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Case portraits--including Wayne and O'Hara against painted background of Ireland.
"The Quiet Man" (1952)

This March at the Packard Campus Theater

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A Bit of the Irish, Plenty of Variety

Legend tells us St. Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland, which is more blarney than fact.  But still March is a fine time to focus on the Emerald Isle and the Packard Campus Theater will do so with a number of films from and/or about Ireland. John Ford, a first generation Irish-American directs two of the month’s offerings: the rarely seen The Rise of the Moon (1957) and the most classic of all Hollywood films about Ireland, The Quiet Man (1952).  Fun is had with The Commitments (1991), Gene Kelly travels to Brigadoon (1954) and a few other rare Irish tales are on the schedule.  But all is not Irish in March, also featured are Elvis in Viva Las Vegas (1964), the great musical Stormy Weather (1943), the American West is represented with Silverado (1985) and there is a nod towards Easter with the silent film classic King of Kings (1927) with Andrew Simpson providing live musical accompaniment.

Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly dance against a plaid backdrop as kilt-wearing dances are seen in the foreground.
“Brigadoon” (1954)

FRIDAY, MARCH 1 @ 7:30 p.m.

Brigadoon (MGM, 1954)

Once every 200 years the Scottish town of Brigadoon comes alive with music and merriment the likes of which would twirl the starchiest of kilts!  Through mere luck, the most muscular of song and dance men (Gene Kelly) happens to be walking by.  From Oscar-winning director Vincente Minnelli (Gigi, An American in Paris), super producer Arthur Freed (Singin’ in the Rain), and with music and score by Alan Jay Lerner (Camelot, My Fair Lady). Movies like this don’t come by very often!  (Perhaps only once every 200 years?) Don’t miss it! Color, 108 minutes.

Marion Davies reclines with her dog and gazes off...
“Peg O’ My Heart” (1933)

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 7 @ 7:30 p.m.

Peg O’ My Heart (MGM, 1933)

Marion Davies stars in this pre-code romantic comedy-drama as Peg, a young woman from a poor Irish fishing village who stands to inherit £2 million.  Here’s the catch – she’ll have to spend the next three years in England learning to be a “respectable lady” and she’ll will never be able to see her father again.  The resulting culture clash / comedy of manners is made lively with a complex romance (forget the standard love triangle; this is a love hexagon!) and a sprinkling of singing and dancing. Black & White, 87 minutes.  Plus a short subject.

Dusty-toned images of lead actors, in cowboy hats, under film title and on brown cloud background
“Silverado” (1985)

FRIDAY, MARCH 8  @ 7:30 p.m.

Silverado (Columbia, 1985)

What happens when the screenwriter behind Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark takes a turn at directing a cowboy picture and recruits an eclectic cast including Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, John Cleese, Jeff Goldblum, and Kevin Costner to star in it?  You get Lawrence Kasdan’s cult classic Silverado – an epic western packed with outlaws, gamblers, bar fights, gunslingers, villainous lawmen, jailbreaks, and even a stampede!  Whether you’re a long-time fan of westerns or new to the genre you’re sure to find something to love about this film. Color, 135 minutes.

Black and white pic of "the band" all in formal wear and in front of a bombed out building
“The Commitments” (1991)

 

THURSDAY, MARCH 14 @ 7:30 p.m.

The Commitments (20th Century-Fox, 1991)

If you’re searching for a funny, uplifting film with a fantastic soundtrack, look no further!  Set in the poorest parts of North Dublin, director Alan Parker (Mississippi Burning, Evita, Angela’s Ashes) presents the unlikely story of a group of Irish youths with nothing left to lose who hang all their hopes of success on forming a band.  And their sound?  It’ll be soul music!  Throughout their journey, you’ll find yourself rooting for The Commitments (aka “The Hardest Working Band in Show Business”) and probably joining in as they belt out classic 60’s and 70’s soul! Color, 118 minutes.

Elvis and Ann-Margret dance with images from the film reprinted on the right.
“Viva Las Vegas” (1964)

FRIDAY, MARCH 15  @ 7:30 p.m.  ***DOUBLE FEATURE***

Viva Las Vegas (UA, 1964)

Elvis is “IN” the building when he is not out flying planes, water skiing, car racing and romancing show-stopper and fellow hip-shaker: Ann-Margret in a film that is widely considered his most enjoyable.  Director George Sidney (Anchors Aweigh, Kiss Me Kate, Show Boat) was fresh off his hit Bye, Bye Birdie when Elvis grabbed him and his leading lady to star in this film.  If you remotely like Elvis, you will LOVE this and will be singing the soundtrack hours after! Color, 85 minutes.

Spinout (MGM, 1966)

Why settle for one Elvis as a racecar driving movie when you could have two? The King goes back to the track for the second time (there would be a third with Speedway) in this Norman Taurog directed film.  In this one, Elvis, between racing and singing, is pursued by not one but three girls.   Included in the trio is Shelley Fabares (who had a hit single herself once with “Johnny Angel”) plays the one that finally gets Elvis. Color, 93 minutes.

Green-tinted photo of Irish village at night
“The Rising of the Moon” (1957)

THURSDAY, MARCH 21  @ 7:30 p.m.  ***DOUBLE FEATURE***

The Rising of the Moon (Warner Bros, 1957)

Famed director John Ford (The Searchers, The Quiet Man) helms this unique anthology film of short stories by three of Ireland’s most acclaimed authors:  Frank O’Connor, Michael J. McHugh, and Lady Augusta Gregory. The tales include a comedy about a proper man slugging another and being beloved for it, an Irish train station filled with quirky comic set-ups, and a daring escape tale set in 1921. Comedy, excitement, and a wide range of one of a kind characters will keep you constantly entertained at this rare screening.  Black & White, 81 minutes.

Broth of a Boy (British Lion, 1959)

Talk about a rare screening! This wacky Irish comedy finds a UK television reporter sent to the Irish countryside to cover the 100th birthday of a local fellow.  Once there, the reporter is enchanted and decides to make a film of the place and the man. There’s only one problem: though the setting is beautiful, the man is a curmudgeon! Played with gusto by Barry Fitzgerald (Oscar-winner for Going My Way) as a man at complete odds with the serene surroundings, this film will leave you with a chuckle and a unique film-going experience.  Black & White, 77 minutes.

Dramatic image from DeMille film
“King of Kings” (1927)

FRIDAY, MARCH 22  @ 7:30 p.m.

King of Kings (Pathe Exchange, 1927)

Cecil B. DeMille crafted this retelling of the story of Jesus as only the great director could. Critically acclaimed at the time of release, the film, as with many of DeMille’s other Biblical epics, stands the test of time and remains a classic today. The film shows the last days of Jesus up to and after the Crucifixion. Black & White, 155 minutes.  Live musical accompaniment by Andrew Simpson.

Lena Horne at senter of poster surrounded by images of other artists from film
“Stormy Weather” (1943)

THURSDAY, MARCH 28  @ 7:30 p.m.

Stormy Weather (20th Century-Fox, 1943)

No not a documentary about California in recent days, but rather a great musical released during the Golden Age of Hollywood featuring some of the best African American actors and musicians of the era.  Like many musicals, the story is just there to help provide a segue between songs. Lena Horne heads the cast that also features Bill Robinson (“Mr. Bojangles” himself in his last film role), Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and the incredible dancing team, The Nicholas Brothers.  Fred Astaire (he should know) cites the Nicholas Brothers’ “Jumping Jive” dance sequence as ”the greatest movie musical number he had ever seen.” Black & White, 77 minutes. Added to the National Film Registry in 2001. Plus short subject.

Case portraits--including Wayne and O'Hara against painted background of Ireland.
“The Quiet Man” (1952)

FRIDAY, MARCH 29  @ 7:30 p.m.

The Quiet Man  (Republic, 1952)

John Wayne, John Ford, Technicolor and Ireland… what could go wrong? Absolutely nothing.  Wayne plays a retired boxer who returns to his homeland to buy back the family farm.  He falls in love with the sister of his competitor for the farm. All leads to fisticuffs but then ends up with true love prevailing.  Maureen O’Hara (One of five films she made with John Wayne) plays the feisty Mary Kate. Victor McLaglen and Barry Fitzgerald are also in the cast. Ford won the Best Director Academy Award for the film. Color, 129 minutes.  Added to the National Film Registry in 2013.

 

Please note:  Due to necessary electrical maintenance to the NAVCC facility, the film screening schedule for the next few months will be altered. The Packard Campus Theater will be screening films on Thursday and Friday nights . Programs are free and the matinee show will be family friendly. 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. 

Patrons must go through an “airport style” security check upon entering and no large parcels, purses or backpacks are permitted.

Federal law (18 U.S.C. 930) prohibits the possession of any firearm or other dangerous weapons on this Federal facility. This includes in the parking lot, on all roads, trails, and grounds as well as inside the building. This also applies to off-duty law enforcement officers (LEO) and concealed-carry permit holders.

The Packard Campus is located at 19053 Mount Pony Road in Culpeper, Virginia. Access to the campus parking lot begins one hour before show time, entrance into the building begins 45 minutes before the show, and the theater opens for seating 30 minutes before the curtain. Please do not arrive early and queue at the Packard Campus gate.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center oversees one of the largest collections of motion pictures in the world. Acquired primarily through copyright deposit, exchange, gift and purchase, the collection spans the entire history of the cinema. Since 2008, the art deco theater located at the Packard Campus has shown films each week and screened more than 2,500 titles. The programs highlight the best in cinema, including silent films, Hollywood classics, kids’ cartoons and foreign films.

 

For more information on LC screenings, see this link.

 

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