Who I Met, Who I Saw and My Thoughts on the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival

This year's festival theme was Family in the Movies: The Ties that Bind. While the movies screened fit this theme, this idea of family goes beyond just the schedule. The people who attended the festival are like one big family and the tie that binds us is classic movies. When you go to the TCM Classic Film Festival, you're with family. It doesn't feel like you're with a bunch of strangers because you are with your people. Whether you're seeing a familiar face, meeting someone for the first time after talking with them online for years, or bonding with a complete stranger in line for an event, you know you're with like-minded people who want to celebrate a shared love of classic movies.

Laura, Jessica, me and Aurora

I really felt the family vibe even more so this year than last year. And leaving the festival was especially painful because it hit me all at once that these wonderful classic film fans were not going to be making the trek back to Massachusetts with me. They were going back to their homes, all over the country, all over the world, all hoping to reunite for next year's festival.
Carlos, Robby and me

Max and me

The last film I saw at the festival was the 75th anniversary screening of The Wizard of Oz (1939) in 3D at the TCL Chinese IMAX. It was the perfect way to end the festival because it really spoke to what was happening to all of us at that very moment. We were all in the land of Oz, with new friends whom we feel like we've known for a lifetime, but now it's time for us to go back to our own Kansas.

Casey and Jessica

Me with Casey and Sarah

This year I was more excited to see folks I had met at last year's festival and to meet people I've only known online. The other friends I made were an added bonus!

Here are some of the wonderful folks that I got to spend some quality time with.

Angela of Hollywood Revue
Annmarie from Classic Movie Hub
Ariel of Sinamatic Salve-ation
Aurora of Once Upon a Screen...
Carley of The Black Maria and The Kitty Packard Pictorial
Casey of Noir Girl
Daniel of Celebrity Cafe
Diane of Classic Movie Blog
Drew of The Black Maria
Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood
Jill of The Black Maria
Joel of Joel's Classic Film Passion
K.C. of A Classic Movie Blog
Karen from The Dark Pages and Shadows and Satin
Kate Gabrielle of Scathingly Brilliant
Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled
Kristen of Journeys in Classic Film
Kristen of Eat Cinema. Drink Coffee. Live Forever.
Lara Gabrielle of Backlots
Laura of Laura's Miscellaneous Musings and her wonderful husband Doug!
Lindsay of Lindsay's Movie Musings
Lou Lumenick from The New York Post
Marya of Cinema Fanatic
Matt from Warner Archive
Millie of ClassicForever
Nicola of Vintage Film Nerd
Nora of The Nitrate Diva and her mother Colleen
Paula of TCM Party and Cinema Detroit
Raquel of Now Watching
Robby of Dear Old Hollywood
Sarah of The Wicker Bar
Trevor of TCM Party

If I forgot to include you, let me know and I'll add you to the list!

Candid from the TCM Tweet-up

Here are some of the special guests I got to see:

Bo Hopkins - American Graffiti (1973) screening poolside
Candy Clark - American Graffiti (1973) screening poolside
Jane Seymour - TCM at 20 Exhibition
Jerry Lewis -  Jerry Lewis Hand and Footprint Ceremony
Kim Novak - TCM at 20 Exhibition and Bell, Book and Candle (1958) screening
Leonard Maltin - A Conversation with Quincy Jones at Club TCM and in the Roosevelt Hotel
Margaret O'Brien - Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) screening and twice in the Roosevelt Hotel
Maureen O'Hara - How Green Was My Valley (1941) screening and On Air interview
Mel Brooks - Blazing Saddles (1974) screening and On Air interview
Merrie Spaeth - The World of Henry Orient (1964) screening
Paul Le Mat - American Graffiti (1973) screening poolside
Paula Prentiss - The World of Henry Orient (1964) screening
Quentin Tarantino - Jerry Lewis Hand and Footprint Ceremony
Quincy Jones - A Conversation with Quincy Jones at Club TCM

And I can't even count how many times I saw Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz! I was also happy to regularly see the fantastic staff of TCM including Scott McGee, Tom Brown, Genevieve McGillicuddy, Charles Tabesh as well as Nora and Katie!

Press Photo. Source: Getty Images

My favorite moments from the festival:
  • Watching my #1 favorite film Bachelor Mother (1939) on the big screen.
  • Meeting Robert Osborne for the first time. He's just as friendly and generous as you'd imagine him to be.
  • Getting the opportunity to spend so much time with friends (both new and old). I treasured every hug, every conversation, every moment.
  • Talking to Margaret O'Brien in the Roosevelt Hotel bathroom
  • Seeing Jerry Lewis for the first time
  • Greg Proop's introduction to Bachelor Mother (1939).
  • Cheering for Kim Novak at the Bell, Book and Candle screening.
    Shaking hands with director Quentin Tarantino at the Jerry Lewis Hand and Footprint Ceremony
  • Everything about the Charlton Heston Stamp Dedication Ceremony
  • Watching The World of Henry Orient and discovering this film as a new favorite.
  • Watching Quincy Jones fist bump Leonard Maltin
  • Laughing as Jerry Lewis gave us all the middle finger.
  • Seeing Maureen O'Hara twice. It wasn't enough for me to see her once. I needed to see her again!
  • Making friends and chatting with my new buddies Max and Eva.
  • Going to the El Capitan theatre for the first time.
  • Every single appreciative applause from the audience. We all applaud before and after the interviews and introductions, several times during the credits, after wonderful scenes or musical numbers, when we see a notable star for the first time in the movie and at the end.
  • 20 Years of TCM on Air panel at Club TCM which featured a lot of the TCM promos.
  • Seeing The Wizard of Oz (1939) in 3D IMAX on it's 75th anniversary and in the same theatre where it premiered.
  • Crying buckets of tears during How Green Was My Valley (1941).

My least favorite moments from the festival:
  • The line for The World of Henry Orient. The lines are managed very well but this one was a little tricky. Kudos to the TCM staff who managed to fix the problem.
  • Being sick most of the festival because of an irregular eating schedule.
  • Having to leave the screening of Blazing Saddles early because of said sickness.
  • Falling asleep during two films because I forgot to have some afternoon caffeine.
  • Missing out on the Ask Robert Osborne Q&A which ended up being something completely different. Jill St. John was there! ::sobs::
  • Seeing comedian Jamie Kaler and choking up. I wish I could have been calmer so I could tell him how much I loved his character on the show My Boys.
  • The Genworth charging station. I couldn't charge any of my devices there. The overall lack of places to charge devices is an issue especially when you take photos/videos and share on social media! I bought a Mophie which extended the life of my iPhone battery. It helped immensely!
  • Saying goodbye to all my wonderful friends.
Overall the experience was glorious. It was even better than the 2013 festival and that one was hard to top! I'm sure next year's festival will be even more wonderful and I'm saving my pennies now so I can go to that one too.

TCM Classic Film Festival Day Five Recap

My last day at the TCM Classic Film Festival was a lot less hectic than the previous days. I unfortunately missed the screening of The Fiddler on the Roof and didn't get an opportunity to see director Norman Jewison in person. I really needed some extra sleep if I was going to make it through the last day.

On our way to catch the bus to the festival, Carlos and I made a short detour and stopped by Robert Mitchum's star. Mitchum's grandson, actor Bentley Mitchum, helped me find the star last year. I didn't do much on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year but I really wanted a photo with Mitchum's star. He truly is my favorite and it's always a joy for me to watch his films and to hear stories about him.

I found out today that Robert Mitchum's wife Dorothy Mitchum passed away on Saturday evening at the age of 94. My sincerest condolences to the Mitchum family for their loss.

Carlos and I headed to the Chinese Multiplex to check out the Genworth area. Genworth Insurance is one of the official sponsors of the TCM Classic Film Festival along with CitiBank and Delta. Genworth had a photo area with a big TCM display, a living room/charging station and a coffee and tea bar. The area was really neat and I hadn't had a chance to spend any time there earlier so I'm glad I did on the last day. Genworth also had a contest that you entered for a chance to win two Spotlight Passes to the 2015 festival. I entered Carlos and I in the contest but alas we didn't win! I loved this set-up and my only complaint was that they had no electrical outlets and the only cables they had for charging didn't fit my iPhone 4 or my Android Mophie phone charger. So it was pretty useless to me.

We were too early to get one of the official printed photos of us in front of the TCM display. However, one of the TCM festival volunteers was gracious enough to take photos of Carlos and I in front of the display.

We headed back to Club TCM and Carlos took a few photos of me in front of some festival signage. I love this billboard of George Cukor and the stars of The Women (1939). It was by far my favorite of all the lovely TCM festival signage.

I also really loved this behind-the-scenes photo of Joan Bennett and Spencer Tracy from Father of the Bride (1950). Here I am with the sign, my official festival bag, my social media buttons and my media pass.

Carlos and I stopped by the TCM Boutique to do a bit of shopping. I bought a copy of the Conversations with Robert Osborne DVD. He was signing copies later in the day.

I wasn't feeling well so I mostly hung out in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel. I briefly attended the Judy Garland program in Club TCM but had to leave because my stomach wasn't doing so great.

Later on in the day I did get a chance to catch part of the 20 Years of TCM On-Air panel. I plan to do a short post on this so stay tuned! I left early because… 

At 4 pm Robert Osborne was interviewing Maureen O'Hara for Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival. I really wanted another opportunity to see O'Hara again! Because they had previously announced the time of the interview there were a lot of people who camped out early to get close to the front. They gave us an opportunity at the end to photograph the lovely Maureen O'Hara before her grandson Conor Beau escorted her away. 

I loved this interview because it was a lot more in depth than the one before the How Green Was My Valley screening. O'Hara discussed her leading men, working with Charles Laughton and John Ford, her working relationship with John Wayne and even talked about how much she loves watching soccer. She left us with a little limerick at the end.

Laura of Laura's Miscellaneous Musings got in line for Robert Osborne's signing of his DVD. Here is Laura with Robert. He gave her a kiss before she left. I wish I had gotten a picture of that! 

I was so happy to get a chance to meet Robert Osborne, to shake his hand and to thank him for all he does. This signed copy of Conversations with Robert Osborne is now a treasured possession.

Still feeling sick on the last day at one point I decided not to attend The Wizard of Oz (1939) in 3D IMAX screening but I'm so glad I changed my mind! It was a magical way to end the festival. The movie worked perfectly as the last film of the festival. The festival has been like Oz and now we are all heading back to our own Kansas. There's no place like home!

I went to the Closing Night Party to say goodbye to some friends. The 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I had even more fun than last year and that festival was a blast too. I'm very sad it's over and it was difficult to say goodbye to friends but I look forward to next year and to do it all over again!

Me and K.C. of A Classic Movie Blog

Me with Angela from Hollywood Revue

Me and Diane from Classic Movie Blog

TCM Classic Film Festival Day Four Recap

On the second full day of the festival and my fourth day, I got up really early to get in line for media access to the Jerry Lewis Hand and Footprint Ceremony in front of Grauman's Chinese theater (TCL Chinese Theater IMAX). There is limited space so it was crucial that we get there early. Carlos came with me and got in as a spectator. There are some spots for Spotlight Pass holders and a few select ones in a corral area for the first people in the regular line.

It was a wonderful event! Robert Osborne and director Quentin Tarantino gave speeches and Jerry Lewis had us all cracking up. He's just as funny as ever and was hamming it up for the audience.

This is my favorite photo of the event. Jerry Lewis holding Quentin Tarantino's hand and giving us all that classic Jerry Lewis laugh. I plan to do a post about this event so stay tuned!

Afterwards I had lunch with some friends at 25 Degrees, one of the restaurants inside the Roosevelt Hotel where Club TCM is located. We are all like one big family and it started off just being a table for a few people and then it grew to a table of 8. If our group kept growing we would have taken over the whole restaurant. Robby from Dear Old Hollywood stopped by with his family. He was sporting this wonderful custom made T-Shirt with a Thin Man screen print.

Aurora of Once Upon a Screen has some serious swag in this picture. She got all of the TCM Classic Film Festival social media buttons plus a #TCMParty button and custom made buttons that she got from someone she met at the festival. Aurora has had really amazing luck. For example she was in an elevator with Richard Dreyfuss, she was in the front of the line with Kellee (Outspoken & Freckled) for Maureen O'Hara's interview and got to see O'Hara up close, she got to meet Margaret O'Brien and Joey Luft and much more. Aurora has luck but she's also so social and adventurous that she makes opportunities happen for her. 

After lunch most of us headed down to El Capitan theatre to get in line for the screening of How Green Was My Valley (1941). We were in line two hours before the event started because there was no way that we were going to miss seeing Maureen O'Hara. What a magical time! I got a bit sick before it started but was so happy to be there that I powered through. A dedicated post on this event is to come so stay tuned.

Afterwards I headed to Grauman's Egyptian Theatre to get in line for the screening of Bell, Book and Candle (1958). Kim Novak was in attendance and she gave Robert Osborne a really open and honest interview. Novak has been through a lot lately and I'm glad we were all there to show our love and support for her. More on that event to come!

Going to so many events in one day can get really tiring. I fell in and out of sleep during the end of Bell, Book and Candle. I'm glad I was already familiar with the film and that I didn't feel like I missed out when I took a much needed snooze.

I then headed back to El Capitan theatre for a screening of one of my top favorite films of all time: The Women (1939). I don't care how sick or tired I was (and I was both big time at this point), there was no way I was going to miss seeing a personal favorite on a big screen with an appreciative audience. While  we were waiting in line and also when we in the theater waiting for the screening to begin, I got to have some lovely chats with Lara Gabrielle of Backlots, K.C. of A Classic Movie Blog and Angela of Hollywood Revue

The interview before The Women (1939) left a lot to be desired but the screening was still amazing. More on that to come too!

After the screening I got to chat with these two lovely ladies: Casey from Noir Girl and Sarah from The Wicker Bar. They were chatting with my husband Carlos who was there to pick me up. They recognized him which I think is really neat. We chatted for a while about our festival experience and took some pictures.

This was by far the busiest and longest of all my days at the festival. It was a bit of a trial because I was tired and not feeling well. However, the spectacular events and the wonderful people I got to hang out with made it all worthwhile.

TCM Classic Film Festival Day Three Recap

On the third day and the first full day of the festival, I headed over to the TCL Chinese IMAX (aka Grauman's) to wait in line for the Charlton Heston Stamp Dedication Ceremony.

The ceremony was spectacular. It was co-hosted by TCM and USPS and Ben Mankiewicz was the master of ceremonies. Charlton Heston's widow and son, Fraser Heston, were both there. I'll be doing a post on this soon.

One of the wonderful things about the TCM Classic Film Festival is all the new friends you make while waiting in line. I met Max in line for the Stamp Ceremony. We had a blast chatting about old movies and sat together through the ceremony.

Up next was The World of Henry Orient (1964). I knew nothing about this movie and didn't do any research beforehand. I love to watch movies with no previous information because it's a completely different viewing experience than if you had seen the film before or knew some details about it.

Actresses Merrie Spaeth and Paula Prentiss were at the screening. A post on this to come!

After that I headed to the TCL Chinese IMAX to attend a screening of Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) with Margaret O'Brien in attendance. It was so lovely to see her and hear her talk about her experiences with the movie and about fellow actor Mickey Rooney who recently passed away. A post on this to come too! 

I then headed to Club TCM to attend an interview with Leonard Maltin and Quincy Jones. It started a bit late and thus wasn't a full hour but it was still very interesting. The best moment was when Quincy Jones fist bumped Leonard Maltin. Classic!

I headed to the bathroom of the Roosevelt Hotel and guess who I saw?! Margaret O'Brien! I was so close to her but didn't have a chance to say hi or get my picture taken with her. I love her funky style. She had really cool jewelry, a nose stud and a really beautiful outfit complete with black and gold high heels. She was rocking some serious style.

I then waited in line at the TCL Chinese IMAX for the screening of Blazing Saddles (1974) with Mel Brooks in attendance. I think this was by far the most popular of all the screenings. My husband couldn't get in because they had limited standby seats. It was a packed house!

Mel Brooks was interviewed by Robert Osborne before the screening. Unfortunately, I got sick and had to leave about 40 minutes into the film. I was sad to leave and upset that I basically took someone's seat who could have stayed there the whole time. I tried to stay the whole time but I have been sick most of the festival and it was at it's worst point during that screening.

Below I have some pictures of the lovely Club TCM in between events. They had a Home Movies by Hollywood (photography from the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library) exhibit as well as a TCM at 20: Inspired By the Classics art exhibit which includes pieces by: Tony Bennett, Manolo Blahnik, Charles Busch, Jules Feiffer, Joel Grey, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Kim Novak, Todd Oldham, Jane Seymour and Burt Young. They also had a Gone With the Wind 75th anniversary exhibit and some movie memorabilia including Judy Garland's outfit from The Wizard of Oz (1939).


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