The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, September 5 (7:30 p.m.)
The Man from Laramie (Columbia, 1955)
James Stewart stars as a former Army scout who is out for revenge, tracking the person responsible for his brother’s death. He knows the guilty party sold guns to a tribe of Apaches who subsequently attacked a band of U.S. cavalry, but he must travel to New Mexico to learn more. Meanwhile, he’s pursued by the son of a half-blind cattle baron who suffers from premonitions. This psychological Western reminiscent of Shakespeare’s King Lear was the last of eight films Stewart made with director Anthony Mann. New York Times critic Bosley Crowther praised the film saying, “Mr. Stewart is, as usual, atmospheric and incisive in his lean, heroic role,” and “Under the fierce and steady direction of veteran Anthony Mann, the considerable characters of a big ranch baron, his hysterical son and a cold, calculating foreman are played with authority and vividness by Donald Crisp, Alex Nichol and Arthur Kennedy, respectively.” 35mm archival print, 103 min.
Friday, September 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Dodge City (Warner Bros., 1939)
While 1939 is widely acknowledged as Hollywood’s golden year for classic films of every genre, the Western benefited in particular with Michael Curtiz’s Dodge City being a prime example. Confident that their swashbuckling superstar Errol Flynn could convincingly swap his sword for six-shooters, Warners cast him as Irish soldier of fortune Wade Hatton, who arrives in tough Dodge City, Kansas and promptly helps local lawmen round up some cattle rustlers. Hatton is soon made sheriff and sets out to make all outlaws “get out of Dodge.” Bruce Cabot co-stars as unscrupulous cattle baron Jeff Surrett and Olivia de Havilland appears as Flynn’s love interest, Abbie Irving. The film’s highlight is a barroom brawl that is so exciting and fast-paced, it set the standard for western movie bar fights in countless films to come. Digital presentation. 104 min.
Saturday, September 7 (2 p.m.)
3 Idiots (Reliance Big Pictures, 2009)
In this entertaining comedy-drama from India, Farhan and Raju, former classmates at one of India’s premier colleges, embark on a quest for their lost buddy, the irrepressible free-thinker Rancho (Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan), who in his unique way, touched and changed their lives. On the journey, they encounter another student, Chatur, now a successful businessman, who reminds them of a bet they had undertaken ten years ago. The film is narrated through parallel dramas, one in the present and the other a decade earlier when the friends were overworked and overstressed engineering students struggling to beat their school’s draconian system which unfairly valued grades over creativity. 3 Idiots received widespread critical and commercial success and was the highest-grossing Indian film worldwide at the time. Robert Abele of Los Angeles Times wrote that there’s an “unavoidable joie de vivre (symbolized by Rancho’s meditative mantra ‘All is well’) and a performance charm that make this one of the more naturally gregarious Bollywood imports.” In Hindi and English with English subtitles. Digital presentation, rated PG. 170 min.
Saturday, September 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Smithereens (New Line Cinema, 1982 – rated R*)
Restless 19-year-old Wren (Susan Berman) exits the soul-sucking boredom of her blue-collar New Jersey roots, intent on becoming a punk rock star in New York City’s edgy clubs. But after losing her job and getting evicted from her shabby apartment, Wren’s prospects for stardom are dim at best. Ever the optimist, she refuses to abandon her dream in this quirky urban drama from director Susan Seidelman, making her feature-film debut. Seidelman’s next film was Desperately Seeking Susan, which shared themes with Smithereens of female identity and self-reinvention. 35mm archival print, 93 min. *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/