TCM Film Fest: 6 Incredible Films

I had an amazing experience at my first ever TCM Film Festival.  I saw 13 films and attended 7 special Club TCM events.   However, for me 6 of those glorious movies stood head and shoulders above the rest.  Here are those standouts in descending order.

6)The Band Wagon

This is an all-time favorite of mine that I already own on DVD.  Nevertheless, Fred Astaire is my favorite actor ever so this was a can’t miss.  I have to say though that in many ways it was like experiencing it for the first time.  Seeing it on the big screen I noticed so many little things I’d never picked up on before.  Also, the crowd was so very responsive.  I mean they clapped like 10 times… during the opening credits!!!  I’d never been around such appreciative old movie fans.

O, what a script and Fred’s ‘By Myself’ is sublime.  Great way to end the festival.


Took this picture during the movie.  My favorite number!!
And here I am as one of the triplets.  : )

5)One Potato, Two Potato

I had never seen this film before and was very excited when I read that it was the first movie to deal with interracial marriage.  This was a must see!


Lovely acting all around.  I cried at least five separate times.

Spoiler alert: The ending is completely devastating.

Happily waiting in line for a fabulous film.
The view from my waiting spot.

4)Shanghai Express


This was a world premier restoration of an astounding film.  So moody and memorable.  This is my favorite Marlene Dietrich performance.  Of course Josef von Sternberg was an absolute genius.  Can anyone watch this without falling a little in love with Shanghai Lily?


3)Repeat Performance

“Film noir meets the Twilight Zone in this rarity, which was almost impossible to find until the Film Noir Foundation restored it… Joan Leslie stars as a temperamental actress who kills her philandering husband on New Years Eve.  When she wishes she could do the past year over again, her wish comes true- but can she fight fate, or will things still end the same?”

Sounded intriguing.  A total change of pace for Joan Leslie.  Great job by the supporting cast and WOW was her husband super creepy or what?!


I was waiting in line to see Angela Lansbury introduce the Manchurian candidate but was turned away fourth from the front of the line.  Heartbreaking!  (Angela I love you!!)  So a cool Australian lady and I booked it over to the Egyptian for Repeat Performance which ended up being a total treat.  (Found out later my Australian friend is a triathlete and that she kindly slowed down our run so as not leave me in the dust.)

Outside Grauman’s waiting for the Manchurian Candidate.
Ceiling of Grauman’s Chinese
Grauman’s Chinese Theater setting up for the Francis Ford Coppola handprint ceremony.

2)Gog in 3D (Midnight showing)

The underground research facility seems to have developed a mind of it’s own and is killing off the staff one by one.  Holy mackerel!  What is happening?!

This film was so utterly horrid it was absolutely delightful.  Interestingly enough when released critic praised the scientific accuracy of the film.  Now the science is laughably ridiculous.  Remember!  “Sound can kill!!!”

David Sheppard: [to Joanna who is in a hospital bed] “The doctor says it isn’t serious, just a little too much radiation.”

This is a picture I took during the film. The 3-D was exquisite.

I’m sorry to be so  uncharitable but from all I can see Richard Egan is an example of someone becoming a movie star on looks alone.  The acting talent is sorely lacking, missing in action even.  I think the monkey at the beginning did the best acting job in the picture apart from possibly Herbert Marshall.  Possibly.

This film, although shot in 3D, was released at the tail-end of the first 3D fad (53–54) and was often projected “flat” in its widescreen aspect ratio.

Of course, 1950’s male chauvinism abounds.  Yikes!


After seeing him in Trouble in Paradise, The Good Fairy, and If Only You Could Cook I perceived Herbert Marshall as the epitome of all things urbane and sophisticated.  He is at all times maddeningly civilized.  So I squealed with delight when the head scientist (Mr. Marshall) suddenly appeared to attack the robot Gog with a flame thrower.  Classic camp!


Drum role please… My favorite film of the festival was…

1)Ace in the Hole

Cynical and biting…

That screenplay!  The themes of the film are so relevant today.  Really made me think about human nature, corruption, and the manipulation of the masses.

The Chinese Multiplex House #1 is beginning to fill up.
Took this during the film.


Jan Sterling was outstanding.  Really brilliant.

*I recommend The High and the Mighty for another standout Jan Sterling performance in a somewhat forgotten film.

Two standout lines:

“I’ve met a lot of hard-boiled eggs in my time, but you–you’re twenty minutes.”

“I don’t pray. Kneeling bags my nylons.”


Cheers to Turner Classic Movies.  I had a blast!  Thanks for the memories.


That’s entertainment!  And to end on an oh so happy note.

Click here to read another blogger’s fun recap of their festival adventure’s.

Click here to read about the super hard questions for the ‘So You Think You Know Movies’ trivia contest.

Click here to read a great review of one of the very best movies screened at the festival, The More the Merrier.


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