Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Moving Image Research Center (Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division)
  Home >> Mary Pickford Theater >> 2000 Archive

Mary Pickford Theater

2000 Archive of Screened Films


Monday, January 10, 2000

Jazz on Film

Louis Prima: The Wildest (Deep C Productions, 1999). Director: Don McGlynn. (82 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection, courtesy Deep C Productions).

Trumpeter, singer, bandleader Louis Prima (1911-79) was a respected jazz musician, uninhibited entertainer, notorious ladies' man and all-around swinger. He wrote the swing (and retro-swing) anthems Sing, Sing, Sing and Jump, Jive & Wail, rocked Las Vegas in the 1950s with singer and spouse Keely Smith, and climaxed his career with his role in Disney's Jungle Book film, singing I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song). This new documentary includes interviews with sidemen and ex-wives, and features rare and unforgettable footage of Prima's film and television appearances.

Tonight's program will be introduced by Rusty Hassan. Mr. Hassan teaches jazz history at Georgetown and American Universities, and his radio program is heard on WPFW-FM. The Jazz on Film series is curated by Senior Studio Engineer Larry Appelbaum, with support from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division and the Music Division of the Library of Congress.


Tuesday, January 11, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Sherlock Holmes: Early British Talkies

The Speckled Band (British & Dominion, 1931). Director: Jack Raymond. Writer: W.P. Lipscomb, from the story by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Raymond Massey, Athole Stewart, Lyn Harding, Angela Baddeley, Nancy Price. (54 minutes [short version for American television release], sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection).

Sherlock Holmes's Fatal Hour (Twickenham, 1931). Director: Leslie S. Hiscott. Writers: Cyril Twyford, H. Fowler Mear, based on "The Final Problem" and "The Empty House" by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Arthur Wontner, Ian Fleming, Minnie Rayner, Leslie Perrins, Jane Welsh. (75 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection).

113 years after his creation by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and over a century after his creator's attempt to kill him off, Sherlock Holmes remains perhaps the single most popular literary character of all time. The original canon of Doyle's four Holmes novels and 56 short stories has been embellished by hundreds of pastiches and sequels by new writers. For over sixty years, hundreds of societies in cities around the world have met regularly, gathering the detective's legion of fans. Washington, D.C. includes its own such group, "The Red Circle," impishly named at the height of the cold war for the title of one of the Conan Doyle stories. In movies and television, Holmes is the most-depicted fictional character on screen, and this series will show a variety of examples of this work, including many of the most rarely-seen. While only some of the films are based on the actual writings of Doyle, all of our examples portray the detective in the manner of the original canon; we have not included here any of the Holmes parodies, or those which have placed him in contexts outside of the mystery genre, such as in science fiction.

The series (starting tonight and for seven consecutive Tuesdays thereafter) will include both British and American adaptations, for both movies and television, from the earliest silent films to the first Holmes "talkie," up to the present. The series includes the range of notable actors to have portrayed Holmes, including Clive Brook, Raymond Massey, Arthur Wontner, Basil Rathbone, Alan Napier, Ronald Howard, Peter Cushing, John Neville, Stewart Granger, Christopher Plummer, and Ian Richardson, along with differing portraits of Holmes's associate, Dr. Watson.

Holmes is the prototype of the ratiocinative detective, a type originated by Edgar Allan Poe but brought to fruition by writers in England, to such a degree that the form is often known as the "British" mystery, and this formula remains a prime joint contribution of Anglo-American popular culture. Whether Lord Peter Wimsey, or Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, to such American television detectives as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, the Holmes pattern set by Doyle at the turn of the century remain a dominant formula for audiences worldwide.


Wednesday, January 12, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Railway Children (EMI,1970) Director: Lionel Jeffries. Writer: Lionel Jeffries, from the novel by E. Nesbit. Camera: Arthur Ibbetson. Cast: Jenny Agutter, Bernard Cribbins, Dinah Sheridan, Iain Cuthbertson. (102 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Universal).

When their father is mysteriously called away, three children must relocate to a country cottage near a railway line. Rare screening of E. Nesbit's children's story.


Thursday, January 13, 2000

Jazz on Film

Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Harold Arlen (Deep C Productions, 1999). Director: Don McGlynn. (72 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection, courtesy Deep C Productions).

You may not recognize the name, but every jazz fan will know the songs of Harold Arlen. In this tribute to one of the great composers of the century, Frank Sinatra is shown crooning One For My Baby; Cab Calloway sings Blues In The Night; both Duke Ellington and Lena Horne perform their versions of Stormy Weather; and Bing Crosby does Accentuate The Positive. In addition, Barbra Steisand, Tony Bennett, and Mel Torme interpret the Arlen classics Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home, That Old Black Magic, Come Rain Or Come Shine, and A Sleeping Bee . The music is interspersed with excerpts of Harold Arlen's home movies, including rare, behind-the-scenes footage from the Wizard of Oz, and private moments with George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Oz collaborator Yip Harburg.

Tonight's program will be introduced by Mark Horowitz. Mr. Horowitz is a Music Specialist in the Music Division at the Library of Congress, where he has archived the papers of Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Vernon Duke, Richard Rodgers and Leonard Bernstein.


Friday, January 14, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Time Bandits (Handmade Films, 1981). Director: Terry Gilliam. Writers: Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam. Cast Craig Warnock, John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Katherine Helmond, Ralph Richardson, Ian Holm. (115 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection).

An inventive fantasy. A madcapped journey through history, in which the tot, Craig Warnock is whisked out of his home by six zany dwarfs holding a map that reveals gaps in the universe. Their mission to rectify various portions of human history that disappoint the mastermind of the Universe, "Supreme Being."


Tuesday, January 18, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Sherlock Holmes: Silent to Sound

Sherlock Holmes Baffled (Biograph, 1900). (1 minute, silent, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection).

The Copper Beeches (1912). Director: Georges Treville. Cast: Georges Treville, Mr. Moyse. (28 minutes, silent, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection).

The Man With the Twisted Lip (Stoll, 1922). Director: Maurice Elvey. Writer: William J. Elliott, based on the story by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Eille Norwood, Hubert Willis, Robert Vallis, Paulette del Baye. (40 minutes, silent, b&w, video; LC collection).

Fox Movietone News: "Sherlock Holmes" Turns Engineer [Newsclip of William Gillette] (Fox, 1927). Appearing: William Gillette. (2 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Fox).

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (Paramount, 1929). Director: Basil Dean. Writers: Garrett Fort, Basil Dean, based on "The Dying Detective" and "His Last Bow" by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Clive Brook, H. Reeves-Smith, Betty Lawford, Charles Hay. (76 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Paramount).


Wednesday, January 19, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Spies

Department S: Six Days (ITC, 1969). Director: Cyril Frankel. Writer: Gerald Kelsey. Cast: Peter Wyngarde, Joel Fabiani., Rosemary Nicols. (60 minutes, sound, color, 16mm; LC Collection).

Strange Report: Cult Murder Shrieks Out (Arena Production for ITC, 1969). Director: Charles Crichton. Writer: Morris Farhi. Cast: Anthony Quayle, Kas Garas. (60 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection).

In Department S, which could be seen as a British precursor to the X- Files, a special offshoot department of Interpol investigates inexplicable crimes. In Six Days, an airliner is missing for 6 days, but when it reappears, the crew and passengers remember nothing. In a similar vein, Strange Report features an ex-police criminologist, Adam Strange, who investigates unusual cases. In Cult Murder Shrieks Out, Strange suspects that the electrocution of a pop singer during a concert is no accident, and his investigations lead to a charity-collecting religious sect.


Thursday, January 20, 2000

Jazz on Film

Joe Williams: Portrait In Song (Jazz Image, 1997). Director: Burrill Crohn (56 minutes, sound, color, video; print courtesy Jazz Image).

But Then, She's Betty Carter (Eye of the Storm Productions, 1980). Director: Michelle Parkerson (53 minutes, sound, color, 16mm; LC Collection, courtesy Eye of the Storm Productions).

The jazz world recently lost several important singers who set the highest standards with their ability to interpret, improvise and swing. Joe Williams, sometimes referred to as Count Basie's "No. 1 Son," is the subject of a documentary shot during a weekend concert with the Basie Orchestra at Hamilton College in 1996. Highlights include archival footage of Williams and Basie on the Pat Boone Show in 1959, Williams and fellow blues shouter Jimmy Rushing at Newport in 1962, and an extraordinary glimpse of Williams watching and singing along with a film clip of himself from an earlier era. Be-bop vocalist and educator Betty Carter is considered one of the greatest pure jazz singers of the 20th century. In this revealing documentary, Carter emerges as a strong-willed woman of integrity who created her own opportunities and persevered, despite mistreatment by major record companies and an indifferent music business.

Tonight's program will be introduced by Ira Sabin. Mr. Sabin is the Chairman and founder of JAZZTIMES magazine.


Friday, January 21, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

How I Won the War (United Artists, 1967). Director: Richard Lester. Writer: Charles Wood, from the novel by Patrick Ryan. Camera: David Watkin. Cast: Michael Crawford, John Lennon, Roy Kinnear. (110 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy United Artists).

Peculiar black comedy by one of Britain's premier directors. Pre-Phantom of the Opera Crawford stars as a WWII veteran whose reminiscences don't quite match up with reality. Also features John Lennon, who wrote "Strawberry Fields Forever" while on location.


Monday, January 24, 2000

Jazz on Film

Jazz 625: Erroll Garner, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk (BBC 1964-65). Director: Terry Henebery. (110 minutes, sound, b&w, video; LC Collection, courtesy BBC).

By the mid-1960s, it was rare to find much jazz on television. In the U.S., jazz was mostly found on the NET (National Educational Television) network. In England, the BBC documented many British and American groups in a series called Jazz 625. Tonight, we show three programs from this landmark series featuring three important jazz pianists. Erroll Garner generated enormous momentum and swing with his block chords and way of manipulating tempo. Bill Evans combined a subtle touch with harmonic sophistication which made him one of the most influential musicians of his generation. Thelonious Monk developed an idiosyncratic style that was avant-garde, yet rooted in tradition. His compositions, including Round Midnight, Straight No Chaser, Well You Needn't, Misterioso and others, are an important part of the jazz repertoire.

Tonight's program will be introduced by John Edward Hasse. Mr. Hasse is Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. He is author of "Beyond Category: The Musical Genius of Duke Ellington" and editor of "Jazz: The First Century."


Tuesday, January 25, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Sherlock Holmes: The American Classics

Sherlock Holmes (Fox, 1932). Director: William K. Howard. Writer: Bertram Milhauser, based on the play by William Gillette. Cast: Clive Brook, Miriam Jordan, Ernest Torrence, Reginald Owen, Howard Leeds, Alan Mowbray. (70 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection, courtesy Fox).

House of Fear (Universal, 1944). Director: Roy William Neill. Writer: Roy Chanslor, based on "The Five Orange Pips" by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Aubrey Mather, Dennis Hoey. (70 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection, courtesy Universal).


Wednesday, January 26, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Genevieve (Sirius, 1954) Director: Henry Cornelius. Writer: William Rose. Editor: Clive Donner. Cast: John Gregson, Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More, Kay Kendall, Geoffrey Keen. (86 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Sirius).

Two friendly rivals, reluctantly accompanied by women who do not share their enthusiasm for antique automobiles, resort to mild skulduggery as they race their erratic 1904 cars in the annual London-to- Brighton old-car competition.


Thursday, January 27, 2000

Jazz on Film

A Man Called Adam (Trace-Mark, 1966). Director: Leo Penn. Writers: Les Pines, Tina Rome. Cast: Sammy Davis, Jr., Louis Armstrong, Mel Torme, Cicely Tyson. (99 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection, courtesy Embassy).

This backstage melodrama about non-violence and issues of race, based loosely on Miles Davis, stars Sammy Davis Jr. as a trumpeter (ghosted on the soundtrack by Nat Adderley). Among the many featured musicians are Jo Jones, Buster Bailey, Tyree Glenn, Benny Powell, Frank Wess, Hank Jones and "Pops" Foster.

Tonight's program will be introduced by Julian Euell. Mr. Euell is a jazz bassist who played and recorded with John Coltrane, Mal Waldron, Phineas Newborn, Gigi Gryce, Kenny Dorham and others. He is a former Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and former Director of the Louis Armstrong House and Archive.


Friday, January 28, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Servant (Springbok Films, 1963). Director: Joseph Losey. Writer: Harold Pinter, from the novel by Robin Maugham. Camera: Douglas Slocombe. Music: John Dankworth. Cast: Dirk Bogarde, James Fox, Sarah Miles. (115 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Springbok Films).

In the early 50s, Wisconsin-born Joseph Losey (1909-1984) left a stage and Hollywood film directing career because of the blacklist. Resettling in England, he eventually became a major force in British cinema. His work, often bleak and highly symbolic, almost always defined its characters in relation to their specific environment and place within society. The Servant was the first of three acclaimed collaborations with playwright Harold Pinter, and details an increasingly destructive game of role reversals between master (Fox) and servant (the late Bogarde in one of his greatest roles).


Monday, January 31, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Spies

The Champions: The Beginning (ITC, 1968). Director: Cyril Frankel. Writer: Dennis Spooner. Cast: Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo, William Gaunt. (60 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection).

Department S: The Man from X (ITC, 1969). Director: Gill Taylor. Writer: Tony Williamson. Cast: Peter Wyngarde, Joel Fabiani., Rosemary Nicols. (60 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection).

Secret agents crash in the Himalayas, but are discovered by a Tibetan who endows them with special powers to fight crime, enabling them to become The Champions. In The Man from X, a man is found in wandering the streets in a spacesuit, dying before he can be questioned. The only clues the Department S team can deduce are that he had recently been in a vacuum and he has radiation burns.


Tuesday, February 1, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Sherlock Holmes Comes to Television Your Show Time: The Adventure of the Speckled Band (Marshall Grant-Realm Television, 1949). Director: Sobey Martin. Writer: Walter Doniger, based on the story by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Alan Napier, Melville Cooper, Evelyn Ankers. (28 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection).

Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Disappeared (Dryer & Weenolsen, 1951). Director: Richard M. Grey. Cast: John Longden, Campbell Singer, Hector Ross. (27 minutes, sound, b&w, video; LC Collection).

Sherlock Holmes: The Cunningham Heritage (S.H. Television, 1954) Director: Jack Gage. Writer: Sheldon Reynolds. Cast: Ronald Howard, H. Marion Crawford, Archie Duncan. (25 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection).

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Universal TV, 1972). Director: Barry Chase. Writer: Robert E. Thompson, from the book by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Stewart Granger, Bernard Fox, William Shatner. (80 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection, courtesy Universal).


Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Tribute to Henry Hampton

I'll Make Me a World, Parts 1-2 (1900-1937) (Blackside, 1999). Executive Producer: Henry Hampton. Writer: Sheila Bernard. Story Editor: Thulani Davis. (120 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection, courtesy PBS).

For Black History Month, the Pickford Theater salutes the late documentarian Henry Hampton and his production company Blackside, Inc. (Eyes on the Prize, The Great Depression) with three nights of a recent series chronicling the extraordinary cultural achievements of 20th century African-Americans. Tonight we'll feature the first two episodes of I'll Make Me a World, Lift Every Voice and Without Fear or Shame, which trace the work of the first generation of artists through the Harlem Renaissance.


Thursday, February 3, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Kes (Woodfall, 1969). Director: Ken Loach. Writers: Ken Loach and Barry Hines. Camera: Chris Menges. Cast: David Bradley, Lynne Perrie), Freddie Fletcher. (113 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Woodfall).

Ken Loach's "social realist" approach to the everyday is best personified in this moving family drama about how a young boy's alienation from the rigors of school and the burden of a dysfunctional family is temporarily appeased by his affection and devotion to a pet kestrel.


Friday, February 4, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Absolute Beginners (Palace Pictures, 1986). Director: Julien Temple. Writers: Richard Burridge, Christopher Wicking, Don Macpherson. Camera: Oliver Stapleton. Cast: Patsy Kensit, Eddie O'Connell, David Bowie, James Fox, Ray Davies, Mandy Rice-Davies. (108 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy of Palace Pictures).

Music video director Julien Temple pulled out all the stops for his first fiction feature, a musical adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel about growing up in 1950s London. The spectacular production numbers include a famous opening tracking shot and David Bowie dancing on a Busby Berkeley-inspired giant typewriter.


Monday, February 7, 2000

Tribute to Henry Hampton

I'll Make Me a World, Parts 3-4 (1935-1965) (Blackside, 1999). Executive Producer: Henry Hampton. Writer: Sheila Bernard. Story Editor: Thulani Davis. (120 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection, courtesy PBS).

Our Henry Hampton tribute continues with Bright Like a Sun and Dream Keepers, an exploration of African-American artists at mid-century such as Paul Robeson, Dizzy Gillespie, James Baldwin, and Lorraine Hansberry.


Tuesday, February 8, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Sherlock Holmes: Basil Rathbone and Peter Cushing

The Scarlet Claw (Universal, 1944). Director: Roy William Neill. Writers: Edmund L. Hartmann, Roy William Neill, from an original story by Paul Gengelin, Brenda Weisberg. Cast: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Gerald Hamer, Paul Cavanagh. (74 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC collection, courtesy Universal).

The Masks of Death (Tyburn, 1984). Director: Roy Ward Baker. Writer: N.J. Crisp. Cast: Peter Cushing, John Mills, Ann Baxter, Ray Milland, Gordon Jackson. (90 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC collection; courtesy Tyburn Productions).


Wednesday, February 9, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Spies

Gideon's Way: State Visit (ATV Production, 1965). Director: John Moxey. Writer: Jim O'Connolly. Cast: John Gregson, Alexander Davion. (60 minutes, sound, b&w, video; LC Collection).

Man in a Suitcase: Brainwash (ITC, 1967). Director: Charles Crichton. Writers: Frances Megahy and Bernie Cooper. Cast: Richard Bradford. (60 minutes, sound, color; 16mm; LC Collection).

Commander George Gideon of Scotland Yard investigates crime with his second-in-command, Chief Inspector Keen, in Gideon's Way. In State Visit, both must protect a visiting German statesman who is receiving threats from a former Nazi victim. In Man in a Suitcase, CIA agent McGill is framed and kicked out of the CIA, and decides to become an investigator and bounty hunter for hire.


Thursday, February 10, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Beggar's Opera (British Lion, 1954). Director: Peter Brook. Writer: Denis Cannan. Cast: Laurence Olivier, Hugh Griffith, Dorothy Tutin, George Devine. (94 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy British Lion).

A musical, set in 18th century London, about a notorious highwayman and lusty lover who participates in an opera about his own life while awaiting hanging in Newgate prison.


Friday, February 11, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Devils (Warner Bros., 1971). Director: Ken Russell. Writer: Ken Russell, from the novel The Devils of Loudon by Aldous Huxley and the play by John Whiting. Camera: David Watkin. Set design: Derek Jarman. Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed, Gemma Jones. (108 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Warner Bros).

In 17th-century France, Sister Jeanne (Redgrave), an insane nun, is used by a power-hungry elite to destroy the head of fortified Loudon, Father Grandier (the late Reed at his very best), a liberal, libertine priest. The Devils is the most intense and controversial film of director Ken Russell's controversial career.


Monday, February 14, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Cream in My Coffee (ITV, 1980). Director: Gavin Millar. Writer: Dennis Potter. Camera: Ernest Vincze. Cast: Peter Chelsom, Shelagh McLeod, Peggy Ashcroft, Lionel Jeffries. (91 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection, courtesy ITV).

Sweetly elegiac Dennis Potter (The Singing Detective, Pennies From Heaven ) teleplay about an elderly couple who revisit the hotel where their romance first began, exploring in the process the arc of two lives become one.


Tuesday, February 15, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Sherlock Holmes: The Legacy of Conan Doyle

Omnibus: The Fine Art of Murder (Ford Foundation, 1956). Director: Paul Bogart. Writer: Sidney Carroll. Cast: James Daly, Jack Sydow, Rex Stout, Dennis Hoey. (40 minutes, sound, b&w, video; LC Collection, courtesy NBC).

A Study in Terror (Compton/Sir Nigel Films, 1965). Director: James Hill. Writers: Donald and Derek Ford. Cast: John Neville, Donald Houston, John Fraser, Anthony Quayle, Robert Morley. (94 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Columbia).


Wednesday, February 16, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Blind Date (Independent Artists/Paramount, 1959). US title: Chance Meeting. Director: Joseph Losey. Writers: Ben Barzman and Millard Lampell, from the novel by Leigh Howard. Camera: Christopher Challis. Music: Richard Rodney Bennett. Cast: Hardy Kruger, Stanley Baker, Micheline Presle. (90 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Paramount).

These Are the Damned (Hammer/Columbia,1963). UK title: The Damned. Director: Joseph Losey. Writer: Evan Jones, from the novel Children of Light by H.L. Lawrence. Camera: Arthur Grant. Cast: Macdonald Carey, Shirley Ann Field, Oliver Reed, Viveca Lindfors. (87 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection, courtesy Columbia).

A double feature of two rarely screened genre films made by Joseph Losey prior to his landmark film The Servant. Among other elements, both explore the artist's role in society. In Blind Date, a Dutch artist living in London suddenly finds himself the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Losey uses the mystery format to critique the British class system. In 1961, Losey took Hammer Studios' offer to direct These Are the Damned as the opportunity to make a grand social statement, fashioning a neo-Brechtian melange of Teddy Boy gangs, avant garde sculpture and apocalyptic government conspiracy. His eerie fable proved too much for the distributor, Columbia, which had the picture shelved, then later re-cut and released as a B feature.


Thursday, February 17, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Spies

The Persuaders: Overture (Tribune Production, 1971). Director: Basil Dearden. Writer: Brian Clemens. Cast: Tony Curtis, Roger Moore. (60 minutes, sound, color, 16mm; LC Collection).

The Baron: The Night of the Hunter (ITC, 1966). Director: Roy Baker. Writer: Terry Nation. Cast: Steve Forrest. (60 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection).

In The Persuaders, two playboys, one American and one British, are blackmailed into becoming defenders of the law by a retired judge. In The Baron, an American antiques dealer based in London investigates crimes. In this episode, the Baron investigates whether money from the sale of some antiques will be used to finance a foreign revolution.


Friday, February 18, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Red and Blue (Holly Productions, 1967) Director: Tony Richardson. Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (36 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection).

The White Bus (Holly Productions, 1967) Director: Lindsay Anderson. Cast: Patricia Healy, Arthur Lowe, John Sharp. (46 minutes, sound, b&w and color, 35mm; LC Collection).

The Ride of the Valkyrie (Holly Productions,1967) Director: Peter Brook. Cast: Zero Mostel, Julia Foster, Frank Thornton. (15 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection).

These vignettes were filmed by directors Richardson, Anderson, and Brook with the intention of releasing them together under the collective title Red, White, and Zero, but the absence of a unifying theme caused United Artists to shelve the project. They are disparate: Red and Blue is based on three songs, Valkyrie is a romp, and The White Bus is a quasi-experimental film that manages to be simultaneously sad and satirical.


Tuesday, February 22, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Sherlock Holmes: Adaptation and Pastiche

Classics Dark and Dangerous: Silver Blaze (Highgate, 1976). Director: John Davies. Writer: Julian Bond, based on the story by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Christopher Plummer, Thorley Walters, Basil Henson, Gary Watson. (31 minutes, sound, color, 16mm; LC Collection, courtesy Highgate Associates).

Murder By Decree (Highlight, 1978). Director: Bob Clark. Writer: John Hopkins. Cast: Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Donald Sutherland, Genevieve Bujold, John Gielgud. (124 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection).


Wednesday, February 23, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Loved One (MGM, 1965). Director: Tony Richardson. Writers: Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood from the novel by Evelyn Waugh. Camera: Haskell Wexler. Cast: Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, Anjanette Comer, Rod Steiger. (117 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy MGM).

Billed as having "something to offend everyone," this literate and wicked satire chronicles the odyssey of young Britisher Dennis Barlow, newly arrived in Los Angeles. While arranging for his Uncle's internment at the garish mortuary complex Whispering Glades, he accedes to any number of questionable opportunities while seeking gainful employment. Death, love, sex, capitalism, religion and poetry merge into an unholy array of characters and events transpire at the whim of a deranged corporate vision. Don't miss the most outrageous and hilarious parade of cameos in film history exhibiting such absurdities as Liberace's fey coffin salesmanship.


Thursday, February 24, 2000

Tribute to Henry Hampton

I'll Make Me a World, Parts 5-6 (1963-present) (Blackside, 1999). Executive Producer: Henry Hampton. Writer: Sheila Bernard. Story Editor: Thulani Davis. (120 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection, courtesy PBS).

The last two episodes of I'll Make Me a World, Not a Rhyme Time and The Freedom You Will Take, look at current African-American artists who are revolutionizing American culture, such as Amiri Baraka, Alice Walker, Spike Lee, and Julie Dash.


Friday, February 25, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Quatermass and the Pit, Episode 3: Imps and Demons (1959). Producer: Rudolph Cartier. Writer: Nigel Kneale. Cast: Andre Morell, Cec Linder, Anthony Bushell. (20 minutes, sound, b&w, video; LC Collection).

The Creeping Unknown (Hammer Films, 1955). Director: Val Guest. Writer: Richard Landau. Cast: Brian Donlevy, Margia Dean, Jack Warner, David King Wood. (78 minutes, sound, b&w, 35 mm; LC Collection, courtesy Hammer).

From 1953-1979, Nigel Kneale authored a series of television miniseries for the BBC recounting the science fiction exploits of Professor Quatermass, who encounters and defeats alien invasions in a number of forms. The series was widely acclaimed by aficionados of the genre for its imagination and suspense, and the original television shows were recently made available again in the U.K., but generally they have not been seen in the United States. However, feature film versions of the shows were made in England, while the television series was still being created, and these movies were distributed in the United States and subsequently shown on television. Only the Martian invasion story, Five Million Years to Earth, was widely seen on American screens, and the evening will begin with an episode of the British television serial from which it was derived. It is followed by the first film in the series, The Creeping Unknown (U.K. title: The Quatermass Xperiment), the picture which turned the Hammer company toward the emphasis on horror and science fiction for which it is remembered.


Monday, February 28, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Spies

The Sentimental Agent: Express Delivery (ATV Production, 1963). Director: Charles Frend. Writer: Lindsay Hardy. Cast: Carlos Thompson. (60 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection).

Danger Man: An Affair of State (ITC, 1961). Director: Peter Graham Scott. Writer: Oscar Brodny. Cast: Patrick McGoohan. (30 minutes, sound, b&w, 16mm; LC Collection).

The Adventurer: Miss Me Once, Miss Me Twice, and Miss Me Once Again (ITC, 1972). Director: Cyril Frankel. Writer: Marty Roth. Cast: Gene Barry, Barry Morse. (30 minutes, sound, color, 16mm; LC Collection).

The Sentimental Agent has as its hero the charming Varela, who, in this episode, gets involved with helping a young Polish girl escape across the border, only to discover that someone wants her dead. In an early episode of Danger Man (later known to American audiences as Secret Agent ), Drake investigates the supposed suicide of an American economics expert in the Caribbean. In The Adventurer, a U.S. spy works undercover as a film star and, in this episode, must take the place of a potential murder victim.


Tuesday, February 29, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Sherlock Holmes on Television in the 1980s The Sign of Four (Mapleton, 1983). Director: Desmond Davis. Writer: Charles Edward Pogue, based on the novel by A. Conan Doyle. Cast: Ian Richardson, David Healy, Cherie Lunghi. (97 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection, courtesy Mapleton Films).

Young Sherlock: The Young Master (Granada, 1985) Director: Nicholas Ferguson. Writer: Gerald Frow. Cast: Guy Henry. (60 minutes, sound, color, video; LC Collection, courtesy Granada Television).


Wednesday, March 1, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Girl with Green Eyes (Woodfall, 1964). Director: Desmond Davis. Writer: Edna O'Brien, from her novel The Lonely Girl. Cast: Rita Tushingham, Peter Finch, Lynn Redgrave. (91 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Lopert Pictures).

The Woodfall Organization was an independent company founded by Tony Richardson and John Osborne to film Osborne's hit plays "Look Back In Anger" and "The Entertainer." With the success of those two films and of such others as The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and, especially, Tom Jones, the company was, briefly and gloriously, on a roll. O'Brien adapted her second novel for the screen, and former cameraman Davis made his directorial debut filming in and around Dublin.


Thursday, March 2, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Only Two Can Play (Vale Film,1962). Director: Sidney Gilliat. Writer: Bryan Forbes, from the novel That Uncertain Feeling by Kingsley Amis. Camera: John Wilcox. Cast: Peter Sellers, Mai Zetterling, Virginia Maskell, Richard Attenborough. (106 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection).

In this adaptation of Kingsley Amis's satiric novel, Sellers is a frustrated Welsh librarian, married with children, who is fed up with his dead end job and chaotic home life. His hilarious attempts to make it with the sexy wife of a local VIP are met with some formidable obstacles.


Friday, March 4, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Prisoner (London Independent/Facet, 1955). Director: Peter Glenville. Writer: Bridget Boland, from her play. Camera: Reg Wyer. Cast: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Raymond Huntley, Wilfrid Lawon, Jeannette Sterke. (94 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Facet).

A drama revolving around the mental and spiritual struggle between a Roman Catholic cardinal, who is falsely accused of treason against a totalitarian state, and his relentless interrogator whose goal is to break the spirit of the priest.


Tuesday, March 7, 2000

Special Presentation

Enrico Caruso the Reluctant Movie Star

Enrico Caruso, one of the most celebrated operatic singers of the last century, had a tremendous impact not only on the theater, but also on the mechanical media of his time. He truly deserves acknowledgment as one of the first great media stars. His influence on the development of the infant gramophone recording industry is well known, but little work has been carried out on Caruso the radio broadcasting pioneer, or Caruso the reluctant movie star. This presentation by Paul Fryer, Senior Lecturer in Theatre, at Rose Bruford College (U.K..), is illustrated by film and audio clips in an attempt to redress that balance by exploring Caruso`s appearances in motion pictures and the impact and influence of the tenor upon the development of the 20th century's great attempt at democratizing art through the cinema screen.


Wednesday, March 8, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

Pett and Pott (1934). Director/Writer: Alberto Cavalcanti. Camera: John Taylor. (32 minutes, sound, b&w, video; LC Collection).

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (G & S Films, 1939). Director: Thorold Dickinson. Writers: Thorold Dickinson and Donald Bull, from a novel by Leonard Gribble. Camera: Desmond Dickinson. Cast: Leslie Banks, Greta Gynt, Brian Worth, Wyndham Goldie, Anthony Bushell. (84 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; print courtesy of National Film & Television Archive).

The G & S Films company was formed in 1938 with the goal of bringing Gilbert and Sullivan operas to the screen. After their first film, The Mikado, turned into a costly flop, the company adopted a less exotic motto: "Bring Britain to the Screen." Indeed, what could be more British than a story about a Scotland Yard inspector investigating the murder of a star soccer player? The Arsenal Stadium Mystery, which includes appearances by the members of the popular London soccer club, is a hugely entertaining whodunit, with Leslie Banks excelling in the role of Inspector Slade. This was undoubtedly the best, but also the last G & S production. It is preceded by Pett and Pott, a delightful short from the Grierson documentary group promoting telephone service in Great Britain.


Thursday, March 9, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Trans-Atlantic Mystery (Vitaphone, 1932). Director: Joseph Henabery. Writer: Burnet Hershey, from a story by S. S. Van Dine. Camera: E. B. Du Par. Cast: Donald Meek, John Hamilton, Betty Pierce, Ray Collins. (21 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; LC Collection).

Transatlantic Tunnel (Gaumont-British, 1935). Director: Maurice Elvey. Writers: Kurt Siodmak, L. DuGarde Peach, and Clemence Dane, from the novel by Bernhard Kellermann. Camera: Günther Krampf. Cast: Richard Dix, Helen Vinson, Madge Evans, Leslie Banks, C. Aubrey Smith, George Arliss, Walter Huston. (94 minutes, sound, b&w, 35mm; print courtesy of National Film & Television Archive).

The British remake of the 1933 German film Der Tunnel, itself based on a 1913 novel of the same title, is a spectacular futuristic fantasy with a star-studded Anglo-American cast, including Walter Huston in the role of the U.S. President and George Arliss as the Prime Minister of Great Britain. World- wide television broadcasts, "televisionary telephony," and a transatlantic flight for a quick conference in New York (with a "gyroscope" landing on a penthouse roof), impressed the Variety reviewer as being "casually written in, as if taken for granted." Don't miss this one! It is preceded by The Trans-Atlantic Mystery, a Vitaphone short about a murder investigation involving a cargo of stolen jewels aboard an ocean liner.


Friday, March 10, 2000

John Bull and Uncle Sam

The Lodger (Gainsborough, 1926). Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Writers: Eliot Stannard, Alfred Hitchcock, based on the novel by Mrs. Belloc Lowndes. Camera: Baron Ventimiglia. Cast: Ivor Novello, Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney. (95 minutes, silent, b&w, 35mm; print courtesy National Film and Television Archives).

Blackmail (British International, 1929). Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Writers: Alfred Hitchcock, Benn Levy, Charles Bennett, from the play by Bennett. Camera: Jack Cox. Cast: Anny Ondra, Sara Allgood, John Longden. (96 minutes, silent, b&w, 35mm; print courtesy National Film and Television Archives).

Our British series concludes with an Alfred Hitchcock double feature, featuring two lovely prints from the National Film and Television Archives in London. The Lodger is the master's most famous silent film, a chilling Jack the Ripper tale set on the foggy streets of London. More notable is Blackmail, widely known as Britain's first sound film. Hitchcock had, however, initially shot the film silent, then went back and added new scenes with sound. Tonight we screen that rarely seen original and in many ways superior silent version, with accompaniment provided by Ray Brubacher.


Tuesday, March 14, 2000

National Film Registry

Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (Flower Films, 1980). Director: Les Blank. Editor: Maureen Gosling. Camera: Wim Wenders, John Lumsdaine, James Schnell, et. al. Narrator: Chris Fray. (51 minutes, sound, color, 16mm; LC Collection, courtesy Les Blank)

Always for Pleasure (Flower Films, 1978). Director/Camera/Editor: Les Blank. Sound and additional cinematography by Maureen Gosling. Features: Professor Longhair, The Wild Tchoupitoulas (with The Neville Brothers), The Olympia Brass Band, Kid Thomas Valentine, and Beautiful Details of Cooking Red Beans and Rice and Crawfish. (57 minutes, sound, color, 16mm; LC Collection courtesy Les Blank).

A confident prediction: When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences one day awards an "Outstanding Lifetime Achievement for Creative Film Titling," renowned documentary filmmaker Les Blank (Chicken Real, Gap-Toothed Women, In Heaven There is No Beer?, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe ) will stand unchallenged at the podium. His 30+ years of one-of-a-kind films eschew the ponderous analysis of grad school sociology for deft humanistic insights which highlight American folkways and diverse cultures, always going to the essential heart of life: food, love, music, community and humor. Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers chronicles the wondrous powers of the "stinking rose" with classic vignettes from Chez Panisse in Berkeley to the Gilroy Garlic Festival, interspersed with a jumping sound track and telling historical tidbits. To grasp American culture and all that has produced it, one need only see Always for Pleasure, Blank's microscope put up to the annual Mardi Gras festival and the mythic, cultural mosaic which is New Orleans. Alas, we will not offer Blank's famed culinary accompaniment of SmellaRound/AromaRound cooking.


Thursday, March 16, 2000

National Film Registry

Hamburger U (Paramount, 1965). Director: Richard Matt. (9 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection).

Hamburger Sandwich (Educational Media, 1969). (10 minutes, sound, color, 16mm; LC Collection).

Pound (Pound Films 1970). Director/Writer: Robert Downey. Cast: Joe Madden, Antonio Fargas, Mari-Claire Charba, L. Erroll Jaye, Carolyn Cardwell. (92 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy United Artists).

Director Robert Downey, who satirized the advertising industry in Putney Swope, applies his irreverence to society at large in Pound. Based on Downey's play The Comeuppance, this bawdy allegory muses over class, sex, and death among the canine inmates of a New York City pound. Look for Robert Downey Jr. as a puppy. Pound is preceded by two studies of American's favorite sandwich: Hamburger U is a humorous survey of hamburger throughout the ages, while Hamburger Sandwich offers preparation tips for the modern grill.


Friday, March 17, 2000

National Film Registry

National Lampoon's Animal House (Universal, 1978). Director: John Landis. Writer: Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller. Camera: Charles Correll. Cast: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Donald Sutherland, John Vernon. (109 minutes, sound, color, 35m; LC Collection, courtesy Universal).

Perhaps it might take your IQ down a point or two, but Animal House is a genuinely funny spoof of college life that spawned a regrettable number of pale imitations in addition to a short-lived TV series. John Belushi is, typically, the best thing in it, but there are plenty of sight gags and in-jokes to keep things interesting between his appearances.


Tuesday, March 21, 2000

Environmental Film Festival

Red Skies of Montana (20th Century Fox, 1952). Alternate title: Smoke Jumpers. Director: Joseph Newman. Writer: Harry Kleiner, from a story by Art Cohn. Camera: Charles Clarke. Cast: Richard Widmark, Constance Smith, Jeffrey Hunter, Richard Crenna, Charles Bronson. (99 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Fox).

The lives and loves of U.S. Forestry Service firefighters are featured in Red Skies of Montana. Widmark is the grizzled veteran assigned to train new recruits after leading a disastrous mission that killed his entire team, Hunter's father among them. When the son decides to follow in his father's footsteps, complications inevitably ensue. The plot might be a bit shopworn, but the scenery and fire sequences are spectacular.


Thursday, March 23, 2000

Environmental Film Festival

Desert Song (Warner Bros., 1943). Director: Robert Florey. Writer: Robert Buckner, from the operetta by Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach, Frank Mandel, Sigmund Romberg, and Laurence Schwab. Camera: Bert Glennon. Cast: Dennis Morgan, Irene Manning, Bruce Cabot, Faye Emerson. (90 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Warner Bros).

Unlike the mythical tone of the venerable stage operetta and the1929 and 1953 versions, the 1943 Technicolor movie of The Desert Song was reconceived in a far more serious and realistic vein. The story was updated to portray Arab resistance to Nazi occupation under the colonial rule of Vichy France, a highly topical theme which eventually caused the film to eventually face censorship problems. Director/adapter Robert Florey sought to reproduce the Saharan desert locales with the utmost authenticity, selecting an Indian reservation near Gallup, New Mexico. Here, a third of the three months of shooting on The Desert Song were spent, photographing in bright, vivid Technicolor hues, with the entire cast, amidst sandstorms, desert vistas, and 110 degree heat. In this way, the 1943 version of The Desert Song was able to emphasize the adventurous elements and battles, with spectacular, large-scale action sequences, as rebels block construction of a trans-Saharan railway built with forced Arab labor and secretly financed by the Third Reich. The movie provides a vivid demonstration of the potential importance of the environment and the use of the outdoors in creating the setting and enhancing a picture's mood and themes. Ironically, because of a snag over rights to one of the songs added to this version, this 1943 version of The Desert Song remains largely unseen by modern audiences, who for fifty years have missed a classic that was a major hit in its own time.


Friday, March 24, 2000

National Film Registry

Head (Columbia, 1968). Director: Bob Rafelson. Writers: Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson. Camera: Michael Hugo. Cast: Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, Frank Zappa. (85 minutes, sound, color, 35mm; LC Collection, courtesy Columbia).

Variety called Head "a mind-blowing collage of mixed media, a free-for-all freakout of rock music and psychedelic splashes of color." Every word is true. The Monkees attempt to one-up The Beatles in this bewildering film concocted by Rafelson and Nicholson as a precursor to Five Easy Pieces. Victor Mature and Sonny Liston make guest appearances as adults.


Tuesday, April 25, 2000

Opening Night Extravaganza

We will put the breadth and depth of the Library's moving image collections on display tonight with a variety of delights including The Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894), the first film ever deposited for copyright, The Great Train Robbery (1903), Fatty's Tintype Tangle (1915), an early sound film featuring Sissle and Blake, a German newsreel from 1936, 1944's What to Do in a Gas Attack, a 1957 episode of The Frank Sinatra Show, and much more.


Thursday, April 27 (6:30 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Spirit of '76

Spirit of '76 (Biograph, 1905). (ca. 2 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

A True Patriot (Lubin, 1909). (ca. 12 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

When the Flag Falls (Lubin, 1909). (ca. 17 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (Edison, 1914). (ca. 17 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Scouting for Washington (Edison, 1917). (ca. 45 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Sons of Liberty (Warner Bros., 1939). Dir.: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Claude Rains, Gale Sondergaard. (20 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Williamsburg The Story of a Patriot (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1957). Dir.: George Seaton. Cast: Jack Lord, Richard Striker. (36 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation).

Our Spirit of '76 series begins with a number of early films and short films on various aspects of the American Revolution, as introduced by MBRS staff member Brian Taves. While the Civil War has been a popular theme from the beginning of the American cinema to the present, movies about our nation's other great formative conflict, the Revolution, have not achieved a similar success. For instance, a decade after D.W. Griffith made his still-famous and controversial Birth of a Nation, set during the Civil War and Reconstruction, the director decided to create a parallel cinematic epic of the Revolution, entitled simply America (July 18). Although seldom seen and little known today, America is regarded by historians as the best movie ever made about the Revolution, covering events from Paul Revere to Yorktown. Janice Meredith (July 7) followed America into theaters, and unlike its predecessor's villainous portrayal of the British, opted for a softer tone as Tory coquette Marion Davies falls in love with a patriot. 1776 (June 30) was based on the hit play that combined the old Broadway musical-comedy stage format with a strikingly accurate portrayal of the motivations, personalities, and events of the Continental Congress. The film version of 1776 did not find the appreciative audiences who had seen it on stage, but moviegoers saw a truncated version; the restoration of 1776 presented here runs more than a half-hour longer than the theatrical release.


Friday, April 28 (6:30 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

Thomas Jefferson

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Columbia, 1939). Dir.: Frank Capra. Cast: James Stewart, Jean Arthur. (130 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

The spirit of Jefferson and Lincoln pervades this classic tale of innocence triumphant. Restored by the Library's Motion Picture Conservation Center.


Tuesday, May 2, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Hong Kong

Chungking Express (Jet Tone 1996). Dir.: Wong Kar-Wai. Cast: Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung, Faye Wong. (103 min., sd., col. 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Miramax. In Chinese with English subtitles).

The badly-dubbed martial arts "chop socky" may be what most people think of if they think of Hong Kong cinema. But this prolific celluloid machine is a treasure of wildly inventive films that can be eye-popping, heart-pumping, breath-taking, thigh-slapping, or all of the above. Tonight is the first of four nights that showcase the Library's vast Hong Kong collection. In Chungking Express, director Wong- Kar Wai weaves two diverging plot lines. Romance turns and teases around a mysterious woman in a blonde wig and androgynous, loopy Faye Wong. Stylish camera work and pop music make Chungking Express an enchanting introduction to Hong Kong cinema.


Thursday, May 4, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Thomas Jefferson

The Far Horizons (Paramount, 1955). Dir.: Rudolph Maté. Cast: Fred MacMurray, Charlton Heston. (108 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

Leslie Halliwell calls it "flabbily-handled historical hokum," but at least it's beautiful VistaVision hokum. This Lewis and Clark dramatization makes up in grandeur what it lacks in narrative drive, and the off-beat pairing of MacMurray and Heston works somehow.


Friday, May 5, 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939). Dir.: Victor Fleming. Cast: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr. (101 min., sd., b/w and col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Scheduled in conjunction with the Library exhibition The Wizard of Oz: An American Fairy Tale, which runs through September 23 in the Jefferson Building, our tribute to L. Frank Baum's timeless classic begins with the obvious choice: MGM's spectacular 1939 musical version beloved by generations. Yes, through the magic of video you can see it every day, but trust us, it's better on the big screen.


Tuesday, May 9, 2000

Surprise Screening

To illustrate the Library's eclectic moving image collections, tonight's films (and five more nights to follow) will be chosen by using the DC Lottery Pick 4 game, and the results not announced beforehand. Who knows what delights await?


Thursday, May 11, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Thomas Jefferson

Ben and Me (Disney, 1953). Dir.: Hamilton Luske. Narrator: Sterling Holloway. (18 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Disney).

The Declaration of Independence (Vitaphone, 1938). Dir.: Crane Wilbur. (19 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

The Farmer from Monticello (NBC, 1955). Dir.: Albert McCleery. Cast: Rhodes Reason, Julie Bennett. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

Experiment at Monticello (Screen Gems, 1953). Dir.: Jules Bricken. Cast: Grandon Rhodes, Raymond Greenleaf. (42 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

Four short films tonight touching on various aspects of Thomas Jefferson's career, beginning with the cartoon Ben and Me, in which Amos the church mouse provides guidance to Jefferson and Ben Franklin. This is followed by a Vitaphone short dramatizing the debate over the Declaration of Independence, then finishing with The Farmer from Monticello, a Hallmark Hall of Fame teleplay where a young Jefferson decides to devote his life to the law after representing an unfairly accused friend, and Experiment at Monticello, in which Jefferson the scientist facilitates public acceptance of the smallpox vaccine.


Friday, May 12, 2000

Stromboli (RKO, 1950). Dir.: Roberto Rossellini, Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Mario Sponza. (120 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

In this postwar drama, Rossellini explores the emotional and economic effects of the war on a young East European refugee who marries an uneducated fisherman from the Island of Stromboli off the coast of Sicily.


Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Route 66: Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing (Screen Gems, 1962). Dir.: Robert Gist. Cast: Martin Milner, George Maharis. (60 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Screen Gems).

Combat: Any Second Now (Selmur Prods., 1962). Dir.: Robert Altman. Cast: Rick Jason, Vic Morrow. (60 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Route 66 was writer Stirling Silliphant's legendary series about two men on a cross- country odyssey. In this episode Tod and Buzz meet Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, and Lon Chaney, Jr., while working at a hotel convention; the aging actors decide to see if they can frighten the conventioneers. It is followed by an episode of Combat, the grittily realistic war drama. Tonight's episode was directed by Robert Altman, who assumed this duty for most of the show's first year before moving on to features.


Thursday, May 18 (6:30 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Wizard of Oz

The Patchwork Girl of Oz (Oz Film Co., 1914). Dir.: J. Farrell MacDonald. Cast: Haras Dranet, Frank Moore. (65 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz (Oz Film Co., 1914). Dir.: Violet MacMillan, Frank Moore. (48 min. [incomplete], si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

The Magic Cloak of Oz (Oz Film Co., 1914). Dir.: L. Frank Baum. Cast: Mildred Harris, Frank Woodward. (38 min. [incomplete], si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

In 1914, L. Frank Baum founded the Oz Film Manufacturing Company to capitalize on the growing success of his Oz empire. It failed the following year, but did leave behind three rarely seen films we screen tonight. The Patchwork Girl of Oz is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the original story, while The Magic Cloak of Oz is essentially the film version of Baum's 1905 book Queen Zixi of Ix. His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz departs so radically from The Wizard of Oz that Baum used it as the starting point for his 1915 novel The Scarecrow of Oz.


Friday, May 19 (6:30 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

Made-for-TV Movies

Duel (Universal, 1971). Dir.: Steven Spielberg. Cast: Dennis Weaver, Tim Herbert. (80 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

Brian's Song (Columbia, 1971). Dir.: Buzz Kulik. Cast: James Caan, Billy Dee Williams. (92 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll, courtesy Columbia).

Although the best of today's movies made for television have migrated to cable, the 1970s were perhaps the Golden Age of this particular genre. We'll present four, starting with tonight's double feature, both from the ABC Movie of the Week. Duel is a highly suspenseful cat-and-mouse chase between Dennis Weaver and a menacing 18 wheeler directed by Universal contract director Steven Spielberg, while Brian's Song was a cultural phenomenon. The story of an interracial friendship between Chicago Bears star Gale Sayers and teammate Brian Piccolo, the film's astounding success established the made-for-TV movie as a staple. See also July 25 for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and October 17 for The Execution of Private Slovik.


Tuesday, May 23 (6:30

Bob Hope

Project 20: The World of Bob Hope (NBC, 1961). (60 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

The Bob Hope Christmas Special: Around the World with the USO (NBC, 1969). Dir.: Dick McDonough. Cast: Bob Hope, Connie Stevens, Neil Armstrong. (90 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

In conjunction with the opening of the Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment, we celebrate his storied career with six nights of programming, including this entire week. We open with a behind-the-scenes documentary produced for the occasional series Project 20, in addition to the 1969 USO Christmas Show, the production of which is featured in the Gallery.


Thursday, May 25, 2000

Bob Hope

The Foy Family in "Chips Off the Old Block" (Vitaphone, 1928). Dir.: Bryan Foy. (8 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

The Seven Little Foys (Paramount, 1955). Dir.: Melville Shavelson. Cast: Bob Hope, Milly Vitale, James Cagney. (95 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Hope Enterprises).

Hope stars as Eddie Foy, paterfamilias of The Seven Little Foys; his dance with James Cagney (reprising his Yankee Doodle Dandy role as George M. Cohan) is a standout. Preceded by an early Vitaphone short starring the real Foys.


Friday, May 26, 2000

Bob Hope

Casanova's Big Night (Paramount, 1954). Dir.: Norman McLeod. Cast: Bob Hope, Joan Fontaine, Basil Rathbone. (86 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

Love and Death (United Artists, 1975). Dir.: Woody Allen. Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton. (85 min, sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy UA).

Woody Allen has long claimed Bob Hope as his favorite comedian and tonight's double bill illustrates just how much the seemingly idiosyncratic nebbish character of Allen's owes to Hope's earlier screen persona. Casanova's Big Night and Love and Death find the cowardly, yet romantically idealistic adventuring pair absurdly spoofing icons of Italian and Russian literature and lore as their anachronistic wisecracking inanities deflate pomposity with trademark false bravura and self-deprecating ironies.


Tuesday, May 30, 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Wizard of Oz

The Wiz (Universal, 1978). Dir.: Sidney Lumet. Cast: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor. (133 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

Film adaptation of the stage hit, set in New York City. Easy to criticize for the unfortunate casting of Diana Ross as Dorothy, but the songs, at least, are quite catchy.


Thursday, June 1 (6:30 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Selig, 1910). Dir.: Otis Turner. Cast: Hobart Bosworth, Bebe Daniels. (16 min., si., b/w, 35mm; print courtesy George Eastman House).

The Wizard of Oz (Paramount, 1925). Dir.: Larry Semon. Cast: Dorothy Dwan, Oliver Hardy. (82 min., si., b/w, 35mm; print courtesy UCLA Film and Television Archive).

The Wizard of Oz (NBC, 1950). Dir.: Burr Tillstrom. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

We open tonight with the first film version of the Oz story, a 1910 version starring Bebe Daniels as Dorothy. Oliver Hardy plays the Tin Woodman in Larry Semon's 1925 slapstick adaptation, and we conclude with a delightful puppet rendition from Burr Tillstrom of Kukla, Fran, and Ollie fame that aired on NBC on May 22, 1950.


Friday, June 2, 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Wizard of Oz

Wild at Heart (Goldwyn, 1990). Dir.: David Lynch. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern. (124 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Goldwyn).

David Lynch's Southern Gothic reworking of the Oz story (based on Barry Gifford's novel) is lurid, sinister, and erotic in other words, standard issue Lynch. Hotter than Georgia asphalt, indeed.


Tuesday, June 6, 2000

The Hope Diamond Mystery: Chapters 1-8 (Chiasmic Films, 1921). Dir.: Stuart Patos. Cast: Grace Dormant, George Chesebro, Boris Karloff. (144 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Produced by George Kleine, a leading U.S. distributor of quality European films, this 15 chapter serial recounts the story of the famous jewel by alternating between 17th century Mandalay and 20th century England. A young Boris Karloff plays two parallel roles, and May Yohe, who, as the wife of Lord Francis Hope, wore the great diamond, makes a personal appearance in the introductory part. A lot of fun and a rare opportunity to see a complete silent serial on the big screen! Chapters 9-15 will be shown on Thursday, June 8.


Thursday, June 8, 2000

The Hope Diamond Mystery: Chapters 9-15 (Chiasmic Films, 1921). (126 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)


Friday, June 9, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson in Paris (Touchstone, 1995). Dir.: James Ivory. Cast: Nick Nolte, Greta Scacchi, Thandie Newton. (136 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Buena Vista).

Lush even by Merchant-Ivory standards, Jefferson in Paris posits a bewildered man torn between a married woman, his strong-willed daughter, and Sally Hemmings. The film makes no claims for historical accuracy, but as melodrama it is better than its critical drubbing suggested.


Tuesday, June 13, 2000

Surprise Screening (see May 9 description)


Thursday, June 15, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Iceland

The Icelandic Experience: The Story of a Nation (Andra, 1995). Dir.: Kàri G. Schram. (45 min., sd., b/w and col., video; LC Coll., courtesy Andra).

The Man Who Almost Changed the World (Ward Television, 2000). Dir.: Valgeir Gudjonsson. (54 min., sd., col., video; courtesy National Library of Iceland).

In conjunction with the Library's exhibition "Living and Reliving the Sagas: Icelandic Life and Legend," we present four nights of programming from this small country with a surprisingly rich cinematic tradition, starting with two documentaries. The Icelandic Experience is a informative overview of the country's history and traditions, while The Man Who Almost Changed the World is a new film examining Viking exploration and their impact on the country. We'll also add four short travelogue films from the Library's collections shot in Iceland in 1914.


Friday, June 16, 2000

Chappaqua (Regional Film Dist., 1966). Dir.: Conrad Rooks. Cast: Conrad Rooks, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Ravi Shankar. (90 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll.) A rare showing of one of the few remaining prints of this film. A documentary-style drama about an American alcoholic and drug addict who goes to a Paris hospital for a cure. The film portrays the suffering of an addict and depicts what goes through the man's mind memories, fantasies desires, revulsions as he is undergoing treatment.


Tuesday, June 20, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Iceland

Children of Nature (Icelandic Film Corp., 1992). Dir.: Fridrik Thór Fridriksson. Cast: Gísli Halldórsson, Sigridur Hagalín. (85 min., sd., col., video: LC Coll., courtesy Icelandic Film. In Icelandic with English subtitles).

Perhaps the most widely recognized film in Icelandic cinema, this beautifully rendered story of an elderly man's chivalrous attempt to return an old flame to the farm where she grew up was an Academy Award Best Foreign Film nominee.


Thursday, June 22, 2000

Ceddo (Nigeria, 1977). Dir.: Ousamane Sembene. Cast: Tabara Ndiaye, Ismaila Diagne. (120 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll. In Wolof with English subtitles).

The role of Islam and the impact of Moslem political expansion on the "Ceddo," or feudal class at the turn of the century is featured in this political thriller about a beautiful princess who is kidnaped by a resister who chooses to remain faithful to native gods and his belief in African culture.


Friday, June 23 (6:00 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

Hong Kong

Holy Flame of the Martial World (Shaw Brothers 1983). Dir.: Lu Chin Ku. Cast: Liu Hsueh Hua, Mo Shao Chung, Pai Piao. (91 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Shaw Brothers. In Chinese with English subtitles).

Wheels on Meals (Paragon Films 1984). Dir.: Sammo Hung. Cast: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao. (95 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paragon Films. In Chinese with English subtitles).

No review of Hong Kong cinema would be complete without Jackie Chan. Wheels on Meals finds him at the peak of his death-defying stunt work as he falls for a kidnaped heiress. Director and frequent Chan collaborator Sammo Hung (Martial Law) is the private eye who helps him find her. Shaw Brothers studio pictures were fodder for the matinees that gave most mainstream American audiences their first exposure to Hong Kong cinema. In Holy Flame, a boy avenges his parents' death with a magical weapon.


Tuesday, June 27, 2000

That Girl: Pass the Potatoes, Ethel Merman (CBS, 1967). Cast: Marlo Thomas, Ted Bessell. ( 28 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy CBS).

The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS, 1956). (15 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Solt Productions).

Judy Garland and Friends (CBS, 1963). Dir.: Bill Hobin. Cast: Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, Ethel Merman. (60 min., sd., b/w, video; LC Coll., courtesy CBS).

Historians cite the Stonewall riots of June 27-28, 1969, as the beginning of the movement for gay and lesbian rights, but surely a significant precursor occurred September 7, 1967: Ethel Merman's first appearance on That Girl. Tonight's gay icons program also includes Noel Coward, in an excerpt from the April 8, 1956 Ed Sullivan Show, narrating the Carnival of the Animals and singing his own "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," and with Barbra, Liza, and Ethel as Judy Garland's Friends, what more could one wish?


Thursday, June 29, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Iceland

The Bakka Brothers in Reykjavik (1951). Dir.: Óskar Gíslason. (90 min., sd., b/w, video; courtesy National Library of Iceland. In Icelandic with English subtitles).

Two provincial brothers visit the big city in this farcical comedy, much in the style of the Marx Brothers.


Friday, June 30 (6:00 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Spirit of '76

1776 (Warner Bros., 1972). Dir.: Peter H. Hunt. Cast: William Daniels, Howard DaSilva, Ken Howard. (176 min., sd., col., videodisc; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia/Tristar Home Video).

see April 27 description


Thursday, July 6, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Thomas Jefferson

The Chronicles of America: The Declaration of Independence (Chronicles of America Picture Corp., 1924). Dir.: Kenneth Webb. (36 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Independent Mr. Jefferson (NBC, 1953). (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

Discovery: The Declaration of Independence (ABC, 1968). Dir.: Jack Ofield. (30 min, sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy ABC).

Three different takes on the writing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and Jefferson's role therein.


Friday, July 7, 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Spirit of '76

Janice Meredith (Cosmopolitan Pictures, 1924). Dir.: E. Mason Hopper. Cast: Marion Davies, Harrison Ford. (ca. 120. min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

see April 27 description


Tuesday, July 11, 2000

Surprise Screening (see May 9 description)


Thursday, July 13, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Iceland

Benjamin Dove (1995). Dir.: Gisli Snaer Erlingsson. Cast: Sturla Sighvatsson, Hjorleifur Bjornsson. (90 min, sd., col., 35mm; courtesy Icelandic Film Fund. In Icelandic with English subtitles).

Delightfully serious film about four young boys who form an Order of Knights in the neighborhood to take revenge on a bully.


Friday, July 14, 2000

Up to His Ears (United Artists, 1966). Dir.: Philippe De Broca. Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Ursula Andress. (94 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM/UA).

In honor of Bastille Day, we present a French treasure from a novel by America's favorite French novelist. Few know today that the classical science fiction and adventure author Jules Verne also wrote comedy and no film has better brought this aspect of Verne's writing to the screen than Up to His Ears. While changing the nationality of the characters, the film retains Verne's Chinese setting, as a young man decides to arrange his death, than has second thoughts and flees his own intended suicide. This rollicking, uproarious comedy is French humor at its best and most universally appealing, although this film has almost never been seen in the United States outside of its original theatrical release.


Tuesday, July 18, 2000

The Spirit of '76

The Spirit of '76

America (United Artists, 1924). Dir.: D.W. Griffith. Cast: Lionel Barrymore, Neil Hamilton, Carol Dempster. (ca. 120 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

see April 27 description


Thursday, July 20, 2000

Bob Hope

Double Exposure (Vitaphone, 1936). Cast: Bob Hope, Johnny Berkes. (21 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

The Paleface (Paramount, 1948). Dir.: Norman McLeod. Cast: Bob Hope, Jane Russell. (91 min., sd., col., laserdisc; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

Hope stars as "Painless" Peter Potter, the shakiest gun in the west in The Paleface, an enjoyable spoof of The Virginian.


Friday, July 21, 2000

The Night Digger (MGM,1971). Dir.: Alastair Reid. Cast: Patricia Neal, Pamela Brown. (100 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM/UA).

A middle-aged spinster's ordered life is shattered by her love for a young handyman with a dark secret. Scripted by Roald Dahl, this romantic psycho-thriller is illuminated by Bernard Herrmann's haunting score.


Tuesday, July 25, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Made-for-TV Movies

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (Tomorrow Entertainment, 1974). Dir.: John Korty. Cast: Cicely Tyson, Odetta. (116 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Tomorrow).

A stunning performance by Cicely Tyson anchors this acclaimed film, which traces the life of a woman born into slavery who lives to see the fruits of the civil rights movement. Winner of nine Emmy Awards.


Thursday, July 27, 2000

Patterns (NBC, 1955). Dir.: Fielder Cook. Cast: Richard Kiley, Everett Sloan. (58 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

A Night to Remember (NBC, 1956). Dir.: George Roy Hill. Cast: Patrick Macnee, Claude Rains. (58 min., sd., b/w, video; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

Kraft Television Theater (1947-1958) was the longest-lived of the live drama anthologies that defined the Golden Age of Television. Wholly owned and produced by the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, KTT showcased some of the finest acting and writing talent in the business. Tonight we present two of its best episodes from the Library's NBC kinescope collection. Patterns is Rod Serling's searing portrait of corporate America gone mad, with Richard Kiley as an ambitious executive who must sell his soul to ruthless VP Sloan. A Night to Remember is an impressive recounting of the Titanic disaster, based on Walter Lord's novel. It features a cast of 107 actors and a remarkable breakaway set.


Friday, July 28, 2000

Distant Thunder (Balaka Pictures, 1973). Dir.: Satyajit Ray. Cast: Soumitra Chatterjee. (103 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll.)

Set during the rice famine of 1943, Distant Thunder examines the effects of mass starvation on a small Bengali village where the local Brahim (religious leader) is forced to confront the injustices of a caste system which supports his privileged status.


Tuesday, August 1, 2000

The Best Man (United Artists, 1964). Dir.: Franklin Schaffner. Cast: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams. (102 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM/UA).

Had enough politics? Sometime candidate Gore Vidal adapted his 1960 play about dastardly doings at a political convention for the screen, and Robertson, fresh from PT 109, was cast as a less-than-scrupulous presidential candidate. Look for newsreel footage of the 1960 conventions. And as if that weren't enough, we'll throw in an excerpt from NBC's coverage of the 1948 Republican convention from our NBC kinescope collection.


Thursday, August 3, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Silent Comedians

The Egyptian Mummy (Vitagraph, 1914). Dir.: Lee Beggs. Cast: Constance Talmadge, Lee Beggs. (14 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Billy, The Bear Tamer (Vitagraph, 1915). Dir.: Lee Beggs. Cast: Constance Talmadge, Billy Quirk. (13 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Breakfast at Sunrise (C. Talmadge Prod., 1927). Dir.: Malcom St. Clair. Cast: Constance Talmadge, Alice White, Marie Dressler. (70 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Film fans are familiar with the "silent clowns," who made physical comedy the most popular and remembered genre of the period. In this series which runs for five consecutive Thursday nights we highlight actors who mastered two other silent comedy genres. Romantic comedy and farce was the forte of actors Constance Talmadge, Wallace Reid, Bebe Daniels, Raymond Griffith, and Marion Davies, whose blend of humor and charm won legions of moviegoers in the 1920s. We open with Constance Talmadge, sister of film actresses Norma Talmadge, who was one of the most talented comediennes of the silent era. Like Dorothy Gish, she was always in the shadow of her more famous sibling. Her impish ways and comic flare make her films more enduring, leading many film historians to deem Constance the more talented sister.


Friday, August 4, 2000

The Wave aka Redes (Strand, 1937). Dir.: Fred Zinneman and Gomez Muriel. (57 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. In Spanish with English subtitles).

CBS Reports: Harvest of Shame (CBS, 1960). Dir.: Palmer Williams. Correspondent: Edward R. Murrow. (52 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy CBS).

Filmed in the village of Alvarado in Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1934, The Wave was finally released in the United States in 1937. Critics praised the sincerity and authenticity of novelist/screenwriter Paul Strand's conception, which did not succumb to romanticizing the struggles or the lives of the native fisherman who were its subject. Harvest of Shame digs into the problem of America's migrant workers, taking the strongest possible stand against the passive indifference which allowed these people to live so miserably. To strengthen the point, the program was shown during Thanksgiving week, when most Americans were enjoying the very harvest gathered by the migrants. It was intended to shock, to make viewers aware of the deplorable conditions under which some Americans must exist, and dictated only one response direct social action.


Tuesday, August 8, 2000

Surprise Screening (see May 9 description)


Thursday, August 10, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Silent Comedians

The Three Brothers (Majestic, 1915). Dir.: William Christy Cabanne. Cast: Wallace Reid, Claire Anderson. (22 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Sick Abed (Famous Players-Lasky, 1920). Dir.: Sam Wood. Cast: Wallace Reid, Bebe Daniels, John Steppling. (55 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Before Valentino, Wallace Reid was the silent screen's leading sex symbol. Tall, handsome and charming, the popular Reid would star in both comedy and drama before his untimely death in 1922.


Friday, August 11, 2000

The Star Wars Holiday Special (Twentieth Century Fox, 1978). Dir.: Steve Binder. Cast: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Harvey Korman. (120 min., sd., col.,video; LC Coll., courtesy Fox).

This 1978 variety show represents the nadir of Star Wars mania. George Lucas disowns it, yet its rarity has made The Star Wars Holiday Special a cult classic. Follow Chewbacca and his Wookie family as they prepare for Life Day on his home planet. Your favorite characters are all here, joined by the likes of Art Carney, Bea Arthur and, in a segment that anticipates virtual reality (and has been described as "Wookie- porn"), Diahann Carroll.


Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Silents Please: Will Rogers Show (Killiam Shows, 1960). (25 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll, courtesy Gregstan).

The Roping Fool (Will Rogers, 1922). (30 min., sd., b/w, video; LC Coll.)

Jes' Passin' Through (Hal Roach, 1923). (20 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

The Headless Horseman (W.W. Hodkinson, 1922). (65 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

In addition to his enduring fame as a humorist and American icon, Will Rogers was a film star for 15 years with extensive acting credits, a fact often forgotten today. In this tribute (which continues on August 22), we'll look at a cross-section of those films, particularly the early work that was most widely-heralded in its day but is difficult to see now. Musical accompaniment for this show provided by Ray Brubacher.


Thursday, August 17, 2000

Silent Comedians

The City Slicker (Rolin, 1918). Cast: Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels, Harry Pollard. (12 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Ring Up the Curtain (Rolin, 1919). Cast: Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels, Harry Pollard. (12 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Lovers in Quarantine (Famous Players-Lasky, 1925). Dir.: Frank Tuttle. Cast: Bebe Daniels, Harrison Ford, Alfred Lunt. (72 min., si., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Bebe Daniels began her career in comedy with Hal Roach and Harold Lloyd in 1915. She was only 14, but had been making films at the Selig Company for six years. Though she would star in both comedy and drama, sharing the screen with actors like Valentino and Swanson, her most remembered performances are those with humor. Musical accompaniment for this show provided by Ray Brubacher.


Friday, August 18, 2000

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck (Werner Herzog, 1977). Dir.: Werner Herzog. (44 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll.)

Aguirre: The Wrath of God (New Yorker,1972). Dir.: Werner Herzog. Cast: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra. (94 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy New Yorker Films. In German with English subtitles).

An obsessed conquistador leads an expedition in search of El Dorado in the stunning Aguirre Director Werner Herzog's documentary work is also represented in a short film on cattle auctioneers and the Amish.


Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Uncensored Movies (Hal Roach, 1923). (17 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Killiam Shows).

Big Moments from Little Pictures (Hal Roach, 1924). (20 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Killiam Shows).

Don't Park There (Hal Roach, 1924). (ca. 30 min., sd., b/w, video; LC Coll., courtesy Video Yesteryear).

Going to Congress (Hal Roach, 1924). (ca. 30 min., sd., b/w, video; LC Coll., courtesy Video Yesteryear).

[Flying Thru Europe with Will Rogers] (1934). (7 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

see August 15 description. Musical accompaniment for this show provided by Ray Brubacher.


Thursday, August 24, 2000

Silent Comedians

His Foot-Hill Folly (Triangle, 1917). Dir.: Unknown. Cast: Raymond Griffith, Elinor Field. (13 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Paths to Paradise (Famous Players-Lasky, 1925). Dir.: Clarence Badger. Cast: Raymond Griffith, Betty Compson, Tom Santschi. (65 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Raymond Griffith spent his formative years in the movies working as a scenario writer and actor for Mack Sennett at Triangle. It wasn't until the mid-twenties that he was dubbed the "silk hat comedian" for his trademark top hat and tux. Griffith is considered by many to be one of the most underrated comedians of the silent era. Musical accompaniment for this show provided by Ray Brubacher.


Friday, August 25, 2000

Bob Hope

Watch the Birdie (Vitaphone, 1935). Cast: Bob Hope. (21 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

The Road to Morocco (Paramount, 1942). Dir.: David Butler. Cast: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour. (83 min., sd., b/w, DVD; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

Bob and Bing in perhaps the funniest of the Road pictures, with all the requisite gags and knowing asides.


Tuesday, August 29 (6:30 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

Hong Kong

Center Stage (Paragon Films, 1992). Dir.: Stanley Kwan Cast: Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung. (146 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paragon Films. In Chinese with English subtitles).

Maggie Cheung (The Heroic Trio, Irma Vep) is one of the most popular actresses in Hong Kong. In Center Stage, she plays silent screen actress Ruan Ling-yu, who killed herself in 1935 at the age of 24. Old film clips and interviews with Ruan's contemporaries are interspersed in this docudrama, which won Cheung a Best Actress award at the Berlin Film Festival.


Thursday, August 31, 2000

Silent Comedians

Federated Screen Review No. 05 (Federated Film, 1922). Cast: Marion Davies, Alice Joyce, Dorothy Gish, Mary Pickford. (15 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Enchantment (Cosmopolitan, 1920). Dir.: Robert Vignola. Cast: Marion Davies, Forrest Stanley. (80 min., si., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Though never popular at the box office, Marion Davies is much loved and fondly remembered for her comedic talents. William Randolph Hearst, millionaire publisher and Davies benefactor, tried in vain to shape her as a dramatic film actress, but Marion's talent was better suited to comedy, a genre he preferred she avoid. Musical accompaniment for this show provided by Ray Brubacher.


Friday, September 1 , 2000

National Film Registry

The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (Columbia, 1939). Dir.: Peter Godfrey. Cast: Warren William, Ida Lupino, Ralph Morgan. (67 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

Persons in Hiding (Paramount, 1939). Dir.: Louis King. Cast: Patricia Morison, J. Carrol Naish, Lynne Overman. (74 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

The classical age of the Hollywood studio system also saw the golden period of "B" pictures movies made over a period of days or weeks rather than months, on budgets usually below $300,000, and designed for double bills. Such films generally had a shorter running time, and certain formulas proved perfectly suited to blossom despite these restrictions. Perhaps no genre worked better withing the "B" confines than the thriller, and this evening's program combines Lone Wolf, an example of the series detective mystery, with a tale of the FBI extrapolated from J. Edgar Hoover's nonfiction bestseller, Persons in Hiding.


Tuesday, September 5, 2000

Borom Sarret (1964). Dir.: Ousame Sembene. (20 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

Samba Traore (1992). Dir.: Idrissa Ouedraogo. Cast: Bakay Sangare, Mariam Kaba. (100 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll. In Moore with English subtitles).

The daily life of a cart-driver is used to examine the contrast between Dakar's wealthy urban class and the poor in this colonial portrait of African individuality. Prize Winner at the 1963 Tours International Film Festival, Borom Sarret is considered an African masterpiece. Ouedraogo's postmodern attitude toward colonialism and nationalism surfaces in Samba Traore, an African tale about a fugitive criminal who returns to his village, where he becomes both its redeemer and destroyer.


Thursday, September 7, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Juvenile Delinquents

The Blackboard Jungle (MGM, 1955). Dir.:Richard Brooks. Cast: Glenn Ford, Sidney Poitier, Vic Morrow. (101 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM).

Although adolescents and their antics had served as subject matter from cinema's beginnings, the teenage exploitation picture was a marginal genre until 1955. That all changed when this movie about an inner city high school exploded on screens. A critical success and a controversial blockbuster, The Blackboard Jungle is also credited with launching the rock 'n' roll craze, thanks to a song called "Rock Around the Clock." This series of youth-oriented films also includes Rock, Pretty Baby and Who's Delinquent? (Sept. 14), High School Confidential (Sept. 21), and Village of the Giants (Sept. 28).


Friday, September 8, 2000

The Andy Kaufman Special, aka Uncle Andy's Funhouse (KSW Productions, 1977). Dir.: Tom Trbovich. (59 min., sd., col.,video; LC Coll., courtesy KSW Productions).

Soundstage: The Andy Kaufman Show (WTTW,1984). Dir. Dick Carter. (60 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll., courtesy WTTW).

Taxi: Latka's Cookies (Paramount, 1981). Dir.: James Burrows. Cast: Judd Hirsch, Danny DeVito, Andy Kaufman. (25 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

In 1999, Andy Kaufman's surreal, confrontational humor was the subject of two books and a Jim Carrey biopic. If the latter struck you as an expensive clip-show manque, come see the real thing. The infamous Uncle Andy's Funhouse, reluctantly aired by ABC, was his first television special. Shown with Taxi: Latka's Cookies, in which his late grandmother's cookie recipe has unusual effects on his colleagues, and The Andy Kaufman Show, one of his last TV appearances.


Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Surprise Screening (see May 9 description)


Thursday, September 14, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Juvenile Delinquents

Who's Delinquent? (RKO, 1948). Dir.: Edward Montague. Writer: Ardis Smith. Narrator: Dwight Weist. (16 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Rock, Pretty Baby (Universal, 1956). Dir.: Richard Bartlett. Cast: John Saxon, Luana Patten, Fay Wray. (89 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

Some may call it the devil's music, but ambitious teenager John Saxon dreams of a rock 'n' roll career as he struggles to get gigs for his band in Rock, Pretty Baby. When his combo includes Rod McKuen on bass and Sal Mineo on drums, can success be far off? Henry Mancini wrote the songs for this energetic musical. Meanwhile, in Who's Delinquent? a small town in America searches its soul to try to explain an alarming increase in juvenile delinquency.


Friday, September 15, 2000

Dental Follies (Skibo Productions, 1937). Dir.: William Watson. Cast: Pinky Lee, Harold Waldridge, Aileen Cook. (11 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

The Jitters (RKO, 1938). Dir.: Leslie Goodwins. Cast: Leon Errol, Vivian Tobin, Richard Lane. (19 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

Meet Millie (CBS, 1953). Created by: Frank Galen. Cast: Elena Verdugo, Florence Halop, Marvin Kaplan. (27 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy CBS).

Post Office Investigator (Republic, 1949). Dir.: George Blair. Cast: Audrey Long, Warren Douglas, Jeff Donnell. (60 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paramount).

Acquired in 1994 from a Florida collector, the AFI/Richard Mertz Collection is a treasure trove of obscure theatrical shorts, long-forgotten TV series, and over 500 "B" features from the 1940s and '50s. Tonight's sampling includes two comedy shorts: Dental Follies, in which "Dr. Fillem" stages a variety show in his office to help his patients forget the pain, and The Jitters, one of the best of a series of RKO two-reelers starring funnyman Leon Errol. This will be followed by an episode from the TV sitcom Meet Millie, with Elena Verdugo in the title role of a Manhattan secretary forced to move to a Texas ranch, and a Republic feature, Post Office Investigator, in which a mail carrier investigates the theft of a collection of rare stamps.


Tuesday, September 19, 2000

The Spirit of '76

National Film Registry

Sitting Target (MGM, 1972). Dir.: Douglas Hickox. Cast: Oliver Reed, Jill St. John, Ian McShane. (93 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM).

Released as the bottom half of a double feature in June, 1972, Sitting Target was written off by its distributor and relegated to late, late show TV viewing. We believe this film deserves another chance to be seen by a movie-wise audience that appreciates bravura acting (Oliver Reed), great camera lighting by cinematographer Edward Scaife, and fine film noir direction by the undervalued Douglas Hickox.


Thursday, September 21, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Juvenile Delinquents

High School Confidential (MGM, 1958). Dir.: Jack Arnold. Cast: Russ Tamblyn, Mamie Van Doren, Jackie Coogan. (85 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM).

This lurid tale about a high school drug ring offers pleasures galore: Jerry Lee Lewis belts out the title song, John Drew Barrymore and Phillipa Fallon deliver beatnick monologues, and the actors speak some of the swingingest slang ever heard on a sound track. Once considered threatening enough to get banned in Greece and New Zealand, High School Confidential is another gem from Albert Zugsmith, the quirky producer who gave us Touch of Evil and Sex Kittens Go to College.


Friday, September 22, 2000

All in the Family: Two's a Crowd (Tandem Prod., 1978). Dir.: Paul Bogart. Cast: Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner. (25 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll., courtesy Tandem).

M*A*S*H: Abyssina, Henry (20th Century Fox, 1975). Dir.: Larry Gelbart. Cast: Alan Alda, McLean Stevenson, Gary Burghoff. (25 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Fox).

The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Chuckles Bites the Dust (MTM Prod., 1975). Dir.: Joan Darling. Cast: Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Gavin McLeod. (25 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll.)

The Bob Newhart Show: Caged Fury (MTM Prod., 1976). Dir.: Michael Zinberg. Cast: Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette. (25 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll.)

The Carol Burnett Show: "Went With the Wind" excerpt (CBS, 1976). Dir.: Dave Powers. Cast: Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman. (ca. 15 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll.)

For the 1973-1974 season, the CBS Saturday night lineup was inarguably the greatest block of programming in the history of television. We re-create it here with standout episodes, including Archie and Mike locked in the basement, Henry Blake's farewell, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants, Bob Hartley's angst, and a dress with really wide shoulders.


Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Sambizanga (Isabelle Films, 1972). Dir.: Sarah Maldoror. Cast: Domingos Oliviera, Elisa Andradede, Dino Abelino. (102 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll. In Portuguese with English subtitles).

This award winning film was shot in the Peoples Republic of Congo, and was co-scripted by the director's resistance-leader husband. Set just before the 1961 uprising against the Portuguese colonialists, the story centers on a young woman's search for her jailed husband.


Thursday, September 28, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Juvenile Delinquents

Village of the Giants (Embassy Pictures, 1965). Dir.: Bert I. Gordon. Cast: Tommy Kirk, Beau Bridges, Ronny Howard. (81 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Embassy).

While carrying on chemistry experiments in the basement, boy genius Ronny Howard creates a goo that makes living things increase in size. A few young rebels ingest the stuff, grow to gigantic proportions, and plan a teenage takeover. H. G. Wells' The Food of the Gods inspired this bizarre sci-fi potboiler.


Friday, September 29, 2000

Zorro, Mark of the Z (A&E Television, 1996). (50 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll., courtesy A&E).

Zorro Springs a Trap (Disney, 1958). (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Disney).

Zorro Rides Again (Republic, 1958). (69 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll., courtesy Republic).

In 1919, Johnston McCulley created an adventure serial for pulp fiction magazines featuring a Spanish hero, Zorro, a champion of the people against local tyranny. The popular appeal of the serial quickly attracted Hollywood's attention and Douglas Fairbanks played the masked avenger in the feature film The Mark Of Zorro in 1920. In 1940, Fox remade the film with Tyrone Power. Zorro first came to television in the late 1950s in a highly successful series produced by Walt Disney with Guy Williams as the Spanish hero. Continuing in the traditional swashbuckler mode, Zorro returned to television screens in the early 1990s in a series for the Family Channel featuring Duncan Regehr. This Pickford program (which continues on October 12) highlights some examples of the various film and television versions of the Zorro character, opening with an A&E documentary featuring home movies of Guy Williams.


Tuesday, October 3, 2000

Tokyo Story (Toho, 1953). Dir.: Yasujiro Ozu. Cast: Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama. (135 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Toho).

Voted one of the top ten films of all time in the 1992 Sight & Sound critics poll. The simple plot, an elderly couple ignored by their children, does not hint at its greatness or emotional impact. Ozu uses no violence, nudity, slapstick, or car chases, and little, if any camera movement, but he speaks volumes about the human condition.


Thursday, October 5, 2000

Toute la Mémoire du Monde (La Pléiade, 1956). Dir.: Alain Resnais. (22 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll. In French with English subtitles).

Muriel (Argos, 1963). Dir.: Alain Resnais. Cast: Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kérien. (115 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Argos. In French with English subtitles).

More complex explorations of memory from Resnais, this time involving a widow, her stepson and the Algerian War. Muriel is coupled with his short film on the Bibliothèque Nationale.


Friday, October 6, 2000

Peter Gunn: Pecos Pete (NBC, 1959). Cast: Craig Stevens, Lola Albright. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

Johnny Staccato: Murder in Hi-Fi (NBC, 1959). Cast: John Cassavetes. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer: For Sale Deathbed, Used (Revue, 1958). Cast: Darrin McGavin. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll.)

The private eye has long been a TV staple, and tonight we feature some varying approaches to the genre. Craig Steven's Peter Gunn was a very cool customer who made James Bond look disheveled, and the show's jazz score by Henry Mancini remains a classic. Continuing the jazz theme, future film auteur John Cassavetes starred in the short-lived Johnny Staccato as a jazz pianist turned detective. We'll completely switch gears for an episode of the first TV incarnation of Mike Hammer, which was as violent as author Mickey Spillane's novels. We'll also throw in Daffy Duck in The Great Piggy Bank Robbery and Spillane's mid-70s commercial for Miller Lite.


Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Surprise Screening (see May 9 description)


Thursday, October 12, 2000

Zorro: The Postponed Wedding (Disney, 1961). (60 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Disney).

Zorro: They Call Her Annie (New World Television, 1991). Dir.: Ray Austin. (30 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll., courtesy New World).

see September 30 description


Friday, October 13, 2000

The Thin Man (MGM, 1934). Dir.: W.S. Van Dyke. Cast: William Powell, Myrna Loy. (93 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

The Thin Man: Cat Kicker (MGM-TV, 1959). Dir.: Andrew McCollough. Cast: Peter Lawford, Phyllis Kirk. (26 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM).

Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles are best remembered through a sparkling series of films starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, and tonight we'll show the first (and arguably the best) of them. This is followed by the TV adaptation starring Rat Packer Peter Lawford with an amusing comic turn by Don Rickles.


Tuesday, October 17, 2000

The Spirit of '76

Made-for-TV Movies

The Execution of Private Slovik (Universal, 1974). Dir.: Lamont Johnson. Cast: Martin Sheen, Ned Beatty. (122 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

A moving adaptation of William Bradford Huie's 1954 book about the only American soldier to be executed since the Civil War.


Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Bunny Lake is Missing (Columbia,1965). Dir.: Otto Preminger. Cast: Laurence Olivier, Carol Lynley, Keir Dullea. (105 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

Preminger's rarely screened thriller involves the disappearance of a four-year-old girl who may or may not actually exist. To reveal more would be criminal, but a cast including both Olivier, Noel Coward and the Zombies make this a must-see.


Thursday, October 19, 2000

Hamlet (Electronovision Prod., 1964). Dir.: Bill Colleran. Cast: Richard Burton, Hume Crony, Alfred Drake. (186 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

This filmed performance, long thought to be lost, is of Alexander H. Cohen's stage production of John Gielgud's production of Hamlet. It was made from three performances on June 30 and July 1, 1964, at the Lunt-Fontaine Theater, in New York City. The play was filmed, with an audience present, by electronic cameras feeding electrical impulses by cable to a standard motion picture camera, set up in a truck outside the theater. The result of this mysterious (at the time) technology is simply a filmed stage play, shown at a two day engagement in 976 theaters around the country.


Friday, October 20 (6:00 , 2000

The Spirit of '76

Hong Kong

Infra Man (Shaw Brothers, 1976). Dir.: Hua-Suhan. Cast: Terry Liu, Wang Hsieh, Wuan Man-Tzu. (95 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Infra Associates. In Chinese with English subtitles).

Mr. Vampire (Paragon Films, 1985). Dir.: Lau Kun Wai. Ricky Hui, Moon Lee. (94 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Paragon Films. In Chinese with English subtitles).

Hong Kong films often turn to the supernatural. Their undead are now menacing, now romantic, and always fun to watch. In Mr. Vampire, two Taoist students fend for themselves against Chinese hopping ghosts who run that gamut. Horror, hilarity, and a little loving ensue. Shown with Infra Man, Roger Ebert's favorite Hong Kong monster movie.


Tuesday, October 24, 2000

Time of the Gypsies (Forum Film, 1989). Dir.: Emir Kusturica. Cast: Davor Dujmovic, Bora Todorovic. (136 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll.)

Ex-Yugoslavian director Kusturica's talent for blending humor and poetry is featured in this story about the exploitation of gypsy children smuggled from Yugoslavia to Italy, where they are put on the streets to steal and beg for their bosses.


Thursday, October 26, 2000

Dallas: A House Divided (Lorimar, 1980). Dir.: Irving Moore. Cast: Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray. (50 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Lorimar).

The Simpsons: Who Shot Mr. Burns? (20th Century Fox, 1995). Dir.: Wes Archer. Cast: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Harry Shearer. (45 min., sd., col., video; LC Coll., courtesy Fox).

In the summer of 1980, the question on everyone's mind seemed to be "who shot J.R.?" The cultural frenzy surrounding this Dallas plot twist was unprecedented, and gave rise to the now standard season- ending chiffhanger. We'll show the despicable Mr. Ewing getting plugged (in a 35mm copyright deposit print, no less), along with a parody in the inimitable Simpsons style.


Friday, October 27 , 2000

National Film Registry

The Seventh Victim (RKO,1943). Dir.: Mark Robson. Cast: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway. (71 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy RKO).

I Walked with a Zombie (RKO, 1943). Dir.: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Frances Dee, Tom Conway. (69 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy RKO).

A double feature from 40s producer-auteur Val Lewton, master of low-key horror. In The Seventh Victim, Lewton's bleakest and most personal film, a young woman gets tangled up with a group of Greenwich Village Satanists in the process of searching for her missing sister. Set in the West Indies and loosely based on Jane Eyre, I Walked with a Zombie is Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur's poetic masterwork. We'll premiere a new print of the film from the Library's Motion Picture Conservation Center.


Tuesday, October 31, 2000

The Pumpkin Eater (Romulus Films,1964). Dir.: Jack Clayton. Cast: Anne Bancroft, Peter Finch, James Mason. (110 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Romulus).

In this moving drama scripted by Harold Pinter, a wife and mother must confront hard truths about her scriptwriter husband.


Thursday, November 2, 2000

I Can't Give You Anything But Love: Lyrics by Dorothy Fields

Dorothy Fields (1905-1974) is notable as the first successful female song writer in a business dominated by men. It's less widely recognized that Ms. Fields was also among the most accomplished lyric writers during the Golden Age of American popular song. Working with composers Jimmy McHugh, Jerome Kern, Arthur Schwartz, and Cy Coleman, she wrote songs for Adelaide Hall, Astaire and Rogers, Irene Dunne, Ethel Merman, Shirley Booth, and Gwen Verdon, among others. Singer Mary Cleere Haran has described the qualities that distinguishes her work: "What consistently emerges for me is the spirit of someone who could express and thus share her humanness in a simple, direct, and truthful way. She could rhyme as cleverly as anyone. But her warmth and honesty are what stand out." A film excerpt from Sweet Charity (1969) is included in this recorded sound presentation hosted by MBRS staff member David Novack.


Friday, November 3, 2000

The Spirit of '76

National Film Registry

The Chain Gang (Disney, 1930). Dir.: Burt Gillett. (8 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Disney).

Riot in Cell Block 11 (Allied Artists, 1954). Dir.: Don Siegel. Cast: Neville Brand, Leo Gordon, Emile Meyer. (80 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll.)

Produced on a modest budget and shot in little over two weeks, this graphic portrayal of a riot in a large state penitentiary remains one of the grittiest prison pictures to come out of Hollywood. Siegel's refusal to dwell on the morals and politics of the conflict, opting instead to approach the film as a distilled action piece, gives the drama an almost documentary intensity. To be preceded by an early Disney cartoon in which prison inmate Mickey is terrorized by warden Peg Leg Pete.


Tuesday, November 7 , 2000

Bob Hope

The Bob Hope Special (NBC, 1954). Cast: Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Rosemary Clooney. (60 min., sd., b/w, video; LC Coll., courtesy NBC).

The Cat and the Canary (Paramount, 1939). Dir.: Elliott Nugent. Cast: Bob Hope: Paulette Goddard. (72 min., sd., b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

Bob Hope at his best tonight, starting with a uniformly hilarious installment of The Bob Hope Special, originally aired on April 13, 1954. The Cat and the Canary was Hope's first starring feature film role, and he made the most of it it firmly established him as a major star, and cemented the "scaredy cat" image he would reprise time and again.


Thursday, November 9, 2000

Rawhide: Incident in Alabaster Plain (CBS, 1959). Dir.: Charles Warren. Cast: Eric Fleming, Clint Eastwood. (55 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy CBS).

Wanted: Dead or Alive: Call Your Shot (CBS, 1959). Cast: Steve McQueen. (30 min., sd., b/w, 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy CBS).

The Green Hornet: Silent Gun (ABC, 1966). Cast: Van Williams, Bruce Lee. (30 min., sd., col., 16mm; LC Coll., courtesy Fox).

Television has, of course, proved an invaluable training ground for many actors who later went on to impressive film careers, and tonight we feature three of the best action heroes. Clint Eastwood stars as cattle driver Rowdy Yates in Rawhide, Steve McQueen is a bounty hunter in Wanted: Dead or Alive, and martial arts star Bruce Lee is the Green Hornet's sidekick Kato in the first episode of that series.


Tuesday, November 14, 2000

The Spirit of '76

National Film Registry

Taking Off (Universal, 1971). Dir.: Milos Forman. Cast: Buck Henry, Lynn Carlin. (93 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Universal).

Forman's first American film is a gently humorous look at the generation gap. Susan Rice aptly noted that "the ostensible subject of this masterfully edited film is the plight of runaway adolescents, but the intended irony has as much to do with the runaway adolescence of the parents." Features Ike and Tina Turner, a cameo by Carly Simon, and a small, but unforgettable supporting role for Vincent Schiavelli, not to mention a strip poker game and a remedial pot-smoking class.


Thursday, November 16, 2000

The Spirit of '76

National Film Registry

Mike's Murder (Warner Bros., 1984). Dir.: James Bridges. Cast: Debra Winger, Paul Winfield, Mark Keyloun. (97 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Warner Bros.)

The hard bright sunshine conceals the paranoid workings of the L.A. drug culture in this quietly lurid melodrama. This film contains one of Debra Winger's fully worked out performances, and she's a sensation.


Friday, November 17, 2000

Daughters of the Dust (Geechee Girls Prod., 1992). Dir.: Julie Dash. Cast: Andisa Anderson, Vertemae Smart-Grosvenor. (114 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Geechee Girls).

In 1902, the Gullah Peazant family, descendants of slaves, live on the Sea Islands off the coast of North Carolina and Georgia. The family is moving north to the mainland, and their departure causes great upheaval within the family.


Tuesday, November 28, 2000

The Spirit of '76

National Film Registry

The Woman Disputed (United Artists, 1928). Dir.: Henry King. Cast: Gilbert Roland, Norma Talmadge. (109 min., si, b/w, 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy MGM/UA).

Henry King Reminiscences (1977). (16 min., sd., b/w, laserdisc; LC Coll., courtesy Image Entertainment).

This evening's tribute to director Henry King, whose career in film began in the 1910s and continued into the 1960s, will be introduced by MBRS staff member Brian Taves. A videotaped interview with King discussing his life and early film career will be shown prior to screening The Woman Disputed. One of King's most seldom-seen films, The Woman Disputed is based on a Guy de Maupassant story of a reformed prostitute's sacrifice for a spy, and was King's last silent movie.


Thursday, November 30, 2000

The Spirit of '76

National Film Registry

Night of the Juggler (Columbia, 1980). Dir.: Robert Butler. Cast: James Brolin, Cliff Gorman, Richard Castellano. (101 min., sd., col., 35 mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

The Big Town gets a rough going over in this chaotic chase film. From the South Bronx to 42nd Street (years before its Disney makeover), New York City's local color is the hero of this kidnaping yarn.


Friday, December 1, 2000

The Spirit of '76

National Film Registry

Pal Joey (Columbia, 1957). Dir.: George Sidney. Cast: Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak. (111 min., sd., col., 35mm; LC Coll., courtesy Columbia).

Columbia's sanitized version of the Rodgers and Hart musical that made a star out of Gene Kelly in 1940. When Sinatra sings "The Lady Is a Tramp" to Rita Hayworth the movie heats up. Arguably Sinatra's best singing performance on film.

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Mary Pickford Theater >> 2000 Archive
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  May 3, 2016
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian