The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.
Thursday, December 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Late Show with David Letterman (CBS, 1993-2015)
Following an 11-year run of a highly popular late night variety show on NBC, David Letterman moved to CBS with Late Show with David Letterman which debuted on August 30, 1993. Letterman’s music director Paul Shaffer came along to lead the CBS Orchestra. The final episode of Late Show aired on May 20, 2015 after Letterman announced his retirement. The show hosted hundreds of top musical acts during its 22 years on the air. Featured artists on this exclusive program curated from the video collections of the Library of Congress include Billy Joel, Jerry Garcia & David Grisman, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Green Day, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Joni Mitchell, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Allman Brothers Band, Oasis, Steely Dan, D’Angelo, Eddie Vedder, Aimee Mann, Van Morrison, Pete Townshend, Beck, Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine. Digital presentation, 90 min.
Friday, December 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Battleground (MGM, 1949)
William Wellman directed this World War II epic that follows a company in the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, as they cope with the Siege of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944. The film is notable for portraying American soldiers as vulnerable and human while remaining steadfast. Battleground is considered to be the first significant American film about World War II to be made and released after the end of the war. Twenty veterans of the 101st were hired to train the actors and appeared in the film as extras. The all-star cast includes Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalbán, George Murphy and James Whitmore. Robert Pirosh, who based his screenplay on his own experiences during the Battle of the Bulge, was awarded an Oscar as was Paul C. Vogel for his cinematography. The film received four additional Oscar nominations including Best Picture and Best Director for Wellman. Digital presentation, 118 min.
Saturday, December 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Battle of the Bulge (Warner Bros., 1965)
Set during the historic event for which the film was named that took place in December 1944, this World War II drama directed by Ken Annakin is known for its exciting battle scenes. Unlike many earlier Hollywood war epics, the fictional plot of Battle of the Bulge attempts to present a more balanced look at the last great German offensive in the war. On one side of the city of Bastogne, Belgium is the American military headed by Robert Ryan, his intelligence chief, Dana Andrews, and the latter’s assistant, Henry Fonda, who is convinced the Germans are building toward a winter offensive but can’t convince his superiors. On the other side is Robert Shaw as a master strategist, leading his German tank corps through a cunning game of cat-and-mouse with the enemy. Criticized for its lack of historical accuracy, the filmmakers state in the end credits that they had “re-organized” the chronological order of events to maximize the dramatic story. Digital presentation, 167 min.
For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: //www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/