TCMFF 2017 Day Five - Tippi Hedren and Dick Cavett.
Sunday, April 9 was our last day of the festival. We were exhausted and a bit sad to see the whole thing end. We were sluggish, and that pep in our step had dwindled. We were up in the air about what we were going to see on our final day. We only had one must do item, see Dick Cavett.
Throughout the festival, I had seen some info floating around about Tippi Hedren being at the famed Larry Edmunds bookshop for a ‘Tea with Tippi’ event. The Birds is one of the first classic films I loved, and Roar is one of my guilty pleasures. The bookshop is only a couple blocks away from the Egyptian Theater, so Brian and I decided to grab some coffee and head to see Tippi. The doors were closed, and a gentleman told us they would be open in an hour and yes Tippi would be there. So we wandered up to the Egyptian to see The Egg and I with an intro by Fred MacMurray's daughter, Kate. It had been years since I had seen the Claudette Colbert/Fred MacMurray film. Brian had never seen the film, and I looked forward to getting the chance to see it again, the problem was I was tired, and immediately fell asleep. When I woke up, the film was nearing the end, and I nudged Brian and told him that I had to get into the sun and wake up a bit.
We walked down to Larry Edmunds and as soon as we walked in there she was, Tippi Hedren. You would never guess this gorgeous creature sipping coffee smiling at fans was 87 years old. I was star-struck by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, but seeing Tippi Hedren in front of me was one of the absolute coolest things I have ever had happen to me. The line wasn’t long and moving quickly. I watched my friend Lauren walk up to Tippi, sit down and start talking to her like they were old friends. She was signing books and having one on one conversations with her fans. I got nervous. What would I say? I like The Birds? I had nothing in common with this woman. Lauren got out of line and walked over to me. I asked her how she could sit with Tippi Hedren and act like she was just a regular person. She said ‘She is a regular person. I told her how much I admired her work with cats and that started our conversation.’
I tried to brainstorm what I would say. I am terrified of most cats so if she had any cat follow up questions I wouldn’t know what to say. I wanted to talk about her film, Roar but I know she some complicated feelings about that movie. So I get up there sit down next to a legend and squeak out ‘My son loves Roar.’ She looked down and started to talk about her Wildlife Refuge as she signed my book. Her refuge, The Shambala Preserve has given sanctuary to over 235 exotic felines. She was more than thrilled to talk about it and said she would love for me to bring my son and his class to visit someday. I smiled and told her we would love to never allude to the fact we were from Nebraska. She told me about her book and couldn’t have been more generous with her time.
I was giddy as I talked to Lauren about our experience with Tippi. Lauren, God Bless her is a California girl and has met several famous people, so she humored me as I kept talking about how amazing it was.
We walked down to the Roosevelt where we were set to see a conversation with Dick Cavett. We were early, so we snuck up front to watch the Leonard Maltin Q&A wrap up. We waited an hour knowing that Cavett would be a hot ticket. We had second-row center seats for a fantastic Q&A. Cavett talked about his time in Nebraska and his love of the Marx Brothers. He shared stories about the trouble he got into with some of the guests from his talk show and some of his most rowdy guests. The real treat came after the ‘conversation’ when he sat down for a book signing. You stood in line, bought your book and approached Cavett at a table.
Time was short, so I let Brian get a book and have his chance to meet Cavett. I sat and waited and watched him interact with his fans. There was one girl who posed with him for a photo. Once they started to take the picture, she kissed him on the cheek. He stood up and made a scene, ‘wow, hold on now, buy a guy a drink first’ kind of stuff. She giggled, and he said ‘Okay, let’s take a real photo now,’ and as they clicked away, he kissed her on the cheek. She cried and cried with a grin on her face. It was one of the sweetest things I had seen. As Brian got to the front of the line, I told him I would take their picture. One of Cavett’s handlers said I could be in the photo too. So Brian showed him his Husker tattoo to prove he was also a Nebraska boy, they chatted and posed for their pictures. I was on the other side of Cavett, but he didn’t notice me. Once he did, I told him ‘I’m just the wife, it’s fine.’ He yelled ‘I love the wives!’ He then grabbed me and pulled me down, so we were cheek to cheek and grabbed Brian’s lanyard and yanked him down for our unforgettable photo. He was lovely and if he ever comes around on tour again, be sure to see him. I’ve always said that Dick Cavett would have the best stories of anyone else alive and he does.
After Cavett, we walked down to In-N-Out with our friends Angie and Diana who were beside themselves with joy. We sat and enjoyed our heavenly cheeseburgers and talked about how personable and hilarious Cavett was.
We parted ways with the ladies and made our way to a film I had wanted to see the first day but didn’t get into, Red Headed Woman starring Jean Harlow and one of my favorite men, Chester Morris.
From 1932, Gold digger (Jean Harlow) breaks up her boss's (Chester Morris) marriage and sins her way to financial success. I'll see pretty much anything these two are in, but this is one of those films that was so special to see on the big screen. We were so excited to get a second chance to see this film due to our previously planned film being moved back a few hours. Once Red Headed Woman ended we sprinted across the theater to see our local boy Harold Lloyd in the 1928 silent classic, Speedy.