Cinecon 2022 Preview

August 25, 2022

After two years of virtual festivities, Cinecon Classic Film Festival returns to Hollywood over Labor Day weekend! 

 

One reason I enjoy this festival is because I usually don't recognize more than two or three titles on their schedule. That means A LOT of new discoveries! This year that number rose a little higher – around 10 films I’ve heard of and three selections I’ve seen – but the majority of screenings will be brand new to me.

 

Something else new this year? The venue. Cinecon’s longtime home, the Egyptian Theater, is undergoing renovations during its centennial year (yes, really), and the construction prompted a move up Highland Avenue to the newly upgraded Hollywood Legion Theatre. Though the Legion sits a little outside the walkable Hollywood Blvd. area, I’m excited to watch a ton of films in this beautiful venue and see how they use the Hollywood Heritage Museum across the street. Also, hopefully there will be parking?!

 

But in the meantime, let's get to the movies. Without further ado, here’s a peek at Cinecon 58’s schedule! 

Anything Goes lobby-min.JPG

THURSDAY 9/1

7pm: Anything Goes (1956)

As I will mention at least one other time in this preview, I’m not the biggest fan of musicals. But I am a huge fan of Mitzi Gaynor, who is being honored with Cinecon’s Legacy Award. So I will 100% be there! 

 

8:50pm: Q&A with Mitzi Gaynor

I’ve seen Gaynor in person twice before, and she was a riot! Hoping for some sass and stories during this conversation.

 

10pm: King of the Circus (1924)

Fair warning, I don’t do well with movies that start after 9pm, especially silent films, but I’m hoping the antics of legendary comedian Max Linder will keep the proceedings lively enough.

 

FRIDAY 9/2

1:35pm: Buzzy Boop at the Concert (1938)

I’m including this even though I’ll be working during the day on Friday to remind people to see this short, which was long thought lost. I got the chance to watch it at the recent UCLA Festival of Preservation, and it’s delightful.

 

7:55pm: The Finishing Touch (1932)

A 1932 short directed by George Stevens starring Richard ‘Skeets’ Gallagher with no plot information? Sure, why not?

My Lips Betray poster-min.jpg

8:20pm: My Lips Betray (1933)

I’ve long admired this poster but never have had the chance to see this rare pre-Code. Despite the fact that musicals aren’t my favorite genre, this film’s status as a Fox release makes it an automatic must-see for me – and it sounds kind of whimsical, to boot. 

 

10:50pm: The Devil Tiger (1934)

There’s a silent film screening in between this and My Lips Betray, which perhaps calls for a visit to the Legion bar to brace myself for a pre-Code called The Devil Tiger. Here’s hoping this 60-minute-long Fox feature will be bonkers enough to keep me awake at such a late hour!  

SATURDAY 9/3

10:10am: The Lady Escapes (1937)

I love comedy, and there aren’t many comedies on the schedule this year, so this Gloria Stuart and George Sanders marital farce is definitely on my list.

Daddy poster Jackie Coogan-min.jpeg

11:20am: Daddy (1923)

I’m not really familiar with Jackie Coogan’s work aside from The Kid (1921), so this one caught my attention. Also, it was written by his parents, which is intriguing. (That said, his mother wasn't a great person; she squandered Coogan's fortune along with his business manager, who become his stepfather after Coogan’s dad died in 1935.)

 

1:55pm: Kinecon at Cinecon

I always look forward to these rare Kinescope treats from the early days of live TV! Stars highlighted this year include Jack Benny, Ethel Merman, Carl Reiner, and more.

 

5:05pm: The Mad Game (1933)

Fox pre-Code alert! This is one of two features screening at Cinecon that I’ve seen before – I watched this back at the 2017 UCLA Festival of Preservation – but it’s my most highly anticipated title of the fest. Why? Because Fox pre-Codes are very rarely played in theaters these days, and I remember this Spencer Tracy-Claire Trevor picture being pretty crazy. Mini spoiler: Both kidnapping and plastic surgery are involved. 

 

8:32pm: Invaders from Mars (1953)

Sci-fi isn’t my favorite genre. That said, I generally enjoy 1950s sci-fi, because it tends to feel, well, a little wacky. Child star Jimmy Hunt is another Cinecon honoree this year, and it’s always great to hear directly from the stars. Plus, famed production designer William Cameron Menzies helmed this film, and I’m excited to see what visual style he brought to the movie.

 

9:50pm: Q&A with Jimmy Hunt

I really don’t know anything about Hunt, so I’m very much looking forward to this conversation!

The Flaming Forest poster-min.jpg

10:25pm: The Flaming Forest (1926)

This is another selection that sold me based on the poster. There really is no info on this title on IMDb, which means it must be quite rare. Here’s hoping I can stay awake past my normal bedtime for this!

 

SUNDAY 9/4

10:10am: A Temperamental Wife (1919)

A comedic battle of the sexes with three female writers? Sign me up!

 

11:30am: His Butler’s Sister (1943)

Same note about musicals applies here, but the pull of Deanna Durbin, Franchot Tone, and Pat O’Brien (all directed by Frank Borzage!) has me very curious. 

 

4:10pm: Kathy O’ (1958)

The second of two Cinecon 2022 features I’ve seen before, Kathy O' is a delightful starring vehicle for Patty McCormack. I first saw this before interviewing her in 2020 for TCM, and I enjoyed it. She plays a bratty child star who learns a few lessons – and obviously had a ball doing so.

 

5:50pm: Q&A with Patty McCormack

McCormack is also a Cinecon Legacy honoree this year. She's got some great stories, and I look forward to hearing more of them this evening.

 

8:27pm: Island of Lost Men (1939)

Both Anna May Wong and this title thoroughly intrigue me. Plus, I’m always down for a B-movie mystery, especially one with a runtime of 68 minutes! 

Changing Husbands poster-min.jpg

MONDAY 9/5

9:10am: Changing Husbands (1924)

I’m sold based on this poster alone. 

 

12:55pm: Youth on Trial (1945)

Famed Western director Budd Boetticher takes on this B-movie about teenage delinquents that stars a grown-up Cora Sue Collins. I’ve only seen Collins in super young roles in the early and mid 1930s, so I’m excited to watch her play a very different character in this movie. Here’s hoping she’ll also be on hand to share some memories from the film! 

 

2:05pm: Pirates of the Sky (1939)

Another title that completely grabs my interest. Give me a 1930s B-movie that sounds a little crazy and clocks in at just about an hour, and I’m a happy girl.

 

3:20pm: Our Hospitality (1923)

I’ve never seen this Buster Keaton classic, and it feels right to rectify that with a theatrical screening.

 

4:35pm: Star for a Night (1936)

A new-to-me Claire Trevor film? That's a no-brainer for me.

 

That's it for my very ambitious Cinecon schedule! If you’re attending the fest this year, let me know what you’re looking forward to in the comments.

thanks for stopping by!

I See a Dark Theater is a website dedicated to classic movie-going—and loving—in the City of Angels. Whether it's coverage on screenings, special presentations, or Q&As around Los Angeles that you're looking for, or commentary on the wonderful and sometimes wacky world of classic cinema, you've come to the right place for a variety of pieces written with zeal, awe, and (occasionally) wit. Enjoy.

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