The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, May 31 (7:30 p.m.)
Jazz Legends on The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS TV, 1955-1970)
This program of renowned jazz musicians on Ed Sullivan’s popular television variety series will include performances by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Peggy Lee, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Rahsaan Roland Kirk with Charles Mingus, Errol Garner, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and rare footage of the Dave Brubeck Quartet recorded at his home in the Berkeley Hills in California. Many of these performances have not been seen since their original airdates. “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 1,030 hours of the show from the current owner, Sofa Entertainment, and simultaneously arranged to purchase new Beta SP preservation video copies.
Friday, June 1 (7:30 p.m.)
Jackie Robinson Double Header
Jackie Robinson on Television
Selected from the video collections of the Library of Congress, this program will include appearances of Jackie Robinson on the Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” show from 1949, the WNET “Black Journal” public affairs program from 1970, and “The Dick Cavett Show” from 1972 which originally aired nine months before his passing. Approximately 30 min., digital.
Baseball Double Feature
The Jackie Robinson Story (Eagle-Lion Films, 1950)
Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson plays himself in this inspiring biopic that was shot in the off-season following his third season with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson’s signing by the Dodgers in 1947 signaled the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s. The film is a fascinating social history; unflinching in its depiction of the racial issues involved. Directed by Alfred E. Green, it also stars Ruby Dee in one of her first screen roles as Jackie’s wife, Rachel, and veteran character actress Louise Beavers as his doting mother. “The Hollywood Reporter“ praised the film stating, “There is no attempt to minimize the racial angle; yet this is not the essence of ‘The Jackie Robinson Story.’ It happens to be an account of a great athlete and what must be a greater gentleman. The film is choppy, episodic, and sometimes its low budget shows at the seams. But director Alfred E. Green and his star maintain a serene dignity throughout it all.” This is a new 35mm print produced by the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2016. 76 min.
Saturday, June 2 (7:30 p.m.)
Eight Men Out (Orion, 1988)
A dramatization of one of the most infamous scandals in baseball’s history when the talented but underpaid Chicago White Sox accepted bribes to deliberately lose the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. “Eight Men Out” was the realization of a project director John Sayles had been contemplating since the mid-1970’s, when he first wrote a script based on Eliot Asinof’s book (originally published in 1963). The film is as much about baseball as it is about the American society of the late 1910’s, with athletes portrayed as exploited workers falling prey to economic, criminal and legal forces they cannot control. The film stars John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner, Christopher Lloyd, John Mahoney, Charlie Sheen, David Strathairn and D.B. Sweeney. Rated PG, 119 min. 35 mm archival print.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.