Seen and heard on the Blvd of Dreams
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.
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.
Posted 18 April 2014 - 12:44 PM
Posted 17 April 2014 - 07:56 PM
Posted 17 April 2014 - 07:35 PM
Posted 17 April 2014 - 07:15 PM
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:
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):
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.
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!
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!
Posted 17 April 2014 - 04:04 PM
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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:
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.
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!
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!
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.
Posted 17 April 2014 - 01:30 PM
Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:21 AM
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!
I will definitely keep everyone posted on the progress at Grauman's.
Posted 08 May 2013 - 12:18 AM
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.
Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:38 PM
Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:25 PM
Posted 07 May 2013 - 11:07 AM
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.
Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:58 PM
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:
They are seven of them, all named after film (and one tv) characters.
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