Thursday, April 28, 2016

#TCMFF Here I come!

Today I’m off to the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival. The four-day event features some of the best in classic films and celebrities like Eva Marie Saint, Gina Lollabridgida, Rita Moreno, and Burt Reynolds. I’ll be posting pics via Facebook and Twitter so you can follow along with me.

The Egyptian Theater
Like last year, I plan to write several blog posts on the movies I saw and the people I met.

Eva Marie Saint will introduce this movie on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Great Films of 1939: “The Four Feathers” May 14 at Daystar Center

Great films of 1939: The Four Feathers
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street, Chicago, IL
When: May 14, 2016
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald

The Four Feathers (1939) was the third movie version of the A. E. W. Mason novel and considered the best of the bunch. Produced by Alexander Korda and directed by brother Zoltan, The Four Feathers is an epic production, filmed in Technicolor when the process was still a bit of a novelty. Like Gunga Din (1939), it portrays the British Empire, during the late 19th century. As an adventure and melodrama, The Four Feathers is hard to beat.

The plot revolves around Harry Faversham’s decision not to follow in the family tradition of serving in the army. He very dramatically resigns his post on the eve of his regiment’s journey to the Sudan. Their mission: To recapture Khartoum, the capital and second largest city in Sudan. Branded a coward by friends —the white feathers given to Harry by his comrades are emblems of cowardice—, and his fiancĂ©e played by the lovely June Duprez. As a result, Harry becomes a tormented soul.

In an attempt at redemption, he disguises himself as an Arab to rescue his friends, who are imprisoned by Egyptian rebels, and prove that he isn’t a coward. A good story supported by a superior production, The Four Feathers holds up remarkably well. The on-location color cinematography is remarkable. The spectacle of the battle scenes, combined with the dazzling red uniforms of the British soldiers, make for a dazzling epic. zx was impressed with the film, calling it “explosively cinematic” and overwhelmed by the “sheer weight of size and width of camera field.”

C. Aubrey Smith, John Clements, and June Duprez

The all-British cast includes John Clements, Ralph Richardson, C. Aubrey Smith, and June Duprez.

Part of the “Great movies of 1939” series. Discover some of the greatest movies from Hollywood’s most famous year.


Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.

Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Twice a month we screen classic films and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.


Stephen Reginald is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked at various positions within the publishing industry for over 25 years. Most recently he was executive editor for McGraw-Hill’s The Learning Group Division. A long-time amateur student of film, Reginald hosts “Chicago Film Club,” a monthly movie event held in the South Loop, for the past two years. Reginald has also taught several adult education film classes at Facets Film School, Chicago.


Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Preston Sturges series: Screening of “Christmas in July” April 26 at the Daystar Center

Preston Sturges series: Christmas in July
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street, Chicago, IL
When: April 26, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald

Christmas in July (1940) was Preston Sturges’s second film as writer/director, based on his play, A Cup of Coffee (1931). The movie stars Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, and the growing Sturges stock company of supporting players.

Dr. Maxford, the head of Maxford House Coffee is anxious to announce the winner of a slogan contest for his popular brew. Unfortunately for Maxford, the jury is deadlocked by the bull-headed Mr. Bildocker (William Demarest). The contest winner was supposed to be announced on national radio, but because of the deadlock, no winner is announced.

Jimmy MacDonald (Powell) dreams of winning the contest to prove to himself and his girlfriend Betty Casey (Drew) that he has the talent to make it big in the advertising business. He also wants to provide for his mother (Georgia Caine). No one gets Jimmy’s slogan: “If you can’t sleep at night, it’s not the coffee, it’s the bunk.”

As a joke, three of Jimmy’s coworkers create a fake telegram announcing him as the winner. The joke gets completely out of hand. Jimmy’s boss gives him a promotion, a raise, his own office, and a private secretary (Betty). It isn’t long before the jig is up, but not before Jimmy has bought gifts for his mother, girlfriend, and just about everyone in his neighborhood. When the manager of Shindel’s department store comes to repossess his merchandise, it is revealed that Jimmy didn’t win the contest after all.


Will all of Jimmy’s career dreams be dashed? Will he still be able to win Betty’s heart? Will their Christmas in July have a happy ending?


Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.


Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Twice a month we screen classic films and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.

Stephen Reginald is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked at various positions within the publishing industry for over 25 years. Most recently he was executive editor for McGraw-Hill’s The Learning Group Division. A long-time amateur student of film, Reginald hosts “Chicago Film Club,” a monthly movie event held in the South Loop, for the past two years. Reginald has also taught several adult education film classes at Facets Film School, Chicago.


Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Robert Osborne won't be at 2016 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival

Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne won’t be attending this year’s TCMFF due to health reasons. TCM issued a press release (see below) announcing this today. No details were given as to his ailment and/or illness.

Osborne didn’t attend the 2015 TCMFF for undisclosed health reasons.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Judy Garland is Turner Classic Movies's April Star of the Month

Film icon Judy Garland (1922-1969) is Turner Classic Movies’s April Star of the Month. TCM will be screening Garland’s films every Friday. Garland was one of Hollywood’s top movie musical talents during the 1930s and 1940s.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) made Garland a star at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer where she reigned as the studio’s top musical star. At her home studio she starred in For Me and My Gal (1942), Presenting Lily Mars (1943), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Harvey Girls (1946), Till The Clouds Roll By (1946), Easter Parade (1948), In the Good Old Summertime (1949), and Summer Stock (1950).

Margaret O'Brien and Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis

Garland also excelled in dramatic roles like The Clock (1945), but the studio loved Garland and musicals because they were big business. Meet Me in St. Louis was M-G-M’s biggest hit since Gone With the Wind* (1939). In 1950 Garland and M-G-M parted ways. She appeared on television in the 1950s and started performing in live concerts that were very popular. In 1954 Garland starred in a musical remake of A Star is Born (1954). The film was a hit with the public and critics, but it lost money due to its huge budget. In spite of this Garland was nominated for Best Actress. Many thought Garland was the favorite to win, but Grace Kelly bested her for her performance in The Country Girl.

Garland in The Harvey Girls

Garland had a dramatic success in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg for which she was Golden Globe and Oscar- nominated for Best Supporting Actress. She starred alongside Burt Lancaster in A Child is Waiting (1963), and with Dirk Bogarde in I Could Go On Singing (1963), which was her last film. In 1967, Garland was cast as Helen Lawson in the movie version of Valley of the Dolls. Garland was fired for missing rehearsals and was replaced by Susan Hayward.

Garland died on June 22, 1969 of an overdose of barbiturates.


*GWTW was co-produced with Selznick International Studios

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Chicago Film Club field trip: “On the Waterfront” April 24 at ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Road

Where: ShowPlace ICON, 150 W Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60605
When: April 24
Time: 2:00 p.m. 
Hosted by Stephen Reginald
Run Time: 2 hours (approximate)


Ticketing: Tickets are available by clicking here. If online ticketing is not available for your location, you can purchase your tickets by visiting the box office at your local participating cinema or check back often as updates are being made daily.

Special Fathom Feature: Go behind the scenes with exclusive commentary from Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz that will illustrate how this movie, which was filmed in only 36 days, made such a long-lasting cultural impact.

“You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” Watch Marlon Brando deliver those famous lines on the big screen when Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Sony Pictures Entertainment bring On the Waterfront (1954) back to select cinemas nationwide for a special two-day event on Sunday, April 24 and Wednesday, April 27.

Karl Malden, Marlon Brando, and Eva Marie Saint

Marlon Brando stars as Terry Malloy, a washed up prizefighter who, through the influence of his brother, Charley (Rod Steiger), a lawyer for a corrupt waterfront union, is employed as an errand boy for the mob. After luring a fellow dockworker and friend to his death to keep him from testifying against labor boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb), the appeals of the dead man's sister (Eva Marie Saint) and a crusading priest (Karl Malden) awaken Terry’s guilty conscience and love prompts Terry to seek redemption.

Do not miss the opportunity to see this classic, winner of eight Academy Awards® including Best Picture in 1954, as it was meant to be seen – on the big screen.



If you come they’ll be stinkin’ badges.




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