Friday, April 29, 2016

TCM Presents . . . On the Silver Screen

ON THE WATERFRONT, Marlon Brando, 1954

When it comes to Classic Cinema the average viewer usually has only three choices.
  1. Wait until the movie hits TCM and pray you're home.
  2. Grit your teeth through the skips and jumps and frame freezes on the library copy.
  3. Dig out your wallet and actually buy the DVD (blu-ray if you're REALLY lucky).
If you're like me, which hopefully you are, then you've spent more than your fair share of time hoping and waiting for your favorite classic movie to actually hit DVD in a remastered format. There was never really any hope beyond the basic opportunity to view, in this case my favorite classic movie, On the Waterfront (1954) on anything other than your typical television screen on your typical DVD.
Except that TCM has finally, and I do mean finally, done something spectacular.

I'm a fan of Fathom Events at the theater. They can be loads of fun depending on what you're seeing. I saw Singin' in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, and the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy as Fathom events, plus some special Elvis in Concert night.

This past Wednesday, April 27th 2016, TCM presented On the Waterfront in the theater ON THE SILVER SCREEN.

Though I'm sure other viewers would deny it, I'm pretty sure that angels were singing. The above scene is HEAVEN on the big screen.

Okay, I admit that there were only 8 people in the theater for the evening showing, including myself. But I've never had a better seat at the movie theater in my life than I did for On the Waterfront, a film I consider to be the absolute height of Marlon Brando's career, let alone the careers of Eva Marie Saint, Rod Steiger, Lee J. Cobb, and Karl Malden.

The hilarious thing is that when you put a classic movie on the big screen nowadays, you notice things . . . things that get lost on your home television.

Such as.
  1. Joey Doyle's dialogue never ONCE matched his lips in his one and only scene.
  2. No one was willing to pay for an actual stuntman to fall from the roof in lieu of the OBVIOUS dummy?
  3. Dramatic music must ALWAYS accompany smooching in classic cinema.
Ah well, such is life, I guess.

Despite the little hiccups here and there, On the Waterfront remains one of the finest examples of classic Hollywood from the 1950s.

ON THE WATERFRONT, Rod Steiger, Marlon Brando, 1954
You know that scene with Brando and Rod Steiger in the taxicab? I thought it couldn't possibly move me since I've watched the movie countless times. But there's something about that scene in an actual theater that tested my emotional reserve. There were a few actual tears, people.

I know, it's too late for you to watch On the Waterfront in the movie theater. You have my sympathy because it was so totally worth it.

However, On the Waterfront is only 1 in a series of 12 movies being shown in the theater this year by TCM. I missed The Maltese Falcon in February (which would have been a great intro to a movie I've never seen), but there are still 8 classics (well, some I'd call classics, others merely pretenders) that will be shown through the end of 2016.

  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, May 15 and 18
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, June 26 and 29
  • Planet of the Apes, July 24 and 27
  • The King and I, Aug. 28 and 31
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Sept. 18 and 21
  • The Shining, Oct. 23 and 26
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Nov. 27 and 30
  • From Here to Eternity, Dec. 11 and 14

Plan your calendar for the rest of the year very carefully.

As for myself, I know where I'll be May 18th, June 29th, August 31st, and November 30th.

Thank you, Turner Classic Movies, for taking my mind off the loss of my sweet kitty by putting my favorite movie on the silver screen.


  1. I saw this advertised and suspected you would go. Glad you had fun. :)

    1. Yep, it was awesome. I'm glad I found out about it in time. It was almost too late.

  2. I'd love to see this on the big screen! They should really show more classics at the cinema. There's one by me that shows 'It's a Wonderful Life' every Christmas eve and the atmosphere's great :)

    1. I would love to see It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen! I'll just have to keep an eye out for Fathom Events close to Christmas I guess.

      And I totally agree that they need to put more classics back in the theater. I'd rather see a classic movie than a new one any day of the week.

  3. I allllllllllllmost went to see The Maltese Falcon in February. But I'd have to drive all the way to Alexandria, which is really not that bad, like 45 minutes, but... why can't they have these at MY lovely AMC theater right here in town? Sigh. My silly theater isn't even having the Captain American marathon, which I'd been kind of tempted to try to go to. I mean, all 3 Cap movies PLUS both Avengers movies, all in one day? I would've done it. But noooooooooooooo. Grr.

    1. Awwwww. I wish I'd known about The Maltese Falcon, but only found out about the series last week. So I was outta luck. But I will never recover from On the Waterfront on the big screen. I love that movie so much, fake dummy and all.

      I think my energy levels would give out with a 3 movie Cap marathon. Although my Mom and sister just recently watched the first 2. I feel like such a bad fan that I didn't join them!

    2. I would probably have skipped at least one of the movies, I must admit. Cuz 5 movies is a lot. I did just fine with the Thor marathon of both of his and The Avengers, but 3 is different from 5. Also, I don't love Cap as much as I love Thor. If there's a marathon for Thor: Ragnarok, I might just have to go to that, as I missed out on seeing the first Thor in theaters, and discovered when I saw it for the marathon that all the effects I thought were really dorky on my TV are AWESOME on the big screen.

  4. So glad you got to see one of your favorite on the big screen! It's such a great experience when that is made possible. I do love that TCM puts these on. I'm not thrilled with this year's schedule, but I'd be tempted to go see King and I, just to see that famous dance scene on the big screen. I'm afraid I've never seen On the Waterfront. One of these days...


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