Some final thoughts about the TCM Classic Film Festival

It’s time for me to take a moment to reflect a bit on what I learned from my rather hectic but definitely fun and enlightening time at the TCM Fest.  As previously reported here and everywhere else, it turned out to be a fairly roaring success and is promised to be repeated next year in Hollywood.  Because of time constraints and because I wasn’t able to enjoy the truly titanic number of films seen by, say, a Dennis Cozzalio — currently working on a detailed and sure to be great summary of the event — I’m going to limit myself to a few random observations covering material I have not mentioned in prior TCM-centric posts. (Here, here, and here.) Naturally, it’ll still turn out to be much longer than I originally intended.

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Borgnine, Donen, Rainer

As someone with parents in their eighties and nineties, I’ve become especially interested lately in the way things work for people of a certain age. So it was with some some special interest that I listened to the words of 100 year-old thirties star Luise Rainer, 93 year-old star character actor Ernest Borgnine (“Marty,” “The Wild Bunch”), and 86 year-old directing great and one-time boy genius, Stanley Donen — best known for co-directing “Singin’ in the Rain” and other MGM musical classics with Gene Kelly but also an outstanding director in his own right of both musicals and “straight” films.

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Warner Brothers movie moments #3

I’m still in the middle of my holiday weekend salute to the early years of the most fiscally successful movie studio for the last two years running, back when Warners was known for films which explored the grimy underside of society in highly entertaining ways. First, a pre-code muckraking classic directed by Mervyn LeRoy, produced by Hal Wallis, and starring Paul Muni — the first method actor to become a real superstar and therefore the creative descendant of Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift who together set the mold for probably most of the film stars of the last forty or fifty years or so, to some extent or another.

And here’s is maybe my favorite gangster movie of all time not involving the Corleone clan. Raoul Walsh’s hugely enjoyable “The Roaring Twenties” from 1939. The hype about that year isn’t so far wrong.

  

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