Dave Sikula from Pacifica, CA

On Twitter: @davesikula

When you’re not watching TCM, what do you do?

My day jobs are primarily in the tech field. I've worked for Yahoo, eBay, Microsoft, and other Silicon Valley companies, but my latest gig has been with a startup.

What’s your favorite movie snack?

It used to be popcorn and a Dr. Pepper, but over the last few years has changed to Good and Plenty and a hot black tea. Not very exciting, but it works for me. (I remember in the '60s when the local theatre experimented with flavored popcorn - using the same stuff they "buttered" the corn with. I had the "pizza" variety, and, to this day, it remains the single-worst thing I've ever tried to eat.)

What’s your favorite part of TCM?

Oh, so many, but if I had to choose (other than the hosts, that is), it'd be the rarities and shorts. I'm a sucker for pre-Code anything and the chance to see a day of movies with Mae Clark or Edgar Kennedy or Walter Catlett or Edna Mae Oliver is just the best. If there's a Robert Benchley or Joe McDoakes or Vitaphone short on, try and keep me away. I also love the Saturday morning series character stuff. I love the chance to see -all- the Lone Wolfs or Dr. Kildares or Philo Vances week after week.

What’s your favorite movie genre?

Newspaper pictures, capers, and pre-Codes. Give me a movie from the early 30s about newspapermen - or snoopy girl reporters - and I am -so- there.

Who’s your favorite actor or actress or filmmaker of all time?  And why?

My absolute favorite thing to watch in a movie is to see Fred Astaire dance. There's such an ease and talent on display that thinking how much work has gone into making it look so effortless is jaw-dropping. As much as I love the leading players - and I'd have to put Cary Grant, James Cagney, James Stewart, William Powell, Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy, and Ann Dvorak at the top of my list - I love the character actors. I'm a huge fan of Jack Carson (who could do anything brilliantly), but to see people like James Gleason, William Demarest, Edna Mae Oliver, Elizabeth Patterson, Garry Owen, Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore, Beulah Bondi, Glenda Farrell, Franklin Pangborn, and the Preston Sturges stock company in picture after picture is what I love. If I have favorite directors, they'd probably be Sturges, Welles, Hitchcock, and Curtiz.

Who would you be thrilled to meet, and what would you say?

He's not really a "film" person, but I would one day love to meet Stephen Sondheim. The only problem is that I so admire him that I know I'd freeze up and not know what to say or just gush. In a previous life, I worked as a dry-cleaning deliveryman in Beverly Hills and had the chance to meet many celebrities on my route, and found them to be just people. (This was true when I worked as an actor in Los Angeles. Actors were actors, and the ones I admired the most turned out to be some of the nicest and most down-to-earth.)

What do you collect?

Comic books (I have in the neighborhood of 40,000), CDs and records (primarily - though not exclusively) Broadway cast albums, soundtracks, and dance music of the 20s and 30s. Books and some select film memorabilia. Nothing specific on that last, though; just as it comes along.

If you had to pick just one, what would be your favorite movie?

Oy. Talk about Sophie's choice. If I had to pick, though, I've long said my desert island movie is 1937's Shall We Dance. Some may like other entries in the Astaire/Rogers series more, but this one is, for me, the pinnacle. A perfect score, some superb numbers, a brilliant script (that is consistent in its themes throughout), and a great cast. I've seen it with crowds, I've seen it solo, I've seen it when violently ill. I must have seen it 25 times, if not more, and I still tear up at the fadeout. It's just a perfect movie.


Thank you Dave!  For being in our Member Spotlight, we’re sending you a few soundtracks for your collection, including the rare 1997 promotional CD “The Sounds of TCM.”  Happy listening!

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