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Why the 2019 TCMFF has gotta be "YUGE" - Notable Anniversary Films & Recommendations for the Spotlight

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As big as past TCM festivals have been – just look at last year, with Sidney Poitier !– 2019 should be “YUGE” (where have I heard that before ??) because it is both the 10th anniversary of the festival and the TCM channel’s 25th anniversary. 

As I indicated in my post for the 2018 festival, there are simply too many movies to choose from (even if limited to milestone, anniversary screenings), to the point that that programming becomes a real challenge.  However, this abundance of remarkable films also provides an opportunity for TCM to showcase films that have resonated with audiences over the decades and that are befitting its own landmark 25th Anniversary celebration in 2019. 

To complicate matters (or spice things up !), the years that coincide with the major anniversaries of TCM’s 25th birthday in 2019 were incredibly productive in term of memorable films that have stood the test of time.  I refer particularly to 1969 (50th), 1959 (60th), 1949 (70th), and 1939 (80th).  To that mix, we can also include half-decade celebrations for 1964 (the 55th), 1954 (65th), and 1944 (75th).

Below are listed some of the major films by year.  I would hope that TCM would choose a broad cross section of genres and time periods. I have included in parentheses film participants I would like to see if they are available.  

Milestone Anniversaries(*) indicates films previously-shown at the festival. Please excuse any repetition; I merely note the titles for informational purposes. 

50TH ANNIVERSARY FILMS (1969) - For this year there is an embarrassment of riches !!

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Redford may not show, but Katherine Ross?) 

Easy Rider (Nicholson might be too much to ask, but maybe Peter Fonda could return ?)

True Grit (Duvall in attendance/or Kim Darby ? ?)

Midnight Cowboy (Jon Voigt, Dustin Hoffman ?). Think this may have been shown previously at the festival

The Wild Bunch (definitive Sam Peckinpah film; L.Q. Jones is still around from that film)  

Anne of the Thousand Days (Geneviève Bujold to return ?)

Other interesting films that will be celebrating 50th anniversaries --  

1969 Comedies: Cactus Flower (Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, Goldie Hawn), The Secret of Santa Vittoria (Anthony Quinn); political thrillers such as Costa-Gavras’s  Z;  and The Chairman (w/ Gregory Peck). Also, was a major year for “Alice,” as in Alice’s Restaurant (60’s kitsch) and (suspense) Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice ? (Robert Fuller might be tough, since his festival schedule and fan club are off the charts, but I’m thinking Rosemary Forsythe might be persuaded to come).  And the musical remake of Goodbye, Mr. Chips with Peter O’Toole.

60TH ANNIVERSARY FILMS (1959) – TCM has screened a number of films from 1959 at the festival already:  North by Northwest,* Diary of Ann Frank.*  Everyone remembers 1959 for Ben Hur, of course. Here are a few more possibilities to choose from:  Black Orpheus, The Fugitive Kind (starring Italian sensation Anna Magnani), Gidget, The Hanging Tree, Our Man in Havana, Odds Against Tomorrow (a Robert Wise-directed noir by blacklist writer Dalton Trumbo), Some Like It Hot*; Suddenly, Last Summer; Sleeping Beauty, A Summer Place, Wreck of the Mary Deare, and the Disney classic, Third Man on the Mountain (a personal favorite of mine).

70TH ANNIVERSARY FILMS (1949) was no slouch of a year, either; was also a good year for noirs, as well.   Herewith are my recommendations from 1949:  The Heiress (Olivia de Havelland, Monty Clift, Ralph Richardson), All The Kings Men (Broderick Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, John Derek); The Fountainhead (Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal). Notable noirs that year included: Criss Cross, Whirlpool, The Crooked Way, Knock on Any Door, House of Strangers (Joe Mankiewicz)  and Too Late for Tears* (although I think this was shown in 2015).

80TH ANNIVERSARY FILMS.  And of course the iconic year of 1939, which TCM has already recognized at previous festivals, with The Wizard of Oz, and Gone With the Wind.  Other 1939 majors include Stagecoach and Beau Geste, and the classic Wuthering Heights, with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. However, aside from the blockbusters like GWTW, there were other notable films that year, including the original Goodbye, Mr. Chips (for which Robert Donat won an Oscar), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,* Ninotchka, The Women,* Drums Along the Mohawk, and Union Pacific.

                 ***                                                           ***                                                      ***

1974 (45th) anniversary films are Blazing Saddles,* Towering Inferno, Young Frankenstein, Earthquake, Taking of Pelham One Two Three,* The Longest Yard, Chinatown,* Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, The Conversation,* Daisy Miller, Harry and Tonto, Mr. Majestyk (Charles Bronson film based on Elmore Leonard novel), The Odessa File (Jon Voight thriller), Steven Spielberg’s The Sugarland Express, and Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks can return !)

FOR THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY (1964), a year that was a movie gold mine, with an abundance of extraordinary films, we have – My Fair Lady,* Disney’s Mary Poppins, From Russia with Love (memorable Bond fight scene with Lotte Lenya), A Fistful of Dollars, Father Goose (one of my favorite Cary Grant comedies, set in Australia/South Pacific and a perfect Alicia Malone set up), A Shot in the Dark (uproarious Peter Sellers comedy), A Hard Day’s Night, Night of the Iguana (Richard Burton and Ava Gardner; Sue Lyon in attendance?), Pink Panther,* Beckett,* Zorba the Greek, Topkapi, Seven Days in May, Fail Safe,* Dr Strangelove,* 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (Tony Randall comedy that I fondly remember seeing as a kid), Bedtime Story (starring Marlon Brando, David Niven, and Shirley Jones, and which was ripped off verbatim for the 1988 production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels starring Michael Cane and Steve Martin), Sex and the Single Girl (Tony Curtis/Natalie Wood comedy), Goldfinger,* The Incredible Mr. Limpet (another fondly-remembered Disney movie starring Don Knotts), The Carpetbaggers (also starring Carol Baker, so if The Big Country is screened, maybe a two-fer with her ?), Moon-Spinners (a Disney mystery/thriller starring Hayley Mills and Eli Wallach), and Hitchcock’s Marnie (starring Tipi Hendren). We also have “southern gothic”/thriller Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte (starring Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, and Agnes Moorehead). Among 1964’s noteworthy foreign films are:  Les Ombrelles de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), starring a young Catherine Deneuve; and Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Red Desert.

For 65th(1954) anniversary films we have:  Hitchcock’s Rear Window, 20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea,* The Caine Mutiny (103-year-old Herman Wouk is still living in nearby Palm Springs at this writing and needs to be invited to the festival even if he cannot make the screening; appropriate for TCM’s 25th anniversary), Vera Cruz, The Country Girl (for which Grace Kelly Oscar won the Oscar), The Barefoot Contessa (Edmund O’Brian won Best Supporting Oscar), A Star Is Born* (shown before, but this is an anniversary), The High and the Mighty (notable John Wayne film with memorable score), The Long, Long Trailer (Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz comedy); evokes Robert Osborne’s long association with Ms. Ball. The landmark On the Waterfront,* with Marlon Brando and Eva-Marie Saint, that garnered Eva-Marie the Oscar for Best Actress, Sabrina (William Holden/Audrey Hepburn/Humphrey Bogart), a which I prefer to the Harrison Ford version despite John Williams’ memorable score; another Hitchcock favorite Dial M for Murder (Grace Kelly with Ray Milland), and musical/romance Young at Heart, starring Frank Sinatra and Doris Day.

And for the 75th (1944) anniversary films we have another abundant year of classics, from Going My Way (Bing Crosby), Since You Went Away* (Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten), Meet Me In St Louis* (immortal Vincent Minnelli musical), Hollywood Canteen, The Princess and the Pirate (Bob Hope/Virginia Mayo comedy), Gaslight,* (Angela Lansbury debut, shown previously), Arsenic and Old Lace* (uproarious Cary Grant comedy based on Joseph Kesselring play), Mr. Skeffington (Bette Davis, Claude Rains), Between Two Worlds (John Garfield/Eleanor Parker/Sydney Greenstreet), The Bridge at San Louis Rey (based on Thornton Wilder novel), National Velvet (Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor), superb choice for TCM’s 25th (don’t think it’s been shown at the festival before), noirs Murder My Sweet and Double Indemnity (the most classic of noirs, shown at TCMFF in 2014), The Keys of the KingdomDragon Seed (ultimate example of “cultural appropriation” by Katherine Hepburn, World War II theme), Hail the Conquering Hero (Eddie Bracken stars in this hilarious Preston Sturges comedy), Lauren Bacall’s debut in To Have and To Have Not,  Laura*, Henry V (Laurence Oliver), Hitchcock’s Lifeboat, and Ray Milland and Gail Russell in the thriller The Uninvited.   , National Velvet, Since You Went Away,* The Uninvited, and The White Cliffs of Dover.

Special Honoree recommendation:  Many recall the decade of the 1960’s for its music -- rock & roll, of course-- but also notable musicals and movie theme songs.   Many of the most memorable musical moments in films -- like the theme to Goldfinger, sung by Shirley Bassey, Goodbye Mr. Chips,  Scrooge, The Candy Man, Doctor Dolittle , and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory were brought to the screen by the legendary lyricist, Leslie Bricusse.  He is still working (at least according to his IMDB page as of 2017).  He won the Academy Award for his song “Talk to the Animals” and has garnered global acclaim not only for his prolific work in the movies, but also his lyrics to songs that have appeared in scores of television shows starting in the late 1950's and continuing to the present. He is responsible for: the lyrics to two of Sammy Davis Junior’s signature songs, “Candy Man” and “What Kind of Fool Am I ?”; for Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice,” and Frank Sinatra’s “My Kind of  Girl,” and “Goodbye Mr. Chips,” which will mark its 50th anniversary in 2019. His resume is simply too extensive to list all of his credits here, but a sample includes t.v. shows like the Ed Sullivan Show, Lawrence Welk, the Academy Awards, as well as more recent films such as Home Alone 2, Casino, and Vegas Vacation. He even inspired a play entitled Pure Imagination: The World of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, devised and directed by Bruce Kimmel, which opened in California and went on to London. He is now 88, and this talented man deserves a special place at TCM’s 10th anniversary film festival.  Since Willy Wonka has already been shown, I suggest a session at Club TCM as well as a showing of another of his films (he can pick his favorite).   

MY NOMINATION(S) FOR OPENING NIGHT:  Carol Baker introduces THE BIG COUNTRY (1958), also 

**THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT (1974),** which would recap Hollywood’s history of musicals in a single film.  

1979 (40th Anniversary), notables include:  Manhattan (dir. Woody Allen);  Apocalypse Now (if we can get Duval for True Grit, maybe we can get a two-fer for this !); and Being There (one of Peter Sellers’s last movies). 

Nominations for Hand and Footprint Ceremony

Few actors have made their mark on film and television the way that James Earl Jones has.  Jones, a Korean War-era veteran, has been variously described as “one of the most distinguished and versatile actors” in Hollywood and “one of the greatest actors in American history,” having won many awards -- such as the Tony and Golden Globe, the  Grammy, and an Oscar-nomination for The Great White Hope -- and for being the unforgettable voice of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars movie and Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King.  With roles in films that have encompassed widely diverse genres, such as Dr. Strangelove, The Great White Hope, Roots, and Field of Dreams, and with a career spanning almost 60 years, honoring a star of Jones’s caliber with a hand and footprint ceremony befits the 10th anniversary of the festival and the 25th anniversary of the channel.

Other possible spotlight honorees:  Albert Finney, Claudia Cardinale, Julie Christie, Joanne Woodward, Diane Keaton, and Catherine Deneuve to name a few.


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Thanks, Sue Sue.  It was great seeing you this year at the festival, too !  Hope to get down to H'ton sometime and check out Ms. Tierney's last resting place.  Will PM when I get the chance.  

Cheers !



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It is going to be a fantastic festival year, MotherofZeus! I hope you will be able to attend. Festival organizers are already planning a 10th anniversary festival that will thrill passholders with anniversary screenings, special guests, some of whom have previoiusly participated in TCMFF events, and possibly some new festival guests that fans have been requesting since the first festival but for whatever reasons couldn't attend. 

I'm definitely looking forward to it! ?

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This is a fantastic summary of ideas for the 2019 TCM FF.  I would also add that inviting Petula Clark to a screening of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" would be fantastic.

One of my favorite movies from 1969 is "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie".  Possibly Maggie Smith and Pamela Franklin?  That would be unbelievable.

Great work, CinecrazyDC!

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What is everyone's best guess for opening night movie?? I'm desperately trying to decide if I want to spend an extra $150 for the Essentials pass and go to the opening night movie... What do you think the chances are of the movie being Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? Or Gone With the Wind? 

I feel like I would really regret not getting to see either of those films on opening night! Or any of the already-announced films! 

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