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

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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…


Part of the research library for the on-air wraparaounds…

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 a lovely magazine, and one of his photos graces the cover.  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 at Turner Studios during Foreman’s interview before a screening of one of her favorite films, The Last of Sheila. (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.