SUNDAY APRIL 30, 2018 AT TCM FESTIVAL
The big movie today was The Ten Commandments at Grauman's Chinese Theater. This movie palace was built in 1927 and was built on property owned by the silent film star, Francis X. Bushman (he was Messala in the original, silent Ben Hur and made dozens of silent films.)
The theater is one of the great movie palaces in America. Of course, it has been extensively 'renovated', that is, ruined, but enough is left to give you an idea of what it was like when movie theaters were as opulent as malls are today. It is also a great place to watch a movie, with no obstructions and comfortable seats.
Here is my review of The Ten commandments - Put Through DeMille Again!
Later - about 4.5 hours later - I saw Preston Sturges' Miracle at Morgan's Creek. This 1944 comedy stars Eddie Bracken and Betty Hutton. It is the story of a young girl (Betty) who wants to go out with some soldiers who are passing through town, but her father (William Demarest) won't let her. So, she calls up Bracken who is in love with her and gets him to take her to the movies - but she tells him this was just a story so her father would let her out. She goes out with the soldiers and a month or so later finds out she is pregnant! 1944! And it is funny, so see it if you can.
The day ended with a great party. I had the chance to meet and speak with many TCM hosts, including Ben Mankiewicz, Alicia Malone and Mr. Film Noir, Eddie Muller. One of the things that TCM was promoting this week was its FilmStruck streaming channel. FilmStruck includes the Criterion Collection (mostly 'art house' flicks and foreign treasures) and now, the Warner Bros. collection. FilmStruck is available for about $10 a month. TCM doesn't think it will compete with its audience base (mostly 55+) since FilmStruck has a target audience of 25-49.
During the week, I made several friends - Danny from Boston and Erik from Sweden, among them. We all love movies so the conversation was usually about the gems we wanted to pass on to other movie buffs, or discussing the movies we saw that day.
All in all, the festival was run very well - there were dozens of TCM staff at every screening. Can't wait for next year!