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by Jason Silverman, TCM Classic Film Tour Guide
I was fortunate enough to have a VIP pass to this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival and this one was easily my favorite of the four I have been to. Couple that with the 10th anniversary of the festival and the 25th anniversary of TCM and you have a pretty special celebration. This year, I made a rule for myself to only see things I had never seen before and, boy oh boy, was that difficult. In previous years, I had mix of favorites and new ones, but I wanted to see what it was like to discover only new things to me. With that said, I saw 15 classics this festival, my most ever with a wide variety of silent films from the 1920’s to action films in the 1980’s. I saw a range of exhibition formats including 16mm, 35mm, nitrate, and DCP.]

This is a complete Darth Vader costume used in The Empire Strikes Back that will be a part of TCM’s upcoming Bonham’s auction.


For the first time, I didn’t step foot in the TCL Chinese IMAX Theatre because they showed films that I had seen before. On the final day of the festival alone, I saw five films. They included a wild Peter Lorre film from 1935 (Mad Love), a Douglas Sirk melodrama from 1954 (Magnificent Obsession), a Best Picture winner from 1955 (Marty), a cult classic Humphrey Bogart comedy from 1942 (All Through the Night), and one of Abbott and Costello’s earliest comedies from 1941 (Buck Privates). Where else in the world would you get an opportunity to see those 5 films in 1 day with an audience?

TCM’s Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz and I reconnect at the TCM Classic Film Festival press mixer.


That’s what makes the TCM Classic Film Festival so special. The engagement with the community is unparalleled and the attention to detail in providing excellent quality throughout the four days is impressive. TCM has successfully managed to take what was formally an at-home private experience and create a variety of public events that has engaged and enlarged the TCM community. I think I have the best job in the world with the TCM Classic Film Tour because I get to engage with classic film fans, young and old, from all over the world. My knowledge of classic film has grown exponentially from films recommended by guests and I strive to provide the best possible experience in connecting the best locations in New York City to a large collection of classic films. TCM is a big family and if you’re not able to afford the higher-end “family reunions” like the Festival in Hollywood or the returning TCM Classic Film Cruise this fall, we invite you to join the family on our reasonably-priced TCM Classic Film Tour. Whether you get me or our other great guide, Sarah Louise Lilley, you’re bound to walk away from the tour feeling like a member of the family too.
 I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for TCM. Thanks to TCM and On Location Tours for letting me be a member of the family.

This is a gorgeous collection of posters and artwork from the 10 years of the TCM Classic Film Festival.


My List of Films Seen at the TCM Classic Film Festival 2019
Dark Passage (1947)
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
What’s Not to Love About Republic Serials? (1920’s)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Road House (1948)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
Tom Mix Double Feature: The Great K & A Robbery (1926)
It Happened Here (1964)
Escape from New York (1981)
Mad Love (1935)
Magnificent Obsession (1954)
Marty (1955)
All Through the Night (1942)
Buck Privates (1941)

What the big screen experience at the TCMFF looks like from my viewpoint in the audience!