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Seen and heard on the Blvd of Dreams


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The Festival has been a great deal of fun so far. So far, I have been able to spend time with Suex2 (she knows how to work a crowd and got to spend time talking to Jane Withers the other night), kingrat (who I hope to have dinner with on Sunday), Cinemaven (after a delayed flight arrived on Wednesday and ready to immerse herself in cinematic heaven), Countessdelave (probably the best dressed of us all though she has some competition this year from Butterscotchgreer who is turning heads every where she goes)and old friends like modrnknght, daveinseattle, yancycravet and kyleinhollywood.


Mitzi Gaynor is an absolute doll ("I'm rich and I'm a widow") with a wicked sense of humor.


More to come!

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Looks like it was a great week-end! The mini-interviews from the lobby and pool between films have been just wonderful. They still look like I remember them from 2011 and I felt like I was back there in spirit if not body. Getting to see some of the featured movies on *TCM* also helped.


*Reelz* or *Retro,* can't remember which, even got into the act. They showed *South Pacific* while you folks were watching it with Mitzi Gaynor poolside-don't think it was planned but, hey, I took it. I love *Giant* so having it "Essentialed" last night after hearing from Jane Withers was a treat as well.


Rats! Butterscotch is a favorite flavor of mine and I've always wanted to meet the woman behind the name. Theresa, Sue, Countess, Lynn and Kyle, I'm so glad the Festival has been so successful and you've all enjoyed yourselves. I’ll start my *TCM Fund* again and maybe number five will be lucky for me. Have safe trips home!

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*"I?ll start my TCM Fund again and maybe number five will be lucky for me."* - wouldbestar


I'm crossing my fingers. Just start stashing $15-$20/week in the sugar bowl and you should be able to swing it.


Next year sounds especially exciting as the Classic FIlm Festival will celebrate its Fifth Anniversary along with celebrating TCM's 20th Anniversary!

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> {quote:title=wouldbestar wrote:}{quote}


> Rats! Butterscotch is a favorite flavor of mine and I've always wanted to meet the woman behind the name.

wouldbe, she is the sweetest, most adorable, and cutest person you could ever meet. Everyone who got to know her, adored her.

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Wouldbestar - Rats! Butterscotch is a favorite flavor of mine and I've always wanted to meet the woman behind the name.


filmlover - wouldbe, she is the sweetest, most adorable, and cutest person you could ever meet. Everyone who got to know her, adored her.


Oh goodie, now I am a flavor! Heehee! Y'all are way too sweet!! I wish you could have come, Wouldbestar!



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This year's TCM Film Festival began for me on Wednesday morning. After a six hour drive (just getting to the freeway in SF at rush hour took a major chunk of time and it's only a few miles!) down the spine of the state (yay, I-5), I arrived home in my beloved City of Angels by early afternoon. I stopped at home to unpack, check the pookies (awake and making big messes for MrC to clean up) and gather my wits.


After a nice break, it was time to jump in the car and head to Mecca, in this case Hollywood. On the way, I stopped off and picked up KyleinHollywood and we headed to the Roosevelt. *Iron Man 3* was having its world premiere that evening at the El Capitan so traffic was a bit of a challenge. I dropped Kyle off at the Roosevelt and went to the park the car. Traffic being a mess, it was good I knew the backroads and it didn't take long to get back to the Hollywood and Highland parking complex.


It was too late to pick up our badges so we headed to the lobby to see what was happening. We had the opportunity that evening to attend a private party at Club TCM (for Citicard holders) where Robert O was going to interview Mitzi Gaynor.


But, we had some hours to kill before that. Hanging in the lobby, we got caught up (though we spend a great deal of time talking via email, this was the first time our paths had crossed in real time). While watching the early arrivals at the FF, we met identical twins, the Schneider sisters. They were from Illinois and this was their first film festival. They wanted advice from us old hands and we gave them some pointers:


1) Take time to check out the tapings in the lobby as Robert O and Ben M interviews give you a chance to see and hear many of the guest stars that are scheduled for screenings.

2) Wear comfortable shoes.

3) Get in line at least an hour to 45 minutes early, especially for popular titles.

4) Stay hydrated and don't forget to eat.

5) Don't be afraid to talk to people while standing in line.


Soon, we saw Suex2 and a little later, Cinemaven, popped by to say hi. She had just arrived from the airport. Everyone was making plans for that evening. Some were going to Musso and Franks, others were going to Miceli's, some were going to the Arclight for the AFI screenings. We told everyone to give themselves some extra time navigating the Blvd because of the Iron Man premiere. As the afternoon gave way to the evening, well dressed twenty and thirty somethings began filling the lobby as they were waiting for the premiere to start.


We finally decided that some food for us would be a good idea. We ended up at the coffee shop, 25 Degrees, in the hotel. We were seated near the Schneider twins and other Festival goers. At the counter was actor Neil McDonough (Band of Brothers, Boomtown and Justified, season 3).


Before long, it was time for the party at Club TCM. On our way in, we ran into Paula (Countessdelave) and Cheryl. We grabbed a table and sat down to get caught up.




It was time for Genevieve MacGillicuddy, Festival Director, to take the stage to welcome all of us (and thank Citi for sponsoring the event) and introduce Robert O. Gen hoped we would all have a great time at the Festival this year but to kick it all off, she brought Robert O to the stage. The Club went wild with enthusiastic applause. Robert O, about to turn 81, looked great, rested and ready to begin what for him and the staffers would be four days of non-stop activity.


He welcomed us and brought Mitzi Gaynor to the stage. Her mega-watt smile could have lit up the Hollywood sign for days. She sat down next to Robert O and then held us in the palm of her hand for the next hour as she regaled us with stories.




She flirted with Robert (I'm rich and I'm a widow), told us the story of how Rossano Brazzi thought he was going to do his own singing in South Pacific because he sung to Katherine Hepburn in Summertime. (Mitzi does a wicked impression of Brazzi singing, by the way). Finally, before filming began, Brazzi began to understand how difficult the singing would be and decided his style was more suited for "intimate singing" like he had done in Summertime.


Mitzi spoke at length about her late husband, Jack Bean, and how supportive he was.


She also talked about vying with Mary Martin for the role in South Pacific, though Martin was in her early 40s by then and too old for the role. Martin really wanted the role. In fact, Mitzi and Jack were invited, along with Mary Martin and her husband, to Oscar Hammerstein's house for dinner. The Martins arrived first. When Mitzi and Jack arrived with another couple, Martin's husband let the other couple in and then shut the door in Mitzi and Jack's face.


Mitzi got the role despite Martin's husband's bad manners.


It was over all too soon. We could have listened to Mitzi for hours, I suspect. But, she had a big day coming up. South Pacific was the poolside screening the next evening and Mitzi and France Nuyen were scheduled to talk before the film.


After the interview, Gen came over to say hello and we got the opportunity to talk to her for a few minutes. She said there was a special event scheduled for the *South Pacific* screening that we wouldn't want to miss.


It was close to 9:00 and time to call it an evening. I dropped Kyle off at his abode and headed home to tell MrCutter about Mitzi (he's a big fan of South Pacific).


Tomorrow would start early enough!



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The next morning began with a trip to the chiropractor and drive into Hollywood. The traffic around Hollywood and Highland was easier than the day before though they still had the Blvd closed off as they prepped for the red carpet that evening that is one of the official kick-offs of the TCM Film Festival.


Once at the Roosevelt, I went up to the Mezzanine to get my badge. Joining me on the elevator ride down, was Jacqueline White and her daughter. Two very spry and lovely ladies.


I joined the other ladies at the first meet and greet of the day, Meet Butterscotchgreer (Theresa from Texas). Our group included Suex2, Cinemaven, Countessdelave, and her friend, Cheryl.


We were soon joined by one of the TCM programmers, Stephanie and we had a great time chatting with her about the message boards and our suggestions for upcoming films.


After the breakfast, we hung out in the lobby until Club TCM opened. We grabbed a table so we could sit comfortably during the Meet TCM Staff panel that kicks off the afternoon festivities.


We kept our eyes open for friends. Luckily, kingrat (David) always wears his Indiana Jones hat that makes him easier to spot.


Scott McGee, producer (and monthly podcast director) for TCM's On-Air promos dept) was the moderator this year. The panel included Sean Cameron, Director, Studio Operations, Tom Brown, Director, TCM Original Programming, Charlie Tabesh, Sr. VP of Programming, Jeff Gregor, general manager of the channel, Pola Changnon, On-Air Promo director and Richard Steiner, head of TCM Digital.




This is one of the most popular panels all weekend. People take the chance to ask questions about how TCM works and what is coming up on the channel. Tom Brown talked about the upcoming documentary on Richard Zanuck, Don't Say No Until I'm Finished Talking. Zanuck died shortly after seeing the first rough cut and was pleased with the direction the documentary was going in.


Charlie talked about the upcoming 20th anniversary of the channel (next April). One of the questions from the audience was about more fan programmers and both Charlie and Sean confirmed that fan programmers will be a component of the celebration. The celebration is supposed to be a year long celebration. Charlie also talked about how difficult rights issues can be and how various studios are more inclined to work with TCM than in the past. (On a side note, we saw Lee Tsiantis, who talked a bit more about rights issues with our group).


Jeff Gregor, who used to dress in suits for this panel now sports jeans and a comfortable shirt (I told him he has been indoctrinated into the TCM way), talked about how 49% of the channel audience is under 49 (and this is very much in evidence at the FF by the number of under-forty fans everywhere). TCM also did a brand loyalty survey (Apple, Mercedes Benz, BMW and others) and discovered, much to their surprise, that the only brand that engenders more loyalty than TCM is Apple.


Pola talked about why they made the change in Ben's set ("from downtown loft to Santa Monica bungalow") and how much fun it was to design it right down to the dog leash and water bowl. Ben M is very happy with the new set.


Richard Steiner addressed some of the problems with the website and how they are working to make it better. He also talked about how much work goes into the 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under the Stars microsites.


Scott McGee, by the way, is a terrific moderator.


After the panel, everyone went to get ready for the parties that night.


The Welcome Party began at 5:00. I got the opportunity to see many of our posters in their finest and they all looked great. As many of them went to walk the red carpet, I got the opportunity to talk to others in Club TCM. I met many first timers (and this would become standard throughout the weekend) who even this early in the weekend, were already talking about returning next year. People were happy to be there. The only grumbling I heard was about the choice of design for this year's posters, etc.




The travel theme this year possibly influenced the design. One of the newbies talked about using iconic stars faces and another countered with how difficult it could be dealing with rights for those faces and how expensive it could be. The previous years, with characterizations of stars in iconic roles, was definitely a more popular choice.


As it got later, I wandered out poolside to see how that was shaping out. As twilight descended, fire dancers came out and entertained the crowd.








They wowed the capacity crowd.


Later, I heard from the general manager of Club TCM that they also ran the film in Club TCM because of overflow from the poolside.


I decided to wander home and have dinner with MrC. I saw *Safe in Hell* when it was Jeff Stafford's pick for Employee Picks on the channel and as dreamy as Bill, Jr. is, MrCutter is even more dreamy.


More coming up!

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Friday morning found me back in Hollywood. I met my friend, Mary Mallory, who is a board member of Hollywood Heritage and the author of Hollywoodland, the book on the history of the iconic sign. We talked about the changes coming to Grauman's and she assured me that Hollywood Heritage is watching it all very carefully.


For those who don't know, TCL, a Chinese television manufacturing company, has the branding rights to Grauman's for five years. They are working with the owners of the theater to install an Imax screen. The changes to the interior are supposed to be minimal with the loss of the stairs that lead down into the theater. They will relight some of the interior lighting that hasn't been lit in over seventy years. They are keeping the projection booth and the projection equipment as well.


To see what the changes will look like: http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/04/see_the_changes_coming_soon_to_the_tcl_chinese_theatre.php


Hollywood Heritage is the preservation group that fought the destruction of Grauman's fifteen years ago when the Hollywood and Highland complex was being built. They are also the group responsible for Hollywood and Highland completely restoring not only the interior of the theater but the facade and forecourt. So, it sounds like Hollywood Heritage has its eye on the project and won't let TCL or the current owners destroy anything.


After coffee, we wandered over to hotel lobby to wait for Club TCM to open. Mary read the LA Times and I pulled out my Kindle to read more of The Revolution Was Televised a terrific book by Alan Sepinwall on the current resurgence of television drama series.


Once Club TCM opened, we made a bee line for the tables that ring the stage as we were settling in for an afternoon of panels. First up, author and film historian Cari Beauchamp was interviewing esteemed film preservationist and silent film historian, Kevin Brownlow. It was originally scheduled to be a talk between Brownlow and composer Carl Davis. Unfortunately, as the FF drew closer, Carl Davis had to send his regrets.




But, Cari Beauchamp and Kevin had a terrific talk. One of the tidbits to come out was that Carl Davis wrote the exquisite theme to the Hollywood series in five minutes in a taxi! Also, many of audio interviews he did back in the 1960s for his book, The Parade's Gone By were done on reel-to-reel tapes with him carrying the machine around with him. The good news is that Brownlow still has those tapes. They haven't fallen down the rabbit hole of rights hell that has engulfed *Hollywood*. On that note, he is still hopeful that the series will be released on DVD. Here's hoping!


He still wants to direct a documentary on Doug Fairbanks, Sr (I came in with Doug and wouldn't mind going out with Doug) but he he hopes to produce a documentary on great silent directors Maurice Tourneur, Clarence Brown, and Rex Ingram some day. How cool would that be!


Also at our table was Elaine Mae Woo, the film historian who did the documentary, *Frosted Yellow Willows* on Anna Mae Wong. She is a delight to talk with.




After the Brownlow talk, the next panel was Taking the Fall, moderated by Scott McGee on stunt people in films. The panel included stunt performing veterans Jeannie Epper (Romancing the Stone, Blade Runner), Loren Janes (IT?S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, Bullitt) and Conrad E. Palmisano (AIRPLANE!, First Blood) as they discussed the history of the stuntman profession and their decades of experience in the business. It was a great deal of fun to hear Ms. Epper talk about doing the mud slide stunt in *Romancing the Stone*, it took weeks to film and the stunt director sent her a dozen roses when it was over.


We switched tables and stayed put because I was convinced that the second installment of Academy Home Movies was going to be standing room only (and it was!- The big draw was thought to be The Great Escape (and I hear it was packed!!). Presented again by Academy staffers Randy Haberkamp and Lynne Kriste, it was a terrific grouping of film. Home movies taken by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr of a summer 1937 trip to Austria he went on with Marlene Dietrich, her husband, his companion and Marlene's daughter. This was the summer before Germany invaded and you would never know the world was on the verge of war. Even without make-up, Marlene and Doug looked incredible.


Color home movies taken by Cary Grant and George Stevens on the set of *Gunga Din*. Cary looked incredibly dreamy and Vic, Doug, Jr and Joan Fontaine all mugged for the camera.




Actress Fay McKenzie shared her home movies and stories of being on USO tours with Desi Arnaz and her brother-in-law, Billy Gilbert. Desi was quite dashing in those pre-"Babbaloo" days. Bob Koster narrated (with an assist from Mitzi Gaynor) home movies of his father, Henry, and behind the scenes of *My Blue Heaven*. All these years later, Mitzi still swoons over Dan Dailey. And who can blame her!


We were then transported to Malibu in the late 1930s for a beach party at director Jean Negulesco's beach pad home! Among the guests, an incredibly young James Stewart and others mugging for the camera!


It ended all too soon but not before thunderous applause!


I hung around Club TCM afterwards, talking with filmlover, kingrat and some new friends I had made!


I couldn't stay out late as we had to be up at the crack of dawn for the next day's Bugs Bunny retrospective!

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*"You know, of course, this means war!"*


MrCutter and I were up early in the morning! And I mean early. I knew Bugs Bunny was going to be a big draw and MrCutter loves Bugs. So I knew we had to be in line by 8:15 which means we had to leave by 7:30 (and MrC had the feed and caring of pookies before we could leave!).


But we made it on time and were in line with our breakfast of soda and popcorn, by 8:15. We were soon talking to others around us and again, most of them were first timers who were having the time of their lives.


The Bugs Bunny Retrospective was co-hosted by animation historian Jerry Beck and film historian, animation lover, Leonard Maltin. "What a great way to start a Saturday morning with Bugs Bunny"!




We were treated to 10 wonderful Bugs (and Elmer) cartoons beginning with:


A Wild Hare (1940) Tex Avery


Wabbit Twouble (1941) Robert Clampett


Tortoise Wins By A Hare (1943) Bob Clampett


The Old Grey Hare (1944) Bob Clampett


Slick Hare (1947) Friz Freleng


Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1948) Friz Freleng


Long Haired Hare (1949) Chick Jones


What's Up, Doc? (1950) Robert McKimson


Rabbit Seasoning (1952) Chuck Jones


What's Opera, Doc? (1957) Chuck Jones


Mel Blanc voiced many of the Looney Tune characters but he didn't voice Elmer. Radio actor Arthur Q. Bryan voiced Elmer up through *What's Opera, Doc?* though Mel Blanc did the word, "smog!" in Bryan's voice for *What's Opera, Doc?.*


It was a terrific morning watching the evolution of Bugs and Elmer and a shout-out to my friend, Mike Schlesinger, for suggesting it to TCM!


*"I don't know how many of you have ever heard 500 gallons of water coming at you!"- Burt Reynolds, Deliverance panel*


As soon as we got out of the theater, it was time to get right back in the same line for *Deliverance*. Kyle and I have been advocating for a couple of years for this film to be at the Film Festival especially if they could reunite the cast. Well, TCM did us one better, they reunited almost all of the cast (except Ronny Cox who is also a musician and who was on the road) and director, John Boorman. This was expected to be a full house and TCM fans did not disappoint and neither did the panel!


Ben M surprised me by being the one to moderate the introduction. I was almost certain it would be Tom Brown who is friends with Burt Reynolds. Ben M proved well up to the task!




Jon Voight turned out to be more gracious than I ever would have expected. Ned Beatty, who started out staring out in the audience (and left many wondering if he was okay) turned out to be a hoot! He has a great sense of humor. Burt was more frail than expected but looks to be recovering from his recent hospital stay and John Boorman has a terrific Irish lilt. Burt told the story of how he did the stint where takes a header out of the canoe in the last third of the film. He blamed his ego back then while talking about how the stuntman even knew the stunt was dangerous and tried to talk him out of it. Reynolds ended up cracking his tailbone, bruising a kidney and wishes now that he let the stuntman do the stunt!


Boorman revealed that the studio originally wanted Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson for the leads and Reynolds did a great mimic of Brando from *Godfather*. Voight had to be talked into taking the role. He and Boorman remember the details a little differently but they both agree it was a phone call and Boorman counted down before Voight said yes. Voight's girlfriend, Marcheline Bertrand (Angeline's mother), convinced him to take the role.


It was all over way too quick but TCM has video highlights of it here:



Just be sure to scroll down to Saturday.


The film has aged very well and still holds up. Voight's performance, especially seen on the big screen, is very nuanced, especially in the last third of the film. Burt and Ned have remained friends ever since.


After the film was over, we walked back over to Club TCM. MrCutter went home to tend to the pookies and I made a bee-line for the conversation with Max Von Sydow. Leonard Maltin hosted the talk. Kingrat has proved a terrific recap here:



Max is very tall, by the way. TCM had hoped to screen The Exorcist at the Festival but the print that Warner Brothers offered of the film didn't pass muster with director William Friendkin so they had to replace that film with Three Days of the Condor.


Filmlover, Butterscotch and a couple of others were in Club TCM afterwards. We were all killing time and got involved in the Alex Trebek (who looks terrific) musical score trivia game. I had to leave early (dinner plans and I had to take the subway) and the last piece of music I identified for the gamers was, fittingly, *Red River.*




I heard later that there was a four-way tie for the win and despite tie-breakers, there was still a two-way tie at the end and Trebek ran out of music cues. It came down to Alex asking questions about scores off the top of his head. I hear he handled it all with aplomb!

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The last day of the Festival came way too quickly. How could it possibly be Sunday, already? It felt like it had just gotten started!






We were up early again as we were going to the Festival screening of *Cinerama Holiday* at the Cinerama Dome. We had seen a picture of downtown Las Vegas, circa 1954, in the Festival pocket guide and couldn't wait to see it on the big screen. Again, we were in line with more first timers. They had all been having fun and all were talking about coming back. One of the visitors, from Canada, had little pins he gave us. One said I heart TCM and the other was for Madx4 World. We all suspected that Madx4 World was going to be very popular. (more on that later).


When *Cinerama Holiday* was being written, the producers approached two couples, one American, one Swiss, about trading places for the film. The Swiss couple would travel around the United States and the American couple would visit Switzerland and Paris.


Betty (Marsh) York and Beatrice Toller talked about participating in the film with Leonard Maltin. Both women had terrific memories of making the film and Leonard Maltin did a great job. As Ms. Toller told us, she was told by cameramen,


*"Don't stand between the cameras, your face will wrinkle."*


She was given good advice because the faces of people caught in the section of film where the film comes together, wrinkle across the screen.


From the pocket guide: This was the second feature in the three-camera process, following the phenomenally popular This Is Cinerama (1952). In three years, the Cinerama Company had developed more mobile cameras, which gave sequences like ski and bobsled runs through the Swiss Alps and a flight with the Navy?s ?Blue Angels? more fluidity and excitement. The film also added a bit of plot, focusing on two couples, one Swiss and one from Kansas, exchanging continents during a six-month vacation. Among the highlights are a Baptist church service in New Orleans, performances at nightclubs in Paris and Las Vegas, a ride on the California-Zephyr through the Pacific Northwest and a French puppet show where the widescreen allows viewers to watch both the performance and the audience.


The footage of Las Vegas took my breathe away. In fact, the entire movie was a travelogue not only of the way places used to look but the way we used to live as a society. People looked much, much older and the foods were much, much heavier and much more fried. There was a section of a county fair in Deerfield, MA complete with young collegians singing the Dartmouth fight song (complete with school sweaters and letter jackets).


A definite time capsule and we hadn't even gotten to the intermission! The film was projected digitally, restored from original Cinerama negatives.


The film went on a bit too long but we were very glad we had gotten up early. As we came out of the theater we saw Darcy Hettrich, talent director for TCM and Tom Brown, director of Original Programming. They must have been getting ready for *Madx4 World*. As we came out of the Dome, the stand-by line of hopefuls hoping to get in to the screening was down the street and around the corner.


Over at Club TCM, we were getting ready for Cari Beauchamp's presentation of Women in Early Hollywood.




*"Shut up and put some glue on the seat". Francis Marion*


Cari Beauchamp gave a terrific presentation on Francis Marion and her group of female friends who contributed so much to early filmmaking. Her friends included Mary Pickford, Marion Davies, Adela St. John, Anita Loos and others. Francis worked closely with Irving Thalberg even though she didn't like Louis B. Mayer. She married Fred Thomson and they had an early Hollywood mansion that included 120 acres and guest houses. It was designed by Walter Neff and stood until a few years ago when it was bought by Microsoft millionaire Paul Allen and torn down.


After Cari's stellar presentation, it was time for silent film location sleuth, John Bengston's presentation of silent film locations around Hollywood. His powerpoint presentation was terrific with lots of then and now pictures. All around me, people were taking notes. It was well attended and there were plenty of questions for him!


After the presentation, I wandered out to the lobby and met up with Suex2, Paula, Alexa (TCM staffer) and her friend Rose. We all had a drink together. MrCutter found me there and off we went to the Pig & Whistle (a location from Bengston's presentation) for dinner with kingrat.


We had a great time just relaxing and getting caught up. David's fish and chips looked delicious. Across the booth from us was another first time couple who were having a great time.


After dinner, David took off for *Cluny Brown* and we took off for Grauman's and The General. It was a long wait in line but once we got in, we forgot all of that.


Peter (filmlover) and a friend of his sat with us.


Genevieve welcomed everyone and introduced Robert O. Robert O announced there would a fifth film festival and another cruise! He thanked everyone for attending and then told them about the changes coming to the interior of Grauman's. People were upset and I suspect my friend from Hollywood Heritage was not happy with some of the statement as Robert O made it sound like they were completely gutting the interior.




The restored print of The General was great but the soundtrack composed and played by the Alloy Orchestra didn't really fit the film enough for MrCutter and me. After having seen Vince G and His Nighthawks accompany *The Cameraman* two festivals ago, I suspect we may be a bit spoiled. Alloy's more modern approach to the score seemed very out of place for a film set during the Civil War.


After the film, people all around us were taking photos of the interior of the theater. As we made our way to Club TCM, everyone seemed very happy but very tired. With an early start ahead of me in the morning, we couldn't stay long. But we promised to see kingrat at Thanksgiving and wished everyone well!


It went by all too fast but we had a terrific time and look forward to next year's adventure!


As the Countessdelave and Cheryl say, "Here's lookin' at you!"




Edited by: lzcutter on May 5, 2013 6:25 PM

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> {quote:title=SueSueApplegate wrote:}{quote}lzcutter, fabulous recaps of your festival experiences! I appreciate the time you spent writing these detailed, in-depth reports.


Here, here! I'm dizzy just reading them. Lynn, just what kind of "pookies" do you and Mr. Cutter run home to feed? I'd say they are pretty blessed to have folks like you to share their lives with. The people who put this edition of the Festival together really seem to have gone all out for it's success and it's great that all that hard work paid off. I'm so glad for you all that it did.

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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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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.

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




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.

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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.

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  • 11 months later...
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!

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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.

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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!

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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.





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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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!

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