportunity to meet and socialize with other like-minded filmgoers. For further information, visit filmfestival.tcm.com.