For the fifth consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2014 festival is set to take place Thursday, April 10 – Sunday, April 13, coinciding with TCM's 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more. The theme for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival will be Family in the Movies: The Ties that Bind. Throughout the four-day lineup, the festival will showcase on-screen clans of all types – big and small, happy and imperfect, musical and dramatic. In addition, the festival will spotlight the first families of Hollywood and the filmmaking dynasties that have entertained generations. And it will explore the kinship that connects close-knit groups of professionals behind the camera, such as the stock companies of classic Hollywood.
Passes for the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival can be purchased through the festival website athttp://www.tcm.com/festival. Pass availability is limited, so those wishing to attend the festival are encouraged to buy their passes quickly.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony, is set to serve as the official hotel and central gathering point for the TCM Classic Film Festival for the fifth consecutive year. The Hollywood Roosevelt also offers special rates for festival attendees. Festival screenings and events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre.
On this day in 1953, the horror film The House of Wax, starring Vincent Price, opens atNew York’s Paramount Theater. Released by Warner Brothers, it was the first movie from a major motion-picture studio to be shot using the three-dimensional, or stereoscopic, film process and one of the first horror films to be shot in color.
Directed by Andre De Toth, The House of Wax was a remake of 1933’s Mystery in the Wax Museum. The film told the story of Henry Jarrod (Price), a sculptor who goes insane after his partner burns their wax museum to the ground in order to collect the insurance payout. Jarrod survives the fire and later opens his own wax museum, featuring an exhibit immortalizing crimes past and present, including the murder of his ex-partner by a mysterious disfigured killer. The film’s heroine, played by Phyllis Kirk, eventually discovers that Jarrod himself is the killer, and that the museum’s “sculptures” are all the wax-covered bodies of his victims.
The 3-D filming process involved using two cameras, or a single twin-lensed camera, to represent both the right and the left eye of the human viewer. Images from the two cameras were then projected simultaneously onto the screen. Moviegoers had to viewThe House of Wax through special stereoscopic glasses to see its full 3-D effect. The lenses were specially tinted so that the viewer would see the right- and left-eye images only with the eyes for which they were intended. The 3-D process proved especially effective during the film’s climactic chase scene, in which the cloaked killer pursues Kirk’s character through a series of gas-lit streets and alleyways, with the viewer following along behind them.
The House of Wax launched Price on his long and successful career as a star of horror movies. It also jump-started the career of Charles Buchinsky, who played the supporting role of Jarrod’s mute servant; he would go on to achieve international fame as Charles Bronson, star of innumerable action movies. Earning an impressive (by 1953 standards) $4.3 million at the box office, the movie sparked an explosion of similar 3-D thrillers, including The Mad Magician (1954), also starring Price. (A forgettable remake, starring Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray, was released in 2005.) Apart from a brief resurgence in the 1970s, the popularity of 3-D lasted only about a year in the United States; its demise was generally blamed on the poor quality of the 3-D films produced.