Previews of coming TCM Fest attractions

I’m busy today preparing to hit the TCM Classic Film Festival, which opens tonight in Hollywood, California with a gala screening of a digital restoration of the 1983 restoration of the 1954 “A Star is Born.” Also screening tonight is the 1931 Frank Capra obscurity, “Dirigible,” an underrated Howard Hawks science-fiction comedy starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, and a newcomer named Marilyn Monroe, “Monkey Business” as well as an outdoor screening of 1949’s silly but fun (if memory serves) “Neptune’s Daughter.” That one features swimmer turned musical comedy star Esther Williams alongside a very, very pre-Khan Ricardo Montalban and comedian Red Skelton. The cool part of this is that Ms. Williams, and a real-live water ballet, are included with the price of admission. (I should add that single entries for the fest are very much on the pricey side, starting at $20.00. Students get in for half-price, so I suggest enrolling quickly.)

That’s just tonight. Below are trailers for a some shows I’m personally looking forward to catching. We’ll start with the closing night screening of probably the most significant film of the festival, the new and finally fully restored version of the original science fiction extravaganza, Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis.” (I’m slightly bummed to see this, like “A Star is Born” will be screened digitally. Assuming that celluloid prints of the new version exist, which may or may not be the case, that’s really how it should be shown.)

More after the flip.

It’s not perfect, but it’s still one of my favorite movies-about-movies, 1980’s “The Stunt Man.”

And what self-respecting film geek can miss a little known 1956 western ripe for rediscovery? “Jubal” was directed by Delmer Daves (the original “3:10 to Yuma”) and starred Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine (who’ll be in attendance, we’re told) and newcomers Rod Steiger and Charles Bronson, the actor formerly known as Charles Buchinsky.

This trailer has been cropped, but thankfully the version we’ll be seeing tomorrow won’t be. Widescreen and glorious celluloid, ahhh.

And, finally, a “major restoration” of a British 1962 sci-fi classic I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen, “The Day of the Triffids.”

Will I really get hot, when I see Janette Scott, fight a triffid that shoots poison and kills? You’ll have to ask me about that later.

  

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