2015 TCMFF, day 4: Advice from a comic legend, then going Chinese for a ‘Psycho’   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2015.03.30 at 22:27

Current mood: happyhappy

It looks as if Carole Lombard’s ready to catch a train, if this image is indicative. She doesn’t appear in the best of moods; perhaps she’s a bit rushed from preparing her trip. But since it’s 1938, we know from the technology of the time that she didn’t immediately sign this, as she might have today. In fact, the information on the back corroborates that:

I long thought Lombard apparently was going somewhere for the weekend, but a check of the 1938 calendar instead revealed May 2 was a Monday, May 5 a Thursday. This was nearly a year before the new, and soon iconic, Los Angeles Union Station opened, so this may have been taken at one of the earlier LA terminals, or perhaps at Glendale or Pasadena. (Both were popular embarking points for the Hollywood crowd, as they generally were less crowded and weren’t as much a hassle.)

Sunday was getaway day at the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival. Several films were on the schedule, including a number of repeats that had proved popular on the first go-round. But I already had seen “Don’t Bet On Women,” and while watching Ernst Lubitsch’s “The Smiling Lieutenant” and watching Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins sing the outrageously saucy “Jazz Up Your Lingerie” on the big screen would’ve been fun…

…it conflicted with something else I wanted to do, an event not under TCM auspices. It was over at the famed Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Hollywood Boulevard (that was the name of its founder, who opened the store, specializing in entertainment books and related items, back in the ’30s), for a reading and book signing from a genuine legend of comedy:

Carl Reiner, who turned 93 earlier this month, was promoting his new book “I Just Remembered,” an array of recollections, most of them comedic of course. You know him from the “2,000-Year-Old Man” routines with fellow legend Mel Brooks, creating “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and all sorts of other things. Or perhaps you know him better as director Rob Reiner’s dad. Whatever, he was regaling a mesmerized crowd of several dozen seated at the bookstore.

Not one of my better photographs; sorry.

Afterward, there was a book signing, and when he got around to me, I mentioned I was beginning a career in screenwriting, but added I might be too old. (I was using it in the context of starting a sustained career at age 59.) Anyway, he said in an encouraging way, “You’re never too old to write.” Considering he’s more than one-and-a-half times my age — and I can’t say that about too many other folks anymore — he’s right, of course. When I make my Academy Award acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay, I will cite that…and I want Carl to be there to hear it.

From there, it was over to the Chinese Theater for my second movie there in as many days. More on that later, but first some pictures. First, here I am in line, dressed in full TCM regalia (red cap and an I ❤ movies T-shirt)…

…then went into the Chinese lobby, where I photographed several iconic costumes, such as Travilla’s gown for Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”…

…Julie Andrews from “Thoroughly Modern Millie”…

…Judy Garland’s gingham dress from “The Wizard of Oz”…

…Vivien Leigh’s green gown from “Gone With the Wind”…

…and finally, Rita Hayworth’s scintillating black satin gown from “Gilda”:

Then it was time to take my seat, and once again I was to watch a film from 1960. But while Saturday I saw Billy Wilder’s sweet-but-tart comedy “The Apartment,” this time I witnessed the flip side of ’60 — Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” a film I had never before seen in its entirety.

I’ve often compared Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” to Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring” for its revolutionary nature, but this film — and the shock it still can give audiences 55 years after its release, despite the many parodies and homages it’s inspired — might be a better analogy for the Stravinsky piece. After the Technicolor lushness and star power of “Vertigo” and “North By Northwest,” Hitch threw his fans a curve with this one. We know how Janet Leigh felt about showers following the making of this film, but I wonder how daughter Jamie Lee Curtis first reacted to watching her mother’s demise on screen? But at least before poor Marion Crane meets her maker, we do get to see her in underwear:

From there, I soaked up all the atmosphere I could get, including posing between Doris Day and Buster Keaton in the Hollywood Roosevelt lobby…

…then snapping this pic at “The Road to Hollywood” walkway at the Hollywood & Highland shopping/entertainment complex:

(If you have a telephone number formerly used by a Hollywood celeb, please let me know.)

Finally, I found this at “The Hollywoodland Experience” on the Boulevard, across from the Chinese. Aspiring actors, actresses and directors get faux license plates and other goodies as sale items; we poor screenwriters-to-be have to settle for…

…and “screenwriter” is spelled with two words (like an archaic reference to “base ball” or “basket ball”). Oh, well.

And speaking of basket ball — oops, basketball — congratulations to my University of Maryland women for securing a return trip to the NCAA Final Four with a 58-48 victory over Tennessee in a game where both teams’ offenses seemed stuck in quicksand. That’s the good news for the Terrapins.

The bad news? Their next game is Sunday against the Evil Empire of women’s basketball (two-time defending national champion Connecticut), which actually trailed underdog Dayton at halftime Monday night before putting away the pesky Flyers by 21. Brenda Frese has pulled off all sorts of postseason magic during her 13 years in College Park, but she’ll need the ultimate miracle to beat Geno Auriemma’s bullies. Brenda, a nation is rooting for you.

Posted March 31, 2015 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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