Thursday, April 18th, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.
Every month, films from the Library’s collection are shown at the Mary Pickford Theater in the James Madison building, ranging from titles newly preserved by the National Audio Visual Conservation Center film lab, classics from the National Film Registry, and lesser known titles worthy of discovery.
ATOMIC CINEMA: The two features we are presenting this month provide a glimpse into American cinema’s engagement with the atomic age, which not surprisingly reached its heyday during the 1950’s when the simultaneous fear and fascination with the “bomb,” combined with the threat of the Cold War, provided fertile ground for filmmakers to explore and/or exploit the subject in a wide variety of genres.
THEM! (Warner Bros., 1954). Directed by Gordon Douglas. Screenplay by Ted Sherdeman from an adaptation by Russell Hughes of a story by George Worthing Yates. With James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens. (93 min, black & white, 35mm).
Giant mutant ants go on a rampage after the first atomic test in the desert of New Mexico! Developed into an intelligent script and filmed in a semi-documentary style, this simple premise produced one of the best science fiction films of the decade–taut, menacing, yet completely credible. “Them!” was the highest-grossing Warner Bros. release of the year, spawning a host of mostly inferior giant insect pictures, including “Tarantula” (1955), “The Deadly Mantis” (1957) and “The Black Scorpion” (1957). The finale of “Them!” in the Los Angeles sewers is unforgettable. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
For more information on our programs, please visit the Mary Pickford Theater website.
The Mary Pickford Theater is located on the 3rd floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, DC, 20540.