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Mary Pickford Theater

Archive of past screenings:

2017 -2016 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000



As we look forward to the April 4th opening of the exhibition "Echoes of the Great War," one in a series of Library events to mark the First World War Centenary, the Pickford Theater presents a couple of lesser known cinematic treatments of the "war to end all wars." Made thirty years apart, the two films inevitably have very different perspectives on the conflict. The first is an action spy yarn produced at the time when war movies were stretched between the cynicism of "M*A*S*H" (1969) and the epic sweep of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (1970), while the second is a flag-waving drama released on the eve of America’s entrance into World War II.

Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7:00pm

ZEPPELIN (Getty and Fromkess Picture Corp. / Warner Bros., 1971). Directed by Etienne Perier. Screenplay by Arthur Rowe & Donald Churchill. Story by Owen Crump. With Michael York, Elke Sommer, Peter Carsten, Marius Goring, Anton Diffring. (101 min, Technicolor, Panavision, 35mm)

Poster for Zeppelin

Poster for "Zeppelin"
(Getty and Fromkess Picture Corp. / Warner Bros., 1971)

In 1915, a British spy tries to thwart a German plan to use a new type of airship to steal Britain’s treasured historical documents from a castle in Scotland. Produced in England by the partnership of businessman J. Ronald Getty and film and TV producer Leon Fromkess. "Zeppelin" was the brainchild of screenwriter and director Owen Crump, whose association with aviation pictures dated back to the early 1940’s and his stint as the head of the film production unit of the U.S. Army Air Forces. Well cast, efficiently directed, and with both the airship and the period itself meticulously recreated by a team led by Wally Veevers, who three years earlier supervised the special photographic effects on "2001: A Space Odyssey," the film was made to "delight small boys of all ages" (Kevin Thomas, LA Times).

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 7:00pm

THE FIGHTING 69th (Warner Bros., 1940). Directed by William Keighley. Written by Norman Reilly Raine, Fred Niblo, Jr. and Dean Franklin. With James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, George Brent, Jeffrey Lynn, Alan Hale, Frank McHugh, Dennis Morgan. (89 min, black & white, 35mm)

Lobby card for The Fighting 69th

Lobby card for "The Fighting 69th"
(Warner Bros., 1940)

Two years after they appeared together in "Angels with Dirty Faces" (1938), James Cagney and Pat O’Brien were again cast, respectively, as a cocky troublemaker and the clergyman who tries to bring him back into the fold. In "The Fighting 69th," the two go head to head on the battlefields of France during World War I, where Jerry Plunkett (Cagney), an arrogant braggart who refuses to follow orders, is court-martialed when his cowardice in battle causes the deaths of his fellow soldiers. O’Brien plays Francis P. Duffy (1871-1932), who served as chaplain for the 69th Infantry Regiment, a unit of the New York Army National Guard composed primarily of Irish immigrants from New York City. Two additional members of the original regiment portrayed in the film are William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan (1883-1959), a decorated World War I veteran and head of the Office of Strategic Services during the Second World War, and journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), killed by sniper fire in the Second Battle of the Marne.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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  February 22, 2017
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