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Hollywood stars and filmmakers joined for a weekend of celebrating film legacies and the impact they have had on cinema at the 2023 TCM Classic Film Festival.
To kick off the festival at the Los Angeles’ TCL Chinese Theatre, The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43, Angie Dickinson chatted with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz on opening night Thursday about Rio Bravo, her role as Feathers and starring opposite John Wayne and Dean Martin.
When talking about what it was like working with director Howard Hawks, Dickinson said, “He was a man of few words,” and while filming, he told her and the crew to “just relax, and he and I sat there, talking about nothing. It was just to relax me and get me to the point that he wanted me to be for the scene.”
Directors Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson also took part in a panel Thursday with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav to talk about the importance of preserving films that are at risk of deteriorating. The Fabelmans director said their efforts have rescued more than 990 films after they “all joined [Martin Scorsese] to go around to all the studios to get them to try to finance this rescue operation to save our cultural heritage.”
Day one ended with the premiere screening of the 4K restoration of Hawks’ Rio Bravo (1959), in partnership with The Film Foundation, which was started by Scorsese, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Warner Bros.
On Friday, TCM host Mankiewicz joined special guests George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh for a screening of their film Ocean’s Eleven (2001). Before the showing, the actor and director talked about how the film came to be and Clooney said at the time, “Steven had this idea of trying to infuse all of this sort of independent film stuff that all of these young filmmakers were learning back into the studio system. … It was going to kind of get back to things they were doing in like 1964 to 1975, bringing that kind of style and feeling back to storytelling inside the studio system.”
Ahead of a screening of Groundhog Day (1993) for its 30th anniversary, Mankiewicz also spoke with actor Stephen Tobolowsky.
Later, Ricki Lake took part in a panel to discuss working with Divine on Hairspray (1988) and why John Waters is such a special filmmaker. Amid the film’s success in the wake of Divine’s passing, Lake said, “To think what his career would have done after Hairspray, I still haven’t gotten over it.” It was such a bittersweet moment for her, adding, “I was suddenly this big star and I was having all my dreams come true and it was just attached to this tragic piece of it as well.”
Director and screenwriter Alexander Payne was also joined by writer and director George Stevens Jr., the son of Penny Serenade director George Stevens, for the world premiere restoration of Penny Serenade (1941).
Other films featured during day two of the festival included a 60th anniversary poolside screening of Beach Party (1963) with TCM host Dave Karger and special guest Frankie Avalon, as well as a 50th anniversary showing of American Graffiti (1973) with actors Richard Dreyfuss and Candy Clark.
The 14th annual TCM Classic Film Festival, which is celebrating film legacies, including a spotlight on the legacy of Warner Bros. to celebrate the studios’ 100th anniversary, ends Sunday. Find videos of the festival’s panels and events here.
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