Turner Classic Movies Festival Day Two: Friday, April 26
The Night of the Hunter (Egyptian Theater): Charles Laughton’s directorial debut, and an interesting choice for me given that I enjoy mostly ‘light-hearted’ fare — but I couldn’t resist the thought of seeing such a bold and iconic film on the big screen. And it was a good choice, albeit a chilling and disturbing film, because the enormity of the screen emphasized the beautiful (and very eery) cinematography. No surprise to me that Robert Mitchum, in this sinister role, left an indelible impression on me, but I was quite surprised by my reaction to Lillian Gish — I simply adored her in this film! I really believed that her spunky and righteous character could ‘undo’ the evil reverend. A nightmarish film, if you will, but a landmark none-the-less. Good thing I saw it early in the day!
River of No Return with Producer Stanley Rubin Interview by Leonard Maltin (Chinese Multiplex): Well, I couldn’t get in to see my first choice, Suddenly It’s Spring, so I opted for another Robert Mitchum film, this time co-starring Marilyn Monroe. Leonard Maltin, our host, interviewed Producer Stanley Rubin and his wife, actress Kathleen Hughes, prior to the screening. Rubin and his wife were adorable together and had nothing but lovely things to say about Mitchum and Monroe — but what struck me most was the talk about how much Mitchum really cared about acting despite his nonchalant attitude about it. The film itself, for me, was more of a ‘filler’ but of course Monroe was gorgeous as always, and Mitchum was rugged as expected. And I did thoroughly enjoy the film.
Notorious introduced by actress Rose McGowan (Egyptian Theater): I know, I know — I have this film on DVD and I can watch it anytime I want — but I just couldn’t resist seeing one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films on the big screen. Not much to say here except it was wonderful to see Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains and Leopoldine Konstantin larger-than-life in such a very special theater, with like-minded fans.
The Twelve Chairs with Director Mel Brooks Interview by Robert Osborne (Chinese Multiplex): This was a tough choice for me because I had to miss “Hollywood Home Movies” at the Roosevelt in order to see the (hopefully) outrageously funny Mel Brooks — but luckily, Brooks did not disappoint. From the onset of Robert Osborne’s interview, Brooks was ‘on’ — funny and charming, but also informative and humble, telling about some of the logistics of filming in Yugoslavia.
Mel Brooks as Tikon in The Twelve Chairs (1970, Mel Brooks director)
“It cost under $900,000 to make this movie even though we shot for, like, 75 days!” -Mel Brooks
On the Waterfront with Eva Marie Saint Interview by Ben Mankiewicz (TCL Chinese Theater): This was the big event of the day for me, and I was a proud ‘number 5′ as I waited in line at ‘Grauman’s Chinese Theater’ for an hour and a half before the movie started, chatting with other like-minded fans. Boy, how time flies when you’re having fun (seriously)! Ben Mankiewicz, our host, interviewed Eva Marie Saint who was ‘all class’ while talking about the film and working with Brando — and while eloquently trying to dodge Mankiewicz’s question about who Saint ‘preferred’ — Marlon Brando or Cary Grant (her North by Northwest co-star). I have a feeling we will never know
“I think there was always something a little special about him, and when I start working, I realized there was. The interesting thing about Marlon was that…every time he said a line, and if we had a few takes, it was always different. So he would give me a line, and because it was a little different, then I would answer differently. And it just felt like we were really just talking and not actors working.” -Eva Marie Saint talking about Marlon Brando
So to quote Marlon Brando “Am I on my feet?” — which just about sums up how tired I was at this point, so unfortunately I had to skip the midnight screening of Plan 9 From Outer Space. Oh well… On to Day Three via a separate blog post…
–Annmarie Gatti from Classic Movie Hub