The following is a guest-post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, October 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Johnny Eager (MGM, 1941)
Robert Taylor plays Johnny Eager, a parolee who is pretending to go straight as a cab driver but is still connected to the mob. Through his parole officer, Eager meets sociology student Lisbeth Bard (Lana Turner), who as it turns out, is the stepdaughter of the District Attorney responsible for sending him to the prison. While Lisbeth falls for Eager, the DA is on to his latest crime scheme. Van Heflin won an Oscar for his portrayal as Taylor’s alcoholic, intellectual best friend.
Friday, October 13 (7:30 p.m.)
White Heat (Warner Bros., 1949)
This pulsating gangster film was directed by Raoul Walsh and stars James Cagney as a mother-obsessed, psychopathic gangster exiting the world with the legendary “Made it, Ma. Top of the world” ending. One of the toughest and most brilliant crime films ever made, “White Heat” marked a breakthrough in the explicitly psychological depiction of screen bad guys. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2003.
Saturday, October 14 (2 p.m.)
Sorry, Wrong Number (Paramount, 1948)
Barbara Stanwyck won an Oscar nomination for her bravura performance as a neurotic invalid who accidentally overhears a phone conversation plotting her own murder. The story was expanded and adapted by Lucille Fletcher from her famous radio drama. First broadcast on May 25, 1943 on Suspense starring Agnes Moorehead, it proved so popular that the series restaged it seven times through to 1960. Anatole Litvak directed this suspense thriller that also stars Burt Lancaster.
Saturday, October 14 (7:30 p.m.)
The Big Sleep (Warner Bros., 1946)
Private detective Humphrey Bogart trails a blackmailer who’s vexing socialite sisters Lauren Bacall and Martha Vickers. Director Howard Hawks’ powerful adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s dystopian novel turns the tables repeatedly, constructing a universe where victims soon become suspects, and vice-versa. Hawks and his writers attempted to untangle the threads of Chandler’s complicated plot which caused frequent production delays. Sterling direction, crackling dialogue, and the fortuitous teaming of real-life lovers Bogart and Bacall, render the film an indispensable noir classic. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 1997. This 35mm restoration print is on loan from the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.