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CineCrazyDC's List of Anniversary Possibilities for 2021

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I am sure that, after the Coronavirus crisis, audiences will – as they did during the Second World War – be more than in the mood for movies that are both escapist and/or have lots of uplifting moments. 

To that end, I have compiled a list of films celebrating milestone anniversaries that come up in 2021, covering a 70-year period, from 1921-1991 that TCM may wish to consider for the 2021 festival. 

I hope that this list is more than a data-dump (which some will accuse me of !) – but I provide a large number of titles merely to show the range of what is available.  My personal favorites are indicated below, by year, with an asterisk (*).  To briefly summarize, they include such classics and Oscar®-winners as:100th anniversary of Charley Chaplain’s The Kid (1921) and  90th anniversary of **City Lights (1931), the pre-code crime dramas  Little Caesar and The Public Enemy, the horror classics Frankenstein and Dracula.  2021 marks the 80th anniversary of John Ford’s Best Picture award-winner ***How Green Was My Valley, the thrilling noir **High Sierra, and the Barbara Stanwyck comedies  *Ball of Fire, Meet John Doe and **The Lady Eve; 2021 also marks the 80th anniversary of the film some consider the greatest ever made  Citizen Kane;  John Huston’s **The Maltese Falcon, which premiered in 1941, as did the six-time-Academy nominee romance drama Hold Back the Dawn, [There were so many hits this year, it occurred to me that TCM might do a tribute to films of 1941 at the 2021 festival].  

I include a 75th anniversary column because 1946 was a stellar year for films. It included the iconic, Best Picture® winner The Best Years of Our Lives, and Frank Capra’s It's a Wonderful Life, both of which were shown at previous festivals but are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2021. Other notable films from 1946 include the three-handkerchief melodrama *** To Each His Own,  which garnered Olivia de Havilland a Best Actress Oscar®; and ** The Razor's Edge, a Tyrone Power vehicle which gave Best Supporting actor/actress awards to Clifton Webb and Ann Baxter respectively.  Also from 1946, noir fans will delight at  Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford, the The Blue Dahlia, starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake,  The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring Lana Turner and John Garfield, The Killers, directed by Robert Siodmak, starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner,  Somewhere In The Night, starring John Hodiak, and the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Notorious, starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Kirk Douglas made his debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, which also starred a very young Darryl Hickman (possible return to the festival ??) Fans of the horror genre may also appreciate a 75th anniversary showing of The Spiral Staircase, starring Dorothy McGuire.  Also appearing in 1946 was the landmark western My Darling Clementine, directed by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda and Linda Darnell; Dragonwyck, starring Gene Tierney, and Great Expectations, directed by David Lean, starring John MillsJean Simmons and Valerie Hobson.

 70th anniversary films (those that premiered in 1951) include Best Picture Oscar® winner A Place in the Sun,  John Huston’s classic ***The African Queen, the noirs **Cry Danger,  On Dangerous Ground, and His Kind of Woman. Another milestone crime drama from 1951 was ** Detective Story, starring Kirk DouglasEleanor Parker  and Lee Grant [possible Lee Grant return ?]. The year also includes the landmark sci-fi movie **The Day the Earth Stood Still, and the Doris Day-Gordon MacRae musical On Moonlight Bay.  The fantastic Gene Kelly-Leslie Caron musical An American in Paris also premiered in 1951, and was shown at a previous festival.

60th anniversary films that debuted in 1961 include the classic, ten-time Oscar®- winner ****West Side Story, starring  Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, and Russ Tamblyn.  IMHO –WSS Maybe better for a Friday or Saturday noon showing at TLC rather than festival opening night due to its downbeat ending.  Other 1961 landmarks include two Oscars® and three nominations for **Breakfast at Tiffany's (shown at a previous festival, but a great 60th anniversary film), and noir and noir- type fare in The Hustler, The Misfits; Disney classics such as The Absent-Minded Professor, and the Billy Wilder comedy One, Two, Three,   

50th anniversary films from 1971 include two sci-fi  “apocalypse” films that may (frankly speaking) hit too close to home after the COVID-19 crisis:   The Andromeda Strain, directed by Robert Wise, starring Arthur HillKate ReidDavid WayneJames Olson [ James Olson is still around – possible invite ?] and The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston and Anthony Zerbe. [Zerbe still living].  Other 50th anniversary films include: A Clockwork Orange, directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell,  The Last Picture Show, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, starring Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd [Shown previously with Cybill Shepherd  in attendance];  the comedy-drama Fool’s Parade,directed by Andrew McLaglen[1] with top-billed stars James Stewart and George Kennedy as well as second-tier stars Strother Martin,[2] Kurt Russell [possible Kurt return ?], and the George C. Scott crime drama The Last Run,  

40th anniversary films.  For my money, films from 1981 offer TCM fans the biggest bang for the buck (at least for opening night), coming off the global health crisis:  First, there is the inspirational ****Chariots of Fire, directed by Hugh Hudson, starring Ben CrossIan CharlesonNigel HaversIan Holm. It was voted Best Picture winner with 12 other nominations. Very upbeat coming off the current crisis.  This is my personal recommendation for opening night – uplifting and cast members still living - including Ian Holm and Ben Cross.  If folks are into comedy, look no further than ***Arthur, starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli [also good for opening night; possible Lisa Minnelli return to festival ?].  Another great comedy is the “sequel” to Smokey and the Bandit,
The Cannonball Run, directed by Hal Needham, starring Burt Reynolds,  Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr..  CBR was very successful at the box office and spawned sequels Cannonball Run II (1984), and Speed Zone (1989). Last, but not least, to put the COVID crisis in historical perspective (tongue in cheek), there is Mel Brooks’s History of the World, Part I, directed by and starring Mel Brooks, with Gregory HinesDom DeLuiseMadeline KahnCloris LeachmanHarvey Korman which should provide lots of comic relief.   For Henry Fonda’s last role, this is the year for ** On Golden Pond, directed by Mark Rydell, starring Katharine HepburnHenry FondaJane Fonda.

30th anniversary films from 1991 may be considered by some to be too recent to be considered “classic,” but might include Boyz n the Hood, directed by John Singleton ( I think this has previously been shown at the festival) , and the comedy-western  City Slickers, directed by Ron Underwood, starring Billy Crystal [perhaps Billy can be persuaded to return?]

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