The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, August 3 (7:30 p.m.)
Pat and Mike (MGM, 1952)
College phys-ed instructor Pat Pemberton (Katharine Hepburn) enters into professional competition as a golf and tennis player but loses her confidence whenever her undermining fiancé is around. Mike Conovan (Spencer Tracy), a likeable but shady sports promoter, first attempts to get Pat to lose, but later wants to become her manager–and perhaps more. Directed by George Cukor, Pat and Mike was the seventh of nine pictures that Hepburn and Tracy made together and the second one scripted by the husband and wife team of Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. Their screenplay, designed to showcase Hepburn’s athletic abilities, was nominated for an Oscar.
Friday, August 4 (7:30 p.m.)
La Bohème (MGM, 1926)
Lillian Gish, called the “First Lady of American Cinema,” is credited with pioneering a more natural style of film acting. After appearing in more than 70 films beginning in 1912, many with director D.W. Griffith, she signed with the recently formed MGM who offered Gish significant creative control on her projects, including choice of directors and co-stars. For her inaugural MGM effort, Gish selected King Vidor to direct La Bohème based on Henri Murger’s 1851 novel La Vie de la bohème (The Life of the Bohemian.) Gish is cast as Mimi, the delicate seamstress who takes up residence in Paris’s artists’ colony where she falls in love with aspiring painter Rodolphe (John Gilbert). Renee Adoree co-stars as the saucy Musette, while Edward Everett Horton steals several scenes as Rodolphe’s musician friend Colline. Makia Matsumura will provide live musical accompaniment.
Saturday, August 5 (7:30 p.m.)
The Night of the Hunter (United Artists, 1955)
In his sole directorial endeavor, British actor Charles Laughton creates a poetic and unusual parable of greed, corruption, and redemption in this dark allegory of good versus evil. Robert Mitchum stars as Harry Powell, a deranged, self-appointed preacher who terrorizes two children to learn the hiding place of some stolen money while romancing their widowed mother (Shelley Winters). He meets his match in Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish), a saintly protector of runaway and abandoned children. A combination of delicate grace and steely resolve, Gish had an almost Victorian purity that was perfect for the part. Praised for its stunning imagery from renowned cinematographer Stanley Cortez, The Night of the Hunter was added to the National Film Registry in 1992.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.