I have just returned from the closing night party of the TCM Classic Film Festival, and am completely exhausted. This festival has been an incredible experience for me, very different from the other classic film festivals I have attended, and I am extraordinarily lucky to have been able to attend.
My installment for days 3 and 4 will work backwards, as the events seem to take better shape in my memory when I start with the most recent events.
The closing night party was crowded and energetic. My friend Christina secured a booth for us in Club TCM, and we watched the action from the booth until…out of nowhere…Robert Osborne showed up. We were ushered into a line without knowing exactly what was going on, and it turns out that we were being set up for a meet and greet. It was a total surprise that he was even there, and to be literally set up for a meeting with him was a real gift on behalf of the TCM staff. After we got in line, a number of people lined up behind us and the formal meet and greet started. As we were first, we each got to have a little talk with Robert Osborne and have our pictures taken with him. My discussion with him consisted of talking about Cover Girl and Rita Hayworth–something I will always remember. I talked about Rita Hayworth with Robert Osborne! The Going to the TCM Festival facebook group took a group picture with Ben Mankiewicz, which provided me the opportunity to meet him briefly as well. He is a very nice man, and very gracious to his fans, which is wonderful.
Prior to the closing night party, we watched 4 movies–beginning with Black Narcissus which was followed by Charade, The Women, and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. The audiences for all of them were fantastic, especially the one for The Women, which played to a completely packed house. I was so excited that it did as well as it did, because it was competing with How The West Was Won which featured Debbie Reynolds as the guest speaker. As The Women is one of my favorite films of all time and I had seen it on the big screen before in Ireland with a MUCH smaller crowd, it was wonderful to hear the audience’s enthusiasm and great peals of laughter at some of my favorite lines in all filmdom.
Some of the snappy lines in The Women.
Before The Women, Marissa and I saw Charade, one I hadn’t seen in quite a long time and forgot how much I enjoyed. I had to cut out early in order to get in line for The Women, but I adored seeing Paris on the big screen and recognized most of their location shots, and of course the chemistry between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn is pretty fantastic. It would have been great if they could have made more movies together. By the time Charade was made, they were both well into the second half of their careers, and their age difference was 25 years, so it would have been difficult to pass them off as a couple for much longer.
Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Charade.
Before Charade, I had my Olivia de Havilland book appraised. I really didn’t care how much it was worth, I would never, ever sell it, but just thought it would be fun to know. It came out to be worth about $150, which is pretty good for what it is! Its value is so enormous to me that even if it were physically worth a million dollars, it still wouldn’t be enough to match its sentimental value.
The first thing we did on the last day of the festival was to attend a screening of Black Narcissus, an absolutely beautiful film starring Deborah Kerr and Jean Simmons. Shot on location in a beautiful Technicolor (exceeded in its beauty by only, in my opinion, The Red Shoes and The Quiet Man), it tells the story of a convent in the mountains of India. Again, I had to leave early to go to my Olivia book appraisal, but I highly recommend that you see this film. Deborah Kerr is stunning as usual, and a knockout performance is given by Kathleen Byron as a nun who, at one point, looks like she is literally possessed.
Trailer for Black Narcissus.
I will update Day 3 a little bit later, as we are going sightseeing now. Have a great day, everyone!