The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, September 26 (7:30 p.m.)
They Made Me a Criminal (Warner Bros., 1939)
John Garfield stars as Johnnie Bradfield, a world-champion boxer who goes on the lam after he is falsely accused of murder and ends up on an Arizona ranch run by an old lady as a work farm for teenaged boys. A remake of The Life of Jimmy Dolan starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., the story had all the essential ingredients for a Depression era hit — boxing, murder, a dogged detective (Claude Rains) out to catch the suspected killer, the love of a good woman (Gloria Dickson), and a troop of good-hearted delinquents (the Dead End Kids) who need Garfield’s stern guidance to shape up. Director Busby Berkley’s experience as a dance director made him a natural for the realistic boxing scenes, shot by cameraman James Wong Howe. The film’s strong performance at the box office established Garfield as one of Warner’s top stars. 35mm print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 1989, 92 min.
Friday, September 27 (7:30 p.m.)
The Marriage of Maria Braun (United Artists, Criterion, 1979 – rated R*)
Maria (Hanna Schygulla) marries Hermann Braun in the last days of World War II, only to have him disappear in the war. Alone, Maria uses her beauty and ambition to prosper in Germany’s “economic miracle” of the 1950’s. German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s biggest international box-office success and the first part of his “postwar trilogy” (followed by Lola and Veronika Voss), The Marriage of Maria Braun is a heartbreaking study of a woman picking herself up from the ruins of her own life, as well as a pointed metaphorical attack on a society determined to forget its past. Hanna Schygulla won the Silver Bear Award for Best Actress at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1979. In German, English and French with English subtitles. 35mm film print courtesy of Janus Films, 120 min.
Saturday, September 28 (7:30 p.m.)
The Women (MGM, 1939)
Probably no movie in history has combined more leading Hollywood ladies (Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Mary Boland, Paulette Goddard and Joan Fontaine) without, as advertising noted, “a man in sight.” Yet “It’s all about men.” Based on the hit play by Clare Boothe Luce, “The Women” explores the new options open to women with the possibility of divorce, following several intertwining paths to the courts in Reno. The characters learn of the various affairs and entanglements of their husbands with others, and are forced to decide between “freedom” and surrendering pride for love. “See them with their hair down, and their claws out!” promised MGM, and they delivered. George Cukor secured his reputation as a women’s director with this movie. The Women was added to the National Film Registry in 2007. Digital presentation, 133 min.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: //www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/
I am extremely impressed with the selected motion pictures that are currently being featured: “The Women” circa 1939 & “They Made me a Criminal” circa 1938 – B.B.B.