By Bill Dudley

When the first TCM Festival  kicked off in 2010,  I was amazed at how many film fans came from not only all over the country, but all over the world to attend.

With very little publicity, it was a hit from the very beginning, because film, like music, is such an important part of our  lives.  People of all ages love classic films that take them back to their childhood or other special parts of their past.

In the past few years we have seen Kirk Douglas, Burt Reynolds, Alec Baldwin, Liza Minelli, Mel Brooks, Richard Roundtree, Debbie Reynolds, Kim Novak, Eva Marie Saint, Martin Landau and so many more.

My favorite event from all was the first festival in 2010, when I spent much of just one busy day with  film legend Tony Curtis. I struck a chord with Tony as we were both wearing Beatles T-shirts. His had his picture on it as he actually was one (of many) on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper album. He asked to pick him out and I did.  He told me many  great stories including several about Marilyn Monroe during the filming of Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot.

This year the theme is “Moving Pictures,” and how film really can inspire people, bring us to tears, while bringing us to  action and perhaps also change history.

The 2016 TCM Festival kicks off this Thursday evening, April 28, with one of those films that really did, All the President’s Men, the story of Watergate. One of the famous journalists that actually exposed the Watergate scandal was Carl Bernstein who will be in attendance for the screening. Bernstein will be in conversation with screenwriter Josh Singer and writer/director Tom Mc Carthy who brought us the 2016 Best Film of the year, Spotlight.  An excellent choice, as when I first saw Spotlight, it reminded me of the dedication and perseverance of the reporters in All The President’s Men.

Another big highlight this year will be the rare appearance of another film legend Faye Dunaway. Faye had many great roles in very iconic films  including Bonnie & Clyde with Warren Beatty, Chinatown,with Jack Nicholson, The Thomas Crowne Affair with Steve Mc Queen, and the controversial Mommie Dearest. Faye also appeared in a 1976 black comedy/satire film that (tongue in cheek) pretty accurately forecast the future of broadcasting, Network.

The screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky won an Oscar, as did Faye for Best Actress, Peter Finch for Best Actor (who sadly passed away before he could accept the honor), and Beatrice Straight for “Best Supporting Actress.”

Network is simply one of the best and most moving films of all time. While sitting at the end of a giant table, actor Ned Beatty had the most memorable line of the film, but we can’t repeat it here. You will know it when you hear it.

TCM Filmfest 2016 runs Thursday thru Sunday. See the films that moved many generations at some of the movie houses where they first played including The Egyptian and the Chinese Theaters.

Headquarters are as always at the historic Roosevelt Hotel, which will also will screen films around the swimming pool that Marilyn Monroe once swam in when she lived there.

More details available at filmfestival.TCM.com.

 

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