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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Seen and heard on the Blvd of Dreams


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#1 butterscotchgreer

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 01:26 PM

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#2 patful

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 10:32 AM

Thank you, ma'am, for your photos and updates. Looked like fun. And thanks for the links to the old promos. I still love the Sunny Side of Life and Big Band movie intros more than any.



#3 rohanaka

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:27 PM

Ms Cutter.. thanks for posting all the play-by-play and pictures. What a fun read. (and thanks for posting the clips of all those older TCM promos too.. I remember a few of them.. ha.. loved the Cosby one, especially.) 

 

So glad  you and so many others had such a great time. I think TCM must really put on quite the show (or several of them all rolled into one, as it were) based on what you and so many others have had to say about it. Thanks for taking the time out to put it all on here for the rest of us to share too. 



#4 lzcutter

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 12:44 PM

Dateline: Hollywood-  Sunday, April 13th
 
The Final Day
 
Where the heck did the last four days go? They flew by in a whirlwind. It should only be Friday but, alas, it was Sunday, the final day of the Festival.
 
Other Festivals have whirled by but this one seemed to rush by at the speed of sound.
 
MrC had decided he was going to see Gone with the Wind on the big screen. I wanted to hear author John Fricke talk about the legendary Judy Garland.
 
As we stood in line to get into Club TCM, I caught sight of the "button" man from Canada. I had seen a glimpse of him while in line at Mary Poppins but this time we actually got to talk.
 
For those wondering, the "button" man is this terrific young guy from Canada whom we met last year in line for Cinerama Holiday. He has small buttons made up each year to pass out at the Festival. Last year he gave me a "I heart TCM" button and one for It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World.
 
This year I scored a button with Robert O's face, Ben's face and one for Blazing Saddles.  We talked for a few  minutes and then he was off to get in line for a movie!
 
MrC and I also talked to a young man from Pennsylvania who was at the Festival again for the fourth time. His wife gets him a pass each year for his birthday.
 
He had been at the Nutty Professor screening the evening before and said it was terrific. The discussion with Jerry Lewis went almost 45 minutes and Jerry was in rare form, gracious and enjoying talking with his fans.  
 
At the handprint ceremony in the forecourt of Graumans, earlier on Saturday, Quentin Tarantino surprised Lewis by showing up.
 
So, it sounds like Jerry had a good time!
 
Once we were inside Club TCM, we were able to score a comfy table. Texas Theresa was going to join me as soon as Fiddler on the Roof finished up.
 
MrC went off to see GWTW and John Fricke took the stage to talk about Judy Garland.
 
He had a terrific presentation and had some great stories to share. He had the good fortune to meet Judy Garland when he was 16 and she was performing. He went to dinner after the concert and she was there with Sid Luft. He worked up the nerve to go over and talk to her and she was very gracious.
 
He signed books afterwards and Theresa wanted to get one but the store was sold out. I encouraged her to go talk to him anyways and she did:
 
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Next up was the presentation of 20 years of TCM On-Air.  TCM's own Scott McGee brought Director of the department, Pola Chagnon to the stage as well as producer Tim Reilly.
 
It was a terrific presentation full of wonderful moments from the last 20 years:
 
Bill Cosby's noir homage that he did to help publicize the channel:
 
 
The "Win Tony Curtis for a Day" (where he comes to your house to hang out - an homage to an old Flintstones episode) was lots of fun!
 
"Sunny Side of Life":
 
 
The Big Band roll film promo:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeAD1d7sTIU
 
"You will never want to leave this place" promo
 
"Everybody's Most Wanted" promo.
 
As Tim Reilly said, "We wanted to establish a place more than a network. A destination, a place to go to escape to this other world."
 
They succeeded very well!
 
Other promos included:
 
Star of the Month Jean Harlow's promo:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92qnd2th6aY
 
 
 
 
Ride the Rails theme promo that included a salute to James Wong Howe, 
The infamous telescope girl promo that blew up the TCM Message Boards in September, 2006
"Every Western but Shane" promo
 
Directed by John Ford promo:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfrTeG7t3bY
 
The always wonderful 2008 31 Days of Oscar promo:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6J4X0VLSzU
 
 
A wonderful retrospective that showed just how talented and creative the folks at TCM can be!
 
 
After that presentation, I waited for MrC to get out of GWTW and met up with the usual suspects for one last dinner together at Public Kitchen:

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I had thought of going to see The Great Gatsby or The Wizard of Oz but decided spending the time with people I usually only get to see once a year was more important.
 
After dinner, MrC hit the road as he had to work the next day.  Texas Theresa and I hung out in Club TCM talking till others started finding their way back:
 
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When Club TCM got too crowded we headed down to the pool area and sat by one of the fire pits.
 
We talked well into the night. Other friends stopped by including TCM's own Shannon Clute and Sean Cameron.
 
We had one final toast to the Chief and it was time to hit the road.
 
Peter graciously gave me a ride home and as if it had all been a wonderful dream, the TCM Film Festival, 2014, ended on a high note.
 
But there will a sequel in 2015!
 
And we will gather with Larry for another great dinner, see some wonderful movies and hear great talks but most of all, TCM Nation will gather again and we will be able to spend five days with good friends!
 
Can't wait!

"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#5 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 07:56 PM

We moved over to one of the non-reserved comfy tables for Leonard Maltin's talk with composer Richard Sherman which followed Hollywood Home Movies.
 
What a treat! Especially since we had missed him talking at the end of Mary Poppins earlier in the day.
 
Management had kept the keyboard from the previous event (Michael Motilla had accompanied the Home Movies on it).
 
Leonard walked Sherman through his life from a young boy growing up with his brother Robert and their father, Al Sherman, who had been a songwriter as well.
 
The Powerpoint presentation was quite good and Sherman sang songs through every phase.
 
He talked about how he and his brother had become "rock and roll" writers with their first big hit, You're Sixteen and began writing songs for Annette Funicello to sing. They over dubbed her voice to give it a bigger sound.
 
From there they began writing songs for Disney animation and features. After Walt gave them the book, Mary Poppins to read, they put together the outline that would become the movie.
 
Sherman credited everyone for making that film so memorable. He talked a bit about how difficult P.L. Travers was to work with.
 
He sang a bit from Tuppence a Bag before moving onto the The Jungle Book.
 
He talked about writing the song King of the Jungle. When Walt heard the song, he asked who did they have in mind to sing it and Sherman said there was only group- Louie Prima, Sam Butera and the Witnesses. They had to travel to Las Vegas, wait until after they finished their lounge act at the Sands to play the song for the musicians.
 
The musicians, alerted that these guys were from Disney, sat there stone-faced until the song was over. Asked what they thought, they "acted like a bunch of university professors". Finally unable to keep the gag going, they broke down and started playing tunes and told the Shermans they were in.
 
Richard Sherman is in his 80s and still going strong! MrC wondered what is that keeps some people so young. I told him it must be a combination of being creative and living in Southern California! After all, we ain't exactly spring chickens these days!
 
Here's hoping he has many, many more years!
 
Afterwards, it was dinner time. We were thinking about going to see Sorcerer and see Friedkin introduce the film. But our stomachs were hungry (you can't live on breakfast and popcorn alone).
 
We ended up at the California Pizza Kitchen with Christy and Alexa.
 
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By the time we were done eating, we figured Mr. Bo would appreciate it if we went home.
 
Home we went and he was so happy to see us.  His earlier sullen mood was gone and he and MrC went for a walk.
 
Just as we were getting ready to turn in, Jon asked about Gone with the Wind. Was it a restoration? I said it was.
Why weren't we going to that tomorrow.
 
I replied that we would have but the 20 Years of TCM On-Air panel was at the same time. Since I had been such an advocate for the idea, I felt I really ought to be there.
 
He agreed and said he had never seen GWTW on the big screen. I told him well that was new information and since he had only seen the film on television, VHS and DVD, he should go.
 
He agreed.
 
Lights out.

"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#6 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 07:35 PM

We had to move out of our Reserved Seating box for Hollywood Home Movies.
 
This is the third year of presentations by Randy Haberkamp and Lynne Kriste of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. As always, it was standing room only with people hanging from the rafters!
 
Because the theme this year was family, they curated a series of home movies taken by the stars themselves.
 
Highlights included:
 
Florenz Ziegfeld and Billie Burke's Family Films (1921-1924), which are some of the Film Academy's earliest home movies.
 
The Hitchcocks at Home (1929-1936) which included shots of Alfred, Alma and daughter Pat along with their pets. Restored color footage, too!
 
Jean Harlow's Dressing Room (1931) where the actress smokes, chats and strikes dramatic poses.
 
Hollywood Visits Hearst Castle (1931)with WR Hearst, Marion Davies and a host of happy guests.
 
Relaxing Aboard the Invader (1931) included rare color footage that Gilbert Roland shot of his future wife, Constance Bennett and several friends as they sailed around the coast of Southern California. Best shots of all, the ones of Gilbert Roland without a shirt!!!!
 
Behind the Scenes of Gone With the Wind (1939) rare 8mm footage from the set of the epic film. Shots included Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Victor Fleming and the enormous Technicolor camera.
 
It's a Wonderful Wrap, the wrap picnic party for It's a Wonderful Life includes Frank Capra participating in a potato sack race.
 
Walt Disney Rides the Rails shows Disney and animator Ward Kimble with their elaborate backyard train set-ups. Kimble's son talked about the footage.
 
Oklahoma! on Location director Fred Zinneman took home movies of both the Cinemascope and Todd A-O cameras shooting scenes. Zinnman's son talked about the footage and Gene Nelson's widow talked about the dance numbers featuring Nelson in the footage.
 
Tashlin and Lewis on Hurry Up and Wait shows director Frank Tashlin and Jerry Lewis cutting up on the set.

"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#7 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 07:15 PM

When we got to Club TCM, the place was already filling up.  All of the comfy tables were taken except for the two that "Reserved Seating" signs on them. These tables are usually reserved for friends of the speaker, the interviewer or TCM.
 
Imagine my surprise when Rich came over and escorted us to the corner table that had a reserved sign on it. We got to sit there for the talk.
 
Author Cari Beauchamp introduced Thelma Schoonmaker, a woman I have long admired (second only to Mother Cutter, herself,Verna Fields on my short list).
 
She was shorter than I thought she would be but what a storyteller.
 
She was born in Algeria, grew up in Aruba and when she was 14, her family moved to New Jersey.
 
She wanted to be a diplomat and studied for the test but failed because it said she was too liberal. A few years earlier she had helped raise $10k for Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.
 
She took a job as an assistant editor working for a guy at a local television station.  She figured if nothing else she would learn about movies and how to splice and use editing equipment.
 
The guy she worked for turned out to be a hack who would indiscriminately cut films to fit the necessary time lengths assigned by the station. He had no qualms about hacking out an entire reel with no regard to the story.
 
She soon quit that job and began taking courses at Washington College (which would become NYU) and it was there she met Martin Scorsese.  Because she knew how to use editing equipment, she helped him salvage his student film. He taught her about editing.
 
Influenced by the film, Monterey Pop, she was the head editor on Woodstock and hired Marty to be one of the editors. They were at the music festival, had motel rooms and Marty had even brought nice clothes, including cuff links, anticipating one evening at least they would be going out to dinner. Once at Woodstock, the festival, they were trapped and never even got to check in at the motel, much less dinner.
 
She described as a "nightmare" but in the editing room, the footage started coming together. They had a screening for the executives at Warners and she realized that they had captured not only a seminal cultural moment but something special as well.  Warners didn't agree and demanded cuts be made before the press screening.
 
Thelma stole the soundtrack out of the vault so that the cuts couldn't be made.
 
The press screening was the version Thelma and her team believed in. After the screening, Warners' executives approached her and told her she was right.
 
She was nominated for her first Academy Award for her work on Woodstock.
 
Scorsese enjoyed working with her and wanted her to cut his films. In New York that wasn't a problem. But when they came to Los Angeles, she couldn't get into the Editors Union despite her AA nomination.
 
She didn't work again with Scorsese until Raging Bull. By that time, Scorsese had enough pull that she was admitted to the Editors Union, no problem. She says, "I don't know what he did."
 
Scorsese shot 90,000 feet of film for Raging Bull and she edited it. He watched every fight film ever made. It took six weeks to shoot the fight scenes with the camera in the ring with DeNiro and the other actors.
 
It is her favorite film.
 
Scorsese had long been a big fan of Michael Powell's and Emeric Pressburger's films
 
Scorsese considers Powell and Pressburger's run of films through the 1930s and 40s to be "the longest period of subversive film-making in a major studio, ever".
 
When Scorsese met Powell in London, the older director wasn't quite sure what to think, especially when told that young American filmmakers thought of him as great source of inspiration.
 
Later, when Francis Ford Coppola brought Powell to America, Scorsese talked Thelma into going with him, despite the fact she was up to her eyeballs editing Raging Bull to a retrospective of Powell and Pressburger films.
 
It was there she met Michael Powell.
 
Over time they began dating and he moved in with her. Scorsese's wife at the time, Isabella Rossellini, not knowing the two were dating, thought Thelma was allowing Powell to stay with her because he had no place to live in NYC. She wanted Marty to find him a place.
 
Thelma quietly explained to Rossellini that she and Powell were in love and actually living together.  Rossellini was excited at the news but said, " someone should tell Marty".
 
Thelma broke the news to Scorsese, who though a bit surprised, took it in stride.
 
Powell said of meeting Scorsese, "the blood started running in my veins again".
 
Another big influence was John Cassavettes who took the young Scorsese under his wing when he came west to make Boxcar Bertha in the early 1970s.
 
He showed the film to Cassavettes who promptly said, "You spent a year making a piece of shi*. Don't let them do that to you again.".
 
Years later, Scorsese invited him to view Raging Bull in the editing room (a large apartment in NYC where they had film hanging in the shower).  Cassavettes watched the film with Thelma.
 
Afterwards he was quite taken with the film. Thelma reminded him, "You made it possible for him to become a director." To which Cassavettes replied, "But did he have to be this good at it?"
 
Raging Bull went on to be nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing among its many noms. The night of the AAwards was a "big disappointment. I won, DeNiro won and we thought for sure Marty would win. It was very disappointing when he didn't."
 
She didn't display her Oscar for years because of that.
 
Way too soon the talk came to an end. There were a few questions, though the one that made our eyes roll (MrC and I both spent many years editing) was the young man who asked her "what operating system do you use".
 
She cuts on a Lightworks, a non-linear editing system that was developed by the Brits and though it no longer selling the type of editor she uses, the company does help keep it running.
 
A remarkable woman who has had a great life!

"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#8 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 06:32 PM

Dateline- Saturday, April 12th

We knew that Mary Poppins was going to be very popular. Everyone we talked to said they were going to the film. In fact, there were three films everyone we talked to said they were going to, Blazing Saddles, Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz in 3-D.

When we got to the El Capitan, the line for Classic Pass holders was already around the building and snaking down the alley. We were relieved to find that our queue numbers were about the same as they had been the night before.

As the El Cap seats more than Graumans, we knew we would get in. Luckily for us, Paula and Texas T would get in first and save us seats.

We knew we couldn't stay for the talk with Richard Sherman which was scheduled for after the film. 

Why? Because for the last three years I had missed editor extraordinare, Thelma Schoonmaker, introduce and/or talk about a film. Yesterday, we had missed her introducing A Matter of Life and Death on the big screen.

She was scheduled to talk about her herself, her career and Michael Powell in Club TCM in the early afternoon. Since we wanted good seats, we knew we had to get there early.

While waiting for Mary Poppins to start, MrCutter took some photos of the interior of the El Cap:

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The Disney company restored the El Cap many years ago and did a beautiful job. The theater seats over 1,000 but the main floor feels small. The majority of seats must be in the balcony.

While waiting for the movie, we got to hear this guy play the mighty Wurlitzer (which ascends and descends into the stage):

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The movie was just as much fun as it was the last time I saw it 50 years ago! It really holds up.

Having seen Saving Mr. Banks, I did wonder if Mr. Dawes, Sr (the elderly banker played by Dick Van Dyke) was modeled after P. L. Travers.

We headed over to Club TCM as soon as the movie was over.


"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#9 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:51 PM

While standing in line (#325 and #326), we saw Peter coming down the hallway. He was also on his way to Best Years of Our Lives but stopped to say hello.

We talked for awhile, telling him about the "Ask Robert"event from earlier in the day.

Before we knew it, the line was moving. Once inside the theater, we had no trouble finding Paula and Texas T. Christy joined us.

Robert O came out to thunderous applause and introduced Mel Brooks.

Mel bounded out on stage. How the man is in his 80s with that much energy is beyond me.

He talked about the making of the film, how fate sometimes smiles on you.

He wanted Richard Pryor for the role of Bart but Warner Brothers said "no way". Pryor took the news very well. Thinking they wouldn't be able to find the right actor for Bart, both Pryor and Brooks were excited when Cleavon Little read for the part and Brooks wasted no time in signing him.

Gig Young was supposed to play the Waco Kid, the alcoholic gun fighter who finds recovery in his friendship with Bart. But, as Brooks told the story, "Young must have missed the part about recovering" as he showed up on the set in his cups (as they say) and then "began to spew green stuff" around the jail set.

They called for an ambulance, Young was hospitalized and Brooks was in a jam. "I called my best friend in the world, Gene Wilder" and explained the situation, Brooks told the audience. Wilder said, "don't worry", booked a red-eye flight to LA and was on the set the next morning.

Brooks rhapsodized about Madeline Kahn and how talented she was. He said her comedic timing was always off but that was part of her and she made it work wonderfully to her advantage.

Brooks also talked about the preview he had for Warner Brothers executives and how violently Ted Ashley reacted to the film demanding cuts. Ashley took Brooks aside and gave him a laundry list of cuts that had to be made.

John Calley, in charge of Production, was with Brooks and when Ashley walked away, Brooks balled up the notes and threw them in a nearby wastebasket.

"Nice filing" said Calley.

Favorite line of the film, "You'd do it for Randolph Scott"

Crowd harmonizes, "Randolph Scott".

Cracks me up every time!

After the film we stopped into Club TCM on our way to the car.

It was pretty quiet and we talked to Rich for a few minutes before calling it a night!

Was the dog ever glad to see us!


"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#10 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 05:36 PM

Standing outside the Montalban, we got to meet Robert O's cousin and have a fun conversation with her!

Riding back in the shuttle with Alexa and MrCutter, we talked about the event. A group of ladies attending the Festival had decided to go to lunch instead of the event and were on the shuttle with us. They were very disappointed listening to our stories.

Once back at the Roose, MrC and I made a bee line for Club TCM where director William Friedkin was being interviewed by Eddie Muller. Friedkin was talking about his early films and the making of The Exorcist when we arrived. He told the story of how Jason Miller came to be cast as Father Karras in the film.

Another actor had been signed when Miller approached Friedkin about the role. Friedkin basically told Miller that but Miller insisted on doing a screen test, feeling he was perfect for the role. Friedkin finally agreed to do the screen test and said he could arrange to have Ellen Burstyn do a scene with him. Friedkin then told Miller where to be the next day for the screen test. Miller then told Friedkin that he wasn't in LA. Friedkin asked how quickly can you get a plane out here? Miller replied he didn't like to fly and it would take four days by train.

Friedkin agreed to wait. Miller finally arrived and they did the screen test. Friedkin wasn't impressed by the actor while directing him in the scene.

The next day, though, he had the screen test projected and realized not only did the camera like Jason Miller, Miller was perfect in the role.

Friedkin called the studio and told them they would have to buy out the contract of the actor who had already signed to do the picture as Jason Miller was doing the role. Friedkin said he would give the audience three chances to guess who the actor was that lost out. He said he had never revealed that info before. A gentleman near us said, on the second one, "Stacy Keach" and Friedkin was surprised that someone had guessed correctly.

Eddie told him that he wasn't surprised, TCM fans are just that way.

Friedkin cut the film at 666 Fifth Avenue. The building has since been demolished.

He also talked about Sorcerer and the making of that picture. It had the terrible misfortune of opening the same weekend as Star Wars.

He also revealed that the male nurse in the hospital scene in The Exorcist was later arrested for multiple murders and was the inspiration for Cruising.

Friedkin is a great storyteller and people lined up to get him to sign his new biography.

If the book is half as good as his Club TCM appearance, it should be well worth reading!

"Luck is the dust between opportunity and preparation."- Quincy Jones

Next up was Leonard Maltin interviewing Quincy Jones.

Jones had just returned from a trip overseas and Maltin gave a run down of his career to which Jones replied, "I feel like I am just getting started.".

"Music helps keep people young", Jones said, "Food, language and music hold a culture together."

He and Maltin talked at length about Jones' early days as a trumpet player on the south side of Chicago and the greats that he got to meet.

"Music is our culture and it's important to know where you came from to get to where you are going."

Jones is a big believer in "passing the baton down".

Jones also talked about being the musical director for Frank Sinatra in the mid-1960s and leading the Count Basie Orchestra. The Sinatra at the Sands live album from back then is one of Jones' cherished memories.

"Every night was like magic." he said of the experience.

He also credited Sidney Poitier with "handing the baton" down to him.

There have been a number of complaints on social media about more post-studio era films and people associated with those films being part of the Film Festival, saying the Festival should only concentrate on silents and studio era films.

If the standing room only crowds for William Friedkin and Quincy Jones are any indication, the majority of Festival goers don't agree with that premise.

After that talk, we met up with Paula, Alexa, Texas T and Christy.

It was time to eat as most of us were going to Blazing Saddles later that evening and would have to get in line by 8:00 because we knew it would be full-house.

David surprised us by joining us for dinner at Public Kitchen at the Roose.

It seems only appropriate for a year where the theme was family, that we spent the majority of the Festival not at the movies or the panels but with our extended family of TCM Nation.

We had a terrific dinner. TCM's King of Cool, Tom Brown, and Robert O's in house director, Sean Cameron, stopped by our table.

We told them what fun we had at the "Ask Robert" event earlier in the day.

Tom wasn't sure if Robert O would ever talk to them again!
 


"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#11 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 04:04 PM

Friday morning found us up and out the door running errands that we knew we would not have time for in the next two days.
 
Everything put away, showered and ready to go, we hurried down to the Roose so we could grab one of the shuttle buses to the Montalban theater (just south of Hollywood and Vine and too far to walk in the warm City of Angels weather) for the Ask Robert event.
 
We had been hearing through the grapevine that this was a special event that we didn't want to miss.
 
We got lucky and a shuttle bus was almost full but room for us!
 
Off to the Montalban we went.
 
Once there, we immediately saw Suex2, Texas T and Paula and said our hellos. We had to jump in line and get our queue cards for Classic pass holders and leaving MrC standing in line talking to others, I went over to talk to the gals.
 
 
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Again, we have the best pals in the world as Paula had saved us seats down front. Again, we had a front seat to the event.
 
The event began with TCM's own King of Cool, Tom Brown, coming out and making some funny jokes and giving us a run down on the event. Basically, Robert would talk about his life and career and take questions from the audience.
 
All sounded good. Little did we know......
 
Robert O came out to thunderous applause.
 
He talked a bit about what the Montalban theater meant to him. When he was growing up in Washington state, he had listened to the Lux Radio Theater that had broadcast from the theater.
 
He had co=starred in a pre-Broadway show at the theater along with Zero Mostel which was directed by Burgess Meredith.
 
And his star is located out in front of the theater.
 
He talked a bit more and then took a couple of questions.
 
While trying to answer one particularly convoluted question, his microphone went dead.
 
He called to Tom Brown who was back stage. Tom answered they were aware of the problem and a tech was coming.
 
The tech bounded up the stage, pronounced Robert's mic officially dead and said he would have to get a hand held mic.
 
Robert again asked Tom if he was aware of that.  Tom said he was and they were trying to get one.
 
The tech left and suddenly, Alex Trebek came out. Robert had a quizzical look on his face.
 
Alex said he was an old pro and knew just what to do.
 
He placed his hand over Robert O's lapel mic and said loudly, "HEAL!"
 
He stepped back and asked Robert O how he felt, Robert replied, "I feel healed".
 
Robert, still not sure what was going on, looked over at Trebek who wasn't leaving the stage.
 
From that moment on, it ceased to be a "Ask Robert" afternoon and became a Tribute to Robert instead.
 
Alex talked a bit about Robert O and TCM and then brought out the woman who had called Robert O, "our rockstar" at the first TCM festival, Eva Marie Saint. Eva flirted with Robert O and they had a terrific time.
 
Then Diane Baker came out to wish Robert O well. She talked about the big secret everyone had kept from him for the last month and told him "You are not expendable."
 
Bill Cosby taped a message. He had been the first Guest Programmer and talked about his love of Robert and the network.
 
Then, Alex brought out Robert's cousin, and five other family members.  Robert looked totally surprised and looked to be a little misty eyed.
 
His cousin was funny and self-deprecating and lots of fun. The husbands of the all ladies were introduced from the stage as well.
 
Disaster had been averted the night before when Robert O almost went to the same restaurant that his extended family was at.
 
After their visit, Alex brought out Alec Baldwin.
 
"How's it going, dad?" he asked keeping the theme of family going.
 
Alec told a terrific story about talking with Keith Richards a few years back. Richards was congratulating Baldwin on the great work he was doing on a tv show and Alec thought he was talking about 30 Rock.  Doing a great imitation of Richards, Baldwin revealed that Keith was talking about seeing him on TCM.
 
They showed a terrific gag reel of Robert O trying to pronounce "La Cienega", a well known street here in the City of Angels. Robert knows how to pronounce it but on this particular day was having great difficulty.  We lost track of the number of takes.
 
They also showed a clip where Robert O called Alec, Alex, during a taping.
 
Alec got him back by calling him Tom Osborne. He then said he had to leave as he was meeting his wife for lunch on La Cienega.
 
The crowd roared!
 
Next guest was the first director who worked with Robert O at TCM, Tom Barbon. They worked together for 13 years, doing over 30,000 pieces. Back then, Robert O would fly to Atlanta for three days every month and they would shoot 120 wraparounds a month.
Tom also introduced his wife and daughter who were in the audience. Robert is godfather to his daughter.
 
Cher also videotaped a message for Robert O, talking about how long she has been a member of the TCM Nation and Robert O fan club:
"The longest relationship I have ever had with a man has been with you."
 
She talked about her first meeting Robert O:
"I was talking with someone and telling them, I know more about the movies than that (expletive goes here) Alec Baldwin" and then turned to meet to Robert O by saying, "Hello, I'm Cher."
 
Ben M then came out and joked that on April 14th was not only the day TCM went on the air but was also an infamous day in history as Lincoln had died on that date, the Titanic had sunk on that date and Pete Rose was born on that date.
 
He then joked about his early appearance on the airwaves before moving into a very heartfelt and moving tribute to the channel and his mentor.
 
"It changed my life in ways I never imagined and exceeded. I've never stopped listening or learning from him and I am profoundly grateful."
 
He called TCM and Robert O, the "perfect combination of man and network".
 
Alex then introduced good friends of Robert O's, Jill St. John and Robert Wagner:
"We were hiding in the back. I consider you my illegitimate brother."
 
They talked about a special party the Wagners had hosted in Paris that Robert had attended and RJ and St. John clearly love Robert O.
 
Michael Feinstein came out to play the piano and sing, "The More I See You" from Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe.
 
TCM manager Jeff Gregor came out to lead the toast to Robert and told him, "You have this job for as long as you want it."
 
The event came to an end with Robert O, visibly moved, saying, "I'm overwhelmed right now."
 
He wasn't the only one!
 
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"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#12 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:55 PM

Dateline: Thursday evening, April 10th.

As scheduled, Club TCM opened at 5:00 pm for the Welcome to the Festival party. The place was packed with Festival goers. So packed that neither Larry or I could see from where we were standing the front of the Club. We could hear Pola Chagnon introducing Robert O but we couldn't see.

We could hear Robert O talking with Jane Seymour, Kim Novak and Charles Busch about their artwork but we couldn't see them through the wall of people standing in front of us.

Larry went to work his way through the crowd to get a glimpse of Kim. He succeeded! 

Though I couldn't see them, their artwork was on display on the back wall of Club TCM and was featured in the promos shown prior to the movies throughout the weekend.

The front of the Club had set pieces from Casablanca, courtesy of the Film Academy:

 

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As well as one of the blue gingham dresses Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz as well as one of the Flying Monkey outfits.

 

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There were also large framed photos from the Film Academy of stars posing with their home movie cameras or getting other stars to pose for them.

The back of the Club featured items related to Gone with the Wind from the Harry Ransom Center at the Univ of Texas as well as the aforementioned artwork.

Larry and I made a beeline for the pool area so we could grab good seats for American Graffiti later that evening.

Oh my gosh, what an incredible spread TCM had out there. Lots of different foods, salads and desserts. We stuffed ourselves (but not too much! As I like to say, I didn't work that hard to look this good this year to throw it all away on eating too much).

We found a couple of seats under the awning near the bar and near where Candy Clark, Bo Hopkins and Paul LeMat would be talking with Ben M before the screening.

They had a Wolfman Jack sound alike playing DJ and spinning tunes and a young dance troupe dancing around the pool area as if it were a sock hop!

 

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It was the perfect drive-in vibe and my favorite poolside screening since the Aquanettes performed and Esther Williams and Betty Garrett talked at the first TCM FF five years ago.

Peter (filmlover) stopped by to say hi and so did Theresa (Cinemaven).

Finally, twilight descended upon the City of Angels and Ben M came out to welcome the crowd.

Our buddy, Rich, who is one of the managers of Club TCM and whom Kyle and I met the first year (and spend some time talking with every year since) was absolute spot on in giving me the inside track on where to sit. We had perfect seats.

Suex2, after covering the Red Carpet walkers, joined us.

Ben M introduced Bo Hopkins, Candy Clark and Paul LeMat. The conversation was about the making of the film and my favorite story was about LeMat throwing Richard Dreyfuss in the shallow end of the pool one day because everyone was tired of hearing about his recent break up. Guess we now know why Dreyfuss didn't join the panel.

Larry and I stayed for a good portion of the film but MrCutter was back from four days in Las Vegas and I wanted to get home to see him.

On our way out, through Club TCM, we ran into TCM's own King of Cool, Tom Brown, and talked awhile with him. He suggested, as many already had, to go to the "Ask Robert" event the next day.

We got our picture taken with Ben M who wandered by and then I called it a night and headed home.

Tomorrow would be another busy day!


"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#13 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:23 PM

Dateline- Hollywood, Thursday, April 10th


The morning sun indicated that it was going to be a warm day in the City of Angels. Rushing through the morning chores of feeding the pookies and feeding Mr. Bo, I had plans to meet Paula and Texas Theresa (butterscotchgreer) for breakfast at the Roose.

Again, the traffic gods smiled on me and I made the jaunt down the freeway in about a half hour.

We had a lovely time getting caught up on the last year since we had seen each other.

 

After breakfast, we had a little time to kill before the Meet the Staff presentation. Everywhere we looked, Festival goers were milling about talking about the Festival, talking about TCM and taking pictures!

We knew it would be a popular event and knew we wanted to get in line early. With Club TCM being installed, the event was being held at the Egyptian Theater, which was actually a good thing in our books. Last year, the event was so popular, it was standing room only and felt like there were folks hanging from the rafters.

Larry and I walked down to the Egyptian and were towards the front of the line for Classic passholders. As we were talking, we saw Paula arrive and went to talk with her over in the Spotlight Pass line.

Not much after that, the intrepid Suex2 arrived with people calling her name and she stopped to chat with every one!

It actually wasn't long before they opened the doors and we were able to go inside where it was much cooler!

We got lucky- Paula and Texas T had saved us seats right down front.

Because the channel is also celebrating its 20th year of being on the air, the panel included the two employees who have been there since the beginning.

So, Jeff Gregor-manager of TCM, Charlie Tabesh-Senior VP of Programming, Tom Brown-Director of Original Productions, Dennis Millay-Director of Programming, Alexa Foreman- Senior Researcher, Darcy Heittrich- Talent Producer and Richard Steiner-Director of TCM Digital/Web were the panelists.

As always, the terrific Scott McGee was the moderator.

Jeff Gregor kicked the panel off by welcoming everyone and saying, "It's your network.... Robert started it and others joined in...This brand has the most passionate fans" to wild applause!

According to Alexa, TCM started with 18 employees.

TCM's own King of Cool, Tom Brown talked a bit about Original Productions and was asked what his favorites are. They are Moguls and Movie Stars and the Private Screening with Robert O and Alec Baldwin.

"We get to hang out with Robert and we are still amazed....This network was created for Robert Osborne, he was preparing for this job for 40 years before he got it."

Tom also hinted that a sequel to Moguls might be a possibility one of these days. It would pick up where Moguls ended and center on the 1960s/1970s cinema.

Richard Steiner talked about the WatchTCM app and how successful that has become.

Darcy talked about getting talent not only for the Festival but for the channel as well.

"It took about five years to get the talent to start coming to us" she explained. When it debuted, TCM was not available in many cities, including Atlanta (!) and other cities.

She and Alexa talked about how Anne Bancroft would read the TV Guide every week and make notes of what she wanted to see. Because she didn't have access to the channel, she called a friend who did get the channel and had them tape the movies she wanted to see.

Bill Cosby was the first celebrity to call and offered to help publicize the channel.

Darcy said, "This is so emotional at 20 years. We had the reputation as "the old fogey" network when we started but now we reach across all age groups."

"We treat talent like gold and they know that now. We found the surviving Munchkins at a Memorabilia convention and sent a limo for them when we were doing the Memories of Oz special and they never went back to the Memorabilia convention!"

She has long wanted to get Doris Day to appear and Day is at the top of her wish list. She has been trying for almost 20 years and is grateful that Day agreed to do with the phone interview with Robert O. But, with Day appearing at her 90th Birthday celebration days before the Festival, Darcy isn't giving up any time soon in her quest!

She also talked about the last minute difficulties with Maureen O'Hara.

O'Hara had been another that she had been trying to get for years though with O'Hara living in Ireland that made it doubly hard. But, last year, O'Hara moved to Idaho to be closer to her family and Darcy was finally able to snag O'Hara. 

The family had a list of things that were needed. At the top of the list was a private jet.

Darcy and TCM made arrangements for a private jet to fly from Idaho to Los Angeles. When the jet arrived at the airport in Idaho, there was a problem. O'Hara's great grand-son was soon on the phone to Darcy saying that the jet was unacceptable. O'Hara is in a wheelchair and there the private jet's ramp did not go all the way to the ground so there was no way O'Hara could get on the plane.

Darcy said they would make arrangements to send another plane. The great grandson said, "no" they were going home. Darcy countered and O'Hara herself took over.

Maureen O'Hara basically told her family that she was going to the VIP lounge to wait for the second private jet to arrive. When asked what would happen if the second jet didn't arrive, O'Hara told her family in her amazing Irish accent, 

"Then we will drive! We are going to this Festival!"

The second jet arrived, all was worked out and O'Hara made it to the Festival.


"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#14 lzcutter

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:30 PM

My gosh!
 
It seemed to all happen so fast that I sometimes wonder if it was all just a glorious dream?  But, I have notes, so I guess that proves that it actually did happen, that we did have fun and that the time ZOOMED by, way too fast!
 
And since it did happen, I would love to share with you some of the adventures of the fifth annual TCM Film Festival!
 
Our intrepid gal about the country, Suex2 decided to fly into the City of Angels a day early to spend some quality time hanging out. I picked her up at the airport on Tuesday evening. MrCutter was out of town at the annual Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas until Thursday) so we had a great time sitting out on the back patio, eating quiche, drinking beer and talking well into the night.  (Our dog, Bo, was not so sure he liked Ms. Applegate- not her fault, he's not sure he likes anyone but the Master and his Missus being in the house).
 
The next morning she was back out on the patio sharing her stories with the Facebook crowds and making sure everything was in order for her arrival at the Roose, the Hotel Roosevelt, later that afternoon.
 
As we were having dinner with Larry, I decided, oh what the what, and got dressed up. Literally, I wore a dress, which is something I almost never do except for very special occasions such as dining with Larry!
 
Our intrepid gal Suex2 even made sure my make-up looked good and poofed up my hair.
 
We drove down to Hollywood that afternoon in record time, arriving a scant thirty minutes after getting in the car! The traffic gods were with me the entire Festival!
 
Arriving at the Roose, the young men in valet parking helped unpack our car. Suex2 does not travel lightly. If you have seen some of the pics from previous festivals, you know that she has a wardrobe for every occasion. Somewhere in heaven, Marlene Dietrich is smiling at Suex2.
 
We went into the lobby, Suex2 found her traveling companion, Sam, got her room key and decided it was time to unpack.
 
I journeyed over to where the TCM staff were setting up the area where Robert O would be filming interviews. Due to scheduling conflicts at the Roose, another company had an event booked at the Roose so TCM staff had less time to set up the taping area, the store and Club TCM than in previous years.  In fact, Club TCM couldn't even begin to be installed until 1:00 am Thursday morning. And the doors were set to open for the Club, a mere fifteen hours later.
 
But, I am getting ahead of the story.
 
I met up with Paula (countessdelave) and Alexa (MrsOsborne) as well as David (kingrat) and we sat around talking. TCM staffers we knew happened by from time to time and since it was 5:00 somewhere in the world, we decided that it was time for a drink while we waited for Suex2 to finish her unpacking. (I don't think any of us thought it would take as long as it did!).
 
TCM Fan Programmer Glenn Taratino joined us later in the afternoon. His TCM debut was later that evening and he would have to duck out of our Dinner with Larry early, so we were all glad to get the extra time with him. 
 
TCM Director of Programming, Dennis Millay, stopped by. His laptop was having problems and so the techs in the War Room upstairs were hard at work on fixing it. So, we got extra talk with him!  Thanks, computer problems!
 
Finally, Suex2 came into the lobby and performed her social butterfly act. If you have not seen this, it is like watching a well choreographed dance act.  Every where she went, people were coming up to talk to our intrepid reporter. 
 
The only logical conclusion was- Everyone knows Suex2!  And she knows them!
 
Soon, it was time to go to Dinner with Larry at Musso and Frank's. So, we gathered up Paula, Glenn, Sam, David and Alexa and hit the road.
 
Rescuing the car from valet parking, we drove down the Blvd to Musso's, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood. We had a reservation but as we walked through the dining area we realized we were surrounded by TCM staffers all having dinner as well. At one table was the TCM On-Air digital team with Pola Chagnon at one table. Dennis Millay and other group of staffers at another and another group of staffers at yet another table.
 
As we looked up, our guest of honor, Larry, arrived.  Quick introductions, hugs and kisses all around!
 
We sat down for what would be a three hour extravaganza of good food, good stories, and best of all, good friends!
 
It was a swell evening with everyone sharing food. Charlie Tabesh stopped by to say hello and introduced Bruce Goldstein to those who had not met him previously.
 
Larry regaled us with story after story of Pola Negri, his grandmother Nell and all the wonderful stars he knew. We laughed ourselves silly at times!
 
As dessert was being ordered, I noticed a friend of mine walk by.  Excusing myself from the table, I went over to say hello to my friend (and mid-century modern and City of Angels history buff), Charles Phoenix.  While we standing next to his booth, I looked up to see one of my dearest friends (and mid-century modern, City of Angels and neon history buff), Erik Lynxwiler walk in, escorting a elderly, spry woman.
 
He introduced me to Mary Carlisle, who had recently celebrated her 100th birthday. She took my hand and said, "I see you like big glasses, too!"
 
After chatting with Erik, I let him, Charles and Mary (as well as their other guests) get on with their dinner and returned to Dinner with Larry.
 
I pointed out Mary Carlisle to the rest of the table. 
 
By 10:00 we were feeling very tired and decided as much as we hated the idea, it was time to call it an evening.
 
We said our good nights and hugs and kisses all around!
 
Tomorrow would start sooner than we wanted!

"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#15 lzcutter

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:21 AM

Wouldbe,

Yes, they are very cute, though they keep MrCutter very busy cleaning up after them and replacing the muddy water in their water dishes.They are in various sizes from big to small but they each seem to be living up to their names!

Funny how that works out!

Darryl,

I will definitely keep everyone posted on the progress at Grauman's.
"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#16 lzcutter

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:18 AM

> Did you actually get to see Madx4 World? Or did you head to something else?

Butterscotch,

We only saw the lines for *Madx4 World*. I wanted to get to Club TCM for Cari Beauchamp's presentation on *Women in Early Hollywood* and John Bengston's presentation on *Silent Film Locations*.

I've seen *Madx4 World* on the big screen a couple of times. Had there been more time, I would have enjoyed the opportunity to see all the great southern California locations in 70mm on the big screen.

But, the film historian in me won out over the City of Angels locations that I love.
"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese

#17 darrylfxanax

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:38 PM

So enjoyed your very thoughtful postings of your festival experiences! Wonderful photos and informative links, too. Please continue to keep us posted on the fate of our beloved Chinese Theater.
If the shoe fits, buy two pairs.

#18 wouldbestar

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:25 PM

Thank you, Lynn. They are sooo cute. Their eyes are really expressive and their mouths give them that serious look that kittens have. No soup pot for these guys! Thanks for the photo.

#19 butterscotchgreer

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:07 AM

Lynn! A hug good morning to you!

I am so glad you could post everything, Lynn! I loved reading about the things you did that we didn't get to chat about there!

Did you actually get to see Madx4 World? Or did you head to something else? I don't think I got the chance to ask you that night. I REALLY REALLY wanted to see Mickey Rooney speak, but I couldn't walk there in time from where I was.

#20 lzcutter

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:58 PM

Wouldbe,

Thank you for the kind words! I'm glad you are enjoying my recaps! The Festival was a great deal of fun. Hoping you will be able to join us next year!

> Lynn, just what kind of "pookies" do you and Mr. Cutter run home to feed?

We have a parcel of baby turtles ranging in size and age!

They look something like this:

Posted Image

They are seven of them, all named after film (and one tv) characters.

Zorro
Raylan
Liberty
Ringo
Mose
Bart
Dallas
"Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things. They take us to other places, they open doors and minds. Movies are the memories of our life times, we need to keep them alive,"- Marty Scorsese




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