TCM Classic Film Festival: Back to black-and-white

Are you a classic film buff? Check out the list of the Top 10 Must-See Classic Black-and-White Films from the television channel, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in honor of their third annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.

TMC Film Festival

On a typical day at the motion picture studios during the Golden Age of Hollywood, one might have seen the charming Cary Grant on break from romancing Katharine Hepburn; or the debonair Clark Gable in costume for the iconic movie, Gone with the Wind; or the talented Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow;” or possibly John Wayne in-between filming one of his many westerns; or blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe wearing her unforgettable white dress from the movie, The Seven Year Itch or even famed director Alfred Hitchcock plotting a cameo in one of his upcoming thrillers.

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This magical period in time — known as the Golden Age of Hollywood — is said to have spanned from the end of the silent era in the late 1920s to the early 1960s; and according to many film historians, is believed to have produced some of the greatest works in cinema.

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Classic movie fans who have only dreamed of being a part of the Golden Age of Hollywood can see their dreams become a reality thanks to the TCM Classic Film Festival. The television channel Turner Classic Movies (TCM) which airs classic movies uncut and commercial-free, is hosting the film festival Thursday, April 12 through Sunday, April 15 in Hollywood, California. The four-day festival is in its third year and features award-winning movie stars, acclaimed filmmakers and fashion leaders. Fans lucky enough to attend the festival will experience the glory, excitement and nostalgia of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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During a recent visit to the TCM studios in Atlanta, Georgia; Genevieve McGillicuddy, the Director of Branding for TCM and Scott McGee, the On-Air producer for TCM spoke about the highly-anticipated event and of course shared their list of the Top 10 Must-See Classic Black-and-White Films in honor of the TCM Classic Film Festival.

“We’ve exceeded beyond our wildest expectations! Even in year-one we had 49 different states represented and six different countries and every year since it’s been commensurate with that,” said McGillicuddy who is also producing the event.

TCM’s Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz will be joined by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey to kick-off the festival with a gala opening night world premiere screening of the 40th anniversary restoration of Cabaret. Throughout the festival, events will be held at historic sites in Hollywood such as the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Avalon, the Egyptian Theatre and the Cinerama Dome. Festival-goers will be treated to many cinema treasures with dozens of screenings scheduled, including I’m No Angel, Casablanca, Nothing Sacred, A Night to Remember, Sabrina, Singin’ in the Rain, How the West Was Won, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dracula, Vertigo and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

In addition to having all of its programming dedicated to classic films, the festival also focuses on bringing fans together.

“As much as it is about experiencing these films in these amazing theaters and the context that TCM provides in-terms of bringing in guest speakers or talent associated with the movies, I think a real key part why people travel so far and make the effort to join us is because they can meet other people who completely get what that passion is,” McGillicuddy explained.

Robert Osborne with Kirk Douglass

Robert Osborne with Kirk Douglas

During the upcoming star-studded weekend, fans will hear special stories from Kirk Douglas, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley Jones, Robert Wagner, Angie Dickinson, Stanley Donen and “Baby Peggy” Diana Serra Cary who is one of the last survivors of Hollywood’s silent era.

“She [Serra Cary] made her first film at 18 months and was one of the highest paid stars in the early ’20s. Then by 1925, she had all but disappeared and there’s a documentary that we will be showing at the festival called, Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room that essentially tells her life-story and what happened to her. And her story is a very familiar story of [a] Hollywood rise to fame followed by a precipitous fall,” explains McGee. “Her story is a really sweet story in that she has found peace in how her life ended up and it’s a very inspiring story.”

The 2012 film festival’s central theme is Style in the Movies and will pay tribute to Audrey Hepburn, one of the most stylish and beautiful actresses of her time. The star is this year’s Style Icon and will be remembered through a collection of her films. Kim Novak will also be honored for her career and will have her hand and footprints enshrined in concrete in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

While the Golden Age of Hollywood is a time gone by, it’s certainly not forgotten. The memories from this era live on through TCM’s commitment to showcasing classic programming, combined with the continual love and support of faithfully passionate fans.

Up next: See TCM producer Scott McGee’s list of must-see classic films >>