The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, October 19 (7:30 p.m.)
The Killers (Universal, 1946)
Director Robert Siodmak and screenwriter Anthony Veiller, both nominated for an Oscar, took the original Ernest Hemingway short story as the film’s opening point and developed it with an elaborate series of flashbacks, creating a classic example of film noir. Two killers shatter a small town’s quiet before an insurance investigator (Edmond O’Brien) digs up crime, betrayal, and a glamorous woman (Ava Gardner) behind the death of an ex-fighter (Burt Lancaster in his electrifying film debut). The noir aesthetic is heightened by the Miklós Rózsa score and Arthur Hilton’s editing, both of which were nominated for Academy Awards. The Killers was added to the National Film Registry in 2008.
Friday, October 20 (7:30 p.m.)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (MGM, 1946)
Drifter Frank Chambers (John Garfield) takes a job at a roadhouse run by slovenly but likeable Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway). Nick’s sexy young wife, Cora (Lana Turner), takes an immediate liking to Frank, but he senses that she’s trouble and he keeps his distance–for a while. MGM bought the rights to pulp novelist James M. Cain’s hard-bitten murder romance The Postman Always Rings Twice in 1934, but it took 12 years to make it to the screen. Writer-producer Carey Wilson adapted a script that (somehow) passed by the censorious Hays Administration and director Tay Garnett turned out an electrifying drama enhanced by the charismatic performances of the two leads.
Saturday, October 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Film Noir Double Feature
In a Lonely Place (Columbia, 1950)
Humphrey Bogart portrays Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele. Brilliant at his craft yet prone to living with his fists, Steele undergoes scrutiny as a murder suspect while romancing insouciant starlet Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame). With jaded passion and paranoid force of character, Bogart perfectly plays the talented but psychologically unstable artist who will not accept his society, proving it with periodic violent, self-destructive confrontations. Director Nicholas Ray’s scathing Hollywood satire In a Lonely Place was added to the National Film Registry in 2007.
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (Universal, 1982 – Rated PG)
The second half of this double feature will be an encore screening of director Carl Reiner’s film noir parody Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, closing out the series of seven of the films featured in the movie. For more details, see the October 5 listing.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.