TCMFF 2017 DAY THREE-PART ONE, HAND & FOOTPRINT CEREMONY/BABY JANE.
Our third day in Los Angeles was packed full of events. Brian and I got up bright and early to attend the Ginger Rogers film, Rafter Romance. The film was at the Egyptian Theater, which was the furthest from our hotel. We opted for breakfast at the hotel because nothing beats a free hotel waffle in my opinion. We chatted about our day, checked our schedule and made the sudden decision to attend the Hand and Footprint Ceremony.
This year Rob and Carl Reiner were honored in front of the historic Grauman's Chinese Theater. Once we started thinking about who could be in attendance, we decided to get in the long line for the once in a lifetime event.
We stood in line for a couple of hours before we were ushered into our standing room only section. We waited hoping to catch a glimpse of someone we knew and loved. Rob Reiner walked by and greeted us, and that was pretty great. Rob, 70, directed several iconic films you may have seen. Stand by Me, A Few Good Men, This is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride, and one of my all-time favorite films, When Harry Met Sally.
His father, Carl soon joined him near the stage. Carl, 95, created The Dick Van-Dyke Show and directed The Jerk and collaborated with one of my favorite men on earth, Mel Brooks.
Former Saturday Night Live comedian, Kevin Nealon; Carey Elwes from The Princess Bride attended (and later attend the screening of ‘Bride’); All in the Family creator Norman Lear; but then the crowd parted, and everyone got quiet when Billy Crystal walked in. I love Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally. This star sighting was enough to assure me that we had made the right decision in attending this historic event.
There were several more big names, but I watched Crystal the entire time. I was mesmerized by seeing the Harry Burns (Crystal’s character from When Harry Met Sally) right in front of me. We listened to several friends praise the Reiner men including Crystal.
"I played what was described as the two-hundred-year-old Jewish wizard that lived in the woods, which to me meant typecasting. That [The Princess Bride] lead to Rob trusting me to the part of a lifetime Harry Burns in “When Harry Met Sally.” An amazing script by Nora Ephron, phenomenal cast that Rob put together, the incredible Meg Ryan, Bruno Kirby, Carrie Fisher, who is no longer with us, but will always be with us in that amazing movie.”
Then the two [Carl and Rob Reiner] men took the podium each speaking about the honor they were receiving and their love for. movies and each other.
“The thing that is most important for me and why this means so much is, first of all, we are the first father and son to do this at the same time, but my father was my idol and I looked up to him. He stood for everything I wanted to be in life," said Rob Reiner.
His father, Carl said "I have favorite movies I watch, one is The Count of Monte Cristo, second is Random Harvest, a romantic movie and the other one is The Princess Bride, and time you feel low, put on The Princess Bride and you will go away smiling, My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!”
Once the ceremony finished, we raced up to the theater to get into the Judy Holiday classic, Born Yesterday. If you haven’t seen a Judy Holiday film, please take my advice and do so as soon as possible. She was beautiful, talented and very funny. She is often forgotten due to her passing sooner than she should have. Sadly, we were too late and had to make other plans. We had more than enough time to kill waiting for the next film to start so we decided to have lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.
We made our way up to the next film and our timing was perfect as we were number four and five for the film I was most excited about, Barefoot in the Park. 'Barefoot' stars my very favorite duo, Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Brian hadn’t seen it so I was giddy to share it on the big screen with him.
While in line Brian decided to meet and fell in love with another woman. Miss Zillah was roughly 75 years old and a ball of fire. Somehow she and Brian struck up quite a friendship that's still going strong today, as I got a message from Zillah asking me to tell my husband hi for her just last night. They discussed films, sports, where they were from and how much they hated standing in line because of the body aches. I guess I was too busy looking around and taking it all in because before I knew it, Brian had his back turned and was in Zillah’s world. This spitfire made such a big impression on everyone she met, that when I posted a photo of Brian and his new girlfriend several people commented and said they loved ‘Z’ and had spent a lot of time with her at past festivals. (Sidenote: The New Yorker ran a cartoon several weeks ago about the TCM Classic Film Festival and the cartoonist's experience at the event. She told her story through illustrations Zillah is featured, and the play’s a large role in her story, as she now does for many of us.)
There was nothing like seeing Barefoot in the Park with a crowd. Redford plays Paul, a conservative lawyer who has just married Corrie (Fonda) who is vivacious and everything I want to be in life. The couple navigate their way through the first few weeks of marriage and adjusting to life with each other. The film is hilarious and both Redford and Fonda are stunning to watch.
After the movie, we had a few hours to kill because we hit our only block during the festival that didn’t have one film we needed to see. Brian suggested we go back to Micelli’s Italian Restaurant, so we did. It was just as amazing the second time as it was the first. We sat and listened to music and enjoyed a drink before we made our way down Hollywood Boulevard and back to The Roosevelt Hotel for another event that I had been looking forward to.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? poolside. 'Baby Jane' is another favorite due to the sheer insanity of it all, as well as the amazing acting by Bette Davis. I have the song ‘I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy,’ on my phone and play it often. I knew it was going to be so much fun to see with a group out by the pool at the Roosevelt. I really wanted Brian to see a film poolside and though he isn’t a fan of either actress, he was a good sport and got into it. TCM staffers were handing out ‘Team Joan’ or ‘Team Bette’ ribbons to wear during the film. It was a great promo for the FX series Feud that had started the week prior to the festival. If you have a chance to see Feud, please see it. The series is now over but look for it on-demand. It’s really wonderful and stellar acting by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange.
We stayed and laughed and cheered with the rambunctious crowd until it was time to go get in line for my number one must see celebrity at the Festival, Mel Brooks. I wasn’t going to risk not seeing Brooks so we left 'Baby Jane' early to get in line for High Anxiety and I am glad we did.