The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, June 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Fear Strikes Out (Paramount, 1957)
Anthony Perkins stars in this biographical drama based on the autobiography by James A. Piersall, the former outfielder and shortstop for the Boston Red Sox, and his co-author Albert S. Hirshberg. The film is less about Piersall’s brilliant, though erratic, career and more about his struggle against bipolar disorder. Fear Strikes Out was one of the first films to depict mental illness as something that could strike anyone and was unflinching in its portrayal of a father (Karl Malden) whose ambition was so great that he drove his own son to a mental collapse. The film is equally important as the feature directing debut of Robert Mulligan and the feature producing debut of Alan J. Pakula. It was a collaboration that led to their successful teaming on six more features together including To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) before they both went on to extremely successful solo careers. 100 min. 35 mm archival print.
Friday, June 22 (7:30 p.m.)
The Natural (Columbia, 1984)
Robert Redford stars as Roy Hobbs, a 35-year-old rookie with a mysterious past who soon becomes the star player of the 1939 New York Knights. Barry Levinson directed the baseball drama based on the novel by Bernard Malamud. The Natural was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close as Hobb’s first love Iris Gaines), Best Cinematography (Caleb Deschanel) and Best Music Score (Randy Newman). Newman won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for The Natural. Many of the baseball scenes were filmed in Buffalo, New York’s War Memorial Stadium, built in 1937 and demolished a few years after the film was produced. Rated PG, 138 min. 35 mm archival print.
Saturday, June 23 (2 p.m.)
Angels in the Outfield (Disney, 1994)
Roger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a foster child whose recently-widowed and irresponsible father (Dermot Mulroney) sardonically promises that they can live as a family again when Roger’s favorite baseball team, the perpetually losing California Angels, wins the pennant. Roger’s prayers to turn the team around are answered when a real angel (Christopher Lloyd) and a band of his colleagues perform a few miracles on the field. Danny Glover plays the team’s skeptical manager with Tony Danza, Adrien Brody and Matthew McConaughey in the cast as members of the California Angels team. Also in supporting roles are Ben Johnson and Brenda Fricker. Updated from the 1951 film of the same name, Angels in the Outfield takes liberties with the original to bring the sentimental values to a modern setting. Rated PG, 102 min. 35 mm archival print.
Saturday, June 23 (7:30 p.m.)
42 (Warner Bros., 2013)
This critically acclaimed biopic focuses on the relationship between legendary baseball star Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), who signed Robinson to the team in 1947, breaking Major League Baseball’s infamous color line that had existed in professional baseball since the 1880s. The contract subjected both Robinson and Rickey to condemnation from the public, the press and even other players. Facing blatant racism from every side, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind, knowing that any incident could destroy his and Rickey’s hopes. Instead, Number 42 let his talent on the field do the talking–ultimately winning over fans and his teammates, silencing his critics, and paving the way for others to follow. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1997, baseball commissioner Bud Selig universally retired Jackie Robinson’s number, 42. Rated PG-13, 128 min. 35 mm archival print.
The Packard Campus Theater will be closed June 28 – June 30.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.