tcm classic film festival 2021

The TCM Classic Film Festival may be going virtual for a second year in a row, but at least it has Bob Odenkirk doing a table read of Ed Wood’s infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space. The bad-movie-turned-cult-classic is part of the TCM Classic Film Festival 2021 slate, which runs from May 6 to May 9, 2021 on TCM and HBO Max.

Throwing TCM on to watch classic movies may be nothing new during the pandemic, but the TCM Classic Film Festival is hoping to spice things up with its virtual line-up this year, which include live virtual events and experiences, and — most importantly — a table read of Ed Wood’s cult classic Plan 9 From Outer Space featuring Bob Odenkirk, Laraine Newman, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Koechner, Oscar Nuñez and more.

The virtual film festival kicks off with a 60th anniversary screening of West Side Story and interviews with Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, and Russ Tamblyn. A few other highlights include interviews with Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam), Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA), and Debbie Allen (Fame), as well as introductions from Michael Douglas to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Jacqueline Bisset to Bullitt.

See the list of programming highlights from the festival below.

  • Opening Night on Thursday, May 6 at 8pm ET features the 60th anniversary screening of West Side Story (1961) with stars Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, andRuss Tamblyn giving new and exclusive interviews. Opening Night will premiere simultaneously on TCM and HBO Max
  • The Masters collection on HBO Max, featuring interviews with directors Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam) and Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, USA
  • Debbie Allen introduces Fame (1980) and sits down for an exclusive interview
  • Michael Douglas introduces One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) on HBO Max
  • Jacqueline Bisset introduces Bullitt (1968) on TCM and on HBO Max
  • The world broadcast premiere of Bill Morrison’s latest short film on TCM, let me come in (2021), featuring decayed film reels from the lost German silent film Pawns of Passion (1928) and co-presented by the Los Angeles Opera
  • A tribute to iconic comedian Martin Short with Clifford (1994) and Innerspace (1987) on HBO Max 
  • SF Sketchfest Presents a table read of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) on TCM, adapted by comedian Dana Gould and featuring Maria Bamford, Bobcat Goldthwait, Oscar Nuñez, Laraine Newman, Bob Odenkirk, David Koechner, Janet Varney, Jonah Ray, Paul F. Tompkins, Gary Anthony Williams, Baron Vaughn, Deborah Baker Jr. and Kat Aagesen

The festival features more than 30 guests and more than 100 films, and is being held virtually for a second straight year because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Watch a promo for the event below and check out the TCM schedule and HBO Max lineup.

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