TCM Classic Film Festival: Martin Scorsese and James Ivory chat with fans about Oscars at Chinese Theater

This is the second part of Gold Derby’s coverage of the 9th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival where Oscar winners and film fans gathered at Hollywood’s famed Chinese Theater. (Read Part 1 of our report here.) Every day was filled with Oscar winners sharing stories and here are some of the best.

Martin Scorsese (2006 Best Director for “The Departed”) received the first Robert Osborne Award on the opening night of the festival from Leonardo DiCaprio (2015 Best Actor for “The Revenant”) and gave an impassioned speech about the importance of preserving film culture. He also joked that he refuses to stay in a hotel that doesn’t have TCM on their cable television and that he and DiCaprio’s film “The Aviator” is probably the only film of his that TCM would be able to show unedited.

Recent Oscar winner James Ivory (Best Adapted Screenplay for “Call Me by Your Name”) made it clear that this was actually the first screenplay he had ever written by himself. He discussed how he was allowed to accept Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s Oscar in 1986 which many misremember as being one he also wrote. He explained he was asked to accept it because Ruth couldn’t attend and Woody Allen was predicted to win the other screenplay award. The academy didn’t want the telecast to have both writing awards to be given with no one there to accept them.

One Oscar winner who wasn’t present but owes TCM an appearance was George Clooney (2005 Best Supporting Actor champ for “Syriana”). At a screening of “Fail Safe” host Ben Mankiewicz related that TCM had accidentally scheduled the film to run the same day that Clooney was producing a live telecast of the same piece that Clooney had produced and starred in 2000. Clooney called TCM headquarters promising to make an appearance on the channel if they would pull the old film from their schedule for that day. They pulled it but to this date but Clooney has never appeared on TCM lamented Mankiewicz.

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Tim Robbins (Best Supporting Actor in 2003 for “Mystic River”) was present with director Ron Shelton for a screening of “Bull Durham.” Shelton related how the films leading lady Susan Sarandon is still mad at him for cutting a speech from the film that people thought would win her an Oscar. The director felt it revealed to much of the character too soon in the film so he dropped it. Sarandon wasn’t even nominated for what some thought would be her Oscar role.

Eva Marie Saint (1954 Best Supporting Actress for “On the Waterfront”) was present for a screening of her film “A Hatful of Rain.” Saint is one of only two acting Oscar winners from the 1950s still with us (Joanne Woodward is the other) and she remains vital and engaged at 93. She discussed how although she won her first Oscar for her first film she really wasn’t a newcomer since she had spent a great deal of time in front of the camera doing live television.

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