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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

The Ideal Gift for the Classic Film Fan: A Pass to the TCMFF

Black Friday has come and gone and Cyber Monday is a thing of the past, and you still don’t know what to get the avid movie fan in your life. Well, I’ll let you in on a secret. All they really want is the joy of watching their favorite films. If only there were a way to make that happen.

I am a classic movie fan. This is a well-known fact by all my friends and family. I have noticed that this is usually true of most fanatics, meaning that their obsession is clearly defined as a part of their personality. Whether it is as a sports fan, or an avid cook a passion reveals itself as an every day part of life, allowing those close to a fan to recognize it easily. And when it’s time to get these people a gift it’s as simple as going to a sports shop or culinary store, or what have you. So, what’s hanging you up on getting the perfect gift for the classic movie fan on your list? My guess would be that as obvious as it is to get someone a specific sports jersey or any old apron the same can’t be said of the classic film fan. Or can it?

Your initial instinct may be to buy a classic movie fan a DVD, but which one? Once you dive into the world of classic cinema you soon realize the enormity of the subject. There are a few excellent sources out there in the cyber world that can help you find a great film at a good price, including FoxConnect with up to 88% off. The selection is a bit on the thin side as they only carry films that go back to the 1960s, and not that many. However, the films they do have include some James Bond Blu-Rays for only $4.99! Movies Unlimited has always been a good source for the rare and hard to find but the deals are not as great as you’ll find on Amazon. Of course, the mega site doesn’t always have the unique items. Movies Unlimited is usually my go-to for that, so I recommend comparing availability and price before purchasing. And of course there’s the TCM Shopping site (link) for special films and items you can’t find anywhere else, including passes to the TCM Film Festival.

That’s right, I said it, an actual pass to a film festival all about classic films. Now, you may think that’s a bit much. After all there’s a big price difference between a DVD and a three and a half day festival pass. But I want you to seriously consider the possibility for a moment. All the big ticket passes are already sold out, so you’re only looking at somewhere between $249 and $549. I say only, because if you break it down that’s potentially something like $15.57 to $31.72 per movie seen. It all depends on how many of the available screenings one actually attends. When you consider that many of the films to be screened will be once in a lifetime opportunities to be seen on the big screen at an historic theater, then that’s a pretty fair deal. Throw in the fact that the place will be filled with throngs of other avid classic film fans with whom your obsessed fanatic can mingle and you’re looking at a very reasonable cost for the ideal vacation. And you’ll be the one who gave it to them. Yeah, they’ll have to buy a plane ticket and find a place to stay, but both of those can be arranged inexpensively using any travel website.

The upcoming Fifth-Annual TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Classic Film Festival is set for April 10-13, 2014. As it so happens these dates coincide with the classic film network's 20th Anniversary. So, if you’ve been waiting to purchase tickets year after year, than this is the time to do it cause you just know there are going to be some extra special screenings and guests brought out for this one. You can count on TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne to serve as official host and weekend host Ben Mankiewicz to be on hand to introduce various events. And the central theme this year will be Family in the Movies: The Ties that Bind, which tells me we’re in for the spotlight to be aimed at an industry dynasty or two. Maybe Huston, Barrymore, or Mills? Either way it’s likely to be an unforgettable experience any classic movie fan would cherish for a lifetime. You’ve got to know that would be the best gift ever, and worth so much more than the price you pay for it. So, go on. Be someone’s special Santa. I bet you get the best thank you ever.

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