Turner Classic Movies has announced it will open the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival with a 50th anniversary screening of “In the Heat of the Night.” The fest will also celebrate Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher by screening “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Postcards From the Edge” and hosting conversations with family members Todd Fisher and Billie Lourd at both screenings.
Other honorees who will participate in the tribute are “In the Heat of the Night” actors Sidney Poitier and Lee Grant, producer Walter Mirisch and composer Quincy Jones. Mel Brooks, Buck Henry and “Saturday Night Fever” star Donna Pescow and director John Badham are set to make appearances during the festival as well.
The festival, themed “Make Em’ Laugh: Comedy in the Movies,” will take place for the eight consecutive year at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel from April 6-9 and will also honor actor-director Peter Bogdanovich with screenings of “The Last Picture Show,” “What’s Up, Doc?” and a conversation in Club TCM. Grant will also have films “Detective Story” and “The Landlord” screened before she has a conversation in Club TCM. “Casablanca,” “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Graduate” and “High Anxiety” will be screened as well. Ben Mankiewicz hosts while TCM’s Tiffany Vazquez will be on hand to introduce various events.
TCM also announced the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures as an official festival partner and the co-host of the opening night screening and party.