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At the Packard Campus Theater — January 2020

 

Though the original January schedule posted here on December 10 stated that the theater would be closed the last three weeks of the month for the installation of a new screen, the work has been postponed, so we’re adding more shows.

Thursday, January 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Never Let Me Go (MGM, 1953)
Clark Gable and Gene Tierney star in this Cold War romantic drama in which an American news correspondent (Gable) is kicked out of the Soviet Union for writing some anti-Communist articles while his Russian ballerina wife (Tierney) is not allowed to emigrate. Tierney took extensive ballet lessons for the film from English ballet dancer and choreographer Anton Dolan that paid off in the Swan Lake sequence. The supporting cast includes, Kenneth More, Richard Haydn, Bernard Miles, Belita, and Theodore Bikel. The movie was shot at MGM’s British studios and on location in Cornwall. Directed by Delmer Daves and produced by Clarence Brown, the screenplay was based on the novel Came the Dawn by Roger Bax. 35mm film print. 94 minutes.

Friday, January 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Jeremiah Johnson (Warner Bros., 1972)
Army veteran Robert Redford heads for the wilderness in 1850 to make his way as a mountain man, only to find that “civilization” and its constraints are not far behind. Will Geer co-stars as his grizzled tutor “Bear Claw” Chris Lapp. The film was artfully directed by Sydney Pollack and beautifully shot by Duke Callaghan in nearly one hundred locations across Utah. Pollock worked with editor Thomas Stanford for nearly seven and a half months after filming was finished. “It’s a picture that was made as much in the editing room as it was in the shooting,” said Pollack, “because you had all these big shots of a guy walking his horse through the snow. It’s a picture made out of rhythms and moods and wonderful performances.” Jeremiah Johnson is a starkly simple story well told. It is the journey of a man who seeks to re-make himself. Rated PG. Digital. 108 minutes.

Saturday, January 18 (2:00 pm)
The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941)
Director Preston Sturges turns the Adam and Eve story on its head with con artists Barbara Stanwyck and Charles Coburn out to fleece shy and serious beer heir/snake expert Henry Fonda on an ocean voyage. The film features sparkling dialog, a quick pace and more than a touch of Sturges’ trademark screwiness. Monckton Hoffe, who wrote the original story for The Lady Eve, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing. The New York Times named it as the best film of the year in their “10 Best Films of 1941” list. This four star romantic comedy was added to the National Film Registry in 1994. 35mm film print. 94 minutes.

Saturday, January 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Bad Boys (Columbia, 1995 – rated R)
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are Miami narcotic detectives in search of $100 million of confiscated heroin that goes missing from station headquarters. Michael Bay directed, so of course, the film is full of flashy action sequences, but the comedic chops of Smith and Lawrence keep the tone fairly lighthearted. This very successful film spawned two sequels: Bad Boys II in 2003 and Bad Boys for Life which opens on January 17. The action comedy is rated R for intense violent action and pervasive strong language. No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. 35mm film print. 119 minutes.

Thursday, January 23 (7:30 p.m.)
The Roaring Twenties (Warner Bros., 1939)
Prohibition became the law of the land at the stroke of midnight on January 17, 1920, and lasted until December 1933. This period of failed social experimentation provided the inspiration for a great many Hollywood films both during and after its implementation, and to commemorate Prohibition’s centenary we’re showing three films this week starting with The Roaring Twenties from 1939 which serves to frame an overview of the tumultuous decade. James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart star as former WWI Army buddies who become prohibition racketeers in this hard-hitting gangster film, directed by Raoul Walsh. The voice-over narration by journalist-turned-producer Mark Hellinger – assuring audiences that “what they are about to see is based upon real people and events” he covered as a newsman during the 1920s – and the use of actual newsreel footage give the crime drama a documentary feel. The film also stars Priscilla Lane, Jeffrey Lynn, Gladys George, Frank McHugh and Paul Kelly. 35mm film print. 104 minutes.

Friday, January 24 (7:30 p.m.)
Little Caesar (Warner Bros., 1931)
No studio released more Prohibition-themed films than Warner Bros., for whom “stories torn from today’s headlines” was both an advertising slogan and a production strategy. That was especially evident in a brilliant cycle of early 1930s gangster films, starting with Little Caesar in 1931. Edward G. Robinson’s breakout role of Rico Bandello was loosely based on Al Capone and the film proved enormously influential in establishing the gangster drama that Warner Bros. and other studios would return to repeatedly throughout the decade. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., costars as Robinson’s sidekick and the film was directed with great verve by Mervyn LeRoy. Little Caesar was added to the National Film Registry in 2000. 35mm film print. 79 minutes.

Saturday, January 25 (7:30 p.m.)
The Untouchables (Paramount, 1987 – rated R*)
Incorruptible federal agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and his Irish cop partner Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery) take on crime king Al Capone (Robert DeNiro) in this crime thriller directed by Brian DePalma from a script by David Mamet based on Ness’ book. Violent, yes, but a tremendous amount of fun capped by a brilliant homage to the Odessa Steps sequence from The Battleship Potemkin that foregrounds the film’s sly, winking visuals. Sean Connery won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the film received Oscar nominations for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score for Ennio Morricone. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. 35mm film print. 119 minutes.

Thursday, January 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Waterloo Bridge (MGM, 1940)
Star-crossed lovers ballerina Myra Lester (Vivien Leigh) and soldier Capt. Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor) meet on the eve of World War I but are separated before romance can fully flower. Told mainly in flashback, Waterloo Bridge is a tearjerker of the highest order and demonstrates that Mervyn LeRoy – who also directed Little Caesar – was among Hollywood’s most accomplished craftsmen. Waterloo Bridge had been filmed before in 1931, by Frankenstein director James Whale at Universal, with Mae Clarke giving the best performance of her career as Myra. It would be remade as Gaby (1956), starring Leslie Caron. The film was Oscar nominated for Best Cinematography for Joseph Ruttenberg and Best Music, Original Score for Herbert Stothart. Digital. 108 minutes.

Friday, January 31 (7:30 pm)
Gone With the Wind (MGM, 1939)
As one of the most popular and influential American films produced, Gone With the Wind remains possibly the definitive example of filmmaking in the Hollywood studio era. More than eight decades after its release, David O. Selznick’s production coupled with Margaret Mitchell’s best-selling story still has the power to enthrall audiences. A rich score by Max Steiner and top performances from Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel and Clark Gable add to the film’s indelibility. The film earned a record 13 Academy Award nominations and won 10 Oscars (eight in competition and two honorary awards). It was named to the inaugural National Film Registry list in 1989. 35mm film print. 238 minutes.

 

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