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Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (June 12-14, 2014)

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Our focus on Westerns this month continues.

Jack Palance in Monte Walsh
(National General, 1970)

Thursday, June 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Monte Walsh (National General, 1970)
Acclaimed cinematographer William A. Fraker made his directorial debut with this melancholy Western about a down-and-out ranch hand who finds himself part of a dying west. Lee Marvin stars as the title character with Jack Palance (in a rare good-guy role) and Mitch Ryan as his pals. Film critic Roger Ebert called it “as lovely a Western as I’ve seen in a long time.”


Friday, June 13 (7:30 p.m.) Western Double Feature

Wagon Master (RKO, 1950)
A church elder charged with leading a caravan of Mormons across the country to the Utah territory recruits a pair of horse traders as wagon masters to help the group arrive safely. A series of mishaps threaten to derail the journey. Director John Ford counted this film as one of his favorites, saying, “‘Wagon Master’ came closest to being what I wanted to achieve.” This classic Western stars Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey, Jr. and Ward Bond.

Ben Johnson and Ward Bond in Wagon Master (RKO, 1950)

Wagon Train (RKO, 1940)
In his first of a series of B Westerns for RKO, young Tim Holt must not only carry on his father’s freight business but also hunt down his father’s murderer Carl Anderson while dealing with unscrupulous Pecos businessman Matt Gardner. The action-packed oater, directed by Edward Killy, co-stars Ray Whitley, Emmett Lynn and Martha O’Driscoll.

Saturday, June 14 (2 p.m.)
The Sign of Zorro (Disney, 1958)
In the Mission era of Spanish California, the wealthy and debonair Don Diego de la Vega returns home to the pueblo known as Reina de Los Angeles where he finds that the citizens are constantly threatened by cruel military tyrant Captain Monastario and his Lancers. Diego makes it his mission to put an end to the oppression by donning a mask and cloak to become the fearless freedom rider known as Zorro. Guy Williams stars in this action-adventure Western edited from eight episodes of the hit Disney TV series Zorro, which ran on ABC from 1957 to 1959.

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