TCM Classic Film Festival Premieres Restored 'Oklahoma!,' Welcomes Shirley Jones
The TCM Classic Film Festival rolled out the red carpet and popped some bubbly at the TCL Chinese Theater and after-party for its fifth annual opening night gala on Thursday.
Classic Hollywood stars, including Oklahoma! leading lady Shirley Jones, Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren, Wink Martindale, Margaret O'Brien and Richard M. Sherman, were among a plethora of entertainment legends that showed their support for the timeless film. Fellow industry attendees included Alec Baldwin, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Mankiewicz, Leonard Maltin, Illeana Douglas and many more.
Jones received a standing ovation from the crowd of a thousand movie-goers when she was welcomed to the stage by TCM host Robert Osborne to discuss the restored film prior to its world premiere. "I'm thrilled," Jones exclaimed. "The fact to see it on the big screen again is very exciting for me because it was my first movie and I was about 18. I'm 80 now," she said, leaning back and kicking up her feet.
Scandal cast member and self-proclaimed "theater geek" Jon Tenney showed his Thursday night allegiance to classic film: "I came here even though I'm working on Scandal right now and everybody wants me to live tweet during our show, and I'm coming here instead, so I feel a little guilty about that," adding, "I really fell in love with acting and everything watching classic films. Casablanca really sticks with me; that's a big one."
Numerous actors and entertainment professionals who walked the red carpet agreed that the need and appreciation for classic Hollywood films in present day should be expressed to the millennial generation.
"The reason I watch TCM so much is because of Robert Osborne. He has a knowledge and appreciation of the history of Hollywood and film," said renowned casting director Lynn Stalmaster, who discovered the likes of John Travolta, Jeff Bridges and Christopher Reeve. "So many people of the new audience are not familiar with those films and many of the directors that I collaborated with have moved on."
Hedren, who was the leading starlet in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Marnie, told The Hollywood Reporter that, "The films they're making today are all guns and violence and horrible things happening to people. I'm really tired of it. I'm very tired of it." The animal activist also added: "The films lend a quality to our lives, not tear down. I can't even name a film today that is -- except one I just did [called] Free Samples, and that was a lovely little film — but otherwise, most of it is very depressing."
Following the screening of Fred Zinneman's 1955 musical, TCM Film Fest attendees and stars took to the W Hollywood rooftop for an after-party co-hosted by Vanity Fair. Guests were enchanted by the sight and soundtrack of Oklahoma! upon entering the poolside party.
DJ Mr. Best musically entertained the crowd, who overlooked Hollywood Blvd. and were surrounded by floating candles in glass vases, draped red curtains and purple orchids, and offered outdoor poolside mingling next to a fire, or indoor seating and lounging.
The 2014 TCM Film Festival takes place April 10-14 and will span across seven locations in Hollywood; this year's theme is Family in the Movies: The Ties that Bind.