Thursday, April 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Mostly Lost: Identifying Unknown Films at the Library of Congress
Did you ever wonder where those “once-thought-lost, just-rediscovered” films you hear about in the news from time to time were lurking? While some have been waiting patiently to be found in someone’s garage or even squirreled away in film archives, others are problem children that survived in plain sight, but due to the ravages of time, often exist only in fragments or with their opening titles and credits missing. These incomplete and unidentified films are not lost… they are just Mostly Lost. To help them regain their identity, the Library of Congress holds an annual film identification workshop where such films are projected to an audience of scholars, archivists and film enthusiasts who are encouraged to call out anything that they recognize on screen. This evening’s screening, a preview of the program to be presented at this year’s Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival in Hollywood (April 26 – 29), will bring part of that workshop to you with screenings of newly identified films, insights in how to identify a film, and even give you a shot at identifying one live! Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Ben Model. 90 – 120 min.
Friday, April 6 (7:30 p.m.)
The Servant (LRO, 1963)
In this British psychodrama, an aristocratic young man (James Fox) hires a servant (Dirk Bogarde) who seems to be a loyal and competent employee, but turns out to have a hidden agenda. Despite its setting in upper class London, “The Servant” has a decadent air, invested with the realism and incisive take on human relationships of the British New Wave. Directed by Joseph Losey and also staring Sarah Miles and Wendy Craig, the film was nominated for eight BAFTA Awards, winning three including Best British Actor for Bogard. The soundtrack by jazz great John Dankworth includes the song All Gone sung by Cleo Laine which is used throughout the film. 116 min.
Saturday, April 7 (2 p.m.)
James and the Giant Peach (Disney, 1996)
Young British lad James (Paul Terry) is orphaned and forced to live with two cruel aunts. After he spills a magic bag of crocodile tongues, James finds himself in possession of a giant peach inhabited by large talking insects that flies him away to strange lands. This British-American musical fantasy, a combination of live action and stop-motion animation, is based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes play James’s aunts in the live-action segments, while Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves and David Thewlis are among the voice actors for the insect in the animation sequences. Randy Newman received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for the film. 89 min.
Sunday, April 8 (7:30 p.m.)
Gail Davies and Chris Scruggs (Live)–SOLD OUT!
An evening of country music and conversation with singer/songwriter Gail Davies and multi-instrumentalist Chris Scruggs. Best known for being the first female record producer in country music, Gail Davies is also a talented songwriter and the author of such radio standards as Bucket to the South for Lynn Anderson, Hometown Gossip for The Whites and Tell Me Why for Jann Browne, along with her own hit recordings of Grandma’s Song, It’s Boys Like You, Not A Day Goes By and Someone is Looking For Someone Like You. Chris Scruggs is the bass player for Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives and fronts his own group, Chris Scruggs & the Stone Fox Five. The only son of Gail Davies, Chris grew up on the road, and in addition to being a top flight musician, he is also an astute historian of country music. Tickets for the free event can be obtained at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gail-davies-and-chris-scruggs-concert-tickets-42461900688. Unclaimed tickets will be released 15 minutes prior to the show to standbys. 120 – 150 min.
Thursday, April 12 (7:30 p.m.)
Storm Center (Columbia, 1956)
The first of three features scheduled to celebrate National Library Week (April 8 – 14); Storm Center is the story of a small town librarian (Bette Davis) who stands up to local pressure to remove a controversial book from the shelves on principal, not out of sympathy for its viewpoint. The first film to openly take on the witch-hunt mentality of the McCarthy era, its themes of book banning and censorship remain relevant. Screenwriters Daniel Taradash (who also directed) and Elick Moll were inspired to write the script after hearing President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1953 speech at Dartmouth College in which he warned an anxious America against book burning. The feature will be preceded by the 1945 Oscar nominated short Library of Congress, narrated by Ralph Bellamy. 85 min.
Friday, April 13 (7:30 p.m.)
National Treasure (Walt Disney Pictures, 2004)
The Packard Campus Theater continues its celebration of National Library Week (April 8 – 14) with National Treasure and its sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets, both of which feature scenes filmed at the Jefferson Building of Library of Congress in Washington D.C. In National Treasure, a team of modern day treasure hunters led by archaeologist Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage), search for a chest of riches rumored to have been stashed away by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin during the Revolutionary War. Directed by Jon Turteltaub, the action adventure film also stars Harvey Keitel, Jon Voight, Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, Justin Bartha and Christopher Plummer. Rated PG. 131 min.
Saturday, April 14 (7:30 p.m.)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Walt Disney Pictures, 2007)
In this adventure-filled sequel to the 2004 blockbuster National Treasure, Nicolas Cage reprises his role as artifact hunter and archaeologist Benjamin Franklin Gates. In this outing, Gates must follow a clue left in John Wilkes Booth’s diary to prove his ancestor’s innocence in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, as well as other clues that point to a massive, global conspiracy. The Library of Congress has a central role in the movie with scenes filmed in the Main Reading Room, the book stacks and other locations in the Jefferson Building. Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel reprise their roles from the earlier film as Ben Gates father Patrick and FBI Agent Peter Sadusky respectively, with Helen Mirren on board as Ben’s mother. Rated PG. 124 min.
Thursday, April 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Rock & Roll on The Ed Sullivan Show, 1955-1970
The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS, 1948-1971) was a landmark television program, and unquestionably one of the most important chronicles of mid-20th century popular culture. The Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress acquired master material – original 16mm kinescopes and 2-inch video tape – of all 1030 hours of the show from the former owner, Sofa Entertainment, and simultaneously arranged to purchase new Beta SP preservation video copies. This program of rock and roll legends on the show includes Bo Diddley, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Sam, Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Sly and the Family Stone, The Band, The Temptations, The Supremes, Santana, and Ike & Tina Turner. Many of these performances have not been seen since their original airdates.
Friday, April 20 (7:30 p.m.)
The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (Universal, 1947); aka Mad Wednesday (RKO, 1951)
In celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Harold Lloyd, one of the masters of movie comedy from the silent era who successfully made the transition to talkies, the Packard Campus Theater presents Lloyd’s final film. Director Preston Sturges coaxed Lloyd out of retirement to star in The Sin of Harold Diddlebock, a comedy he wrote with Lloyd in mind. It opens with footage cleverly lifted from Lloyd’s 1925 silent classic The Freshman in which Harold’s go-getting character scores the triumphant winning touchdown for his college football team. We now see Harold twenty years later, working at a boring job with his life going nowhere. Things soon change when he is talked into having the first alcoholic drink of his life which unleashes a whole new uninhibited side of him. The film was reedited and reissued in 1950 as Mad Wednesday. 77 min.
Saturday, April 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Stalag 17 (Paramount, 1953)
William Holden won his only Oscar (out of three nominations) for his portrayal of J.J. Sefton, a cynical sergeant suspected of being Nazi spy by his fellow inmates in a Nazi prison camp. Director Billy Wilder brilliantly blends drama with comedy to show the monotonous, anxiety-ridden life of POWs. Robert Strauss and Harvey Lembeck (repeating their Broadway roles), provide comic relief and Otto Preminger turns in an outstanding performance as the Nazi camp commander. The film was adapted by Billy Wilder and Edwin Blum from the Broadway play by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski, which was based on their experiences as prisoners in Stalag 17B in Austria. 120 min.
Thursday, April 26 (7:30 p.m.)
A Day at the Races (MGM, 1937)
In this classic Marx Brothers comedy, veterinarian Hugo Z. Hackenbush (Groucho Marx) is hired as chief of staff for the financially troubled Standish Sanitarium at the insistence of wealthy hypochondriac patient Mrs. Emily Upjohn (Margaret Dumont). Soon after, the facility’s owner Judy Standish (Maureen O’Sullivan) finds herself caught up in the world of horse racing after her fiancé (Allan Jones) blows his life savings on a racehorse named Hi-Hat with the hope of winning enough money to avoid foreclosure for the sanitarium. Zany shenanigans ensue by jockey Harpo Marx and racing tipster Chico Marx. Directed by Sam Wood, the film features some of the trio’s funniest set pieces including “Tutsi Fruitsy Ice Cream” and Chico selling racing tip books to Groucho. 111 min.
Friday, April 27 (7:30 p.m.)
Mutiny on the Bounty (MGM, 1935)
This fact-based epic classic is an engrossing adaptation of the Nordhoff-Hall book about a clash of wills between the tyrannical Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton) and his mutinous crew led by Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) aboard the HMS Bounty, an 18th-century British merchantman in the South Seas. Directed by Frank Lloyd, “Mutiny on the Bounty” won the Best Picture Academy Award. It was the only film to receive three nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor: Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone. Because of this, the Academy introduced a Best Supporting Actor Oscar the following year. 132 min.
Saturday, April 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Back Pay (Paramount, 1922)
Directed by Frank Borzage, winner of the first Best Director Academy Award (for Seventh Heaven in 1927), this romantic drama stars Seena Owen as Hester Bevins, a simple country girl who yearns for adventure. Though she has a handsome young man, Jerry, who is devoted to her, she leaves her village and goes to New York in search of a grander life. There she becomes the lover of a wealthy and unscrupulous businessman. But when Jerry returns blinded and dying from the war, Hester must choose between her new life and the man whose loyalty to her has never failed. Frances Marion wrote the screenplay based on a short story of the same name by Fannie Hurst. This 35 mm tinted film print was restored by the Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center. 70 min. The 10 min. short Federated Screen Review # 5 will precede the feature. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Andrew Simpson.