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At the Packard Campus Theater — March 2020

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Packard Campus Theater Schedule for March 2020

Several films featuring criminals, both actual and alleged, on the run, are featured on the March schedule of the Packard Campus Theater. Included are Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942), the caper comedy with a Culpeper connection, Sneakers (1992), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Bogart and Bacall in Dark Passage (1947), Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can (2002), and the last week of the month, a “chain gang” tripleheader of I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932), The Defiant Ones (1957), and The Coen brothers satire O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000).

The historic epic and National Film Registry title Spartacus (1960) will be shown in honor of the recent passing of Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas, rock and roll highlights from the first 25 years of Saturday Night Live is the video presentation, the children’s matinee is the National Film Registry family favorite The Black Stallion (1979), the foreign film of the month is Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1971, and the silent film presentation is Capital Punishment starring Clara Bow with live musical accompaniment by Andrew Simpson.

The theater is located at 19053 Mt. Pony Rd. in Culpeper, VA. Programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-served basis unless otherwise noted. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994.

In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to see if the screening has been cancelled.

Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

Thursday, March 5 (7:30 p.m.)
Saboteur (Universal, 1942)
California aircraft factory worker Barry Kane (Robert Cummings) goes on the run across the country when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the script, begun before the U.S. entered World War II, was quickly updated as production began shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It then became Hitchcock’s war propaganda effort, full of statements about loyalty to country and cautions about homegrown fascists in our midst who could appear to be ordinary and respectable people but with secret subversive intent. This mystery thriller that also features Priscilla Lane, Otto Kruger and Norman Lloyd was a hit at the box office and well received by film critics. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times wrote Saboteur is a swift, high-tension film which throws itself forward so rapidly that it permits slight opportunity for looking back.” 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2003, 108 min.

Friday, March 6 (7:30 p.m.)
Sneakers (Universal, 1992)
A group of maverick computer and espionage experts become involved in a government scheme to steal a piece of advanced code-breaking technology. When the device’s creator turns up murdered, they become the chief suspects and must discover the truth to clear their name. This comedy/drama caper film was directed by Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams) and stars Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier and David Strathairn. Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan praised the film, ensemble cast and director Robinson, who is “surprisingly adept at creating tension at appropriate moments” and “makes good use of the script’s air of clever cheerfulness.” It was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Rated PG-13. 35mm copyright film print, 126 min.

Saturday, March 7 (7:30 p.m.)
(Universal, 1960)
Even among the mega epics being produced by Hollywood at the time, Spartacus stands out for its sheer grandeur and remarkable cast (Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov), as well as for Stanley Kubrick’s masterful direction. The film is also credited with helping to end the notorious Hollywood blacklist of the 1950s – its producer, Douglas, hired then-blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo to author the script, which was based on a book by another blacklisted author, Howard Fast. Spartacus won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Ustinov), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design and was added to the National Film Registry in 2017. Digital presentation, 197 min.

Thursday, March 12 (7:30 p.m.)
The Florentine Dagger
(Warner Bros., 1935)
Robert Florey directed this film noir mystery that numbers among the first Hollywood movies in which psychoanalysis is a significant factor in the story. Donald Woods plays a descendant of the Borgia line, convinced that he has inherited their murderous tendencies. Suspicions deepen when the father of the girl he loves turns up stabbed to death with a Florentine dagger. C. Aubrey Smith, Robert Barrat, and Florence Flair lend colorful support to this mystery thriller with creepy Gothic blandishments. 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation lab, 69 min. Also on the program, The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra, a 1928 short experimental film that tells the story of a man who comes to Hollywood to become a star, only to fail and be dehumanized (he is identified by the number 9314 written on his forehead). It was added to the National Film Registry in 1997. 11 min.

Friday, March 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Saturday Night Live: 25 Years of Rock & Roll, 1975-2000 (NBC)
This unique program of clips from NBC’s long-running late-night live variety show was specially curated for this screening from the Library of Congress’ high quality archival master files, provided by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video television collection. Beginning with the 1975 season and going through 2000, the show will include performances by Patti Smith, George Harrison & Paul Simon, The Kinks, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Grateful Dead, Rod Stewart, Rick James, Queen, The Clash, Billy Idol, Tina Turner, Robert Plant, The Replacements, Eddie Van Halen, Keith Richards, Neil Young, Aerosmith, R.E.M., Nirvana, Sinead O’Connor, Pearl Jam, The Pretenders, Rage Against the Machine, David Bowie, Lucinda Williams, and AC/DC. Digital presentation, 120 min.

Saturday, March 14 (2 p.m.)
The Black Stallion
(United Artists, 1979)
When a ship carrying young Alec Ramsey (Kelly Reno) and a black Arabian stallion sinks off the coast of Africa, Alec and the horse find themselves stranded on a deserted island. Upon their rescue, Alec and horse trainer/former jockey Henry Dailey (Mickey Rooney) begin training the horse to become a formidable racer. Directed by Carroll Ballard and based on the Walter Farley novel of the same name, the film was executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola who finally persuaded United Artists to release the film after shelving it for two years. The film’s supervising sound editor, Alan Splet, received a Special Achievement Award for his innovations including affixing microphones around the horse’s midsection to pick up the sound of its hoof beats and breathing during race sequences. The Black Stallion was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for Mickey Rooney and Best Film Editing for Robert Dalva.It was added to the National Film Registry in 2002. Rated G. 35mm archival film print, 118 min.

Saturday, March 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Dog Day Afternoon
(Warner Bros., 1975 – rated R*)
Director Sidney Lumet balances suspense, violence and humor in Frank Pierson’s Oscar-winning adaptation of a true-life bank robbery turned media circus. Al Pacino stars as the engaging Sonny Wortzik, a smart yet self-destructive Brooklyn tough guy whose plan to rob the local bank to pay for his lover’s sex change goes awry. Lumet artfully conducts his talented cast (including John Cazale, James Broderick, Charles Durning and Chris Sarandon) through machinations that twist and turn from the political to the personal, and inevitably lead to a downward spiral played out before an audience of millions. The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for five other Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. Digital presentation, 125 min. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardia

Thursday, March 19 (7:30 p.m.)
Dark Passage (Warner Bros. 1947)
In Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s third movie together, Bogart plays an escaped convict, wrongly accused of his wife’s murder, who takes refuge in the apartment of a mysterious woman (Bacall) he has just met. Delmar Daves directed this film noir that is notable for the use of a first-person point-of-view camera from the perspective of the accused man during the first third of the movie. The film also features Agnes Moorehead, Bruce Bennett and Houseley Stevenson in the cast. New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther especially liked the San Francisco locations, reporting that “writer-director Delmar Daves has very smartly and effectively used the picturesque streets of the city and its stunning panoramas to give a dramatic backdrop to his rather incredible yarn.” 35mm archival film print, 140 min.

Friday, March 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Columbia, 1970, rated R*)
A psychotic policeman (Gian Maria Volonte), the former chief of the homicide squad who has been newly promoted to head the political intelligence unit, sets out to affirm, “in all of its purity,” the concept of authority — that absolute power before which all men become servile children, if not idiots.” To this end, he proceeds to kill his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his responsibility to test if the police will charge him for the murder. This Italian crime drama directed by Elio Petri is a dramatic, psychological, black-humored satire on corruption in high office. It was the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film and won the Grand Prize at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival. In Italian with English subtitles. 35mm archival film print, 115 min. *No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Saturday, March 21 (2 p.m.)
Capital Punishment
(Preferred Pictures Corporation, 1925)
Vivacious Hollywood “It Girl” Clara Bow undertakes a “straight” role in this heated melodrama directed by James P. Hogan. A man is voluntarily imprisoned on a trumped-up murder charge, as part of an exposé of the evils of the death penalty. The plan goes awry, and only Delia Tate (Bow) can save the man, with an appeal to the governor and a last-minute chase bearing crucial information, putting Bow’s emotional range and gusto for performance on full display. The cast includes Elliott Dexter, Joseph Kilgour and Margaret Livingston. 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2007, 67 min. Also on the program, Buster Keaton’s classic comedy short The Goat (Metro, 1921). 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 2010, 23 min. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Andrew Simpson.

Saturday, March 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Catch Me if You Can
(DreamWorks, 2002 – rated R*)
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as con man extraordinaire Frank Abagnale in this briskly entertaining biopic based on Abagnale’s 1980 autobiography, directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. Before his 19th birthday, Frank had successfully performed cons worth millions of dollars by posing as a Pan American World Airways pilot, a Georgia doctor and a Louisiana parish prosecutor. He became so skilled at check fraud that the FBI later turned to him for help catching other check forgers. The film co-stars Tom Hanks as the FBI Agent tracking the con man with Christopher Walken in an Oscar nominated performance as Frank’s father. John Williams, a frequent collaborator with Spielberg, received his 42nd Oscar nomination, for Best Original Score, for the film. Rated PG-13. 35mm copyright film print, 141 min.

Thursday, March 26 (7:30 p.m.)
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (Warner Bros., 1932)
A compelling, Academy Award-nominated performance by Paul Muni as an average guy framed for robbery and sentenced to hard labor distinguishes this Warner Bros. “social conscious” picture from most others of this era. Based on a series of works by Robert Elliot Burns, himself a chain gang escapee, the film vividly depicts the prisoner’s despair as his strength and dignity are stripped away until escape becomes his only option. Director Mervyn LeRoy (Little Caesar and They Won’t Forget) pulls no punches in showing the brutality and corruption of prison farms. Much of the film’s story and technique would influence later prison movies. Added to the National Film Registry in 1991. 35mm film print from the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab in 1995, 92 min.

Friday, March 27 (7:30 p.m.)
The Defiant Ones (United Artists, 1958)
Friendship creates bonds that transcend social restrictions in this breakthrough film from pioneering director-producer Stanley Kramer. Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis co-star as convicts who escape while chained to each other. Neither is happy to be stuck with a member of a different race, but as they struggle to survive, their differences dissolve. At Curtis’ insistence, this became the first major Hollywood film to bill a black actor above the title. Kramer pioneered in another way, too. He hired blacklisted writer Nedrick Young to co-write the script (with Harold Jacob Smith) under the pseudonym Nathan E. Douglas. Smith and Young won the Best Screenplay Oscar and Poitier became the first black American nominated for Best Actor. The film also won for Sam Leavitt’s cinematography. Its $1 million profit helped break racial barriers in Hollywood and eventually end the blacklist. 35mm copyright film print, 96 min.

Saturday, March 28 (7:30 p.m.)
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
(Universal, 2000)
Set in 1937 rural Mississippi during the Great Depression, O Brother, Where Art Thou? follows three convicts who break out of jail in search of a cache of hidden money. Their epic journey bears more than a few similarities to Homer’s Odyssey. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote, produced and directed this crime comedy satire that stars George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning in supporting roles. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography for Roger Deakins. The Coen brothers enlisted veteran musician and producer T-Bone Burnett to put together period-specific bluegrass, country, gospel, blues and folk music for the movie before shooting began. The resulting soundtrack album became a best seller and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2001.Rated PG-13, Digital presentation. 107 min.


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