TCM Film Festival 2022 Picks

Classic film fans can REJOICE! Happy days are here again with the return of the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Film Festival and there are so many wonderful films, panel discussions, and guest appearances to enjoy with fellow cinephiles. This will be my second time attending the festival, and frankly, I’ve been ready for the next in-person fest since the 2019 iteration ended. Fittingly, this year’s theme is “All Together Now: Back to the Big Screen.”

If you’ll be in Hollywood for the festival, I hope to see you there! If not, there is still more classic movie fun to be had. TCM programming continues with its mission of connecting audiences of the present to these great films and performances of the past, and I’ll be providing coverage here as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Without further adieu, here are my picks for this year’s festival.

Day 1: Thursday, April 21

  • Jewel Robbery (1932). A gentleman thief charms a Viennese baron’s wife and also conducts a daring daylight robbery of a jeweler.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #4, 7:15pm-8:30pm
    • Programming Series: Discoveries
    • Special Guest: Cari Beauchamp
    • Reason for Pick: I adore Pre-Codes and William Powell. I was also incredibly impressed with Cari Beauchamp’s introductions at the 2019 festival and am so excited to hear her introduce this one!
  • A Star is Born (1937). A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom and achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.
    • Location: The Legion Theater at Post 43, 9:45pm-11:45pm
    • Programming Series: Essentials
    • Special Guest: Bernardo Rondeau
    • Reason for Pick: This version has eluded me. I have only seen clips from this one and they have been very poor quality. I’m excited to see a nice print of this film in full.
  • Most Excited About: Jewel Robbery (1932). 

Day 2: Friday, April 22

  • The Jungle Book (1967). Bagheera the Panther and Baloo the Bear have a difficult time trying to convince a boy to leave the jungle for human civilization.
    • Location: El Capitan Theatre, 10am-11:45am
    • Programming Series: Festival Tributes
    • Special Guests: Leonard Maltin, Floyd Norman
    • Reason for Pick: This is a movie that I would watch ad nauseam as a child, so there’s a strong sense of nostalgia in store for me. I enjoy the vocal performances in this film–Phil Harris, Louis Prima, George Sanders, and more!–and also saw a documentary about animator Floyd Norman a while ago. I’m looking forward to hearing about his experiences as an animator. 
  • A Little Song, A Little Dance (2022). All singing! All dancing! All rarely seen clips from the Paramount Archives! Music in the movies has always been an essential element of the fantasy world it helps create. This special presentation by the ever-informative and entertaining Andrea Kalas, Senior Vice President of the Paramount Archives, aims to dive into on-screen talents both well-known and worth-remembering, offering something for every musical taste: from country and blues to rock, swing, and kazoos. 
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #6, 2pm-3pm
    • Programming Series: Special Presentation
    • Special Guest: Andrea Kalas
    • Reason for Pick: I’m a huge fan of musicals and archives, so this is a sure bet for me. This is a unique festival offering that promises to capture my interest as a fellow researcher and archivist. 
  • Cocktail Hour (1933). Cynthia Warren, independently wealthy through her ability as an illustrator and poster artist, rebels against the premise that every woman is destined for matrimony and motherhood, and decides she has as much right as a man to play around sans benefit of marriage.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #6, 7:15pm-8:45pm
    • Programming Series: Discoveries
    • Special Guests: Cari Beauchamp, Suzanne Lloyd
    • Reason for Pick: Cari Beauchamp and a new-to-me Pre-Code strike again! I’m also eager to hear Suzanne Lloyd speak about her experiences as well as her family history, as she is the granddaughter of Harold Lloyd and Mildred Davis.
  • The Gay Divorcee (1934). A woman thinks a flirting man is the co-respondent her lawyer has hired to expedite her divorce.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #4, 9:15pm-11:15pm
    • Programming Series: Second Time Around
    • Special Guest: Adam Shankman
    • Reason for Pick: I’ve never seen a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film on the big screen! It’s HIGH time to fix that!
  • Most Excited About: Cocktail Hour (1933).  

Day 3: Saturday, April 23

  • Angels with Dirty Faces (1938). A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids. 
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #6, 9am-10:45am
    • Programming Series: Essentials
    • Special Guest: Keith Carradine
    • Reason for Pick: I haven’t seen this one before and have never been disappointed in a James Cagney performance.
    • NOTE: An honorable mention! Too Busy to Work (1932) is playing during this slot and is a wonderful Will Rogers film that also includes a young Dick Powell in a supporting role. There is a very heartfelt moment near the end of this gem. I have seen this film before and am opting to see something that is new to me instead; however, I strongly recommend it!
  • The Flame and the Arrow (1950). Dardo, a Robin Hood-like figure, and his loyal followers use a Roman ruin in Medieval Lombardy as their headquarters as they conduct an insurgency against their Hessian conquerors.
    • Location: The Legion Theater at Post 43, 12pm-2pm
    • Programming Series: Special Presentation
    • Special Guests: Craig Barron, Ben Burtt, Gordon Gebert
    • Reason for Pick: I saw Craig Barron and Ben Burtt do a presentation about the production and sound effects of Tarzan and His Mate (1934) at the 2019 festival and learned so much. I look forward to enjoying another one of their presentations!
  • Somewhere in Time (1980). A Chicago playwright uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time and meet the actress whose vintage portrait hangs in a grand hotel.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #1, 3pm-5pm
    • Programming Series: Reunited in Time
    • Special Guest: Jane Seymour
    • Reason for Pick: I’ve been to Mackinac Island several times before and am familiar with the shooting locations. I’ve never seen this one on the big screen before and would love to do so with Jane Seymour in attendance!
  • Heaven Can Wait (1978). A Los Angeles Rams quarterback, accidentally taken away from his body by an overanxious angel before he was meant to die, returns to life in the body of a recently murdered millionaire.
    • Location: TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, 6:30pm-8:30pm
    • Programming Series: Essentials.
    • Special Guest: Warren Beatty
    • Reason for Pick: Warren Beatty. I’ve also seen the earlier version and am curious to compare it to this one.
  • Portrait of Jennie (1948). Eben is a talented but struggling artist in Depression Era New York. One day, after he finally finds someone to buy a painting from him, a pretty but odd young girl named Jennie Appleton appears and strikes up an unusual friendship with Eben.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #4, 9:15pm-11pm
    • Programming Series: Reunited in Time
    • Special Guest: Allison Anders
    • Reason for Pick: I tend to like Jennifer Jones’s performances and have not seen this one before.
  • Most Excited About: Heaven Can Wait (1978).

Day 4: Sunday, April 24

  • After the Thin Man (1936). Private detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora are back home at last and hoping for a quiet New Year when there is a murder. The obvious suspect is his wife, Nora’s cousin, Selma.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #1, 9am-11am
    • Programming Series: Second Time Around
    • Special Guest: Michael Uslan
    • Reason for Pick: William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Jimmy Stewart
  • Fly-By-Night (1942). After being charged with the murder of a scientist, a young doctor must track down a Nazi spy ring to clear his name.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #4, 12:15pm-1:45pm
    • Programming Series: Discoveries
    • Special Guest: None.
    • Reason for Pick: This film is new to me and I’d like to see more of Nancy Kelly’s films.
  • Evenings for Sale (1932). Impoverished Count von Dopenthal plans to commit suicide and spends his last night at a costume ball. There he meets lovely Lela Fischer and falls in love with her. A chance meeting with his former butler brings a job offer as a gigolo.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #4, 2:30pm-3:45pm
    • Programming Series: Discoveries
    • Special Guest: Leonard Maltin
    • Reason for Pick: Another new-to-me Pre-Code!
  • 7th Heaven (1927). A street cleaner saves a young woman’s life, and the pair slowly fall in love until war intervenes.
    • Location: Chinese Multiplex House #1, 7pm-9:30pm
    • Programming Series: Special Presentation
    • Special Guest: Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
    • Reason for Pick: Another Janet Gaynor film that has eluded me. After I see this one, I’ll have seen all of the performances that garnered her a Best Actress Oscar.
  • Most Excited About: Evenings for Sale (1932)

I’m looking forward to this year’s lineup and will see you at the festival!

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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1 Response to TCM Film Festival 2022 Picks

  1. See you in line at Somewhere in Time!

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