Actor Glenn Taranto chosen as TCM Guest Programmer for April 9

Actor Glenn Taranto is one of the 20 guest programmers selected from TCM’s Ultimate Fan Video contest, and will be introducing “Went The Day Well?,” a film released in 1942 concerning the occupation of an English village by disguised German paratroopers planning a secret invasion. Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti and produced by Ealing Studios in Great Britain, Went The Day Well? is a premiere film on the Turner Classic Movies channel. Director Cavalcanti is also known for They Made Me A Fugitive(1947) with Trevor Howard and Affairs of a Rogue (1948) with Jean Pierre-Aumont. Taranto selected Went the Day Well? for his guest programming choice after critic Leonard Maltin personally recommended it to him at the 2011 Turner Classic Film Festival. Taranto believes in the power of the film because “60 years after the fact, it still relates to Flight 91 that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on 9/11.”

In an exclusive Examiner interview, Taranto revealed that it was “a whirlwind 48 hours in Atlanta. I arrived late Sunday, and went straight to the ‘W’ hotel, checked into my room, which had been generously provided by TCM, and then I had just enough time to change my clothes, freshen up, and head back to the lobby where all the other fan programmers were preparing to leave for a ‘meet and greet’ with TCM host Robert Osborne on the TCM set in Turner Studios.”

Taranto and some of his fans after a performance of The Donovan Affair at the Turner Classic Film Festival 2014 in The Egyptian…

Socializing on the set with Osborne and the other 19 guest programmers was energizing, and Taranto claims that “the excitement was palpable. I don’t think any of us could really believe we were going to be hosting a movie with Robert Osborne.” The ‘meet and greet’ also afforded the guest programmers to see the actual “big red chairs” that are employed when Osborne and his special celebrity hosts introduce classic films. Taranto was thrilled when he found out that each guest programmer would be photographed sitting in the famously iconic chairs

The photo on the wall in the background of the set that viewers often glimpse is actually an image of Colfax, Washington, Osborne’s hometown, according to Taranto. One of the fan programmers is Officer Byrd from Judge Judy’s court, whom Taranto claims “is a great guy. Byrd is nothing like he seems in the court room because he’s very friendly, likes to joke, and is always doing voices.”

Visiting with Osborne was also a memorable moment for Taranto who was also surprised at the lovely gifts presented to each programmer like a canvas bag that had an autographed copy of Robert Osborne’s latest book, 85 Years of the Oscar, a beautiful fleece blanket, a leather-bound journal, and a coffee mug all of which are embossed with the TCM logo.

Taranto was with the group whose first day included a tour of Atlanta and its environs, and he enjoyed visiting the Atlanta Aquarium, the Coca-Cola Museum, and the home where Margaret Mitchell lived when she wrote Gone With The Wind. All programmers were treated to a formal dinner at Olmsted with all the TCM staff.

Taranto’s presentation of Went The Day Well? will air on Wednesday, April 9, at midnight EST, and 9 p.m. PFT on Turner Classic Movies,

TCM Ultimate Fan Videos and Selected Guest Programmers

TCM ULTIMATE FAN VIDEOS OF SELECTED GUEST PROGRAMMERS

TCM’s 20th Anniversary Guest Programmers…

TCM’s Ultimate Fan Video Contest was definitely a success this year with more than 300 entries from all over the United States. The 90 seconds (or less) videos had to follow the strict rules discussed on the contest website, and entrants had from October 1st to October 31st to create their own Ultimate Fan Videos. Some videos of winning programmers no longer have valid links in the TCM Ultimate Fan Video Gallery, but some are still accessible, and have been included here:

Steve Hayes, from New York, N.Y., entered his fan video supporting Kings’ Row, but he is co-hosting a different film on Monday, April 7, at 1:30 a.m. It’s 1954′s Them! : http://fancontest.tcm.com/Entries/view/177/sort:entry_vote_count/direction:dir
Hayes also has a popular Youtube series: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VuH8bMCpLxo

Onalee McGraw, from Front Royal, Virginia, chose 1957′s 12 Angry Men, and will be introducing it during her Guest Programming spot in the TCM limelight at 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday, April 9: http://fancontest.tcm.com/Entries/view/311/sort:entry_vote_count/direction:dir

Robert Best, of Los Angeles, California, chose The Umbrellas of Cherbourg for his Ultimate Fan Video, and it’s also the same film he will introduce with Robert Osborne at 2:15 a.m. on Thursday, April 10: http://fancontest.tcm.com/Entries/view/270/sort:entry_vote_count/direction:dir

On midnight, April 11, Alberto Ferreras will host his favorite film, and the subject of his Ultimate Fan Video, Nights of Cabiria: http://fancontest.tcm.com/Entries/view/273/sort:entry_vote_count/direction:dir

Actor Glenn Taranto and some of his fans after the performance of The Donovan Affair at the Turner Classic Film Festival 2014

Glenn Taranto, from Culver City, California, chose Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein for his Ultimate Fan Video, but he will introduce a TCM premiere, Went the Day Well (1942) another of Taranto’s favorites, at midnight on Wednesday, April 9. Turner Classic Film Festival pass holders might remember Taranto as he appeared at last year’s festival in the popular production of The Donovan Affair. His video is characterized by a busy street scene in LA: http://fancontest.tcm.com/entries/view/91/sort:entry_vote_count/direction:dir

TCM’s Ultimate Fan Video Grand Prize Winner…
TCM Ultimate Fan Video winner Tiffany Vasquez hails from New, York, N.Y., and chose The Naked City for the subject of her entry video, filmed in black and white. Vasquez will be the first Guest Programmer featured on Monday, April 7th, at 8 p.m.: http://fancontest.tcm.com/Entries/view/84/sort:entry_vote_count/direction:dir
Comments on the contest announcement page discussed the contest entrants and Tiffany’s award-winning video: “Judges were impressed with Tiffany’s content, staging and creative use of effects, which resulted in the video looking like the movie she discussed. As the grand prize winner, Tiffany will have the opportunity to co-host a film on air with TCM host Robert Osborne, as well as introduce a film at the TCM Classic Film Festival in April 2014.

The response to this contest was tremendous, and the panel of judges was thrilled to see the passion and creativity of TCM fans. Thanks to everyone who participated, and congratulations to Tiffany!”

Tiffany receives an all-expense paid trip to the Turner Classic Film Festival 2014 for her efforts. Congratulatons!

UPDATED FILM LIST SELECTIONS FOR THE TCM ULTIMATE FAN CONTEST: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/updated-film-title-list-for-the-tcm-ultimate-fan-contest/
THE FIRST 15 GUEST PROGRAMMERS: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/the-first-15-tcm-guest-programmers/
ULTIMATE FAN VIDEO POPULAR FILMS LIST: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/updated-film-title-list-for-the-tcm-ultimate-fan-contest/
GUEST PROGRAMMER SCHEDULE AND TCM PRESS RELEASE, 1-31-2014: http://news.turner.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=6618
OFFICIAL RULES: http://fancontest.tcm.com/pages/rules
TCM ULTIMATE FAN VIDEO GALLERY: http://fancontest.tcm.com/entries

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS —TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon….

“With a little common sense, you could have made a statesman,” claims Orson Welles as Cardinal Wolsey as he redresses Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More for opposing him during a council meeting.

And that simple phrase sums up the worldly view of a man who had a conscience and an “intolerable moral squint.”

Robert Bolt’s play of the same name was adapted for the screen by the playwright himself, and he made adjustments to the script by adding a few scenes crucial to the narrative once he removed the play’s narrator, the Common Man, a role Leo McKern originated on the stage both in London and New York. McKern was then employed as “Master Cromwell,” who replaced Wolsey after Wolsey couldn’t perform the task of resolving the matter of King Henry VIII’s divorce.

But the showcase role, which earned Paul Scofield an Academy Award, was not initially awarded to Scofield. Sir Richard Burton was first considered, but he turned them down flat with his Welsh pragmatism. Even Sir Laurence Olivier regarded the role as that of Scofield’s and eventually the powers that be, who felt Scofield not a well-known enough actor required to carry such a financial expenditure, acquiesced.

A Renaissance man, Sir Thomas More, was confident in his beliefs about God and man, and refused King Henry’s demands for More’s oath of allegiance to the Act of Succession:

“I (state you name) do utterly testifie and declare in my Conscience, that the Kings Highnesse is the onely Supreame Governour of this Realme, and all other his Highnesse Dominions and Countries, as well in all Spirituall or Ecclesiasticall things or causes, as Temporall: And that no forraine Prince, Person, Prelate, State or Potentate, hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction, Power, Superiorities, Preeminence or Authority Ecclesiasticall or Spirituall within this Realme. And therefore, I do utterly renounce and forsake all Jurisdictions, Powers, Superiorities, or Authorities; and do promise that from henchforth I shall beare faith and true Allegiance to the Kings Highnesse, his Heires and lawfull Successors: and to my power shall assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Priviledges, Preheminences and Authorities granted or belonging to the Kings Highnesse, his Heires and Successors or united and annexed to the Imperial Crowne of the Realme: so helpe me God: and by the Contents of this Booke.”

More’s defense at his trial included references to the Magna Carta, The Bible, and the King’s own Act of Supremacy in 1535.

Director Fred Zinneman and Actor Paul Scofield on the set of A Man For All Seasons..

Paul Scofield’s performance, both staid and erudite, passive at moments, and passionate at others, reveals how a man of conscience deals with power mongers of any century. Originating the stage role in Bolt’s play, A Man For All Seasons, his portrayal of More on the boards received acclaim on both sides of the pond.

Richard Rich, the ambitious backwater politician, is seen as the man instigating the conflict and downfall of More at the hands of Cromwell, and John Hurt’s first screen role as Rich, makes us feel his burning ambition, and that anyone who steps in his path, even a man as righteous as More, will be undone. Hurt’s moment of high perjury as Rich is the catalyst for Scofield’s most impassioned speech during A Man For All Seasons, and without Hurt’s grabbing and scratching for supremacy in the theatre of men as Richard Rich, More’s shock at Rich’s blatancy evolved to the passion and erudition of More’s final speech before Parliament.

Scofield received many acting awards and honors during his lifetime, but was very selective about his screen choices. His 1962 performance of King Lear on the British stage was voted the best stage performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company in a poll encompassing 400 years of performances, and voters included some of the greatest stage actors of our times.(Judi Dench’s Lady Macbeth came in second.) Scofield did not seek the limelight, or awards, but he did seek to find roles that were memorable and rewarding, and viewers of A Man For All Seasons are the recipients of Scofield’s nuanced performance and dedication to his craft.

A portrait of Sir Thomas More by Hans Holbein The Younger commissioned in 1527…

A Man For All Seasons won six Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinneman), Best Actor for Paul Scofield, Best Costume Design (Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge), Best Screenplay from another medium for Robert Bolt, and Best Cinematography (Ted Moore).

It’s on today on TCM! Check the schedule for local screenings: http://www.tcm.com/schedule/

Scofield’s biography: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006890/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

A Man For All Seasons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Man_for_All_Seasons_(1966_film)

The Royal Shakespeare Poll: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1469918/Scofields-Lear-voted-the-greatest-Shakespeare-performance.html

More tropes about the play and film: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Theatre/AManForAllSeasons

The Trial of Sir Thomas More: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/more/more.html

A Facebook page and safe haven for all fans of A Man For All Seasons created by Sam Loomis: https://www.facebook.com/groups/267080256773209/

Part of the The 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon…

Rest In Peace, Dear Shirley.

Rest in Peace, Shirley Temple Black, 1928-2014

Shirley Temple in Captain January, 1936

Shirley Temple was very important to my mother, Dorothy, who grew up in the Depression, and so much so, she tried to remake me in Shirley’s image many nights until I was 5 or 6 because she would roll my hair in pin curls, and I would sleep with bobby pins affixed to my crown to ensure that I was adorable. I also remember performing “On The Good Ship Lollipop” after I had listened to my 45 of Temple’s most famous song, and being asked to perform it in front of adults. In Child Star, Temple’s autobiography, she recalled that she didn’t much care for performing on demand, claiming it was like being a “wind-up toy.” I certainly wasn’t in demand as much as Miss Temple, but I definitely felt the same way about requests for a song or a dance. Of Shirley’s earlier films, I enjoyed Wee Willie Winkie and The Little Princess the most.

An excerpt from an article about Shirley Temple Black written by Norma Welty:
“Many girls, like myself, who grew up extremely poor in the Dust Bowl during the 1930s Great Depression revered Shirley Temple. We knew about her through listening to the girls from the more well-off families whose parents took them to see the young actress’s movies. These more fortunate girls often brought pictures of Shirley Temple to school and talked profusely about her and her movies.”

“Ms. Temple Black ran for Congress when the majority of voters weren’t yet prepared to vote for a woman rather than a male opponent—and was defeated. But she hadn’t put all her eggs in one basket. Later, she was appointed to represent the United States in the United Nations, was the first woman appointed US Chief of Protocol and she later served as US Ambassador to Ghana and US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. She did it all without fanfare, and to name but a few, she may have paved the way for Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Shirley Temple Black was an inspiration to all women because she moved on. She didn’t dwell on her past films, or her past accomplishments, but she moved on from a childhood screen career, an unsuccessful marriage, and a debilitating bout with cancer, and her film legacy still inspires people all over the world.

Shirley sings “Auld Lang Syne” to Victor McLaglen in Wee Willie Winkie: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pMr5oU3uDSs

For the entire article by Norma Welty from the website History and Women, I have provided the link: http://www.historyandwomen.com/2013/02/shirley-temple-black-depression-era.html

Official Shirley Temple Black Website with an updated rememberance: http://www.shirleytemple.com/
Shirley Temple Black Filmography: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000073/

Why Jerry?

When Turner Classic Movies recently announced that Jerry Lewis would be a special guest at the TCMFF 2014 for a special screening of The Nutty Professor and Footprint Ceremony at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Forecourt (add TCL to the title of the movie house if you haven’t refused to change), the reaction was a visceral one among prospective passholders to the festival, and Jerry Lewis has always had that effect.

People usually either revile him or adore him, but it is now time to honor Lewis as an icon of Classic Hollywood before it is too late. Lewis, rumored to be part of an all-star cast of 2015′s Big Finish with Debbie Reynolds, Mary Tyler Moore, Tim Conway, Garret Morris, Don Rickles, and Bob Newhart, will certainly have a symbolic ‘big finish’ to his entertainment career once his footprints and handprints are enshrined in Grauman’s forecourt.

Why Jerry, then?

Well, for one reason, he will do just about anything for a laugh.

And he’s Classic Hollywood, for another…

He also has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and if there is one activity that marks every TCM Film Festival pass holder, it’s the admiration of Hollywood icons memorialized on the tourist stroll through t-shirt heaven, Hollywood Boulevard. Film fanatics from all over the world converge at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to pay homage and bask in cinematic glory of the bygone days and halcyon havens of the 20s to the 2000′s while viewing classic film and listening to panel experts extoll the virtues of the rapidly vanishing members of what may be deemed the classic era of Hollywood production. Travelers from Texas to Topeka stoop, stroll, walk and stare at the tiles on the Boulevard while flashes from iPhones light up the night as festival goers head home from an evening screening at a nearby theatre, but exhausted as they are, these visitors just have to have one more photo of someone’s star on the Walk of Fame.

Lewis’ accomplishments are also part of the machinations of his choice as an TCMFF honoree, and his veneration by the Europeans is probably part of his attraction. The Venice Film Festival’s Career Golden Lion in 1999, The Golden Camera for Lifetime Achievement in 2005 from Germany, a BAFTA nomination for his supporting role in The King of Comedy, and many lifetime achievement awards for his contributions to comedy might have something to do with it, as well as his humanitarian causes which led to his 2009 Jean Herscholt award from the Academy. He has writing, producting, acting, and directing credits, and he is still here.

When 19-year-old Jerome Levitch teamed up with one of his 29-year-old acquaintances named Dino Crocetti, some sort of magic happened, becoming known to the world as Martin and Lewis.

They became BFFs and supernovas, but ended up not talking for years until Frank Sinatra invited Dean on stage at a Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. It was historic when they teamed up, it was historic when they broke up, and it was historic when they reunited…

http://tinyurl.com/mtz3bpw

But despite pleas and attempts from Jerry, the relationship didn’t ever completely mend. When Martin’s son died in a plane crash, Jerry called to offer his condolences and a series of sporadic phone calls helped to end some of the possible pain of the breakup of Martin and Lewis.

Honoring Jerry Lewis for all of his comedic talents, his film credits, and his philanthropic gestures is the right choice to make. He’s tenacious, some say he grates on their nerves, and probably evokes everyone’s idea of the wacky, unruly kid in the cafeteria who is willing to put french fries up his nose to make everyone at his table guffaw. While some people are called to be policemen, accountants, or educators, some people seek the limelight for the attention so they can make us laugh. Jerry, I am sure, liked the attention, but he also has created more smiles for the general public of his times than say, someone like Nikita Kruschev or Robert Q. Lewis. Jerry Lewis has also inspired countless comedians who followed in his wake like Eddie Murphy and Robin Williams.

When I first heard that Jerry Lewis was chosen to be honored with a footprint ceremony, I never envisioned me writing about it, but he has certainly earned our respect and shown us new pathways to humor and philanthropy. He deserves our applause.

The Official Jerry Lewis Comedy Museum and Store: http://www.jerrylewiscomedy.com/
Jerry’ Departure from the MDA Telethon: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/05/entertainment/la-et-jerry-lewis-20110805
A 2005 review of Dean and Me: A Love Story by Shawn Levy: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2005/oct/21/1
Jerry Lewis Filmography: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001471/

Why will we never see The Day the Clown Cried? Thanks to Facebook Friend Elise Crane Derby for the link: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xD-BYt8KiwA&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DxD-BYt8KiwA

2009: The First 15 TCM Guest Programmers

PART OF THE ORIGINAL PUBLICITY RELEASE…

Release Date: 1/7/2009

Turner Classic Movies Welcomes 15 of the Network’s Biggest Fans As Guest Programmers for Special 15th Anniversary Event

Some of TCM’s Biggest Fans from Around the Country to Introduce Memorable Movies

Guest Spots with TCM Host Robert Osborne to Air When the Network Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary in April 2009

To celebrate the network’s 15th Anniversary in April 2009, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has selected some of its biggest fans from around the country to serve as Guest Programmers. Each fan will join TCM host Robert Osborne to introduce a movie chosen from TCM’s unparalleled library of films, with titles including such popular fare as Gone with the Wind (1939), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), The Maltese Falcon (1941) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), as well as lesser-known gems like So Long at the Fair (1950) and Those Lips, Those Eyes (1980).

The fans include people of all ages, from a 14-year-old who loves classic films and a 27-year-old working for the Austin Film Society to a 51-year-old who works in historical preservation in Las Vegas and a 69-year-old who was chosen because of his frequent contributions to TCM’s online message boards. The special event will mark the first time TCM has invited a group of everyday viewers to appear on-air with Osborne.

“TCM has a special relationship with its great fans. For our 15th anniversary, we wanted to do something unique and give a few of them the chance to share their love of the movies with all TCM viewers,” said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming for TCM. “This special Guest Programmer celebration is our way of saying thanks to the movie lovers who make TCM what it is – not just a network, but a community of people who are devoted to classic cinema.”

The following is an alphabetical listing of the fans serving as Guest Programmers for TCM’s 15th Anniversary.

Peter Bosch, Hollywood, Calif.
Film: Those Lips, Those Eyes (1980)

Theresa Brown, New York
Film: The Letter (1940)

Joe Buonocore, Deltona, Fla.
Film: Double Indemnity (1944)

Juan Castro, Northridge, Calif.
Film: Swing Time (1936)

Monica Elliott, Atlanta
Film: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Lani Golstab, Austin, Texas
Film: Grand Illusion (1937)

Philip Himberg, Santa Monica, Calif.
Film: So Long at the Fair (1950)

Jeff Hoyak, Pequannock, N.Y.
Film: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Kyle Kersten, Los Angeles
Film: Meet John Doe (1941)

April Lane, New York
Film: Gone with the Wind (1939)

Jay Looker, Sedona, Ariz.
Film: Silk Stockings (1957)

Rome Mendheim, North Hollywood, Calif.
Film: Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Lisa Mordente, Nanuet, N.Y.
Film: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Anna Seager, Salisbury, Md.
Film: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

Lynn Zook, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Film: She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)

All the Guest Programmers gather on the set for a cocktail party. TCM Message Boards members Cinemaven, lzcutter, Filmlover, Mongo, Miss Goddess, and the late Kyle Kersten are also featured in this photo taken at the celebration on the Atlanta set of TCM in 2009.

When will we learn about the new crop of 20 Guest Programmers who will grace the stage with Robert Osborne for their own personal moment in the TCM fun? Celebrating 20 years of TCM is definitely an honor, and more information will be shared in the coming months. I can’t wait!

Here’s an article about the first 15: http://www.accessatlanta.com/news/entertainment/celebrity-news/tcm-invites-guests-for-anniversary-celebration/nQybf/

And another: http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/236714%7C0/TCM-15th-Anniversary.html

The TCM Message Boards Thread devoted to the Guest Programmers: http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=140648&tstart=0&messageID=8214640#8214640

A Partial list of Guest Programmers from 2005 -2012: http://www.robertosborne.com/content/guestProgrammer.html

A discussion from 2009 on The Silver Screen Oasis about the first 14: http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3004&start=0

Part 2: In The TCM Studio….

My day in the studio at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta was so much fun, and I was introduced to so many folks who have been integral to the success of the Atlanta productions for Turner Classic Movies. Many of the employees featured in my article often travel to L.A. to assist with the Turner Classic Film Festival every year.

Whenever the 20 Guest Programmers visit Atlanta to appear with Robert Osborne, they might meet some of these media industry professionals like …

Camera Operator Pam Ritzie, who was trained in the arts, enjoys being one of the few women hired as camera operators in the film industry, and loves working at TCM in Turner Studios…

The unmistakable allure of the dish garden provides services to over 100 branded channels in 30 languages beaming to 200 countries..

The Turner Studios wall of fame…

One of the many mini-homages to Ted Turner on the Turner History Retrospective outside one of the studios…

Ted Turner’s duplicate Hollywood Walk of Fame star in front of his former studios. (The original is located at 7000 Hollywood Blvd.)

Nick Berry, Lighting Assistant, was very busy, but stopped for a quick photo op…

Lighting Director Thomas Branch was so funny, and was very personable…

Production Assistant Jacob Griswell and Key Grip Roger Sherer were happy to smile for the camera. Both Jacob and Roger have multiple responsibilities and are constantly engaged in the production…

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a photo with cute Peter McIntosh, whose official title is Utility Grip, but he did give me a copy of this lovely magazine, and one of his photos graces the cover. Isn’t it beautiful? Peter is the Staff Photographer at Georgia Mountain Laurel, which highlights entertainment, business and all subjects concerning travel to the exciting state of Georgia.

I also was lucky enough to visit with Senior Production Manager and Assistant Director Anne Wilson, and Sandi Winslow, who is in charge of the Teleprompter, but unfortunately didn’t have any photos of these lovely ladies.

Adorable Art Director Marty Kelly and Senior Research Whiz Alexa Foreman are good friends…

Alexa Foreman and Robert Osborne lunch at Turner Studios on Tuesday, January 14. (Photo courtesy of TCM)

And what does Ben Mankiewicz think about those Oakland A’s this year?
Follow the link to find out: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XIEL7w-D3JE
(Photographed by Peter McIntosh)

My many thanks to the wonderful TCM Staff at Turner Studios, Senior Researcher Alexa Foreman and Host Ben Mankiewicz.

Contact Senior Researcher Alexa Foreman at ASK ALEXA on The Silver Screen Oasis, a website for fans of classic film, here:http://silverscreenoasis.com/oasis3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6338&start=60
Contact Peter McIntosh at McIntosh Mountains Photography: http://www.mcintoshmountains.com

Remembering Alicia Rhett At The Gone With The Wind Museum in Marietta, Georgia…

During my visit to Turner Studios in December, I was also lucky enough to travel to Marietta, Georgia, and visit with Connie Sutherland, the Director of the Gone With the Wind Museum, known as “Scarlett on the Square,” because of the museum’s location on the historic old town square. Sutherland gave Alexa Foreman, Senior Researcher at TCM, and me a personal tour of all the exhibits in the museum.

I didn’t say much, however, as I was fascinated by the meeting of two such knowledgeable historians as Foreman and Sutherland. Both of these ladies started discussing all the history of the area and the film responsible for the museum’s popularity, the actors and actresses, the directors, and various other aspects of Margaret Mitchell’s life and work, and much more. All I could do was listen.

An original shooting script of Gone With The Wind…

Foreman’s grandmother was childhood friends with Margaret Mitchell and Sutherland was fascinated by some of the details shared by Foreman concerning their connections, including the fact that Foreman’s grandmother and her grandmother’s family lived right behind Mitchell’s family during their formative years.

As we toured all the exhibits, including multiple first editions of Gone With The Wind from Russia, France, and many other countries, Foreman and Sutherland discussed how Ann Rutherford was a serious patron of the museum and a close friend of one of the original museum directors. (Ann Rutherford attended the 2011 Turner Classic Film Festival in 2011 with good friend Ann Jeffreys, and was also a devoted friend to TCM.)

Two of the greatest film historians I’ve ever known, Connie Sutherland, Director of the Gone With the Wind Museum, and Alexa Foreman, Senior Researcher at TCM, grace the display of one of the original costumes from Gone With The Wind at the museum in Marietta, Georgia. (The silk Bengaline honeymoon gown, designed by award-winning costumer Walter Plunkett and worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett while she chooses family gifts in New Orleans was “purposefully hued an ecru shade so that the dress would appear white on the Technicolor film reels.”)

Mitchell also gifted all the major players of the 1939 film with a set of china depicting historic scenes from Atlanta’s past, and the complete set in the museum display was donated to the museum by Ann Rutherford.

Benevolent Gone With The Wind actress Ann Rutherford also donated her gold and diamond locket worn in several films, including Gone With The Wind, to the museum…

Foreman and Sutherland were discussing the details of the set, and Sutherland revealed that the china set Mitchell gifted Vivien Leigh was not like the rose/bone-colored pattern of Rutherford’s set of donated china in the display, but was specially ordered in green/bone-colored tones by Mitchell for Leigh’s gift, possibly highlighting the green-and-white of Leigh’s iconic gown as Scarlett eats barbecue at the Wilkes’.

The pattern of Scarlett’s dress might have been the inspiration for the china set sent to Leigh from Margaret Mitchell..

Two chairs from the film flanked by framed lobby cards….

Other fabulous displays in the museum also include a tribute to the revered Hattie McDaniel, a scale model replica of Tara, several reproductions and original costumes from the film, and a well-stocked gift shop with books, memorabilia, and iconic reproductions of photos and items from the film as well as historical tomes about the area.

Alicia Rhett and Leslie Howard on the set of Gone With The Wind…

But one of the little known facts about the one of the film’s most visible characters, is that Alicia Rhett, who has just passed away in Charleston, South Carolina, is that she was an accomplished artist, in addition to playing one of Scarlett’s nemeses, India Wilkes. Rhett is said to have sketched many of the principal actors while working on the 1939 film, and also completed a reproduction of Joseph Manigault that can be seen at the Manigault House Museum in Charleston. Follow the link to see it on the Charleston Museum Website: http://www.charlestonmuseum.org/N5Content/pdf/houses/jmh%20tourbook%20web%202011.pdf

An Alicia Rhett portrait of Rhett’s mother…
Rhett had resided at the Bishop Gadsden Retirement Community in Charleston since the early 2000s, and would still sketch and continue to draw and off and on until she could no longer hold a pencil.

Alicia Rhett and Howard Hickman as John Wilkes and his daughter India in Gone With The Wind…

Discovered by MGM’s Kay Brown, Rhett had been performing at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, the first theater constructed in America “exclusively” for the purpose of theatrical performances…

Sutherland was able to visit Alicia Rhett several years ago, and remembered her as a quiet, but sociable woman who obviously had fond memories of her days in Hollywood. Rhett would not speak specifically about her experiences on the set of Gone With The Wind, but she did have a twinkle in her eyes every time Sutherland mentioned how people still asked about the film and Rhett’s whereabouts and circumstances. “She was just very coy and cute about it all, and seemed a little shy,” but Rhett enjoyed discussing the film, according to Sutherland. (It has always been rumored that Rhett had a very serious romance with an actor during her time in Hollywood, which might explain the fact that she never appeared in another film, but Rhett never publicly revealed any information about her suspected amour.)

According to Sutherland, Rhett never married, but was still very well taken care of at the Bishop Gadsden Retirement Community in Charleston during her later years, and often continued to field questions from the curious who might find out that the quiet but ladylike resident was actually India Wilkes. Most “Windies”, as Gone With The Wind fanatics are called, shouldn’t miss a visit to the Gone With The Wind Museum in Marietta, and a special celebration is planned for the 75th anniversary in June.

CNN article about the passing of Miss Alicia Rhett: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/03/showbiz/alicia-rhett-dies/
Gone With The Wind Museum in Marietta: http://www.gwtwmarietta.com/default.aspx
Other sources:http://bonavides75.blogspot.com/
View the PBS Documentary “American Rebel “about Margaret Mitchell, her accomplishments, her philanthropy, and how she risked her life to help educate African-Americans: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/margaret-mitchell-american-rebel/watch-the-full-documentary/2047/
The Dock Street Theatre: http://www.charlestonstage.com/dock-street-theatre.html
What George Cukor had to say about Alicia Rhett as Melanie: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/web/gwtw/scarlett/arhett.html

To find more links concerning other Gone With The Wind, follow this link: http://www.gwtwmarietta.com/links.aspx

Photos of the Gone With The Wind Museum represent only a small portion of the exhibits.

TCM FESTIVAL 2010 Guest Juanita Moore Passes Away…

2010 Turner Classic Film Festival Guest Juanita Moore has passed away at the age of 99. Here’s a link to the initial ABC News Report: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/t/story/juanita-moore-oscar-nominated-actress-dead-99-21393848?ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

TCM’s Facebook page shared this link on January 2: http://variety.com/2014/film/news/juanita-moore-oscar-nommed-for-imitation-of-life-dies-at-99-1201018950/

Juanita Moore, Robert Osborne, and Susan Kohner

Moore graced the stage of the Egyptian Theatre for a discussion of Douglas Sirk’s Imitation of Life with Susan Kohner as “Grace Under Pressure” host Robert Osborne fielded some surprising responses from Moore, who received a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.

Both Moore and Kohner revealed many behind-the-scenes anecdotes at the 3:30 screening of the Lana Turner vehicle on Friday, April 23, of the 2010 festival. Audiences ignored the critics of 1959′s Imitation of Life to make it Universal’s most financially successful feature at that time. After the screening, Moore’s step-grandson, actor Kirk Kelly Kahn, stated that he was working on a documentary of her life. Kahn is currently president and CEO of the Cambridge Players.

TCM Message Boards member Countess DeLave was seated next to Miss Moore during the Gala Premiere screening of A Star is Born, and recalls that her conversations with the actress were a delight because “Miss Moore was cheerful, kind, and had a very positive outlook on life.”

Rest in Peace, Dear Miss Juanita Moore.

On The Set Of Turner Classic Movies With Ben Mankiewicz…

I was lucky enough to spend December 6th at the Turner Studios in Atlanta watching Ben Mankiewicz film some of his segments for our favorite cable channel, Turner Classic Movies, which will be twenty years old in 2014, and it is still commercial free.

Where else can classic film fans view their favorite films ad-free and with in-depth commentary by Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz?

My good friend Alexa Foreman, Senior Researcher at TCM, took me on a short tour of the offices of TCM personnel concerned with the responsibilities of the day-to-day operations, and I met the lovely Holly Harper, a sweet lady who just happens to be Programming Director. Harper also happily admits to reading the “Sue Sue” TCM Film Festival columns on the TCM Message Boards from time to time, some of which are archived on this blog, with more scheduled for updating by 2014. (The “Sue Sue” TCM Festival columns have a combined readership of over 100,000 views on three different blogs, one of which is The Silver Screen Oasis, host of a popular Guest Author Series highlighting authors concerned with classic film subjects.) Harper reads the TCM Message Boards every day and appreciates TCM viewers and their comments, and is enthusiastic about her dedication to TCM. I also was able to say hello to Tim Reilly, the director of my Fan Perspective Video filmed in 2010 on the roof of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, and watch the elusive but adorable Sean Cameron as he directed Ben Mankiewicz’s segments, as well meeting many other hard-working and dedicated staffers.

Senior Researcher Alexa Foreman hard at work…

I was most curious about how each introduction and final comments were written, reviewed, and filmed, and it is obvious that much detail and detective work accompanies scripts prepared for Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, and Mr. Osborne still reviews all the scripts used in the wraparounds.

A small portion of the TCM Research Library…

Ms. Foreman, as “The Keeper of the Flame” of accuracy and detail, reviews content, checks facts, and monitors a shoot while it is being filmed from her office outside of the studio. Foreman also reviews the video feed from the studio to modify any changes Ben Mankiewicz or Robert Osborne might make to a segment.

In order to research each script, Foreman has access to a huge library of film-related books, compilations, filmographies, encyclopedias, and biographies of actors, actresses, directors, technicians, photographers, and screenwriters, a roomful of digital files and interviews, and various other electronic sources in order to develop scripts for Osborne and Mankiewicz.

One of the many hallways leading to the studio where Ben Mankiewicz films his segments contains highlights of Turner Studios through the years…

When I arrived on the set before Ben had entered, I was immediately offered a sumptuous breakfast prepared by a local Atlanta caterer who had steam tables filled with hot biscuits, sausage, bacon, cheese grits, and eggs. Also prepared for the staff on set included coffee, tea, and sodas, fresh fruit, granola bars, and other yummy snacks. Since the action on the set is fast-paced and allows for a short lunch break and a ten-minute turnaround between sequences, TCM ensures all the breakfast and lunch needs of crew members to keep everyone happy!

Pat Segers, in charge of makeup and hairstyling on the set, is another sweet lady who has been with TCM since the beginning of operations, and has been privy to many of Robert Osborne’s Private Screenings as well as many of Osborne’s own wraparounds.

Segers shared that she met Betty Hutton, Robert Mitchum, Ann Miller, Jane Russell, and many other Private Screenings subjects, and marveled at how Osborne has been able to elicit such candid comments from many of Hollywood’s stars of classic films. Segers claimed Betty Hutton was quite nervous on the set, but Osborne’s manner helped to calm her for the cameras, and Hutton clutched her rosary for much of the filming. Ann Miller was very “polished” both in her appearance and her manner, and Robert Mitchum was laughing and joking with the crew, but was very ill at the time of his taping. Segers has her own personal styling business, and reveals that she “airbrushes” on all the foundation before her subjects are ready for their moment on the screen

When Ben arrived on the set, he smiled, and we started chatting about the last festival. He was happy to see I was there to chronicle his day in front of the camera.

Ben being prepped by a staffer for the next segment…

The first few moments before filming a segment, Ben reviews the scripts, and plans how he will pace his descriptions of each movie, sometimes repeating a name or phrase that he might be unsure of as he laughs and jokes with crew members in between preparation time and shooting the script. Ben also told me that he checks all his “scripts in the wraparounds” and receives copies several days prior to the shoot, editing and/or reviewing “every single one of them,” and often adding some of his personalized comments. On the day of filming, he reads through them again in order to make additional changes if necessary. With such detailed preproduction for the Mankiewicz and Osborne programs, Turner Classic Movies continues to be a cable channel whose personnel are all focused on accuracy and professionalism.

Ben also wanted me to share a photo with everyone…

The Atlanta set is decorated with Rookie’s leash and other pet related items, and Ben was wistful talking about Rookie, and was deeply impressed that his fans cared so much about his beloved furry friend. Since there had been such concern during the last festival about the death of Rookie, he wanted everyone to see his current pals–Petey, Lewey, and Bob, and he said that Bob is actually a girl!

More in Part 2 …

Many thanks to Ben Mankiewicz, Alexa Foreman, Sean Cameron, and the crew of Turner Classic Movies for a fabulous day in Atlanta!

Pat Segers has her own make-up and styling business and can be contacted at pat@patsegers.com.