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Mary Pickford Theater


Current Film Schedule: January - April 2005

Tuesday, January 4 (7:00pm)

German Shepherds

Tracked by the Police (Warner Bros., 1927). Dir Ray Enright. With Rin-Tin-Tin, Jason Robards, Virginia Browne Faire. (61 min, 35mm)

Wolfheart’s Revenge (Charles R. Seeling Productions, 1925). With Wolfheart (The Dog Wonder), Guinn Williams, Helen Walton, Larry Fischer. (43 min, 35mm)

As the most famous German shepherd ever to appear on film, Rin-Tin-Tin almost single-pawedly kept the Warner Brothers studio afloat. Film historian William Everson called Tracked by the Police one of "Rinty ’s" best. The busy canine rescues his socialite owner from a kidnapper, rescues her love interest from a rockslide and rebellious workers, and prevents the sabotage of a dam. Wolfheart was one of many German shepherds who followed in the wake of Rin-Tin-Tin’s success in the 1920s. In Wolfheart’s Revenge, he teams with western star "Big Boy" Williams to battle a conniving ranch foreman and his murderous hunger for land.

Thursday, January 6 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Sons and Lovers (20th Century-Fox, 1960). Dir Jack Cardiff. With Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell, Wendy Hiller. (103 min, 35mm)
Jack Cardiff, the celebrated cinematographer noted for The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, and The African Queen, turned 90 on Sept. 18. Sons and Lovers, his third feature, is a brave try at conveying D.H. Lawrence's passionate intensity. There are fine performances by Trevor Howard, Wendy Hiller, and Mary Ure. Freddie Francis received an Oscar for his great camera work.

Friday, January 7 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Warner Bros., 1953). Dir Eugène Lourié. With Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway. (80 min, 35mm)
Spawned from King Kong and giving birth to the genre of the radioactive behemoth, The Beast is a Cold War nightmare realized. A nuclear test blast in the Arctic frees the carnivorous Rhedosaurus from its long entrapment in the ice. It makes underwater tracks down the Eastern Seaboard, chomping on the occasional boat or lighthouse, heading for its breeding grounds in the Hudson Submarine Canyons. A marvelous rampage through NYC ends with a stunning showdown at the Coney Island roller coaster. The innovations of Ray Harryhausen hatch this toothy villain. Did I mention the deadly virus that sprouts from its blood? Loosely based on Ray Bradbury’s story “The Foghorn.”

Tuesday, January 11 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The 13th Letter (20th Century-Fox, 1951). Dir Otto Preminger. With Linda Darnell, Charles Boyer, Michael Rennie. (85 min, 35mm)
With the exception of Laura, Otto Preminger's films made at 20th Century-Fox have been forgotten or ignored, a situation encouraged by the director's selective amnesia. Preminger's remake of Henri Georges Clouzot's Le Corbeau (1943) was his twelfth Fox production. Set in a French-Canadian village, the story centers on lives disrupted by a series of poison-pen letters.

Thursday, January 13 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Targets (Saticoy/Paramount, 1968). Dir Peter Bogdanovich. With Boris Karloff, Tim O’Kelly, Nancy Hsueh. (90 min, 35mm)
There are two narrative threads to this chilling low budget suspense masterpiece. In one of his finest performances, Boris Karloff portrays the aging horror film star of yesteryear - essentially this film is a tribute to him. He feels that the newspaper headlines provide terror far more convincingly than his own movies, and in anachronistic despair he reluctantly makes a final appearance to promote his last film. Bobby Thompson is the wholesome-looking middle class young man who is the real monster. He is loosely based on Charles Whitman, the University of Texas Tower sniper. The two stories merge in a stunning climax at the drive-in. The film brings into play questions of destiny and inevitability wrought cleverly owing to the constraints of the budget. It is a potent message that is relevant today.

Friday, January 14 (7:00pm)

German Shepherds

Clash of the Wolves (Warner Bros., 1925). Dir. Noel Mason Smith. With Rin-Tin-Tin, Charles Farrell, June Marlowe, Heinie Conklin. (69 min, 35mm)
The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin : The General's Daughter (Screen Gems/ABC, 1958). Dir Robert C. Walker. With Lee Aaker, Jim L. Brown, Morris Aukrum. (28 min, 16mm)
The original Rin-Tin-Tin was an abandoned German war dog found in Paris by an American serviceman who brought him to the U.S. In Clash of the Wolves, preserved by the Library of Congress Motion Picture Laboratory, Rin-Tin-Tin plays Lobo --half dog and half wolf --who has a price put on his head by ranchers. He is saved and befriended by a kind prospector, and in return Lobo rescues him from the film’s villain. After the original Rin-Tin-Tin died in 1932, his progeny and other unrelated German shepherds carried on the franchise in movies and television. In the television show The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin, "Rinty" lives at Fort Apache in the old West with his master, Rusty, who was orphaned in an Indian raid. In this episode, he aids in the capture of renegade Apaches who attack a stagecoach carrying a general and his daughter.


Tuesday, January 18 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Asphalt Jungle (MGM, 1950). Dir John Huston. With Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Marilyn Monroe. (112 min, 35mm)
The quintessential naturalistic film noir and definitive heist film. It convincingly portrays the motivations and details the personal idiosyncracies of its criminal gang. Great character actors and a superb ensemble cast flesh out the brain, the bookie financier, the safecracker, the driver, the thug, and the fence. Not to mention the hard luck moll and the mistress. “Crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor.” Alienating and claustrophobic, this hard-boiled tale was adapted by John Huston and Ben Maddow from W. R. Burnett’s novel of the same name. This film inspired several remakes and notably influenced Jules Dassin and Jean-Pierre Melville

Friday, January 21 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Pete Kelly's Blues (Warner Bros., 1955). Dir Jack Webb. With Jack Webb, Janet Leigh, Edmond O’Brien, Peggy Lee. (95 min, 35mm)
Jazz enthusiast Jack Webb assembled eight exemplary musicians whose roots go back to bands led by Ben Pollack, Bob Crosby, and Benny Goodman. Former band vocalists Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee perform the standard songs "Hard Hearted Hannah" and "Sugar." Miss Lee also is very moving as a gangster's moll. And Janet Leigh's flapper is reason enough for Jack to toot his cornet. Ray Heindorf's musical direction deserves special mention.

Tuesday, January 25 (7:00pm)

Images of Native Americans

Young Deer's Bravery (Bison/New York Motion Picture Co., 1909). (10 min, 35mm)
Smoke Signals (Shadowcatcher/Miramax, 1998). Dir Chris Eyre. With Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard. (88 min, 35mm)
Based on stories by Sherman Alexie, Smoke Signals was the first feature film written, directed, and acted by Native Americans. Thomas and Victor are reluctant friends. Twenty years ago Victor’s father Arnold saved Thomas from a burning building; but to Victor, his father was an abusive drunk. When word comes of Arnold’s death, Thomas offers to help Victor make the trip to collect the remains. A touching and dryly funny buddy flicke. Shown with Young Deer’s Bravery, an early silent Bison drama. Young Deer is caught cheating the tribal Chief’s son at cards, and is sentenced to death. A pretty cowgirl rescues him from this fate, only to be captured herself. In a strangely multi-layered transference, Young Deer joins the cowboy camp and rescues his rescuer. When our hero finds himself in battle with his own tribe, who will win?

Thursday, January 27 (7:00pm)

German Shepherds

The Sign of the Claw (Gotham/Lumas, 1926). Dir B. Reeves Eason. With Peter the Great, Edward Hearn, Ethel Shannon. (45 min, 35mm)
The Phantom of the Forest (Gotham/Lumas, 1926). Dir Henry McCarthy. With Thunder, Betty Francisco, Eddie Phillips. (44 min, 35mm)
The Screen Almanac : Every Dog Has His Day (Selznick, 1924). With Strongheart. (12 min, 35mm)
Originally trained to kill as a police dog in Germany, Strongheart was the first German shepherd to star in a feature film in 1921, and his success created a trend for more German shepherds onscreen. In the newsreel The Screen Almanac, Strongheart is shown relaxing with his mate in a luxurious hotel suite. Peter the Great was also brought over from Germany and had great success for a couple of years until he was tragically killed while protecting his master. In The Sign of the Claw, Peter the Great helps his master, a patrolman, foil bank robbers. In The Phantom of the Forest, Thunder, also known as "the Dog Marvel," aids a woman whose land is under attack by oil speculators.

Friday, January 28 (7:00pm)

Images of Native Americans

Redskin (Paramount, 1929). Dir Victor Schertzinger. With Richard Dix, Gladys Belmont, Tully Marshall. (83 min, 35mm)
A Navaho boy and a Pueblo Girl leave their tribes to be educated by the white man. Intertribal marriage is forbidden; naturally, Navajo and Pueblo fall in love with each other. After graduating from college, they return to their respective villages only to be shunned by their families. A plea for assimilation, the threat of arranged marriage, and the discovery of oil mark the path to an eventual reconciliation between the tribes.

Tuesday, February 1 (7:00pm)


Black Caesar (Larco/AIP, 1973). Dir Larry Cohen. With Fred Williamson, Art Lund, Julius W. Harris, Gloria Hendry. (95 min, 35mm)
A deep look into the Library's archive to get a second glimpse at forgotten or rarely seen films from the era of Blaxploitation. The talents of the genre's early stars; the sights and sounds of 1970's street culture; and wonderful music soundtracks made these films so popular among film audiences at the time.

Hail Caesar, Godfather of Harlem...The Cat with the .45-Caliber Claws! Fred Williamson fights to win back his Harlem turf from the mob in a style that can only be described as explosive! Larry Cohen shoots up the story and action and James Brown, the godfather of soul, provides the funky soundtrack.

Thursday, February 3 (7:00pm)

Other Worlds ...

Between Two Worlds (Warner Bros., 1944). Dir Edward A. Blatt. With John Garfield, Eleanor Parker, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet. (112 min, 35mm)
Based on the 1925 stage play "Outward Bound" by Sutton Vane and the 1930 film of the same title, Between Two Worlds "is class entertainment on the allegorical side.” It is evident that a mystery ship and its passengers are bound for High Olympus and judgement day. On reaching their destination, Sydney Greenstreet enters the scene as the "examiner,” taking his new arrivals one by one. In 1944, Variety said that "Greenstreet’s performance is exceptionally outstanding." "A productional, directional and acting triumph ...[and] in a technical way, notably the photography, Between Two Worlds represents a superior achievement.”

Friday, February 4 (7:00pm)

Set in DC

Gabriel Over the White House (Cosmopolitan/MGM, 1933). Dir Gregory La Cava. With Walter Huston, Karen Morley, Franchot Tone. (87 min, 35mm)
Imagine this scenario: a charismatic, devil-may-care U.S. President suffers a horrific accident. When he miraculously recovers, he has a completely different personality and initiates a radical agenda in order to fight the nation’s gravest problems. Could it be that a divine hand is guiding the leader of the free world? This one-of-a-kind exercise in political whimsy was the brainchild of Cosmopolitan Productions, William Randolph Hearst’s film company.

Tuesday, February 8 (7:00pm)

Other Worlds ...

Portrait of Jennie (Vanguard/Selznick, 1949). Dir William Dieterle. With Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotton, Ethel Barrymore, Lillian Gish. (87 min, 16mm)

This film, which cost $4,250,000 including special effects -- an astronomical sum for the time -- failed when released by Selznick in 1948. The prohibitive cost caused him to liquidate Selznick International Studios and try his luck in Europe. "Subtlety and understatement characterize Portrait of Jennie from start to finish, and the production, a failure thirty years ago, seems to have found its place in the hearts of dedicated film goers.” The original 35mm film was made in black and white with sepia and Technicolor sequences. We will be showing a 16mm black and white print.

Thursday, February 10 (6:30pm)

Set in DC

Advise and Consent (Alpha-Alpina/Columbia, 1962). Dir Otto Preminger. With Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton, Don Murray, Walter Pidgeon. (140 min, 35mm)
The workings of the U.S. Senate become engrossing high drama in an adaptation of Allen Drury’s novel. A star-studded cast enacts various breeds of political animals against a background of alliances, intrigue, and the threat of scandal. The literate screenplay, which depicts Washington denizens as master rhetoricians, has sting and vitality; the widescreen black and white cinematography is its ideal visual complement.

Friday, February 11 (7:00pm)

Modern Revivals of Classical-era Detectives

Deadlier Than the Male (Universal, 1967). Dir Ralph Thomas. Based on the character Bulldog Drummond, created by Sapper. With Richard Johnson, Elke Sommer, Sylva Koscina, Nigel Green. (98 min, 35mm)
Adventures of the Falcon : Tangier’s Finale (Federal Telefilms, 1954). Based on the character created by Michael Arlen. With Charles McGraw. (30 min, 16mm)
Two staples of classical Hollywood cinema during the 1920s-1940s were detectives Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond, an Englishman, and the American “the Falcon.” Both were subsequently revived in short-lived series, Drummond in a modern setting in two films starring Richard Johnson, and the Falcon in an early filmed television series.

Tuesday, February 15 (7:00)

The Female Detective

The Gracie Allen Murder Case (Paramount, 1939). Dir Alfred E. Green. Based on the character Philo Vance, created by S.S. Van Dine. With Warren William, Ellen Drew. (72 min, 16mm)
Nancy Drew Mysteries: The Mystery of Pirate’s Cove (Universal-TV, 1977). Dir E.W. Swackhamer. Based on the character created by Carolyn Keene. With Pamela Sue Martin. (60 min, 16mm)
In the 1930s, the idea of a woman detective was still considered a subject largely for humor, as demonstrated by Gracie’s encounter with Philo Vance. Even when Nancy Drew was brought to the screen during these same years, it was primarily for laughs, but the young adult literary hero finally achieved proper screen incarnation forty years later.

Thursday, February 17 (6:30pm)

East Meets West & West Meets East

Khyber Patrol (UA-World Films, 1954). Dir Seymour Friedman. With Richard Egan, Dawn Addams, Patric Knowles, Raymond Burr. (71 min, 35mm)
Kung Fu [Pilot] (Warner Bros.-TV, 1972). Dir Jerry Thorpe. With David Carradine, Keye Luke, Richard Loo, Philip Ahn. (75 min, 16mm)
Of the several early 1950s Hollywood treatments of the 19th century rebellions against English occupation of India, Khyber Patrol is the least seen. This typical story of Western colonial domination is paired with its opposite, the pilot film for the Kung Fu television series, in which Chinese and their traditions come to the American West.

Friday, February 18 (7:00pm)


Cool Breeze (MGM, 1972). Dir Barry Pollack. With Thalmus Rasulala, Judy Pace, Jim Watkins. (103 min, 35mm)
He hit the Man for $3 million. Right where it hurts. In the diamonds. And baby, that's cold. Thalmus Rasulala hits the man to start a bank of his own. This blaxploitation version of Robin Hood features early roles for Pam Grier and Paula Kelly. The story is loosely based on "The Asphalt Jungle". Music by Solomon Burke.

Tuesday, February 22 (7:00pm)

Set in DC

Being There (Northstar International/UA, 1979). Dir Hal Ashby. With Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warner, Melvyn Douglas. (130 min, 35mm)
Peter Sellers gives his loveliest, most understated performance as Chance, a simple-minded gardener who has spent his life watching TV. A gentle soul, Chance dazzles the Washington, D.C. elite with his wise pronouncements, which come straight from the idiot box. Released twenty-five years ago, this delicate yet corrosive critique of television culture is as relevant as ever

Thursday, February 24 (7:00pm)


Trouble Man (JDF-B Productions/20th Century-Fox, 1972). Dir Ivan Dixon. With Robert Hooks, Paul Winfield, Ralph Waite. (99 min, 35mm)
Mr. T is cold hard steel! He'll give you peace of mind...piece by piece. Robert Hooks shows why he's the man. Here is a gambler, loan shark, ladies man, and private eye who can give Shaft a run for his money anytime! Paula Kelly is lovely again with a music soundtrack from mister smooth himself, Marvin Gaye and jazz great, J.J. Johnson.

Friday, February 25 (7:00pm)

Other Worlds ...

Angel on My Shoulder (Premier/UA, 1946). Dir Archie Mayo. With Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, Claude Rains. (100 min, 16mm)
A murdered hood makes a deal with Lucifer to do the Devil’s bidding if allowed to return to earth. Paul Muni plays the murdered gangster, turning in a performance that measures up to his past credits. Claude Rains shines as a puckish Devil. Archie Mayo was a solid director of the time; though he never directed a superpower production in his thirty-year career, his work was always able and profitable. Mayo's contract was with RKO Pictures, and would come to an end in 1946. Angel on My Shoulder would have a dual significance, it was both the last picture that Mayo ever directed, and also it began a pseudo-retirement for its leading man.

Tuesday, March 1 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Play It As It Lays (FP Films/Universal, 1972). Dir Frank Perry. With Tuesday Weld, Anthony Perkins, Tammy Grimes. (99 min, 35mm)
Tuesday Weld is Maria, a B-movie actress from Silver Wells, Nevada ("pop. then 28 now 0"). Perkins, in one of his favorite performances, is B.Z., her producer. Together they share friendship and nihilism in the moral emptiness of 1970's Los Angeles. Profound ennui? Or alienation chic? Based on Joan Didion's novel, which "defined a generation," and with visual effects by Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. See Perkins and Weld’s first teaming, Pretty Poison, on March 18th.

Thursday, March 3 (6:30pm)

Marion Davies

Getting Mary Married (Marion Davies Film Co., 1919). Dir Allan Dwan. With Marion Davies, Norman Kerry, Matt Moore. (52 min, 16mm)
Beauty's Worth (Cosmopolitan/Paramount, 1922). Dir Robert G. Vignola. With Marion Davies, Forrest Stanley, June Elvidge. (75 min, 35mm)
For Women’s History month we highlight the work of film actress and producer Marion Davies whose skillful comedic performances make her one of the most beloved stars of her generation. Tonight we screen two features from the silent era. Scripted by legendary screenwriters Anita Loos and John Emerson, Getting Mary Married makes comedy from the complications that arise when boy meets rich girl. In Beauty’s Worth, Davies is transformed from a “demure Quakeress” to a bathing beauty queen in this Cinderella-styled melodrama that Variety’s reviewer called “a first-class Marion Davies program release.”

Friday, March 4 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Buttercup Chain (Columbia British, 1971). Dir Robert Ellis Miller. With Hywel Bennett, Leigh Taylor-Young, Jane Asher, Sven-Bertil Taube. (103 min, 35mm)
From the director of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, a story of an intense friendship among four people that has tragic consequences. Jane Asher (Deep End) and Hywel Bennett are two English cousins who envelop a free-floating American (Taylor-Young) and a Swedish student (Taube) into their globe-trotting fun and games. Based on Janice Elliot’s novel, Buttercup Chain is a long-lost time capsule that was a rediscovered favorite at the 2002 and 2003 L.A. Mods & Rockers Fest.

Tuesday, March 8 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (20th Century-Fox, 1970). Dir Russ Meyer. With Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Marcia McBroom, John LaZar. (109 min, 35mm)
Russ Meyer (1922-2004) honed his craft as a combat photographer in WWII (some of his footage appears in Patton), which taught him to be efficient and resourceful. His "drive-in Steinbeck" period (Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill) showed a knack for beautiful films made in desolate locales on a g-string budget. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is not one of those films. With major studio backing and a budget to match, BVD is a dizzy smorgasbord of baroque camera angles, rapid-fire editing, and technicolor characters. Meyer directed his actors to read melodramatic lines (courtesy of screenwriter Roger Ebert, long a champion of Meyer’s) with total seriousness - or with as much seriousness as can be got from, “Come into my den, said the spider, etcetera.” The result is psychedelic satire at its finest. Join us for three girls who sing rock and roll as they walk the Los Angeles gauntlet of side-burned record moguls, Greek gods, Nazi war criminals, and the Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Thursday, March 10 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

The Day Mars Invaded Earth (Associated Producers/20th Century-Fox, 1963). Dir Maury Dexter. With Kent Taylor, Marie Windsor, William Mims. (70 min, 35mm)
Unearthly Stranger (Independent Artists/AIP, 1963). Dir John Krish. With John Neville, Gabriella Licudi, Philip Stone, Patrick Newell. (75 min, 16mm)
A rare screening of two Cold War-era alien invasion thrillers. Such low-budget sci-fi noirs eschewed makeup and special effects so that anyone could be a space-alien. In the eerie Day Mars Invaded Earth, a scientist sends a probe to Mars. After the probe is mysteriously destroyed, the scientist retreats to an L.A. mansion to spend some needed quality time with his family. Unbeknownst to him, Martians, in retaliation for the probe, have sent doppelgangers to his mansion, wrecking more than just his home life. In the paranoid world of Unearthly Stranger, men are from Earth and women are from somewhere Out There. Brilliantly directed by documentary filmmaker Krish, this "lost" film is less about the Cold War than it is about the deep anxieties that surrounded the changing role of women in 60's Britain. Scientist John Neville (The X Files) is just nuts about his gorgeous young wife, who’s great in the kitchen and all other departments. But why, he wonders, does she always sleep with her eyes open?

Friday, March 11 (7:00pm)

Marion Davies

It's A Wise Child (MGM, 1931). Dir Robert Z. Leonard. With Marion Davies, James Gleason, Sidney Blackmer. (83 min, 35mm)
A racy comedy based on David Belasco Broadway production of the same title. Marion Davies plays a young woman who becomes the subject of local gossip when she is mistakenly believed to be single and pregnant. The film, according to the Variety review, should not be screened “in houses playing to children or young people.” The frank language, references to pre-marital sex and the use of alcohol, shocked critics who found it wasn’t “fathomable” how the picture made it past the then lenient enforcement of the Hays Office. Silent screen beauty Marie Prevost also stars in this wild precode talkie.

Monday, March 14 (7:00pm)

Environmental Film Festival

Navajo (Bartlett-Foster Productions, 1952). Dir Norman Foster. (71 min, 35mm)
Cruise of the Zaca (Vitaphone, 1952) Dir & Narrator Errol Flynn. (20 min, 35mm)
Norman Foster is best remembered today for his collaborations with Orson Welles and Walt Disney (including the original Davy Crockett), and a number of the Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto films. Foster was also one of the generation of studio era directors who successfully made the transition to television, and whose work spanned A and B films and a number of independent efforts. Among these was Navajo, shot for $50,000 on the Indian reservation, with non-professional actors who had never seen a movie before, telling of a boy adjusting to a life of tradition and modernity. Navajo received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature and numerous other prizes. Foster returned to similar themes in a number of later films, including a version of the children's classic Brighty of the Grand Canyon (March 15). Another of Hollywood's elite to have an interest in nature was none other than star Errol Flynn, who filmed a 16mm feature detailing a 1946 voyage down the coast of Mexico on his 118 foot schooner. Aboard were his father, a scientist, and then-wife Nora Eddington, whose subsequent lawsuit caused the long delay in release from Warner Bros., which had bought the footage.


Tuesday, March 15 (7:00pm)

Environmental Film Festival

Brighty of the Grand Canyon (Stephen F. Booth Productions, 1966). Dir Norman Foster. With Joseph Cotten, Dick Foran, Karl Swenson. (89 min, 35mm)

Thursday, March 17 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

The Woman from Monte Carlo (First National, 1932). Dir Michael Curtiz. With Lil Dagover, Walter Huston, Warren William. (65 min, 35mm)
The Congress Dances (UFA, 1931). Dir Erik Charell. With Lil Dagover, Conrad Veidt, Lilian Harvey. (86 min, 16mm, English subtitles)
A double-feature starring German movie star Lil Dagover. We begin with her first American film, a Michael Curtiz directed melodrama about a former playgirl from Vienna who finds herself torn between her husband (Huston) and an old lover (William) during WWI. Followed by The Congress Dances, a German operetta set in 1814 during the Congress of Vienna where romance and intrigue take precedent over politics and policy.

Friday, March 18 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Pretty Poison (Turman-Molino/20th Century-Fox, 1968). Dir Noel Black. With Anthony Perkins, Tuesday Weld, Beverly Garland. (89 min, 35mm)
The roles that Tuesday Weld turned down read like a best-films list from the 1960's: Lolita, Rosemary’s Baby, Bonnie and Clyde. On her rejection of Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Weld said simply: “It reeked of success.” She worked instead on films like Pretty Poison, which did not smell so sweet. All is not apple pie behind the white picket fence. Ex-con Perkins charms drum majorette Weld with fantastic and untrue tales of intrigue. Will she fall prey to his pathology? Or is this a chance for her to release her own pathogens? Championed by Pauline Kael and written by a script consultant for the Batman television series, this black comedy anticipates the middle-American irony of David Lynch.

Tuesday, March 22 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Die! Die! My Darling! aka Fanatic (Hammer/Columbia, 1965). Dir Silvio Narizzano. With Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Donald Sutherland. (97 min, 35mm)
Preceded by: Amelia (from Trilogy of Terror) (ABC, 1975). Dir Dan Curtis. With Karen Black. (27 min, 35mm)
Scripted by Richard Matheson (The Incredible Shrinking Man), Die! Die! features Tallulah Bankhead’s last film role, for which she gave her all. Bride-to-be Stephanie Powers visits her late ex-boyfriend’s mother, Bankhead, who has become a religious fanatic. Big mistake.Shown with Amelia, (rescheduled from Oct. 28), the infamous final chapter of a trio of stories by Matheson. It caused a sensation when it aired on ABC in 1975, terrifying even network executives. In a tour de force, Karen Black portrays a woman battling a demonic Zuni fetish doll.

Thursday, March 24 (7:00pm)

Musical Remakes

Men in Black (Columbia, 1934). Dir Raymond McCarey. With Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard. (20 min)
My Sister Eileen (Columbia, 1942). Dir Alexander Hall. With Rosalind Russell, Janet Blair. (97 min, 35mm)
This series is dedicated to the memory of William “Bill” Barry (1956-2001), a Library of Congress moving image reference assistant. In this screen adaption of the Broadway comedy (also see the musical adaptation on March 29), two sisters move from a small town in Ohio to the Greenwich Village area of New York City. Russell (post-His Girl Friday) plays the older sister who becomes a writer while Blair is the prettier sister who turns to acting. Not much of a plot here but many colorful characters chip in to create uproarious situations throughout the flick. The last scene is not to be missed - it’s simply hilarious. Prior to the feature, the Men in Black to be shown is not the first of the Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones franchise but rather the beginning of an earlier and greater franchise: the Three Stooges, in their first short.

Friday, March 25 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Witchcraft '70 (PAC/Caravel/Trans American, 1969). Dir Luigi Scattini. Narrator Edmund Purdom. (82 min, 35mm)
Bewitched Bunny (Warner Bros., 1954). Dir Chuck Jones. (7 min, 35mm)
Doctor Ha-Ha (Terrytoons/20th Century-Fox, 1966). Dir Ralph Bakshi. (6 min, 16mm)
Erotic prayers to the Goddess of the cloven hoof; human sacrifice on the bloodstained altar of Baal; weird demonic rites of the Cult of Kali; the sensual ecstasies of hippie families; these are just some of the subjects documented in this unjustly forgotten piece of Mondo cinema. Shown with Bewitched Bunny, in which Bugs is walking through the woods one day and stumbles upon Hansel and Gretel. Our heroic rabbit rescues the greedy pair from a hungry witch - but no good deed goes unpunished. Also shown with Doctor Ha-Ha, a rarely seen short by master animator Ralph Bakshi (Heavy Traffic). Ha-Ha is the first of a series of James Hound cartoons Bakshi made for Terrytoons, a studio that also produced Mighty Mouse, Deputy Dawg, and Bakshi's breakout hit Spiderman.

Tuesday, March 29 (7:00pm)

Musical Remakes

My Sister Eileen (Columbia, 1955). Dir Richard Quine. With Betty Garrett, Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Bob Fosse. (112 min, 35mm)
This is not the Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green musical adaptation as you would guess - this is not Wonderful Town (also see the original screen adaption on March 24th). But rather this musical remake boasts a score by Jule Styne (music) and Leo Robin (lyrics) and a screenplay by Blake Edwards (pre-TV drama Peter Gunn) and Richard Quine. The cast includes the lovely and recently departed Leigh (pre-Psycho) as Eileen, Garrett as Ruth, Lemmon (in a musical? - he’s great!), and Fosse (pre-Damn Yankees) - he acts, choreographs, and dances here. Watch for Dick York (pre-Bewitched) as a roughneck football throwing next door neighbor.

Thursday, March 31 (7:00pm)

Musical Remakes

The Matchmaker (Paramount, 1958). Dir Joseph Anthony. With Shirley Booth, Anthony Perkins, Paul Ford, Shirley MacLaine. (100 min, 35mm)
The film adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s period comedy (also see the musical adaption Hello, Dolly! on April 8) has many charming qualities. Booth, showing her comic timing (pre-TV sitcom Hazel), plays Dolly Levi as a middle aged matchmaker striving to turn Ford (pre-Mayor Shinn in The Music Man), her older middle aged shopowner client into her next husband. In the midst of her schemes, the younger characters: Tony Perkins (pre-Psycho), Shirley MacLaine, Robert Morse (pre-How to Succeed in Business...), and Perry Wilson (the film director’s wife) take the plot to many farce-filled turns.

Friday, April 1 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Welcome to Arrow Beach (Brut/Warner Bros., 1974). Dir Laurence Harvey. With Laurence Harvey, Joanna Pettet, Stuart Whitman, John Ireland. (99 min, 35mm)
Alice Cans the Cannibals (Winkler, 1925). Dir Walt Disney. (9 min, 35mm)
Jason (director-star Harvey) is a Korean war vet. He survived in the jungle by eating human flesh, but now has trouble adapting to civilian life. His sister Grace (Joanna Pettet), shares his apetite -- and his bed. They befriend a hitchhiker (Meg Foster) - will she be his next victim? The great Lou Rawls sings the haunting theme. Harvey was so dedicated to Arrow Beach, his last film, that it is rumored he helped edit it from his deathbed - by telephone. A twisted horror film that has been rarely seen since its release.

Tuesday, April 5 (7:00pm)

John Carpenter–The Beginnings

Dark Star (Jack H. Harris Enterprises, 1974). Dir John Carpenter. With Brian Narelle, Cal Kuniholm, Dre Pahich, Dan O’Bannon. (83 min, 35mm)
John Carpenter began working on this loose parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey while still a film student at USC. His directorial debut tells the story of four astronauts trapped in space on a very dull mission, and their futile attempts at amusing themselves. With the help of special effects supervisor Dan O’Bannon, Carpenter managed to achieve surprisingly impressive visual effects despite his low budget. O’Bannon, who later penned the screenplay for Alien, also served as editor, co-writer, production designer, and starred in the film, as Pinback. In addition to composing the well-known theme for his signature work Halloween (shown on April 22nd), Carpenter also wrote the original music for Dark Star and Assault on Precinct 13 (April 14th).

Thursday, April 7 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Lucky Luciano (Vides/Films La Boetie/Avco Embassy, 1973). Dir. Francesco Rosi. With Gian Maria Volonte, Rod Steiger, Edmond O’Brien. (112 min, 35mm)
Bugs and Thugs (Warner Bros., 1954). Dir I. Freleng. (7 min, 35mm)
Director Francesco Rosi (Salvatore Giuliano) explores the loveless marriage of crime and politics in this meditation on the infamous New York gangster. The brilliant Gian Maria Volonte (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion) is Charles "Lucky" Luciano; Charles Siragusa plays himself, the narc who in real life helped bring down an empire. Shown with Bugs and Thugs, in which our favorite rabbit hitches a ride with a pair of mismatched bank robbers. This technicolor classic is the first appearance of Mugsy ("Shut up shuttin' up").

Friday, April 8 (6:30pm)

Musical Remakes

Hello, Dolly! (20th Century-Fox, 1969). Dir Gene Kelly. With Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Tommy Tune, Louis Armstrong. (144 min, 35mm)
Who cares if Fox almost went bankrupt with this and two other musicals (Star! and Dr. Doolittle) ? One can’t please everyone - the majority of the critics didn’t care for the author’s middle aged Dolly Levi being portrayed by a 25 year old Barbra Streisand (also see the first screen adaption on March 31). Regrettably, Streisand and Walter Matthau didn’t get along on the set, and the Library’s film copy is a faded color print. Nevertheless, such and other flaws pale into insignificance when set beside the well over two hours of great songs written by Jerry Herman, impressive choreography under the direction of Michael Kidd, along with many enormous and beautiful sets. It’s a treat viewing Crawford (pre-Phantom of the Opera), catching Satchmo Armstrong sing a duet with this younger Dolly, and in a small role watching Tommy Tune dance during his heyday.

Tuesday, April 12 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Postman Always Rings Twice (MGM, 1946). Dir Tay Garnett. With Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn. (113 min, 35mm)
In one of the best Hollywood film noirs of the 1940's, Garfield and Turner sizzle as lovers caught up in a web of murder, deception, and treachery. Originally published in 1934, James M. Cain's fatalistic view of the American Dream gone awry was previously filmed in France (1939) and Italy (1942). MGM purchased the rights to the story in the mid-1930's, but dropped the project when the Production Code Administration labeled the novel "unwholesome and thoroughly objectionable."

Thursday, April 14 (7:00pm)

John Carpenter–The Beginnings

Assault on Precinct 13 (CKK Productions, 1976). Dir John Carpenter. With Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer, Martin West. (91 min, 35mm)
In John Carpenter’s second feature, inspired by Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo (Carpenter edited the film under the name John T. Chance, John Wayne’s character in Rio Bravo), a street gang wages war on a police station that is on the verge of closing. A small staff awaiting the moving vans, along with two death row inmates, must defend themselves against the assault. Due to an unplanned programming coincidence, the John Carpenter - The Beginnings series coincides with the release of the Assault on Precinct 13 remake (January 2005), providing an opportunity for theatrical comparison of Hollywood’s big budget of today with Carpenter’s meager $200,000 budget in 1976.

Friday, April 15 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Where’s Charley? (Warner Bros., 1952). Dir David Butler. With Ray Bolger, Allyn McLerie, Robert Shackleton. (97 min, 35mm)
What a drag! This adaptation of the Frank Loesser Broadway musical has been rarely screened since its original release and has never been available in any home format. According to theatre columnist Peter Filichia, the wife of the late composer, Jo Loesser, "neither likes [the film] nor wants anyone to see it." So take advantage of this rare opportunity to see Ray Bolger recreate his famous stage performance.

Tuesday, April 19 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

A Million Bid (Warner Bros., 1927). Dir Michael Curtiz. With Dolores Costello, Warner Oland, Malcolm McGregor. (65 min, 35mm)
A melodrama of shipwrecks and amnesia, this Michael Curtiz film was considered lost until a few years ago when a tinted nitrate print of the Italian release version surfaced in Bologna (Italy). Preserved for the Library of Congress by L'Immagine Ritrovata, one of the world's top film restoration facilities, the new print was screened at last year's Bologna Film Festival and tonight will have its American premiere. Preceded by two Vitaphone shorts of the same vintage.

Thursday, April 21 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Call Me Madam (20th Century-Fox, 1953). Dir Walter Lang. With Ethel Merman, Donald O’Connor, Vera-Ellen, George Sanders. (118 min, 35mm)
George Sanders sings Irving Berlin! (Or does he?!) Well, not much anyway. But fortunately there always the Musical Diva herself, Ethel Merman, in a star turn. Needless to say, Merman + Musical = Must See.

Friday, April 22 (7:00pm)

John Carpenter–The Beginnings

Halloween (Falcon International, 1978). Dir John Carpenter. With Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis. (86 min, 35mm)
John Carpenter’s first commercially successful film not only became his most famous work, it also ushered in the dawn of the slasher film. It is Halloween night, and Michael Myers - the first of many big screen human-but-invincible homicidal maniacs - has escaped from his mental institution and is hunting teenagers in his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. Those with more libido than brains had better be careful! Jamie Lee Curtis was introduced to moviegoers as the heroine, Laurie (audiences may remember that Curtis was known as a “scream queen” early in her career, starring in only horror and thriller films through the early 1980s). Even after years of imitation and genre elements that are now considered cliché, Carpenter’ s style - point-of-view shots, tense editing, and that piano score - has helped to keep Halloween uniquely artistic and frightening.

Tuesday, April 26 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Compulsion (Darryl F. Zanuck/20th Century-Fox, 1959). Dir. Richard Fleischer. With Orson Welles, Diane Varsi, Dean Stockwell, Bradford Dillman. (103 min, 35mm)
Intense and yet economical adaptation of Meyer Levin's 1956 novel about two wealthy teenagers who kidnap and murder a young boy in 1920's Chicago. The novel was a fictionalized account of the Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb case, which has inspired several stage and screen productions, including Alfred Hitchcock's celebrated film Rope. Stockwell and Dillman are outstanding as the young psychopaths, while Welles revels in the role based on defense lawyer Clarence Darrow, whose moving summation of his twelve-hour long plea to save his clients' lives still stands as one of the most eloquent attacks on the death penalty ever delivered in an American courtroom (as Variety pointed out, Welles in turn provided "one of the longest monologues ever filmed"). The trio shared the Best Actor award at the 1959 Cannes film festival.

Wednesday, April 27 (7:00pm) re-scheduled from 2/24/2005


Trouble Man (JDF-B Productions/20th Century-Fox, 1972). Dir Ivan Dixon. With Robert Hooks, Paul Winfield, Ralph Waite. (99 min, 35mm)
Mr. T is cold hard steel! He'll give you peace of mind...piece by piece. Robert Hooks shows why he's the man. Here is a gambler, loan shark, ladies man, and private eye who can give Shaft a run for his money anytime! Paula Kelly is lovely again with a music soundtrack from mister smooth himself, Marvin Gaye and jazz great, J.J. Johnson.

Thursday, April 28 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Lusty Men (RKO, 1952). Dir Nicholas Ray. With Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy, Susan Hayward. (113 min, 35mm)
Nicholas Ray has been cinematic father to a host of directors, but none quite so profoundly as Wim Wenders. Wenders is now better known for music documentaries like Buena Vista Social Club, but as an exemplar of the New German Cinema in the 70s and 80s, he turned out a remarkable series of features that secured his reputation as peer to his fellow directors R.W. Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. But for Wenders, all roads lead back to Nicholas Ray, whose failing health and eventual death Wenders chronicled in his 1980 film Lightning Over Water. Tonight and tomorrow we pair spiritual father and son with two of their finest works: Ray's The Lusty Men and Wenders' Paris, Texas.

Nicholas Ray was the archetypal film nomad, wandering in and out of the studio system before rejecting Hollywood altogether in the 1960s. Similarly, we see this theme of rootlessness, a search for home and grounding, repeatedly in his films. In The Lusty Men, Robert Mitchum is a retired rodeo rider whose mentoring of a younger man (Arthur Kennedy) and his wife (Susan Hayward), completely upends their domestic yearnings. Mitchum's acting is brilliantly understated, but although his character is in no way as psychopathic as those he played in Night of the Hunter or Cape Fear (to name but two examples), his presence generates the same sense of threat and disruption, this time to the young couple's dreams and desires. The Lusty Men is rarely mentioned in the same breath with Ray's more well-known works, but it certainly stands with them.

Friday, April 29 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

Paris, Texas (20th Century-Fox, 1984). Dir Wim Wenders. With Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Nastassja Kinski. (145 min, 35mm)
Paris, Texas is more directly descended from John Ford's The Searchers, but there's more than a touch of Nicholas Ray present. After years of wandering in the physical and psychological wilderness, Harry Dean Stanton returns to his brother's (Dean Stockwell) home, where he slowly reconnects with the family including wife Nastassja Kinski he abandoned. Like The Lusty Men, Paris, Texas is a film of disconnect, where the domestic sphere is seen as something unreachable and idealized, like the picture of a vacant lot that Stanton carries with him as a talisman. Co-written with Sam Shepard, Paris, Texas is Wender's most fully realized narrative film, its brilliant images of desert and city enhanced by Ry Cooder's mesmerizing score.


Current Film Schedule: May - September 2005

Thursday, April 28 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Lusty Men (RKO, 1952). Dir Nicholas Ray. With Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy, Susan Hayward. (113 min, 35mm)
Nicholas Ray has been cinematic father to a host of directors, but none quite so profoundly as Wim Wenders. Wenders is now better known for music documentaries like Buena Vista Social Club, but as an exemplar of the New German Cinema in the 70s and 80s, he turned out a remarkable series of features that secured his reputation as peer to his fellow directors R.W. Fassbinder and Werner Herzog. But for Wenders, all roads lead back to Nicholas Ray, whose failing health and eventual death Wenders chronicled in his 1980 film Lightning Over Water. Tonight and tomorrow we pair spiritual father and son with two of their finest works: Ray's The Lusty Men and Wenders' Paris, Texas.

Nicholas Ray was the archetypal film nomad, wandering in and out of the studio system before rejecting Hollywood altogether in the 1960s. Similarly, we see this theme of rootlessness, a search for home and grounding, repeatedly in his films. In The Lusty Men, Robert Mitchum is a retired rodeo rider whose mentoring of a younger man (Arthur Kennedy) and his wife (Susan Hayward), completely upends their domestic yearnings. Mitchum's acting is brilliantly understated, but although his character is in no way as psychopathic as those he played in Night of the Hunter or Cape Fear (to name but two examples), his presence generates the same sense of threat and disruption, this time to the young couple's dreams and desires. The Lusty Men is rarely mentioned in the same breath with Ray's more well-known works, but it certainly stands with them.

Friday, April 29 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

Paris, Texas (20th Century-Fox, 1984). Dir Wim Wenders. With Harry Dean Stanton, Dean Stockwell, Nastassja Kinski. (145 min, 35mm)
Paris, Texas is more directly descended from John Ford's The Searchers, but there's more than a touch of Nicholas Ray present. After years of wandering in the physical and psychological wilderness, Harry Dean Stanton returns to his brother's (Dean Stockwell) home, where he slowly reconnects with the family including wife Nastassja Kinski he abandoned. Like The Lusty Men, Paris, Texas is a film of disconnect, where the domestic sphere is seen as something unreachable and idealized, like the picture of a vacant lot that Stanton carries with him as a talisman. Co-written with Sam Shepard, Paris, Texas is Wender's most fully realized narrative film, its brilliant images of desert and city enhanced by Ry Cooder's mesmerizing score.

Tuesday, May 10 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

Morning Glory (RKO, 1933). Dir Lowell Sherman. With Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Adolphe Menjou. (73 min, 16mm)
Spitfire (RKO, 1934). Dir John Cromwell. With Katharine Hepburn, Robert Young, Ralph Bellamy. (88 min, 35mm)
A double dose of Hepburn from her great RKO period. Morning Glory won her the first Oscar of her career for the portrayal of a stage struck ingenue trying to crack the jaded New York theater world. Here Hepburn, the original androgen, is in her element, crafting an ingenious disguise of feminine delicacy upon her natural boyish disposition. In Spitfire she attempts the character of Trigger Hicks, a backwoods Ozark tomboy, a role considerably less suited to her erudite Bryn Mawr deportment. For better or worse, the intensity of Hepburn's own personality always explodes the confines of the melodramas she is forced to inhabit.

Wednesday, May 11 (7:00pm)

Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam Experience

Hamburger Hill (RKO Pictures/Paramount, 1987). Dir John Irvin. With Anthony Barrile, Michael Patrick Boatman, Don Cheadle, Dylan McDermott, Courtney B. Vance. (110 min, 35mm)
In May 1969, the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry of the U.S. Army fought a fierce, ten-day battle for a small rise known to the Vietnamese as Dong Ap Bia, designated by the U.S. military as Hill 937, and nicknamed by cynical GIs Hamburger Hill. Director John Irvin (The Dogs of War), working from a script by Vietnam vet James Carabatsos, fashioned a gritty account of that battle, in which the North Vietnamese Army uncharacteristically stood and fought the Americans straight up. Although air support pounded NVA positions with over 500 tons of bombs and 70 tons of napalm, the hill wasn't taken until ground forces succeeded in a series of hand-to-hand battles fought on muddy, monsoon-soaked terrain. Once the hill was secured, it was policed for a few days and then abandoned, leading some to wonder what the point of the battle was. ("Don't mean nothin'" is the refrain muttered by the GIs portrayed here.) The film's ensemble cast, full of no-names (at the time), features recent Oscar nominee Don Cheadle in his third screen appearance, as Private Washburn. Presented by the Veterans History Project, of the Library's American Folklife Center.

Thursday, May 12 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

Lost Horizon (Ross Hunter/Columbia, 1973). Dir Charles Jarrott. With Peter Finch, Liv Ullmann, Sally Kellerman, George Kennedy, Michael York. (160 min, 35mm)
Colonialist travelers crash in the Himalayas and discover the paradise Shangri-La. Yet there’s a fine line between Utopia and dystopia. This musical remake of Frank Capra's 1937 classic (adapted from the novel by James Hilton) is regarded as one of the great follies of 1970's American cinema. Songwriter Burt Bacharach and choreographer Hermes Pan (who got somewhat better results in his work with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) fail to raise this up on eagles' wings. Come to the Pickford Theater and wallow in a singular American mediocrity.

Friday, May 13 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Petrified Forest (Warner Bros., 1936). Dir Archie Mayo. With Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart. (83 min, 35mm)
Pull My Daisy (G-String Enterprises, 1959). Dir Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie. With Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Larry Rivers. (30 min, 35mm)
A poetic drifter, a culture hungry dreamer, and a gangster willing to wax philosophical meet up under strained circumstances at a lonely desert roadhouse. The elements whip into a frenzy as the tension mounts and it all adds up to a fascinating character study that presages Key Largo. The motifs of loss and sacrifice are handled with stellar acting and rich dialogue. This was the cinematic breakthrough for Bogart and he was so grateful to Howard for landing him the role that he named his first daughter Leslie. The screenplay was adapted by Delmer Daves and Charles Kenyon from Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Sherwood's hit Broadway play. Shown with Pull My Daisy, the 1959 short film that encapsulates the Beat Generation. It is loosely based on Kerouac's unpublished play, The Beat Generation, taken from an event in Neal and Carolyn Cassady's life. Kerouac improvises the narration with his usual jazzy diction

Tuesday, May 17 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Urgh! A Music War (Lorimar, 1981). Dir Derek Burbidge. With The Police, UB 40, Oingo Boingo, Echo and the Bunnymen, Klaus Nomi, Dead Kennedys. (124 min, 35mm)
This compilation of rock 'n' roll bands filmed in concert is a raucous, liberating look at the new wave/punk scene circa 1980. In the era when music video became the dominant visual medium for pop music performers, Urgh! captured these exciting, innovative, and sometimes bizarre artists live and at their energizing best. A genuine time machine of a movie that will take you back to a turbulent period in popular culture.

Wednesday, May 18 (6:30pm)

Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam Experience

The Anderson Platoon = La Patrouille Anderson (ORTF/Pathe, 1967). Dir Pierre Schoendoerffer. (65 min, 35mm)
Meet the Press. Civil Rights Special (NBC, Aug. 21, 1966). With Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, Jr., James Meredith, Stokely Carmichael, and Floyd B. McKissick. (90 min, Digital Betacam video)
After Pierre Schoendoerffer served with the French Army in Vietnam in the 1950s, he became a filmmaker. His fourth film was a dramatic feature about his service experiences, La Secion 317e (The 317th Platoon), released in 1965. French National Television then commissioned him to spend six weeks in the fall of 1966 following an American platoon for this documentary. The title refers to Lt. Joseph Anderson, a black West Point graduate who commanded an interracial unit of blacks, Hispanics, and whites. It's an observant portrait of the daily life of the soldier which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Shown with a 1966 broadcast of Meet the Press, which expanded its format to 90 minutes for this discussion with some of the leading lights of the Civil Rights Movement on the negative impact of the Vietnam War on American blacks.
Presented by the Veterans History Project, of the Library's American Folklife Center.

Thursday, May 19 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Monte Cristo (Selig, 1908). Dir Francis Boggs. (ca. 10 min, 35mm)
The Count of Monte Cristo (Reliance/UA, 1934). Dir Rowland V. Lee. With Robert Donat, Elissa Landi, Louis Calhern, Sidney Blackmer (113 min, 35mm)

Producer Edward Small delayed production on this picture while he protested Universal's use of the title The Countess of Monte Cristo for a comedy starring Fay Wray. Small warned the Hays Office that Countess would take "all of the edge off his Count" and confuse the movie-going public. Universal nevertheless released Countess, and Rowland Lee's Count was still named one of the ten best pictures of 1934. Robert Donat makes his American screen debut in a well-received performance. Shown with a 1908 short preserved by the AFI at the LOC Motion Picture Conservation Center. Selig cinematographer Tom Persons recalled shooting the film: "Our great scene was to show Edmond emerging from the sea, shaking his white whiskers, and saying ‘The world is mine!’ [We] found the right man at last -- a hypnotist in a dime museum -- and after we had seen him work we knew he had nerve enough for anything."

Friday, May 20 (7:00pm)

First Nations/First Features (in person: Randy Redroad)

The Doe Boy (Doe Boy Productions, 2001). Dir Randy Redroad. With James Duval, Kevin Anderson, Gordon Tootoosis, Andrew J. Ferchland. (83 min, 35mm)
Set in the heart of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, The Doe Boy tells the story of Hunter, a young man of mixed parentage, who is never quite at home in the complicated circumstances of his life - including his hemophilia. Eventually he must find a way to be his own man, facing love, death, and the perils of his illness. The Doe Boy is an official selection of the First Nations/First Features, a showcase of world indigenous cinema screening in Washington, D.C. on May 18-22, 2005. This project has been produced by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Modern Art and New York University in cooperation with the National Museum of Natural History, National Gallery or Art, Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Embassy of Canada, National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Library of Congress. For a complete schedule of First Nations/First Features, go to or call 212-514-3737.

Tuesday, May 24 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Billy Budd (Anglo-Allied, 1962). Dir Peter Ustinov. With Terence Stamp, Peter Ustinov, Robert Ryan, Melvyn Douglas. (123 min, 35mm)
The late, great Ustinov produced, directed, wrote and acted in this adaptation of Melville's allegorical classic. Everyone on board a British Man O' War (circa 1797) loves angelic Billy (Terence Stamp in his screen debut), with the fateful exception of the sadistic master at arms Claggart (Robert Ryan). Emotions inevitably come to a head, leading to a wrenching climax for all concerned.

Wednesday, May 25 (7:00pm)

Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam Experience

In the Year of the Pig (Monday Film Production Co./New Yorker Films, 1968). Dir Emile de Antonio. (97 min, 16mm)
Meet the Press [Nov. 3, 1968] (NBC). Dir Max Schindler. With Richard M. Nixon (guest), Lawrence E. Spivak (moderator), Vermont Royster, Robert Novak, Haynes Johnson, and Herbert Kaplow (panelists). (30 min, 16mm)
Like Michael Moore, Emile de Antonio (1920-1989) was a rumpled and frankly left-leaning partisan nonfiction filmmaker. Unlike Moore, de Antonio was less interested in on-camera confrontations than in combing footage archives for telling clips. His debut film was compiled from kinescopes of TV coverage of the Army-McCarthy hearings; Point of Order! remains the definitive film portrait of Senator Joseph McCarthy's self-immolation. This documentary, reportedly financed by New York society matron whose husband was a prominent attorney specializing in human rights cases, was released in 1969, when the anti-war movement was in full flower. For de Antonio, Pig represented an opportunity to create a document that would discredit the policies and philosophies that enmeshed America in its increasingly futile crusade in Southeast Asia. While In The Year of the Pig features thoughtful and passionate critiques of the war from David Halberstam, Harrison Salisbury, and Daniel Berrigan, it also offers generous footage of what de Antonio would call the war's apologists: politicians (Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon), bureaucrats (John Foster Dulles, Dean Rusk, Henry Cabot Lodge), and generals (Curtis LeMay, William Westmoreland), who were to a man dead certain that history would judge that they and the U.S. were making the world safe for democracy. It's hardly fair and balanced filmmaking, as a reviewer on the Internet Movie Data Base web site discovered, calling In the Year of the Pig "100% Red propaganda" and claiming its lies about the war literally made him sick to his stomach. In the Meet the Press broadcast of November 3, 1968, on the eve of the Presidential election, Republican candidate Richard Nixon discusses President Johnson's temporary halt to bombing in Vietnam. (Nixon was the subject of de Antonio's 1971 documentary, Millhouse: A White Comedy.) Presented by the Veterans History Project, of the Library's American Folklife Center.

Thursday, May 26 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Friday Foster (AIP, 1975). Dir Arthur Marks. With Pam Grier, Yaphet Kotto, Godfrey Cambridge, Eartha Kitt, Scatman Crothers. (88 min, 35mm)
Pam Grier is Friday Foster, an ex-model turned magazine photographer who witnesses a deadly shootout at Los Angeles International Airport. Suspicious connections indicate she has gotten herself in a world of trouble and is in deep with the ongoing investigation. Location shots in Washington, DC, include the Library of Congress, with many flights of fancy in this jet set adventure. A big budget film by blaxploitation standards. Music by Luchi De Jesus.

Friday, May 27 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Happy As the Day Is Long: Music by Harold Arlen. Recorded sound presentation with two film excerpts.
The Pickford Theater celebrates composer Harold Arlen's centennial with a recorded sound presentation of his music from the years 1930 to 1954. Film excerpts from The Songs of Harold Arlen, broadcast on CBS in 1964, and Judy Garland's performance of "The Man That Got Away" from A Star Is Born (1954) will conclude the program, hosted by M/B/RS staffer David Novack.

Fellow composer Alec Wilder wrote of Arlen: "When I discussed song writing with him, Arlen never spoke of hits; he talked only of good songs. My feeling was that he didn't simply equate quality with sales. And it may be that the early songs of his I heard sounded more like those of a man who loved to write and who loved the creative act for its excitement and fulfillment, rather than one who was simply in the song writing business."

Tuesday, May 31 (7:00pm)

Rural America (in person: Laura Kissel)

Cabin Field (2004). Dir Laura Kissel. (30 min, video) copy will be provided by filmmaker
Cabin in the Cotton (First National, 1932). Dir Michael Curtiz. With Richard Barthelmess, Dorothy Jordan, Bette Davis, Hardie Albright. (77 min, 35mm)
The depiction of rural America on film has frequently resided at the extremes. Sometimes it's a cultural and socioeconomic backwater, but other times a bucolic vista of common sense values and homespun virtues. This week we present three programs that touch on these themes, although with more depth than is typical for Hollywood fare. Tonight's feature is Cabin in the Cotton, which comes straight out of the Warner Bros. early 1930s "social consciousness" playbook, tackling the scourge of tenant farming. There's more than a hint of Southern Gothic in the tale, especially the blazing performance of a young Bette Davis in her breakthrough role as the vixen Madge Norwood ("Ah'd let yuh kiss me, but I jes' washed mah hair"). But it's the surprisingly rich portrayal of the tenant "peckerwoods" that's the draw here; there's a sort of honesty dignity to these people that overcomes the condescending pieties with which Hollywood typically imbued these sorts of characters.

South Carolina filmmaker Laura Kissel will join us to screen her award-winning documentary Cabin Field, which traces the history of a mile long agricultural field in south Georgia. What emerges is a portrait of more than just a plot of land, but rather a complex tapestry of social changes and mechanization that forever changed the world portrayed in Cabin in the Cotton.

Wednesday, June 1 (6:30pm)

Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam Experience

84 Charlie MoPic (Charlie Mopic Co., 1989). Dir Patrick Sheane Duncan. With Jonathan Emerson, Nicholas Cascone, Jason Tomlins, Christopher Burgard. (95 min, 35mm)
CBS Reports. The Selling of the Pentagon (CBS, Feb. 23, 1971). Writer/Producer Peter Davis, Reporter Roger Mudd. (60 min, 16mm)
MoPic is slang for Army Motion Picture Unit, and that is the moniker for the central character in this little-seen docudrama. He's a cameraman (Byron Thames) assigned to cover the activities of a unit slogging through the Vietnamese countryside. The film's stylistic conceit is that almost everything we see is through the lens of MoPic's camera. At the center of this drama is the usual war film dynamic between the untested officer (Jonathan Emerson) in charge and the seen-it-all sergeant (Richard Brooks). Writer-director Deane was a Vietnam vet, and the film reflects an authenticity that many bigger-budgeted films about the war lacked. Roger Ebert wrote of 84 Charlie MoPic, "I've never seen a combat movie that seemed this close to actual experience, to the kinds of hard lessons that soldiers are taught by their enemies." CBS's The Selling of the Pentagon, a hard-hitting examination of the Department of Defense's public relations efforts, created a political firestorm after it aired. Supporters found appalling its revelations that taxpayers were financing efforts to "sell" America on bigger and more expensive weapons systems; critics of the show said the Pentagon was only doing its job and that the show's producers were feeding off the negative view of the military fostered by the anti-Vietnam War movement. Producer Peter Davis went on to direct Hearts and Minds (June 8). Presented by the Veterans History Project, of the Library's American Folklife Center.

Thursday, June 2 (7:00pm)

Rural America

Hallelujah (MGM, 1929). Dir King Vidor. With Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney, William E. Fountaine, Harry Gray, Fannie Belle De Night. (109 min, 35mm)
The semi-musical Hallelujah, with its all-black cast and Tennessee and Arkansas locations, was an unusual gamble for the generally high-gloss, studio-bound MGM. What lessened the odds was director King Vidor's offer to defer his salary, alongside a brief vogue for all-black "Southerns" — on Broadway, Rouben Mamoulian had a hit with Porgy; in Hollywood, Fox had put Hearts in Dixie into production. MGM's reluctance to admit that sound films were here to stay forced Vidor to shoot silent location footage in 1928 of the river baptism and swamp murder, and then painstakingly synchronize dialogue. Around intermeshing themes of religion, sensuality, and family stability, he molded a tale of a cotton sharecropper who begins to lose everything — his year's earning, his brother's life, his freedom — by giving into the temptations of a dancehall girl. The passionate conviction of the melodrama, vibrant Irving Berlin music, and resourceful technical experiments made Hallelujah the first indisputable masterpiece of the sound era.

Friday, June 3 (7:00pm)

Rural America

Tender Mercies (Antron Media/Universal, 1982). Dir Bruce Beresford. With Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Ellen Barkin, Betty Buckley. (100 min, 35mm)
Robert Duvall plays a broken, alcoholic country singer redeemed by grace in Tender Mercies, written by Texas bard Horton Foote and capably directed by Aussie Bruce Beresford. The film opens with Duvall literally at the bottom, but his unlikely romance with widow Tess Harper begins his slow rise to redemption. Tender Merciesis one of Foote's more austere works — Duvall's character is a man of precious few words, more comfortable hiding behind a song (all written, incidentally, by Duvall) than expressing himself directly — but his evocation of this dusty patch of east Texas is heartfelt and moving, without even a scintilla of false sentimentality.

Tuesday, June 7 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Who Was That Lady? (Ansark-Sidney/Columbia, 1960). Dir George Sidney. With Tony Curtis, Dean Martin, Janet Leigh, James Whitmore. (115 min, 35mm)
When Ann Wilson (Leigh) catches her chemistry professor husband David (Curtis) kissing one of his students, his best friend, former TV writer Michael Haney (Martin), devises a cover-up - David's really an FBI agent, and he was kissing the girl as part of his mission: she's a Russian spy! The fake ID Haney has made at CBS gets the FBI, the CIA and the Russians involved. Ann is only too eager to support her husband's patriotism, gamely hiding under tables to protect him from "the reds." A hilariously outrageous script and a convincing cast (Janet Leigh steals the show as the naive but heroic wife) make this one a must-see!

Wednesday, June 8 (7:00pm)

Heart of Darkness: The Vietnam Experience

Hearts and Minds (Rainbow Pictures/Warner Bros., 1974). Dir Peter Davis. (108 min, 35mm)
Released five years after Emile de Antonio's more scabrous In the Year of the Pig, Peter Davis's documentary was hardly less partisan, but with an important difference. Like de Antonio, Davis combined news and historical footage with contemporary interviews, but he made a point of interviewing only subjects who had at some point in their lives had been in favor of the war. So, while we get footage of an imperious Walt Rostow lecturing on the history of the Cold War and William Westmoreland making a devastatingly casual observation about the value Orientals place on life, what hit home for many viewers was watching Vietnam vets Daniel Elsberg, Randy Weaver, and Bobby Muller describe the way their hearts and minds changed about the war and their role in it. Davis stacks the deck with familiar news footage: the summary execution of a Vietcong suspect, a little girl stripped naked by napalm running down a road. But he's also sensitive to the divisions the war drove deep into America, when his camera catches a confrontation between a New York City parade of pro-war demonstrators and a fringe crowd of veterans and their sympathizers protesting the government's not making good on promises for benefits. When some of the pro-war types break ranks and attack the protesters, a bewildered and shaken protester asks, "I fought in Vietnam-why are these people so angry with me?" Presented by the Veterans History Project, of the Library's American Folklife Center.

Thursday, June 9 (7:00pm)

Feline Flicks: Cartoon Cats

Gay Purr-ee (UPA/Warner Bros., 1962). Dir Abe Levitow. With voices of Judy Garland, Robert Goulet, Red Buttons. (86 min, 35mm)
Feed the Kitty (Warner Bros., 1952). Dir Chuck Jones. Animation by Ken Harris, Phil Monroe, Lloyd Vaughan, Ben Washam. (7 min, 35mm)
Feline Frame-up (Warner Bros., 1953). Dir Chuck Jones. Animation by Abe Levitow, Richard Thompson. (7 min, 35mm)
Kiss Me Cat (Warner Bros., 1953). Dir Chuck Jones. Animation by Lloyd Vaughan, Ben Washam. (7min, 35mm)
Cat Feud (Warner Bros., 1958). Dir Chuck Jones. Animation by Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, Ben Washam, Richard Thompson, Keith Darling. (7min, 35mm)
Wizard of Oz composer Harold Arlen reunites with Judy Garland in Gay Purr-ee, an animated musical about Mewsette, a beautiful French cat who gets into trouble when she trades the quiet countryside for the excitement of Paris. Writer Chuck Jones mixes contemporary animation with impressionism to recreate the setting of early 20th century Paris, a place where a visit to the Mewlon Rouge affords the opportunity for a glimpse of Toulouse-Lautrec and the famous Cat-Cat Dancers. The feature will be preceded by four Chuck Jones shorts starring Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot.

Friday, June 10 (7:00pm)

Feline Flicks: Cartoon Cats

The Aristocats (Disney, 1970). Dir Wolfgang Reitherman. With Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers. (78 min, 35mm, Technicolor).
The Cat Concerto (MGM, 1947). Dir William Hanna and Joseph Barbara. Animation Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge and Irven Spence. (7 min, 35mm Technicolor).
The Cat's Bah (WB, 1955). Dir Chuck Jones. Animation Ben Washam and Lloyd Vaughan.
Top Cat (Paramount, 1960) Dir Seymour Kneitel. Animation I. Klein, Morey Reden, Jack Ehret, and George Cannata. (6 min, 35mm color).
A Parisian mother cat and her three kittens find themselves stranded in the countryside by an evil butler after he learns that he is next in line, following the felines, to inherit his mistress' fortune. His plans to permanently remove his kitty competition are foiled by O'Malley, a friendly alley cat who assists the cats on their journey back to Paris. Along the road, the group is joined by an array of animal characters that sing musical numbers and provide laughs. Three cartoon shorts will precede the feature.

Tuesday, June 14 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

Porgy and Bess (Goldwyn/Columbia, 1959). Dir Otto Preminger. Music by George Gershwin. Lyrics by Ira Gershwin & DuBose Heyward. With Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr., Pearl Bailey, Diahann Carroll. (138 min, 35mm)
Samuel Goldwyn's last produced film, this four time Oscar winning adaptation of the Gershwin/Heyward folk opera is finally being shown on the silver screen after decades on the shelf. Hallelujah! to seeing and hearing again Sidney Poitier (Robert McFerrin), Dorothy Dandridge (Adele Addison), Diahann Carroll (Louise Jean Norman), Ruth Attaway (Inez Matthews), along with actors who supplied their own singing: Sammy Davis, Jr., Pearl Bailey, and Brock Peters. The setting is Catfish Row, a black ghetto in Charleston, South Carolina, at the turn of the century. The characters sing their hearts out as they live their lives with feelings of love, searching for dreams and finding hard times, including a friendly dice game which ends with a murder, heroin addiction and distribution, a life threatening hurricane, and white supremacist police. But out of all this turmoil comes a beautiful and magnificent score, with standards like "Summertime", "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin", "Bess, You is My Woman Now" and "It Ain't Necessarily So.”

Thursday, June 16 (7:00pm)

Feline Flicks: Conjuring Cats

Bell, Book and Candle (Phoenix/Columbia, 1958). Dir Richard Quine. With James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs, Elsa Lanchester. (104 min, 35mm)
Krazy Kat. Potions of Love (King Features Syndicate, 1963). Dir Geoff Pike. (6 min, 16mm)
Fresh from their success in Vertigo, James Stewart and Kim Novak star in this adaptation of John Van Druten's bewitching stage comedy. This is a playful story of urban witches residing in Greenwich Village, relishing the beatnik atmosphere of the Zodiac Club. That is, all except Gillian (Novak), who is rather bored with the whole scene. Instead, she casts a spell on an unwitting book publisher she's taken a fancy to. Her bongo-playing brother is not keen on the idea, knowing that a witch loses her powers if she falls in love. Much mischief ensues with wacky antics from Hermione Gingold, Jack Lemmon, Elsa Lanchester and Ernie Kovacs. Pyewacket is the mesmerizing Siamese cat whose blue eyes pop out of the screen in lush Technicolor. The sets are full of dreamy 50's modern decor and fabulous outfits, the film was nominated for Academy Awards in Art Direction and Costume Design. Shown with Potions of Love, from a late series of Krazy Kat cartoons based on George Herriman's classic comic strip.

Friday, June 17 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Crimson Pirate (Norma/Warner Bros., 1952). Dir Robert Siodmak. With Burt Lancaster, Nick Cravat, Eva Bartok, Torin Thatcher. (104 min, 35mm)
A sly send-up of the swashbuckler that has been dazzling movie fans for over half a century. This homage to the classic seaworthy action picture explodes onscreen with Fairbanksian vigor and acrobatics. A career high point for superstar Burt Lancaster, who is tanned, toothsome, and completely irresistible in the leading role. The lustrous Technicolor cinematography is by Otto Heller.

Tuesday, June 21 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

The Music Man (Warner Bros., 1962). Dir Morton Da Costa. Music & Lyrics by Meredith Willson. With Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold, Ronny Howard. (150 min, 35mm)
Warner Bros. mogul Jack Warner knew what he was doing when he chose Morton DaCosta to direct the film version of his hit Broadway production. Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant were among those who refused the leading role, leaving Robert Preston, who played it on Broadway, to take up the part he was born to star in. Meredith Willson (The Unsinkable Molly Brown) wrote the book, music and lyrics of this all-American classic. Where else can you in one evening, see a traincar full of traveling salesmen rapping about their wares and woes; hear the Buffalo Bills, one of the best barbershop quartets in the country; watch an enormous colorful claymation of a military band performing during the film's opening credits; be preached to about the sin of playing pool; watch a crowd of love swooning high school students dancing (choreography by Onna White) and singing in a public library; and learn how to play Beethoven's "Minuet in G" on a band instrument of your choice using the "Think System" without having a single bit of musical talent? With the Library's widescreen (Technorama), Technicolor print, this musical is not to be missed this summer or any other time.

Thursday, June 23 (7:00pm)

Feline Flicks: Extraterrestrial Cats

The Cat From Outer Space (Disney, 1978). Dir Norman Tokar. With Ken Berry, Sandy Duncan, Roddy McDowell. (104 min, 35mm, Technicolor).
Jumpin' Jupiter (WB, 1955). Dir Chuck Jones. Animation Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, Ben Washam, and Richard Thompson.
Catnap Pluto (Disney, 1947). Dir Charles Nichols. Animation Phil Duncan, Jerry Hathcock, George Nicholas and Jack Boyd. Jake, a cat from another planet, finds himself stranded on earth after the Pentagon impounds his broken down spaceship. The Abyssinian invader enlists the help of Ken Berry and Sandy Duncan - who else - to help him return home. Jessie White and M*A*S*H favorites Harry Morgan and McLean Stevenson round out the cast. Cartoons featuring Sylvester and Marvin the Martian, and Pluto and Figaro will precede the feature.

Friday, June 24 (7:00pm)

Feline Flicks: Mystery Cats

The Shadow of the Cat (B.H.P. Films/Universal, 1961). Dir John Gilling. With Andre Morell, Barbara Shelley, William Lucas, Freda Jackson. (79 min, 35mm)
The Cat's Meow (National Geographic Society, 1977). (10 min, 16mm)
The Haunted Mouse (MGM, 1965). Dir Chuck Jones. Animation by Ben Washam, Ken Harris, Richard Thompson, Tom Ray, Don Towsley. (7 min, 35mm)
When her beloved owner is murdered, a pet cat takes revenge on the rich woman's greedy relatives. British director John Gilling, the man behind Hammer Films cult classics The Plague of the Zombies (1966) and The Mummy's Shroud (1967), brings us this tale of pet turned vigilante. Gilling also penned Trog (1970), Joan Crawford's famous last film. Preceded by two shorts, a National Geographic documentary on - you guessed it - cats, and a Tom & Jerry cartoon classic.

Tuesday, June 28 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Pirates of Penzance (Universal, 1983). Dir Wilford Leach. With Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt, Rex Smith, Angela Lansbury. A Gilbert & Sullivan operetta based on the Joseph Papp New York Shakespeare Festival Broadway stage productions. (112 min, 35mm)

Instead of hiring operatic performers, American producer Joseph Papp cast contemporary rock/pop singers (Ronstadt, Smith) and young actors (Klein, Azito) in this Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Papp's colorful and campy Broadway production lends itself well to the widescreen (Panavision). George Rose, as Major-General Stanley (seen at D.C.'s National Theater during the show's traveling tour), does a death defying version of the patter song "I am the very model of a modern Major-General" which has to be seen to be believed. Be sure to watch for Smith's imitation of Elvis Presley during one of his arias, and a salute to the Broadway musical A chorus line in the film's final minutes.

Thursday, June 30 (7:00pm)

Feline Flicks: Scaredy Cats

Eye of the Cat (Universal, 1969). Dir David Lowell Rich. With Michael Sarrazin, Gayle Hunnicutt, Eleanor Parker. (102 min, 35mm, Technicolor).
Boxing Cats (1898) With Cats (1 min, 35mm, b/w). Lucky Kitten (AM&B, 1903) With Kathryn Osterman (1 min, 16mm, b/w).
Claws for Alarm (WB, 1955) Dir Chuck Jones. Animation Ken Harris, Abe Levitow, Ben Washam, Richard Thompson, and Lloyd Vaughan. (7 min, 35mm Technicolor)
Hitchcock's Psycho scripter Joseph Stefano is behind this deadly tale of a wayward nephew and his beautiful murderess girlfriend who plot to kill the man's dying aunt once she agrees to leave him her fortune. The current heirs, a menagerie of housecats, have other plans. San Francisco provides a beautiful and scenic backdrop to this seedy story of fear, betrayal, revenge, incest and death. Three shorts, two early silents and a Sylvester cartoon, will precede tonight's feature.

Friday, July 1 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

A Girl Named Tamiko (Hal Wallis/Paramount, 1962). Dir John Sturges. With Laurence Harvey, France Nuyen, Martha Hyer, Gary Merrill. (110 min, 35mm)
Laurence Harvey plays a disillusioned Eurasian hoping to come to America, attracted to two women who represent his hopes for the future and mixed heritage: American embassy official Martha Hyer and high born France Nuyen (in the title role). Filmed in Japan, the role of society, tradition, and modernity is examined in this seldom-seen film.

Tuesday, July 5 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Christmas Holiday (Universal, 1944). Dir Robert Siodmak. With Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, Gale Sondergaard, Gladys George. (92 min, 35mm)
An American film noir with Richard Wagner on the soundtrack, Christmas Holiday is a melodramatic misfire containing enough cinematic flourishes to compensate any film enthusiast. Told mainly in flashbacks (the script is by Herman J. Mankiewicz, who wrote Citizen Kane), the story concerns a "hostess" in a "roadhouse" who is suffering from guilty feelings imposed upon her by her mother-in-law from hell, a familiar movie device. We go to a movie like this one to enjoy the spectacular camera movement that concludes with Ms. Durbin singing Frank Loesser's "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year." A thorough explication of this movie can be found in James Harvey's book Movie Love in the Fifties.

Thursday, July 7 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

John Paul Jones (John Paul Jones Productions/Warner Bros., 1959). Dir John Farrow. With Robert Stack, Marisa Pavan, Erin O’Brien. (128 min, 35mm)
Filmed in Spain in Technicolor, this biopic of the famous naval hero begins with the Revolutionary War and closes with Jones’s death in France in 1792. Produced by historical epic specialist Samuel Bronston (El Cid, The Fall of the Roman Empire), the film features wonderful cameos by Charles Coburn (as Benjamin Franklin), Bette Davis (as Empress Catherine of Russia), and Jean-Pierre Aumont (as King Louis XVI).

Friday, July 8 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Happy Anniversary (Fields/UA, 1959). Dir David Miller. With David Niven, Mitzi Gaynor, Carl Reiner, Loring Smith. (81 min, 35mm)
The Dick Van Dyke Show. Who Stole My Watch? (Calvada/T&L/Viacom, 1965). Dir Jerry Paris. With Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Larry Matthews. (25 min, 3/4" video)
Attorney David Niven has gone to great lengths to protect his family from the dangerous influence of the "boob tube." Niven's efforts, along with his well-ordered life, go out the window when his father in law buys the family a TV console. This hilarious farce was somewhat controversial in its day because of references to "pre-marital relations." Shown with an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show in which Rob alienates his friends when he wonders which of his party guests stole his new watch.

Tuesday, July 12 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Picture of Dorian Gray (MGM, 1945). Dir Albert Lewin. With George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, Angela Lansbury. (112 min, 16mm)
Eerie adaption of Oscar Wilde's novel about a young man who wishes away his soul to retain his youth and beauty. His debauched behavior, nefarious deeds and age become marked upon his portrait instead. Beautifully shot in black and white, it is interspersed with four shocking images of Ivan Albright's lurid painting. Subtle directing leaves the suggested horrors and depravities to work upon the audience's imagination. The exaggerated Victorian mannerisms, costumes and sets are offset by a curious and affecting detachment by the actors. However, Angela Lansbury is very fetching and she sings "Little Yellow Bird" ever so sweetly. Dorian Gray earned Two Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Lansbury) and B&W Art Direction, and an Academy Award for Best B&W Cinematography.

Thursday, July 14 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

Alice Chops the Suey (Winkler, 1925). Animated by Walt Disney. (6 min, 16mm)
The Rifleman.The Queue (Four Star-Sussex/ABC, 1961). Dir James Clavell. With Chuck Connors, Peter Whitney, Johnny Crawford, Paul Fix. (30 min, 16mm)
How the West Was Won. China Girl (MGM/ABC, 1979). Dir Joseph Pevney. With Keye Luke, Beulah Quo, Soon Teck Oh, James Arness, Fionnula Flanagan. (100 min, 16mm)
A succession of films reflecting the changing screen treatment of Asian images over a half-century, beginning with casual Chinatown tomfoolery in a cartoon, a half-hour series television episode guest starring Victor Sen Yung, and a two hour anthology drama on the impact of Asian immigration in the old West on both ethnic traditions and the dominant Anglo culture. In China Girl, Rosalind Chao stars as a woman who is raped aboard her immigrant ship and finds her father determined to kill the resulting child.

Friday, July 15 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Lonesome Cowboys (Warhol/Sherpix, 1968). Dir Andy Warhol. With Joe Dallesandro, Julian Burroughs, Taylor Mead, Viva, Francis Francine. (109 min, 16mm)
Imagine for a moment the New York underground circa the late 60's presented as a western shot in Arizona and you start to comprehend this film. The film makes an attempt to deconstruct westerns, mainly Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar. Here, a roving gang of cowboys, supposedly brothers, ride into a seemingly deserted town and meet Viva (who is a symbol of both the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene). Viva would like to save their souls through a series of punishments, but they treat her with nothing but contempt. Meanwhile, the law of the town attempts to get the gang to leave but is generally dismissed because they are discovered to be "corruptible cross-dressers". Edited by Warhol while he was recuperating from the gunshot wounds inflicted by Valerie Solanas on June 3, 1968, Lonesome Cowboys went on to win Best Film at the San Francisco Film Festival. Because of the filming, Andy Warhol was placed under surveillance by the FBI on February 23, 1968, in response to a complaint by the public. In August, 1969, Cowboys was seized by the authorities during its third week at a cinema in Atlanta, Georgia, and the manager of the cinema was arrested. A rare screening of a rare film.

Tuesday, July 19 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

Let Us Live (Columbia, 1939). Dir John Brahm. With Maureen O'Sullivan, Henry Fonda, Ralph Bellamy, Alan Baxter. (71 min, 35mm)
Homicide Bureau (Columbia, 1939). Dir C. C. Coleman, Jr. With Bruce Cabot, Rita Hayworth, Marc Lawrence, Richard Fiske. (59 min, 35mm)
This seldom shown melodrama is an indictment of the criminal-justice system. Playing a cab driver who is falsely accused of murder, Henry Fonda (1905-1982) adds another doomed member of the proletariat to his portrayals of an ex-con in You Only Live Once (1937) and Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940). The stunning cinematography is by Lucien Ballard, best known for his camera work in The Wild Bunch (1969). Shown with Homicide Bureau, an action-filled programmer with the reliable support of Marc Lawrence, a movie menace with one of the longest rap sheets in film history. Bruce Cabot, who reached his pinnacle in King Kong (1933) tries, in vain, to avert his eyes from the miscast movie starlet who later on put the blame on Mame - the peerless Rita.

Thursday, July 21 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Rhapsody of the Rails (Fox, 1933). (9 min, 35mm)
The Phantom Express (Banner Productions, 1925). Dir John G. Adolfi. With Ethel Shannon, George Periolat, David Butler, Frankie Darro. (68 min, 16mm)
John Lane was at the throttle of The Phantom Express when it crashed head-on into a westbound train. He has been distraught ever since. Jack Warren, the substitute engineer on a small railroad, falls in love with Lane's daughter Nora and takes over as engineer on the express. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy, one of Nora's rejected suitors, pursues her and then storms off when she rejects him for Warren. Will this love triangle lead to another tragic wreck? Preserved by the American Film Institute. Shown with Rhapsody of the Rails, an early sound documentary from the Magic Carpet of Movietone series.

Friday, July 22 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Remember My Name (Lion's Gate/Columbia, 1978). Dir Alan Rudolph. With Geraldine Chaplin, Anthony Perkins, Moses Gunn, Jeff Goldblum. (94 min, 35mm)

Tuesday, July 26 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry Charlie

Chan Carries On [trailer] (Fox, 1931) With Warner Oland. (3 min, 35mm)
Charlie Chan in Honolulu [trailer] (20th Century-Fox, 19371) With Sidney Toler. (2 min., 35mm)
Mr. Moto Takes a Chance [trailer] (20th Century-Fox, 1938) With Peter Lorre. (4 min., 35mm)
Judge Dee in The Monastery Murders (ABC Circle Films, 1974). Dir Jeremy Paul Kagan. With Khigh Dhiegh, Mako, Soon-Teck Oh, Irene Tsu, James Hong, Keye Luke. (97 min, 35mm)
Based on the novel The Haunted Monastery, one of the 16 Judge Dee books by Robert Van Gulick, centering on the investigations of a district magistrate in T'ang Dynasty China. Judge Dee in The Monastery Murders was a TV movie of the week and pilot for an unproduced series. It was adapted for the screen by writer-director Nicholas Meyer as one of his first film projects. As befits the story, the cast is entirely Asian, the first such Hollywood television film. This contrasts with the only other version of the Gulick books, a 1969 British mini-series with English actors playing the roles in "yellow face." To provide historical context, the evening begins with several trailers from the 1930s Hollywood Asian detective series, including the Pickford premier of the Library's restoration of the trailer of Charlie Chan Carries On, the first of the series to star Warner Oland. The trailer is all that survives of this now-lost Chan film, which marked Oland's switch from starring in a series on the villainous Fu Manchu to the sagacious, just Chinese immigrant detective of the Hawaiian police.

Tuesday, August 2 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Mask of Dimitrios (Warner Bros., 1944). Dir Jean Negulesco. With Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Zachary Scott, Faye Emerson. (95 min, 35mm)
When a corpse is washed ashore in Istanbul and identified as the body of a notorious criminal, a series of dizzying plot twists is set into motion, taking the international set of characters from Turkey to Athens, then Bulgaria, and finally Paris. Another delightful pairing of Greenstreet and Lorre (their fifth after The Maltese Falcon), The Mask of Dimitrios is a first-rate noir thriller based on Eric Ambler's 1939 novel of the same name. The film also marked Zachary Scott's motion picture debut.

Thursday, August 4 (7:00pm)

Alain Delon in Hollywood

Once a Thief (CIPRA/MGM, 1964). Dir Ralph Nelson. With Alain Delon, Ann-Margret, Van Heflin, Jack Palance. (106 min, 35mm)
Known mostly for his European films, Delon's attempts to achieve Hollywood success go largely overlooked. To commemorate his 70th birthday in 2005, we're giving some of those films a reappraisal. In Once a Thief, Delon portrays an ex-con who tries to go straight, but has a cop bent on revenge trailing him and a brother that wants him to do one more crime job. Upset that his wife, played by Ann-Margaret, has to work in a strip club to support them, Delon thinks another heist may be his only choice.

Friday, August 5 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Easy Living (Paramount, 1937). Dir Mitchell Leisen. With Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold, Ray Milland, Luis Alberni. (87 min, 35mm)
Young Ironsides (Roach/MGM, 1932). Dir James Parrott. With Charley Chase, Muriel Evans, Clarence Wilson. (20 min, 35mm)
With her native intelligence and reserve, Jean Arthur hardly seems to fit the madcap profile required of Hollywood's funny ladies. Yet she was a definitive screwball heroine, as she so triumphantly proves in this elegantly wild comedy scripted by Preston Sturges. Besieged by airborne fur coats, a hostile Automat, and apoplectic New Yorkers, Arthur charms us with her commonsensical aplomb and delivers plenty of belly laughs. Preceding the feature, Charley Chase, titan of the two-reeler, crashes a beauty contest and invents a new kind of beachwear in Young Ironsides.

Tuesday, August 9 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

French Connection II (20th Century-Fox, 1975). Dir John Frankenheimer. With Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Bernard Fresson, Jean Pierre Castaldi. (119 min, 35mm)
The triumphant return of the gritty and visceral Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) as he follows his lead into Europe (one may wonder how the NYPD can afford this) to track Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey), the smuggler in the largest heroin bust in American history. Not a critical success when released, it remains a classic of the good cop-bad cop genre. Music by Don Ellis.

Thursday, August 11 (7:00pm)

Alain Delon in Hollywood

Lost Command (Red Lion/Columbia, 1966). Dir Mark Robson. With Anthony Quinn, Alain Delon, George Segal, Michele Morgan. (126 min., 35mm)
A group of paratroopers in the French army are followed from their capture in Viet Nam to their struggles against guerrillas in Algeria. Anthony Quinn plays a peasant who has worked his way up the military ladder, while Delon plays his cultured assistant who becomes disgusted with the realities of war and torture. This is one of the few Hollywood films to tackle the situation of a colonial power trying to retain its colony against massive insurgency.

Friday, August 12 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Four Flies on Grey Velvet (Seda/Paramount, 1971). Dir Dario Argento. With Mimsy Farmer, Michael Brandon, Bud Spencer, Jean-Pierre Marielle. (104 min, 35mm)
When the flies start to crawl, so will your flesh... By checking the retina of a victim's eye, they can sometimes discover a retained image of the very last thing that the victim saw. In this case, it's an image of... four flies! This is of much worry to hippie drummer Roberto Tobias (Michael Brandon), who is confused as to whether he has accidentally murdered someone. This and a mysterious blackmailer who wears a very creepy doll's facemask and soon becomes homicidal, soon drives Roberto to a near breakdown. His young wife, played by Mimsy Farmer (More), tries to put the pieces together to this mystery. This picture has become the holy grail for fans of Dario Argento (Suspiria) and has never been available on VHS, DVD or 16mm home movie market.

Tuesday, August 16 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Baby Face Nelson (Fryman-ZS/UA, 1957). Dir Don Siegel. With Mickey Rooney, Carolyn Jones, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Leo Gordon. (85 min, 35mm)
This superior example of the late 1950s cycle of gangster biopics is also one of director Don Siegel's best studies of psychotic individuals prior to his seminal 1971 film Dirty Harry. The bleak and violent drama is well served by Rooney's terrific portrayal of hoodlum Lester Gillis, who ends up taking over the Dillinger gang after its leader is shot by the police.

Thursday, August 18 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Middle of the Night (Sudan/Columbia, 1959). Dir Delbert Mann. With Kim Novak, Fredric March, Glenda Farrell, Albert Dekker, Martin Balsam, Lee Grant. (118 min, 35mm)
Originally this piece was a one-hour 1954 TV drama, also directed by Mann, starring Eva Marie Saint and E. G. Marshall. Following that it was a long running 1956 play with Edward G. Robinson and Gena Rowlands. Middle of the Night was the official 1959 United States entry at the Cannes Film Festival. Great N.Y.C. locations circa 1958.

Friday, August 19 (7:00pm)

Alain Delon in Hollywood

Scorpio (Scimitar/UA, 1972). Dir Michael Winner. With Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Paul Scofield, Gayle Hunnicutt. (114 min, 35mm)
When Scorpio wants you...there is no place to hide! Burt Lancaster plays a CIA agent, Cross, who is targeted for death by his superiors, supposedly for leaking secrets to the Soviets. Delon plays Scorpio, the professional assassin who must kill Cross, but doubts his guilt. The two play a deadly cat-and-mouse game in this Cold War thriller.

Tuesday, August 23 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Me and the Colonel (Court/Goetz/Columbia, 1958). Dir Peter Glenville. With Danny Kaye, Curt Jurgens, Nicole Maurey, Francoise Rosay, Akim Tamiroff. (109 min, 35mm)
It’s 1940. Two Poles, a Jewish refugee (Kaye) and an anti-Semitic Colonel (Jurgens), must leave Paris as German forces approach. Here begins an unlikely, tragicomic pairing. Adapted from Franz Werfel’s play Jacobowksy and the Colonel.

Thursday, August 25 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Ipcress File (Steven/Lowndes/Universal, 1965). Dir Sidney J. Furie. With Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd. (107 min, 35mm)

As Len Deighton's "anti-James Bond" spy Harry Palmer, Michael Caine is the essence of 60's cool. In this first and best of three films, near-sighted agent Palmer is assigned to rescue a kidnapped scientist, and uncovers a murderous double-agent in the process. Made with many of the Bond production team, Ipcress File (along with Alfie) is the Cold War classic that shot Caine to superstardom.

Friday, August 26 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Hellzapoppin' (Mayfair/Universal, 1941). Dir H.C. Potter. With Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye, Hugh Herbert, Mischa Auer, Shemp Howard. (83 min, 35mm)
"Any similarity between Hellzapoppin' and a motion picture is purely coincidental." (Olsen & Johnson). The great and undeservedly neglected team of Olsen and Johnson come to Hollywood to make a film of their hit Broadway show, “Hellzapoppin',” and all you-know-what breaks loose as the boys feud with the director, writer and even the projectionist to get their brand of comic anarchy on the screen. In the middle of it all, Slim and Slam, joined by Rex Stewart, start a jam and out pops living legend Frankie Manning to lead Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in the greatest swing dance routine ever committed to film.

Tuesday, August 30 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Chimes at Midnight = Falstaff (IFE/Alpine/Peppercorn-Wormser, 1966). Dir Orson Welles. With Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford, John Gielgud. (115 min, 35mm)

Thursday, September 1 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Last Angry Man (Kohlmar/Columbia, 1959). Dir Daniel Mann. With Paul Muni, David Wayne, Betsy Palmer, Luther Adler, Joby Baker. (109 min, 35mm)
Dr. Sam Abelman (Muni) is an aging doctor whose life of service inspires his journalist nephew to produce a television documentary about him. A touching drama, and an intriguing look at the film industry’s ambivalence with the new medium of television. The argument is clearly won by James Wong Howe’s b&w photography, a must-see on the big screen. Paul Muni was nominated for Best Actor for his performance as Dr. Sam Abelman.

Friday, September 2 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Cruising (Lorimar/UA, 1980). Dir William Friedkin. With Al Pacino, Joe Spinell, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen, Powers Booth. (106 min, 35mm)
Burning down theaters and rampant protests occurred when this film was initially shown. Al Pacino stars as a newly permed rookie cop (at 40 years old), Steve Burns. After a serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts, Steve is sent deep undercover onto the streets as decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this society. He barely sees his girlfriend Nancy, and he starts to question himself and his sexuality.

Current Film Schedule: September - December 2005

Thursday, September 1 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Last Angry Man (Kohlmar/Columbia, 1959). Dir Daniel Mann. With Paul Muni, David Wayne, Betsy Palmer, Luther Adler, Joby Baker. (109 min, 35mm)
Dr. Sam Abelman (Muni) is an aging doctor whose life of service inspires his journalist nephew to produce a television documentary about him. A touching drama, and an intriguing look at the film industry’s ambivalence with the new medium of television. The argument is clearly won by James Wong Howe’s b&w photography, a must-see on the big screen. Paul Muni was nominated for Best Actor for his performance as Dr. Sam Abelman.

Friday, September 2 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Cruising (Lorimar/UA, 1980). Dir William Friedkin. With Al Pacino, Joe Spinell, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen, Powers Booth. (106 min, 35mm)
Burning down theaters and rampant protests occurred when this film was initially shown. Al Pacino stars as a newly permed rookie cop (at 40 years old), Steve Burns. After a serial killer brutally slays and dismembers several gay men in New York's S&M and leather districts, Steve is sent deep undercover onto the streets as decoy for the murderer. Working almost completely isolated from his department, he has to learn and practice the complex rules and signals of this society. He barely sees his girlfriend Nancy, and he starts to question himself and his sexuality.

Tuesday, September 13 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Hammett (Zoetrope Studios for Orion, 1982). Dir Wim Wenders. Wrt Ross Thomas, Dennis O’Flaherty, Thomas Pope, based on the novel by Joe Gores. With Frederic Forrest, Peter Boyle, Marilu Henner, Roy Kinnear. (98 min, 35mm)
JoJo in the Stars (Studio AKA, 2003). Dir Marc Craste. (13 min, DVD)

In Kings of the Road and The American Friend, Wim Wenders, one of the bright lights of the German new wave, expressed his love of American cinema from a respectful distance. The buddy/road movie and film noir became fresh seen through an outsider's eyes. For his first American feature, Wenders tried a more conventional Hollywood narrative, with decidedly mixed results. Based on a novel by Joe Gores, Hammett imagines how detective-turned crime writer Dashiell Hammett (Frederic Forrest) was driven to invent the modern hard-boiled detective story. This ill-fated production bled money for years, forcing Francis Ford Coppola to give up Zoetrope Studios, a production facility that once housed Hollywood General Studios (former workplace of Mary Pickford, Mae West, and Gary Cooper among others), and which was Coppola’s dream of reviving the old Hollywood studio system. If Zoetrope Studios left behind two flawed works (the other being Coppola’s own underrated One from the Heart), this meager output is visually stunning, thanks to cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now). A limited theatrical (and subsequent DVD) reissue of One from the Heart in 2003 gave audiences the chance to see it again, and now the Pickford Theater is proud to give you a rare chance to see Hammett, beautiful warts and all, on the big screen. Shown with Jojo in the Stars, which uses computer generated animation to create an atmosphere at once bleak and gorgeous.

Thursday, September 15 (7:00pm)

“Miniature Masterpieces of the Talking-Singing Screen": Selected Vitaphone Shorts, 1926-1938

The word "Vitaphone" originally described a "sound-on-disc" technology developed by Western Electric and licensed by Warner Bros. The Vitaphone camera was linked directly to a turntable that recorded sound onto a blank transcription disc. This system generated a great deal of noise while in operation, so the entire apparatus was housed in a soundproof booth. The projection of a Vitaphone film required the very precise synchronization of disc and film. Each reel of film had a "start" frame, and the projectionist would line up that frame in the projector’s gate. The disc would be cued on the attached turntable by placing the stylus at the first groove, marked with an arrow etched into the record. With the flip of a switch, the film and disc would accelerate to their appropriate playing speed. It wasn't until 1931 that this sound-on-disc process was supplanted by film onto which sound could be directly recorded.

Warner Bros. ultimately appropriated "Vitaphone" as the name for their series of short subjects (and more than a few features) released from 1926 to 1969. The Library's Motion Picture Conservation Center in Dayton, Ohio, has preserved hundreds of these shorts (and all the 35mm prints we screen tonight)—many in conjunction with the UCLA Film and Television Archive—from the original camera negatives and, where necessary, transcription discs. They are, as a whole, a fascinating slice of American entertainment, especially vaudeville, which accounts for most of this evening's program. What we present is a representative sampling, hardly enough to do justice to the amazing variety of musical performances, dramatic vignettes, and bizarre novelty acts in this fabulous collection. Please note that the running order (and perhaps a title or two) is subject to change.

Giovanni Martinelli (1926, Production #198, 5 min). The Italian tenor sings "Vesti la Giubba" from “I Pagliacci.” This short was included in the first program that introduced Vitaphone in August 1926.
The Night Court (1927, Production # 2138, 10 min). A nightclub revue comes to the halls of justice. Starring William Demarest, more beloved from his numerous roles in Preston Sturges movies and as Uncle Charley on My Three Sons.
The Ingenues, "The Band Beautiful" (1928, Production # 2573, 10 min). Hot jazz from an "all-girl" orchestra. Is that Jack Lemmon in the back row?
The Foy Family in "Chips Off the Old Block" (1928, Production # 2580, 10 min). Six of the Seven Little Foys (brother Bryan was busy directing the film) perform favorite hits.
Baby Rose Marie, The Child Wonder (1929, Production # 809, 9 min). You loved her on The Dick Van Dyke Show, now see her as a precocious four year old.
The Opry House (1929, Production # 834, 8 min). Featuring the Mound City Blue Blowers and some of the best suitcase-beating and comb-blowing you've ever heard.
Jack Osterman in "Talking It Over" (1929, Production # 950, 9 min). "Double talking" monologist and his comedy patter.
Ruth Etting in "Broadway's Like That" (1929, Production # 960, 10 min). While it's nice to see and hear popular singer Etting, this short is more interesting for the debut screen appearances by Humphrey Bogart and Joan Blondell.
Yamekraw (1930, Production # 1009, 10 min). Beautiful dramatization of symphonic tone poem by James P. Johnson set in a Savannah, Georgia, settlement.
Paree Paree (1934, Production # 1752-53, 20 min). A condensation of the Cole Porter musical “Fifty Million Frenchmen,” starring a young Bob Hope.
Floyd Gibbons "The Headline Hunter" in "Your True Adventures: Hit and Run" (1938, Production # B43, 10 min). Hard charging radio reporter Floyd Gibbons hosted several installments of this series.
The Happy Hottentots (1930, Production # 4393, 10 min). We end with a staff favorite, an utterly peculiar short starring Joe Frisco and Bobby Callahan, described by Bruce Goldstein of the Film Forum as "Vaudeville meets Pirandello."

Friday, September 16 (7:00pm)

Harold Lloyd Tribute

Girl Shy (Harold Lloyd Corp./Pathé Exchange, 1924). Dir Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor. Wrt Sam Taylor, Ted Wilde, Tim Whelan, Thomas J. Grey. With Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Richard Daniels, Carlton Griffin. (65 min, 16mm, reissue with music track)
Haunted Spooks (Rolin/Pathé Exchange, 1920). Dir Hal Roach, Alf Goulding. Wrt H. M. Walker. With Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Wallace Howe, Sunshine Sammy Morrison. (20 min, 35mm)
Clubs Are Trumps (Rolin/Pathé Exchange, 1917). With Harold Lloyd, Snub Pollard. (10 min, 35mm)

Best remembered for his daredevil comic stunts, Harold Lloyd’s work is often overshadowed by that of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, but he made more films than either and was one of the most popular stars of his day. Lloyd saw the comic potential of putting an ordinary young man in extraordinary circumstances. In Girl Shy, a painfully shy young man who is afraid of women writes a book in his spare time called “The Secret of Making Love.” He falls for a lovely woman, but sabotages the relationship when he feels unworthy of her love. When he discovers she is marrying another, he must make a desperate race to stop her! In Haunted Spooks, Lloyd marries a girl he doesn’t know so that she will inherit a house, but the house turns out to be haunted. A rare Hal Roach short film, Clubs Are Trumps, shows Lloyd in his early days as "Lonesome Luke," a persona which was clearly imitative of Charlie Chaplin.

Tuesday, September 20 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

The Great Race (Patricia-Jalem-Reynard Co./Warner Bros., 1965). Dir Blake Edwards. Wrt Arthur Ross, from an original story by Edwards & Ross. With Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn, Vivian Vance. (160 min, 35mm)

With the opening screen dedication “For Mr. Stan and Mr. Hardy,” Blake Edwards’ epic-length comedy never stops with jokes, gags, farce, slapstick, tomfoolery and pure family fun. Totaling over $12 million dollars to make, the movie is Edwards’ homage to early entertainment, specifically magic lantern shows and silent films. Based on an actual 1908 event, the plot involves the rivalry between the good guys and the bad guys, taking the audience on a automobile race covering 22,000 miles from New York City to Paris. As the villain, Jack Lemmon (acting in dual roles) and his dopey assistant, Peter Falk, shine the brightest in the cast. The handsome, noble, squeaky clean hero portrayed by Tony Curtis, is played off by Natalie Wood as a militant suffragette newspaper writer covering the contest; she has a total of twenty-five costume changes. Several supporting actors contribute their comedic talents to the film: Keenan Wynn, Dorothy Provine, Arthur O’Connell, Vivian Vance, Larry Storch, Ross Martin, and Marvin Kaplan. Nominated for five Academy Awards, it won for Best Sound Effects. Henry Mancini wrote the musical score and teamed with lyricist Johnny Mercer for the two songs used in the film. Would you believe a sing-along to “The Sweetheart Tree” with Natalie Wood accompanying herself on the guitar? Shot in Technicolor and Panavision not only in California, but also in Vienna, Salzburg, and Paris where most of the film’s budget was used on lavish colorful sets - a big plus for the audience’s delight. The pie throwing fight with actual hundreds of gooey crème and custard pies is a scene not to be missed.

Thursday, September 22 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

The Scarlet Pumpernickel (Warner Bros. Cartoons, 1948). Dir Charles Jones. (8 min, laserdisc)
The Count of Monte Cristo. The De Berry Affair (Vision Productions, 1955). With George Dolenz, Fortunio Bonanova, Nick Cravat. (30 min, 16mm)
The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo (Les Films J.-J. Vital/Les Productions Rene Modiano/Gaumont/Cineriz/Royal Film/Warner Bros., 1961). Dir Claude Autant-Lara. Wrt Jean Halain, from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. With Louis Jourdan, Yvonne Furneaux, Pierre Mondy, Franco Silva. (132 min, 35mm)

A second evening saluting the avenger created by Alexandre Dumas includes two more exceptionally rare versions. The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo was the first big budget version of the Dumas’s classic novel since the 1934 version (shown previously at LC), which in turn had spawned a number of sequels. The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo was also the first version to be presented in color and wide screen. In contrast with The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo, which was produced in France, the television series The Count of Monte Cristo was a joint US/UK production, with some episodes shot in each country, and provides fresh exploits for Edmond Dantes. Opening the evening is the satire, The Scarlet Pumpernickel, a Looney Toon combining many swashbuckler genre motifs, as penned by "Daffy Dumas Duck."

Friday, September 23 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Looker (The Ladd Co./Warner Bros., 1981). Dir & Wrt Michael Crichton. With Albert Finney, James Coburn, Susan Dey, Leigh Taylor-Young. (94 min, 35mm)

Television commercials can be harmful to one’s health: beautiful young actresses are turning up dead, and it’s up to Albert Finney to unravel the mystery. As is often the case with Crichton, Technology is the Enemy!

Monday, September 26 (6:30pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Harakiri = Seppuku (Shochiku, 1962). Dir Masaki Kobayashi. Wrt Shinobu Hashimoto, based on a story by Chohei Tsubaki. With Tatsuya Nakadai, Shima Iwashita, Akira Ishihama, Yoshio Inaba, Rentaro Mikuni. (134 min, 35mm print courtesy of Janus Films)

A classical composer whose works have been performed in virtually all of the world’s major concert halls, Toru Takemitsu also wrote more than ninety film scores. From his first film in 1956, to his death in 1996, he was inextricably linked to a generation of directors who have forcefully challenged both the established norms of Japanese society and the traditional modes of filmmaking.

Takemitsu’s second collaboration with director Masaki Kobayasahi, Harakiri is a revenge tale set in 17th century Japan and told in flashbacks by a masterless samurai as he prepares to commit ritual suicide. The film won the Film Music Award at the Mainichi Film Festival and is a key work in Takemitsu’s oeuvre. The Mainichi jury noted: “This score marks the beginning of a new era in film music. It was a magnificent idea to use the biwa [a four-stringed lute], an instrument that seemed to be quietly fading out of our cultural heritage, throughout the film. But this itself was less striking than the still greater – not to say frightening – imagination displayed in the bold originality of the biwa compositions themselves.”

Tuesday, September 27 (7:00pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Woman in the Dunes = Suna no onna (Teshigahara Productions, 1964). Dir Hiroshi Teshigahara. Wrt Kobo Abe, based on his novel. With Eiji Okada, Kyoko Kishida. (123 min, 35mm print courtesy of Janus Films)

The best known of the ten collaborations between Takemitsu and director Hiroshi Teshigahara, Woman in the Dunes tells the story of a young scientist who is entrapped by a woman living in a hut at the bottom of a large sandpit. When released in the West, this screen adaptation of Kobo Abe’s existentialist fable strongly resonated among the youth audiences of the 1960s, and the film eventually achieved cult status which has continued to this day. Takemitsu’s score, played by a string orchestra, is widely considered a masterpiece of modern music in its own right.

Wednesday, September 28 (6:30pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Kwaidan = Kaidan (Ninjin Club/Bungei for Toho, 1964). Dir Masaki Kobayashi. Wrt Yoko Mizuki, based on stories by Lafcadio Hearn. With Rentaro Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Keiko Kishi, Tatsuya Nakadai, Mariko Okada, Kazuo Nakamura, Ganemon Nakamura, Noboru Nakaya. (164 min, 35mm)

Arguably Masaki Kobayashi’s greatest film, Kwaidan was based on four Japanese ghost stories by Anglo-Greek writer Lafcadio Hearn, who lived in Japan from 1891 until his death in 1904. Originally released in the U.S. without the second episode (The Woman of the Snow), the film is presented here in its complete form. Takemitsu is credited on screen with “sound and music,” highlighting the fact that the entire soundtrack consists of electronically manipulated sounds, whether of musical instruments, human voices, or less common contrivances (e.g. the hollow clink of stones used to produce a spine-tingling gust of wind). The composer was allowed an unusually long period of four months to record and edit the score, producing one of the milestones in the history of film music.

Thursday, September 29 (7:00pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Empire of Passion = Ai no borei (Oshima Productions/Argos Films, 1978). Dir Nagisa Oshima. Wrt Oshima, based on the novel by Itoko Nakamura. With Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Tatsuya Fuji, Takahiro Tamura, Takuzo Kawatani. (106 min, 35mm)

In a village in Japan in 1895, a young man recently released from military service embarks on a passionate affair with a married peasant woman. The two murder the woman’s husband, whose ghost returns to haunt them. Nagisa Oshima’s follow up to his highly controversial In the Realm of the Senses (1976), Empire of Passion was filmed in Japan and processed and edited in Paris. Takemitsu’s score perfectly embodies the director’s view of the main characters as being driven towards destruction not only by their own hunger and love, but also by the complicity of the nature that surrounds them.

Friday, September 30 (7:00pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Antonio Gaudi (Teshigahara Productions, 1984). Dir Hiroshi Teshigahara. (72 min, 35mm print courtesy of Janus Films)
Music for the Movies: Toru Takemitsu (Alternate Current/Les Films d’Ici/La Sept-ARTE/NHK, 1994). Dir Charlotte Zwerin. (58 min, U-matic video)

A documentary on the great Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi, Teshigahara's film is an enchanting visual poem without dialogue (except for a brief interview with Gaudi's assistant), and accompanied by Takemitsu's stunning score and sound effects. The score consists of four Catalonian folk pieces which have been electronically altered or combined with other sounds. Preceded by filmmaker Charlotte Zwerin's behind-the-scenes look at the celebrated composer, focusing on his film work and intercutting excerpts from his films with interviews with Takemitsu and many of the Japanese directors he worked with (including Masaki Kobayashi, Nagisa Oshima, Masahiro Shinoda and Hiroshi Teshigahara).

Monday, October 3 (7:00pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Fire Festival = Himatsuri (Production Gunro/Seibu Saison Group, 1985). Dir Mitsuo Yanagimachi. Wrt Kenji Nakagami. With Kinya Kitaoji, Kiwako Taichi, Ryota Nakamoto, Norihei Miki. (120 min, 35mm print courtesy of Kino International)

Inspired by a 1980 newspaper report about a man who killed his entire family and then committed suicide, Mitsuo Yanagimachi’s visually impressive film focuses on the gradual degradation of traditional rural life in Japan in the face of advancing modern sensibilities. The Fire Festival of the title is an annual event which takes place in Kumano, the center of Shintoism, Japan’s national religion. In addition to warding off evil spirits, the ceremony, believed to go back two thousand years, also serves as a rite of passage to male adulthood. Takemitsu’s score, which historian and filmmaker Donald Richie considers the composer’s “finest,” won the Japanese Academy Award in 1985.

Tuesday, October 4 (6:30pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Ran (Greenwich Film/Herald Ace/Nippon Herald Films, 1985). Dir Akira Kurosawa. Wrt Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Masato Ide, loosely based on William Shakespeare’s play King Lear. With Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu, Mieko Harada. (161 min, 35mm)

With its story of an aging warlord witnessing the destruction of his clan from within, Ran in many ways reflects Akira Kurosawa’s own trials and tribulations of the time. In the late 1970s, spurned by the Japanese film industry and unable to secure funding at home, Kurosawa was embraced by his U.S. admirers George Lucas and Francis Coppola, who helped jumpstart his career by securing financial backing for Kagemusha (1980). For his next film, Ran, financing was provided by Frenchmen Serge Silberman, best known for producing the later films of Luis Bunuel. Toru Takemitsu’s haunting score masterfully underlines the Shakespearean tragedy of a powerful dynasty’s descent into chaos. The first battle, a seven-minute-long carnage without any source sounds and accompanied only by Takemitsu’s musical cue (modeled on Mahler’s First Symphony), surely rates as one of the most memorable action sequences in cinema history.

Wednesday, October 5 (6:30pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Onimaru = Arashigaoka (Seiyu/Mediactuel, 1988). Dir Yoshishige (“Kiju”) Yoshida. Wrt Yoshida, based on the novel by Emily Brontë. With Yusaku Matsuda, Yuko Tanaka, Rentaro Mikuni, Tatsuro Nadaka, Eri Ishida. (143 min, 35mm)

A highly stylized adaptation of “Wuthering Heights,” with medieval Japan standing in for mid-19th century England and Gotamba near Mt. Fuji and Kyushu island replacing the Yorkshire moors, the film was co-financed by a Japanese department store chain and the Swiss company Mediactuel, and released in the West as Onimaru (the name of the main character). Focusing on the eroticism and violence of the original work, director Yoshida, one of the luminaries of the Japanese New Wave of the 1960s, instructs his actors to perform at an almost feverish pitch and foregoes traditional narrative continuity for a jigsaw puzzle of seemingly random scenes.

Thursday, October 6 (7:00pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

Black Rain = Kuroi ame (Imamura Productions/Hayashibara Group/Tohokushinsha Film Co., 1988). Dir Shohei Imamura. Wrt Imamura, Toshiro Ishido, based on the novel by Masuji Ibuse. With Yoshiko Tanaka, Kazuo Kitamura, Etsuko Ichihara, Shoichi Ozawa. (117 min, 35mm)

Filmed in black & white in a small mountain village in Okayama Prefecture overlooking the Inland Sea (Setonaikai), this somber story depicts five years (1945-1950) in the life of a family of Hiroshima survivors. It is based on a 1966 novel which is often referred to as one the most accomplished attempts by Japanese artists to come to terms with the experience and legacy of the atomic bomb. Takemitsu’s score superbly complements Shohei Imamura’s highly disciplined, meticulous observation of detail which slowly moves the film to its emotionally wrenching finale.

Friday, October 7 (7:00pm)

Mirror of Tree, Mirror of Field: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Toru Takemitsu (1920-1996)

The Assassin = Ansatsu (Shochiku, 1964). Dir Masahiro Shinoda. Wrt Nobuo Yamada, from an original story by Ryotaro Shiba. With Tetsuro Tamba, Shima Iwashita, Isao Kimura, Eitaro Ozawa, Eiji Okada. (104 min, 35mm print courtesy of The Japan Foundation)

In 1863, a rebellious samurai openly opposed to the Tokugawa Shogunate is hired to squelch an anti-government movement in Kyoto. Recording the score with only two musicians, a pianist and a shakuhachi (wooden flute) player, Takemitsu was clearly trying to address the challenges of combining Japanese and Western musical traditions, further developed in his seminal 1967 concert piece “November Steps.” Masahiro Shinoda: “For me, as the director, The Assassin has a special place in cinema history, but for Takemitsu as composer, the music for Harakiri and The Assassin has the added significance of being a turning-point in his musical development.”

Tuesday, October 11 (7:00pm)

Behavioral Psychology Documentaries

Conquest. Mother Love (CBS, 1959). (26 min, 16mm)
Behavior Modification--Teaching Language to Psychotic Children (Meredith Corp., 1969). (43 min, 16mm)
Obedience (Stanley Milgram, 1965). (45 min, 16mm)

Three controversial documents from the field of American behavioral psychology prove both fascinating and disturbing from a number of angles. In Mother Love, Harry Harlow shows that, surprisingly, a baby lab monkey forcibly separated from its mother and exposed to a series of stress inducing trials will grow up to be a neurotic. Behavior Modification presents Dr. Ivar Lovaas’s work at UCLA with severely autistic children which employs dubious aversion techniques of a severity that went beyond even those documented in the film. But it is Stanley Milgram’s explorations in Obedience that remains the most persuasive of this selection, making a convincing argument about the necessity to not only question but sometimes to actively defy authority.

Thursday, October 13 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Where the Sidewalk Ends (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950). Dir Otto Preminger. Wrt Ben Hecht, Victor Trivas, Frank P. Rosenberg, Robert E. Kent, based on the novel by William L. Stuart. With Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill, Bert Freed, Karl Malden. (95 min, 35mm)

Chapter 17 of Otto Preminger's autobiography is titled "Life in the Sausage Factory." Otto has written: "At Fox... all of us knew that [studio head] Darryl Zanuck had no empathy for women in film." In the same chapter, Preminger writes dismissively about a series of films he made between 1945 and 1950, neglecting to mention some of them by title. He remembers to lump together the names of several of his colleagues during this period, without singling out individual contributions. (In his chapter on Laura, for instance, he neglects to mention composer David Raksin, whose music packs a terrific psychological wallop in one of the film's key scenes.)

Tonight's film is one of the unmentionables in the Preminger ottobiography. The Library has recently acquired an exceptionally good print of Sidewalk. Some of us see this film as one of the better film noirs, and certainly one of Dana Andrews' finest performances.

Friday, October 14 (7:00pm)

Dance, Dance, Dance: Image, Movement, Abstraction (in person: Robert Haller, Anthology Film Archives)

Davy Jones' Locker (American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., 1900). Frederick Armitage. (0.35 min at 18 fps, 16mm)
Neptune’s Daughters (American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., 1900). Frederick Armitage. (0.37 min at 18 fps, 16mm)
A Nymph of the Waves (American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., 1900). Frederick Armitage. (0.34 min at 18 fps, 16mm)
Looney Lens: Pas de deux (Fox Movietone, 1924). Al Brick. (4.05 min at 20 fps, 35mm)
Hands: The Life and Loves of the Gentler Sex = Hände: Das Leben und die Liebe eines Zärtlichen Geschlechts (1928). Stella Simon & Miklos Bandy. (13.09 min, 35mm)
Miss Tilly Losch in Her Dance of the Hands (ca. 1930-1933). Norman Bel Geddes. (7.04 min at 18 fps, 16mm)
Joie de vivre (1934). Anthony Gross & Hector Hoppin. (11.2 min, 35mm)
An Optical Poem (MGM, 1938). Oskar Fischinger. (6.82 min, 35mm)
Wonder Bar [Excerpt]. "Don’t Say Goodnight" (First National, 1934). Busby Berkeley. (10.42 min, 35mm)
Synchromy No. 4: Esape (1937). Mary Ellen Bute & Ted Nemeth. (4 min, 35mm)
Abstract Experiments in Kodachrome (ca. 1940s). Slavko Vorkapich. (2.74 min, 35mm)
NBC Valentine’s Day Greeting (1939). Norman McLaren. (1.84 min, 35mm)
Stars and Stripes (1940). Norman McLaren. (2.88 min, 35mm)
Tarantella (1940). Mary Ellen Bute. (4 min, 35mm)
Introspection (1941/1946). Sara Kathryn Arledge. (7 min, 35mm)

Dance and film have shared the aspiration to creatively sculpt motion and time. Some of the first films ever made featured Annabelle's skirt dance, hand-painted in glowing colors. Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis' innovations found their way into Diana the Huntress (1916) and The Soul of the Cypress (1920). Highly cinematic renditions of dance evolved in Stella Simon's Hände (1928), Hector Hoppin's Joie de vivre (1934), and Busby Berkeley's "Don't Say Goodnight" from Wonder Bar (1934). In counterpoint, ciné-dance experiments by Ralph Steiner, Mary Ellen Bute, Douglass Crockwell, Slavko Vorkapich, and Norman McLaren dispensed with actual dancers in favor of color, shape, line, and form choreographed into abstract light-play.

This program is part of the Unseen Cinema series of early American avant-garde film (1893-1941), a collaborative restoration and preservation project co-sponsored by Anthology Film Archives, New York, and Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt (Germany). The films listed above will be released on DVD as Unseen Cinema: Viva La Dance, part of a seven-DVD anthology of pre-World War II American avant-garde cinema

Monday, October 17 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

The Gene Krupa Story (Philip A. Waxman Pictures/Columbia, 1959). Dir Don Weis. Wrt Orin Jannings. With Sal Mineo, Susan Kohner, James Darren, Susan Oliver, Yvonne Craig. (99 min, 35mm)

A feature biography of the popular swing jazz drummer best known for his work with Benny Goodman, his own early integrated big band, and a high profile marijuana bust. Stars Sal Mineo, whose drumming on screen is ghosted by Gene Krupa himself. Shelly Manne (as Dave Tough) and Red Nichols have featured roles, in addition to appearances by Clyde Hurley, Al Morgan and Bobby Troup. Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berrigan, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey and Frankie Trumbauer are all represented onscreen by actors.

Tuesday, October 18 (7:00pm)

Corman and Fonda’s Groovy Movies

The Wild Angels (American International Pictures, 1966). Dir Roger Corman. Wrt Charles Griffith. With Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern, Lou Procopio. (90 min, 35mm)

Roger Corman, sick of making Edgar Allen Poe pics, decided to dive into the dark side of young society, and he took Henry Fonda's son with him. The Wild Angels is based on graphic tales told to Corman by members of the Hell's Angels (who were also hired as extras on the film, even though most of them had warrants out for their arrest during shooting). Fonda plays Heavenly Blue, leader of the Wild Angels, a gang fond of rape, bloodshed, drug abuse and Nazi attire. Sinatra plays his girlfriend, Monkey, and Dern plays the aptly named Loser. Disclaimer: the programmer of this film does not condone rape, Nazi symbols, drug abuse, motorcycle riding, violence, or rebellion against "The Man.” The next Corman and Fonda Groovy Movie will be shown on Tuesday, November 29th.

Thursday, October 20 (7:00pm)

Pickford Restored (with live piano accompaniment by Ray Brubacher)

The Hoodlum (Mary Pickford Co./First National, 1919). Dir Sidney A. Franklin. Based on the novel by Julie Mathilde Lippman. With Mary Pickford, Ralph Lewis, Kenneth Harlan, Melvin Messenger, Dwight Crittenden. (92 min at 20 fps, 35mm print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive)
Mary Pickford Company Screen Test for Unproduced "Faust” (ca. 1922). Dir Ernst Lubitsch (?). (12 mins, 35mm)
Behind the Scenes of Little Annie Rooney (ca. 1924). (1 min, 35mm)
Mary Pickford’s Cousin’s Wedding (1925). (5 mins, 35mm)

Spoiled rich girl Amy Burke (Pickford) leaves her wealthy grandfather’s New York mansion to go live with her sociologist father in a slum apartment on the East Side. She quickly adjusts to life in the crowded tenement, spending her days shooting craps and rough housing with neighborhood boys. Amy is eventually torn between her past and present life when she learns her grandfather has a negative connection to her boyfriend. Keep an eye out for comedian Max Davidson who appears in a small scene-stealing role. Preceding the film are screen tests from Pickford’ s unproduced Faust, on the set footage from Little Annie Rooney, and home movie material from her cousin’s wedding.

Friday, October 21 (7:00)

Pickford Restored

Coquette [Silent version] (Pickford Corp./United Artists, 1929). Dir Sam Taylor. Wrt John Grey, Allen McNeil, based on the play by George Abbott & Anne P. Bridgers. With Mary Pickford, John Mack Brown, Matt Moore, John Sainpolis, William Janney. (75 min, 35mm)
Mary Pickford Footage from Screen Snapshots (1920s-1930s). (12 mins, 35mm)

The Library of Congress’ rarely screened restoration of the silent version of Mary Pickford’s first sound feature. Silent versions of talking pictures were common in the late 1920s and early 1930s as the movie industry made the transition from silent to sound film. The silent versions have been largely forgotten and are almost never shown publicly. With the availability of the sound version of Coquette on television and video, the Pickford Theater has chosen the unique silent print for our screening. Pickford, who won the best actress Oscar for her performance here, stars with her ex-brother-in-law Matt Moore and cowboy hero Johnny Mack Brown. A compilation of newsreel footage of Pickford from the 1920s and 30s will precede the feature.

Monday, October 24 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

The Connection (The Connection Co./Allen-Hodgdon Productions, 1961). Dir Shirley Clarke. Wrt Jack Gelber. With William Redfield, Warren Finnerty, Garry Goodrow, Jerome Raphel, James Anderson. (110 min, DVD)
One Night with Blue Note [Excerpt] (1985) (10 min, DVD)

Shirley Clarke’s prize winning controversial film is based on a play by Jack Gelber about drug addicts waiting for their connection. Shot in cinema-vérité style, the cast includes notable appearances and performances by saxophonist Jackie McLean and pianist Freddie Redd. Shown with an excerpt from One Night with Blue Note featuring Jackie McLean from the historic reunion concert at New York’s Town Hall marking the revival of the Blue Note record label.

Tuesday, October 25 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

A Thousand Clowns (Harrell/United Artists, 1965). Dir Fred Coe. Wrt Herb Gardner, based on his play. With Jason Robards, Jr., Barbara Harris, Martin Balsam, Barry Gordon, Gene Saks. (118 min, 35mm)

The film version of the 1962 hit by Herb Gardner (winner of the 1963 Tony for best play) focuses on the lives of Manhattan residents uncle and nephew Murray (Jason Robards) and Nick Burns (Barry Gordon). Recreating his Broadway role as Murray, Jason Robards, living in a Manhattan high rise, does his best to instill in the 12 year-old Nick the pleasures of a life unfettered by rules, relationships and, most of all, work. When NYC child welfare board enters the picture, Murray must ponder the cost of growing into the mainstream and the loss of soul.

Thursday, October 27 (7:00pm)

Pickford Restored

Secrets (Pickford Corp./United Artists, 1933). Dir Frank Borzage. Wrt Frances Marion, based on the play by Rudolf Besier & May Edginton. With Mary Pickford, Leslie Howard, C. Aubrey Smith, Blanche Friderici, Doris Lloyd. (84 min, 35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive)
Forever Yours (United Artists, 1930). (4 min, 35mm)

Pickford’s final sound film was a remake of a 1924 silent drama that starred actress Norma Talmadge. It was her second attempt at filming the story of a married couple living in the unsettled American West. The first production, Forever Yours directed by Marshall Neilan, was shelved halfway through shooting in 1930 because Pickford was unhappy with the results. Two years later she hired director Borzage and writer Marion, who had worked on Talmadge’s production, to start the project from scratch. Though many consider it her best sound film, it was a box office failure and convinced the actress to retire permanently from the screen. A surviving fragment from the never released Forever Yours will precede the feature.

Friday, October 28 (7:00pm)

Victorian England

Footsteps in the Fog (Film Locations/Columbia, 1955). Dir Arthur Lubin. Wrt Dorothy Reid, Lenore Coffee, Arthur Pierson, based on a story by W. W. Jacobs. With Stewart Granger, Jean Simmons, Bill Travers, Ronald Squire. (90 min, 35mm)
Are Waitresses Safe? (Sennett/Paramount, 1923). Dir Victor Heerman. With Louise Fazenda, Ben Turpin, Pepper, Teddy. (18 min, 35mm)

A murderous husband finds himself being blackmailed by his devious scullery maid. Real life husband and wife Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons play cat-and-mouse games in this wickedly delicious Victorian thriller. Dorothy Davenport and Lenore Coffee, two industry veterans who had worked in Hollywood since the silent era, wrote the suspenseful screenplay. The feature will be preceded by a two-reel comedy starring Pepper the cat and Teddy the dog.

Monday, October 31 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

Sweet Love, Bitter (Film 2 Associates, 1966). Dir Herbert Danska. Wrt Danska, Lewis Jacobs. With Dick Gregory, Don Murray, Diane Varsi, Robert Hooks, Jeri Archer. (92 min, DVD)
Jazz at the Philharmonic (1950). Dir Gjon Mili. (20 min, DVD)

Director Herbert Danska’s film adaptation of a John A. Williams novel, "Night Song," about interracial romance and a jazz saxophonist, Richie "Eagle" Coles, a character based loosely on Charlie "Bird" Parker and played by Dick Gregory. With music by Mal Waldron and Charles McPherson. Shown with director Gjon Mili’s unfinished follow up to his groundbreaking film Jammin’ The Blues. Features Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Bill Harris, Lester Young, Flip Phillips, Hank Jones, Ray Brown, Buddy Rich and Ella Fitzgerald in a series of startling, lip synced studio performances.

Tuesday, November 1 (7:00pm)

Opera on Screen

The Light of Faith (Hope Hampton Productions/Associated First National, 1922). Dir Clarence L. Brown. Wrt William Dudley Pelley, Clarence L. Brown, based on Pelley’s book. With Hope Hampton, E. K. Lincoln, Lon Chaney, Theresa Maxwell Conover. (ca. 32 min, 35 mm)

Hope Hampton was one of the most colorful, and eccentric "personalities" of the 20th century: from humble beginnings, she starred in a series of movies, married Jules Brulatour (of film stock fame), sang leading operatic roles both in the US and in Europe, and was later immortalized as "the Duchess of Park Lane", a leading member of New York's social set, stunning the press at each opening night of the Met season with yet another outrageous gown.

A Lady's Morals
(MGM, 1930). Dir Sidney Franklin. Wrt Hans Kraly, Claudine West, from a story by Dorothy Farnum. With Grace Moore, Reginald Denny, Wallace Beery, Jobyna Howland. (87 min, 35mm)

In her first screen role, Met star Grace Moore plays another famous singer, Jenny Lind "the Swedish Nightingale." Includes excerpts from Bellini's "Norma" and Gaetano Donizetti's "La fille du régiment."

Thursday, November 3 (7:00pm)

Victorian England

The Wrong Box (Salamander Film Productions/Columbia, 1966). Dir Bryan Forbes. Wrt Larry Gelbart, Burt Shevelove, suggested by the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson & Lloyd Osborne. With Ralph Richardson, John Mills, Michael Caine, Wilfred Lawson, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Nanette Newman, Peter Sellers. (107 min, 35mm)

Hilarious black comedy based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson of two elderly, feuding brothers, who are bound together by a tontine, a joint financial arrangement whereby the last surviving member inherits a fortune. The players are the thing in this exemplar of British humor, which pairs great performers from two generations.

Friday, November 4 (7:00pm)

Victorian England

The Innocents (Twentieth Century-Fox/Achilles Film Productions, 1961). Dir. Jack Clayton. Wrt Truman Capote, William Archibald, John Mortimer, from the novel by Henry James. With Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave. (100 min, 35mm)

Based on Henry James’ novel “The Turn of the Screw,” Deborah Kerr gives one of her finest performances as a minister’s daughter who becomes governess to the two children of Bly House. Although everything appears idyllic at first, she soon believes that apparitions of a man and woman are trying to take possession of the children. She endeavors to rescue the children, but do the ghosts really exist or are they stemming from her own anxiety?

Monday, November 7 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

The Cool World (Wiseman Film Productions, 1963). Dir Shirley Clarke. Wrt Shirley Clarke, Carl Lee, from the novel by Warren Miller and play by Miller & Robert Rossen. With Hampton Clanton, Yolanda Rodriguez, Carl Lee, Georgia Burke, Bostic Felton. (104 min, 16mm)

Shirley Clarke’s film portrays with unflinching realism the pressures that confront a group of young black teenagers in Harlem. Features a jazz score by Mal Waldron and Dizzy Gillespie.

Tuesday, November 8 (7:00pm)

Victorian England

The Magic Box (Festival Film Productions, 1951). Dir John Boulting. Wrt Eric Ambler, based on the book by Ray Allister. With Robert Donat, Margaret Johnston, Maria Schell, Laurence Olivier, Eric Portman, Richard Attenborough. (107 min, 35mm)

The Magic Box was the British film industry’s contribution to the 1951 Festival of Britain. It is a romanticized, if inaccurate portrait of photographer/inventor/motion picture pioneer William Freise-Greene. The Who’s Who cast of Britain’s top ranking film actors were recruited for little more than walk-ons and cameo parts, many without dialog. Robert Donat’s portrayal of Freise-Greene is sensitive and moving: “It is a performance rich in human qualities, getting the right emotional pitch during the moments of triumph, and reflecting the despair at times of failure and frustration.” Eric Ambler’s screenplay catches all the major triumphs and tragedies in Freise-Greene’s life. Jack Cardiff’s Technicolor cinematography is, very simply, gorgeous.

Thursday, November 10 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Just a Gigolo (Leguan Film/United Artists, 1978). Dir David Hemmings. Wrt Ennio De Concini, Joshua Sinclair. With David Bowie, Sydne Rome, Kim Novak, Marlene Dietrich, David Hemmings, Maria Schell. (108 min, 35mm)

David Bowie once described this troubled international production by late actor/director David Hemmings as "all my 31 Elvis Presley movies rolled into one." Bowie plays a drifting young Prussian who, returning to Berlin after World War I, ends up hiring himself out as a "gigolo" to a succession of wealthy widows. Dietrich, making her final film appearance, sings the title song.

Monday, November 14 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

Salsa (Salsa, Inc./Fania Records, 1976). Dir Jerry Masucci & Leon Gast. (80 min, 35mm)

Documentary and performance film centering around the historic 1973 Yankee Stadium concert by the Fania All Stars featuring Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Mongo Santamaria, Ricardo Ray, Bobby Cruz, Billy Cobham, Manu Dibango, and various stars of the Latin music scene in New York and Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, November 15 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Dead Reckoning (Columbia, 1947). Dir John Cromwell. Wrt Oliver H. P. Garrett, Steve Fisher, Allen Rivkin, from an original story by Gerald Adams & Sidney Biddell. With Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky, Charles Cane. (100 min, 35mm)

Paramount billed Lizabeth Scott as “The Threat” with her cool, blonde looks and distinctive, husky voice, which invariably invited comparison to Bacall. The contrast is rendered unfair when one considers that aside from these few traits, the similarities end. Scott stands on her own as a screen siren icon whose unique persona sadly never gained a quality vehicle, but whose presence is nonetheless revered in B circles. This film rests on the laurels of finer noir pictures, albeit with familiar characters and plot contorted into ever increasing twists. The dialogue is wordy, the message clearly misogynistic and Freud would have a field day. But there is undeniable fun in its opulent sets and style, bits of quirk and wit, and Bogart delivers his trademark charm.

Thursday, November 17 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Serpico (Artists Entertainment Complex/Dino De Laurentiis/Paramount, 1973). Dir Sidney Lumet. Wrt Waldo Salt, Norman Wexler, based on the book by Peter Maas. With Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe, Biff McGuire. (129 min, 35mm)

Based on true events involving the testimony of police officer Frank Serpico in 1970, which electrified the Knapp Commission investigating the New York City Police Department by claiming there were as many cops taking payoffs as there were crooks. The film, shot on location with a gritty emphasis on documentary-style realism, conveys a city in decay both literally and morally, and the cops and criminals are almost interchangeable. Coming directly on the heels of the Watergate scandal, Serpico's true story of bureaucratic depravity helped launch the film's popularity. It was a hit with both critics and audiences and received Best Actor and Director nominations at the Oscars.

Friday, November 18 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

To Be or Not to Be (Brooksfilms/Twentieth Century-Fox, 1983). Dir Alan Johnson. Wrt Thomas Meehan, Ronny Graham. With Mel Brooks, (Anne Bancroft), Charles Durning, Tim Matheson, Jose Ferrer. (108 min, 35mm)

Hollywood lost one of its great leading ladies when Anne Bancroft passed away on June 6. “If any of you are grieving,” husband Mel Brooks joked at her memorial service, “keep it to yourself!” Let’s respect Mel’s wishes and pay tribute to wife Anne’s distinguished career with this pleasant remake of Ernst Lubitsch’s 1942 comedy. Question: why To Be or Not To Be, which critics find far inferior to the original and is certainly not considered to be one of the actress’ more memorable films? Answer: when I worked as a projectionist in West Los Angeles during the 1990’s, it was not uncommon for me to observe Anne Bancroft and Mel Brooks (often accompanied by Carl and Estelle Reiner) on a weekend date at the movies, sharing popcorn, laughing, and seemingly reveling in each other’s company. Indeed, “despite the fact that it was described as a match of opposites, her marriage to Mel Brooks, who she wed in 1964, was regarded as one of the most enduring between Hollywood celebrities” (IMDB obituary), a fact obvious to me up in the projection booth many years ago. Thus, I don’t think Mrs. Brooks will mind if I choose to remember her singing and dancing and joking and falling in love onscreen with her husband of 41 years… And besides, shouldn’t singing “Sweet Georgia Brown” in Polish be regarded as one of her greatest cinematic feats? – David March, Pickford Projectionist

Monday, November 21 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

Harlem Variety Revue [Part 1] (Pathé Telefilms, 1955-1956). (120 min, DVD)

The first four episodes of the all black rhythm and blues variety television show featuring Duke Ellington, Nat "King" Cole, Dinah Washington, Count Basie, Amos Milburn, Joe Turner, Mantan Moreland, and others.

Tuesday, November 22 (6:30pm)

National Film Registry

Dangerous Assignment. The Paris Sewer Story (Don W. Sharpe/NBC, 1952). Dir Bill Karn. With Brian Donlevy. (30 min, 16mm)
Fabian of Scotland Yard. Bombs in Piccadilly (Antony Beauchamp Productions, 1955). With Bruce Seaton, Robert Fabian. (30 min, 16mm)
The President Vanishes (Walter Wanger Productions/Paramount, 1935). Dir William A. Wellman. Wrt Carey Wilson, Cedric Worth, Lynn Starling, based on the novel by Rex Stout. With Edward Arnold, Paul Kelly, Andy Devine, Sidney Blackmer, Arthur Byron. (83 min, 35mm)

Lawlessness threatens at home and abroad, and governments and their agents swing into action in tonight’s thrillers. Dangerous Assignment brought the radio series with Brian Donlevy to the television screen, starring as a government investigator dispatched on perilous cases. For contrast, the British TV series Fabian of Scotland Yard is based on the files of the former Superintendent of Detectives at Scotland Yard. The rarely screened President Vanishes is one of a series of films from early in the 1930s showing the American constitutional system as menaced by conspiracies and Fascist tendencies. Indeed, upon release The President Vanishes was banned in the Germany and Italy. The movie was based on a novel by Rex Stout, but credited to "anonymous."

Monday, November 28 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

Harlem Variety Revue [Part 2] (Pathé Telefilms, 1955-1956). (120 min, DVD)

The last four episodes of the all black rhythm and blues variety revue television show featuring The Clovers, Cab Calloway, Ruth Brown, Nipsey Russell, Lionel Hampton, Dinah Washington, Herb Jeffries, Sarah Vaughan and others.

Tuesday, November 29 (7:00pm)

Corman and Fonda’s Groovy Movies

The Trip (American International Pictures, 1967). Dir Roger Corman. Wrt Jack Nicholson. With Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper. (83 min, 35mm)

After the controversial success of The Wild Angels, Corman was interested in a follow-up, but did not want to direct another motorcycle film. Instead, he chose LSD as his counterculture topic. Jack Nicholson, described by Fonda as a skilled writer with "a working knowledge of drugs," wrote the screenplay for Corman. Fonda signed on for the lead again; this time playing a TV commercial director whose marriage is dissolving. His good pal John (played by Bruce Dern) introduces him to the world of LSD through Max (Dennis Hopper). The audience is subjected to a 1967 low-budget acid trip for the remainder of the film, inspired partially by Corman's own experiments with the drug. One reviewer warns, "All you are likely to take away from the picture is a painful case of eye-strain and perhaps a detached retina."

Thursday, December 1 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Kings Row (Warner Bros., 1942). Dir Sam Wood. Wrt Casey Robinson, based on the novel by Henry Bellamann. With Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan, Betty Field, Charles Coburn, Claude Rains. (130 min, 35mm)

A touchstone film of the small-town genre, Kings Row showcases the stark difference between image and reality, revealing all manner of dark evil secrets underneath a beautiful, glossy surface. In a lovely opening, a wagon passes idyllic scenes and a sign saying: "Kings Row--A Good Town/A Good Clean Town/A Good Place to Live In/And a Good Place to Raise Your Children." But soon we learn all is not well here: one doctor (Claude Rains) has no patients and his wife lives upstairs, while another doctor (Charles Coburn, brilliantly cast against type) has sadistic tendencies and a quick scalpel. And the malevolence has only begun. Perhaps most memorable about Kings Row, aside from the deliriously melodramatic plot, are the production design of William Cameron Menzies, underrated Ronald Reagan's finest performance ("Where's the Rest of Me?") and a superb Erich Wolfgang Korngold score.

Kings Row also offers a fascinating glimpse into the workings of the Production Code, which from 1934 on regulated what studios put on the screen. Joseph Breen, production code director, rejected the first script of Kings Row, citing several issues including the nature of Cassie's illness, Drake's libertine behavior, and a mercy killing. Breen even urged that the picture not be made: “To attempt to translate such a story to the screen, even though it be re-written to conform to the provisions of the Production Code is, in our judgement, a very questionable undertaking from the standpoint of the good and welfare of this industry. Such a production may well be a definite disservice to the motion picture industry for, no matter how well the screenplay is done, the fact that it stems from so thoroughly questionable a novel is likely to bring down upon the industry, as a whole, the condemnation of decent people everywhere.” Pickford patrons: Consider yourself warned! For those interested, Rudy Behlmer's invaluable “Inside Warner Bros: 1935-51” reprints many of the letters exchanged by the studio and Mr. Breen over Kings Row, Warners unsuccessful attempts to cast Ida Lupino in the film, etc.

Friday, December 2 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

In a Lonely Place (Santana/Columbia, 1950). Dir Nicholas Ray. Wrt Andrew Solt, Edmund H. North, based on the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. With Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid. (94 min, 35mm)

In the guise of film noir, a gripping psychological drama is revealed. Dixon Steele is a disillusioned screenwriter, full of demons and sporting a violent temper. He is also the prime suspect in the murder of a hat-check girl. An alluring neighbor offers him an alibi and a romance ensues. This film concentrates not so much on solving the murder as studying how fear, suspicion and paranoia can destroy a relationship (especially the idealistic dreams of two troubled loners), both a reflection of the blacklisting going on in Hollywood and Ray’s personal life. Bogart's performance is raw, unflattering and complex and arguably his best. Gloria Grahame's is compelling and luminous. An interesting historical note regarding the Library of Congress is that Nicholas Ray traveled with Alan Lomax recording and collecting American folk songs. They co-wrote and Ray directed the radio series Back Where I Come From which aired on CBS.

Monday, December 5 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

The American Experience. That Rhythm, Those Blues (GTN Productions for WGBH, 1988). Dir/Prod George T. Nierenberg. Host David McCullough. (60 min, U-matic video)
The Voice. Part 3, God Only Knows: Vocal Harmony (Australian Broadcasting Corp., 2003). Dir/Prod Alan Lewens. Narrator James Frain. (60 min, DVD)

That Rhythm, Those Blues, a documentary about the pre rock and roll "all black" rhythm and blues from the 1940s and early 1950s, features Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, record store and label owner Bobby Robinson, disc jockeys Shelly The Playboy and Diggy Doo, and record producers Jerry Wexler and Ralph Bass. Followed by God Only Knows: Vocal Harmony, a fascinating documentary with rarely seen archival footage of the Delta Rhythm Boys, Moonglows, Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers, the Chantels, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, The Boswell Sisters, The Mills Brothers, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, and others.

Tuesday, December 6 (7:00pm)

The Washington Jewish Film Festival

What Makes Sammy Run? (NBC, 1959). Dir Delbert Mann. Wrt Budd & Stuart Schulberg, based on the novel by Budd Schulberg. With Larry Blyden, John Forsythe, Sidney Blackmer, Barbara Rush, Dina Merrill. (120 min, digital video)
Hayom Horas Oylom (Jewish Talking Picture Co., 1937). With Cantor Mordechai Hershman. (7 min, 35mm)

Budd Schulberg's tale of an unscrupulous egotist who muscles his way to the top of the dog-eat-dog world of Hollywood, was embraced by television when no film studio dared bring it to the screen. The story first appeared on TV in the late 1940s in an abridged adaptation with José Ferrer in the title role, but it is the 1959 production, made for NBC’s prestigious anthology series Sunday Showcase, that remains the definitive version. Long considered one of television's ‘lost’ treasures due to the fact that only the program’s first hour was known to have survived (at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York), the entire two-hour broadcast was unearthed in 2004 as part of the NBC Collection at the Library of Congress. Now fully restored by the Museum, it can be enjoyed in its entirety for the first time in nearly half a century. Shown with a musical short produced by Joseph Seiden, one of the pioneers of Yiddish filmmaking.

Thursday, December 8 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

The Big Lift (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950). Dir & Wrt George Seaton. With Montgomery Clift, Paul Douglas, Cornell Borchers, Bruni Löbel. (119 min, 35mm)

The postwar neorealist cinema of Europe was the obvious model for this depiction of the Berlin airlift as seen through the eyes of two U.S. soldiers. Shot on location in Germany, the story manages to encompass both pathos and patriotism, giving us an intriguing view of the American mindset at the dawn of the Cold War. It is also revealing in its mainly sympathetic portrayal of the German people, who are resilient in the face of uncounted physical and emotional privations.

Friday, December 9 (7:00pm)

An Evening of Experimental Cinema

Ghosts Before Breakfast = Vormittagsspuk (1928). Dir Hans Richter. With Paul Hindemith, Darius Milhaud, Hans Richter. (6 min, 16mm)
Rhythmus 21 (1921). Dir Hans Richter. (5 min, 35mm)
Fugue in D Minor (ca. 1970). Conducted by Eric Thiermann. (2 min, 16mm)
Akran (1969). Dir Richard Myers. With Jake Leed, Mary Leed, Pat Myers, Robert Ohlirch. (120 min, 16mm)

In Vormittagsspuk, fantasy and the laws of nature do battle against their human captors. Odd occurrences such as Four Hats float through the air without the need of humans to carry them. Simple editing, lenses and early special effects make for a surreal experience.

In some ways the history of abstract cinema begins with Rhythmus 21. Hans Richter takes Dadaist theory of art and conveys it in the cinema by photographing abstract images with a film camera and then animating them into an otherwise unseen form. An artistically groundbreaking work.

Fugue in D Minor is a film oddity that was found in the vast catalogues of Library. Absurd, odd and most defiantly forgotten. A weird scene about music, the human body and just acting daft that would probably bring a smile to the face of Bunuel, Cocteau or the Monty Python lads.

"Akran is a mythological city where past and present meet, where a young man and woman are victims of ritualistic 60's uncontrollable forces, where they are trying to survive in an alienated technological consumer America. Akran is myth and dream in an attempt to unify reality", Richard Myers speaking of his own film. This unique film experience chooses to use the texture of images and sounds to lead the viewer rather than a conventional plot. Exuberant flashes of sound and image express the fears, fantasies, sexual conquests, frustrations and anxiety of the consumer run culture. A provocative parable that is as troubling today as it was when show in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Possibly, even more so...

Monday, December 12 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

Soul to Soul (Nigram/Aura, 1971). Dir Denis Sanders. (95 min, 35mm)

Performance film of the legendary concert on March 6, 1971 in Ghana, West Africa, in celebration of the fourteenth anniversary of the country’s independence. Features Wilson Pickett, Ike and Tina Turner, the Staple Singers, Willie Bobo, Les McCann and Eddie Harris, and others.

Tuesday, December 13 (6:30pm)

Classical Hollywood Women: Bette Davis

Bad Sister (Universal, 1931). Dir Hobart Henley. Wrt Edwin Knopf, Raymond L. Schrock, Tom Reed, based on the novel by Booth Tarkington. With Conrad Nagel, Sidney Fox, Bette Davis, ZaSu Pitts, Slim Summerville. (68 min, 35mm)
The Golden Arrow (Warner Bros., 1936). Dir Alfred E. Green. Wrt Charles Kenyon, based on a short story by Michael Arlen. With Bette Davis, George Brent, Eugene Pallette, Dick Foran. (74 min, 35mm)

Bad Sister marked the screen debut of twenty-three year old Bette Davis, who plays the older of two sisters engaged in a romantic rivalry for the sentiments of one of the younger and more popular sibling’s numerous suitors. Davis, later known for her tough, yet sexy demeanor, emerges as the level-headed mature woman in contrast to her immature scheming sister. Audiences can also catch Humphrey Bogart in one of his earliest screen roles.

In The Golden Arrow, Daisy Appleby (Davis) is the heiress to a facial cream fortune. While vacationing in Florida she meets newspaperman Johnny Jones (George Brent), and invites him on her yacht, believing he is a socialite. When she discovers her mistake, Daisy is furious, but quickly changes her mind after passing a dull evening surrounded by continental gigolos. Daisy goes slumming with Johnny, then proposes a marriage of convenience. She gets an ideal husband, and he has the freedom to write his novel. But little does Johnny know of Daisy’s true identity…

Thursday, December 15 (6:30pm)

Classical Hollywood Women: Bette Davis

Now, Voyager (Warner Bros., 1942). Dir Irving Rapper. Wrt Casey Robinson, based on the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty. With Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper. (117 min, 35mm)
Screen Snapshots. Series 22, No. 5 (Columbia, 1942). With Bette Davis, Gloria Swanson, John Boles, Tim & Jack Holt. (10 min, 35mm)
Bette Davis--Trailers (1930s-1940s). (8 min, 16mm)

Davis stars as Charlotte Vale, a repressed middle-aged spinster who cannot break free of her domineering mother. After a nervous breakdown, she is transformed psychologically and physically with the help of a psychiatrist, a concerned sister-in-law, and a romance with a married man. The film, considered one of Davis’ best, is also an excellent example of the woman’s picture at its creative height. The high melodrama is made palatable by a talented cast, including the charismatic Claude Raines and famed stage actress Gladys Cooper. The story was adapted from a book by Olive Higgins Prouty, the writer behind Barbara Stanwyck’s famous 1937 tearjerker Stella Dallas. A reel of Bette Davis trailers will precede the feature.

Friday, December 16 (7:00pm)

Classical Hollywood Women: Bette Davis

Front Page Woman (Warner Bros., 1935). Dir Michael Curtiz. Wrt Laird Doyle, Lillie Hayward, Roy Chanslor, based on a short story by Richard Macauley. With Bette Davis, George Brent, Roscoe Karns, Winifred Shaw. (82 min, 16mm)

Davis and Brent play lovers and rival newspaper reporters, but Davis refuses to tie-the-knot until Brent admits she is as good a reporter as any man. Brent attempts to convince her otherwise and winds up covering up for Davis after she faints while reporting on a prison execution. But, while Brent is bent on showing Davis that she still needs to learn the ropes, she forges on one step ahead of him, piecing together the clues to a murder mystery that she solves by outsmarting him.

Monday, December 19 (7:00pm)

Jazz & Soul

Sam Cooke, Legend (VH1/Abkco, 2001). Narrator Jeffrey Wright. (66 min, DVD)
The Apollo Presents the Motortown Revue (1963). (53 min, DVD)

Archival footage and photos tell the story of soul singer songwriter Sam Cooke, including interviews with his filler, his father and younger brother, Lou Rawls, Aretha Franklin, Dick Clark, Lloyd Price, Gladys Knight, and many others. Followed by The Apollo Presents the Motortown Revue, a performance film of various Motown artists before they became smooth, polished professionals, including Little Stevie Wonder, the Marvelettes, The Temptations, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Martha & the Vandellas, Mary Wells, and others.

Tuesday, December 20 (7:00pm)

Classical Hollywood Women: Bette Davis

In This Our Life (Warner Bros., 1942). Dir John Huston. Wrt Howard Koch, based on the novel by Ellen Glasgow. With Bette Davis, Olivia De Havilland, George Brent, Dennis Morgan, Charles Coburn. (96 min, 35mm)

A woman steals her sister's husband, drives him to his ruin, divides her family, and nearly destroys the life of a young man in a film directed, surprisingly, by John Huston. Bette Davis, at her most unsubtle, is the selfish Stanley, a woman bent on having fun and getting what she wants at the expense of all around her. Olivia de Havilland is her levelheaded sister Roy, who loses the most at the hands of her sibling. The supporting cast is comprised of welcome character actors like Charles Coburn, Billie Burke, Lee Patrick, and Hattie McDaniel who contribute their usual expert performances. However, it's hard to get noticed in a film where Davis cuts loose even more than usual as she plays the bad girl to the hilt and then some. The film is very melodramatic, but it's never boring.

Thursday, December 22 (7:00pm)

National Film Registry

Say Anything… (Gracie Films/Twentieth Century-Fox, 1989). Dir & Wrt Cameron Crowe. With John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor, Amy Brooks. (100 min, 35mm)

In a decade of terrific teen films (Heathers, The River’s Edge, Sixteen Candles, Racing with the Moon, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Risky Business, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, among others), Say Anything… stands out for its honest, unconventional look at the frequent messiness of life. Cameron Crowe’s screenplay deftly blends close-to-perfect dialogue with music to advance the plot of realistic characters trying to sort through life’s twists and turns. Not to mention containing lines which have entered film history: “She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.” / ”I am looking for a dare to be great situation.” / ”I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.” / ”I'm the distraction that's going with her to England, sir.” To know Lloyd Dobler is to love Lloyd Dobler: neither Ione Skye nor tonight’s audience will likely prove immune to Cusack’s irresistible charm.


The Mary Pickford Theater is programmed by Amy Gallick, Jerry Hatfield, Wilbur King, Karen Lund, David March, Mike Mashon, Madeline Matz, David Novack, Jennifer Ormson, Pat Padua, Lynne Parks, Christel Schmidt, Zoran Sinobad, John Snelson, Chris Spehr, Brian Taves, and Kim Tomadjoglou.


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  August 31, 2010
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