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News From the Lake: Updates on Natalie Wood, TCM Film Festival, Classic Film Releases


Another issue of News From the Lake!  So, question for readers of this column: Do you want a set day for this, simply post during slow/no review days, or squeeze it when I ave a few stories worth writing about (i.e. now).  I’m not sure there’s enough to make this a daily thing.  Let me know what you all think!

In this issue we’ll look at an update in the ongoing Natalie Wood murder (?) mystery, fun updates coming out of the TCM Classic Film Festival, and classic movie release dates.

In my first News from the Lake post I had mentioned the recent revising of Natalie Wood’s death certificate that mentioned her sustaining a beating before her tragic drowning in 1981.  I had mentioned that Wood’s husband at the time, Robert Wagner, hadn’t been interviewed and according to this story at The Wrap (link takes you there) he’s refusing to conduct interviews with police.  There’s a lot of conflicting reports on this story, both from the police and Robert Wagner’s attorney.  Christopher Walken, who was on the boat at the time of the accident, has already been interviewed, as has the captain of the boat.  The cops are saying that Wagner has actually refused to see them to discuss whether there was an argument on the boat that night, and if Wood sustained any injuries.  Wagner’s attorney maintains that he’s already given police everything over the last 30 years.  As I mentioned in my reporting of this, I think Wagner knows a lot more than he’s revealed.  Why, after being fine with doing police interviews for over 30 years, would he refuse to do an interview right after a beating is accused?  If he wants to clear that rumor up, maybe tell someone it’s not true.  At this point, there is zero evidence, so it would be a case of cops said/he said.  I doubt we’ll get any resolution on this story, it continues to just seem like a publicity grab for the LAPD.

2013 TCM Classic Film Festival

Any classic film fan worth their salt is aware of the upcoming TCM Classic Film Festival, running from April 25-28th.  Unfortunately, I’ll have to be content to live vicariously through my fellow bloggers who are lucky enough to be going.  TCM is still adding amazing things to the lineup for the festival, so let’s look at some things that they’ve recently announced.

Composer Carl Davis will be performing the score he composed for Clara Bow‘s silent classic It, which audiences will be able to watch along with the score!  I’ve always wanted to watch a silent film with a live band.  A collection of Bugs Bunny cartoons will be presented in honor of the rabbit’s 75th birthday.  Other anniversary events include an 80th anniversary tribute to the Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire film Flying Down to Rio, 60th anniversary screenings of Shane and Hondo (the latter in 3D!), a 50th anniversary Cinerama Dome presentation of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (which would be awesome although that runtime), and a 40th anniversary restoration showing of Terrance’s Malick’s Badlands.

Of course, this is on top of what’s already been revealed.  Funny Girl, newly restored, is the opening night film; Tippi Hedren will be appearing at a 50th anniversary showing of The Birds; and acclaimed documentarian Albert Maysles will be doing a lecture on his career, including a presentation of Gimme Shelter (this is what I’m saddest to miss).  Four-day festival passes are on-sale now, and I recommend buying them ASAP.  You can find full information on their TCM Film Festival website.

A new company entering the classic film game is Twilight Time/Screen Archives Entertainment, who are releasing rare classic films on Blu-Ray.  To add to their appeal, the films are limited to a certain amount making them worth obtaining.  Their February slate of releases is out, and a few of them are interesting.  Set for release February 12th are the Tyrone Power film Pony Soldier, the period biopic Nicholas and Alexandra, and the 1967 James Bond spoof In Like Flint.  I’m all for startup companies putting out rare films on Blu-Ray, and their catalog is eclectic.  I recommend bookmarking Screen Archives if you’re looking for that hard-to-find gem.

That’s all from the Lake today!  Remember, if you have any news, DVD releases you think would be a good fit email, or contact me via Facebook/Twitter.


Kristen Lopez View All

A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.

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