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Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (Dec. 14-16, 2017)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.

Thursday, December 14 (7:30 p.m.)
Double Feature: 1930s Leading Ladies – Ginger Rogers and Claudette Colbert
The Thirteenth Guest (Monogram, 1932)
Ginger Rogers stars as Marie Morgan, one of the guests who are reassembled from a dinner party that took place 13 years earlier, at which the host fell dead, in order to solve the mystery of an unnamed 13th guest to whom the deceased bequeathed his estate. This comedy mystery chiller directed by Albert Ray also stars Lyle Talbot and J. Farrell MacDonald. Although Rogers had made more than a dozen films prior to this one, she was still a year away from her breakthrough role in Flying Down to Rio with Fred Astaire.

I Cover the Waterfront (UA, 1933)

I Cover the Waterfront (United Artists, 1933)
In this frank, pre-code drama, San Diego newspaper reporter H. Joseph Miller (Ben Lyon) investigates fisherman Eli Kirk (Ernest Torrence in his final screen appearance), certain that he is smuggling illegal Chinese immigrants into the country. Miller romances Kirk’s free-spirited daughter, Julie (Claudette Colbert), while trying to find proof of the crime. Born in France, Colbert became a Broadway star before breaking into films with the advent of talking pictures. By 1933, she had already appeared in 20 films and would win an Oscar the following year for her work in Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night.

Friday, December 15 (7:30 p.m.)
Double Feature: 1930s Romance
Love Affair (RKO Radio, 1939)
Leo McCarey directed this shipboard romance classic about two strangers who meet aboard an ocean liner and fall in love despite the fact that they are both engaged to marry other people. As a test of their relationship, the couple agrees to meet in six months on top of the Empire State Building after they have sorted out their lives. With Charles Boyer as the French playboy Michael Marnet and Irene Dunne as the American former nightclub singer Terry McKay, the lovers reunite on Christmas Eve. Though perhaps less well known than McCarey’s 1957 color and CinemaScope remake, An Affair to Remember starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, this original version received six Oscar nominations to Affair’s three, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Dunne, and Best Supporting Actress for Maria Ouspenskaya who plays Boyer’s mother.

Romance and Riches (a.k.a. The Amazing Adventure) (Grand National, 1936)
Cary Grant stars as Ernest Bliss, a bored millionaire who wagers his doctor that he can support himself at a working class job for year without touching his inheritance. The first picture Grant made as a freelance actor, this brisk and endearing romantic comedy is perfectly paced and a rare treat to see. Based on a novel by E. Phillips Oppenheim, the film was directed by Alfred Zeisler and costars Mary Brian as Grant’s love interest.

It’s a Wonderful Life (RKO, 1946)

Saturday, December 16 (2 p.m.)
It’s a Wonderful Life (RKO, 1946)
Director Frank Capra created a holiday favorite with this story of a once ambitious young man George Bailey (James Stewart) who sacrifices personal adventure to stand up against the despot Mr. Potter who tyrannizes his small hometown (Lionel Barrymore). When it looks like Potter has finally beaten him, George wishes he’d never been born and an apprentice angel (Henry Travers) grants his wish by showing him the bleak parallel universe that might have been. Suggested by a short story written as a Christmas card by author and historian Philip Van Doren Stern, Capra and writers Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett crafted the screenplay for this film which has become synonymous with Christmas. The film—named to the National Film Registry in 1990 – also stars Donna Reed, Thomas Mitchell and Beulah Bondi.

Saturday, December 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Swing High, Swing Low (Paramount, 1937)
Fred MacMurray and Carole Lombard star in this second film adaptation of the prestigious Broadway hit Burlesque. (The first being 1929’s Dance of Life which is playing at the Packard Campus Theater on December 2.) This time, MacMurray’s character, Skid, is a trumpet player instead of a dancer, with Lombard as Maggie, his long-suffering girlfriend. Though Maggie helps to bolster his career, Skip’s degenerate ways ultimately lead to his downfall. As directed by the stylish and meticulous Mitchell Leisen, Swing High, Swing Low showcases Lombard and MacMurray’s natural chemistry in this, the third of four films they made together. The film was one of Paramount’s most profitable entries for 1937.

For more information on our programs, please visit the website at: www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.

Now Playing at the Packard Campus (Dec. 15-18, 2016)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus. Thursday, December 15 (7:30 p.m.) The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (CBS-TV, 1971) This made-for-television movie about a family in Depression-era rural Virginia was the inspiration for popular series The Waltons that aired on CBS for nine seasons. Written by Earl Hamner, Jr., it […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (December 7-10, 2016)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus. Wednesday, December 7 (7:30 p.m.) Tora! Tora! Tora! (20th Century-Fox, 1970) As a follow-up to the highly-regarded war film The Longest Day (1962), depicting the invasion of Normandy, Fox Studios set out to make a dramatization of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Seeking […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (September 9-10, 2016)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Friday, September 9 (7:30 p.m.)—SOLD OUT!!! The Malpass Brothers Live in Concert Christopher and Taylor Malpass’s smooth vocal blend and skillful musicianship layer infectiously into the deep respect they pay to legends who have paved the way. The Malpass […]

Santa Claus Speaks!

This blog post was co-written with Bryan Cornell, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress.   Tis the season for Christmas carols and familiar holiday favorites, but did you know Santa Claus recorded for Victor Records? Well, not really. Gilbert Girard was a talented performer who frequently recorded children’s records with popular recording artist Len Spencer.  He also […]

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The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Thursday, December 17 (7:30 p.m.) We’re No Angels (Paramount, 1955) Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov play three escaped inmates from Devil’s Island who concoct a plan to steal from a shopkeeper on Christmas. Their plans change when […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (December 10-12, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Thursday, December 10 (7:30 p.m.) The Lemon Drop Kid (Paramount, 1951) Bob Hope stars as The Lemon Drop Kid, a small-time New York City swindler who is illegally touting horses at a racetrack. When he accidentally cheats a notorious […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (December 3-5, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson , an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Thursday, December 3 (7:30 p.m.) Love Actually (Universal, 2003 – R-rated *) The intertwining stories of more than twenty characters in London, England, are followed during the busy month leading up to Christmas in this romantic comedy written […]

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s First Starring Film Role

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall that the most famous reindeer of all was the creation of a Montgomery Ward copywriter? And did you know we have that celebrity reindeer’s first appearance on film, in a version rarely seen before? In […]