The following was co-written with Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus.
Thursday, April 30 (7:30 p.m.)
All That Heaven Allows (Universal, 1955)
Widow Jane Wyman falls in love with a younger man (Rock Hudson) in a suburban New England town, resulting in an avalanche of public and private shaming. From this deceptively simple May-December set-up, director Douglas Sirk weaves a rich, beautifully composed and stinging critique of middle class 1950s America. Critically dismissed when it was released, All That Heaven Allows is now recognized as one of the finest melodramas in cinema history, and Sirk as that genre’s finest practitioner. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 1995. And next month we’ll present two films inspired by All That Heaven Allows: Todd Haynes’ Far From Heaven on May 21 and Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul on May 30.
Friday, May 1 (7:30 p.m.)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (Warner Bros., 1936)
Errol Flynn stars as Major Geoffrey Vickers, an officer in the 27th Lancers stationed in India. When his regiment is drawn out on maneuvers, Indian potentate Surat Khan–who is angry that the British government has cut off his subsidies–attacks the barracks, killing women and children. Vickers and his fellow Light Brigade lancers seek revenge against Khan who is now ensconced with the Russians at Balaclava. Olivia de Havilland co-stars as Flynn’s longtime fianceé with Patric Knowles as his brother and fellow officer. Michael Curtiz directed this epic adventure based on Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s narrative poem. The film’s scheduled screening in March was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Saturday, May 2 (7:30 p.m.)
The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema (Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc., 2014)
The Thanhouser Studio, based in New Rochelle, New York, released more than 1,000 films from 1910 to 1917. This documentary reconstructs the forgotten story of the studio as it entered the nascent motion picture industry, competing with Thomas Edison’s licensed Motion Pictures Patents Corporation (MPPC). It is a compelling account of bold entrepreneurship, financial successes, cinematic innovation, tragic events, careers launched and the transition of the movie industry to the west coast and Hollywood. Ned Thanhouser, grandson of studio founders Edwin and Gertrude Thanhouser, will introduce the feature. Three short films produced by the studio in 1913–The Farmer’s Daughters, His Uncle’s Wives and The Seven Ages of an Alligator–are also on the program.
For more information on our programs, please visit the web site at www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.