Weekend Matinees at 11:30am
Sun 29 Dec
The Mothers of Invention arrive in Centerville, another stopover in an endlessly long tour where every stage is the same as the next: hotel, concert, search for groupies and arguments within the band (whose dictatorial leader is played by Ringo Starr). Absurd and witty, “200 Motels” is a mixture of musical, opera-rock and sitcom truthfully conveying the catatonic state of any rock band on the road.
Sun 5 Jan
Muppets Take Manhattan
The Muppets invite you to see the show of the century, thrill to the sweet smell of success, cry at the wedding of the year…as they take Manhattan! Kermit and his friends go to New York to get their musical on Broadway only to find it’s a more difficult task than they anticipated. (Frank Oz, 1984, 94m)
directed by Paul Iribe & Frank Urson Silent starring Leatrice Joy, Raymond Griffith (1924)
Infidelity never looked so classy! Supervised by Cecil B. DeMille, this film does a superb job of capturing the loosening morals of the Twenties.
Arsenic and Old Lace
directed by Frank Capra starring Cary Grant (1944)
Two sweet old ladies with well-intentioned homicidal tendencies poison lonely old men as a “charity” and bury them in the cellar. No sooner does their nephew Mortimer (Cary Grant) find out about this (while preparing to leave for his honeymoon no less!) than his long-lost homicidal brother (Raymond Massey) returns, proving Mortimer to be the only one in the family who isn’t a crazed killer! Frank Capra’s electrifying adaptation of the famed stage play set the bar high for all future black comedies.
Sun 19 Jan
From Here to Eternity
directed by Fred Zinnemann starring Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster (1953)
In this landmark adaptation of James Jones’ novel, passion and tragedy collide on a military base as a fateful day in December 1941 draws near. Private Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is a soldier and former boxer manipulated by his superior and peers. His friend Maggio (Frank Sinatra) tries to help him but has his own troubles. Sergeant Warden (Burt Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Deborah Kerr) tread on dangerous ground as lovers in an illicit affair. Winner of eight Oscars, including a Best Supporting award for Frank Sinatra in a career-defining role.
Sun 26 Jan
The Good Humor Man
directed by Lloyd Bacon in English starring Jack Carson, Lola Albright, Jean Wallace (1950)
Jack Carson stars as a driver for the Good Humor Ice Cream Company, in over his head when he tries to save a gal-pal from gangsters and ends up accused of murder. A typical thriller from ace noir scribe Roy Huggins — the final screenplay was tweaked by comedy genius Frank Tashlin, whose hilariously inspired high-jinks play havoc with film noir conventions. Costarring Lola Albright, Jean Wallace, and George “Superman” Reeves.
Sun 2 Feb
Mr Soft Touch
directed by Henry Levin & Gordon Douglas in English starring Glenn Ford, Evelyn Keyes, John Ireland (1949)
This film is one of the oddest combinations of genres we’ve ever seen: romantic comedy, schmaltzy sentiment and hardboiled noir. Glenn Ford stars as Joe Miracle, a WWII vet who’s returned to the city seeking vengeance on the gangsters who stole his nightclub and murdered his partner. Hiding from the heat, he winds up in a homeless shelter run by angelic Evelyn Keyes. Cue the romance! “In headlong flight he paused… to live a lifetime in 36 thrill-packed hours… with this woman!” Not on DVD!
directed by Josef von Sternberg Silent starring George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent (1927)
Josef von Sternberg’s riveting breakthrough is widely considered the film that launched the American gangster genre as we know it. George Bancroft plays heavy Bull Weed, a criminal kingpin whose jealous devotion to his moll, Feathers (Evelyn Brent), gets him into hot water with a rival hood and, ultimately, the authorities. With its supple, endlessly expressive camera work and tightly wound screenplay based on a story by legendary scribe Ben Hecht (who won an Oscar for it the first year the awards were given), Underworld solidified von Sternberg’s place as one of Hollywood’s most exciting new talents. This February marks the 120th birthday of Chicago-forged writer Ben Hecht – come celebrate with his first screenplay!
directed by George Marshall in English starring Paulette Goddard, Fred Clark (1948)
You can bet on Paulette Goddard in her prime! She plays a gambler who antes herself up as the prize in a game against a professional card shark (Fred Clark). Upon losing, she takes it on the lam, pursued cross-country by a private dick (Macdonald Carey) hired to haul her back to the altar. Surrounded by a wonderful cast (Stanley Clements, Percy Helton, Frank Faylen, Taylor Holmes, Charles McGraw), Goddard shows why she was one of the most luminous and charismatic stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Not on DVD!
Sun 16 Feb
directed by Leigh Jason in English starring Allyn Joslyn, Evelyn Keyes (1943)
Mystery writer Barry Craig (Allyn Joslyn) and his wife Jane (Evelyn Keyes) love making the police look bad on a fictional detective writers vs. real detectives radio quiz contest. But they prefer solving crimes to writing about them, and they get a chance when killings plague a friend’s fashion photography studio. A rip-roaring comedy in THE THIN MAN vein, this is one of the rarest films in the series! Not on DVD!
Sun 23 Feb
directed by Preston Sturges in English starring Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell (1948)
As film noir swept over late ’40s Hollywood, Preston Sturges created the full-length first parody of the style with this mordantly hilarious tale of a jealous orchestra conductor (Rex Harrison) envisioning plots to murder his supposedly unfaithful wife (Linda Darnell). When he attempts to put his murderous fantasies into action, nothing works out quite as planned. A brilliantly performed mixture of razor-sharp dialogue and uproarious slapstick, this is a true classic from a grand master of screen comedy.
Sun 2 Mar
Fly by Night
directed by Robert Siodmak starring Richard Carlson, Nancy Kelly (1942)
Shifting with Hitchcockian aplomb between risque romantic comedy and shadowy suspense, Siodmak stuffs two features’ worth of set pieces into the sprightly 74-minute running time. A team of talented writers keep things brisk and clever, and the chemistry between stars Richard Carlson and Nancy Kelly is more than a little sexy. More screwball than noir, but a delight from start to finish! Not on DVD!