A Robin Williams tribute and the always-wonderful Jack Benny in his best screen performance highlight this week at the Packard Campus Theater.
Thursday, September 4 (7:30 p.m.)
To Be or Not to Be (United Artists, 1942)
Jack Benny stars as “that great, great actor” Joseph Tura, whose Polish theater troupe is put out of business by invading Nazis–until they become involved in espionage and find their thespian skills being put to the ultimate test. Carole Lombard plays Tura’s wife Maria who has eyes for the handsome young pilot Lt. Stanislav Sobinski (Robert Stack). Ernst Lubitsch directed this clever black comedy, which was named to the National Film Registry in 1996. Also on the program is the second film in the “Why We Fight” series, “The Nazis Strike.”
Friday, September 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Mrs. Doubtfire (20th Century Fox, 1993)
Robin Williams won a Golden Globe Award as best actor for his portrayal of Daniel Hillard, a loving but irresponsible father of three. When his exasperated wife (Sally Field) gets a divorce, the judge allows him only weekly visits with the kids until he gets a steady job and a suitable residence. When Daniel hears that his ex is interviewing for a housekeeper, he schemes to get the job so he can be close to his kids, no matter what he has to do. The comedy, directed by Chris Columbus, won an Oscar for best makeup and co-stars Pierce Brosnan and Harvey Fierstein.
Saturday, September 6 (2 p.m.)
Aladdin (Disney, 1992)
Disney’s adaptation the Arab folktale of “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp” tells the story of a street urchin who falls in love with a princess and finds a magical genie who grants him three wishes. Robin Williams’ hilarious rapid-fire patter as the Genie is the heart of this colorful musical, which Warner Bros. cartoon director Chuck Jones called “the funniest feature ever made.” His role as the Genie was instrumental in establishing the importance of star power in voice-actor casting. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, this animated film won Oscars for best music, original score (Alan Menken) and best song for “A Whole New World.”
Saturday, September 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Good Morning, Vietnam (Touchstone, 1987, R-rated *)
Robin Williams received the first of his four best-actor Oscar nominations for playing Armed Forces Radio Service DJ Adrian Cronauer. His manic radio show proves to be a great morale-booster for the troops, but exasperates his superiors with what they call his “irreverent tendency.” Barry Levinson directed the war comedy that co-stars Forest Whitaker, Bruno Kirby and Robert Whul.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
For more information on our programs, please visit the web site at www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.