The sixth annual TCM Classic Film Festival gets under way on March 26. While there will be a few events held during that afternoon in Club TCM at The Hollywood Roosevelt, such as MEET TCM where attendees can interact with TCM staffers and SO YOU THINK YOU KNOW MOVIES where they can take part in a trivia competition, things officially kick off with the traditional Opening Night Gala musical. This year it is The Sound of Music, as part of the film’s 50th anniversary celebration. Stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer are scheduled to attend.
Over three-plus days of programming, the festival offers an interesting roster of films. I have a this ridiculous notion that I might see up to 15 films, but in honor of being lucky enough to attend all six years of the festival, here are my top choices.
6) BOOM! (1968)
Fri 12:00 AM Chinese Multiplex House 6
There must be a reason I have never heard of this film involving the talents of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Tennessee Williams, so I am not surprised to hear director John Waters has described it as “beyond bad. It’s the other side of camp.” Having it play the other side of midnight will likely find me in the right mood for it.
5) NOTHING LASTS FOREVER (1984)
Sat 12:00 AM Chinese Multiplex House 6
As a night owl, I am a sucker for midnight movies and this 1984 sci-fi comedy by Saturday Night Live’s Tom Schiller about a group of homeless New Yorkers who secretly rule the world sounds intriguing. Star Zach Galligan will be in attendance and the film has cameos by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Imogene Coca, Mort Sahl, and Eddie Fisher.
4) ACADEMY CONVERSATIONS: GUNGA DIN (1939)
Sun 1:00 PM Egyptian Theatre
Special effects man Craig Barron and sound effects editor Ben Burtt, both Oscar-winners in their fields, take part in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “Academy Conversations” series to talk about George Stevens film about three British soldiers (Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Victor McLaglen) and their Indian water boy (Sam Jaffe), which was adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s poem.
3) 1776 (1972)
Saturday 1:45 PM TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX
Taking in what will likely be my only musical of the festival, director Peter H. Hunt, and actors William Daniels (John Adams) and Ken Howard (Thomas Jefferson), all of whom worked on the multiple Tony Award-winning Broadway production, will introduce the director’s cut of the film, which includes previously unseen footage. Other members of the cast include Howard Da Silva as Benjamin Franklin, John Cullum as Edward Rutledge, and Blythe Danner as Martha Jefferson.
2) MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE (1964)
Sun 7:30 PM TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX
Vittorio De Sica had previously directed Sophia Loren to a Best Actress Oscar for Two Women (1960), and here they reteam, along with Marcello Mastroianni, to tell the story of a kept woman who finds she may be replaced after 17 years. Loren will take part in a discussion after the film.
1) ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (1969)
Fri 9:15 PM Chinese Multiplex House 1
The sixth James Bond film and the only one to star George Lazenby, who will be in attendance to chat about it, is the only one in the series I haven’t seen. Upon the big screen seems the ideal way to remedy that. The filmmakers toned down the fantastic aspects to make this outing more in line with author Ian Fleming’s books. Not only does Bond have to deal with the villain Blofeld’s (Telly Savalas) but also a relationship with Tracy (Diana Rigg).
An honorable mention goes to Bob Fosse’s biopic LENNY (1974) with star Dustin Hoffman interviewed by Alec Baldwin.