July 20, 2015 "Shot on Location" at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater
Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
Location, location, location may be the first rule in real estate, but it’s also a good reason to visit the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia, in August. Every title on the schedule, as curated by projectionist and guest programmer Richard Hincha, features movies shot outside of the Hollywood backlot.
European sites include Vienna and Paris in the comedy adventure “The Great Race”; war-torn Germany and France in “The Great Escape” and “The Train”; the Irish countryside in “Captain Lightfoot”; the fjords of Norway in “The Vikings” and the Italian Alps in “The Pink Panther.” The historical epic “Khartoum” was produced in Egypt where the events depicted in the film occur, while the safari-adventure “Hatari!,” starring John Wayne, was photographed further south on the African continent in what is now Tanzania.
Although most titles on the schedule were made in the two decades following World War II, one silent films are included in the lineup: the 1918 Biblical story “From the Manger to the Cross,” filmed in Palestine and added to the National Film Registry in 1998. Also on the program in August is a special live production featuring the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club recreating episodes of two 1949 radio shows—the crime drama “Dragnet” and the situation comedy “My Favorite Husband.”
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. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-serve basis. 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 www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/. In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations.
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 (www.loc.gov/avconservation). 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 (www.loc.gov/film), the National Recording Preservation Board (www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb) 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 www.loc.gov.
Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater ScheduleSaturday, Aug. 1 (2 p.m.)
“The Great Race” (Warner Bros., 1965)
Director Blake Edwards’ tribute to silent slapstick comedies and serials features a dashing hero (Tony Curtis as The Great Leslie) and a dastardly villain (Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate) competing in a 1908 road race that starts in New York City and goes west across three continents to end at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Natalie Wood co-stars as Maggie DuBois, an early feminist who sets out to cover the race and ends up bouncing between the attentions of the Great Leslie and the clutches of the evil Professor Fate. This high-budget comedy showcases thrilling stunts, custom cars, a massive pie fight and location scenes filmed in Death Valley National Park, Lone Pine, Salzburg, Vienna and Paris. “The Great Race” won an Academy Award for best sound effects and was nominated for best cinematography, film editing and song, “The Sweetheart Tree,” with music written by Henry Mancini.
Saturday, Aug. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
“From the Manger to the Cross” (Kalem, 1912)
Shot in Egypt and Palestine, often in biblical locations, the story of Jesus’ life is told in ten chapters, with scenes staged as tableaus. Cinematographer George Hollister experimented with wide panning shots as well as innovative camera angles seldom used at this point in cinema’s evolution. Actress Gene Gauntier, who portrays the Virgin Mary, wrote the script although most of the intertitles were direct quotes from the Bible. Directed by Sidney Olcott, the film was released at five reels at a time when three reels were considered extravagant. “From the Manger to the Cross” was selected for the National Film Registry in 1998. Andrew Earle Simpson will provide live musical accompaniment.
Thursday, Aug. 6 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Great Escape” (United Artists, 1963)
Based on Paul Brickhill’s 1950 best-selling firsthand account, “The Great Escape” tells the true story of one of the largest mass POW escapes during World War II. Director John Sturges assembled a first-rate cast, including American actors Steve McQueen, James Garner, James Coburn and Charles Bronson, and a number of British actors such as Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasence, David McCallum and John Leyton. Sturges never wavered from his initial intention of making a true ensemble piece in which each character—each cog in the intricate escape machine—functions equally. Shot on location in Bavaria, Germany, the film was selected by the National Board of Review as one of the top 10 films of 1963. The screening print is courtesy of MGM and Park Circus film distributor.
Friday, Aug. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
“Captain Lightfoot” (Universal, 1955)
This fourth of eight collaborations between director Douglas Sirk and actor Rock Hudson is a tongue-in-cheek swashbuckler beautifully filmed in CinemaScope on location in Ireland. The screenplay by W. R. Burnett based on his 1954 novel tells the story of Michael Martin, a naive and impetuous young would-be rebel in 1815 Ireland who turns to robbery for funds to support the cause against England. Forced into hiding, he crosses paths with the renowned rebel leader Captain Thunderbolt (Jeff Morrow), who takes Martin under his wing and makes him his second-in-command. Barbara Rush and Kathleen Ryan are also featured in the cast.
Saturday, Aug. 8 (7:30 p.m.)
“An Evening of Old-Time Radio” with The Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club
Club members will recreate two 1949 broadcasts—the very first episode of “Dragnet” and an episode of “My Favorite Husband,” the Lucille Ball radio sitcom that foreshadowed TV’s “I Love Lucy”—and also demonstrate how various sound effects are reproduced. Founded in 1984, the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club honors, collects and preserves information on all forms of vintage radio, meeting each month in Northern Virginia. Members have hosted panel discussions and made presentations at numerous national museums, agencies, institutions, senior citizens’ groups and retirement homes.
Thursday, Aug. 13 (7:30 p.m.)
“Khartoum” (United Artists, 1966)
When the fanatical Sudanese leader Muhammad Ahmad (Laurence Olivier) massacres a British-led force of 8,000 and marches on the strategic city of Khartoum, British prime minister Gladstone (Ralph Richardson) assigns the enigmatic general Sir Charles “Chinese” Gordon (Charlton Heston) to lead the defense of the Sudanese garrison against the Muslim rebellion. Cinematographer Ted Scaife filmed this historical epic in Technicolor and Ultra Panavision 70 in Egypt. Directed by Basil Dearden, the realistic battle sequences were choreographed by famed stuntman and action director Yakima Canutt, who revealed in his autobiography that “there were no injuries to a single horse in our work.”
Friday, Aug. 14 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Vikings” (United Artists, 1958)
Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis star as mortal enemies Einar, a great warrior, and Eric, an ex-slave. Both are sons of Viking leader Ragnar (Ernest Borgnine), though neither knows the true identity of the other. When the throne of Northumbria in Britain becomes free for the taking, the two brothers compete against one another for the prize and for a beautiful captured English princess, played by Janet Leigh. Directed by Richard Fleischer, the film is known for its extravagant budget caused by constant weather delays, the leasing of an entire Norwegian fjord, the construction of a full-scale Viking village, and the production of a fleet of authentic longships copied from reproductions in museums. Wonderful use of the natural locations in Norway was captured on film by renowned cinematographer Jack Cardiff.
Saturday, Aug. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
“Exodus” (United Artists, 1960)
Otto Preminger produced and directed this epic about the birth of Israel after World War II. Paul Newman stars as Ari Ben Canaan, an Israeli resistance leader who helps a group of 600 Jewish immigrants escape British-blocked Cypress for Palestine. Filmed on location, it was adapted from the 1958 historical novel Exodus by Leon Uris, which was inspired by voyages of the 1947 immigration ship Exodus. Composer Ernest Gold won the Academy Award for best original score and the film was also nominated for best supporting actor (Sal Mineo) and for best cinematography (Sam Leavitt). Also featured in the cast are Eva Marie Saint, Ralph Richardson and Peter Lawford.
Thursday, Aug. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Pink Panther” (United Artists, 1963)
This comic masterpiece by Blake Edwards introduced both the animated Pink Panther character in the film’s opening and closing credit sequences and actor Peter Sellers in his most renowned comic role as the inept Inspector Clouseau. The influence of the great comics of the silent era on Edwards and Sellers is apparent throughout the film, which is recognized for its enduring popularity. Henry Mancini’s score was nominated for an Academy Award and the soundtrack album was awarded a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2001. Shot in the Alps in Northern Italy as well as Rome and Paris by cinematographer Philip Lathrop, the film was added to the National Film Registry in 2010.
Friday, Aug. 21 (7:30 p.m.)
“I Was a Male War Bride” (20th Century Fox, 1949)
Cary Grant stars as French officer Henri Rochard, who is paired with a WAC lieutenant (Ann Sheridan) for duties in post-World War II Europe. Although first at odds, the two soon fall in love and decide to marry—only to discover that the only way to get Rochard back to the U.S. is via the War Brides Act (there being no provision for war grooms). Hawks advised Grant on how to play his character in drag: “just act like a man in woman’s clothes.” The ruse worked well and audiences flocked to see it. Grant called the film “the best comedy I've ever done.” Director Howard Hawks shot the exterior scenes on location in Heidelberg, Germany, and interiors in London. The film was based on a true story.
Saturday, Aug. 22 (2 p.m.)
“The Sundowners” (Warner Bros., 1960)
Fred Zinnemann directed this adaptation of Jon Cleary’s 1952 novel about a family of nomadic sheepherders in the Australian Outback. Studio head Jack Warner approved the project with the understanding that it would be made inexpensively in Arizona, but the director persuaded him that the actual location would make for a better film and bigger box office. Starring Robert Mitchum, Deborah Kerr, Michael Anderson, Jr., Peter Ustinov, Glynis Johns and Dina Merrill, it was one of the first Hollywood films shot on location in Australia, where temperatures often soared to 108 degrees. The film received critical acclaim and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, director and lead actress (Kerr).
Saturday, Aug. 22 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Train” (United Artists, 1964)
In this fictionalized account based on actual events, ruthless Nazi colonel Von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) arranges to move a stolen cache of priceless art treasures from Paris before the Allies retake the city. He commandeers a train to Germany, which rallies Resistance fighters, led by an initially reluctant Burt Lancaster, to somehow stop him without destroying the legacy he’s trying to confiscate. Directed by John Frankenheimer, the film was shot in black-and-white and almost entirely on location in France. New York Times critic Bosley Crowthers called it “realistic and intensely engrossing” and praised the film for its action and hair-trigger suspense. “The Train” was Oscar-nominated for best writing and was named as one of the top 10 films of the year by the National Board of Review.
Thursday, Aug. 27 (7:30 p.m.)
“Hatari!” (Paramount, 1962)
John Wayne stars as Sean Mercer, a macho game hunter who, along with his crew, is engaged in the exciting but dangerous business of catching wild animals for delivery to zoos around the world. Howard Hawks directed this adventure tale shot on location in the wilds of Tanganyika (in what is now Tanzania). According to Hawks, all of the animal captures in the picture were actually performed by the actors—no stuntmen or animal handlers were substituted on-screen. Like many Hawks’ other major movies, the film is more about the relationships among the characters than the plot. Featured in the cast are Bruce Cabot, Red Buttons, Hardy Kruger and Elsa Martinelli. Russell Harlan’s cinematography received an Oscar nomination and Henry Mancini’s catchy “Baby Elephant Walk,” written for a scene in the film, became one of the composer’s most popular works.
Friday, Aug. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Longest Day” (20th Century Fox, 1962)
Darryl F. Zanuck produced this epic telling of the D-Day landings at Normandy that took place on June 6, 1944. Based on the 1959 book “The Longest Day” by Cornelius Ryan, the movie was filmed in the style of a docudrama and chronicles most of the important events surrounding D-Day. Shot at several French locations, “The Longest Day” had three directors: Ken Annakin for British and French exteriors, Andrew Marton for American exteriors and Bernhard Wicki for German scenes. Studio publicity boasted “42 international stars” in the ensemble cast. They included such major stars as Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Richard Burton, Sean Connery and Henry Fonda, along with popular teen idols such as Paul Anka, Tommy Sands and Fabian to attract the younger viewers. The film employed several Axis and Allied military consultants who had been actual participants on D-Day. The film garnered five Oscar nominations, winning two for best cinematography and best special effects.
Saturday, Aug. 29
The Packard Campus Theater will be closed on August 29 due to required maintenance in the building’s central plant. The previously announced screening of “Venus of the South Seas” will be rescheduled at a later date.