50th Anniversary of In the Heat of the Night To Open 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

50th Anniversary Screening of In the Heat of the Night (1967) To Open 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

Festival To Celebrate Oscar® Winner Sidney Poitier, Producer Walter Mirisch, Director Norman Jewison, Actress Lee Grant and Composer Quincy Jones

Additional Appearances Include Oscar® Winner Mel Brooks, Oscar Winner Lee Grant and Oscar Nominee Buck Henry

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will kick off the 8th annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Thursday, April 6th with a 50th anniversary screening of the Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger classic In the Heat of the Night (1967). The iconic actor Sidney Poitier, who will attend the screening, broke stereotypes and new ground when he starred in this five time Academy Award winner about a black detective from the north who finds himself investigating a murder in a small-town in Mississippi. Producer Walter Mirisch and Director Norman Jewison along with actress Lee Grant and composer Quincy Jones will be on hand to discuss the film which is considered to be a landmark.

The festival, set to take place April 6 – April 9 in Hollywood, will also include tributes to the following industry legends:

  • Actress Lee Grant will be feted with a tribute featuring a screening of her debut film Detective Story (1951), along with The Landlord (1970) and a conversation in Club TCM
  • Actor-director Peter Bogdanovich will be celebrated with screenings of The Last Picture Show (1971) and What’s Up, Doc? (1972) as well as a conversation in Club TCM
  • Actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher will be honored with screenings of Singin’ In The Rain (1952) and Postcards from the Edge (1990) with family members Todd Fisher and Billie Lourd hosting extended conversations at both screenings

This year’s festival will include a multitude of special anniversary films, poolside screenings and talent appearances including:

  • Mel Brooks on hand to introduce a 40th anniversary screening of his Alfred Hitchcock spoof High Anxiety (1977)
  • Actor and screenwriter Buck Henry introducing the 50th anniversary world premiere restoration from Rialto Pictures of the seminal classic The Graduate (1967)
  • 40th anniversary world premiere restoration from Paramount Pictures screening of Saturday Night Fever (1977) including appearances by director John Badham and actress Donna Pescow
  • 75th anniversary screening of the Oscar® winning classic Casablanca (1942)
  • Opening night poolside screening at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel featuring Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)

TCM is pleased to announce the return of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures as an official festival partner as well as the co-host of the opening night screening and party. Returning as the Festival's exclusive founding partner, Delta Air Lines will again serve as the official airline of the TCM Classic Film Festival. Additionally, Citi returns as the official card of the TCM Classic Film Festival and Bonhams returns as an official sponsor.

To view the latest festival spot and for complete bios for each of the artists appearing at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival, please visit

2017 TCM Classic Film Festival – Newly Added Films

In the Heat of the Night (1967)
A 50th anniversary screening of Norman Jewison’s landmark drama (and Best Picture winner) starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. Poitier broke stereotypes and new ground for his leading role as a black northern cop who finds himself investigating a murder in small-town Mississippi.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
You’ve got a Golden Ticket to enter a world of pure imagination as you relive the magic of this whimsical fantasy film that celebrates the bliss of being young at heart. Gene Wilder stars as the quirky candy tycoon Willy Wonka, who opens the doors of his factory to five lucky children from around the world.

Detective Story (1951) – Featuring an appearance by Lee Grant
Lee Grant earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her film debut as a shoplifter, who finds herself in the hot seat of an angry, hard-nosed detective (Kirk Douglas) obsessed with getting justice. William Wyler directs this day-in-the-life police drama that received three other Oscar nominations, including Eleanor Parker for Best Actress.

The Landlord (1970) – Featuring an appearance by Lee Grant
Hal Ashby made his directorial debut with this film about a wealthy young man (Beau Bridges) who buys a tenement in a Brooklyn neighborhood and attempts to evict the current black tenants, only to have his life changed when he gets to know them. Lee Grant co-stars in a scene-stealing role as Bridges’ well-to-do mother.

The Graduate (1967) – Featuring an appearance by Buck Henry
A 50th anniversary screening of Mike Nichols’ iconic film that made a star out of Dustin Hoffman and become a pop culture milestone due to its highly quotable dialogue and memorable soundtrack from Simon & Garfunkel. Hoffman stars as Benjamin Braddock, a college graduate who has an affair with a neighbor’s wife, Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), then finds himself falling for the woman’s daughter (Katherine Ross).

Saturday Night Fever (1977) – Featuring appearances by John Badham and Donna Pascow
John Travolta danced his way to superstardom with his iconic performance as Tony Manero, a young Brooklyn man who finds success and love at the local disco. With its infectious soundtrack from the Bee Gees and iconic dance sequences, the film brought disco into mainstream and became an instant classic still much loved by audiences 40 years later.

The Last Picture Show (1971) – Featuring an appearance by Peter Bogdanovich
Director Peter Bogdanovich left his mark with this eight-time Academy Award-nominated coming-of-age story about love, loss and boredom in a tiny Texas town set in 1951. The film was the screen debut of Cybil Sheperd and stars Jeff Bridges, with Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson both garnering Oscar wins for their roles in the film. 

What’s Up, Doc? (1972) – Featuring an appearance by Peter Bogdanovich
In Peter Bogdanovich’s homage to classic screwball comedy starring Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand, four identical, plaid overnight bags cause a slew of zany misadventures for four strangers in San Francisco. This film earned a Golden Globe nomination for Madeline Kahn and cemented her onscreen comedic persona.

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – Featuring an appearance by Todd Fisher and Billie Lourd
TCM honors the late Debbie Reynolds with this 65th anniversary screening of the film often called the greatest musical ever made. Reynolds and Gene Kelly star as an ingénue and silent film star, respectively, who fall in love as Hollywood transitions from silent films into talkies.

Postcards From The Edge (1990) – Featuring an appearance by Todd Fisher and Billie Lourd
The late Carrie Fisher adapted the screenplay of this dramatic comedy from her semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Meryl Streep stars as a recovering drug addict whose acting career is jeopardized when her famous mother (Shirley MacLaine) moves in. An all-star cast rounds out this Mike Nicolas directed picture featuring Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss and Annette Bening.

High Anxiety (1977) – Featuring an appearance by Mel Brooks
The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, is the inspiration (and co-writer) of this 40th anniversary genre spoof, where Mel Brooks plays a doctor who must overcome his diagnosis of “high anxiety” to prove he was framed for murder. A number of Brooks’ repertory company returns including Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Cloris Leachman and Ron Carey.

Casablanca (1942)
Celebrate the 75th anniversary screening of one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic drama, starring Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine, the owner of a nightclub in Vichy-controlled Casablanca, whose life changes forever when his lost love, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), walks into his club and back into his life.

About the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival
For the eighth consecutive year, thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2017 festival is set to take place Thursday, April 6 – Sunday, April 9, 2017. 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.

TCM host Ben Mankiewicz will serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, with TCM's Tiffany Vazquez introducing various events. The festival's official hotel and central gathering point for the sixth consecutive year will be The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will also offer special rates for festival attendees. Screenings and events during the festival will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre, as well as other Hollywood venues.

Description of the 2017 festival theme Make ‘Em Laugh: Comedy In The Movies:
From lowbrow to high, slapstick to sophisticated comedies of manners—the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festial will showcase the greatest cinematic achievements of lone clowns, comedic duos and madcap ensembles.

Festival Passes
Passes for the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival are on sale now. Fans are able to purchase them through the TCM Classic Film Festival website. As the number of passes available is limited, fans are encouraged to purchase their passes as soon as possible.

The "Spotlight" Festival Pass: $2,149 – Includes all privileges available to "Classic" and "Essential" passholders, priority entry to all screening events; plus entry to the exclusive opening-night party following the red-carpet gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre; meet-and-greet events with special guests,; and a limited edition TCM Classic Film Festival poster.

The "Essential" Festival Pass: $799 – Includes all privileges available to "Classic" passholders, plus entry to the opening-night red-carpet gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre and official TCM Classic Film Festival gift bags.

The "Classic" Festival Pass: $649 – Includes access to all film programs at festival venues Thursday, April 6 – Sunday, April 9 (does not include admittance to the opening-night red-carpet gala screening at TCL Chinese Theatre or the opening-night party); access to all Club TCM events, panels and poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; an opening-night welcome reception at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; and the closing-night event.

The "Palace" Festival Pass: $299 – Includes access to all screenings and events at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre (excluding the opening-night red-carpet gala) and the Egyptian Theatre Friday, April 7 – Sunday, April 9, as well as poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

About Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting the entire spectrum of film history. TCM features the insights of hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. Currently in its 22nd year as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials, along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® in February and Summer Under the Stars in August. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through events as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise, as well as through the TCM Classic Film Tour in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, TCM produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs, and hosts a wealth of material online at and through the Watch TCM mobile app.

TCM is a division of Turner, a Time Warner company, Turner creates and programs branded news, entertainment, sports, animation and young adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International and, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, FilmStruck, Super Deluxe, iStreamPlanet and ELEAGUE.

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