Thursday, July 24 (7:30 p.m.)
Applause (Paramount, 1929)
This early sound-era masterpiece was the first film for both stage director Rouben Mamoulian and cabaret star Helen Morgan. Many have compared Mamoulian’s debut to that of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane because of his flamboyant use of cinematic innovation to test technical boundaries. The tear-jerking plot boasts top performances from Morgan as the fading burlesque queen, Fuller Mellish Jr. as her slimy paramour and Joan Peers as her cultured daughter. However, the film is remembered today chiefly for Mamoulian’s audacious style. While most films of the era were static and stage-bound, Mamoulian’s camera reinvigorated the melodramatic plot by prowling relentlessly through sordid backstage life. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 2006.
Friday, July 25 (7:30 p.m.)
We Still Kill the Old Way (Lopert, 1967)
Writer-director Elio Petri won the best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival for this Mafia crime drama and political thriller. The film stars Gian Maria Volonté as an intellectual loner who finds himself in over his head when he probes the assassination of two friends. Beautifully photographed in Sicily and featuring a lush score by Luis Enrique Bacalov, the film also stars Irene Papas. It is presented in Italian with English subtitles.
Saturday, July 26 (7:30 p.m.)
The Roaring Twenties (Warner Bros., 1939)
James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart star as former WWI Army buddies who become prohibition racketeers in this hard-hitting gangster film, directed by Raoul Walsh. The voice-over narration by journalist-turned-producer Mark Hellinger—assuring audiences that “what they are about to see is based upon real people and events” he covered as a newsman during the 1920s—and the use of actual newsreel footage give the crime drama a documentary feel. The film also stars Priscilla Lane, Jeffrey Lynn, Gladys George, Frank McHugh and Paul Kelly.
For more information on our programs, please visit the web site at www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.