The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, June 6 (7:30 p.m.)
The Big Red One (United Artists, 1980)
Sam Fuller wrote and directed this epic war film, based on his own World War II experiences as a member of 1st Infantry Division, whose nickname was The Big Red One. Lee Marvin plays the gruff, unyielding sergeant leading a rifle squad across North Africa and into Europe over the course of two years. The squad serves in campaigns in Sicily; Omaha Beach at the start of the Normandy Campaign; the liberation of France, and the invasion of western Germany. Marvin’s four green, frightened soldiers are played by Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco and Kelly Ward. The two-hour original version being shown here was less than half the length of Fuller’s director’s cut, but it retains his uncompromising vision. Made when Fuller was in his late 60s, The Big Red One provided a crowning achievement for the director’s long and controversial career, in which his renegade techniques and film noir sensibilities made him a post-modernist before his time. Rated PG. 35mm archival film print, 113 min.
Friday, June 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Saving Private Ryan (Paramount, 1998 – rated R*)
Through the years, Hollywood’s take on war, honor and heroism has taken many conflicting forms. Saving Private Ryan drops ordinary soldiers into a near-impossible rescue mission set amid the carnage of World War II’s Invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The film is notable for its graphic portrayal of war, and for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which includes a depiction of the Omaha Beach landing. Tom Hanks stars as Captain Miller with Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel, Adam Goldberg and Jeremy Davies as his squad searching for Private Ryan, portrayed by Matt Damon. The film received eleven Academy Award nominations, winning five including Best Director for Steven Spielberg and was added to the National Film Registry in 2014. 35mm archival film print, 169 min. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Saturday, June 8 (7:30 p.m.)
West Side Story (United Artists, 1961)
This musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was first a highly successful Broadway production, presenting the doomed romance amid clashing cultures of young Puerto Rican emigres and bigoted New York street toughs, adding the topical issue of racial prejudice for dramatic impact. The film version retained the play’s music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim which featured such memorable songs as Maria and Tonight, with choreography by Jerome Robbins, who co-directed with Robert Wise. Starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as Maria and Tony, the film was a critically acclaimed box office success. Hollywood awarded it ten Oscars including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno), Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris), Best Color Cinematography, and Best Director. West Side Story remains a favorite with movie lovers and was added to the National Film Registry in 1997. 35mm archival film print.153 min.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: //www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/