In this second feature on The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLiFF through Nov 11) features upcoming films and a small interview with Golden Age of Hollywood actor Tab Hunter.
Actress Finola Hughes of General Hospital and Stayin’ Alive fame joins FLiFF on Friday, October 25 (7:00 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso), for the South Florida premiere of her directorial debut film, The Bet. Hughes will also attend additional screenings on Saturday, October 26 at 3:30 p.m. at the new Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood and at 6:00 p.m. at Muvico Pompano.
Pauly Cohen, Big Band-era trumpeter for Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey and others will attend the premiere of his music documentary, Taking Charge on Saturday, October 26 (4:30 p.m. at Sunrise Civic Center). Now 90 years young, Cohen leads his own Big Band in South Florida.
On Tuesday, October 29, FLiFF honors one of the hottest stars of Hollywood’s golden age, Tab Hunter, with a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation at Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale. The evening begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by a 6:45 p.m. montage of Hunter’s career and a Q&A moderated by film historian Foster Hirsch. At 8:15 p.m., Hunter will introduce a retrospective screening of the Oscar-nominated 1958 classic film, Damn Yankees, in which he starred with Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston, and Jean Stapleton.
It was a pleasure to sit down with Mr. Hunter just a couple weeks before he received this prestigious award.
As a teenager, you were a competitive figure skater. Why did you stop and do you still skate?
Competitive skating is all about the individual’s own accomplishments. If I attempted skating today, I’d need double runners and a pillow. I stopped because I went back to my first love of showing horses, where it’s all about the horse and rider working together as a unit.
How and when did you acquire the nickname “Hollywood”?
They labeled me that in the Coast Guard, because I loved going to the movies, and went all the time.
You have made over 40 films. Which ones are your favorites?
I liked doing a variety of films. Some of my favorites were “Damn Yankees,” “Gunman’s Walk,” and “That Kind Of Woman.”
People may not know you also sing and had a #1 hit in 1957. How did you get into singing and do you still sing?
My first recording all started when Randy Wood of Dot Records called me up. We met, he listened, and he then presented me with a song called “Young Love.” We cut it on a Saturday and I heard it on my car radio on Monday and almost hit a palm tree. It went on to become the #1 song in the nation. Today, I only sing quietly in the back of the church.
Your autobiography, Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, was released in 2006 and became a New York Times best-seller. Tell us about the process of writing the book and why you felt this was the appropriate time to acknowledge your homosexuality?
The process of writing my book was not easy, because I’m a very private person. But when I heard that someone else was going to write a book about me, I thought, “Get it from the horse’s mouth, not from some horse’s ass after I’m dead and gone.” And it’s all about the journey, and survival, and saying “thank you.”
Who do you think was the sexiest man in films during the Hollywood Golden Age?
That’s hard to say. I liked different actors for different reasons. I liked Tyrone Power.
You have been with your partner, Allan Glaser, for 30 years. What’s the secret to a good relationship?
I can only speak about a good relationship pertaining to my own relationship. It would be about growth, together: mentally, physically and spiritually.
On Wednesday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m. at Bailey Hall on Broward College Campus, renowned marine wildlife artist and conservationist, Guy Harvey, will introduce and discuss his latest documentary, Tiger Shark Express. The remarkable adventure story represents five years of expeditions as Harvey teams up with researchers across the Atlantic for a breakthrough, multi-year study involving tiger sharks. Three new facts they uncover will not only change the way you look at sharks, but will change the way you look at the ocean as well.
Saturday, November 9, during the splashiest Gala in the festival’s history, FLiFF will honor one of the greatest actresses and entertainers of all time, Ann-Margret. FLiFF will feature a montage of her career and present her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Gala begins at 6:00 p.m. and includes an open bar and sit-down dinner at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood.
Performing at the FLiFF Gala is multiple Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton, whose soft rock ballads include How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, How Can We Be Lovers, Time, Love and Tenderness, and Georgia on My Mind, among many other hits. Bolton’s achievements include selling 53 million albums worldwide, eight top ten albums, and two number one singles on the Billboard charts.
Advance tickets and a full schedule of movies and events are available at FLiFF.com.