The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, December 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Mr. Sardonicus (Columbia, 1961)
Prolific and innovative filmmaker William Castle, best known for his promotional gimmicks in a string of popular low-budget thrillers such as House on Haunted Hill and The Tingler (both 1959) and Homicidal (1961), made a departure from his usual horror formula with Mr. Sardonicus, a serious Gothic tale set in Europe during the 19th Century. Castle assembled a mostly European cast for the film, including British actor Guy Rolfe as the title character, a man whose face becomes frozen in a horrifying grin while robbing his father’s grave to obtain a winning lottery ticket. Sardonicus becomes a cruel man in his search for a cure, primarily to London physician Sir Robert Cargrave (Ronald Lewis) who he has summoned to his castle. In its original release, audiences were given the opportunity to participate in a “Punishment Poll” near the end of the film, which would decide the fate of Sardonicus. 35mm archival film print, 89 min.
Friday, December 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Pearl Harbor (Buena Vista Pictures, 2001)
Set during the events surrounding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the fictional story follows two lifelong friends Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett), both first lieutenants under the command of Major Jimmy Doolittle, and their relationship with nurse Lieutenant Evelyn Johnson (Kate Beckinsale). Directed by Michael Bay, the epic romantic drama features a large supporting cast including Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Dan Aykroyd, Alec Baldwin and Japanese actor Mako as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. The film won an Oscar for Best Sound Editing and received Oscar nominations for Best Sound, Best Visual Effects and Best Song (“There You’ll Be”). Rated PG-13. Digital presentation, 183 min.
Saturday, December 8 (7:30 p.m.)
The Blues Brothers (Universal, 1980)
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as Jake and Elwood Blues, characters they developed on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The story, scripted by Aykroyd and director John Landis, is a tale of redemption as the paroled convict brothers set out to save the Catholic orphanage where they were both raised from foreclosure by reuniting their former band for a charity gig, wreaking havoc on the city of Chicago along the way. The film features supporting performances by Carrie Fisher and John Candy with musical numbers by James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and John Lee Hooker. In spite of costly delays and destructive car chase scenes that made the film one of the most expensive comedies ever produced (103 cars wrecked), it was a financial and critical success and has become a cult classic. 35mm archival film print, 133 min. Rated R, no one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.