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Mary Pickford Theater

Current Film Schedule: February - May 2009

RESERVATIONS may be made by phone, beginning one week before any given show. Call (202) 707-5677 during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm). Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before showtime, after which standbys will be admitted to unclaimed seats. All programs are free, but seating is limited to 64 seats. The Mary Pickford Theater is located on the third floor of the Library of Congress Madison building.

Thursday, February 19 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

Abraham Lincoln (Feature Productions/United Artists, 1930). Dir: D. W. Griffith. Adaptation: Stephen Vincent Benet; Continuity & Dialogue: Benet, Gerrit Lloyd. With: Walter Huston (Abraham Lincoln), Una Merkel (Ann Rutledge), Kay Hammond (Mary Todd Lincoln), E. Alyn Warren (Stephen A. Douglas), Ian Keith (John Wilkes Booth), Hobart Bosworth (General Lee), Fred Warren (General Grant), Henry B. Walthall (Colonel Marshall). (97 min, black & white, 16mm)


The Son of Democracy. The Call to Arms (Charter Features Corp./Paramount, 1918). Dir/Wrt: Benjamin Chapin. With: Chapin (Abraham Lincoln). (19 min, silent, b&w, 35mm, preserved by LC in 2001 from a diacetate print in the AFI/Rhode Island Historical Society Collection).

D. W. Griffith’s first sound film is also the only feature-length sound motion picture to date that chronicles Lincoln’s life from birth until death. It does so by abandoning a conventional narrative structure in favor of a series of chronologically arranged tableaux which depict selected (albeit not necessarily the most important) events from Lincoln’s life. The release of Abraham Lincoln followed a string of failures which marked Griffith’s tenure as contract director first for Adolph Zukor, then Joseph M. Schenck, and as such was hailed by his contemporaries as the master’s return to form. The film placed second, after All Quiet on the Western Front, in Film Daily’s annual poll of 300+ newspapers, trade journals and fan magazines to determine the ten best films of the year. Notwithstanding the critical accolades and Griffith’s professed enthusiasm for sound, it is clearly the work of a filmmaker who, both in theme and style, is reaching into the past for inspiration.

Preceded by the short The Call to Arms in which Lincoln, shortly after assuming the presidency, is forced to assemble a voluntary military force to defend the Union. The film is one of a series of two-reelers directed, produced, written and starring noted Lincoln impersonator Benjamin Chapin. Known as The Lincoln Cycle, Chapin’s ambitious attempt to present Lincoln’s biography in serial format was hampered by problems with securing a national distributor. Eventually, in 1918, Paramount released the series in ten slightly reedited installments under the title The Son of Democracy.

Thursday, February 26 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

The Iron Horse (Fox, 1924). Dir: John Ford. Scenario: Charles Kenyon; Story: Kenyon, John Russell. With: George O'Brien (Davy Brandon), Madge Bellamy (Miriam Marsh), Cyril Chadwick (Jesson), Fred Kohler (Deroux), Gladys Hulette (Ruby), James Marcus (Judge Haller), J. Farrell MacDonald (Corporal Casey), Charles Edward Bull (Abraham Lincoln). (126 min, 1972 reissue with music track, color, 16mm, copyright deposit print)

This epic western on the building of the first transcontinental railroad across the U.S. was John Ford's breakthrough film and one of the biggest box-office hits of his career. It was also the director’s first depiction of Abraham Lincoln, one of his political heroes, who in 1862 had signed the bill to create the railroad but died four years before its completion. As is often the case with Ford, Lincoln is utilized as both a linchpin to history and a voice of moral authority as he expresses faith in the dream of the railroad and chides the naysayers in the film's opening sequence.

Thursday, March 5 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

Are We Civilized? (Raspin Productions, 1934). Dir: Edwin Carewe. Screenplay: Finis Fox; Story & Dialogue: Harold Sherman. With: William Farnum (Paul Franklin, Sr.), Anita Louise (Norma Bockner), Frank McGlynn (Felix Bockner/Abraham Lincoln), Leroy Mason (Paul Franklin, Jr.), Oscar Apfel (Dr. Leonard Gear), Stuart Holmes (Colonel Salter). (70 min, black & white, 35mm, preserved by LC in 1987 from a nitrate print in the AFI/Thunderbird Films Collection)


The Perfect Tribute (MGM, 1935). Dir: Edward Sloman. Wrt: Ruth Cummings, based on a story by Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews. With: Charles "Chic" Sale (Abraham Lincoln), George Ernest (Benjamin Blair). (19 min, black & white, 16mm)

A Lincoln cinema rarity, Are You Civilized? is a low-budget independent production about an unnamed European country moving towards fascism and the efforts of a newsman to convince his old friend, now the head of the national censorship bureau, to cease with the oppression of his people. Lincoln and other historical figures (Jesus Christ, Julius Caesar, Moses, Buddha, Christopher Columbus, George Washington) are recruited from silent era stock footage to serve as examples of the positive side of human nature. The dictator and Lincoln are portrayed by the same actor, Frank McGlynn, Sr., who played the 16th president on screen at least a dozen times, notably in the following year's The Littlest Rebel (see April 2).

In The Perfect Tribute, Lincoln is asked by a Southern boy to write a will for his older brother, who is dying in a prison hospital after being wounded while fighting for the Confederacy. Starring Chic Sale, a vaudeville comedian and later character film actor primarily known for his "old-timer" roles, the two-reeler was adapted from the popular short story of the same name first published in "Scribner's Monthly" in July, 1906.

Wednesday, March 11 (6:30pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

Omnibus. Mr. Lincoln. Part 1, The Beginning and the End; Part 2, Nancy Hanks; Part 3, Growing Up; Part 4, New Salem; Part 5, Ann Rutledge (TV-Radio Workshop of the Ford Foundation/CBS, Part 1: 11/16/1952; Part 2: 11/30/1952; Part 3: 12/14/1952; Part 4: 1/11/1953; Part 5: 2/8/1953). Dir: Norman Lloyd. Wrt: James Agee. With: Royal Dano (Abraham Lincoln), Marian Seldes (Nancy Hanks), Joanna Roos (Mary Todd Lincoln), Crahan Denton (Tom Lincoln), Blanche Cholet (Sally Bush Lincoln), George Mitchell (Teacher), Joanne Woodward (Ann Rutledge), Harry Mehaffey (Bowling Green), Jack Warden (Jack Armstrong), Martin Gabel (Narrator). (150 min, black & white, 16mm, copyright deposit print)

Written by author and film critic James Agee and originally broadcast in five segments as part of the inaugural season of the Omnibus series, this was one the earliest TV productions on Abraham Lincoln and remains one of the best. It follows Lincoln through his formative years, up to and including the death of Ann Rutledge. When re-broadcast in condensed form in 1959, the title was changed to Abraham Lincoln--the Early Years. Lincoln is portrayed by Royal Dano, at the time a 30-year-old newcomer who went on to become one of the busiest character actors in television. As Mark S. Reinhart succintly summarized, "[...] the series ranks among the finest Lincoln film or television portrayals ever made, combining a well-written screenplay, stellar acting performances and detailed, historically accurate settings into an unforgettable whole." (Abraham Lincoln on Screen). Highly praised at the time of its original broadcast, Mr. Lincoln has never been released on video and as such is still unavailable to the general public. Don't miss it!

Thursday, March 12 (7:00pm)

Environmental Film Festival

Le Monde du Silence = The Silent World (Société Filmad/Columbia, France, 1956). Dir: Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Louis Malle. Wrt: Cousteau. (86 min, Technicolor, 35mm, copyright deposit print)

Based on the best-selling book of the same name by famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, this ground-breaking film introduced the scuba, a cornerstone of today's underwater exploration, to viewers for the first time. Set on board-and below-the good ship Calypso during a voyage across the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Indian Ocean, this feature-length documentary was co-directed by Cousteau and Louis Malle (the film marked Malle's directorial debut). Highlights include a shark attack on the carcass of a whale and the discovery of a wrecked, sunken vessel. Winner of the 1956 Golden Palm in Cannes, and the 1957 Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Introduced by Brian Taves, Senior Cataloger, Library of Congress, and author of "The Romance of Adventure: The Genre of Historical Adventure in the Movies."

Friday, March 13 (7:00pm)

Environmental Film Festival

Old Ironsides (Paramount Famous Lasky Corp., 1926). Dir: James Cruze. Wrt: Dorothy Arzner (scenario), Walter Woods (scenario & adaptation), Harry Carr (scenario & adaptation), Rupert Hughes (titles), Laurence Stallings (story). With: Esther Ralston (Esther), Wallace Beery (Bos'n), George Bancroft (Gunner), Charles Farrell (The Commodore), Johnny Walker (Lt. Stephen Decatur). (109 min, black & white, silent, 35mm, print purchased from Paramount)


Courtship of the Newt (MGM, 1938). Dir: Roy Rowland. Wrt :Robert Benchley. With: Benchley. (8 min, black & white, 35mm, print gift from Turner Entertainment)

Set at the time of Stephen Decatur's defeat of the Barbary pirates in Tripoli, Old Ironsides follows three young men who join the Merchant Marines, particularly an able-bodied seaman and his romantic interest, a damsel-in-permanent-distress. Based on the poem "Constitution" by Oliver Wendell Holmes, a reconstruction of the USS Constitution actually appears in the film. Starring Wallace Beery, Boris Karloff, Esther Ralston and Charles Farrell, it remains a classic story of action and adventure with unforgettable battle scenes.

Preceded by a short in which pseudo-scientist Benchley offers an explanation of the mysterious, vanishing creature, the newt.

Introduced by Brian Taves, Senior Cataloger, Library of Congress, and author of "The Romance of Adventure: The Genre of Historical Adventure in the Movies."

Thursday, March 19 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

Hallmark Hall of Fame. Abe Lincoln in Illinois (Compass Productions/NBC, 2/5/1964). Dir: George Schaefer. Adapt: Robert Hartung, from the play by Robert E. Sherwood. With: Jason Robards, Jr. (Abe Lincoln), Kate Reid (Mary Todd), James Broderick (Joshua Speed), Hiram Sherman (Judge Bowling Green), Douglas Watson (Ninian Edwards), Burt Brinckerhoff (William Herndon), Mildred Trares (Ann Rutledge). (80 min, color, Betacam SP, preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, screened with permission from Mrs. George Schaefer)

The fourth screen adaptation (third for television) of Sherwood's play, while confined to a cramped studio set and as such closer to its stage roots than the 1940 motion picture (see April 9), features a lead performance by Jason Robards, Jr. which is somewhat more modulated to the intimacy of the television medium. Giving up on the characteristic Southern drawl, Robards won praise from contemporary critics as an "actor who courageously achieves a certain measure of realness in the role" (Christian Science Monitor). Robards himself, in a 1964 interview, likened Lincoln to "a 'swinger' with a frayed set of nerves." British-born Canadian actress Kate Reid, on the other hand, provides, as Variety put it, an "overbearingly shrewish" interpretation of the ambitious Mary Todd, and the supporting cast seem to "be playing to the second balcony at the Winter Garden."

Special thanks to Dan Einstein (UCLA Film & TV Archive) and Mrs. George Schaefer for making this screening possible.

Friday, March 20 (7:00pm)

Environmental Film Festival

Moby Dick (Warner Bros., 1930). Dir: Lloyd Bacon. Wrt: J. Grubb Alexander, from the novel by Herman Melville. With: John Barrymore (Ahab), Joan Bennett (Faith), Lloyd Hughes (Derek), May Boley (Whale Oil Rosie), Walter Long (Stubbs), Tom O'Brien (Starbuck). (78 min, black & white, 35mm, preserved by LoC in 1972 from original nitrate picture & track negatives in the United Artists Collection)


Petit Jules Verne = A Little "Jules Verne" (Pathé Frères, France, 1907). (7 min, color, silent, 35mm, preserved in 2005 from a hand-colored nitrate positive in the AFI/Baker, Glenn L. Collection)

Wild Waves (Walt Disney/Columbia, 1929). Dir: Burton F. Gillett. (7 min, black & white, 35mm, print deposited with colorized version)

Waterscape (Richard Forstmann, 1961). (5 min, color, 16mm, copyright deposit print)

Adapted from Herman Melville's novel, Moby Dick takes us on board the whaler Pequod, under the command of Captain Ahab. Obsessed with finding the whale that deprived him of his former command and his leg, the Captain is bent on revenge. In this version of the classic story, an important part is given to the woman Ahab loves, Faith Mapple, and the ending is very different from the one in the novel.

Preceded by three shorts: first, in Pathé's A Little "Jules Verne," a child, influenced by his favorite author, travels into the air and under the sea, grappling with the denizens of the deep; next, Mickey and Minnie frolic at she seashore, followed by an impressionistic study of light and shadow in seascapes.

Introduced by Brian Taves, Senior Cataloger, Library of Congress, and author of "The Romance of Adventure: The Genre of Historical Adventure in the Movies."

Tuesday, March 24 (6:30pm)

Veterans History Project

Lioness (Room 11 Productions, 2008). Dir: Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers. (82 min, color, DVD)

A documentary look at a hidden chapter of the war in Iraq, Lioness details the lives of five women soldiers serving in a support group attached to a Marine unit. Although women in the U.S. Armed Forces are forbidden to serve directly in ground combat (and are not trained to do so), the women of Team Lioness find themselves involved in combat situations on the streets of Ramadi. How this affects their careers as well as their personal lives is explored with unflinching honesty by the filmmakers.

A panel discussion will follow the film. Moderated by Tom Wiener, Historian with the Veterans History Project, the panel will include Darlene Iskra, the first woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy, Lauren Miller, an active duty Army officer who has served in Iraq; and Lory Manning, Director of the Women in the Military Project at the Women's Research & Education Institute.

Thursday, March 26 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

Star Trek. The Savage Curtain (Paramount, in association with Norway Corp./NBC, 3/7/1969). Dir: Herschel Daugherty. Teleplay: Gene Roddenberry, Arthur Heinemann; Story: Roddenberry. With: William Shatner (Capt. James T. Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock), DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), Lee Bergere (Abraham Lincoln), Barry Atwater (Surak). (51 min, color, 16mm, copyright deposit print)


Touched by an Angel. Beautiful Dreamer (CBS, in association with MoonWater Productions/CBS, 10/25/1998). Dir: Peter H. Hunt. Wrt: Glenn Berenbeim, Martha Williamson. With: Roma Downey (Monica), Della Reese (Tess), John Dye (Andrew), David Selby (Abraham Lincoln), Christine Healy (Mary Lincoln), Reg Rogers (John Wilkes Booth). (60 min, color, U-matic video, copyright deposit tape)

Lincoln wrestles with Genghis Khan and talks to angels in two examples of popular television’s fast and loose take on history. First, a replica of Lincoln invites Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock to an alien planet where the three must battle the forces of evil. Then, a pair of angels try to prevent Lincoln's assassination.

Wednesday, April 1 (7:00pm)

Jazz Series (Sneak Preview Screening)

The Jazz Baroness (BBC, 2009). Dir & Wrt: Hannah Rothschild. (82 min, DVD).

Documentary explores the fascinating story of Pannonica de Koenigswarter, a.k.a. “Nica,” the British Baroness, Rothschild heiress and patron of jazz musicians in New York. She was the inspiration for several important jazz compositions and Thelonious Monk spent his final years living in her New Jersey house full of cats. Sonny Rollins, T.S. Monk, Quincy Jones, Roy Haynes and Chico Hamilton are interviewed, along with members of the Rothschild family. Helen Mirren is the voice of the Jazz Baroness.

Thursday, April 2 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

The Littlest Rebel (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1935). Dir: David Butler. Wrt: Edwin Burke, from the play by Edward Peple. With: Shirley Temple (Virgie Cary), John Boles (Capt. Herbert Cary), Jack Holt (Colonel Morrison), Karen Morley (Mrs. Cary), Bill Robinson (Uncle Billy), Frank McGlynn, Sr. (Abraham Lincoln). (73 min, black & white, 35mm, print deposited with colorized version)


Southern Fried Rabbit (Warner Bros. Cartoons, 1953). Dir: I. Freleng. Story: Warren Foster. (7 min, Technicolor, 35mm, copyright deposit print)

A six-year-old girl charms a Union officer in order to protect her father, a Captain in the Confederate Army. The film, often referred to as one of Shirley Temple's best, was based on a play of the same name which premiered on Broadway in 1911 with Mary Miles Minter in the lead. The famous scene of Shirley visiting the president at the White House and sitting in his lap while pleading her father's case, is emblematic of the mythical status Lincoln had been elevated to during the Depression.

In the Looney Tunes cartoon Southern Fried Rabbit, Bugs Bunny is stopped at the Mason-Dixon Line by a Confederate colonel who has never been told that the Civil War has ended.

Friday, April 3 (7:00pm)

Ying Xiong = Hero (Edko Films - Zhang Yimou Studio/Miramax, China, 2002). Dir: Zhang Yimou. Wrt: Zhang, Li Feng, Wang Bin. With: Jet Li (Nameless), Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Broken Sword), Maggie Cheung Man-yuk (Flying Snow), Zhang Ziyi (Moon), Chen Dao Ming (King), Donnie Yen (Sky). (99 min, color, scope, 35mm, in Mandarin with English subtitles, copyright deposit print)

At the time the most expensive Chinese film ever made, this star-studded martial arts extravaganza adopts a fragmented, Rashomon-like narrative loosely based on the events surrounding the failed attempt to assassinate Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of a unified China. While the film's big budget and epic historical sweep were a first for director Zhang Yimou, with Chen Kaige the most celebrated member of the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, the stunning widescreen visuals hark back to his earlier work, especially the magnificent Raise the Red Lantern (1991). Despite a delayed U.S. release, almost two years after its world premiere, Hero went on to become one of the all-time top-grossing foreign films in North America.

Wednesday, April 8 (7:00pm)

Jazz Series

Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women In Jazz (Kay D. Ray Productions, 2007). Prod, Dir & Wrt: Kay Ray. (120 min, DVD).

Lady Be Good uncovers the powerful and personal stories of women musical pioneers, interweaving interviews with Marian McPartland, Carline Ray, Bertha Hope, Roz Cron and Betty O’Hara with rare archival footage and photos of Lil Hardin Armstrong, Mary Lou Williams, Ada Leonard and Her All-Girl Orchestra, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Ina Rae Hutton and the Melodears and the Hormel Girls. Narrated by Patrice Rushen.

Thursday, April 9 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (RKO, 1940). Dir John Cromwell. Wrt: Robert E. Sherwood (screenplay), Grover Jones (adaptation), based on the play by Sherwood. With: Raymond Massey (Abraham Lincoln), Gene Lockhart (Stephen Douglas), Ruth Gordon (Mary Todd Lincoln), Mary Howard (Ann Rutledge), Minor Watson (Joshua Speed), Harvey Stephens (Ninian Edwards). (110 min, black & white, 35mm, print gift from RKO)

If there is one performance that epitomizes the many screen portrayals of Abraham Lincoln, it is Raymond Massey's return to the role he originated on stage when Robert Sherwood's Pulitzer Prize-winning play premiered on Broadway in 1938. Samuel Goldwyn first expressed an interest in filming the piece, but Sherwood declined to sell the rights as Goldwyn insisted on casting Gary Cooper in the lead instead of Massey. Together with the previous year's Young Mr. Lincoln, Abe Lincoln in Illinois is the best known and most widely seen screen treatment of Lincoln's life. Although both films focus on Lincoln’s early life, the former primarily deals with Lincoln’s first big trial, while Sherwood’s play covers more ground and follows the future president from his arrival in New Salem to his departure for Washington, D.C. Arguing, however, that there are more similarities than differences between the two works, Sherwood sued (unsuccessfully) Twentieth Century-Fox claiming that the studio's Young Mr. Lincoln is an attempt at plagiarizing his play.

Wednesday, April 15 (7:00pm)

Jazz Series

Electric Heart: Don Ellis (2008). Dir: John Vizzusi. Prod: Mike Kaiser. Wrt: John Killoch, Vizzusi. (70 min, DVD).

Trumpeter, composer and bandleader Don Ellis created a unique fusion of jazz, classical and rock music characterized by odd-metered arrangements, quarter-tones and the use of a four-valve trumpet. Considering he was one of the most exciting acts of his day, Ellis’s contributions have long been underappreciated and his recordings are sought out by collectors. John Vizzusi’s documentary tells the story of this undeservedly obscure musician with help from Maynard Ferguson, Gunther Schuller, Milcho Leviev and others. Narrated by Mary McKitrick.

Tonight’s screening will be introduced by the director, John Vizzusi.

Thursday, April 16 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

The American Heritage. Lincoln--Trial by Fire (Wolper Productions, in association with American Heritage/ABC, 1/20/1974). Dir: Ed Spiegel. Wrt: Theodore H. Strauss. With: John Anderson (Abraham Lincoln), Lary Lewman (George McClellan), James L. O’Neill (Secretary of State Seward), Robert Prosky (Secretary of War Stanton), Cliff Robertson (Narrator). (52 min, color, 16mm, copyright deposit print)


Small World. Sandburg, Dirksen, Parkinson (CBS, 2/7/1960). Prod: Edward R. Murrow, Fred W. Friendly. (28 min, black & white, 16mm, copyright deposit print)

One of the four historical made-for-TV movies sponsored by Texaco and produced by David Wolper in association with the American Heritage Magazine, Lincoln--Trial by Fire dramatizes the first two years of Lincoln's presidency, focusing on his disagreements with Gen. McClellan over military strategy and his decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Wolper’s next involvement with Lincoln was a much more ambitious project, a six-part TV series based on Carl Sandburg’s multi-volume biography.

Preceded by a CBS public affairs program with Edward Murrow hosting a discussion on how Lincoln would be viewed in the modern world. Participants: poet Carl Sandburg, Senator Everett M. Dirksen, and historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson. A revised broadcast of a program originally aired a year earlier (2/15/1959).

Wednesday, April 22 (7:00pm)

Jazz Series

New Orleans Music In Exile (Starz Entertainment Group, 2006). Dir. Robert Mugge. Prod: Mugge, Diana Zelman. (113 min, DVD).

Documentary about the effects and impact of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans music community featuring Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Marcia Ball, Eddie Bo, Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band and many others.

Tonight’s screening will be introduced by the director, Robert Mugge.

Thursday, April 23 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

Young Mr. Lincoln (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1939). Dir: John Ford. Wrt: Lamar Trotti. With: Henry Fonda (Abraham Lincoln), Alice Brady (Abigail Clay), Marjorie Weaver (Mary Todd), Arleen Whelan (Hannah Clay), Eddie Collins (Efe), Pauline Moore (Ann Rutledge). (100 min, black & white, 35mm, print gift from Twentieth Century-Fox)

A classic piece of Americana with Abraham Lincoln as a young lawyer defending two brothers accused of murder. Although the case loosely parallels Lincoln's defense of Duff Armstrong in 1858, according to script writer Lamar Trotti the story was primarily based on a murder trial he himself had covered as a newspaper reporter. The film elevated Henry Fonda to major star status and marked his first collaboration with John Ford. The director's older brother Francis, a well known actor and director during the silent era, appears in the role of a drunken juror.

Wednesday, April 29 (7:00pm)

Jazz Series

Ed Thigpen: Master of Time, Rhythm and Taste (2009). Dir & Prod: Don McGlynn. (91 min, Digital Betacam).

Best known for his long tenures with both Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald, drummer Ed Thigpen has played on more than 900 albums with nearly every important jazz musician of the 20th century. Don McGlynn’s multi-faceted documentary probes many aspects of Thigpen’s life as a musician, teacher, historian and world traveler. Fellow musicians Horace Parlan, Billy Taylor, Carsten Dahl, Tomas Frank and others explain why Thigpen, who has lived in Copenhagen for the past 37 years, is so respected by musicians and loved by jazz fans all over the world.

Tonight’s screening is a world premiere. Special guests to be announced.

Thursday, April 30 (7:00pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

The Tall Target (MGM, 1951). Dir: Anthony Mann. Wrt: George Worthing Yates, Art Cohn; Story: Yates, Geoffrey Homes. With: Dick Powell (John Kennedy), Paula Raymond (Ginny Beaufort), Adolphe Menjou (Col. Caleb Jeffers), Marshall Thompson (Lance Beaufort), Ruby Dee (Rachel), Richard Rober (Lt. Coulter), Leslie Kimmell (Abraham Lincoln). (78 min, black & white, 35mm, print deposited with colorized version)


Portfolio. The Lincoln Papers (WTOP-TV, 4/6/1961). Dir: Bill Linden. (38 min, black & white, 16mm)

"Ninety years ago a lonely traveler boarded the night train from New York to Washington, D.C., and when he reached his destination, his passage had become a forgotten chapter in the history of the United States." The film's opening prologue refers to police detective John Kennedy who stumbles upon a plot to assassinate President-elect Lincoln during his train trip from Springfield to Washington, D.C. in 1861. Based on fact (John Kennedy was a real New York City police officer in charge of Lincoln's security), Anthony Mann’s fast-paced thriller confines the action to the train where the effectively lit tight spaces are a constant source of suspense.

Preceded by a documentary produced by WTOP-TV, the Washington, D.C., CBS affiliate, on the Lincoln papers at the Library of Congress, with David C. Mearns, Chief of the Library’s Manuscript Division and a renowned Lincoln scholar, interviewed by journalist Roger Mudd.

Thursday, May 7 (6:30pm)

Lincoln Bicentennial

North by Northwest (MGM, 1959). Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. Wrt: Ernest Lehman. With: Cary Grant (Roger Thornhill), Eva Marie Saint (Eve Kendall), James Mason (Phillip Vandamm), Jessie Royce Landis (Clara Thornhill), Leo G. Carroll (Professor), Josephine Hutchinson (Mrs. Townsend), Philip Ober (Lester Townsend), Martin Landau (Leonard). (136 min, Technicolor, VistaVision, 35mm, copyright deposit print)


The Shrine of Democracy at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota–A Memorial to Gutzon Borglum (1953). (22 min, b&w, 16mm, copyright deposit print)

"The Man on Lincoln's Nose" was one of the working titles of Hitchcock's classic thriller about an advertising executive who is inadvertently sucked into a convoluted espionage narrative, so convoluted that during production Cary Grant himself expressed confusion over the film's plot. While MGM received permission from the National Park Service to film the establishing shots of the Mt. Rushmore monument and the cafeteria balcony at the actual site, problems with the use of the image of the monument emerged early on. The Park Service objected to a draft of the script that included a scene in which Grant and Eva Marie Saint slide down Lincoln's nose, and following the film's U.S. premiere accused the studio of violating their agreement's stipulation that "no scenes of violence will be filmed near the sculpture, on the Talus Slope below the sculpture, or any simulation or mockup of the sculpture or Talus Slope, or any public-use area of Mount Rushmore." This resulted in the removal of the acknowledgment for the cooperation of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service from later release prints.

Preceded by a compilation of newsreel footage on the building of the Mt. Rushmore monument.

Film notes: Larry Appelbaum (Jazz Series), Zoran Sinobad (Lincoln Bicentennial), Brian Taves (Environmental Film Festival), Tom Wiener (Veterans History Project)

Projectionists: Matthew Kullman, Jennifer Ormson, Mike Smith, Chris Spehr
Theater Managers: Jerry Hatfield, Jennifer Ormson, Christel Schmidt, Chris Spehr

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