TCMFF 2020: At Home Edition Picks

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Baby Face (1933)
Just like everyone else who looked forward to TCMFF 2020 all year, I was heartbroken to hear the news that it had been cancelled. Absolutely expected and necessary under the circumstances, but that did not make it hurt any less. Last year was the first year I attended the festival, and being the introvert I am, was incredibly reserved the entire time. It took a lot for me to initiate conversations with friends and acquaintances I had only met online, but I was so pleased to come to learn that everyone was so welcoming. This year, I was hoping to come out of my shell a little more because I knew what to expect. I was looking forward to mingling with friends I had not seen in a year, and I was excited to make new ones. Something I will greatly miss this year is the conversations you can have with people in line. Nothing is quite like classic films and common interests to bring people together.

Although the festival this year will be missed, the folks at TCM have made such a wonderful effort to bring a unique experience to us at home. TCMFF At Home begins tomorrow night and runs through Sunday, April 19th. The majority of my blog is dedicated to Ginger Rogers, and although there are no Ginger films on the schedule this year, that does not mean I will not be writing and tweeting about the movies being shown. In fact, my sister and I are planning on bringing Club TCM right into our own house! I am looking forward to sharing this experience with her as well, as she does not attend the festival.

After comparing lists and considering the fact that we will have to record some and play catch up throughout this, here is what we decided on:


  • Metropolis (1927): An extremely popular silent sci-fi film ... that I still haven't seen. I even have the DVD! And now that TCM will be showing it the first night of the festival, I really have no excuse. 


  • A Hard Day's Night (1964): "I mean come on, it's the Beatles," said my 1960s-70s music loving sister. This will be a first watch for the both of us, and I am looking forward to it.
  • North By Northwest (1959): This one comes with a live recording of Eva Marie Saint from the 2013 TCMFF. It is some of Hitchcock's finest work, and rewatch we absolutely could not pass up with a digital audience.
  • Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015): A documentary that details the life of beloved Hollywood couple Harold (storyboard artist and production designer) and Lillian Michelson (film researcher). I have heard nothing but wonderful praise for this film, and it will be a first watch for both of us. 
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954): Another first watch for both of us. and one that has been high on my watchlist for a while now that I somehow never got around to. Now is my chance, and I am looking forward to it.
  • Night Flight (1933): The first film from my favorite year in movies being shown for this year's festival. This is going to be a first watch. I have heard mixed reviews about it so I am excited to see what it has to offer.

  • The Man with the Golden Arm (1955): My sister is a huge Frank Sinatra fan, so this one was her pick. A first watch for the both of us. The film also stars Kim Novak and Eleanor Parker. To be honest, I have not seen very much of Eleanor Parker, so I am looking forward to seeing more from her.
  • Mad Love (1935): I missed this at last year's festival, so I am excited at the opportunity to see it this year. This film starring horror master Peter Lorre is another one that has been on my watchlist for quite some time.
  • Double Harness (1933): The first thing that drew me to choose this pre-code drama was of course, the year. Secondly, after looking up the cast, I knew it was a must. I adored Ann Harding in Devotion (1931), and you can never go wrong with William Powell.
  • Vitaphone Shorts: The shorts listed for this showing are Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder (1929), Don't Get Nervous (1929), and Lambchops (1929). All three were presented at the 2016 TCMFF.
  • Safety Last! (1923): The last time I saw this beloved Harold Lloyd silent was at a local outdoor venue, and it was accompanied by a beautiful live orchestra. This is a film both my sister and I adore, and stars someone we watch together all the time.
  • They Live by Night (1949): I had never heard of this film before, but I am a big fan of director Nicholas Ray. I absolutely had to add this intriguing noir to the list.
  • The Lady Vanishes (1938): This is a film I have seen before, but my sister has not, so it will be a first watch for her. Another marvelous installment in Hitchcock's filmography that I am greatly looking forward to revisiting.


  • Red-Headed Woman (1932): A fiery Jean Harlow pre-code that I have not seen in quite a long while. Not a first watch for me, but will be for my sister, so I am excited to get her reaction.
  • Auntie Mame (1958): Scientific data has shown that it is impossible not to love Rosalind Russell. What has been my favorite of her works is the musical Gypsy from 1962, and I have yet to see Auntie Mame.
  • Singin' in the Rain (1952): This was a must, and that goes without saying. Such a nostalgic pick me up for both my sister and I.
  • Floyd Norman: An Animated Life (2016): A documentary on Disney animator Floyd Norman. I was very lucky to get to see him and colleague Jane Baer at last year's film festival introducing Sleeping Beauty (1959). 
  • Baby Face (1933): To round out the at home festival, of course we had to end with another pre-code. Another one that I haven't seen in a while. Barbara Stanwyck is unforgettable in her role as Lily Powers.
That wraps up our picks for this year. Things may change, of course, but these are our priorities. Catch you all on Twitter!

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