September 15, 2014 October Films Salute Newspapers, Lauren Bacall, James Garner

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The 74th year of National Newspaper Week (October 5 -11), which observes the importance of newspapers to communities large and small, will be feted with a selection of newspaper-themed movies at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va. Titles included are Howard Hawks’ classic “His Girl Friday,” which was added to the National Film Registry in 1993, and the 1992 Disney musical “Newsies,” which later became a hit Broadway show. For more information on the National Film Registry, visit

The amiable actor James Garner will be remembered with examples of his work in both television and film, including episodes of “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files” and his Oscar-nominated performance in the 1986 comedy “Murphy’s Romance.” The career of legendary Hollywood star Lauren Bacall will be showcased with screenings of two of her films co-starring husband Humphrey Bogart—“To Have and Have Not” and “Dark Passage.”

Movies about ghosts and other scary subjects for Halloween will fill the screen the last two weeks of October, including a kid’s matinee of “Casper,” starring Christina Ricci and the rarely seen 1921 murder mystery “The Witching Hour.” Renowned silent film historian and composer Jon Mirsalis will provide musical accompaniment for the silent feature, which was directed by William Desmond Taylor.

Short subjects will be presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice. Screenings at the Packard Campus are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section.

All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during regular business hours. For further information on the theater and film series, visit In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations.

Seating at the Packard Campus Theater’s free screenings is on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, for a ticketing service charge, patrons can ensure admission to these shows by reserving tickets through the State Theatre website ( External) or by visiting the State Theatre ticket office at 305 S. Main St. in Culpeper, Va.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings ( The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board (, the National Recording Preservation Board ( and the national registries for film and recorded sound.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater Schedule

Thursday, Oct. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
National Newspaper Week Double Feature
“Five Star Final”
(Warner Bros., 1931)
Edward G. Robinson stars as a corrupt newspaper editor who uses exploitation to bolster the paper’s circulation. Nominated for an Oscar as the year’s best film, “Five Star Final” was a condemnation of yellow journalism. This archetypal newspaper movie was widely imitated in the 1930s and 1940s. Mervyn LeRoy directed this powerful drama, which also stars Boris Karloff, H.B. Warner and Marian Marsh.

“Blessed Event” (Warner Bros., 1932)
In this fast-paced newspaper comedy, Lee Tracy plays an unscrupulous gossip columnist whose free-and-easy way with “facts” lands him in hot water. Tracy’s character was based on newspaper and radio commentator Walter Winchell and the title is a Winchell tag line. Directed by Roy Del Ruth and featuring Dick Powell in his film debut as a popular radio singer, the film is at its best when parodying commercial radio of the era. Mary Brian, Ruth Donnelly and Allen Jenkins co-star.

Friday, Oct. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
“His Girl Friday”
(Columbia, 1940)
Cary Grant stars as conniving newspaper editor Walter Burns with Rosalind Russell as his number-one reporter (and ex-wife) Hildy Johnson. As Hildy attempts to quit the newspaper racket to marry her mild-mannered, mama’s boy fiancé (Ralph Bellamy), Walter convinces her to cover one last big story. Howard Hawks directed this brilliant remake of “The Front Page” (1931) at a breathless pace, using overlapping dialog to increase the feeling of frenzy. This quintessential screwball comedy was named to the National Film Registry in 1993. The film is packed with such character actors as Gene Lockart, Porter Hall, Roscoe Karns, Clarence Kolb, Regis Toomey, John Qualen, Helen Mack and Billy Gilbert.

Saturday, Oct. 4 (2 p.m.)
(Disney, 1992)
Loosely based on the New York City Newsboys Strike of 1899, this musical drama stars a young Christian Bale as Jack Kelly, who organizes the “newsies” to protest a pay cut by newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall). Featuring 12 original songs from composers Alan Menken and J.A.C. Redford, the film was an initial box-office flop, but later gained a cult following on home video. A successful adaptation ran for two years on Broadway in 2012. The film also stars Ann-Margaret, Bill Pullman and Michael Lerner.

Thursday, Oct. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
James Garner on Television
(ABC, 1957-1962)
Although he had already appeared in several movies, “Maverick” is generally credited with launching James Garner’s career. He starred as Bret Maverick, a cardsharp from Texas who traveled across the Old West and on Mississippi riverboats, regularly getting in and out of trouble.

“The Rockford Files” (NBC, 1974-1980)
Roy Huggins, who created the television series “Maverick,” wanted to recapture that charisma in a modern-day detective setting for James Garner. In this series, Garner portrays Los Angeles-based private investigator Jim Rockford with Noah Beery, Jr. as his father, a retired truck driver. A departure from typical television detectives of the time, Rockford lives in a dilapidated mobile home/office, barely scrapes by, does his best to avoid fights, and doesn’t handle “open cases” in order to avoid run-ins with the police.

Thursday, Oct. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
“Murphy’s Romance”
(Columbia, 1986)
James Garner received his only Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the title character Murphy Jones, a widowed druggist in a small Arizona town. He develops a cautious friendship with Emma (Sally Field), who moves to town with her son Jake (Corey Haim) to start a new life. Romantic sparks finally ignite in spite of their age difference and the appearance of Emma’s shiftless ex-husband (Brian Kerwin). Martin Ritt directed this subtle romantic comedy.

Friday, Oct. 17 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Americanization of Emily”
(MGM, 1964)
Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky’s cutting black comedy stars James Garner as Charlie Madison, a cynical American naval officer with a cushy job as an adjutant to Rear Admiral William Jessup (Melvyn Douglas) in 1944 London. Charlie’s plans to avoid military action unravel when he falls for British war widow Emily Barham (Julie Andrews) and his commanding officer’s mental breakdown leads to Charlie being selected as the first man to storm Omaha Beach. Controversial upon its original release, “The Americanization of Emily” was an anti-war film, poking fun at mindless patriotism years before such films were fashionable. The film earned Academy Award nominations for best cinematography and art direction.

Saturday, Oct. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
“To Have and Have Not”
(Warner Bros., 1944)
Howard Hawks directed this classic WWII adventure thriller, loosely based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel. Humphrey Bogart stars as American expatriate Harry Morgan, who helps transport a French Resistance leader and his wife to Martinique while romancing Marie Browning, a seductive petty thief. Lauren Bacall made her acting debut as the sultry Marie, while falling in love with Bogart both on-and off-screen. Her performance garnered rave reviews with the usually reserved James Agee writing, “Lauren Bacall has cinema personality to burn ... a javelin-like vitality, a born dancer’s eloquence in movement, a fierce female shrewdness and a special sweet-sourness.” She also got to speak one of filmdom’s most famous lines: “You know how to whistle, don’t you?” The film also co-stars Walter Brennan and Hoagy Carmichael.

Thursday, Oct. 23 (7:30 p.m.)
“Dark Passage”
(Warner Bros., 1947)
In their third movie together, Humphrey Bogart plays an escaped convict, wrongly accused of his wife’s murder, who takes refuge in the apartment of a mysterious woman (Lauren 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 for the first third of the movie. The film also features Agnes Moorehead, Bruce Bennett and Houseley Stevenson in the cast.

Friday, Oct. 24 (7:30 p.m.)
(ITV, 1974)
Produced in the U.K. between 1973 and 1976, “Thriller” was a series of 43 short made-for-TV films, each written by prolific film and TV scribe Brian Clemens. Similar to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” the films were later imported into the U.S. for showing as part of ABC’s late-night offering “ABC Wide World of Entertainment.” Since its original airing, the series has developed a loyal cult following because of its inventive plots, clever twists and colorful casting. Two episodes will be shown—“In the Steps of a Dead Man” and “I’m the Girl He Wants to Kill.”

Saturday, Oct. 25 (2 p.m.)
(Universal, 1995)
Based on the popular cartoon character, this family-oriented “ghost story” stars Bill Pullman as ghost psychiatrist James Harvey who is hired by the cranky Ms. Carrigan (Cathy Moriarty) to rid the rickety old house she inherited of spirits so she can find a treasure trove rumored to be hidden there. Her plan backfires when James’s daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) befriends Casper, the friendly phantom who inhabits the place along with The Ghostly Trio. Directed by Brad Silberling, the family fantasy-comedy was praised for its visual elements, which bring Casper to computer-generated life with impressive special effects and an enchanting production design.

Saturday, Oct. 25 (7:30 p.m.)
“Four Flies on Grey Velvet”
(Paramount, 1971, R-rated *)
A rock musician confronts a stranger he believes is stalking him and accidentally stabs the man to death. The following day, he receives an envelope containing photographs of the shocking murder and an apparent blackmail begins. Italian horror master Dario Argento directed this chilling tale of terror, which stars Michael Brandon, Mimsy Farmer and Jean-Pierre Marielle. The film is in Italian with English subtitles.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Thursday, Oct. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Witching Hour”
(Paramount, 1921)
In this second of three film adaptations (1916, 1921 and 1934) of Augustus Thomas’ hit Broadway play, Jack Brookfield (Elliot Dexter)—a gambler with clairvoyant and hypnotic powers—is able to win at cards through his unique gift. However, when he inadvertently hypnotizes young Clay Thorne (future director Edward Sutherland), Thorne kills an enemy of Brookfield’s while in a trance. No one believes Brookfield’s protestations that Thorne is innocent of any murderous intent, so Brookfield teams up with a retired lawyer in hopes of saving the young man from the gallows. Made a year before director William Desmond Taylor was mysteriously murdered, this mystery-drama is one of the few films that he directed that is known to have survived. Film historian and silent-film-score composer Jon Mirsalis will provide live musical accompaniment. Mirsalis viewed this print that was preserved by the Library of Congress in 1985 and remarked that it was “very spooky with lots of visual touches.”

Friday, Oct. 31 (7:30 p.m.)
Halloween Double Feature
“The Company of Wolves”
(Cannon Film Distributors, 1984, R-rated *)
Neil Jordan directed this dark and foreboding take on “Little Red Riding Hood” set in modern times. Rosaleen’s (Sarah Patterson) grandmother (Angela Lansbury) tells her cautionary stories about innocent girls led astray by handsome men with heavy eyebrows and wolves howling at the full moon. This prompts Rosaleen to create her own fantasies about men and sexuality. David Warner and Stephen Rea co-star in this disturbing tale.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

“Halloween Mystery Movie” (9:30 p.m., R-rated *)
This late-night screening is a skin-crawling, R-rated horror film.
* No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.


PR 14-167
ISSN 0731-3527