The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, September 12 (7:30 p.m.)
…One Third of a Nation… (Paramount, 1939)
Adapted from a controversial play originally produced by the Federal Theatre Project (part of the WPA), this Depression-era story contrasts the lifestyles of tenement dwellers with the existence of the upper class in New York City. Wealthy Peter Cortlant (Leif Erickson) learns that he has inherited a block of slum tenements. In one of these dwellings, a raging fire had crippled young Joey Rogers (future director Sidney Lumet). Cortlant meets the boy sometime after the fire and eventually falls in love with his older sister Mary (Sylvia Sidney). Producer-director Murphy shot the film in the New York slum district to give it the realism needed to convey its message. The title came from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second inaugural address in which he stated “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.” 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 1989. 79 min.
Friday, September 13 (7:30 p.m.)
The Devil Thumbs a Ride (RKO, 1947)
Director Felix Feist’s first film noir is a reckless and startlingly subversive B-movie thrill-ride that, without warning, careens from silly comedy to scary psychopathy. The meager plot revolves around a slightly drunk Good Samaritan giving a ride to a guy who’s robbed and killed a cinema cashier. When they pick up two women along the way, things spin completely out of control. It’s merely a question of who will live through the night. Lawrence Tierney, a boozing and brawling demon with a police record longer than his list of film credits, stars as the psychopath killer and Feist fully captured Tierney’s dangerous combination of ribald humor, sinister charm and hair-trigger volatility and violence. (Adapted from the film notes by Eddie Muller from the ll Cinema Ritrovato Festival in June, 2019). 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2019, 62 min. Two short films will precede the feature, Floyd Gibbons the Headline Hunter in Your True Adventures: Defying Death (1938) and Take it or Leave It, No. 1 (1940), a film version of a popular CBS radio quiz show.
Saturday, September 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Only Angels Have Wings (Columbia, 1939)
Howard Hawks directed this drama that examines the relationships among pilots who fly cargo over the treacherous Andes Mountains in South American. Cary Grant stars as the tough-talking head of a cut-rate air freight company with Jean Arthur as an entertainer who finds herself stranded in the Peruvian port town and decides to stay on. Along with sparkling dialogue from Grant, Arthur and renowned character actor Thomas Mitchell, Only Angels Have Wings captivates with dazzling air sequences featuring landings on canyon rims, vertiginous ups and downs and perilous flights through foggy mountain passes. The supporting cast includes former silent film star Richard Barthlemess and Rita Hayworth in a breakthrough role. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2017. 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 1987, 121 min.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: //www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/