Maureen O’Hara, Richard Dreyfuss, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien Join Lineup for 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
O’Hara will present the world premiere restoration of John Ford’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941), while Brooks will appear at a screening of his western comedy Blazing Saddles (1974). O’Brien will be on-hand for Vincente Minnelli’s perennial musical favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), starring Judy Garland. The tribute to Dreyfuss will consist of a double feature of two of his most popular roles: his Oscar®-winning performance in Neil Simon’s romantic comedy The Goodbye Girl (1977) and his Academy Award-nominated role in the music-themed drama Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995).
In addition, the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival will feature a 50th anniversary presentation of Walt Disney’s classic Mary Poppins (1964), plus world premiere restorations of The Beatles’ hit A Hard Day’s Night (1964), the Frank Capra comedy-drama Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), with Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur; the classic musical Stormy Weather (1943), starring Lena Horne and Godzilla: The Japanese Original (1954). The festival will also host recent restorations of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights (1931) and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927), which will feature the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra performing their original score for the film.
Among the many previously announced events slated for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM will honor legendary actor, filmmaker and humanitarian Jerry Lewis with a multi-tiered celebration of his remarkable career. Lewis will have his hand and footprints enshrined in concrete in front of the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX. In addition, Lewis will be on-hand for a screening of one of his most memorable films: The Nutty Professor (1963). This year’s TCM Classic Film Festival will also pay tribute to Quincy Jones, who will appear at multiple events during the festival, including a 50th anniversary screening of Sidney Lumet’s powerful drama The Pawnbroker (1964), which marked Jones’ debut as a film composer.
Other previously announced festival events include a screening of the recently restored Gone with the Wind (1939) and a presentation of The Wizard of Oz (1939) in its stunning new IMAX® 3D format. Both films are celebrating their 75th anniversaries in 2014. The festival will also include three world premiere restorations: Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944), which will be celebrating its 70th anniversary; Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958); and William Wyler’s Best Picture Oscar® winner The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). In addition, the festival will feature a screening of the Harold Lloyd comedy classic Why Worry? (1923), with legendary silent-film composer Carl Davis conducting the live world premiere performance of his new original score.
Passes for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival can be purchased exclusively through the official festival website: http://www.tcm.com/festival . Descriptions for the newly announced additions to the festival lineup are included below. Additional screenings and events for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival will be announced over the coming months.
Check out the promo HERE.
Maureen O’Hara & How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Maureen O’Hara first captured the public’s eye in her breakout role as the dancing gypsy, Esmeralda, in The Hunchback of Notre Dame(1939). She has held our attention ever since. Known for playing feisty heroines, O’Hara’s famously flame-red hair lit up the screen like noother star from Hollywood’s golden age. In a career that has spanned over seventy-five years, she has starred in over sixty motion picturesincluding such critically acclaimed classics as Miracle on 34th Street (1947), The Quiet Man (1952) and How Green Was My Valley (1941). She is widely recognized as Ireland’s most renowned and celebrated actress.
How Green Was My Valley (1941) – World Premiere Restoration
Reconstructed from the original camera negative and presented in collaboration with 20th Century Fox
Often referenced simply as the film that beat out Citizen Kane (1941) for a Best Picture Academy Award®, this touching tale of family bonds during life’s struggles more than stands on its own as one of John Ford‘s most important films. The tale of a Welsh mining family living through strikes, mine disasters and catastrophic illness gave the director a chance to develop one of his favorite themes—the painful inevitability of changing times. It also allowed him to work with a trio of actors who would become an important part of his unofficial stock company, following him from film to film: Maureen O’Hara, Donald Crisp and Anna Lee. Initially, the film was to have followed its narrator, Huw Morgan, into adulthood, with Tyrone Power slated to play the older Huw. But 20th Century Fox executives were concerned this would make the film too long. When screenwriter Philip Dunne saw Roddy McDowall‘s test to play the young Huw, he declared the length problem solved: “They’ll never forgive us if we let that boy grow up.” The role made McDowall a major child star.
A Tribute to Richard Dreyfuss
With an entertainment career spanning more than four decades, Academy Award® winning actor Richard Dreyfuss has been one of America’s most versatile and individualistic actors. He is a spokesperson on the issue of media informing policy, legislation, and public opinion, both speaking andwriting to express his sentiments in favor of privacy, freedom of speech, democracy, and individualaccountability.
The TCM Classic Film Festival will pay tribute to Richard Dreyfuss by presenting two of his most acclaimed performances in The Goodbye Girl (1977) and Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995).
The Goodbye Girl (1977)
Presented in collaboration with Warner Bros.
Nobody expected this charming romantic comedy by Neil Simon to do much business at the box office. Its biggest star, Richard Dreyfuss, was hot off the success of Jaws (1975), but this tale of a struggling actor forced to share an apartment with a bitter divorcee (Oscar nominee Marsha Mason) and her precocious little girl (Oscar nominee Quinn Cummings) didn’t have that film’s giant shark to drive ticket sales. Nonetheless, the perfect blend of actors and script pushed what was advertised as a tale of “love at first fight” into the winner’s column.
It became the first romantic comedy to break $100 million at the box office and won Dreyfuss the Oscar for Best Actor.
Simon had written the script for then-wife Mason as a more serious piece about a woman struggling to adjust to her actor husband’s newfound success in Hollywood. When original leading man Robert De Niro didn’t work out, Simon held auditions for another co-star. Dreyfuss read so well, Simon realized the real problem had been the script, which he completely re-wrote in six weeks to create an enduring fan favorite.
Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)
Presented in collaboration with Buena Vista
In the tradition of Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), this still-timely film gave Richard Dreyfuss the chance to age 30 years on screen while dealing with the conflict between private dreams and a teaching career. He stars as an aspiring composer who takes a job teaching high-school music to pay the bills until his own music becomes profitable. Over time, however, he finds his teaching taking precedence as he discovers his true calling—shaping the lives of the many students lucky enough to pass through his classroom. Mr. Holland’s Opus marked Dreyfuss’ transition from the fiery, unpredictable young star of films like Jaws (1975) and The Goodbye Girl (1977) to seasoned screen veteran. It also brought him – along with director Stephen Herek and composer Michael Kamen – a mission beyond just making a great film. Kamen was so moved by the film’s plot, particularly its depiction of Dreyfuss’ struggles with decreasing funding for his music program, that he founded the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports music education at under-served schools.
Mel Brooks & Blazing Saddles (1974)
Mel Brooks, director, producer, writer and actor, is in an elite group as one of the few entertainers to earn all four major entertainment prizes – a Tony Award®, an Emmy®, a Grammy® and an Oscar®. His career began in television writing for Your Show of Shows and together with Buck Henry creating the long-running TV series Get Smart. He then teamed up with Carl Reiner to write and perform the Grammy-winning 2000 Year Old Man comedy albums and books. Brooks won his first Oscar in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short The Critic (1963) and his second in 1969 for the screenplay of his first feature film, The Producers (1968). Many hit comedy films followed, including The Twelve Chairs (1970), Blazing Saddles (1974), Young Frankenstein (1974), Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety(1977), History of the World Part I (1981), To Be or Not to Be (1983), Spaceballs (1987), Life Stinks(1991), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995).
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Presented in collaboration with Warner Bros.
When writer-director-actor Mel Brooks was researching classic Westerns for this hilarious spoof of the genre, he was struck by just how much gas the standard cowboy diet of beans and coffee produced. And thus was born one of the funniest scenes in Hollywood history. It’s one of many outrageous delights in this tale of a black sheriff (Cleavon Little) taking on a corrupt land grabber (Harvey Korman) and a German temptress (Madeline Kahn). After writing his first two features solo, Brooks assembled a writing team including Andrew Bergman and Richard Pryor in hopes of re-capturing the days of Your Show of Shows, the Sid Caesar-Imogene Coca variety show noted for its movie parodies. With a cast filled with Brooks regulars, including Gene Wilder as The Waco Kid, and a string of non-stop quips and sight gags, Brooks produced a film that left some Warner Bros. executives and critics dumbfounded. Audiences, however, loved it to the tune of $119 million at the box office, the highest gross for a Western at that time.
Margaret O’Brien & Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Margaret O’Brien has been performing on screen for nearly 75 years, beginning as a top child star during the 1940s. Her extensive credits include Journey for Margaret (1942), which shot her to stardom; the beloved musical Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), which helped her earn a special Oscar® as the year’s outstanding child actress; and enduring classics like Tenth Avenue Angel (1948), The Secret Garden (1949) and Little Women (1949).
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Presented in collaboration with Warner Bros.
MGM producer Arthur Freed helped usher in a new era of screen musicals with this witty, beautifully written tale of a year in the life of the Smith family. The plot is slight, with the family thrown into an uproar at the prospect of moving to New York, but the real focus is a series of near-perfect scenes depicting the joys and pains of growing up. As daughter Esther, Judy Garland dominates the screen with one of her best acting performances ever, while also introducing what would become three of her signature songs: “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Matching her perfectly is Margaret O’Brien, whose depiction of childhood fears was so accurate she captured a special Academy Award® for her films of 1944. Tying it all together is director Vincente Minnelli. His unerring sense of taste, period and visual expression help make this one of the greatest musicals ever filmed. He also got a special prize for his efforts – he and Garland fell in love and married shortly after completing the picture.
Newly Added Screenings
A Hard Day’s Night (1964) – World Premiere Restoration
Fully restored from the original negative and presented in collaboration with Janus Films
When The Beatles made their feature debut 50 years ago, nobody expected much. The rock ‘n’ roll musical had been around for a decade without producing many great films, butA Hard Day’s Night changed all that. Directed kinetically by Richard Lester, the film captured a day in the life of the teen heartthrobs in high style. Writer Alun Owen toured with The Beatles for weeks to capture their characters and speaking styles. Lester let the Fab Four throw in a few improvisations and surrounded them with adept comic actors likeWilfred Brambell as Paul McCartney‘s grandfather and Victor Spinetti as a hassled television director. Made for $560,000, A Hard Day’s Night grossed ten times that in the U.S. alone, making it one of the most profitable films of all time. The album shot to #1 instantly, which is hardly a surprise considering that the picture introduced The Beatles’ classics “All My Loving,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “And I Love Her,” “Tell Me Why” and the title tune, which was written by John Lennon in one night.
Mary Poppins (1964) – 50th Anniversary Presentation
Presented in collaboration with Buena Vista
Saving Mr. Banks (2013), a recent box-office and awards-season winner, has proven it’s time for another “Jolly Holiday” with Mary, as one ofWalt Disney‘s most successful films – Mary Poppins – celebrates its golden anniversary. Inspired by his daughters’ love of P.L. Travers‘ books about a stern but magical nanny, Disney spent over two decades courting the author to obtain the rights. When she finally gave in, he created a lavish, heart-felt production that has delighted audiences for a half a century. Julie Andrews shot to stardom by taking a firm-but-sweet hand with a pair of British children, with the help of chimney sweep Dick Van Dyke and a bevy of eccentric characters. The instant hit received 13 Oscar® nominations, a record for Disney that still stands. With five Oscar wins – for Best Actress, Editing, Special Effects, Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) and Score – it’s his most successful film with the Academy. It was also the studio’s top-grossing feature for 20 years, with its huge profits helping to buy the land on which Walt Disney World was built.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) – World Premiere Restoration
Fully restored from the original negative and presented in collaboration with Sony Pictures
Filmmaker Frank Capra and screenwriter Robert Riskin crafted this delightfully addled comedy about a small-town poet forced to move to the big city when he inherits a fortune. In his favorite of the 12 films he wrote for Capra, Riskin found the perfect blend of romance, comedy and populist sentiment. It was also the film in which Capra found his social voice, introducing to his work the theme of the little guy vs. the establishment. Moreover, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town introduced Capra to two actors who would become essential to his career: Gary Cooperand Jean Arthur. The role of Longfellow Deeds gave Cooper a new screen persona. The one-time screen sophisticate suddenly emerged as the perfect all-American homespun hero. Capra cast Arthur after he happened to step into a projection room at Columbia and saw her on the screen. This was a quality film in every department, from the script and performances to Joseph Walker‘s dreamy cinematography, particularly in the famous scene in which Cooper plays the tuba, which appears even more lustrous in this world premiere restoration.
Stormy Weather (1943) – World Premiere Restoration
Reconstructed from the composite fine grain nitrate master camera negative presented in collaboration with 20th Century Fox
Seventy years ago, 20th Century Fox gave audiences a chance to see such entertainment giants as Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, The Nicholas Brothers, Dooley Wilson andKatherine Dunham in Cabin in the Sky, one of two all-black musicals released by major studios in 1943, a rare year for Hollywood. At the time, all-black films were only made by smaller, independent film companies for release in segregated theaters in the South and African-American neighborhoods in other regions. Though only half the major theatres in the U.S. would present Cabin in the Sky, it still did big business. The great talent helped, as did the air of sophistication – something rare in Hollywood depictions of African-American life. The plot focuses on the romantic conflict between dancer Robinson and songbird Horne. He longs for domesticity while she lives to perform. But it’s all an excuse for the music, including such standards as Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love” and the title song – 20 songs crammed into just 77 minutes.
Godzilla: The Japanese Original (1954) – World Premiere Restoration
Reconstructed from the original camera negative and presented in collaboration with Rialto
While the great Japanese films of the 1950s like Rashomon, Ugetsu, and Seven Samurai have been revered in the U.S. as works of art, Japan’s biggest domestic hit of all, Godzilla, has been fondly regarded here as a classic of “cheesy” moviemaking. But that’s because it’s long been known only in an American version known as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which deleted 40 minutes of the Japanese original – its very heart – while adding poorly-matched, shot-in-Hollywood scenes of Raymond Burr watching the action from the sidelines. Leaving less than an hour of the original’s 98 minutes, the cuts eliminated entirely its strong anti-nuclear theme – with Godzilla seen as a metaphor for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and, oddly, all of its strong black humor. Directed by Ishirô Honda, who later went on to make such other classics of kaiju eiga (“strange creature movies”) as Rodan, Mothra, and The H-Man, often collaborating with special effects legend Eiji Tsuburaya, Godzilla’s human star is Kurosawa regular Takashi Shimura (who played the Seven Samurai leader the same year).Both the Japanese and American versions spawned six decades of sequels, remakes and rip-offs – and fans. In honor of Godzilla’s 60th anniversary, the TCM Classic Film Festival is proud to present the uncut Japanese original.
City Lights (1931) – Recent Restoration
Transferred from 35mm elements and presented in collaboration with Janus Films
As Charlie Chaplin started work on City Lights in 1928, sound was beginning its reign. Nonetheless, he persisted in making silent movies, partly because he felt the Little Tramp would be less effective if he spoke and partly because early sound technology was so limited it would have made much of his physical humor impossible. Such was his popularity at the time that this story of the Little Tramp’s efforts to raise $1,000 so a blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill) can have a sight-giving operation became one of his biggest hits. The film’s combination of slapstick and pathos is effective and has won praise as one of the greatest romantic comedies ever made. Some of Chaplin’s scenes with Cherrill, particularly at the film’s end, are heartbreaking. Yet it also has uproariously funny scenes, particularly his attempt to survive a boxing match with nothing but fancy footwork. Chaplin spent three years making City Lights. For his first encounter with the blind girl, he demanded 342 takes, which has been called the most takes ever attempted for a single shot. The recent 4K restoration was transferred from 35mm elements held at L’Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna, Italy and the Academy Film Archive in Los Angeles. It is presented in collaboration with Janus Films.
The Lodger (1927) – Recent Restoration
Reconstructed from the original camera negative and presented in collaboration with BFI National Archive, Park Circus, ITV Studios and MGM
With only his third feature, Alfred Hitchcock became the “Master of Suspense,” chilling audiences with this tale of a city whipped into a frenzy by the crimes of a killer modeled on Jack the Ripper. Hitchcock also made his first cameo appearance here, though originally it was just to fill out a scene for which there weren’t enough extras. Besides his brief on-screen presence, other Hitchcock trademarks in the film are the plot about an innocent man (Ivor Novello) accused of a crime, the use of camera work to mirror the emotional tone of a scene and the insertion of sly religious imagery. From the opening shot of a murder victim, the blonde curls that attracted the killer’s attention encircling her head like a halo, to the shots of leading man Novello “crucified” by a lynch mob, the film is pure Hitchcock. The source was Marie Belloc Lowndes‘ oft-filmed novel. Executives at Gainsborough Pictures made Hitchcock change the ambiguous ending, fearing that audiences wouldn’t accept a matinee idol like Novello as a bloodthirsty killer. Several hundred hours were spent on the removal and repair of dirt and damage. Digital imaging systems have enabled the film’s original tinting and toning to be reproduced to far greater effect than was previously possible. Particular attention was paid to the night-time sequences set in thick fog which are toned blue and tinted amber. This is a restoration by the BFI National Archive in association with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Network Releasing and Park Circus Films. The principal restoration funding was provided by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation, and Simon W Hessel. Additional funding provided by British Board of Film Classification, Deluxe 142, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, and Ian & Beth Mill.
Passes for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival can be purchased through the festival website at http://www.tcm.com/festival. Pass availability is limited, so those wishing to attend the festival are encouraged to buy their passes quickly.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony, is set to serve as the official hotel and central gathering point for the TCM Classic Film Festival for the fifth consecutive year. The Hollywood Roosevelt also offers special rates for festival attendees. Festival screenings and events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, theTCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre.
Connect with the TCM Classic Film Festival