Legendary Actress Angie Dickinson Discusses Her Career at TCM Film Fest
By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor and Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
In the heart of Hollywood each year, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) hosts its annual film festival. 2019 marked the 10th anniversary of the festival and the 25th anniversary of TCM as a whole. Movieguide® had the pleasure of attending the weekend’s events in early April which included an impressive lineup of movies, panels and events that showcase classic actors and movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Kicking off the festival at the Roosevelt Hotel, TCM hosts Ben Mankiewicz, Alicia Malone, Dave Karger, and other affiliated TCM names greeted the press and avid classic movie lovers for a brief overview of the weekend. Major highlights included Billy Crystal’s Hand and Footprint Ceremony at the TCL Theater, screenings of GONE WITH THE WIND, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT.
Movieguide® also got a chance to see and hear Angie Dickinson, the star of hit movies RIO BRAVO and POINT BLANK and the iconic 1970s series POLICE WOMAN. Dickinson discussed her career and shared fun facts that fans might not know.
TCM host Ben Mankiewicz introduced Angie, one of the best actresses of her generation, noted for her performances in such movies as the aforementioned RIO BRAVO and THE SINS OF RACHEL CADE. The occasion for her recent visit at the TCM Fest was a screening of THE KILLERS, a violent low-budget 1964 movie directed by Don Siegel, where she distinguished herself among such heavyweights as Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes and Ronald Reagan, in his last movie.
She said Siegel “was just a doll, an absolute doll” to work with on THE KILLERS, even though, “We all thought we were in a B movie. We all knew we were on a low budget.”
The movie ran one time on American television before being given a theatrical release in Europe. Since then, it’s gained a cult following, partly because of the cast and also because of the movie’s striking, violent second half.
Regarding Cassavetes, who burst on the cinema screens with his groundbreaking 1958 independent movie SHADOWS, Dickinson said, “He was a great actor. He was intense and quiet. I don’t think he liked what we were doing. It was not his style [of filmmaking].”
She said Lee Marvin was one of the most minimalist, and greatest, actors she ever worked with in her career. She said during the filming, Ronald Reagan was carrying a large briefcase of papers that he was studying for his successful 1966 campaign for California governor.
Fifty-five years after its release, THE KILLERS is just as striking today as it was when it was made. It’s a dark film noir where all the bad guys get their comeuppance. The last scene stays with the viewer after the curtain goes up. The performances are just as striking, with Lee Marvin in one of his most iconic roles. And, it’s the only movie where Ronald Reagan plays a bad guy.
Far more inspiring and uplifting than THE KILLERS was the screening Movieguide® attended, one of Humphrey Bogart’s best and funniest movies, ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT, from 1942.
In it, Bogart plays Gloves Donahue, a dapper, big shot Broadway gambler who investigates the murder of a German baker who makes Donahue’s favorite cheesecake. The trail leads to a young German singer, Leda, who performs at his rival’s nightclub and gambling establishment. His talk with Leda is interrupted by her piano player, Pepi (played by Peter Lorre), who takes her to a back room, where Pepi shoots the rival’s partner and spirits Leda away in a taxi. Gloves stumbles upon the dead man and accidentally leaves one of his gloves near the body. Gloves uses his connections to chase down the taxi, then learns that the police think he murdered the dead man.
So, now, Gloves must find out what’s really going on to clear his name. The trail eventually leads to a Nazi spy ring that’s planning to bomb an American destroyer in New York harbor. The question is, can Gloves trust Leda?
ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is hilarious, exciting and very patriotic. Filmed right after Bogart’s career-making roles in HIGH SIERRA and THE MALTESE FALCON, Bogart once again shows how, like many other popular Hollywood stars of yesteryear, he displayed such confidence on the big screen, one of his most appealing traits. ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is also a great comedy, and Bogart is assisted by such phenomenal, talented comic actors as Phil Silvers, Jackie Gleason, Frank McHugh, and William Demarest. Along with the other two movies mentioned, ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT turns out to be a trial run for Bogart’s next movie, the beloved classic CASABLANCA. Peter Lorre co-stars in both movies. Also, Conrad Veidt, who played the murderer in the seminal 1919 German horror movie THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, plays the Nazi villain in both CASABLANCA and ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT.
Ultimately, ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is a great family movie for older children and adults. If you want to introduce Humphrey Bogart to the young folks in your family, this is definitely the movie to watch first.
We’d love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite classic movies? Let us know in the comments below!