Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: TCM Classic Film Festival Returns to the Big Screen

The TCM Classic Film Festival welcomes movie fans as it returns to Hollywood after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The festival features something for everyone, whether it’s star appearances, new film restorations, classics films, and even special programming. Based at Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel, the festival will hold screenings April 21 through 24 at such theaters as the El Capitan, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre IMAX, and the Hollywood American Legion Theater.

Film historian and author Leonard Maltin receives highly deserved praise for his dedication to celebrating and recognizing the history of film with the Robert L. Osborne Award. Maltin will receive his prize before the presentation of Universal’s 1933 Pre-Code Counsellor at Law.

Note: Patrons are strongly encouraged to purchase festival passes  ($399-$2,549) to ensure entry to screenings. Individual tickets are sometimes available at each individual theater’s box office on a first-come, first-served, standby basis prior to the start of a film. Individual tickets are $20 and students with valid student ID receive 50% off.

Correction: A previous version of this post referred to the movie Spy Smasher as Spymaster.

Bebe Daniels and John Barrymore in Counsellor at Law, a former mystery movie!

A diverse selection of special events and programming also highlight filmmakers and movies throughout the four days. Comedienne Lily Tomlin will be honored with a hand and footprint ceremony Friday in Grauman’s Chinese Theatre forecourt. Andrea Kalas of Paramount’s film archive will present A Little Song, A Little Dance, featuring rare musical clips from Paramount films. Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will accompany the 1927 silent film 7th Heaven on closing night. Ben Burtt and Craig Barron discuss the tricks director Jacques Tourneur and team employed in making Burt Lancaster’s The Flame and the Arrow (1950) an entertaining swashbuckler. The 1958 sci-fi I Married a Monster From Outer Space receives a live table read, while Mickey Spilane’s I, The Jury (1953) will be shown in 3D. Ben Burtt has created a “love letter to Republic” by re-editing the (1942) 12 chapter Nazi-battling serial Spy Smasher into one 94-minute feature called Spy Smasher Strikes Back.

Club TCM offers passholders a respite when taking a break from festivities. Programs such as Looney Tunes in Hollywood, TCM Celebrates Doris Day, and Conversation With Bruce Dern will be held Friday. On Saturday, presentations will include Catch Them if You Can, a presentation on stunts in film, Conversation With Floyd Norman, and authors Barbara Hall and Rocky Lang discussing the creation of their book Letters From Hollywood, featuring correspondence from celebrities revealing the process of filmmaking. Sunday, April 24, events include Conversation With Piper Laurie and Reframed, all about looking at notorious celebrities and their films in a new light.


Burt Lancaster and Virginia Mayo in The Flame and the Arrow.

An eclectic selection of programming offers something for lovers of every genre. This year’s festival includes Portrait of Jennie (1948) and Somewhere in Time (1980), both offering an ethereal, haunting look at romance. David O. Selznick gets his own mini look with screenings of The Third Man (1949), Portrait of Jennie (1948), and the 1937 A Star is Born, which includes shots of Hollywood Boulevard, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and its courtyard. Doris Day will be honored with screenings of The Pajama Game (1957) and Lover Come Back (1961), and Gene Kelly gets his due with Singin’ in the Rain (1952) and It’s Always Fair Weather (1955). Lovers of Pre-Code get their due with Baby Face (1933), Cocktail Hour (1933), Jewel Robbery (1932), Counsellor at Law (1933), Three on a Match (1932), and Evenings for Sale (1932).


Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor in Giant.

Several new restorations will premiere at the festival, including Giant (1956), The Tall T (1957), Topkapi (1964), and Angels in Dirty Faces (1938).

This year’s festival features special health requirements to ensure the safety of all guests. Each passholder must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination along with a matching government issued photo ID card at one of the COVID compliance stations to be issued a wristband to be worn for the duration of the festival.

For those eager to experience Golden Age Hollywood films on the big screen, the way they were meant to be seen, the TCM Classic Film Festival offers a great way to return to watching films in person in beautiful movie theaters.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Coming Attractions, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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