The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, January 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Our Man in Havana (Columbia, 1959)
In pre-revolutionary Cuba, Hawthorne (Noël Coward) of the British Secret Intelligence Service recruits a reluctant vacuum cleaner salesman, James Wormold (Alec Guinness), to be their Havana operative. The bemused Wormwood’s modus operandi is to fabricate secrets rather than find them. But much to his surprise, all of the invented information begins to come true. Directed by Carol Reed with a screenplay by Graham Greene, adapted from his novel, this comedy thriller features an outstanding supporting cast that includes Ralph Richardson, Burl Ives, Maureen O’Hara and Ernie Kovacs. Shooting in Cuba was scheduled to begin in early 1959, then Fidel Castro’s communist revolution overthrew the U.S.-supported government of Fulgencio Batista. Columbia’s executives were concerned about sending a film company into the unstable country, but Greene assured them that his friendship with Castro would guarantee their safety. The new regime asked for a few script changes, but the filming proceeded without incident.
Friday, January 19 (7:30 p.m.)
It Should Happen to You (Columbia, 1954)
Judy Holliday stars as Gladys Glover, a down-on-her luck model in New York City with a craving for fame. Gladys uses her life savings to have her name painted in huge letters on a billboard in Columbus Circle. The stunt works and she becomes famous for being famous, resulting in romantic troubles with her boyfriend Pete (Jack Lemon in his screen debut) and the dubious attention of playboy Evan Adams III (Peter Lawford). George Cukor directed this romantic comedy/satire that was scripted by Garson Kanin, making this the fourth film collaboration of the star, director and writer, following Adam’s Rib, Born Yesterday (which won Holliday a Best Actress Oscar), and The Marrying Kind.
Saturday, January 20 (2 p.m.)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (Columbia, 1958)
Special-effects master Ray Harryhausen provides the hero (Kerwin Mathews) with a villanous magician (Torin Thatcher) and fantastic antagonists, including a genie, giant cyclops, fire-breathing dragons, and a sword-wielding animated skeleton, all in glorious Technicolor. And, of course, no mythological tale would be complete without the rescue of a damsel in distress, here a princess (Kathryn Grant) that the evil magician shrinks down to a mere few inches. Harryhausen’s stunning Dynamation process, which blended stop-motion animation and live-actions sequences, and a thrilling score by Bernard Herrmann (Psycho, The Day the Earth Stood Still) makes this one of the finest fantasy films of all time. “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” was added to the National Film Registry in 2008.
Saturday, January 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Western Double Feature
The Last Horseman (Columbia, 1944)
Lucky Rawlins (Russell Hayden), foreman of the Bar W Ranch, finds himself cheated out of a check for $12,000–the proceeds from a cattle drive. The culprit is the local banker, Cash Watson (John Maxwell), who has learned that the railroad is interested in buying up the local ranches and it’s up to Lucky to expose his dastardly deed. Dub Taylor appears as Lucky’s sidekick Cannonball Taylor, a character he played in nearly 50 Westerns. Western Swing group Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys appear as musicians and cowboys and perform several songs in the film including Wills’ “Dreamy-Eyes Waltz.”
Texas Panhandle (Columbia, 1945)
Steve Buckner (Charles Starrett), suspended from the Secret Service pending investigation of his rumored activities as the Durango Kid, heads west to the Texas Panhandle, where he learns renegades have attacked settler wagon trains and have stolen government gold. As the Durango Kid, Steve uncovers the facts and brings the bad guys to justice. Western Swing group Spade Cooley and His Band, along with Carolina Cotton, the Yodeling Blonde Bombshell, perform several tunes in the film.
Friday, February 16 (7:30 p.m.)
The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band (Live)
Self-described as “five guys and a scrubboard, with roots like wisdom teeth,” the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band from Goodlettsville, Tennessee, perform a fun combination of traditional country, bluegrass and hillbilly tunes that is sure to have you laughing and singing along. Regulars on “The Marty Stuart Show,” the Jug Band has performed on television, at the Grand Ole Opry and throughout the country. They not only know the music, they wear the costumes, tell corny jokes and even do slapstick gags. Tickets are required for this free event and can be reserved at https://tennesseemafiajugband.eventbrite.com beginning January 16, 2018 at 9 a.m.
Update (11/18/2018): Tennessee Mafia Jug Band concert is SOLD OUT!
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.