Wednesday, April 19, 2023

2023 TCM Classic Film Festival: Day #3 Recap

 The sun was shining on the third day of the TCM Classic Film Festival. I got up early to attend my number one pick for festival events: a screening of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) with Russ Tamblyn in attendance! I was excited not only to see Tamblyn and hear him speak about his experience on set but also to watch one of my favorite musicals of all time on that gigantic TCL Chinese Theater screen! (I heard it's the largest screen in North America!)

On my way to the screening, I rode the elevator down to the lobby of my hotel and it stopped at the third floor. And guess who walked in? RUSS TAMBLYN! I stood right next to the man I was literally going to queue up to see. What a thrill! The lady who was with him asked us in the elevator what we were excited to say and I perked up and said Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and that I recognized Russ Tamblyn right away. What a thrill! 

TCM host Dave Karger sat down with Russ Tamblyn ahead of the screening for an interview. Tamblyn talked about how he was cast for the film, how they coordinated the red hair and the different acting/dancing/singing skills among the seven brothers, his crush on Janie Powell, as he called her, and more. He's the last surviving of the seven brothers and Tamblyn joked that he can now say what he wants and there is no one to contradict him. It was a very memorable interview and I only wish it lasted a bit longer. 

And yes it was absolutely breathtaking to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on that big screen. I got emotional and was a "sobbin' woman" during the screening.

Russ Tamblyn and Dave Karger. Photo courtesy of TCM

I took a brief break from the festival to visit with my friends Daniel and Lillian and was back in Hollywood in time to head over to the Hollywood Legion for the next special event.

Donald Bogle and Ben Mankiewicz. Photo courtesy of TCM

I have never been to a Robert Osborne Award Ceremony and there had been three held so far for Martin Scorsese, Kevin Brownlow and Leonard Maltin. I made it a point to go this year especially since film historian Donald Bogle, an author I great admire and whose work I use a lot in my research, was the newest honoree.

The ceremony included an introduction by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, a tribute video, speeches by Debra Martin Chase and Louis Gossett, Jr. Mankiewicz presented the award to Bogle who followed up with an acceptance speech and an introduction to the movie Carmen Jones (1954) which screened immediately after. Bogle was very moved by the ceremony and it was really great to hear how he got his start, his early days working with Otto Preminger and his intro to the movie.

Louis Gossett Jr. 

I had planned to attend a screening of Unfinished Business (1941), introduced by film historian and author Sloan De Forest, but my body broke down and I slept for 12 hours instead. I didn't fare much better the next day. Stay tuned for my fourth and final recap!

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