TCM Classic Film Festival to Welcome Luise Rainer, Jerry Lewis and Norman Lloyd

Actress Luise Rainer, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, is scheduled to make a rare public appearance in what is certain to be one of the most eagerly anticipated events at the TCM Classic Festival in April.  Rainer will introduce the 1937 drama The Good Earth, which earned her the second of two consecutive Academy Awards®.  Also attending will be legendary actor, filmmaker and humanitarian Jerry Lewis, who is scheduled to introduce a new print of Martin Scorsese‘s acclaimed comedy-drama The King of Comedy (1983), and veteran actor, director and producer Norman Lloyd, who will introduce a screening of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Saboteur (1942).  Rainer, Lewis and Lloyd join an extensive roster of celebrities scheduled to appear at the festival, including Mel Brooks, Tony Curtis, Jon Voight, Martin Landau, Buck Henry, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Kohner Weitz and Juanita Moore.

In addition, director Richard Rush has agreed to be on-hand for the presentation of his 1980 film The Stunt Man; film critic and historian Leonard Maltin will curate and present a special program of notable shorts; and author Donald Bogle will introduce and discuss a collection of cartoons removed from circulation because of negative racial stereotypes.

TCM also unveiled part of its plans for Club TCM, the central gathering point for the TCM Classic Film Festival community.  This area, which is open exclusively to festival passholders, will be abuzz with activity during the entire festival, providing fans with unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.  Among the events slated for Club TCM are a book signing and display of original art by Tony Curtis; a special screening of Joan Crawford’s home movies, hosted by her grandson, Casey LaLonde; a presentation by special effects artist Douglas Trumbull; and numerous scheduled conversations with festival guests.  Club TCM will also feature several panel discussions, including Casting Secrets: The Knack of Finding the Right Actor; Sequels and Remakes; Film Continuity: When Details Count; and TCM: Meet the People Behind the Network.

Club TCM will be headquartered in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  This lavish room is steeped in Hollywood history as the site of the original Academy Awards banquet.

In other news, TCM continues to work with the world’s pre-eminent film archives to bring rare screenings and special presentations to the TCM Classic Film Festival.  The latest additions to the slate are the restored films Sunnyside Up (1929), The Big Trail (1930) and The Story of Temple Drake (1933).  The festival is also scheduled to include a screening of an archival print of Casablanca (1942); a presentation of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), paired with the Bugs Bunny cartoon Rabbit Hood (1949); rare theatrical screenings of the Joan Crawford drama A Woman’s Face (1940) and the gangster drama No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948); the classic Harold Lloyd comedies An Eastern Westerner (1920) and Safety Last (1923); and screenings of such crowd pleasers as Top Hat (1935), Laura (1944), Some Like It Hot (1959), Pillow Talk (1959) and Saturday Night Fever (1977).

The TCM Classic Film Festival is also slated to include Fragments, a compilation of footage from lost films presented by the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and UCLA.

The following are the latest highlights announced for the TCM Classic Film Festival:

The Good Earth (1937) – Introduced by Luise Rainer

Austrian-born actress Luise Rainer earned the second of two Oscars® for her extraordinary performance as a Chinese woman whose life and family are nearly destroyed by greed.  Paul Muni is equally powerful as her loving husband in this adaptation of Pearl S. Buck‘s classic novel.  Karl Freund’s outstanding cinematography also earned an Oscar.  Rainer, who recently turned 100, will be making a rare appearance to introduce the film.

The King of Comedy (1983) – Screening of new print introduced by Jerry Lewis

Martin Scorsese‘s acerbic comedy stars Jerry Lewis as television’s top host and Robert De Niro as the man determined to get on his show.  Diahnne Abbot, Sandra Bernhard, Shelley Hack, Tony Randall and Ed Herlihy co-star.

Saboteur (1942) – Introduced by Norman Lloyd

Alfred Hitchcock‘s wartime thriller stars Robert Cummings as a fugitive munitions worker falsely accused of sabotage.  Priscilla Lane co-stars as the woman who helps him clear his name, and Norman Lloyd provides the perfect touch as the villainous Fry.  The climax atop the Statue of Liberty is one of Hitchcock’s most memorable sequences.

Sunnyside Up (1929) – World premiere of The Museum of Modern Art restoration, preserved with support from The Film Foundation and the Franco American Cultural Fund

This pre-Code musical stars one of the most popular screen teams of early Hollywood – Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell – in their first sound film together.  The result is a wildly entertaining, completely charming film, with some of the most spectacular musical numbers ever filmed.  Hot off of becoming the first-ever Best Actress Oscar winner, Gaynor plays a young tenement girl who falls in love with the rich Farrell.  The songs include the title tune, “If I Had a Talking Picture of You,” “I’m a Dreamer, Aren’t We All?” and “Turn on the Heat,” the latter featuring a truly eye-popping production number.

The Story of Temple Drake (1933) – Premiere of the work-in-progress restoration by The Museum of Modern Art, preserved with support from TCM

One of the most daring pre-Code films ever produced, this audacious film has been credited with being the primary catalyst for the creation of the Roman Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency.  Miriam Hopkins and Jack La Rue star in the story of a rebellious Southern girl who falls into a life of debauchery.  Adapted from William Faulkner‘s controversial novel Sanctuary, which is full of so many unsavory elements, the Hays Office openly discouraged attempts to adapt it.

The Big Trail (1930) – Premiere of the restoration by The Museum of Modern Art, preserved with support from the Bartos Preservation Fund and The Film Foundation

Celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, this Raoul Walsh western about early pioneers stars John Wayne in his first lead role.  The film was shot in Grandeur, a very early widescreen process.  In addition to the sweeping vistas captured by Lucien Andriot and Arthur Edelson‘s stunning cinematography, the film broke ground in the use of natural sound.

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) – Rare screening of cult classic

This unique gangster film from England has garnered a cult following over the years.  It stars Jack La Rue as a gangster who kills a man and kidnaps his rich girlfriend, played by Linden Travers.  Scandalous at the time for its frank depiction of sex and violence, the film features an entirely British cast as New Yorkers.

A Woman’s Face (1941) – Introduced by Casey LaLonde, Joan Crawford’s grandson

Joan Crawford gives one of her best performances in this film, which rarely receives a theatrical screening.  She plays a scarred woman whose life is changed when she undergoes plastic surgery.  Melvyn Douglas stars as the doctor who helps her, and Conrad Veidt is the schemer who uses her for his own selfish aims.  George Cukor directed this exciting remake of a 1938 Swedish film.

Harold Lloyd in An Eastern Westerner (1920) and Safety Last (1923) – Featuring music composed and conducted by Robert Israel; introduced by Suzanne Lloyd Hayes, Harold Lloyd‘s granddaughter

TCM presents two silent Harold Lloyd classics, beginning with the Hal Roach-directed An Eastern Westerner, a two-reel short in which Lloyd plays a boy from the East Coast who is sent to the Wild West by his father.  Then comes one of Lloyd’s funniest feature films, Safety Last, in which Lloyd plays a department store clerk whose idea for a contest backfires.  Safety Last features Lloyd perilously dangling from a clock at the top of a tall building.

The Stunt Man (1980) – Introduced by director Richard Rush

This unique black comedy stars Peter O’Toole as a dictatorial director and Steve Railsback as a fugitive hired to work as a stunt man.  Barbara Hershey co-stars in this film directed by Richard Rush and featuring an appropriate, intentionally cheesy score by Dominic Frontiere.

Festival Shorts – Introduced by film critic and historian Leonard Maltin

Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, who is an expert on Hollywood‘s long tradition of short films, curates and presents this collection of funny and entertaining shorts.  Some of the titles included are Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove (1934), How to Sleep (1935) and Movie Pests (1944).

Removed from Circulation: A Cartoon Collection – Presented by author Donald Bogle

Donald Bogle, author of Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: A History of Black Hollywood, will present cartoons that have been kept from the public eye because of negative racial or cultural stereotypes.  The collection includes several classic Warner Bros. cartoons.  Bogle will provide insight into the racial attitudes of the times in which the cartoons were created.  Titles include Clean Pastures (1937), Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarves (1943), Goldilocks and the Jivin’ Bears (1944), Hittin’ the Trail for Hallelujah Land (1931), The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938), Sunday Go to Meetin’ Time (1936), Tin Pan Alley Cats (1943) and Uncle Tom’s Bungalow (1937).

Fragments

This compilation features surviving pieces from lost films from two of the world’s top film archives, the Academy Film Archive and the UCLA Film Archive.  Titles will be announced later.

Casablanca (1942) – Archival print from the Warner Bros. vault

Regarded by many as one of the screen’s greatest romances of all time, this wartime drama stars Humphrey Bogart as a nightclub owner who gets involved in smuggling refugees out of Vichy-controlled Casablanca.  Ingrid Bergman portrays the woman he once lost and who is now seeking to escape the Nazis with her husband, played by Paul Henreid.  Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre provide outstanding support in this Best Picture Oscar winner.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) – Preceded by the Bugs Bunny classic Rabbit Hood (1949)

A few weeks before Ridley Scott‘s Robin Hood comes to theaters with Russell Crowe in the title role, TCM will present the colorful 1938 version of the oft-told tale.  Errol Flynn stars as the legendary rogue Robin Hood and Olivia de Havilland as his love, Maid Marian.  Claude Rains and Basil Rathbone co-star.  Eric Wolfgang Korngold’s triumphant score set the style for many swashbucklers to follow.

Top Hat (1935)

One of the great Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers pairings of the 1930s, this bright musical about mistaken identity features such Irving Berlin songs as “Cheek to Cheek,” “Isn’t This a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain” and “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.”  It also includes a lavish production number called “The Piccolino.”  The outstanding supporting cast includes Edward Everett Horton, Helen Broderick and Eric Blore, as well as Lucille Ball in a bit part.

Laura (1944)

Director Otto Preminger delved into the film noir genre when he took over (from Rouben Mamoulian) directing this striking mystery about a beautiful woman at the center of a complex murder plot.  Gene Tierney plays the target, while Dana Andrews is the detective on the case.  Clifton Webb and Vincent Price are outstanding as a cynical reporter and a Southern gigolo, respectively.  David Raskin’s music is immediately recognizable.  Joseph LaShelle’s cinematography won an Oscar.

Some Like It Hot (1959) – Introduced by Tony Curtis

Billy Wilder‘s hilarious comedy follows two down-and-out musicians as they try to escape the mob by heading to Florida with an all-girl orchestra.  Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis play the musicians, while Marilyn Monroe, in one of her best performances, is a fellow bandmate determined to land a millionaire.  Joe E. Brown and George Raft co-star.

Pillow Talk (1959)

Rock Hudson and Doris Day enjoyed their first and most memorable outing with this sparkling romantic comedy about two people who share the same phone line.  Tony Randall and Thelma Ritter co-star in this film that earned top numbers at the box office and an Oscar for its story and screenplay.

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Disco went to the movies with this enormously popular movie about a young Brooklynite who finds his calling on the dance floor.  John Travolta became an instant sensation with his Oscar-nominated performance, while the soundtrack catapulted such hits as “Night Fever,” “How Deep is Your Love?” and “Stayin’ Alive” to the top of the charts.

About the TCM Classic Film Festival

The first-ever TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 22-25, 2010, in the heart of Hollywood.  The network is inviting fans from around the country to join this new festival and share their passion for great movies.  This landmark celebration of the history of Hollywood and its movies will be presented in a way that only TCM can, with major events, celebrity appearances, panel discussions and more.  The four-day festival will also provide movie fans a rare opportunity to experience some of cinema’s greatest works as they were meant to be seen – on the big screen.

The festival will involve several venues in a central area of Hollywood, including screenings at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the Egyptian Theatre.  The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Oscar ceremony, will be the official hotel for the festival as well as a key venue for festival passholders.

The TCM Classic Film Festival is being produced by TCM.  Serving as festival consultants are Bill and Stella Pence, who are well-known in industry circles as co-founders of the Telluride Film Festival.

The TCM Classic Film Festival is sponsored by Vanity Fair, the official festival partner and host of the opening night gala; Buick®, the official automotive sponsor; Delta Air Lines, the official travel partner; and Fekkai, official luxury hair care sponsor of the Vanity Fair’s Tales of Hollywood program.

Festival passes and additional information are available at www.tcm.com/festival.

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