The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival: Day 1

The 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival hasn’t happened yet, but there was plenty to do the day before things officially kick off.

Technically the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival hasn’t started, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening on this TCMFF eve. After touching down in Los Angeles, where the weather is a bit more muted than I anticipated. Though movies aren’t screening there are several pre-fest events and chances to meet people – which I did in abundance. Stopping into the Roosevelt Hotel was like old home week, wherein all my fellow TCM writers and friends converge to say hi. It’s remarkable to see how this festival comes together, and before the festival, the fine folks at TCM Backlot were getting members to help vote and learn more about the fanclub.

Between eating and saying “hi” to countless smiling faces I had a date with Mr. Todd Fisher. Actually, as a TCM Backlot member, I won a spot in an intimate tour of Debbie Reynolds costumes with her son, Todd. The TCM Classic Film Festival is showing three of Reynolds’ iconic costumes: the red dress and “Belly Up to the Bar, Boys” green dress from The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) and her “Good Morning” outfit from Singin’ in the Rain (1952). All three items are exquisitely preserved though Fisher is hoping to find a permanent home for the collection as several of the pieces, particularly the Singin’ dress, is showing signs of wear.

Image courtesy of author

Todd Fisher is a candid, unpretentious person, much like his mother and late sister, Carrie were. During the meet and greet Todd shared stories about watching his mother dance on-set, listening to “Belly Up to the Bar, Boys” ad nauseum, and more.

At one point he discussed why he went with a public memorial for his mother and sister, citing that her “family” went beyond just him, but to all her fans. Based on the questions people asked during the moment, it’s safe to say many thought they were part of Debbie’s family.

Todd also told a hilarious story about buying a John Deere tractor where the punchline involves a pig named Elizabeth Taylor. It’s great to know the comedy apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I was fortunate to shake his hand and briefly talk about TCM – one of hopefully many more memorable moments!

The TCM Classic Film Festival officially kicks off Thursday where I’ll cover the red carpet and, yes, finally see a movie or two!

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